Shine Like Bright Lights

Philippians 2:12-18

October 16th - 22nd, 2016

Warm Up: Sanctification is about becoming in thought, word, and action more like Jesus. It has to do with following Him, imitating Him, and being transformed by the Holy Spirit. The passage before us teaches that sanctification is a part of our salvation. Now that we are accepted and adopted by God through faith in Jesus Christ, we are changing to become more like Christ. This is “the norm” for every Christ follower. Understanding this, what do you think Paul means when he encourages us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12 ESV)? 

  • Read Philippians 2:12-18 aloud. Sanctification is a process as well as an event. God accepts, adopts, and changes us through faith in Jesus. He is also working in our lives to produce good “fruit,” but like toddlers who refuse to be strapped in their carseats we often resist the change God longs to bring about.  
  • In what area(s) do you find it most difficult to cooperate with God’s Spirit and the change He is seeking to bring about in you? (think: attitudes, relationships, humility, stubbornness, habits, patterns of thought, words, integrity, etc.) 
  • What encouragement does Philippians 2:12-18 bring in this regard? Why?
  • Philippians 2:13 says,“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” We can be confident that as we seek the Lord He will give us the “want to” and the “power to” do what honors Him.
  • Where do you most need the “want to” and the “power to” in your walk with Jesus right now? Explain.
  • If you’re not experiencing the desire and power to do what pleases God, why do you think this may be the case? 
  • Read Philippians 2:14-15 again. We can all be guilty of sins of discontentment, when things are not as we would like them to be. In the wilderness, Israel was notorious for these sins and they died there because of their refusal to walk in God’s ways (Exodus 16). Right after reminding us that God is giving the desire and power to do what pleases Him (v.13), Paul says we are to do everything without complaining or arguing (v.14).
  • How does refusing to complain and argue enable us to “shine like bright lights” in a dark world (v.15)?
  • As followers of Jesus we hold out the light of our Lord - His love, grace, forgiveness, and joy. And the darker the night, the brighter is our light! It feels in many ways that our nation and culture are in “a dark night.” In what ways do you personally believe God is calling you to act and respond as Jesus’ light in this time and place? Be specific.

Wrap Up: Is there an area in which you know God is asking you to shine brightly in this week? Pray for each other. Ask God to give each of you courage, strength, and wisdom to shine brightly and beautifully for His Kingdom’s cause this week.