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Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Vision of Community Preview


On Sunday at Bethany Place, I’m continuing the message series from Philippians called Unity Under Fire with a message from Phil. 2:19-30 called, A Vision for Community. It’s a powerful text for us to hold up to our lives as a mirror. I’m praying it will prompt soul searching that will provoke a fresh expressions of community. You can see the scripture and outline below.

A Vision of Community
Philippians 2:19-30
Unity Under Fire, Part 2

1.    Develop profound interdependence

Philippians 2:19–21 (ESV)19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

2.    Persevere through hardship in serving the body

Philippians 2:22–30 (ESV) 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.

3.    Intentionally cultivate gospel based relationships

Philippians 2:19, 23-25, 29 (ESV)
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you.
23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need,
29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men,

Questions for further exploration
1.       How wide is the circle of people whose well-being affects your well being?
2.       Is it possible to be genuinely concerned for the welfare of others when you are overwhelmed with problems yourself? Is it possible that part of the way God will alleviate your own grief is by directing you to alleviate the suffering of others?
3.       How would you describe the level of community you see in this passage?
4.       In what sense are we to honor people who suffer through their ministry? 
5.       How is the love and longing displayed in this passage developed?

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