Each week I will send out via email (and post to our website and Facebook) a short summary and application questions for the sermon text from the previous week. Normally we’ll get it out earlier in the week but we had some problems getting the first sermon up on our website.

The objective of these emails is to be obedient to James 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

We believe that God’s word is truly transformative when we don’t just know it but we apply it to our lives.

My hope is that this content will help with…

  1. Personal application of God’s word.
  2. Teaching and discipleship with your family.
  3. Provide preparation for your small group discussions.
  4. Help you to teach others and pass on what you are learning from God’s word.

Why start a church? Philippians 1:1-11

Listen to the sermon here: http://harvest.bible/sermons/

Answer or Big Idea:
There is great joy in joining God in what he is doing in our world.

What is the text saying?

How do we join God in his work and find great joy?

  • By being a follower of Christ (1-2). This is a fundamental first step. This means believing the gospel of Jesus. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
  • By partnership (3-5). The mission of God always works when Christians partner together. Partnership is not casual. The Philippians were partnering with Paul “from the first day until now.”
  • By trusting God to work in others (6-7). Jesus started the work in them and he will finish it. Don’t try to “fix” people in your own strength, trust God to do it.
  • By loving others like Jesus loves (8-11). Love motivates and empowers us to do the right thing. We should love God and love others. Paul prays for it because often times we need help from God in loving others. God is the account holder on love.

How does God want me to respond?

  • Are you truly partnered with other Christians in the mission of God? This will look different for different people. Let God guide you here.
  • A good test is whether you have rejected some of the relationship killers. 1) “My way or the highway,” 2) Only when it is easy, 3) Only when it helps me, 4) Lone Ranger mindset, 5) Wait and see approach, 6) “I’m not needed”

A good test of partnership: Is there a partnership killer that you wrestle with?

  • “My way or the highway.”
  • Only when it is easy, then I’ll partner
  • Only when it helps and benefits me
  • The Lone Ranger mindset. I got my Bible and the Holy Spirit, I don’t need the church.
  • Wait and see. I’ll get involved once they accomplish something or when they get close the goal line.
  • “I’m not needed.”

If you are struggling with some of those partnership killers then I would recommend you meditate on 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.

Pray for more love

  • Paul prayed for more love, we should too.
  • Is there an area where you are struggling in obeying God? Is there someone in particular that is really hard for you to love?
  • Make a commitment to start asking God for more love.

Prayer suggestion: Father in heaven, I admit that when I have sinned in that way it was not loving of you. Forgive me and help me to love you more. And help me to love that person who is so hard to naturally love. You loved me when I didn’t love you, help me to show that same kind of love for others.

Who might God want you to share this with?
Here is a radical idea, maybe confess to that particular person that you have not loved them well. Don’t be accusatory or in any way blame them, just admit to them your side of it and let them know that you want to do better. Let them know that you are asking God for help in doing better and you could even ask them for help.

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