For our next series in church life we're going to engage with Paul's invite to joy, written from prison to his friends in Philippi. He'd served during his second missionary journey, spending about three months in the city. Philippians brims over with often quoted passages: “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” 1:6, “To live is Christ and to die is gain”1:21, and “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” 4:13, are just a few. But the portrait of Jesus Christ as a humble servant serves as the core of Paul’s teaching in this letter with his joy at the thought of his much loved brothers and sisters shines through it all. To lead the Philippians to this truth, Paul takes them directly to Jesus, showing that a community of believers living in harmony with one another is possible through mutual humility patterned in the way of our Saviour. Paul tells us that he poured out his life as an offering for the sake of Christ, leading him to find great joy and contentment in Christ’s service. His letter invites each of us to centre our lives on Christ, so that we too, might live in true joy.
Here's the nine-part study resource prepared for personal or life group use, and join us in this teaching series from Sunday 12th January till the middle of March. May we share this aspiration and seek to know Jesus Christ more and more at the beginning of this new year. May we rededicate ourselves to finding joy, unstealable, unshakeable joy in Christ regardless of our circumstances or those of our family, community or nation in the weeks and months ahead.