[Beyond Sunday] Give Up “I Like”

I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers. I’m thankful for all of you every time I pray, and it’s always a prayer full of joy.

I’m sure about this: the one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus. I have good reason to think this way about all of you because I keep you in my heart.

God is my witness that I feel affection for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus.

This is my prayer: that your love might become even more and more rich with knowledge and all kinds of insight. I pray this so that you will be able to decide what really matters and so you will be sincere and blameless on the day of Christ. I pray that you will then be filled with the fruit of righteousness, which comes from Jesus Christ, in order to give glory and praise to God.

Most important, live together in a manner worthy of Christ’s gospel. Do this, whether I come and see you or I’m absent and hear about you. Do this so that you stand firm, united in one spirit and mind as you struggle together to remain faithful to the gospel.

God has generously granted you the privilege, not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for Christ’s sake. You are having the same struggle that you saw

meface and now hear that I’m still facing.

-Philippians 1 (selected)

Living with other people is uncomfortable.  One person talks too loud, or asks too many questions, or just does that thing that grates on our very last nerve.  Yet we are wired to need each other.  Even our faith is incomplete without the fellowship of others.  Only when we learn to be grateful everyone– even for those who make us uncomfortable– are we able to approach others with the love of Christ.   [hear sermon audio]

This week, take some time to go deeper.  Use these scriptures and questions to reflect on your own life and community.

Texts to read:

Questions to ponder:

  • Is there someone in your community with whom you struggle to get along?
  • How often do you pray for them and give thanks for the good things they do?
  • If you gave thanks for that person regularly, what might change in your relationship?

Do and share:

  • Write a prayer of thanksgiving for someone who annoys you.  Use it in your time with God for 7 days.
  • Write a note to someone you might unintentionally annoy thanking them for their love and patience toward you.


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