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Gospel centred sermons, based on the lectionary often in advance.

Sep 11, 2011

Focus Reading  Philippians 1:21–30

In today's Phillipians reading Paul is thought to be writing from jail, with the threat of possible death hanging over him. When he says "to live is Christ, to die is gain" He's saying that all of us have the privilege of sharing in Jesus’ work. For Paul the Phillipians and us this meant paying a price, but it also means the support and service of others, fruitful labour, the growth of others faith, yes and even the church, and yes even ourselves. It means seeing how Jesus is at work in others and how he draws others to himself and having the wonderful privilege of taking part in that process. So let us not worry about preserving the structure of our business or governments, or church, or even ourselves. Instead let us rejoice in being joined to Christ and the life and service that he gives us now, and look forward to the even better life that is yet to come.

Questions for thought or discussion

What makes it hard to live out the Christian faith outside the church? What makes it hard to let go of trying to save the church and get on with being followers of Jesus? Why is it that the church is growing in places like Indonesia & China where it faces some persecution but is shrinking in most developed countries? What would make you willing to be like Paul & go to Jail for what you believe?