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Philippians Week Six

May 12-18, 2024

The Deep Well of Grace

Podcast

Listen as the Speaking Team discuss Philippians 4:10-23

Study Guide

Grow individually or in your group with a guided study through this week's portion of Philippians.

Read

Read Philippians 4:10-23 in Your Bible

Are there times in your life where you might limit the reach of God’s grace? When things are good, is it easy to forget God? When times are challenging, does God get scorned and left behind?

In this final section of Philippians, Paul reminds us that God’s grace is with us no matter what. But the question for us is whether we will draw life from that grace or forget about it.

Remember, Paul is in prison when he writes this letter. This is not an easy time for him. His struggles phys- ically and spiritually are great. But throughout his life, he has learned from experience what it means to be nourished at all times by the living water of Jesus. Paul says:

I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:11-13

The grace of Jesus gives Paul a perspective on life that is not dependent on his physical circumstances. When life is abundant, he can rejoice without feeling entitled. When life leaves him little to eat and locked away in prison, he knows how to suffer without descending into bitterness. How does he do this? What is his “secret” (vs. 12)?

Paul has learned that the grace of God permeates his entire life. Reflect on these possible aspects of Paul’s faith that allow him to thrive no matter the circumstances. What could they mean for your own life?

  • Receive everything as from the hand of God. • Keep your focus on the Lord.
  • Cling to the promises of God.
  • Be steadfast in prayer.
  • Expect new life. A way will open out of adversity. Evil will be reversed into good.
  • Offer thanksgiving in all things.
  • Demonstrate patience and perseverance.
  • Be free from anxiety.
  • Be free from anger and the root of bitterness.

With this “secret” of God’s grace, Paul finds ultimate strength in Jesus Christ (vs. 13). While many transla- tions of verse 13 say, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” a more literal translation would be, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” Think about the difference between “through” and “in.” Paul does not reduce and manipulate Jesus as a source “through” whom he can attain his personal goals. Rather, “in Christ” Paul has the ultimate strength to sustain and thrive in all of life’s circumstances.

Paul’s strength comes from the deep well of the grace of Jesus Christ. This same power covers our lives and invites us to experience the deep peace and joy of abiding in Christ no matter our troubles.

As Paul concludes the letter, he heaps praise and thanksgiving on the Philippian community who has served him, supported him, and showed Christ’s love and hospitality to him in such a way as to mirror the humility, love, and grace of Jesus Christ.

Reflect

Reflection Questions

As you reflect on the final themes of Philippians, pause, and consider the deep well of grace that can flood your own life. Paul experienced a supernatural contentment because of God’s love and grace. And the peace that comes from God’s love and grace is for all of us, no matter our circumstances, our histories, our worries, our joys, our questions. The One who humbled himself to the point of death on a cross extends his hand of grace to each of us.

How will you accept His embrace?

Pray

Pray to yourself or aloud in your group

Incarnate God, who put on flesh and walked the earth,
who knows what it is to face trouble and suffering,
this life is hard, just as you said it would be.
But I take heart because I have you.

Pause. Take a deep breath.
Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of God’s presence with you now.

Your presence eclipses every trying situation,
and reminds me that your kingdom is unshakeable,
and I am a part of it.

Pause.
Imagine the kingdom of God here on the earth right here and now.
What does it look like in your home? In your family? In your day-today?

May I become more aware of your presence daily,
may the reality of “Christ in me, the hope of glory”
anchor my heart, my mind, and my body
to a continuous, and effervescent hope.
You are always with me.
You have overcome the world.
Amen.

Memorize

Add the bold section to memory each week

Philippians 2:5-11

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Westside Kids

Word of the Week: Strength

Just like Paul faced challenges with strength, we can teach our children to be strong when things get

tough. They can find strength in knowing that they’re not alone and that they can rely on God for help.

Ask: What’s something you can do when you’re scared that makes you feel strong?