December 30: A Vision for the Church (Philippians 4:4-7)
Prepare for Sunday worship by using the guide below.
 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
In the fourth chapter of Philippians, Paul, who has a deep love for this church, gives some final instructions. Paul concludes his letter with a list of exhortations to help them grow as a church, from prison no less. He calls them to let their hearts be full of joy, let their reasonableness be known to all, and let their prayers be made known to God. In modern language, Paul is casting a vision for the church that they might finish well. As you look at 2019, can you make his vision yours, to rejoice, live gently among others and pray?
Review and Apply
How is it possible to rejoice always, especially in difficult times?
How can you encourage another to rejoice even in a season of challenge? What should you NOT say and what should you say?
What does it mean to be reasonable toward others?
How does your reasonableness help the church remain healthy? Give an example of this in your life.
What are you most concerned over in 2019?
How is worry often a sign of little trust in God?
How does prayer challenge worry?
What is your current practice of prayer personally and for the church?
Why, if the Lord is at hand, do we need to pray?
Out of the five threats to prayer, what do you struggle with most?
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