Joy Ride: A Journey Through Philippians: October 13-November 17, 2019
Discussion Questions for Week 1: Introduction to Philippians
1. What stood out to you from the message this past Sunday? Was there anything that was new or surprising? Was there anything you disagreed with, or found difficult?
2. Read Acts 8:1-3 and Acts 9:1-30. Discuss the following:
- What do you think motivated Saul to persecute followers of Jesus with such vehemence?
- Why do you think Jesus asked, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
- Put yourself in Saul’s position: what would you have thought about for 3 days, while blind and fasting from food and drink?
- What adjectives would you use to describe (i) Ananias, (ii) the disciples, and (iii) Barnabas? With whom do you most identify, and why?
3. Read Acts 16:13-40. Paul and his friends might have only been in Philippi for a few weeks, but that time was action-packed! Imagine you are Paul a few years later, reminiscing about your time in the city. What would you remember as the “highs” of the trip? What do you think would be the “lows”?
4. Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians several years after his visit to Philippi, probably writing from a prison in Ephesus awaiting a possible death sentence. Read Philippians 4:4-7.
- What do you think gave Paul the ability to write these words, given his circumstances?
- How do you think Paul’s past experiences might have helped prepare him for his current situation?
5. In Philippians 3:8 Paul writes: “everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” What do you think he means by this? How could this kind of attitude lead to thankfulness, even in difficult circumstances?
6. Break into groups of 2 or 3. Share about an area of your own life that seems difficult. Pray for one another to grow in thankfulness to God even within (though not necessarily because of) this situation. Ask for God’s peace, which transcends all understanding, to guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Exercise for the week
During the week, be on the look out for signs of God being at work in you or in others. Note how you respond to situations during the course of your everyday life, and consider how you might have responded in the past. Are you becoming more patient, forgiving or kind? Look for these changes in family members or friends also. Note any signs of God’s work in you or in others in a journal (or on your phone). Offer a prayer of thanks that God “who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
You can view and download previous series materials below.