forward part 1
On Paul’s second missionary journey God redirected his plan and led him to Philippi. While in Philippi, God used Paul to share the message of Jesus with Lydia and the jailer. As a result, many came to Christ and a church was started in the city. Several years after his initial visit, while in prison, Paul penned what we know as the Book of Philippians to encourage the believers in Philippi. Though this letter is close to 2000 years old, its contents are as helpful and life changing today as they were when Paul penned them.
1. During Paul’s second missionary journey God redirected his plan which led to people becoming followers of Jesus and a new church starting. Have you ever experienced God closing a door to find His plan was much better? Share a little about your story.
2. Pastor Chris said, “God’s plan is bigger than my personal comfort and progress.” What about that statement encourages you? What about that statement is a little unsettling?
3. In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are beaten and thrown in prison. This was obviously not part of their plan and was very uncomfortable. Instead of throwing in the towel they started singing and praying. What do you think they believed that was foundational to how they handled tough circumstances?
4. Our way forward comes down, in large part, to who we serve? Read Romans 12:1-2 as a group. What was Paul’s motive and mindset as it relates serving God with his life? What does this passage tell us about our thoughts in this process?
5. If we are not careful, we will make our life about serving ourselves. What are practical steps (habits, relationships, etc.) we can take to help us serve God instead of serving ourselves?
Jesus is the perfect example of someone who submitted Himself to the Father’s way forward. This week, as you seek to please God, get to know his Son better by spending time in His word and prayer. Ask God to give you sensitivity to His plan and courage to obey.