Philippians: Shining as Stars (Sunday, 9/18/11)

This Sunday we were in week two of our four week series on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. We’re using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series; I taught the high school while Jennifer B taught the middle school kids.

In particular, we focused on Philippians 2:12-18, with a goal that students would understand that God wants them to be like Christ and stand out among their peers as an example of God’s love and life-changing power. That they would know how complaining and arguing can be the start of a spiritual decline, and that they would be motivated to live for Christ even when their parents and adult leaders are not present.

There were three main take away thoughts from the lesson:

  1. You know the truth—don’t slip.  Often times we know what to do; part of following God involves asking His help in following through on that.
  2. It starts with complaining.  It might not be our first thought when we find ourselves stumbling away from God and stuck in some sort of destructive behavior, but those are usually the symptoms of a deeper issue: being discontent and selfish, which shows itself in our complaining.
  3. Shine like stars.  Our challenge is to be lights for God in this world!  Everything we do shapes the opinions of those around us about God and the Christian church. Our reputation should shine like a star, light, hope, something that brings joy to God.

A follow up activity for around the table or in the car would be to read the passage in Philippians together and then discuss the following questions:

  • Why would the Philippian believers find it fairly easy to obey God when Paul was with them? Why would that be more difficult in his absence?
  • What do your friends complain about most? What do you complain about most?
  • What does Paul tell them that will make them shine like stars?
  • What makes living like a child of God in this world so difficult?

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