Sermon Response Guide
Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
- Jesus gives us a new focus: to fix our minds on what is worthy of praise and practice.
- The Christian vision for life is for Jesus to be fully formed in us.
- Becoming like Jesus begins in our minds, as we begin to think and focus like Jesus.
- As we choose what to focus on, we must ask these questions:
- Is it true?
- Is it honorable?
- Is it just?
- Is it pure?
- Is it lovely?
- Is it commendable?
- Is it excellent?
- Is it worthy of praise?
- Your heart will follow your focus. What you give your mind to is what shapes you.
- The peace of God leads us to the God of peace.
Ask God to write this word on your heart this week:
“so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,”
-Philippians 2:10 ESV*
*Note: Through the rest of this sermon series, “All Things New,” we will be working together as a faith family to memorize Philippians 2:3-11. Each week, we will introduce a new verse to memorize while encouraging one another to remember the preceding verse(s) from the previous week(s).
This week, try to recite Philippians 2:3-10 together:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,”
Questions for Reflection
Take time to reflect and respond to these questions on your own in the presence of the Holy Spirit, or with trusted friends or family members:
1: We may say we believe something, but what we do proves our belief. Do you believe the Bible is where we find truth? If so, how should that belief shift the way you approach Scripture?
2: In our culture today, it is popular to say, “I’m just speaking my truth.” Have you ever encountered God through the Scriptures and realized God’s truth did not line up with what you thought was your truth? What did you do?
3: Read Matthew 6:21. How do these words of Jesus relate to our message today about the new focus we receive in Christ?
4: What practice do you have in place to be with Jesus, so you might become like Jesus?
5: As you seek to stay focused on Christ this week, try the Stop, Look, and Listen spiritual practice (personally used by Pastor Jeff):
- STOP to sit with God in prayer:
“Lord, I am here. Remind me again of how much you love me.”
- LOOK into God’s Word and meditate on it:
- What is God saying?
- How will I obey?
- Who can I tell?
- LISTEN to God in prayer:
“Lord, I am listening. What do you want to say to me?”
6: Read James 1:22-25. Why do you think it is important to always approach Scripture with a posture to not only learn something, but to do what God’s Word says?
Lord, our minds are so quick to wander and dwell on things that are not true, nor are they worthy of praise. You alone are worthy of our praise, and you alone are the way, the truth, and the life. Help us to focus our thoughts on you, Lord Jesus. Only as we focus on you will we truly find our way and experience the life you freed us to live with you.