The past few months have been, by far, the most dif cult in our lives. We have a sick child. Our youngest son Luke has cancer, and his care has required multiple surgeries, countless hours in the hospital, and an extremely aggressive regimen of chemotherapy. This situation came suddenly and has lled our lives with uncertainty, sorrow, fear, and pain. It has been unspeakably dif cult, and at the same time we have experienced God’s peace and God’s mercy in ways we never imagined possible. God has shown up in our lives through His saints, the Church, who have prayed for us, provided for us, and listened to us. We are not alone in our circumstances. God’s people have demonstrated God’s presence in our lives, and for that we are extremely grateful.
God has also revealed Himself to us very powerfully through the wisdom of His Word.
Several months ago I began meeting together with a group of men every Friday morning to dive into the book of Philippians. We meet for about an hour each week, and our primary aim is to read the text normally. We read a small section of Philippians out loud a couple of times, and then we try to determine what the author intended to communicate to the followers of Jesus who lived in rst century Philippi. It’s a pretty simple process, yet this study has had a profound impact on my heart and mind over the past few months. I’ve studied Philippians quite extensively in the past, so I’m very familiar with the content, but in this crazy season of life it reads very differently to me and applies in fresh ways to my life. The uniqueness and power of God’s Word is that by His Spirit we can gain timely insight, comfort, and direction each time we interact with His truth and wisdom.
My hope is to challenge to you through this short book. First, grab a few others who want to be intentional about exposing themselves to God’s Word. It might be your Life Group, your family, your ministry team, or just a random group of friends. Just nd some people. Then, nd a regular time when you can gather to read and talk about Philippians together, eight to ten verses at a time. Nothing fancy, just read and discuss, and feel free to use the articles and questions on the following pages to spark your thinking
as well. Finally, and here’s the key, submit. What’s going to happen when you dig into God’s Word is that God’s Word will dig into you. The truth and wisdom that you’ll nd in Philippians will encourage you, challenge you, even convict you, because God’s aim is to change you for His glory.
Early in Philippians chapter one you will nd Paul’s prayer for his friends in Philippi. He writes,
It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and
so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, lled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
It is this same prayer I will be praying for you and for anyone else who picks up this little book.
Pastor James Granger
January 9, 2016