DAY ONE | Understand Their Story
Read Philippians 3:1-11, and focus on verses 1-6.
- Why does Paul tell us about his history? What would his standing in society have been?
- What benefits would Paul’s history give him? What blind spots might it cause?
- What does Paul mean by having “confidence in the flesh”?
- When Paul describes himself as “blameless” in the law, does he mean he has never sinned? If not that, then what does he mean?
Pray today in supplication that God would give you an accurate understanding of all that you have been given and accomplished in your life, and Who the source of those gifts are.
DAY TWO | Understand Their Story
Read Philippians 3:1-11 and focus on verses 7-11.
- The Greek word for “rubbish” in 3:8 is skybalon, which literally translated is a fairly crude word for manure. What kind of thought is Paul trying to convey by using this language?
- Meditate over 3:10. What does Paul mean by knowing the power of Jesus’ resurrection, the sharing of His sufferings, and becoming like Him in His death?
- What is Paul’s overarching goal, as stated in 3:11?
Pray today in thanksgiving for the righteousness that comes only through faith in Christ!
DAY THREE | Connect to His Story
Read Philippians 3:1-7 again. Read the following passages to learn more about how the “gains” of Paul’s past life compare to his life as an apostle.
- Acts 7:54-8:3. How did Paul (referred to in this passage as Saul) live out his understanding of faith before meeting Jesus?
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. Who does Paul credit for his work as an apostle?
- 2 Corinthians 11:24-30. What suffering does Paul endure as he fulfills his calling as an apostle?
- Reflect: What could possibly be of such goodness and worth that could lead Paul to conclude that his life in Christ (as described in 2 Corinthians 11) is a “gain” compared to what he had?
Pray today in supplication that God would give you strength to hold the things you love in this world loosely and cling tight to the promises of God.
DAY FOUR | Connect to His Story
Read Philippians 3:1-11 again, and then focus on verse 11. What does it mean to “attain to the resurrection of the dead”. How should that make us think about this world?
- Read John 11:25-26. What is Jesus’ promise for those who believe in Him?
- Read John 17:1-5. What is “eternal life”?
- If Paul is convinced that this promise is worth all of his sufferings, how should we view the things of this world?
- Reflect: Do I find my ultimate value – my greatest good – in something of this world (even if it’s a good thing!) or in Jesus?
Pray today in confession for the times you have treasured the gifts of this world more than their Giver.
DAY FIVE | Apply to your Story
Read Philippians 3:1-11 again and focus on verse 1.
- Paul’s command to “rejoice in the Lord” starts this chapter in which he speaks of loss and suffering that he has personally experienced. What kind of things does Paul (and do we) need to believe about God in order to rejoice in the Lord in the midst of loss and suffering?
- Paul says that writing the same things provides safety to the Philippians. What does Paul mean here? Have you ever felt that the Word of God was repetitive or that you’ve “heard it all before”? How might Paul’s words challenge that thought?
- Read Hebrews 13:7-9. If Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, what benefits do you see from hearing His story told again and again? What is the danger inherent to not doing so? Should this affect how and how often you read and study Scripture?
Pray today in adoration of the God who gives us reason to rejoice, regardless of our circumstances.