· How do you mark the new year? Resolutions? New goals? Is this something you do alone or with others?
· What role does joy play in your perspective on life?
· What crowds out joy in your life?
· What brings and feeds joy in your life?
· What causes you to lose your focus? How has the object of your distraction changed over the years? What are the common threads in your distractions?
· Read Phil 1:12-14, where Paul was jailed, but the gospel still advances. How have you seen the good work of God continue in an unexpected way?
· Where are you experiencing a setback that you hope God will use to advance the gospel?
· In vs. 15-18, Paul speaks to the reality that people are preaching the good news for the wrong reasons and rejoices that the good news is being preached. Where do you see the gospel being preached in this way?
· How does it sit with you that God uses unexpected people and ways to advance the gospel?
· In Phil 1:19-20, Paul considers the glory of Christ displayed through him more important than whether Paul lives or dies. What is more important to you than whether you live or die?
· Tongue in cheek, Walter Bruggemann, OT scholar, said, “I don’t mind dying for Christ; I just don’t want to be inconvenienced.” What are the daily behaviors, actions, and/or practices that inconvenience you for the sake of Christ?
· How would your life be different if Christ if you were about pursuing the joy and well-being of others, not just those closest to you, but those who are farther away?
· Perseverance is a part of the Christian journey. When have you needed perseverance?
· When have you given up pre-maturely and regretted it in retrospect?
· What/Who are you committed to that inspires you to choose beyond what is easiest to what matters most?
· Who around you needs to see an example of what it means to follow Christ?
· Who are you looking to as an example of what it means to follow Christ?
· Read Phil1:27. With whom are you struggling for the gospel?
· How can you find comrades for this journey of following after Christ?