• Matt Beaney

#209 – WHATEVER IS ADMIRABLE (8/10/20)


What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?


To admire is to gaze at and consider the beauty of something. We become like the things we admire. It’s therefore very important to think on purpose and focus our admiration on people and things that are worthy. Paul writes,

‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.' (Philippians 4:8-9)

Depending on our age, we’ve probably all had the experience of being hit with something or someone that fills us with admiration. It can be a band, a sporting achievement, a way of dressing, an attitude… I remember, when I was around eleven, watching the film ‘Back to the Future’ and, immediately, wanting to get a skateboard and skate down the street to the tune, ‘The power of love’! Seems silly now, but, at the time, it was powerful.


What we allow to inspire admiration, can inspire to greatness, inspire to what is pointless, or inspire to what is dark and damaging.


RESPONSE

For Christians, the greatest source of admiration is Jesus. Paul has painted a portrait of Him in Philippians 2:5-11. I find that singing great songs in my devotions is a great way of admiring Jesus. How will you admire Him?

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - REPLACE “WHATEVER!” WITH “WHATEVER IS…”


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Have you ever had a moment when you have shouted, spoken out automatically, cried, laughed… because you were so amazed at something?


Introduction - please share in your group

If we are going to enjoy God’s peace - assurance of our peace with God, peace relationally, and the experience of the peace of the Spirit, it’s vital that we not only pray and give thanks over anxiety, as we saw last week, but that we also think about and then do what is good. Paul writes,

‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.' (Philippians 4:8-9)

Too often, we don’t take responsibility for what we think about and what we allow to inspire our thinking. We say ‘whatever’ rather than think about ‘whatever is…’. These eight thinking traits have a lot of overlap, but each term encourages us to focus on what will inspire good thinking, inspired by Jesus, that will lead to peace in the fullest sense.


Discuss in your group

(Choose which questions to cover based on the time you have)

1. Which of these thinking traits do you find hardest and why?


2. It’s good to practice this kind of thinking. Let’s do that together now; how would each of these traits help you to think about a relationship breakdown?


3. How would each of these traits help you, or someone you were cancelling, if one felt deserted by God?


4. I encourage you to memorise Philippians 4:8-9 and purposely practice applying this kind of thinking.


Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:

1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?

2. What will you do in response?

3. How can we pray for you?



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