Drumoak-Durris Church has traditionally run a series of home groups with the aim of inviting people to explore and discuss further different themes of the bible together in an informal and friendly setting. Everyone is invited to join as we continue our journey in the Christian faith while strengthening friendships with one another.
Under the current difficult circumstances caused by the coronavirus outbreak, Home Groups will be postponed for the foreseeable future. However please find below material for our new Bible Study programme which looks at the book of Philippians:
Philippians was written to the first church that Paul established on European soil. The apostle Paul wrote the letter in approximately AD 61 when Paul was under house arrest in Rome. In this early part of the letter, which is a message of joy, the apostle Paul expresses his gratitude to the Philippian Christians, for their prayers, love and material assistance they gave to him in his time of need. He uses this opportunity to reassure them, so that they may have courage and confidence in spite of all his troubles and theirs as well.
Gracious God our loving Heavenly Father we come before You now and ask for Your blessing on us here as we gather to study Your Word.
As we try to serve you Father we take encouragement from this 1st chapter in the letter of Paul to the Philippians.
Paul shares with us his belief that our prayers should always be joyful because of the part we try to take in believing and teaching others of the love of Christ.
Teach us to be like Paul in believing that any work we try to do in the Christ’s name will be blessed.
Paul is assuring us that Christ will bring all that we do together to give a richer growing faith to ourselves and others.
Sometimes the way may be filled with disappointment, like Paul in very difficult circumstances.
We just need to do our part to fulfil our commitment to Christ by continuing to follow in His footsteps and preaching the good news of Christ.
Read Philippians chapter 1, verses 1-11.
1. Explain ‘grace’ and ‘peace’ in your own words.
2. Have you a prayer list? Do you talk with the Lord about your friends?
3. Do you always pray with love and joy?
4. Why can we rejoice in prayer?
When I travel, it is on Christ’s errands.
When I suffer, it is in Christ’s service.
When I speak, the theme is Christ.
When I write, Christ fills my Letters.
Read Philippians 1: 12-30.
Paul did not know about COVID-19 and lockdown but he knew about imprisonment and isolation.
As I read of Paul’s example and the work you gave him, to go and tell others about you, even from a prison cell, may I learn from it and witness for you at this time.
I give up me, to be filled with you.
Give me now a pure heart and a focus on you and start your work here today, with me, in this place.
Give me courage to live my life for You.
And may we be your citizens of heaven in this place for our neighbours and to your glory
Read verses 20 – 25 again.
1. What two powerful things did Paul know about that made him happy?
2. Paul says that he hoped for three things. What are they?
3. Why might Paul want to die? And who is Paul thinking about?
Christ is the giver of Life, see John 10:10
Christ is Life itself, see Galatians 2:20
Christ is the model of my life, see Matthew 5:48
Christ is the aim of my life, see 2 Peter 1:16
Christ is the reward of my life, see 2 Corinthians 9:15
I thank You that You are my God and that no matter what situation I find myself in and whatever problems I may be called upon to face, it can be used by You for Your Glory.
Help me to be joyful in my hope in Christ, knowing that You can use every circumstance in my life.
Help me to be persevering, devoted to prayer and learn to say: Your will, not mine be done.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I learn to entrust every situation into Your hands no matter how distressing or difficult they may be. Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful witness we have in Paul and for the many instances where You took simple people, seemingly inappropriate circumstances to forward Your plans and purposes.
May I be a willing witness to You Lord. Heavenly Father, help me to live a life that is worthy of You.
May my conduct and behaviour be uncompromising, whether I am alone or in the company of others and may the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to You.
In Jesus name I pray.
Paul explains we must follow Jesus Christ and that it’s the most wonderful example of the Christian life. The Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus is Lord of all, he became servant to all! We must imitate him.
Is there anything more Christlike for Christians to do than by living together in love and unity, Paul says “make my Joy complete by being like-minded” this is not an easy thing to do.
Jesus, the name greater than any other name, everything in Heaven, on Earth and in the World below, all will openly proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2: 10-11).
Our strength comes from knowing that you love us.
That love frees us from ourselves.
That love transforms and inspires us to love as Jesus did.
Not thinking of our own needs but those of others.
Not acting out of pride but out of humility.
May we never consider our lives more important than any other.
May we put the rights of others before our own, whatever their colour, culture, class or ability.
Help us to have the attitude of Jesus who gave all He had to his very last breath.
May the way we live and love honour Him.
Reading Philippians Chapter 2: 1-11
1. How would you know you that you have the right attitude?
2. What did Jesus do to appear as a man?
3. How did Jesus show that he was humble?
Jesus, the author of life, humbled himself even more, obedient to death, death on the Cross.
Matthew 16: 25.
For whoever wants to save his own life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
From the Bible in one Year.
Steve Sjogren wrote a book called Conspiracy of Kindness. He started a church in Cincinnati, Ohio, that grew rapidly to an average attendance of over 7,000. Their motto is, ‘Small things done with great love are changing the world.’ They carry out random acts of kindness like paying for a stranger’s coffee or writing a ‘thank you’ note to a shop assistant.
Kindness is love in work clothes. Showing God’s love in practical ways, they have discovered the power of kindness to effect positive change, both in their lives and in the lives of people around them. Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly and most underrated agent of human change. When kindness is expressed, healthy relationships are created, community connections are nourished and people are inspired to pass on kindness.
Paul is saying to the Philippians keep on obeying because God is always at work in you. He goes on that although they live (and us) in a corrupt and sinful world, they must shine like stars lighting up the sky, doing everything without complaining or arguing. Paul asks them to do this, so as all his work has not been in vain.
If it is the Lords Will, Paul says, he will hopefully send two of his closest friends and helpers Timothy and Epaphroditus, both men really care about the Philippians. Timothy is like a son to Paul. Also Paul puts his Trust in the Lord that he may join them also. If it is the Lords will.
Paul speaks about Epaphroditus and how God took pity on him, saved his life, also on Paul by sparing him greater sorrow. Philippians receive with Joy these men and people who have risked their lives for the work of Christ.
You are God of light, come kindle a flame of love within us, a light that shines and cannot be put out.
We sensed that you have walked with us.
In these early summer days the rough tract has become Holy Ground.
Amid the birch & larch & pine trees, the wild flowers and the cry of the curlew, who could not sense the sacred.
Even locking eyes with the shy deer among the trees in the Hazel wood, there has been the sense of a timeless God in creation.
We pray for those who are struggling with ill health, loss and bereavement, fear of the virus and worry for family and what the future holds.
We pray for your church, that she may be in the vanguard of change;
Courageous in risk,
Unselfish in Sacrifice,
Sparkling in vision.
Lord in your mercy; Hear our prayer.
Reading Philippians 2: 12-30
1. If you believe verse 13, what will be your attitude to your actions? What will other people notice?
2. In verse 19 what does this tell you about Paul’s trust in God? Do you have the same trust?
3. Suppose that a person comes to help with the Christian work in your region. How do you need to receive that person? How do you need to support a person that you have sent to help in another region?
Bible in One Year.
How to Be a Blessing Machine
Do you ever wonder whether you can make a difference to the lives of those around you?
I once watched an episode of the reality TV Show, The Secret Millionaire. Kevin Green – a covert multi-millionaire – searched for people and causes that would benefit from his financial support. He gave about $100,000 to a range of people working with the homeless, teenage addicts and disabled children. The response of all these people was deeply moving. They were so grateful, and the causes that they work for benefited greatly. They were blessed and enabled to bring greater blessing to others.
However, the most interesting aspect of the programme was the change in Kevin Green. He had experienced in a new way the joy of blessing others. His life was changed as a result. The words of Jesus are true: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:35).
Archie Coates, vicar of St Peter’s Brighton, speaks of the church as a ‘blessing machine’. That is exactly what we as Christians are called to be, as the church and as individuals. You really can be a blessing machine.
God is the ultimate blessing machine.
Be a blessing machine to others.
Don’t turn away from God’s blessing.
‘Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you might become blameless and pure, children of God without fault.’
Not even a little grumble seems to be allowed. And as for being ‘without fault’... I’ve got a few things to work on!
Loving Father, help me to be united together to my brothers and sisters in Christ in love.
Give me a humility of heart and transform my mind into what You would have me think, so that I may be a channel of Your love to others.
Father, it is my desire to do nothing out of selfish motives or ungodly incentives, but rather that I may value others above myself.
Heavenly Father, help me to recognise and respond to the needs of others, willingly and cheerfully.
Thank You for Your amazing grace and thank You for Your amazing love.
I pray that in whatever situation I find myself - Your will not mine be done - to Your praise and glory.
Paul in these versus speaks about himself, a pure blooded Hebrew, an Israelite by birth, a Pharisee in the past keeping the Jewish Law to the letter and he persecuted the Church vigorously, till his (then named Saul), meeting with the Lord on the road to Damascus. In this meeting Paul’s whole being changed, his eyes were opened. He became willing to lose everything to gain Christ. He had a new standard of values. He had a new reason for life. Christ came between Paul and his old ways and gave him JOY.
Paul repeats, be joyful in your union with the Lord and in verses 10 & 11 Paul says “ All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life.”
Heavenly Father, we thank you that you have given us the Bible to teach us how to live.
Thank you for the many lessons that we can learn from both old and new testaments.
May we become increasingly vigilant in our Christian walk, so that we are not taken in by any deceptive teachings.
Loving God, we praise you for the way you changed Saul from the man of bitterness into Paul, the man of hope.
We thank you Lord that there is no hopeless person and no hopeless situation that you cannot change.
Heavenly Father, help us to realise through Paul's vehement denouncement of legalism and religiosity, that fleshly works are unacceptable to You and that this confidence in the flesh is a denial of Christ's finished work on the cross. We thank you that faith in His finished work on Calvary is sufficient to pay the price for our sin.
Help us not to put confidence in our own fleshly works, but live by faith in the Son of Man who loves us and gave His life for us.
Living God, help us to follow Jesus to wherever he leads us.
Touch our hearts and lives and through your Holy Spirit, help us to serve you in ways that bring hope to others and praise to your name.
Reading Philippians 3; 1-11
1. Verses 2-5, Paul in repeating these words gives facts and warnings, how can it help you?
2. How do you compare your knowledge of Christ with all the other things in your life?
3. How would you qualify for Christ to raise you from the dead?
4. How can Christians be joyful in a world so full of sorrow?
The Bible in One Year
Transform Your World
My new friend from Scotland, Dez, told me, ‘I was a doorman; a bouncer. I was quite a violent guy. I took a lot of drugs. I was a cocaine addict. My life revolved around fighting, taking drugs, partying and living in that cycle.’
He said, ‘One night I had taken a massive overdose. I felt like I was having a heart attack. My heart was jumping out of my chest. And I cried out in what I didn’t know then was a prayer: to live. And I woke up the next day and I never touched coke again.’
After that, Dez kept meeting Christians. One in particular was Fiona, who really lived out her faith. He asked her out a few times, but she said ‘No’. Mainly because he wasn’t a Christian.
She gave him a Bible and he started reading: ‘I started tearing through it trying to find something and I ended up finding Jesus. Suddenly, my whole life made sense.’
He called Fiona and asked her to take him to church. There he heard about Alpha. ‘On Alpha, I met Jesus and it changed my life. I was this drug-fuelled, violent person and now I love people and love God. I just want to share my story.’
Dez has just finished his studies in Theology and is working for Alpha Scotland.
And, he married Fiona. He is now a happy husband and a loving father.
Dez sums up his complete transformation: ‘Jesus turned the questions I had about whether God exists into a belief that God cares about me. I have changed from a violent, loveless drug addict to a man who is happily married and full of love. I’m now running Alphas for all types of people, from gangs to grannies, and I’m seeing their lives changed.’
Pray for the transformation of your nation
Testify to the transformation in your life
2 KINGS 4:38-6:23
Recognise that transformation is an act of grace
Loving Father, thank You for Your grace and love towards me and to all those that are Your children.
May I rejoice greatly in You for You are my hope and my joy and my everlasting hope,
Heavenly Father, thank You that I am not required to jump through various hoops to reach You, but have been saved by grace through faith in Christ alone.
Heavenly Father, I pray that my desire to know Christ may continue to grow and expand until like Paul I am able to consider that the loss of those things that I value and hold dear in life, as rubbish to me, in order that I may gain Christ, in Whose name I pray.
If you would like further information do speak to Robert Harper on 01330 844781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul, acknowledges and doesn’t claim to be perfect but he strongly and boldly goes forward, running the race, striving to win the prize, racing towards the goal, knowing he has not yet won that prize.
Paul want’s us all to have this very same attitude, the same goal and striving towards the ultimate prize.
Paul repeats many are proud of what they should be ashamed of, their god is their bodily desires and as Pauls continues, we must be different, eagerly await Jesus Christ our Lord to come from heaven and change our weak mortal bodies to being like his own glorious body.
In our Christian walk we join together to listen to your word through Paul.
Thank you for your word and how significant it is that we respond.
Paul in the passage gives us strategies for Christian maturity.
He encourages us to focus our energies on what is to come. We are asked not to dwell in the past but to get up and strive forward from the situations and hurdles which undoubtedly trip us up.
In our learning may we strive to be the people that God wants us to be.
Teach us to keep our eyes on you, to follow you and to focus on the fullness of the prize.
In Christ we are a new creation.
We pray these things in Jesus name,
Read Philippians 3: 12-21
Often the Christian life is described as like a race.
1. What must you do to win your ‘race’?
2. In what ways do you have Paul’s attitude?
3. How willing are we to sacrifice? And willing to lose everything to gain Christ?
4. What difference does it make to know the change in your body that will happen?
The Bible in One Year.
The Race Marked Out for You
I have made many mistakes in life and have quite a few regrets. When I was nineteen I took part, on a whim, without any training, in ‘The Boundary Run’. It was slightly longer than a marathon and involved running around the boundary of the city of Cambridge, with much of it across ploughed fields.
For the first 14 miles, I was fine. After that, various bits of my body started to seize up. Although I completed the race in a reasonable time, it took me weeks to recover. Running a marathon without training is not a wise thing to do.
The writer of Hebrews says that the Christian life is like running a race. It is more like a marathon than a sprint. We are ‘long-distance runners’ (Hebrews 12:13, MSG). It requires training, endurance and discipline ‘if we are not to grow weary and lose heart’ (v.3). In each of the passages for today, you see what you need to do in order to run ‘the race marked out for [you]’ (v.1), as well as some of the results of doing so.
Stay on track and keep going
Run the race with perseverance
Throw off anything that slows you down
‘As the mountains surrounded Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and for evermore.’
Loving Father I know that often I look backwards, rather than strongly looking forward to the goal of my calling. May I set my heart to do Your will, in the power of the Spirit, to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name I pray.
Paul says, “May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice! Show a gentle attitude towards everyone. The Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.”
Paul tells us to fill our minds with all good things that deserve praise, things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and honourable. Paul carries on, put this into practice and God who gives peace will be with you.
D.L. Moody said on Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing, be prayerful for everything, and be thankful for anything.
Paul expresses the love he has for his friends. He asks for their help in persuading other friends to stay true to each other. We should not worry about anything, instead ask for God's help and always remember to thank him, this will bring great peace and strengthen our trust in Christ Jesus.
Always look for the good in people and you will receive the peace of God.
Read Philippians 4: 1-9
1. Verses 2-3, How does Paul want Christians to behave? Do we?
2. What should you tell God about? Why should you do that?
3. What will be the effect of God’s peace on your other experiences in life?
4. What does Paul say that you should think about?
The Bible in one Year.
The Battles of Life
The Christian life is a battle. I have been following Jesus for four decades. As I look back at these years, they have been years of great blessing – more than I could have asked or even imagined. At the same time, there have been many challenges and obstacles. There have been very few periods when I have not been facing some kind of battle.
The nature of these battles has varied enormously. There have been internal battles – times of intense temptation, doubt, fear and anxiety. There have been times of deep sadness, great loss and bereavement. There have been battles over health, sleep, finances, work and relationships. There have been periods of great opposition and criticism.
Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Papal household, speaks of our battle being against a triple alliance: the world (‘the enemy around us’), the flesh (‘the enemy within us’), and the devil (‘the enemy above us’).
How can you navigate these spiritual battles of life?
Trust in God
Unite around the King
Listen to God
Loving Father thank You for Your gift of joy and for Your fruit of rejoicing.
Lord, You have told us in Your Word to be anxious for nothing, and I know in my heart that I am anxious about a lot of things. And what is worse, I pretend to others that I am not worried, when in fact I am anxious about many things.
I know this is not Your will for my life and I pray Lord, that You will show me how I may live my life resting on Your promises of peace and rest.
Lord, You tell not to be anxious, but pray instead about everything and to talk to You about what I need.
Lord, I pray I can come to you with a thankful heart for all that You have done in my life.
Lord, I pray for Your peace that passes all understanding.