Radical Joy: "Press On"

Edmund Brooks

Have you ever finished a really long race? Maybe it was a 10k or a half-marathon. When you were trying to motivate yourself to finish it, did you look back to where you previously where or did you look forward? In this chapter Paul reminds us to look forward to what God has in store for us who finish the race.

RADICAL JOY - Press On Study Guide

Radical Joy: "Count It As Loss"

Edmund Brooks

Does prestige have a place in our Christian walk? Being a Christian does not mean that we no longer receive awards and accolades. But what do we do with those awards after we come to faith? In this testimony from Paul, we learn where humility and ministry meet in our personal history.

RADICAL JOY - Count It As Loss study guide


Radical Joy: "Learn By Example"

Edmund Brooks

Do you ever wish that you had someone to show you how to do spiritual things? Your Christian walk, like most things in life would benefit if someone was modeling spiritual essentials to you. In this section, Paul gives us good examples to follow.

RADICAL JOY - Learn By Example study guide

Radical Joy: "Unfinished Business"

Edmund Brooks

If we were asked to choose between life and death, the answer would be pretty obvious for most of us. I don’t want to die so if I have the option I will choose to live. In this section of his letter, Paul hits us with a “not-so-fast” and gives us a lot of things to think about when considering our own mortality.

RADICAL JOY - Unfinished Business study guide

Radical Joy: "Jesus is All That Matters"

Edmund Brooks

Have you ever been mocked for your faith? Have you ever found yourself in a situation being embarrassed because of what you believe? In this section we will see why Paul is not embarrassed or frustrated by his current persecution.

RADICAL JOY - Jesus is All That Matters study guide

Radical Joy: "Metamorphosis"

Edmund Brooks

The Christian life is a life filled with lofty spiritual goals. “Be holy”. “Love God above all else”. For those of us who have tried to do these things we know that it is easier said than done. When does this get easier? What help does God give us? Paul maps this out to his fellow Christians in this opening section of Philippians.

RADICAL JOY - Metamorphosis study guide

The Christmas We Forget: "Hope"

Randy Christian

If you were to ask people to sum up the “Christmas Spirit” in one word, “hope” would certainly be among the favorite responses. This hope isn’t just modern sentiment born from our need. It was part of the Christmas story from the very beginning. The Christmas event was the fulfillment of hope for the Jewish people—a way to overcome the oppression of the Gentiles who had ruled them for centuries. But the irony is it was also the fulfillment of hope for the Gentile oppressors as well. The Christmas event was and is the introduction of hope for the entire world—a hope that God has something better in store for us than what we have made for ourselves.

THE CHRISTMAS WE FORGET - Hope study guide

The Christmas We Forget: "Rescue"

Randy Christian

With our focus on happiness and joy to the world, we forget that Christmas is ultimately about rescue. The Christmas story begins with the truth that God determined Jesus would be born, would live and grow into the man He was, and would give His life for us. This was God’s plan of rescue and He would not allow anything men did to derail His plan. His love for us was too strong, and His plan to rescue us was too important. The very end of the Christmas narrative is a reminder of this fact. God loved the world so much He made certain His plan of rescue would be carried out.

THE CHRISTMAS WE FORGET - Rescue study guide

The Christmas We Forget: "Out of the Darkness"

Edmund Brooks

For many of us, Christmas is about joy, smiling children, people giving grace to each other in the “spirit of Christmas”. But Christmas is—and always has been—also a time of darkness and despair. When we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus with the shepherds and animals giving Him glory, we often forget that what followed was the slaughter of any baby boys born in that area over a period of two years in an attempt to kill the baby we celebrate. In this slaughter humanity showed the depths of sin and darkness it is willing to embrace. But God didn’t allow the story to end there. In the Christmas event He took the darkness and He turned it into light. The very act of gift giving is a way of remembering the gift of light God gave the world.

THE CHRISTMAS WE FORGET - Out of the Darkness study guide

Remember: "Everything Is New"

Randy Christian

When He comes, everything will be made new. That includes us. How then should we live? As he ends the letter—his encouragement to “Remember”, he insures that we know how someone who will be living in this new world lives.

REMEMBER - Everything Is New study guide

Remember: "Where Is He?"

Randy Christian

It is popular for people to talk about the promises of God. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t really what God has said, but what people want Hm to say. But God has promised some very important things, and one of the most important of these is that Jesus will return. When? How? We don’t know, but we know He is coming, and that one fact gives Christians all around the world the encouragement to stay faithful.

REMEMBER - Where Is He study guide

Remember: "Fake News"

Randy Christian

It would be nice to be able to listen to anyone and believe them.  But the truth is not everyone speaks the truth.  Some fail to do so out of ignorance.  Others knowingly out of various motivations.  So what do we do, and what is God doing?

REMEMBER - Fake News study guide

Remember: "Eye-Witnesses"

Randy Christian

Peter is one of the few—those remaining who were eye-witnesses of the ministry of Jesus.  He claims the authority of one in this position, but also lets himself revel in the memory.  Then he reminds the church of the nature of God’s words, where they come from, and why they should be listened to.

REMEMBER - Eye-Witnesses study guide

Remember: "Don't Trip"

Randy Christian

Peter knows his end is near, so he reminds the followers of Christ that there are eight qualities they can supply themselves, which will build their faith and relationship to Jesus.  By supplying themselves with these things, they can avoid stumbling in their life—and faith.

REMEMBER - Don’t Trip study guide

Remember: "Everything We Need"

Randy Christian

The Apostle introduces himself and his letter by reminding Christians that we have been given everything we need to live—and to live loyally to the King.  The prophets and the Apostles have given us insight into this life—and Peter insures we remember.

REMEMBER - Everything We Need study guide

The Culture for Christ: "We Serve"

Randy Christian

Success is often measured by how many serve us rather than how many we serve.  This is the world’s approach.  But Jesus said very clearly we would not be like the world if we belong to Him.  So, service becomes a simple expression of love and devotion from us to Him—regardless of whom we are serving.

THE CULTURE OF CHRIST - We Serve study guide

The Culture for Christ: "We Forgive"

Randy Christian

Christians forgive.  We don’t just talk about it, we do it.  We do it because we understand how much we have been forgiven—and that no ultimately no one has sinned worse than we have, when we understand that our sin caused the death of Jesus.  But our forgiveness of others is related to our awareness and appreciation of our own forgiveness.  It is essential for spiritual health that we understand the connection between these two.

THE CULTURE OF CHRIST - We Forgive study guide

The Culture of Christ: "We Love"

Randy Christian

Jesus said people would know we belong to Him because of our love for one another.  Understandable when you remember that John said the very nature of God is love.  Of course, that bets a question.  What love?  Whose definition of love?  What exactly are we commanded to do?  Whether our spouse, a neighbor, a friend or an enemy, this commands pretty much covers how we respond to everyone, so it is important for us to understand what Christians do when we say “we love”.

THE CULTURE OF CHRIST - We Love study guide