You’re An All-Star


I want to know Christ, yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining the resurrection from the dead.
(Philippians 3.10-11)

What is the most valuable thing you own?

You can measure value is several different ways. You might answer that the thing you value the most is the relationship you have with your spouse or perhaps your children. You might think of something that has sentimental value to you: something owned by a parent or grandparent. One could also think purely monetarily and identify the thing that would cost the most money to replace. Whatever the case, we all have something we would say is “valuable.”

How valuable is your relationship with Jesus?

Most of us would probably say very valuable, but at times, that dedication can be tested, can it not? We live in a culture that encourages the very things that are contrary to a life of faith. What your friends and co-workers define as valuable often runs head-on into the attitudes and behaviors Jesus instructs his followers to have.

Paul understands that tension. In the verses just prior to the section we are reading today, he lists the things the people around him would find as valuable (Philippians 3.4-6). Think of it as a Who’s Who list of being a good Jew. By all accounts and standards, Paul should be an All-Star.

Notice his reaction to these things, however. He considers them garbage. Everything the world, society, the people around him thinks is valuable … Paul rejects in no uncertain terms. Speaking of uncertain terms, the word Paul uses that the NIV translates “garbage,” is describing the sewer that is thrown outside the city gates. Paul is not holding back here.

Paul instead claims the righteousness that he has and that Jesus demonstrates, is the thing he finds most valuable. What is most valuable to Paul? It is knowing Christ and being like him, even if it means suffering.

It is a process. It does not come naturally—how can it when the world is screaming for you to value just the opposite—nor does it happen instantly. But we consistently move forward, seeking that which Christ gave us.

What is the thing you consider most valuable?



•If we are people who exalt God and worship him, we need to also be people who value justice. In what ways can you demonstrate God’s justice to others around you this week?

•What do you think it would have been like to go up on the mountain to receive God’s law? How do you think you would have felt coming into the presence of God’s glory and how do you think that would have changed how you lived your life from that point forward?

•What things do you have in your life that make it difficult for you to value Christ above everything else? How can you find ways to steadily move forward to Christ, instead of being caught up in the apparent value of these things?

•If you had been Peter on the mountain when Jesus was transfigured, how do you think you would have reacted to what was happening around you? In what ways are we casual or flippant about the glory of God?

•How can our lives better demonstrate God’s glory and our desire to place him above all other things?

Week of Feb 26 — Text List

The 1 Home Bible Study texts for the week of February 26 are as follows:

Psalm 99
Exodus 24:12-18
Philippians 3:7-14
Matthew 17:1-9

Daily Bible Reading Texts are:

Feb. 27 – Psalm 9, 15; Deuteronomy 6:1-15; Hebrews 1:1-14; John 1:1-18
Feb. 28 – Psalm 36, 39; Deuteronomy 6:16-25; Hebrews 2:1-10; John 1:19-28
Mar. 1 – Psalm 32; Jonah 3:1-4:11; Hebrews 12:1-14; Luke 18:9-14
Mar. 2 – Psalm 37; Deuteronomy 7:6-11; Titus 1:1-16; John 1:29-34
Mar. 3 – Psalm 35; Deuteronomy 7:12-16; Titus 2:1-15; John 1:35-42
Mar. 4 – Psalm 30, 32; Deuteronomy 7:17-26; Titus 3:1-15; John 1:43-51

Blessed is the one…


Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart.
(Psalm 119.1-2)

You need a new saw. So, you go down to the nearest box hardware store and buy you a new saw. A good one, but not too expensive. Sort of middle of the line type saw. And, truthfully, one very similar to the one you had before.

You get your saw home, open the box and, because it says everywhere “Read Instructions before Use!” you go ahead and read the instructions. Once.

Think about it. For most of the products you purchase, do you ever read the instruction manual more than once? I have a whole file drawer full of manuals and except to perhaps find a part number when I need to re-order the air filter on the mower or the vacuum cleaner belt, I never look at them again.

It is not fair to call the Bible an “Instruction Manual,” but it is also not wrong to do so. Much of what scripture tells us is the story of God and how following him gives us what is often called a “blessed” life. But what if we treated God’s word in the same way we treat our Weed Eater manual. A quick glance through it, then off to the files you go.

We cannot live life to its fullest with an occasional reading of God’s word. That is one of the reasons we are encouraging everyone to read along at least weekly, if not daily in this 1 Home Bible Study series. The more time spent in the word, the better you understand what it means to follow God.

So how about it? This week will you delight in God’s decrees and not neglect his word?



•We at times want the “blessed” life the Psalmist writes about to mean our life has no troubles or turmoil, yet we recognize this is not always the case. Describe a time when God’s word helped focus you on your blessed life even in the midst of turmoil and storms.

•In what ways have you seen church members act in divisive ways like you hear Paul describe in 1 Corinthians 3? How can we work to avoid these kinds of divisions?

•“You have heard it said…” Jesus takes laws his listeners would have known (and followed) and moves the focus away from just doing the law to the heart that drives the actions related to those laws. As you face the challenge of knowing it is easier to act in the right way versus have a heart that desires the motivation be right, how do you strengthen your heart so that you do have the proper motivation to follow God?

•In what ways does God’s word help you address the issue of divisiveness and motivation?

Week of Feb 12 — Text List

The 1 Home Bible Study texts for the week of February 12 are as follows:

Psalm 119:1-16
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Matthew 5:21-37

Daily Bible Reading Texts are:

Feb. 13 – Psalm 89:30-52; Isaiah 63:1-6; 1 Timothy 1:1-17; Mark 11:1-11
Feb. 14 – Psalm 99, 100; Isaiah 63:7-14; 1 Timothy 1:18-2:8; Mark 11:12-26
Feb. 15 – Psalm 101, 109:1-31; Isaiah 63:15-64:9; 1 Timothy 3:1-16; Mark 11:27-12:12
Feb. 16 – Psalm 105:1-22; Isaiah 65:1-12; 1 Timothy 4:1-16; Mark 12:13-27
Feb. 17 – Psalm 102; Isaiah 65:17-25; 1 Timothy 5:17-25; Mark 12:28-34
Feb. 18 – Psalm 107:33-43, 108:1-13; Isaiah 66:1-6; 1 Timothy 6:6-21; Mark 12:35-44

Famous One


Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.
(Habakkuk 3.2)

If you could be famous, what would be the talent or ability you had that would make you famous? (OK, I realize I am assuming you are NOT famous, but just go with me for a second.) What would you like to be able to do that caused people all around you to know who you were and recognize you in a crowded room?

You may have dreamed of one day being famous, having people surrounding you, hanging on every word and watching your every move. One the one hand, there is quite an appeal that causes us to desire fame.

But then again, how fun would it be to know that every moment of your life was broadcast to a world anxious to see what you had for breakfast, or what you chose to wear on your night out? The world would help turn every dull moment in your life into a viral sensation, seen everywhere and discussed in all the gossip columns.

So perhaps fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maybe instead of longing to be known by everyone, we think: “What an awful way to live life!” While we are in some ways entranced by the glamour of the celebrity life, we are also repelled by it, too.

Having fame means you are known and most often that widespread knowledge comes from having done something great or outstanding. People begin to talk about your accomplishments. Even without the help of social media, people share those accomplishments with others and your fame, as it were, begins to spread.

Habakkuk wants the fame of God—his accomplishments—to be spread and talked about. Habakkuk, however, wants that fame to be known during some trying circumstances. Read carefully chapter 3 and you discover that God’s wrath is being poured out on the earth, that is, the punishment of God is coming on those who are punishing or oppressing God’s people. If you look at the entire book of Habakkuk, you see that God has used the Babylonians (think: really bad people) to punish God’s people for their sin. While Habakkuk is not thrilled to see someone as bad as the Babylonians be used for God’s punishment (especially on God’s people), he also recognizes that the “Lord is in his holy temple” or stated in another way: God really is in charge.

So in the midst of this turmoil, Habakkuk cries out for God’s fame to be known again, to be discussed in our time. (Funny thing about fame. One moment you are on top of the world, the next no one knows you, right?) More importantly, Habakkuk asks God to show his mercy, that for which he is most famous, in the midst of a world that would appear to be falling apart.

Chris Tomlin has a song titled “Famous One.” I love Chris Tomlin’s songs, but I remember the first time I heard that song. I thought: “That’s an odd way to talk about God.” Given the negativity and images of unneeded excess we sometimes apply to celebrities, being famous does not seem to strike us as God’s way of doing things. But if being famous means that people are talking about you and the great things you have done, being famous is not such a bad description for God, is it? And if Habakkuk can plead with God to show his mercy in a troubled world, shouldn’t we desire God’s fame to be known today?



•In what ways do you seek to “dwell in the house of the Lord” all of the days of your life? How does trouble in your life get in the way of you seeking God? What things can you do to continue to focus fully on God even in the midst of the struggles going on in your life?

•While listening to Chris Tomlin’s song “Famous One,” you and a friend hear the lyrics: “You are the Lord, the famous one, the famous one.” Your friend asks you: “What’s so famous about God?” How would you answer them?

•Recall the troubles Paul experienced in his life, yet he is able to write: “These happened so we would not rely on ourselves, but on God.” How have you been able to use troubles in your life to seek God more, rather than have them push you away from God? In what ways have you been able to—or might you be able to—use your troubles to comfort others who face similar circumstances?

•How have you been a light to the world, sharing the good deeds and glory of God? How can you do a better job of being a light?

•In what ways can we encourage one another in the midst of troubles, so that God can better strengthen us, even in the midst of these troubles?

Week of Feb 5 — Text List

The 1 Home Bible Study texts for the week of February 5 are as follows:

Psalm 27
Habakkuk 3:1-19
1 Corinthians 2:1-11
Matthew 5:13-20

Daily Bible Reading Texts are:

Feb. 6 – Psalm 80; Isaiah 58:1-12; Galatians 6:11-18; Mark 9:30-41
Feb. 7 – Psalm 78:1-39; Isaiah 59:1-15; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Mark 9:42-50
Feb. 8 – Psalm 119:97-120; Isaiah 59:15-21; 2 Timothy 1:15-2:13; Mark 10:1-16
Feb. 9 – Psalm 146, 147; Isaiah 60:1-17; 2 Timothy 2:14-26; Mark 10:17-31
Feb. 10 – Psalm 88; Isaiah 61:1-9; 2 Timothy 3:1-17; Mark 10:32-45
Feb. 11 – Psalm 136: Isaiah 61:10-62:5; 2 Timothy 4:1-22; Mark 10:46-52