Life Group Discussion Guide
It’s a fact that each one of us is spending our lives pursuing something. Some people know exactly what they are pursuing while others simply react to whatever happens to them that day. But we are still pursuing something.
The Apostle Paul is such a relatable person because he was able to articulate exactly what he was pursuing at different stages of his life. There was no doubt in his mind when he switched from pursuing one thing to pursuing another.
For many of us, the greatest gift we could be given is honesty and transparency about what we are currently pursuing in life. Then we can either have clarity that we are chasing the best things or we can change course pursue a different prize that has a greater value. Allow the fellowship of other believers in your life (the group you are discussing this with) to be a gift to you so that you can begin to pursue the absolute greatest things in 2021.
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Paul defines the prize that he is pursuing in 3 ways.
- He has an eternal purpose in which he can thrive today.
- He has a lifestyle to walk in that defeats shame.
- He has the promise of a resurrected body that is like Jesus.
Perhaps the most encouraging thing about the prize that Paul pursues is that in Christ it is totally attainable for every believer. We are each on a journey. We have a starting point and a destination. Growth HAS to occur in the life of every believer. Growth WILL occur in the life of every believer. The prize WILL be attained as long as we keep walking!
- What is the one objective that you have been pursuing in your life?
- How has that objective changed in the course of your life?
- Would you say that your objectives tend to change in an instant or gradually over time?
- How do you describe the prize that Paul is pursuing at all costs?
- Do you believe that every Christian should have the same objective as Paul?
- What is one thing that you feel needs to change this year in order for you to “press onward?” (v. 12-14)
- Who is a “mature person” in some matter of faith that you would feel comfortable emulating in the objective that they pursue? (v. 15-17)
- What are the objectives of the flesh that you know you will need to fight in order to pursue what is greater? (v. 18-19)
- How does the resurrection give you confidence in obtaining the prize? (v. 20-21)