Big Idea: Even while he was in prison, Paul told the Philippian church to be joyful in Jesus.
Bible Passage: Philippians 1:12-30
Paul was living as a prisoner in Rome. He was waiting to meet with the emperor of Rome. While in prison, Paul wrote a letter to the Christians in Philippi to thank them for sending a gift and to tell them about his work.
Paul wrote, “I want you to know, brothers, that even though the Jews tried to stop me, everything that has happened has actually helped me tell more people the good news about Jesus.“I hope that I will never be afraid or embarrassed about anything. I want to be bold and honor Jesus, whether I live or I die.
“For me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I live, I live for Jesus. If I die for Jesus, I will be with Him forever…No matter what happens, live your life in a way that brings honor to the gospel of Christ. ”
Paul also urged the believers to not let anyone scare them away from doing God’s work. He said, “This is the work God has given you to do—not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him.”
When we find ourselves in trouble, or circumstances beyond our control, we can know that Jesus is unchanging, and He promises to give us himself and our joy is found in Him. His love for us never changes, no matter our circumstances.
As a family, have children help you write a list of all the good times you've had together. Include some of their favourite memories, and yours, too. Then, write down some times that were hard together. Write a list of things that you know change over time. Eg. Babies grow, children change as they grow, plants grow flowers in the spring, the weather changes, our clothes change, our houses may change. Talk about these times, and remind children that during these hard times, and the good times too, and in all things, Jesus never changes, and His love for us remains the same. Even though the world around us changes – like the seasons, or day to night, and we grow and change, our God remains the same, and His promise to give His unchanging self to us in all circumstances brings us joy no matter what.
Pray together and say "Thank you God for being the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank you for loving us no matter what is going on. Please remind us of your great love in all things, no matter what is happening around us or to us. Help us find our joy in you, Jesus, not in this world and what happens to us. Amen."