WEEK 9- No Confidence in the Flesh

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

     1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!  It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.

     2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.  3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh —   4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

     If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:  5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

     7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.   8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing     greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the      fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

     12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made     perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

     1 Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!

Philippians 3:1-14, 4:1

What does this passage have to say about confidence?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) In what things (personal qualities, abilities, accomplishments, relationships) do you tend to take pride?  If you made a commitment to “consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ” (v. 8), how would your life (attitudes, activities, and relationships) look different than it is now?

2) If your goal is to “press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of [you]” (v. 12), what is your purpose?  What is the “prize for which God has called [you] heavenward” (v. 14)?  As you compete in athletics, what should be your ultimate goal?  For what prize are you competing?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

3) Do you believe that you are valuable?  What makes you valuable?  Do you see your value as defined by abilities (academic, athletic, etc), relationships (family, boyfriend/girlfriend, friends), or service (the good things you do for others)?  Are you important because other people think you are important, or is your relationship with Christ the basis of your confidence?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

4) Verse 17 commands us to “take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.”  Which of your teammates is humble?  Who places a higher priority on knowing God than on being important in the eyes of others?

5) How does this teammate affect you?  How does this teammate impact the team’s confidence?

FRIDAY — Discuss sport applications of confidence and pray together.

· Ask your athletes to briefly reflect on what they’ve learned about confidence this week, and to repeat some of those things.  (Remind them of some of the Biblical truths about confidence you’ve discussed, if necessary.)

· Ask your team, “Based on what we learned about confidence this week...What does a confident athlete do?”  Do not settle for vague answers; challenge your athletes to go beyond general qualities of confidence, and to determine what those qualities look like in  action.

· Add the results to your team’s list of descriptions of the “confident athlete”, and be sure the list is displayed somewhere that is constantly   visible, as a reminder to the team.

· Pray together as a team.  Encourage your athletes to pray for your team’s growth in regard to the discipline of confidence — especially in relation to some of the issues and challenges that you discussed together this week.  Challenge them to also ask for forgiveness, when applicable.  Give time for athletes to request prayer (regarding confidence or anything else), and pray together.


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