In this lab, John Piper gives the key to shining as lights in the world — exchange our grumbling and disputing for joy and trust.
Some questions to ask as you read and study Philippians 2:14–18:
- Unhappiness is often a difficult thing to hide. When we are dissatisfied, we tend to complain and grumble. What do you tend to complain most about?
- What, if anything, does a Christian’s grumbling say about God? For Paul, what is the key to being a light in the world?
- Watch the lab. Do you agree with John Piper that the way we shine as lights in the world is to rejoice, instead of complain, amidst suffering? What practical steps can you take to exchange your grumbling for joy this week?
Principle for Bible Reading
One way that people love to communicate is to use words and phrases that someone else has said in the past to enhance what they are saying now. We quote others to defend, explain, or confirm what we are trying to communicate.
The biblical authors do this as well. When you see New Testament authors quote Old Testament verses, ask what texts they are quoting to make their point or, when they do not quote a specific text, which texts they might have had in mind. Utilizing cross-references, especially when a New Testament verse or passage cites or alludes to Old Testament passages, helps us to have a fuller understanding of what the authors were trying to communicate.
Most study Bibles have cross-references that connect you to other texts in the Bible that relate in some way to that text. Whether connected thematically or by a common phrase, cross-referencing enhances our study when we take the time to look up the verses.