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Small Group Guide:
Open with prayer.
Go around and give everyone a chance to share about how the past week has been. What’s one highlight? What’s one lowlight?
If your small group has talked about it before, feel free to use this time to hold people accountable to what they’ve asked to be held accountable for previously, and go through the “missional” part of this discussion guide.
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.
8 “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Throughout this sermon series we are looking parts of God’s Word that involve the church, and what it looks like for us to be the church that God created us to be. Today, we’re looking at a message in Revelation that Jesus has for the church in Philadelphia. His message to this church helps us to the outcome of faithfulness, and how to continue on in our faith even when we’re exhausted.
We need to realize that the reward for faithful work and service onto God is more work!
Rev. 3:8, Matt. 25:21-23, Luke 19:17
How do we avoid burnout and giving up?
Rely on God’s power
Rev. 3:7, Eph. 3:20, Col. 1:16, Heb. 1:3, Ex. 14:14, Ps. 28:7, Jer. 32:17
Remember God sees you
Rev. 3:8, Col. 3:23, Gen. 16:3, Prov. 15:3, Jer. 12:3, Ps. 33:18, 2 Chron. 16:9
Recognize the opportunities that God has given you
Rev. 3:8, Eph. 5:16, Gal. 6:10, Matt. 9:35-38, Luke 12:47, Eph. 5:11, 2 Tim. 4:2
Realize that God is the judge, not you
Rev. 3:9, 20:11-12, Ps. 50:6, 75:7, Matt. 7:1-5, Luke 6:35-36
Recall God’s faithfulness and protection
Rev. 3:10, 21:4, Is. 54:17, Ps. 46:1, 2 Thess. 3:3, Deut. 31:6, Prov. 18:10
Remember the reward
Rev. 3:11, Matt. 5:12, Luke 6:23, 35, 1 Cor. 3:14, 2 Cor. 5:10, Gal. 6:7-9, Ps. 16:11
Rest in God’s presence
Rev. 3:12, John 15:1-11, Matt. 11:28-30, John 7:37, Ps. 116:7, Ex. 33:14, Phil. 4:6-7
- Have you ever studied or hear this passage or topic preached on before? What stood out to you?
- Read Matt. 25:21-23 and Luke 19:17. Have you ever thought about the outcome of faithfulness being more work? Have you experienced being rewarded with more work because you were faithful in something? If so, what?
- When Jesus addresses the church in Philadelphia in Revelation 3:7-13 He doesn’t address anything bad that they have done, as He does with most of the other churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Rather, He encourages them to continue on in their faithful works and patient endurance. From this, we can assume that the church in Philadelphia is tired and worn out. Think about your own life. If Jesus addressed you right now, would He have anything negative to say about your faithfulness? Do you feel worn out and tired in this season of your life? If so, why?
- Looking at your answers from question #3, what of the 7 things Jesus encourages the church in Philadelphia with do you need to keep in mind so that you don’t burnout and give up?
- What would it look like for you to be faithful over the next decade of your life? What of these 7 things do you need to work on the most to make sure that you don’t burnout and give up?
- How can you help others not burnout in their faithful work?
- What is your biggest take away from this message? What did God teach you? Do you feel led to put anything into action? If so, what, and what practical step(s) do you need to take to be obedient to what God has led you to do? Who can keep you accountable to accomplishing this?
Pray for each other in your small group to be faithful take the step(s) that you shared above. Pray for each other and the interactions that they have with those who don’t know Jesus. Pray that God would soften the people’s hearts to what He has for them. Pray that God would give everyone opportunities to share the Gospel.
Share spiritual/missional conversations you’ve had where you live, work, and play:
Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
Who in your life do you think could be discipleable or open to spiritual/missional conversations?
Discuss the next step for your small group. When will we gather again and what purpose will it fulfill?