Stand Strong to the End
The Point: Expect difficulty when you choose to follow Christ.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
Today the tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. But in 2013, construction began on the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia and when the Tower is completed, it can lay claim to being the world’s tallest building. At completion, the Tower will be 3,280-feet tall (1000 meters tall). It will rise 236 feet taller than the Burj Khalifa. Plans call for the Tower to house homes, hotels, and offices. Elevators in the Tower are planned to travel at 12.5 miles per hour and deliver guests from the ground floor to the 157th floor in 66.5 seconds.
But a news story update published in January 2022 reports that construction on the Jeddah Tower has stopped because of labor issues and political complications in Saudi Arabia. The work stalled in 2018, but reports continued to say that the building would still be completed by 2020. Yet in 2023, the partially completed Tower stands unfinished.
Say: Building the world’s tallest building is proving to be more difficult than first imagined. Then call attention to Question #1 (When have you been surprised by how difficult something turned out to be?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Study the Bible
Use the following information to introduce Question #4.
Allie White is an International Mission Board missionary in Uganda. She partners with Ugandan Christian women to minister to women living in the slum brothels of Kampala, Uganda. These women, trapped in prostitution, are finding hope for salvation.
Allie was riding past the slums where the brothels are housed when she first asked, “What is this place?” Allie wanted to go into the area. Victoria, one of her Ugandan partners told Allie, “I’m not going down that alley,” explaining that it was an area of prostitution.
Allie and Victoria began praying for the women in the slum brothels, asking God to open doors for them to minister to the women. Victoria explained how God began changing her heart and feelings about going into the slums. “Whenever we were passing by, I would feel in my heart that I should go and meet these ladies,” Victoria said “The more we went down there, the more we felt deep in our hearts that we’re supposed to start drawing close to these ladies and then see how their life is and how can we reach out to bring the gospel to them.”
Soon Allie and Victoria had started a weekly Bible study for the women working in the brothels. They started with six people attending the first week, and soon sixty people were coming for Bible study. “Our goal is to restore women who are affected by the sex trade industry and prostitution, and to empower them with dignity as they proactively engage in a spiritual transformation,” Allie said.
Say: Victoria had to overcome her own negative feelings about going into the slums. Because she did, women in the sex trade are coming to know Christ. Then call attention to Question #4 (When have you seen someone overcome fear so that others could come to know Jesus?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
— Donna McKinney wrote these Leader Extras. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.
- When has a challenge taught you to endure?
- When you “graduated” into adulthood, what new challenge did you glady take on?
- What was the last big challenge you faced?
- How does it make you feel to know that God has a plan for the end of the world?
- Where do people often turn for information on the end times? What makes God’ Word the best authority on the subject?
- What comes to mind when you think about the end times?
- What comforts does Jesus offer in these verses?
- How does your faith in Christ influence how you view current events?
- What was at the heart of Jesus’ teaching in these verses?
- What is one area of your spiritual life where you desire to grow stronger?
- How does it make you feel when you are persecuted for your faith in Jesus?
- How can we help each other stand firm in the face of persecution?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.