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Date: July 11, 2021
Faithful in All Things
The Point: Faithfully trust God as you minister to others.
Get Into the Study
Use the following to introduce today’s session.
The world’s most premature baby celebrated his first birthday on June 5th. Richard Scott William Hutchinson was born five months premature, weighing only 11.9 ounces. When Richard was born, the neonatology team gave him a 0% chance of survival. “The first month they weren’t even sure he was going to make it,” his mom, Beth Hutchinson, said. “It was really hard. You know in the back of your mind that his odds weren’t great.” Despite the discouraging news, the Hutchinson’s stuck by their son, visiting him daily, even though COVID-19 restrictions prevented them from staying overnight at the hospital. “We made sure we were there to give him support. I think that helped him get through this because he knew he could count on us,” his father, Rick Hutchinson, noted. Although the news they had received wasn’t encouraging, the Hutchinson’s continued to encourage their son, who was able to leave the hospital after 6 months, just before Christmas 2020.
Ask: When have you had to persevere in the face of discouraging news?
Follow-up: When has encouragement helped you beat the odds?
The church in Philadelphia had persevered in their faith despite the discouragement and persecution they faced from the surrounding culture. Jesus recognized this perseverance and offered them words of encouragement to continue growing in faithfulness.
Live It Out
Use the following to conclude today’s session.
The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Commission presented 64 new missionaries during a Sending Celebration on June 14th. The majority of these missionaries had to stand behind screens to protect their identities, due to risks associated with their location of service. These missionaries are faithfully following Christ and trusting in God’s protection. One way we can encourage missionaries is through prayer. You can visit imb.org/pray for specific prayer requests.
Break into small groups and invite each group to pray for a specific request from the link above.
We may not face the same level of persecution, but we are still called to trust in God’s promises as we follow Christ.
Encourage group members to choose one of the Live It Out statements to implement this week.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. Having returned to Tennessee with her husband, she is now thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom and writer.
Live It Out [Option from Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a video clip showing the patriarch Joseph’s revealing of himself to his brothers (Gen. 45). Then ask the following questions for group members to take with them to consider: “What can help us endure and faithfully trust God even before the truth is seen by others?” “How might the story of Joseph serve as a small picture of Revelation 3:9?” “How can we take comfort that even people who (in the past or in the present) lie or persecute us ‘will know’ that God has loved us?”
- When have you had a hard time following the rules?
- Who can you always turn to for an encouraging word?
- What are some favorite words of encouragement you love to hear?
- When have you been glad Jesus closed a door for you?
- When have you experienced the benefits of remaining faithful to God?
- How does the security of our salvation impact our work for Christ?
- What are some things we can do to obey Jesus’ command to endure?
- What are some marks of endurance in the Christian life?
- What are some ways God has tested (not tempted) believers?
- Where you do have an opportunity right now to faithfully trust in God?
- What characterizes a church that is expectantly awaiting Christ’s return?
- What can we learn from these verses about our future rewards?
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 podcast for both the group member and the leader.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- HomeLife – Remember
Podcast (adultsleadertraining): Play in new window | Download
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Lee Smith says
Enjoy this teaching on The Church God Desires. I use theses on line and on Radio broadcast. I say where the teaching comes from. Prayers for Y’all
Lynn Pryor says
Thanks for letting us be a part of your ministry!
Where is the video about Joseph suggested in Optional Activities ?
Lynn Pryor says
Marian, the video is in this EXTRA link. Scroll down to LIVE IT OUT [OPTION FROM ADULT LEADER GUIDE].
Jodie Shepard Digby says
Thanks for your podcast and insight, Lynn and team! I’m really enjoying this study of the 7 churches. I’m the substitute teacher in our Ladies Sunday school class this week and your thoughts helped me prepare my lesson. My planned activity will be to challenge our ladies to write a note to another lady this week, acknowledging her good works and to encourage her to keep being faithful and to hold on until Jesus comes. We all need the reminder that Jesus is for us and He wins in the end!
Lynn Pryor says
Jodie, thank you for your encouraging words! And thank you for letting God work through you. LYNN