Jesus' letter to the church in Philadelphia contained no criticism, just encouragement. This church was faithfully following Jesus and holding onto the word of God. As a result, the church in Philadelphia lasted longer than all of the other seven churches. This is certainly a church we should look to learn from and imitate.
This Week's Action Step:
For the church in Philadelphia to receive this letter from Jesus had to be a great encouragement. Be like Jesus this week and encourage someone.
Small Group Questions:
1. In Rev. 3:7 Jesus refers to having a key that can open and shut (presumably a door of some kind). Then in verse 8 he also mentions “an open door that no one is able to shut.” What does this “door” refer to? What does Jesus mean when he says, “no one is able to shut it?”
2. One of the things that Jesus is most impressed with about the church in Philadelphia is their faith. Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Then Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the “author and perfecter of our faith.” What are some ways that Jesus grows, stretches, or prefects our faith? How has God specifically grown, stretched, or perfected your faith over the years?
3. In verse 10 Jesus mentions the church’s “patient endurance.” One thing we’ve talked a lot about focusing on this year at the Vista is “patient discipleship.” Why is patience so important when it comes to spiritual growth? What could be some of the problems with trying to rush the process or hurry it along too quickly?
4. In verse 11 Jesus mentions a crown. What does this crown refer to? How might someone (or even Satan) try and "seize your crown?”
5. This letter must have been incredibly encouraging for the church in Philadelphia to receive. We all need encouragement from time to time. Take some time as you wrap up your group and encourage one another. You can do this by simply going around and letting those who want to share words of encouragement about how the group has blessed them, or you could have note cards available and have members of the group write short notes of encouragement to everyone in the group. However you want to do it is fine, just take some time and encourage each other.
Songs from Today
Glory To Glory by Lauren Evans, Rick Seibold, and William Matthews
No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David Helser and Melissa Helser
Sons And Daughters by Brett Stanfill
Jesus We Love You by Hannah McClure, Kalley Heiligenthal, and Paul McClure