Weekend Review: Philadelphia

This weekend was dedicated to all the underdogs out there. We discussed the reality that we often feel like the underdog – that we don’t have the strength, stature, skill or resources to tackle what is before us. But, what we learned was how a little church in Philadelphia did overcome.

And, we can too.

We began by working through the letter written to the church in Philadelphia, one verse at a time. We learned that doors are transition points into new spaces. We learned that Jesus knows the struggles we are all going through, and that He sees us and isn’t disengaged from us.

And, all of that is incredibly helpful and important, but it doesn’t address the crux of a problem when you are an underdog. When you are struggling, you don’t need to know what the prize is at the end or that Jesus is invested in you. What you need to know is how to win when the odds are stacked against you.

This passage gets at that as well.

We learned that the way you overcome is through belief and hope – that you make it when you actually believe you can win, even when the odds are stacked against you. What Jesus reminds the church in Philadelphia of are the reasons why they can hope – that He is holding open the door for them, that He is with them and that He knows the strength they have.

Jesus says, “I have opened a door for you that no one can close.” – Revelation 3:8a (NLT)

We can walk forward into His future because of Him and His strength.

So, we ended with this main point: Hold onto hope, because Jesus is holding the door open. That’s how you overcome – by holding on because of the hope you have in Jesus.

I ended by giving each of us a specific challenge: To picture a door that represents our struggle…

If it’s finances, the bank door.
If it’s your marriage, your house door.
If it’s a work challenge, your boss’ or coworker’s office door.
If it’s a school bully, your school or class door.
If it’s a health challenge, the doctor’s or hospital door.
If it’s depression, your bedroom door.

My challenge this week is for us to remember that Jesus is holding open the door when you walk through that door. Rather than letting despair, worry and anxiety flood in, remember Jesus’ promise: “I have opened a door for you that no one can close.” – Revelation 3:8a (NLT)

Follow Him, knowing that you can overcome – not because of your own strength, but because of His.

Teaching Notes:

Passage: Revelation 3:7-13

Big Idea: Hold onto hope, because Jesus is holding the door open.

Teaching Points:
a) How to overcome when you are the underdog.

b) Sometimes the power around us feels stronger than the power within us.

c) When we are in difficulty, it is really easy to believe that God is distracted and distant.

d) Christianity isn’t about power, but truth.

e) When you are struggling, what you want to know isn’t just what you will win in the end, but how to actually make it to the end.

f) Underdogs win because they don’t give up hope or the belief that they can make it.

g) “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close.” – Jesus (Revelation 3:8a, NLT)

Challenge: Remember to hold onto hope and Jesus.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *