Open Doors and Open Hope

976656_70015868On Sunday we talked about the letter to Philadelphia. We also talked a little bit about Rocky and underdogs. We talked about how to preserve in the midst of difficulty, when the odds are stacked against you, and when hope seems low. Jesus realizes that the church in Philadelphia has little strength, that they are persecuted, and things are looking stacked against them. In essence they are underdogs. But Jesus believes that they can still succeed, overcome, and preserve. The reason that they are able to do this is the same reason that underdogs all over the world create upsets and win. It isn’t because of strength, skill, or even heart. Underdogs win because they begin to believe that they can win. That they can preserve. That they can make it.

The same thing is happening in the passage in Revelation. The church in Philadelphia can preserve because no matter how bad things get they can believe they can make it through. No matter how weak their strength gets they can still have hope. The reason for their hope is because of Jesus Christ. Jesus promises to hold open the door for them. Jesus promises that no one will be able to shut it. Jesus promises to be with them, to make them unshakable, claimed by God, and living in God’s city. So the Philadelphians can believe that these wonderful things will happen not because of their strength, but the strength of their Lord. They can trust and believe they will win even as the odds are stacked against them, because of Jesus Christ. Jesus is holding open the door to life and love, and no one will close it.

So on Sunday we landed on a simple point trust that in your difficulty Jesus is holding open the door. Let that truth give you hope, and strength. That even as things seem to stack against you, Jesus is holding the door open and no will ever be able to close it. Trust that he will lead you through it, and into a better future. Because the reality is our future depends much more on Jesus Christ than all the situations that surround us…

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: Jesus will hold open the door…

Take Aways…

  • We root for the underdog because we can relate to striving in difficult situations
  • Jesus examines our actions to see what we believe
  • What do your actions say about you
  • Don’t we want to have a life that is firm, secure, everlasting and in the presence of God?
  • Underdogs win and preserve because of belief
  • You might have little strength but you can still have hope. Why? Because Jesus is holding the door open for you
  • Your future isn’t dependent on just you, but on Jesus Christ who holds the door open

Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What surprised you? What made you think? What made you laugh? What did you take away? What would Jesus see if he examined your actions? Where in life do you feel like the underdog? Where are you currently struggling? How might Jesus “hold the door open for you” in that situation? How would it feel for Jesus to claim you as your own? How might that help you keep going, and persevering?

Discussion Questions for Young Families: Talk about with your kids that sometimes life gets difficult. Ask them when they’ve had difficulty in their life? Get them to share about any school troubles, or friendship issues. Remind them that Jesus promises even in the midst of real difficulty that he will be there for us, holding an open door to deeper life.

Challenge for this Week: Walk through the open door, and pray to Jesus as you do.

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