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LEADERS GUIDE Topic: Persevere through Worship: Part 1

Simple Reminders

  • The primary idea you need to keep revisiting during this Following Jesus Pathway is that we are following and being formed by Jesus. This pathway can be learned simply or in great depth. We trust that you as a leader know your people and the dynamics of your group well enough to adapt and impart this topic with grace and wisdom.

  • This guide is designed to help you and others follow and be formed by Jesus. Remember to keep it Jesus-Centered.

  • We pray that you will be Spirit-Led and Spirit- Empowered as you lead and learn together.

Pray Hand Motion

Researchers have found that moving our bodies and adding actions to our learning significantly increases our ability to remember. Here is a hand action you can add to the command to remember it:

  • Step 1: Take both hands with palms facing out at chest level, pushing away and then raising them up above your head in a posture of exaltation/worship.

Brief Commentary and Context

Summary of "Persevere through Worship" - The greek word for “persevere” in the New Testament (‘hypomone’) combines ideas of endurance, patient waiting, and courage, and is translated in various ways, including ‘perseverance’, ‘endurance’, ‘steadfastness’ and patient endurance’. Eugene Petersen's famous phrase, “a long obedience in the same direction” describes well the lifelong journey of perseverance. Simply it means we will love and trust God in the face of great difficulty to the end. Persevering looks like love that remains loyal through fire, trust that is tested but continues to deepen. It was one of the key virtues of the early church and their teaching and a hallmark of Jesus’ character. The command is “persevere through worship” because what propels us to remain faithful until the end is seeing and ascribing worth to God from our heart in all of life. Without worship we will lose heart and give up.

Brief Commentary for Acts 16:16-34 - (“Paul & Silas Worship in Prison”)

In Acts 16, Jesus worked through Paul and Silas to deliver a girl caught in slavery from an evil spirit causing their owners to lose their unjust income. The apostles were beaten and shamed; accused of bringing misfortune to the city of Philippi, and labeled disturbers of the peace. They were treated unfairly and felt stuck, then put in prison, more than likely for disturbing the peace and sedition. Somehow in the midst of a hopeless situation, beaten and bloodied in a dark and dirty cell, these lovers of Jesus, these simple servants of the King, were moved to worship. They offered their best, to Jesus, in the midst of their worst. They were able to see beyond their limited surroundings to a greater glory. To persevere in worship is to offer an unreasonable response of love, hope, faith, and gratitude to God in the midst of unreasonably trying times. Their worship was based on who God is, not the circumstances they were in. These sounds must have been the last thing the other prisoners had planned on hearing, yet they were irresistibly attracted to their songs of hope in the midst of hopelessness.

In the midnight hour, the prison was shaken by a great earthquake and freedom was only a few steps away. But not for all inside. At this moment, while all those in chains saw life, the jailer could only anticipate death. He would lose his life with the escape of all those he had charge over. When Paul cried out in a loud voice “all are here”, fear and wonder overcame him. Could it be that the God who releases captives, considers the captors, as well? Perhaps, he was actually a captive longing for freedom.

“What must I do to be saved?” This is the burning question on the hearts of both jailers and captives alike. Paul’s response to this man echoes through time, revealing the invitation of Jesus to all. There is only one way to experience true freedom and that is to turn from your own way and yield to Jesus. Paul said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” By persevering through worship, despite the circumstance, freedom in Christ was made available to others. Worship fuels our perseverance and perseverance honors God and makes a way for others to be blessed!

Core Truths from the Topic:

  • Summary Scripture: Rom 5:3-5- Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces patient endurance (perseverance), and (patient) endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

  • 2 Cor 4:16-17- Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

  • Romans 12:1- Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

  • 2 Cor 1:8-9- We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

  • James 1:2-4- Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

  • Acts 14:22- ​​Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through much pressure (tribulation) we must enter the kingdom of God.

  • 2 Thessalonians 1:4- As a result, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:5- May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the perseverance of Christ.

  • Hebrews 12:1-3- Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Other Biblical Stories of “Persevere through Worship”

  • Acts 5:17-42- Apostles arrested and freed

  • Hebrews 11:1-40- Old Testament examples of persevering through worship and faith

  • Matthew 10:16-33- Persevere to the end as sheep amongst wolves

  • 2 Corinthian 6:4-10- Paul’s perseverance in trial

  • Daniel 3:1-30- The fiery furnace

Extra Resources

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