Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.

Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.

These teaching notes are from a series of studies about Suffering.

[Podcast version available at the end of this post.]

[These notes are from a study presented more than 40 years ago.]


Open the session with a brief discussion on the world’s view of greatness and the Christian’s view of greatness. Use poster to record comments by members.

After ideas are exhausted, read aloud Mark 9:33-35 to find Jesus’ view on greatness. Note the differences between the three viewpoints discussed.

Give opportunity for group members to describe briefly some recent incidents in which they suffered because of their Christian principles and testimony. Ask each person to tell how he/she responded emotionally to the incident.

Give out group sheets to the two groups. Have them study together. After they have studied, give opportunity for spokespersons from each group to report insights. Write their findings on the poster.

Lead members to apply the truths just discussed to their own lives through a brief discussion:

  1. In what ways do Christians suffer today?
  2. What does it mean to “bear a cross?”
  3. How should the Christian treat those who cause him or her to suffer?

Review the ways Peter and John responded to suffering when they were put in jail:

  1. They remembered that they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
  2. They took every opportunity to continue preaching.
  3. They moved ahead with the confidence that this was God’s opportunity for them.
  4. They obeyed God rather than men.
  5. They prayed for boldness in the time of persecution.

Ask members to consider the question: Am I willing to suffer for Jesus? If not, why?

From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

Galatians 6:17

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