Persevering: You Shall Live & Not Die (Psalm 8 & Hebrews 12:1-3) // Sunday, September 24, 2023

Persevering: You Shall Live & Not Die (Psalm 8 & Hebrews 12:1-3) // Sunday, September 24, 2023

You, your family and friends may connect to our worship service in person in the Sanctuary (masks required) on Zoom by clicking HERE or you can join us on YouTube at!

Guest Preacher: Pastor Christian Washington

For the past 10 years Christian Washington, was the founder and Lead Pastor of Upper Room Houston an intentionally multi-ethnic community of Chapelwood United Methodist Church ( in Houston, Texas. Additionally, Christian started REAL Coaching, Incorporated ( in 2004 as the first “rapid solutions” consulting practice that focuses on faith-based and non-profit organizations. REAL Coaching provides customized coaching and consulting services including strategic planning, organizational alignment, DEI policy implementation, start-up coaching, rapid change management, new product/service planning, and content creation strategy.

Prior to REAL Coaching, Christian was a lead facilitator for The Wildworks Group in Dallas, a boutique management consulting practice that employed the accelerated solutions methodology originated by M.G. Taylor Corporation. While at Wildworks Christian designed and facilitated collaborative solutions interventions with global corporations and non-profits including Clear Channel Communications, Neiman Marcus, Airlines Reporting Corporation, World Vision, Bell Canada, Grady Hospital and the United Methodist Church.

Much in demand as a public speaker, Christian is a native of Compton, CA and enjoys inspiring leaders to make a significant impact on the world. He completed graduate studies in theology and ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Cornell University, and management science at the University of California in San Diego. Christian sits on numerous non-profit boards, is a Project Curate Lily Fellow, and a Fellow of the Loyola University Institute of Politics.

When he is not doing the work that he loves Christian enjoys travel, tennis, live music and cheering on his hometown sports teams the Lakers, Dodgers, Rams, and USC Trojans. Christian has published numerous articles and papers on innovative organizational development and collaborated with Dr. Rudy Rasmus on his book TOUCH: Pressing Against the Wounds of a Broken World published by Thomas Nelson.

Grace UMC prepares for Sunday worship by reading the scripture for the coming Sunday’s sermon. Below, you fill find questions that can be used for Bible Study, small groups or personal devotion. Let the scripture speak into your life! Expect great things!

Preparation for 17th Sunday After Pentecost

Gathering Prayer

Lord God, words are not enough to express Your awesomeness, Your majesty, Your holiness. Our highest expressions of theology are but baby talk next to You: Your creation, Your very self. Make us aware, through Your Holy Spirit, that You are here among us. May this awareness lead us to approach this hour more carefully. The words we speak, the tunes we sing, the thoughts we think, the joy and sadness we feel, may these be pleasing to You. For in spite of the inadequacy of our words, this time of study is dedicated to You. Make it complete, whole, full to overflowing, O God, our rock, and our redeemer. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Gathering Time

  1. Share a joy or concerns that you experienced 
  2. In pairs of 2 share your experience you’ve been a part of a revival? What was the experience like?

1st Scripture: Psalm 8 (NIV)

1 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. 2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.   3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? 5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. 6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, 8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

2nd Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

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, 2 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. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.


Psalm 8 praises God for His amazing power and creation, while marveling at the idea that such a being would give any further thought to something as frail and limited as man. The Psalmist, David, notes the incredible power God displays in nature.

Hebrew 12:1-3 was a call to those early Hebrew Christians for faith not to drop out of the race. This is also a call for us to persevere and draw closer to God’s heart, not questioning our faith when times are bad. Rather, we are to move forward, embrace the call, and learn from it to be better.

Group Dialogue

Psalm 8

  1. What does the Psalmist say that He has done to His splendor? ( …
  2. Where does General David (the Psalmist) say God has established strength? ( …
  3. For what purpose has God done this ? ( …
  4. What are the objects that the Psalmist is meditating on in Psalm 8:3?

Hebrews 12: 1-3

  1. Explain the phrase “we have so great a cloud of witnesses.” Who are they? Are they watching us?
  2. What is the Objective of the Race Set before us? To whom does the word “us” refer? What hindrances and entanglements get in the way of your Christian race? Why?
  3.  In verse 3, the writer tells us to “consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Practically speaking, how does this take place in your life?
  4. What does it mean that He is the “author” of our faith? How about “perfector?”
  5. This week’s revival theme is Perseverance. How do today’s scripture express perseverance?

Closing Prayer