Reality Check: What are your personal soul winning goals and how do you plan to reach them?
ICEBREAKER: When paying off a debt are you more likely to take advantage of the full payment schedule or do you like to pay it off as soon as possible?
EDIFICATION: Read Romans 1:14.
What an excellent condition of heart and attitude is displayed in these words of the Apostle Paul. Literally speaking, the Apostle was saying, “he had a debt to pay to all peoples, because of the grace shown to him, to preach the gospel of grace to all nations.” The condition of his heart was that he felt he was the least to deserve the mercy of God since he persecuted the church (read 1 Corinthians 15:9-10). His attitude was that he would preach the gospel without fear of reprisal or rejection. “I am not ashamed”, was Paul’s resounding statement to the church of the day and to generations to come. He said he was a debtor to both the “Greeks and the Barbarians”, making use of the full social scale. The Greeks were the cultured, educated and refined of the day. The Barbarian was any other nation that was less familiar and whose language was not known. One of the marks of a mature Christian is to be constantly aware of the mercy of God, be thankful for it and then as a result of being thankful be willing to go to every length to win the lost. As you discuss this topic today, remember where you were and where you might be without the grace of God, and then rejoice together for the God’s mercy in our lives!
Discussion: What was the condition of your life before you were saved and where do you think you would be if you hadn’t been saved?
Why is being aware of God’s mercy and grace in our lives and being thankful for it a mark of Christian maturity?
How do you relate to the Apostle Paul when he said that he was a debtor to all people? (Do you feel the same as he did?)
How has this discussion today helped you be more thankful for and aware of God’s grace and what do you plan to do to “pay the debt” by reaching others? May be happy to read from you too.
Posted by Michael_Ori on Tue 5 Jun 2012 12:55:52 am | 1 comments
“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42).
God’s formula for evangelism is found in Psalm 126:5-6, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
A. Action: “Goeth forth.” God is depending on us.
B. Attitude: “And weepeth” God wants us to have an unselfish concern.
C. Conditions: “Bearing precious seed.”
D. Results: “Shall doubtless come again, with rejoicing, bringing...”
Go forth in His name.
Weep for the lost.
Bear precious seed.
Reap a harvest.
The reason why there are many non-church goers is because there are many non-going churches.
Acts 5:42 New Testament Evangelism:
Daily - Everyday Evangelism
In the Temple - Public Evangelism
In every house - Personal (house to house) evangelism
They - Every believer evangelism
Ceased not - Whole-hearted evangelism
To teach - Instruction evangelism
And to preach - Preach evangelism
Jesus Christ - Christ - centered evangelism
A good definition of evangelism:
“Sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results up to God.”
We play an important and active role in the winning of souls but we will not be held responsible for the choices made by those whom we witness to. God will bless our efforts if we will make the effort to be used by Him. We must be ready at all times to be a witness for Jesus Christ.
The best way to win people is by becoming their friend. This is sometimes referred to as “Friendship Evangelism.” This is when we build a caring relationship with someone who does not go to church. After showing him or her friendship we invite them to come to church. It is difficult to win someone to Jesus Christ without first winning them to yourself.
A little girl was terrified by a thunder and lightning storm and rushed into her parent’s room. The father tried to console her and send her back to bed. He said, “Jesus is there in the room with you.” To this the scared little girl replied, “Daddy, I know Jesus is there in the room with me, but I need someone with skin on!”
People need someone with skin to witness and care for them.
It has been said before but needs to be repeated, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Of all the evangelistic methods in use today including the large crusades, surveys show that most people are won to Christ through one-on-one evangelism.
George Barna, in his book Evangelism that Works outlines five methods of evangelism that can be used effectively today. (These points have been expanded.)
1. Lifestyle or Friendship Evangelism
You must “have a message and be a message.” We are the only Bibles many people will ever read (2 Corinthians 3:2).
One new convert stopped coming to church. One of the members met him in the market and asked, “Why have you stopped coming to our church?” The young, discouraged convert answered, “You people do not walk what you talk.” We must “practice what we preach” or better still, “preach what we practice.” We must model Christ to unbelievers. This is why the members at Antioch were first called Christians; they acted like Christ.
2. Family Evangelism
This is when one family member shares the gospel with a member of his extended family. One of the advantages is the family member can readily identify the changes in the believer’s life since they knew him before and after conversion. This relationship is also based on trust.
3. Confrontational Evangelism
This is when a Christian meets someone who he/she does not know and shares with the person, the Gospel. This is door-to-door or house-to-house evangelism. It can be done in the nonbeliever’s home; at public places; on buses; in markets; and any place where two people might have a conversation.
4. Cell Group Evangelism
This is frequently used these days. They are small groups who meet regularly for some form of Christian activity. Teaching, prayer, and fellowship make up the aspects of the meetings. This develops a comfortable setting where nonbelievers can feel relaxed.
5. Power Evangelism
Here the Gospel is proclaimed verbally and the power of God is demonstrated through the Gifts of the Spirit (healings, deliverance, etc.).
Posted by Michael_Ori on Sun 3 Jun 2012 1:08:33 pm | no comments
The Wilderness Test
Deut. 8:3 (NLT) Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people need more than bread for their life; real life comes by feeding on every word of the Lord.
Deut. 8:17 (NLT) He did it so you would never think that it was your own strength and energy that made you wealthy.
The word “wilderness” is defined as a desert place; a place uncultivated or lived in; a state of disorder Wildernesses are places of:
One of the questions most asked in Church is “Why”.
In one of our beloved hymns, there are these lines:
We wonder why the test, when we try to do our best
We ask why…why is this happening to me.
It is asked when bad things happen to good people.
It is asked when great effort produces only poor results.
It is asked when the expected success is delayed.
It is asked when the wicked prosper while the righteous struggle.
“and we wonder WHY the test, when we try to do our best…”
People tend to deal with difficulties better if they understand that what they endure serves a purpose.
Knowing that the trials of their faith are not pointless makes the enduring bearable.
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
The purpose of every test is:
To reveal what we understand
To reveal what we don’t understand
To reveal to us the applicability of the lesson
Why the Wilderness Test:
To humble you
To prove your Character
To teach you that you need more than bread
To discipline us for maturity or self-control
To reveal to us that it was not our own strength that made us prosper
The test occurs
So that we would not forget God.
So that we would learn to trust God.
So that our faith in God would grow stronger
So that we would have a platform from which we could minister to those who are around us.
How God tests us:
He allows us to LACK
He supplies our need in a manner in which we are not FAMILIAR.
He allows us to be DEPENDENT
He allows us to be STRESSED
He allows us to suffer PAIN
God is more interested in our CHARACTER than He is our COMFORT.
Man cannot see his weaknesses until circumstances reveal it.
Impatience is revealed when something hinders our progress.
Pride is revealed when we are forced to do something menial.
Stubbornness is revealed when we are forced to do something that we do not desire.
Our lack of faith is revealed when we are required to do more than what we are able.
Idolatry is revealed when we are required to sacrifice those things that matter to us.
Immaturity is revealed when we can’t have our way
Self-Will is revealed when we are required to do something against personal ambitions.
Self-Centeredness is revealed when we are forced to serve others
Matthew 12:35(KJVA) A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
Crafted by God
Dangers of the Testing
People become DISILLUSIONED
People become DISTRAUGHT
People become DISTRACTED
People become ANGRY
People become BITTER
People become HARDENED
Only two men were promoted to becoming a king without the struggle of THE WILDERNESS.
King Saul—consumed by jealousy
King Solomon—consumed by his own passions
While the TESTING is universal, how we respond is left up to our personal inclinations.
Blessings of the Wilderness Test
We see the SUPERNATURAL work of God.
We receive ASSURANCE of the care of God
We receive assurance of the POWER of God.
We receive assurance of the FAITHFULNESS of God.
We are transformed by a RENEWING of our minds.
We will become mature Christians.
We will develop the ability to endure.
We will lack in nothing.
Jam 1:2 Consider [it] all joy, my brothers [and sisters], whenever you* encounter various trials,
Jam 1:3 knowing that the testing of your* faith produces patient endurance.
Jam 1:4 But be letting that patient endurance have a perfect work [or, full effect], so that you* shall be perfect [or, mature] and complete-lacking in nothing.
Our effectiveness and successes depend upon our responses to the various trials or testings.
Posted by Michael_Ori on Fri 1 Jun 2012 11:26:30 am | 1 comments