NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passages: Matthew 9:35-38, Ephesians 6:19-20, Colossians 4:3
— Who in the abundant harvest of lost souls lays heavy on your heart and high on your prayer list?
— Which is the greater need in your life, boldness to share the Gospel or recognition of your opportunities to do so? Explain.
— What tips can you offer for recognizing the opportunities God provides to share the Gospel?
Food for thought from Jeff Iorg’s “Unscripted: Sharing the Gospel as Life Happens”:
“Measure twice; cut once.” That adage from construction speaks to the need for preparation. Measure twice to verify you have the correct length and you will only have to cut once to make your board fit. Make a mistake on your measuring, and you might have to cut a second board, or at least make a second cut to trim your board to the proper length.
In construction, in baking, in international travel — really in many areas of life — an acceptable outcome requires proper preparation. Witnessing is no exception.
Contrary to what many might conclude, the primary preparation for witnessing is not the ability to recall a dozen Scripture verses or the learning of some memorized Gospel presentation. There is nothing wrong with either of those, and both can be quite helpful. But in “Unscripted: Sharing the Gospel as Life Happens,” Gateway Seminary President Jeff Iorg argues that “praying first, praying often” is key. He identifies five areas on which to focus our prayers.
Though it might seem self-obvious, “praying God’s will” is the starting point. What does it mean to pray God’s will? Iorg answers with this specific. Pray for more people to join the harvest. Jesus instructed the disciples to take on this prayer need in Matthew 9:35-38. Knowing Jesus commanded it assures us this is God’s will. Praying for more harvesters increases not only the workers but our own willingness to be one of those workers.
“Pray for more opportunities to share the Gospel,” Iorg writes. Paul asked the church at Colossae to pray God would open doors for him to share the Gospel (Colossians 4:3). “Pray for bold insight for sharing the Gospel,” Iorg also advises. To the church at Ephesus, Paul asked they pray for his boldness and the ability to “make known … the mystery of the Gospel” (Ephesians 6:19-20).
“Pray for the Gospel to spread rapidly,” Iorg writes. Many places and people have yet to hear the good news of Jesus.
“Pray for people to be saved,” Iorg said. After all, that’s the point of sharing the Gospel with someone — the desire to see that person saved.
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.lifeway.com/masterwork.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.