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 Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passage: Acts 3
- How can our social concern be a testimony of our love for Christ?
- How can your service to others point more directly to Jesus?
- Who can you serve this week who are considered marginalized?
Food for Thought:
Jesus told His followers that they would always have the poor among them (Matthew 26:11). This may sound like a defeatist posture, but Jesus was honest about the implications of sin and brokenness in the world.
Until He returns and puts the world back together again, there will always be those who are needy and hurting among us. This reality should come as no surprise to us when we consider our world. We truly do always have the poor among us. Every place, regardless of how whole and beautiful it might seem from the outside, has an underbelly of brokenness.
How should Christians respond to such pain?
After the birth of the church, following Jesus’ ascension and the Holy Spirit’s arrival, Peter and John met a man who had been lame from birth. Through this encounter in Acts 3, we see how the generosity that marked the people of God in the church in Acts 2 spilled over into their care for those on the outside, especially those who were hurting and broken.
The man asked Peter and John for money. The giving of alms to the poor was a regular expression of faithfulness and worship to God. But on this occasion, lacking money, Peter gave the man what he did have — Jesus! In the name of Jesus, Peter healed the lame man and stood him up to walk, which resulted in a larger opportunity to proclaim the Gospel and power of Jesus.
As Jesus said, we always have the poor and needy around us. Sometimes they need money, sometimes they need care and a kind word. But we should always be certain that they need Jesus, just as we all do.
Be it evangelism, discipleship or expressions of care, may we give of what we have, and meet people’s deepest needs with the name of Jesus in word and deed.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at Lifeway.com/gospelproject.