Family Bible Study lesson for August 12: Obeying the Risen Lord
July 20 2001 by Catherine Painter , Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:1-8

Family Bible Study lesson for August 12: Obeying the Risen Lord | Friday, July 20, 2001

Friday, July 20, 2001

Family Bible Study lesson for August 12: Obeying the Risen Lord

By Catherine Painter Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:1-8 "Please, don't let anybody be here," I prayed, ringing the doorbell during witness training. A kind lady invited us in, directing Nan and me to her den. I pleaded, "Lord, if I do this, I'll cry." I kept my promise, barely seeing the words I shared. Finally, I asked if she would receive Christ as her savior.

"Yes, because you wept over my sins." Even I never wept over my sins. "May I keep that book? I've just realized my son is not a Christian either."

"Didn't I tell you?" Jack asked when I shared the outcome. "Your greatest ability is availability."

The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) Jesus' imperatives ring: "Go," (not send). "Make disciples," (not converts - that's the Spirit's job). Not to disciple a convert is like leaving a baby on the delivery room table.

"Teach ... everything I have commanded," (no revising His message to accommodate popular thought). Why, then, don't Christians share their faith more freely?

Could inconsistent lifestyles leave many feeling they have nothing to say? Henry Drummond wondered, "How many are kept out of God's kingdom by the unlovely characters of those professing to be inside?"

I feared rejection. I waited to become expert, like learning to swim before getting into water. Then I remembered there were expert strategists in the Israelite army, but a shepherd boy with substandard equipment slew Goliath. Why did I fear?

I enjoy wayside witnessing. I probably won't see the person again, and I might take him to heaven! Often I do.

On the night before completing this study, I shared with a lady in a mall, not by chance, but by Ephesians 2:10. I enjoy discussing what Christ did 2,000 years ago. I prefer sharing what He did this morning.

Witnessing can be as simple as a deaf man going to church to show whose side he's on, to a martyr's giving his life for Christ. Some cross oceans; others cross streets. Some encounter hostility; others face indifference.

Someone said, "I'd rather see a sermon than hear one." I disagree. My life doesn't speak; my lips do. Elton Trueblood said, "It's not enough to give cold water. It's necessary to tell why."

Jesus made it clear; we're to witness verbally.

The Promise of the Spirit (Acts 1:1-5) Jesus appeared to His disciples for forty days. The intervals between His appearances grew longer, teaching them to act on their own, preparing them for the coming of His Spirit.

Jesus bids them wait in Jerusalem, and not go into the world in fleshly energies.

A boat is moored in the inlet. The tide's out, the boat's on its side, its keel in the mud. We can strain and use jacks to get it up, or wait for the incoming tide to bear it up. Better to wait for the power of the Spirit, instead of launching out in our own strength.

The Call to Be Witnesses (Acts 1:6-8) We're more inclined to argue the Holy Spirit than to experience Him, but we're powerless without Him. The Spirit is Jesus without flesh and bones, to whom He referred, saying, "... surely I am with you ..." (John 28:20b).

John Wesley said, "The world is my parish." Wanting to sample what he meant, Jack and I went as evangelists to Romania with doctors, dentists and nurses. We spent our days witnessing and our evenings sharing the day's victories for Christ.

Our team was blessed with Christian translators. Another team had no victories to report and their translators were merely tolerating us. Christina rolled her eyes as we told of people coming to Christ.

We asked our leader why he hired non-Christian interpreters. He explained he couldn't get Christians to leave their jobs to interpret.

The next morning, I went to breakfast for a banana and sat beside Julie. I asked, "Are you and Christina Christians?"

"We were born Christians."

"Are you aware that Jesus said we cannot be born Christians - we must be born again to experience salvation?"

"I never heard that."

I shared the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus and asked if she wanted to be born again. We wept and embraced as she invited Christ into her life. Her first words as a Christian were, "I'll win Christina." That night their team reported victories for Christ also.

Until then I couldn't share John 3 without my Bible. That morning I could because I "received power" (v. 8a). I went for a banana and returned bringing a soul to Christ.

Jesus provides power to meet demands. We are not to do God's work in human strength. St. Augustine said, "Without God, we cannot. Without us, God will not."

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7/20/2001 12:00:00 AM by Catherine Painter , Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:1-8 | with 0 comments
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