“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8.
[Thought questions for Witness & Service: The Fruit of Revival July 24, 2013]
1. So much love. When you hear an inspiring sermon or come across a text from Scripture that thrills your heart, do you long to share that with someone? How easy is it for us busy-busy people not to notice the joy or despair of those around us? If we do notice other people’s feelings, what are some ways to express our sympathy or agreement without fostering negative feelings? Should we develop and practice ways to share our love for God with others? Or does it come naturally if we truly love Him?
2. When Jesus bade farewell. What do you think is the most important message that Jesus wanted His friends to accept before He ascended to heaven? What was the most urgent task He set forth for them to accomplish? When God says, “go,” “go,” “witness,” and be “sent,” what sort of a lifestyle is He advocating? Do you find it hard to believe that the church will succeed in revealing the grace and love of Jesus to the world? Why or why not?
3. To all the world. What do you think caused the message of Christianity to spread so rapidly and so widely to the world of New Testament times? Imagine what could have happened if the apostles had possessed the communications tools we have today. Do high-speed, high-tech conveyors of words and images have a role to play in our church’s mission to reach others with God’s love? Does the technology ever interfere with the message?
4. Personal testimony. What is the very best way to convey to others our love for God and His Word? An evangelistic campaign? handing out books and “truth-filled literature”? Web pages? Television programs? What benefits do personal testimony have that other forms of communication can never replicate? How do we awaken “a spirit of inquiry” among our friends and family who do not take God’s Word seriously so that they will ask us sincere questions about our faith?
5. Stay in motion. Isaac Newton’s first law of motion, the “law of inertia,” states that if an object is motionless it tends to stay motionless unless disturbed in some way, and if an object is moving it tends to keep moving until something stops it. Apply the “law of inertia” to the last-day church of Laodicea. Do you ever watch the hands on the clock move along while you stay where you are and miss an opportunity to meet in worship with fellow believers? Can God do something about the “law of inertia” in our lives? What?
6. Divine intervention. If the veil that separates us from heavenly events were pulled back, do you think we would see far more evidence of divine intervention than we are aware of otherwise? Is God able to intervene in people’s lives and show His grace to specific people? Can we be part of that process? What, if anything, do witnessing and sharing have to do with divine intervention? When it comes to sharing God’s love with others, are you a good excuse giver? Or an opportunity seeker?
7. Saving the lost. Why doesn’t God step back from His burning desire for us to reach the whole world with God’s message of love and do the preaching Himself? Does God want you to be personally involved in the “great gospel commission”? How do you know? What are you doing about it? Is the fear of embarrassment a good enough excuse not to speak about the joy of knowing Jesus? Can we share the spirit of Christ without trying to reform the listener? How?