There’s an English expression that says: “There is no such thing as a free lunch”–the idea that if you receive something free, it really isn’t free because somewhere, somehow, sometime, you will have to pay or repay. The theory that nothing is ever really free has subtly infiltrated Christian thinking to the extent that many try to be deserving of God’s salvation through obedience to His will.
Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com
Legalism in the Christian vocabulary describes the attitude [...]
Key Thought : Christ’s loving service to us should awaken a loving response as the basis for our witness as reflected in our loving ministry to others.
[Teaching plan for A Love Response June 4, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read I John 4:18,19.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Does this mean that we aren’t supposed to fear God? Why do other texts tell us to fear God [...]
What would you think of someone who constantly and loudly declared that they were motivated and yet attempted nothing? What about someone who claimed to be dedicated yet never revealed to what, or to whom, they were dedicated? As we have seen, love is a most powerful motivator; but to only declare our love, even our love for God, means nothing unless we act on that love. In other words, we expect love to be revealed through actions. In this [...]
Over the centuries guilt has been used to motivate people to action. Evangelism leaders have often reminded us that God has given us responsibility and that we must use our God-given talents and gifts. We are told that God or the church is depending on us. If God has done so much to save us, how can we remain evangelistically inactive? All these attempts to call us to action, delivered, no doubt, with the best intentions, subtly appeal to our [...]
Have you ever wondered why often it seems difficult to motivate people to long-term commitments in church projects? Perhaps the answer can be found as we think of some other situations where a very high degree of motivation and commitment are evident. What is it that motivates a parent to donate one of their kidneys to save the life of his or her child? Why do moms and dads spend a small fortune to provide the best possible education for [...]
Read for This Week’s Study:
1 John 4:18-19; Rom. 3:19-20; John 15:13; Rom. 5:6–8; John 6:28-29.
“ ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments’ ” (John 14:15, NKJV).
We should work to win souls to Christ; the question we need to ask ourselves is, What motivates us to do just that?
Although our memory text is most often considered to refer to the Ten Commandments, there are other commandments, as well, not the least being “ ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations’ ” (Matt. 28:19-20, [...]
As mentioned in last Friday’s further study section, twelve months is a good length of time to plan ahead. Depending on what witnessing and evangelism program you are planning, specific time frames will vary with different goal strategies and priorities. However, there are some general points to consider.
Document what you aim to achieve throughout these next twelve months. Specify desires in terms of people and discipleship, not just the completion of programs.
Write out a procedural time line. This can be [...]
There is a phenomenon that is sometimes difficult to explain but can best be described as “circular influence.” Concerning harmony and involvement, circular influence goes like this: by getting people involved you promote harmony, which in turn encourages people to become involved, which in turn promotes harmony. You can see the circular influence principle at work. It is clearly demonstrated in the old saying that those who are pulling on the oars don’t have time to rock the boat.
Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com
“Mel, I’m going to throw these bossy lesson guides into the trash. They aren’t helping me a bit!”
“What? That’s a ridiculous thing for a Sabbath school teacher to say. I think these lessons are great.”
“But they’re written like a set of management lessons to give to managers at work.”
“Except the work is on a higher level. Stewart, these lessons were written to help us do a better job [...]
Spiritual growth comes only as we connect with Jesus. It cannot be produced by human beings simply performing specific tasks, even witnessing and evangelism tasks. A church cannot “program” spirituality into its members. However, it is a great truth that as believers respond to God’s call to be disciples, their personal walk with the Lord deepens and strengthens. Although we should not engage in witnessing and evangelism solely in an attempt to grow spiritually, when undertaken with a genuine love [...]