“If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful(emphasis supplied), there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one. But, though professing to be converted, we carry around with us a bundle of self that we regard as altogether too precious to be given up. It is our privilege to lay this burden at the feet of Christ and in its place take the character and similitude of Christ. The Saviour is waiting for us to do this.”-Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 189, 190.
“During His ministry, Jesus had kept constantly before the disciples the fact that they were to be one with Him in His work for the recovery of the world from the slavery of sin. . . . In all His work He was training them for individual labor, to be extended as their numbers increased, and eventually to reach to the uttermost parts of the earth.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 32.
Discuss your answer to Monday’s final question. How can we avoid making the same kind of mistakes? Or are we in some cases making them even now?
- In Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 189 (see above) Ellen White identifies “self” as the barrier to both a more powerful outreach and more conversions among the lost. In what ways does “self” manifest itself in our lives? How can we learn to die to self? What is the only true way to be able to do that?
- The central focus of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19, 20, NIV) is “make disciples.” Share some of your own experiences of being or making a disciple. To what degree is your own church discipleship oriented? How can it become more so?
- How can you explain to someone the “foolishness” of the cross? Why do you think Paul used that terminology? What should that tell us about how limited our understanding of reality can be when the most important of all truths is deemed “foolishness” by many?
Summary: In a mere three weeks, Paul had become intensely bonded to the new believers in Thessalonica. Not being able to return to them, he first sent Timothy. Under the power of the Holy Spirit, he also put his heart in two letters. Meaningful evangelism must not settle for mere acceptance of Christian beliefs. The whole life-physical, mental, and emotional-is involved in Christian faith.