Sunday: Beggars’ Bread
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Nearing His earthly departure, Christ’s concern focused upon His disciples, whom He had selflessly served and deeply loved. They would not be abandoned. Although Jesus Himself had to return to heaven, the Holy Spirit was commissioned to supply the spiritual intimacy that the disciples had enjoyed in His presence. Christ’s instruction regarding the Spirit’s work was so valuable that John devotes several chapters to its preservation. One defining element was the Spirit’s testimony concerning Christ, even though the Spirit would not testify unaided. Accompanied by the Spirit, Christ’s disciples would likewise testify concerning Jesus’ ministry. God could have commissioned angels, unassisted by human beings, to broadcast the gospel. He elected, instead, to appoint sinful, erring, unpredictable humans for this sacred calling.

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Read John 1:40-46; 4:28-30; 15:26-27; 19:35-36. What do these texts teach us about the ways in which the human and divine work together in the winning of souls?

Evangelism has been defined as beggars telling other beggars where to find bread. Andrew certainly excelled here. The writings of his brother Peter were to one day be included in Scripture, Peter’s ministry was chronicled in Acts, and Christ included Peter among his three closest associates. Those honors never attended Andrew. Nevertheless, he received special recognition for following Christ’s simple instruction to lead people to Jesus.

How many of God’s chosen vessels-prolific leaders in evangelism, administration, and leadership-have been introduced to Christ by faithful disciples whose identities, humanly speaking, have long been forgotten? Although these people were not prominent themselves, think how crippled God’s work might have been had they not faithfully witnessed about Jesus. Christ prepared His disciples for greater tasks by first offering simple assignments well within their reach. The Samaritan woman, Philip, and Andrew demonstrate the power of simple testimonies and heartfelt invitations. We all are called to do likewise.

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Sunday: Beggars’ Bread — 17 Comments

  1. [Moderator's note: please remember to add use your full name.]

    I wonder how the disciples managed following Jesus daily, and cared for their families as well. I sometimes get hooked by some commitments which seems so reasonable and justifiable. I don't know how to make God's time-i know I've to work for Him.

    Like(16)
    • I always thought that I had to be on committees, going to meetings, help plan an outreach was what was what I needed to be doing. While these are all good, God wants human beings not human doings to spread the news of His love for us. Staring our relationship with Christ and how his love has brought us through difficult times with our friends and neighbour's is evangelism. Let people know by our willingness to help shovel snow, pick up groceries, or even a phone call saying "I've been thinking about you" and "can we pray together" is evangelizing. Like a favorite speaker of mine always says..."It's not what you know but who you know" this is the message we need to get out. "Experience a real relationship with Jesus and the rest will follow."

      Like(7)
      • [Moderator note: please use first and last names when commenting on this site. Thanks!]
        Our teacher comments for this week's lesson says something like this: ... Instead of trying to bear fruits, we should encourage one another to Stay connected" to Jesus. That should be our priority and the fruit will follow.
        God bless!

        Like(5)
    • Getting our priorities right is pretty important, but often we can confuse the meaning of putting God first. The priorities as I se them are below.

      1. Personal relationship with god
      2. Immediate family
      3. Other things

      Church falls into the other things category. If you are concerned about having church below family, read and consider the meaning of 1 Timothy 3:4,5 and Titus 1:6 and how it relates to this.

      Also in terms of priority, we confuse urgent with important. Things should be broken down as follows.

      1. Important and Urgent
      2. Important and non urgent
      3. Not important but urgent
      4. Not important and not urgent.

      Items 1 and 4 are easily distinguishable. The biggest conflict comes when 2 and 3 gets mixed up. Just because it is urgent, doesn't mean it is important. Get the important non urgent things sorted before they reach critical point of important and urgent.

      Like(9)
  2. Sometime, a simple "come and see" is enough to bring people to Christ and the Holy Spirit will do the rest

    Like(22)
  3. It is obvious that getting involved in evangelism and soul winning is a divine assignment for the unqualified (ordinary sin-ladden mortals) who God qualifies by the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus and empowered by the agency of the Holy Spirit. Accept Jesus Christ today and experience the difference in your life.

    Like(2)
  4. [Moderator's Note: Please use your full name as per our policy]

    In response to the person who is struggling to balance God's work and their family.
    We must first acknowledge what God's work is. Our first priority is to spend time with God and allow Christ's character to flow out of us. When we bloom where we are planted and others in our sphere of influence see Christ in us. We are being the most effective witnesses.

    Activities and programs in the church have their place, but only if your whole family can be involved and grow from it.
    Your family is a unit (team) and you work as a team, making sure to include everyone.
    Also, it is important to realize that there are seasons in our lives that impact what we are capable of committing to do. For instance, when there are babies in the family, it limits our energies simply because they require more time and energy, for a little season. But, that will change and we will have more time and energy later on.
    May God Bless you and your family, as you remember also that your family itself is a ministry too.

    Like(11)
  5. The problem we have is that, we don't have faith, so because of that we fail to believe God's Word. These 3 people; Samaritan woman, Phillip and Andrew didn't doubt when Jesus told them to follow Him. And they decided to tell others also, to know Him. Which is an example to us tha we should not remain silent when we know the goodness of serving God but we should go and inform others so that they should know and serve Him also. But all this should be done with deep and great faith. And when we have faith, we should also ask 4 the Holy Spirit to guide us. And the Holy Spirit cannot come to us if we don't have faith. So these 3 people had great faith.

    Like(4)
  6. The winning of souls can be done in the simplest of ways. Being patient, kind, helpful and giving all the while telling of God's love for us is a wonderful testament!

    Like(6)
  7. When I was around 11 years old, there was a massive evangelistic program run by the local conference which has stuck in my memory. There was this massive tent, the biggest tent I have ever seen, being put up on a rented block of ground near a major shopping centre. The tent could easily have fitted 6,000 people inside it. An evangelist came out from the United States to Australia and ran the evangelistic series for a number of nights. Big money was spent on this program, but I wonder how effective it really was.

    In John 1:40-46, we see a different form of evangelising taking place. Andrew heard what John the Baptist had said about Jesus. He went and told Simon peter his brother.

    Jesus spoke to Philip. Philip went to find his friend Nathanael and told him about Jesus. The message transferred between family and friends was "Look who I have found. It is the one we have been looking for, the one Moses wrote about."

    Marketing guys will tell you that word of mouth is always the best marketing. Personal testimony amongst excited friends is so powerful in spreading a message. When you really believe in something because you have experienced the results, you get a passion for it.

    Passion for Christianity is the thing we seem to have lost. We have a name for it I think, our "first love". Friendship evangelism has to be the most effective form of evangelism on the planet. It is the method of evangelism used by Jesus. It can only happen when you have a relationship with God. It can only happen if you have a passion for what you believe. Our story of why we a Christians should be the testimony we provide. The Holy Spirit should be the driving force behind our passion.

    Have you spoken to somebody about Jesus today?

    Like(6)
    • Owen, I presume you are referring to the Cleveland Mission series and from memory the tent version was held in Sydney. I was living in Melbourne at the time and the series was held in the Dallas Brookes Centre, again big money, lots of publicity, and a lot of enthusiasm generation among the local congregations. We repeated the whole scenario 8-10 years later with the Carter series of missions. Similar money!

      We often depend on charismatic (I am using that in the generic and not religious sense) preachers and evangelists to generate success, and we fail to realise that when the personality moves on so does the interest. I have seen the same thing happen in churches on a smaller scale where a charismatic pastor is brought in to attract the congregation.

      We love a spectacle; Something that is big, appears successful, and has some emotional draw-strings attached to it. (That is probably one of the main reasons we still have huge GC sessions every 5 years) But as you say, for Christianity to be truly successful it has to be something that lives beyond the spectacular event and is sustained into everyday life. That is one of the reasons that I like to think of my religion as Wednesday religion because it is what happens in my life and my relationships when I am as far away from the "church events" in time and location, that are the most meaningful in the long term. I am happy for the big church events to occur, but I do not live for them. What happens between God, others and me in the rest of the week has to be at the heart of my Christian experience

      Like(6)
      • Maurice, it could well have been the Cleveland series, it rings a bell. The shopping centre where the tent was put up was at Roselands which is also a suburb of Sydney's south west.

        Like(0)
  8. It's wonderful how God uses us if we're willing to fulfill the purpose He has for us. Funny how Andrew isn't mentioned much, but how valuable was his introduction of Peter to Christ. There are so many interesting examples of God's transforming power as seen in the life of Peter that we wouldn't have. If we let God decide where we can best be used, remembering it's not about popularity or publicity we will be successful in saving souls in His name and by His Spirit.

    Like(3)
  9. Where is our passion for the truth? Many of us when we got converted we can not but tell others about whom we just meet but this experience fade out after a while. Nevertheless, the message is still the same today tell your family members first like Andrew, your friends like Philip did, these people already know you so when you tell then anything new they easily agreed with you. May God help us.

    Like(3)
  10. Some women participated by making provision for Jesus, to enable him and his disciples spread the word Lk8:1-3. That's part of their source of evangelism provision.

    Like(0)
  11. What about your own experience with Christ and when you look back to your journey, think, has God been with you? What about your own challenges in life? Truely God has been with me and this is my own experience which I can share with someone out there. If I have nothing to tell them, the Holy Spirity will remind me of my own experience in life. God bless you.

    Like(0)
  12. "Come and See" is a statement of reality.
    when you come, you will see.... is one of the most powerful Evangelistic phrase that work

    Like(1)

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