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Each day this week, let's be encouraged by the thought that we can learn to win souls for Christ. There can be no question that the Lord wants us to be busily engaged in the work of sharing the gospel with those around us, but all too often we allow ourselves to be held back from that work by the supposition that we're not able to do that work and never will be able to do it. Discouraged, we give up the effort to rescue those who are lost.
But surely, the thought that we can't win souls for Christ is a lie of the devil, and we ought to try to get it out of our minds. If we are not adequately prepared for the work of soul-winning, God would have us know that He waits, willing and able, to help us prepare. No matter what the realities of our present situation, we need to be emboldened by a vision of what the future can be in regard to our personal participation in spreading the gospel.
From time to time, we need to be reminded that, in anything that has to do with the work of the Lord, it is the Lord Himself who supplies our adequacy. We need to have the same perspective on our own work that Paul had on his: "Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God" (2 Cor. 3:4,5).
It takes work, of course, to learn how to communicate the gospel personally to others. And we won't do the work if we don't have the commitment. But with both the commitment and the work that goes along with it, there is nothing that can hold us back. Paul said, "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). And Peter exhorted us to work "as one who serves by the strength that God supplies" (1 Pt. 4:11).
If God says we can, who is to say we can't? That's the very point of Phil. 4:13: "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." If there is any work the Lord wants us to do, He will supply whatever is essential to get it done. God never commands us to do anything that He will not help us do. So let's honestly list our deficiencies and not waste any time before we begin to work on removing them. Let's help one another, so that together we can be the powerful influence for good that we ought to be in our community. God is waiting to bless us!
Monday: Matthew 28:16-20
Key Idea: Jesus wants us to make disciples of as many people as possible.
Questions for Family Growth: What is a "disciple"? What is the actual work that Jesus wants His people to do -- in other words, how is it that we can "make disciples" for Him? Will Jesus be pleased with us if we fail to make disciples?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 17:6.
Tuesday: Matthew 18:10-14
Key Idea: Jesus wants us to seek the lost and not wait for the lost to come and find us.
Questions for Family Growth: What evidence is there that God is concerned about those who are lost? What should be our feelings about the lost? What are some practical ways we can "seek" for the sheep who have gone astray?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 17:7.
Wednesday: Matthew 5:13-16
Key Idea: Jesus wants our lives to be good examples before others.
Questions for Family Growth: How are we like "salt"? How are we like a "city set on a hill"? What are some of the more important ways we can let our "light" shine? Why is it sometimes hard to be a good example?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 17:8.
Thursday: Matthew 4:18-22
Key Idea: Jesus can show us how to make disciples for Him.
Questions for Family Growth: What are "fishers of men"? Did the apostles know how to do the Lord's work when He first called them? If they were going to become fishers of men, why was it important for them to spend a lot of time learning from Him?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 17:9.
Friday: Matthew 10:26-33
Key Idea: Jesus gives us courage and confidence in making disciples for Him.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Jesus say His disciples should not be afraid of? Why should we not fear to speak about the gospel to others? What will happen to us if we are afraid and decide to keep quiet about Jesus?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 17:10.