Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 02.01.12.
WEDNESDAY — Our Dream!
Big Point: Be an effective ambassador for Christ by living CedarCreek’s dream and we’ll rejoice together when others get to know Christ!
On page 10, see the Response Questions for “Tell” in order to complete the
Commitment portion of the Missional Membership Process.
Last week we celebrated Martin Luther King Day … many of you recalled the memorable “I Have A Dream” speech that he gave at the base of the Lincoln Memorial years ago. The words are familiar to many, yet the dream is sadly, in some places, still just a dream. One hundred years earlier, President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which announced, “All persons held as slaves…shall be then, thenceforth, and forever free.” King, on that day in August 1963, once again called people back to live out that proclamation and looked forward to a time when that dream would become reality; “When the nation would live out the true meaning of its creed, that all men are created equal; that one day people would be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” On that day, he called people to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that one day they would be free at last. This speech became the launching pad for many organizations that continued to fight for freedom long after King‘s death.
Jesus Christ also has a dream. The dream is recorded in the Bible a number of times, but is articulated most clearly in Matthew 28:19-20, “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” It is called the Great Commission, and it is the reason behind everything we do at CedarCreek.
At CedarCreek, everything we do is designed to fulfill the dream Jesus has for the world. Our Vision, Core Values, strategy, ministries, etc. even our membership process are designed to help unchurched people meet the loving God of the Bible, to begin a relationship with Him, become conformed to His character and then grow in obedience to all that He has asked us to do. This is the reason we work together, pray together, struggle together. It is the reason that we exist—IT’S OUR DREAM!
READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible
Motivation to Reach the World
1. In Acts 1:6-8, Jesus makes it clear that God plans to use His followers to spread the message of salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 says that the reason we were brought into God’s family is so that we could help bring others to Him. Read these two passages. How do you feel knowing that God’s plan to reach the world involves you being His messenger?
Acts 1:6-8 (New Living Translation)
6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” 7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (New Living Translation)
What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! 18All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. 19For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people‘s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. 20We are Christ‘s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, Be reconciled to God!”21For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
2. Another motivating force for becoming an effective ambassador for Christ is the reality of hell. Even though you may hate to think about it, hell is a real place and real people go there. There are many people in your life who will face a Christ-less eternity if they don’t find forgiveness in Christ. The stakes are “sky high” and eternity is hanging in the balance. As you read the following two passages about hell from the Bible, what things do you learn about hell and what feelings do you experience? (See also Luke 16:24, Luke 13:28, Revelation 14:10-11, Revelation 20:10, and Revelation 21:8)
Matthew 13:41-42 (New Living Translation)
I, the Son of Man, will send my angels, and they will remove from my Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil,42 they will throw them into the furnace and burn them. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Revelation 20:15 (New Living Translation)
And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
3. Does the reality of hell motivate you to share your faith? If so, how? If not, why do you think it has no motivational power on you?
A third, more positive motivating force for becoming an effective ambassador for Christ is the joyous celebration that occurs when someone comes to know Christ as their Lord and Savior. Just imagine what it would be like—what an incredible thrill you would have—if someone you had been praying for looked you in the eye and said to you, “Thanks for being faithful to what God called you to do. Thanks for reaching out to me. Thanks for praying for me. Thanks for putting up with my rebellion. Thanks for loving me when I wasn’t all that loveable. Jesus saved me, but thanks for leading me to his cross.” Once you have led a spiritual seeker into a right relationship with God through Christ, you will never be the same. The passion to reach out grows each time you experience the joy of seeing a seeker become a devoted follower of Christ. Absolutely nothing compares!
PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you stay motivated to reach out and tell the World about Christ!