We can’t change a person’s heart, but we can challenge them in love. And God tells us that as followers of Him, we are called to challenge others to seek God. Although there are great rewards that come from such a challenge, guiding others in this way can be difficult. Are we willing to love people enough to overcome all self-focused fear?
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. We heard this week that God’s work in people can often seem like “behind the scenes” work. Who is someone in your life or around you, past or present, that did a lot of valuable “behind the scenes” work (perhaps not always noticed by you or others)?
2. What stood out to you from the message? What questions do you have? What got you excited, curious, confused? What do you want to do as a result of what you heard?
3. Have you ever thought about how God works to draw people to Himself? Looking back, what are some ways God was possibly drawing you to Himself?
4. Read John 4:23. Jesus proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God. If you had to summarize what the “good news” is, how would you express it?
5. Read Acts 1:8. When you think of God’s Spirit empowering you to be a “witness”—to tell others what you’ve seen and heard regarding your faith—what thoughts or emotions does that bring up, and why? Why do you think God chooses to use people like us as the main messenger of His message of love?
6. Do you view challenging people to seek God as an exciting partnership with God, or more of a fearful burden, or somewhere in between, and why?
7. Read Luke 17:11-19. Like the ten lepers, some respond to what God’s doing in their lives, and some miss it. Knowing that our job is to love people enough to tell them God’s heart, and the rest is between God and that person—does that help you? Why or why not?
8. My Next Step: This week, pray and ask God to point you toward someone in your life that you should “challenge in love.” Initiate conversations (use the What’s After Life? book as an easy opener), dialogue and ask good questions, and challenge people to move toward God—trusting God that if they seek Him with all their heart, they will find Him. Who is God putting on your mind? Share your experiences with your Life/Community Group, running partner, friends, and/or family.
John 4:23 – Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Luke 17:11-19 – Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
To dive deeper, share your thoughts, and hear from others, join a Community Group at gatewaychurch.com/groups