This should be the great difference between true witnesses for Christ and others who may know the theory but forget the practical aspect. After cultivating good relationships over a number of months or years, you might want to try a once-a-week neighborhood Bible class in your home. Some Adventist families follow the practice of opening their homes for the neighbors to join them for sundown worship on the Sabbath. The Small Group consist of four to ten members meeting once a week in a home in their territory inviting neighbors and friends.
Also the Sabbath School classes may become a small group during the week. These small groups of fellowship, Bible study and prayer can form the nucleus of new congregations. Our radio and television programs do a good job of making friends for the Adventist Church. In addition to this, they arouse interest in the message of the church through their presentation of that message on the media as well as by Bible courses and other literature.
In addition, connect with people through social media and distributing magazines are powerful means to sow in the hearts the interest the Biblical message. Names for this class which might have a special appeal to non-Adventists include: inter-faith Bible class and Saturday morning Bible class.
If someone other than the pastor is appointed to teach this class, it should ideally be someone gifted in the areas of teaching and hospitality. This class must have an atmosphere of warmth and friendliness if it is to achieve its purpose. Chairs should be arranged in a circle, if at all possible, so there will be a warm feeling of fellowship and an opportunity to become acquainted with the others in the class.
Every church member should be conscious of the fact that as part of the church family he or she will be a factor in encouraging or discouraging the return of visitors. The exercise of the gifts possessed by the individual members should be so directed as to create an atmosphere that will make visitors want to come back.
Careful planning of the Sabbath School, Personal Ministries activities period, and the church service will make every part of these services meaningful to the visitor.
Love One Another | Focus on the Family
We need to safeguard the quality of our services in the following areas:. Neglect or failure in any of these areas can undo hours of faithful soul-winning labor. If this happens, members will become discouraged and will cease their attempts at soul winning. The quality of our church activities must make the visitor want to return! This section is not an attempt to give an in-depth coverage of spiritual gifts. The aim here is twofold: One, to call to your attention the fact that every believer has a gift or gifts that can be developed to make him an effective witness for Christ and, two, to show the function of a few of these gifts in the area of soul winning.
The gifts specifically mentioned in the Bible suggest other related gifts which can be used in ministry. Gifts such as consolation, benevolence, letter writing, encouragement, sympathy-and you could add many more. While each of us does not have the same spiritual gifts or talents, we each do have spiritual gifts which, if devoted to the service of the Saviour, will make us fruitful witnesses for Christ. God makes them the channel for the outworking of the highest influence in the universe. Once you have thought through your personal testimony and fixed it firmly in your mind, you will find opportunity to share it in a great variety of situations.
It will be useful in visiting with a seatmate while you travel.
There will even be times when you will share your testimony with a neighbor while visiting across the fence. It will, of course, be very useful when visiting the homes of prospects. By the way, that is exactly where most of our prospects are. Most of them will not come to us. We must go to them. Jesus set us an example in visiting the homes of the people. This was an important factor in the soul winning success of the apostles.
Behind every door is a soul for whom Christ died. It can become an exciting and satisfying adventure to seek them out, make friends with them, and lead as many as possible to Jesus Christ.
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So remember FORT which stands for:. Remember, also, there are exceptions to every rule. In some countries of the world, and in certain communities, it may be inappropriate to discuss family, occupation, and religious matters, especially on a first visit. Sharing your own personal testimony is an excellent way to build rapport between the prospect and yourself. Remember that the purpose of your testimony is to create a desire in the heart of your prospect for a similar experience of his own! Your personal testimony of what Jesus means to you will likely prove to be the most effective way to make the transition from the building-of-confidence stage of your visit to the presentation of the gospel as described next.
Your personal testimony, is the account of what you yourself have experienced of the power of Christ —what He has done in your own life. Your testimony might revolve around some special answer to prayer or a particular victory that made Jesus real to you. Tell them of the gladness and joy that there is in the Christian life. The three essential elements of his testimony are:.
But beware of the danger of dwelling too much on the first part. Also remember, people are not interested in an autobiography. Your purpose is not to exalt yourself, but to exalt Christ. Some point to consider:. Here are some decision questions that will be helpful: Is everything clear? Do you know what you should do? What keeps you from doing it? Why not do it now? In gaining decisions it is vitally important to get to the bottom of whatever is holding the person back.
Could you share with me what it is? I know you believe what we have studied together but something is troubling you. What is it? Soul winning is taking the hand of your friend with one hand and the hand of Christ with the other and then placing the hand of your friend in the hand of Christ. This being true, feelings of personal failure-or success-should have no place in it. As you do soul-winning work your own faith will grow stronger. Our witnessing will become a way of life that expresses the love between Christ and us.
Our Need of a Relationship with Him Christianity is not a theory. Casual Relationships Each day most of us have contact with many fellow members of the human family-in line at the supermarket, the attendant at the service station, the teller at the bank, the checker at the store, people we meet in post offices, public offices, waiting rooms, restaurants, hotels, motels, buses, trains, planes, hiking paths, parks and other places.
Bus, train, plane, waiting room, restaurant. Waitress, stewardess, receptionist, maid. Among the possible approaches are the following: An invitation to your home. Ask questions which will draw them out. An invitation to some wholesome secular activity which will give you an opportunity to enjoy something together.
An invitation to a church activity. What do you do? What about it? Hospitality: Dinner Invitations. When Someone Visits You With loving tact read a brief Bible promise and offer a short prayer before they leave. Small Groups After cultivating good relationships over a number of months or years, you might want to try a once-a-week neighborhood Bible class in your home. At Church 1. Kindness and Friendliness: Make Visitor Want to Return Every church member should be conscious of the fact that as part of the church family he or she will be a factor in encouraging or discouraging the return of visitors.
We need to safeguard the quality of our services in the following areas: Proper balance between reverence and friendliness. Christ-centered Biblical teaching and preaching. Use of distinct, easily-understood words by all speakers and singers. Appropriate dress and grooming of all participants. Thorough preparation by all participants. Avoidance of the unfamiliar in music and terminology. Christian graces and cultural refinement in both the pastor and the members. Sincere friendliness and personal interest by church members shown to every newcomer, guest, or stranger who comes to Sabbath School or the worship service.
When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. He preached on 1 Cor. Paul wrote this chapter in the context of urging the Corinthians on to mutual care and consideration and yes, Presbyterians, order as well.
But the sort of love that they were being exhorted to had been exemplified in Christ. Thus each chapter of this book explores one of the descriptive phrases in 1 Cor. This is an impassioned plea for Christians to grow in our love for each other and our world; this is a book which honors Christ for the love that he poured out on our behalf. He writes from a firmly Reformed perspective PCA and so often quotes fellow Reformed authors, but also engaged with patristic sources like John Chrysostom and consulted the best Corinthian commentaries through out Fee and Thistleton.
The Christological lens helps me understand and properly apply this passage to my life. By reading the love chapter Christologically, Ryken shows that we are called to love in sacrificial and compelling ways because that is how we have been loved by Jesus. This puts things in perspective, and growing in love is growing in our understanding of Grace. The study guide makes this an ideal book to read as a small group because the questions do not just focus on content, but on how we can live out this sort of love.
Thank you to Crossway for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for this review. This is my fair and honest review. Mar 18, Trish rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction , christian-living. I hope you will be as intrigued as I was to read this book. Although the passage is most famous for being read at weddings, it was not written specifically to describe a romantic relationship. Can you do it? I appreciated the solid writing and insightful approach to the subject matter.
I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to love more like Jesus. Oct 29, Sarah rated it liked it Shelves: theology-reformed , christianity-christian-living , bible-study , theology-christ. For some reason, though, I never particularly got into the book. I like Ryken's approach -- for each of Paul's definitions of "love," he does some basic exegesis, draws an illustration from the life of Jesus, and then applies it to the lives of Christians. His goal throughout is to demonstrate that Jesus is the only one who perfectly fulfills the definitions of love, and to drive us back to Jesus repeatedly as we are faced with our own failures to love.
Only by knowing the love of Jesus in a deeper way can we be empowered to love others ourselves. This Christ-focused reading of 1 Corinthians 13 wasn't new to me, but for someone who has never heard it before, I would think it could be very liberating and encouraging.
Even though a lot of the book didn't stick with me because of the writing style? Ryken describes the unhurried way in which Jesus loves us, just as He tarried when He knew that Lazarus was dying, because He knew that by restoring Lazarus to life, He would be able to glorify God in a more complete way. Sep 23, Jen B. I truly loved this book. I have, over the last few years, really felt a pull to worry less and love more. To get angry less, and love more. I haven't know exactly how to do that, and the emotional side gets to be a challenge.
I mean, really, we are human - we are selfish and grumpy and short-tempered and so over those traits interfere with our ability to love well, to love genuinely, to love honestly, to love unconditionally. I found this book to be uplifting, challenging, encouraging, and most I truly loved this book. I found this book to be uplifting, challenging, encouraging, and most importantly, easy to read. One of the reasons this book was so fulfilling is because the extent to which the PURPOSE of living and loving as Jesus did was driven home repeatedly.
The way Ryken makes it so real, so now, so always I couldn't put it down. Obviously, I highly recommend it. Aug 10, Karoline rated it it was amazing Shelves: christian. This is excellent. Ryken takes an wonderful approach to expositing 1 Corinthians 13, and illustrates each characteristic of love from the life of Jesus. Jesus is not irritable or resentful" etc. Ryken develops these traits richly: there's nothing simplistic about the way he teaches, but he's very readable.
You can easily read a chapter in a sitting. I read it through by myself, but this would be an excellent book to read in company, especially with people you live close to - siblings, roommates, boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, children, fellow church members. Highly recommended.
Aug 17, Becky rated it really liked it. In this book, Phil Ryken chronologically takes vignettes from the life of Jesus and applies them to 1 Corinthians I found this to be a very edifying and compelling way to look at this passage. Ryken points out that this passage is about God's love for us; we can only live it out because of Christ and the way in which he lived and died a life of love and so it is only by looking at the life of Christ that we can truly understand what it means to have a love that is patient, kind, unselfis In this book, Phil Ryken chronologically takes vignettes from the life of Jesus and applies them to 1 Corinthians Ryken points out that this passage is about God's love for us; we can only live it out because of Christ and the way in which he lived and died a life of love and so it is only by looking at the life of Christ that we can truly understand what it means to have a love that is patient, kind, unselfish, etc.
I both enjoyed the book very much and was convicted by it. It can be used as a Bible study, but is also beneficial to simply read through. After I wrote my review, I read some others reviews. One person commented on how well Ryken combined grace and conviction into this book; I heartily agree that he did this very well. Feb 04, Stuart added it Shelves: love-of-god , love , loving-others.
Loved the book; a good, short and interesting read.
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I particularly appreciated the expository of each verse, focusing in depth on a portion of scripture and drawing out the implications of each verse and the different characterisations of love. Well worth your time for anyone wanting to be more loving. Dec 10, James Ritchie rated it really liked it.
A great book digging in to the love chapter 1 Corinthians Ryken spends a decent chunk of time exploring each description of love.. Patient, kind, not self seeking.. Its great to think so specifically on a particular aspect of love. The best thing about the book was definitely the way in which Ryken highlighted the love of Jesus at each point. His love is patient, his love never fails, his love is not self seeking. This focus meant that the call to for us to love never felt like a call to j A great book digging in to the love chapter 1 Corinthians This focus meant that the call to for us to love never felt like a call to just try harder but to love in joyful response to Jesus love for us.
Worth a read. Dec 03, Michael Berkompas rated it it was amazing Shelves: personal-growth. Absolutely excellent! Phil Ryken powerfully walks us through Christ's ministry, life, and death on the cross as an expose of First Corinthians I love the quote he put at the end by William Res from an old Welsh hymn! Who His love will not remember? Who can cease to sing His praise? He can never be forgotten Throughout Heav'n's eternal days. Aug 14, Mark A Powell rated it really liked it. Insightfully combining 1 Corinthians 13 with the life of Jesus, Ryken shows how Christ was the living embodiment of love and thus the supreme example that His people are to follow as they love others in His name.
Feb 17, John rated it it was amazing Shelves: best-of This might be more of a 4-star book for most people but it was exactly what I needed to hear at this point in my life. But having said that I can't imagine a time in my life where I wouldn't need to hear this. It convicted me, challenged me in my own selfishness, and taught me some new things about 1 Cor. It's not too scholarly for the average reader so I think this book would be good for anyone. Aug 22, Becky Pliego rated it really liked it Shelves: living-the-gospel , read-in , family , theology. So the main idea of our text is fairly simple to state, but impossible to live out consistently apart from the power of the Holy Spirit:.
The crux of this command is to understand how Jesus loved us. Our text reveals five aspects of this love:. The cross glorified both Jesus and His Father John On one level, the cross was the epitome of humiliation and shame. There was no worse way to die than to be stripped naked, flogged, and then nailed to a splintery cross and hung up to suffer a slow death as a public spectacle. But in another superior sense, the cross was the epitome of glory both for the Father and the Son. To glorify God is to magnify or display His perfect attributes.
But His love and grace shine forth as He offers eternal life to all who will repent of their sin and trust in Jesus alone. That theme is repeated over and over in the Bible:. I realize that it was for the joy set before Him that Jesus endured the cross Heb. Through the cross, He would bring many sons to glory Heb.
But still for Jesus to go to the cross was an act of supreme self-sacrifice. It was costly. It is only used elsewhere in 1 John, where the apostle whom Jesus especially loved uses it seven times , 12, 28; , 18; ; It was a word of tender feelings, much as a father has toward his little children who need his help and protection. They could not follow Him to heaven at that time, although, as He explains to Peter John and to all John , they will follow later.
Good Questions Have Small Groups Talking -- Love the Way Jesus Loved: Love the Way Jesus Loved
But he promises that they will be reunited later. There used to be a popular Bible teacher who emphasized knowing Bible doctrine above all else. He taught that biblical love is not a feeling, but rather a mental attitude. But in practice, he was rude, insensitive, and arrogant. He wrote 1 Thess. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
Now He commands His followers to love one another, even as He has loved us. The fact that Jesus commands us to love one another means that you can do it. There are no excuses if you fail to love another believer. All of the years of anger and bitterness have just drained the feelings of love that I once had.
The coal car is faith. The caboose represents feelings. Then good feelings will follow. His love was costly and caring. He was talking about love that can be seen. Sadly, the church is often known more for its fighting and divisions over petty issues than it is for its love.
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Whites like to be with whites. Blacks like to be with blacks. Rich college graduates like other rich college graduates. Rednecks use long-haired liberals for target practice! The problem is, that principle is completely contrary to the New Testament!