Witnessing: Making Friends for God

July, August, September 2020

Want to learn more about Witnessing: Making Friends for God? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.

Lesson 1: Why Witness? (James 5, Hebrews 6, John 7, 1 Timothy 2)
The idea of justification by grace alone is broader than the issue of salvation. It explains the larger relationship humans have with God. For example, when I felt guilty that I had not converted my neighbors, it came to me that I am not the prime mover in converting others.  That is the work of God. When I was mowing the neighbor’s lawn, visiting the neighbors in the hospital, and trying to have gospel conversations, I thought that I lacked the skill to “close the deal.” How foolish of me! Our series of lessons this new quarter is about how we cooperate with God in His mission of drawing the world to Him. Let’s dig into our first lesson about witnessing and find out what the Bible has to say!

Lesson 2: Winsome Witnesses: The Power of Personal Testimony (Mark 5, Acts 26)
Has someone ever convinced you to change your mind? I’ve been convinced I was wrong. But, there is a pattern in this. I rarely recall changing my mind when the other person was attacking me. When someone attacks you on Facebook does it change your mind? The most persuasive argument is a personal testimony, because it is hard to attack. How can you argue with what someone else experienced? Let’s jump into our study of the Bible to learn more about the power of personal testimony!

Lesson 3: Seeing People Through Jesus’ Eyes (Mark 8 & 12, Acts 1)
In the last two weeks I read a section of Ellen White’s account of the mob that demanded Jesus’ crucifixion. She said that fallen angels were in the crowd stirring it to demand Jesus’ death. Has that changed? Have demons retired to live peacefully in Scottsdale, Arizona? Demons obviously are not people. Are there evil people? Last week we studied (in Mark 5) the story of a man who was filled with demons. Jesus used him as a witness. Does Jesus approach all people the same way? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn!

Lesson 4: Prayer Power: Interceding for Others (2 Corinthians 10, Ephesians 6, John 11)
Have you heard some complain about the prayers of others? One prominent Christian minister prays that God will help him to find a good parking place, and he is criticized by another who is praying that God will heal his mother of breast cancer. What if the mother dies and the minister snags a great spot? Has God been distracted over minor matters? This kind of criticism arises from the false idea that our God has limited power. If we distract Him with minor matters, He cannot properly attend to life and death matters. This is nonsense. God’s power is unlimited. Let’s dig into our study of the Bible and expand our understanding of God’s power and our prayers!

Lesson 5: Spirit-Empowered Witnessing (Acts 1-2)
Do you feel limited in life? If you were smarter, better looking, more gifted in speaking, better at relationships, would you be more effective in your work? Last week we discussed how prayer accesses our “superpowers.” This week we study the source of that superpower, the Holy Spirit. I believe the Holy Spirit makes me better than I am. Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more about the source of our superpowers!

Lesson 6: Unlimited Possibilities (1 Corinthians 12, Matthew 25)
What, exactly, does it mean to witness? Does it have to be an explanation of the gospel? If so, is it really true that every Christian has an obligation to witness? What about diverse spiritual gifts? How does that fit into this discussion about witnessing? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 7: Sharing the Word (Jeremiah 23, Matthew 7, 2 Timothy 4, John 17)
How should we share the word? My local church seeks to reduce all barriers to people visiting. We give them a close place to park, if they dress informally they will not feel out of place. We give them a gift, and personally welcome them. I agree with this approach. On the other hand, I was recently in a discussion with a local pastor about racism. He told me that I should feel comfortable because I was in a “safe space.” I responded that our discussion should not be a “safe space.” I quoted Proverbs 27:17 that “iron sharpens iron.” Which approach to sharing the word of God is appropriate? Or, are both appropriate depending on the situation? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 8: Ministering Like Jesus (Luke 15, Matthew 9, Matthew 25)
Do you recall the old question, “What would Jesus do?” I’ve always had some doubt about the usefulness of that question in resolving questions facing Christians. His situation was so unlike mine. On the positive side He performed supernatural feats all the time. On the negative side, He had many disadvantages, especially in the area of temptations. The better question is “What would Jesus want me to do?” Let’s see what we can learn about the answer to that question by diving into our study of the Bible!

Lesson 9: Developing a Winning Attitude (2 Thessalonians 1, Matthew 15, Mark 14)
What is a "winning attitude?" The attitude that you will always win? A "winsome" attitude that attracts others to you? An attitude that everything will work out? A criticism of some preachers today is that they promote a "self-improvement gospel." The goal is to make you a richer, more self-confident, and better adjusted person. You will be a winner! Is that part of the gospel? Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and see how it defines a "winning attitude!"

Lesson 10: An Exciting Way to Get Involved (Mark 3, Hebrews 10, Acts 16, 1 Corinthians 12)
What has been your experience with the COVID quarantine? Since this is a world-wide issue, I’m guessing that almost all those reading this study have experienced a change in their life based on this virus. One big change for me is staying at home. I taught my law school classes from home. My litigation work was done at home. I even taught my Bible classes and preached from home. What I was missing was personal interaction with people outside my home! Our lesson this week is about working with others to advance the Kingdom of God. Are you looking forward to working with others again? Does that give you a feeling of excitement? Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible to learn more about the excitement of working with others to advance God’s Kingdom!

Lesson 11: Sharing the Story of Jesus (Ephesians 2, Mark 5, Acts 26)
They say that confession is good for the soul. Let me confess that the title of this lesson is confusing. What this lesson is really about is sharing our own stories of what Jesus has done for us. I guess in a round about way that is sharing the story of Jesus. Now that I’ve clarified things, let’s turn to the Bible to get real clarification of how we should best witness!

Lesson 12: A Message Worth Sharing (2 Peter 1, Revelation 11 & 14)
Does it feel like the end of the world is near? This time of my life is like no other. Life is disrupted by a virus. Government authorities (in the United States!) believe that they can shut churches and prohibit all sorts of activities that people normally take for granted. Some of our cities are burning almost nightly. There have been terrible times in the modern world. My father lived through the depression and then was pulled into combat in World War II where he was wounded three times. His world was much worse than mine, or that of my children. Are we now changing for the worse - or does it just seem that way? Does the Bible have anything to say to us about this? The first place to look is Revelation, so let’s head there for our study this week!

Lesson 13: A Step in Faith (Philippians 2, John 21)
Life is a series of choices. Taken together, your choices shape the direction and quality of your life. How have you been doing with your choices so far? While our choices on earth are sometimes difficult to reverse, Jesus keeps open our choice for eternal life. Our study this week explores what kind of choices the Bible suggests. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

To receive the Bible Study of the Week by e-mail, please enter your e-mail address:

 Subscribe in a reader

Topical Studies

Old Testament Studies

New Testament Studies

Attention Translators!

Would you like to help us share the Bible Study of the Week with others? At present, the Bible Study of the Week can be read in ten languages: Bosnian, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. We welcome serious volunteers who are willing to spend the time each week to translate the lessons from English into another language. We are particularly interested in having the lesson translated into Portuguese. Please contact us if you would like to volunteer to translate.