Want to learn more about Missionaries in the Bible? 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.
Have you noticed the pattern in the Bible that God
loves to work through weakness? Old Testament battles are won by
using fewer soldiers (Judges 7) or going into combat leading with the
choir (2 Chronicles 20). In 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 God plainly says
that He uses the foolish and weak things of the earth to defeat the
worldly wise and strong things of men. Why? God doesn’t want humans
to get confused about who is responsible for the victory. If you are
a Christian and you generally consider yourself to be weak and
foolish, this is good news. What about the rest of us who do not like
to think we are weak or foolish most of the time? This is the good
news about studying the life of the apostle Paul. He was smart and
sophisticated and God did great things through him. Let’s dive into
our study of Paul and find out more!
“Why would we use the world’s approach? All we need is
the Holy Spirit!” Some church leaders look at evangelizing the world
like any other business outreach. If a strategy works for business,
we should try it in the church. Others seem to think no modern
strategy is needed, we should just depend on the Holy Spirit to bring
in new members. E.M. Bounds said: “Man looks for better methods, God
looks for better men. Men are God’s methods.” Does that make any
sense? Wouldn’t better men look for better methods? What if the Holy
Spirit told us to use modern strategies? Would you be willing to
change your church service as a strategy to attract new members?
What if you thought certain changes were theologically incorrect,
would you make those? What about members who think the changes are
sinful? Let’s dive into our lesson and find out what the Holy Spirit
says through missionary Paul about converting the world!
Would you like Jesus to say great things about you? What if He said “Among the human race, no one is greater than [insert your name].” Nothing could be better, right? The problem, of course, is that you are a sinful person, whose faith sometimes fails. Did you know that Jesus made that remark about John the Baptist? (Matthew 11:11) Clearly John was this great missionary with absolutely no faith problems, right? Or, wrong? What kind of person was John? What can we learn from his life to give us comfort in our failures? Let’s dive into the lesson and find out!
We don’t normally think of Jesus as a “missionary,” but
He is the greatest missionary of all times. As we continue our series
of studies on great missionaries, let’s consider Jesus’ missionary
work with sinners and what we can learn from Him in our mission to
bring others into the Kingdom of God. Let’s dive into God’s word and
see what we can learn!
Our current series of studies on the great missionaries
is focused on the life and actions of these missionaries. Our goal?
To deduce how their lives and actions apply to ours. Our lesson this
week starts out much differently. Instead of trying to deduce the
specific principles from our missionary examples, Jesus just states
the principles to His disciples. Our only question is whether these
same principles apply to our missionary efforts? Let’s dive into the
Bible and consider this!
What kind of an attitude should we have as missionaries
to the world? It would seem this is an easy question. The answer to
is be kind and loving and share the gospel message, right? But,
perhaps this issue is a bit more complex. When I was growing up, I
learned about a problem in the church mission program. It seems that
American missionaries had trouble realizing where their American
culture left off and the gospel message began. To combat that
potential problem, the suggestion was to have American missionaries
go to foreign lands, train the locals in the gospel, and then let
them push forward with American financial support. Imagine how those
conceptions from my youth disappeared when I was approached this
summer about having missionaries from Brazil and Europe come to my
area to share the gospel. They were coming to share with English-speaking Americans! So much for the idea of leaving it to the
natives. I was now the native! Our lesson is not about this specific
issue, but it is about some of the complexities of how we approach
our work as missionaries for Jesus. Let’s jump right into our study
of the Bible!
Is your heart at peace? At this moment I feel a very
heavy load of things to do. Burdens press me at work and at home. I
am always working to meet time deadlines. (Even to write this lesson
each week.) Our lesson this week is for those whose hearts are not at
peace. Jesus wants us, as His missionaries, to have peace in our
hearts. He wants us to understand how our timing is not His timing.
Let’s plunge into the Bible and find the path to peace!
Can you think of a Christian who is not a very good
witness for Jesus? I’m not referring to someone who only talks about
being a Christian. I mean someone who is a serious Christian, but who
does not have a very good sense of how to get along. The world calls
the ability to relate to others “emotional intelligence,” the Bible
calls it “wisdom.” Our study this week is about the apostle Peter
who had a great deal of growing to do in the emotional intelligence
department. Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and see what we
can learn about Peter and improving our own emotional intelligence!
Last week we looked at Peter’s “early years” in the
ministry. His failure to understand the self-sacrificing nature of
the gospel work ahead of him was replaced with an understanding of
his true mission and the future glory which awaited him in heaven.
What can we learn from a mature Peter? How does a mature Christian
live? Or, is Peter not an example for us because he was given special
authority not available to us? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible
and find out!
Our culture does not allow us to understand the
difficulty of being a “woman of mission” during Jesus’ day. We do not
even clearly understand the problem Jesus and His disciples faced
ministering to women. The Jewish rabbis of Jesus’ time said “It is
better that the words of the Law be burned than be delivered to a
woman!” (The Bible Exposition Commentary on Acts 16:13.) Jesus and
His disciples, if they followed cultural norms, should have ignored
women when it came to sharing the gospel. They did not. Instead, our
study shows Jesus used them as missionaries. Let’s plunge into our
study of the Bible and learn more!
Have you ever thought that life, as you knew it, had
come to an end? Those thoughts went through my mind early in the day
on September 11, 2001, when I was in the Washington, D.C. area and
the Pentagon was hit (we thought) with a bomb. Last year, I heard a
young man from Rwanda tell his story of losing his family and fleeing
his country as a result of the genocide there. This week we look at
Daniel, a man whose life was turned up-side down by the Babylonian
conquest of his country. It is one thing to try to convert others
when all around you is normal. What about being a missionary when
everything around you has changed? Let’s plunge into the life of
Daniel and find out!
How do you solve problems in the church? Is it with
gifted plans or gifted people? If you had to choose, which would be
more important? This week we study a man who was part of the solution
to one of the most explosive problems in the early church. He
apparently did well in his service to the church for God made him a
powerful evangelist. Let’s jump into our study of Philip and learn
about the ideal life in service for God.
Do you like change? Most people fear change because it
brings uncertainty. Right now I’m adding change to my unchanged
life. I’ve lived in the same house for over 25 years, but have
rented a house in a new city and am slowly moving there. I’ve had
the same employer for over 32 years, but now I spend half my time
teaching in law school. For 28 years I have been a member of the
same local church, but I’m slowly moving to the new church in the new
city. I’ve been married to the same wife for 34 years and my goal is
to make no changes there! Change creates anxiety. Being a missionary
may require some change in your life. This week our lesson starts out
with changing leadership, let’s dive into our study of Isaiah!