Step Up: So That Others May Know!
We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (Dec. 3rd) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.
Week Six: Laboring in the Field
For six weeks now, we have been discussing what it means to step up to the task of carrying out the mission given to us by Jesus before he ascended to heaven. Today, we’ll take a look at the encouragement Paul gives the Corinthian church and the reminder he gives to the Romans that suffering isn’t a sign of God’s abandonment, but actually an opportunity to experience God’s faithfulness and grace!
- What do you think was Paul’s purpose in writing this section?
- Verse 56 makes a very interesting statement, in that “the power of sin is the law.” The law Paul refers to was the system of rules and regulations followed by the Jewish people, given to them by God. How could the power of the law be sin?
- What can cause us to feel like the work we do for the Lord’s harvest is in vain?
- What kind of suffering is Paul referring to here?
- What role does reconciliation play in the work we do for the Lord?
- What example should we take from the fact that Jesus died for us when we didn’t actually deserve it? How does that apply to how we pursue the mission of spreading the gospel?
- What is a specific suffering you have dealt with as a result of your faith? This could be the loss of a friendship due to bad influence, ridicule or negative treatment, or anything that makes challenge of maintain your faith a little harder to bear.
- Oftentimes, the toughest part of our work for the Lord is not necessarily the big difficult challenges that loom over us, but the ability to maintain passion and resolve in the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly process of that labor. What can help us not fall asleep on the job?
- If you have one tell us a victory story from the harvest field. This can be leading someone to Christ, breaking a habit of sin, fixing a broken relationship, or anything that displays the power of God’s faithfulness.
We have never been promised that our faith will make the battles we face come to an end or even become less challenging. What we are promised is that God will never leave our side throughout the struggle, and that we have been given hope that supersedes the difficulties we endure on Earth.
There is work to do, church. Work that won’t be easy, that will demand everything from us, and that will often leave us wondering if we can continue on. But take heart! Our Savior has not left us alone in our mission. We have a Father who listens to our prayers, a Holy Spirit that will guide us in times of confusion, and a church united in the same task: to bring the whole Earth back into the fold of God!
Pray for a spirit of thankfulness in times of hardship and adversity, and the ability to remember that we have a hope that transcends our temporary difficulties. Pray for the strength to endure persecution and remember that God will never leave our side.