GET ACQUAINTED: What is the hardest thing you have ever had to do for God?
SCRIPTURE: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 )
Open your time together with prayer. NOTE: This is only a guide! Feel free to select the points you want to discuss and adapt them to your needs.
OBSERVATION: How can a Christian overcome the fear of witnessing? Possible causes of fear in relation to witnessing include shyness; past or perceived rejection or humiliation; an inability to articulate our personal testimony; a lack of knowledge of Scripture; a failure to trust in the Lord; and an ignorance of why men reject the gospel. Determining the actual cause of fear may be difficult and understanding the reason may not dispel our fear. But we are commanded to be bold for Jesus (Ephesians 6:19), so we may simply have to persevere, one step at a time. In the meantime, we can apply some basic principles and sharpen our skills; since fear can be overcome by preparation (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ).
Study the Word, live the Christian life, let the Holy Spirit do His work (John 3:8 ), and look for opportunities to share the gospel. It is a privilege to be a part of spreading God’s good news to the world. As we fulfill the Great Commission, we have Jesus’ wonderful promise, “Surely I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20 ). What have we to fear? - GotQuestions.org
- R. Kent Hughes states, “The Book of Acts is the acts of the risen Christ through the Holy Spirit working through the church.” Do you agree with his statement and what do you think he is trying to convey?
- “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you …” (v. 8). What is this power Luke is talking about? How does this power come upon a Christian today? What are the evidences of this power in the life of a believer?
- “… and you will be my witnesses …” (v.8) The dictionary defines witness as an “open profession of one’s religious faith through words or actions: faithful Christian witness.” I would replace the word or with the word and. Too often Christians wiggle their way out of sharing their faith by stating, “I just let my life be my witness.” Yet the Bible says, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14 ) So, what does witnessing truly involve?
- “… in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (v. 8) We’ve all heard these words so many times that it’s difficult to really feel their impact anymore. But what a shock these geographical designations must have been to the disciples. Jerusalem? Hmmm, the Lord was crucified there. Judea? We had been rejected there. Samaria? What, minister to those half breeds? To the ends of the earth? Really, Gentiles too? The command was not only revolutionary, but socially and ethnically unheard of. How does this concept transfer over into our modern world? How do you handle criticism coming from Christians for ministering/witnessing to such as these mentioned?
Personal Application and Commitment: This message is clearly meant for a missionary church. The challenge to be His witnesses is clear and pointed. “Jesus is returning again – so get with it!” How does your life measure up to the challenge? The life of a Christ follower can and should be exciting and exuberant. However, commitment is the key to a meaningful Christian life! In order to be an obedient witness that pleases the Lord you will have to commit to be His witness.
Prayer: “Father, Your word says, “… you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Thank You for trusting us with that mission. This is a huge undertaking that we can’t even begin to
accomplish on our own. We thank You that You have promised us help: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you …” We ask that You fill us with Your power, with the Holy Spirit so we can do the job you’ve assigned to us and called us to do. Father, give us boldness to witness to those who need to hear about You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.