Lesson 8 Follow-up
"You Mean God Has A Plan For My Life"
Follow-up Memory Verse: Romans 12:1
Yes, God has a plan for your life!! He has provided for our salvation, saved us and now has a plan for our new life in Christ. He has purchased us or bought us back with the blood of Christ and we now belong to Him (I Corinthians , 20). Thus we should surrender our life to God without reservation (Romans 12:1). The surrendered life is the one God can use and is the one which bears much fruit for Him. Another reason for our surrender to God should be our response to what He has done. If someone should save our life we would be indebted to him and would desire to do something for him in return to show our appreciation. Well, God has saved our body, soul and spirit from eternal separation and wrath from Him. This is of infinitely more value than our physical life. Should we not desire to show our appreciation and thankfulness to God by surrendering our lives to Him to use as He directs?
God wants to use us and has a particular job for us to do. In order for us to be a useful vessel to the Lord we must turn from all we know to be contrary to Him (II Tim. , 21).
We have just mentioned that God has a job for each of us to perform. Let's turn to, I Corinthians 12. Here we find the Apostle Paul drawing a parallel between our natural body and the church, the Body of Christ. Our body is made up of many different parts, all with different functions. So it is with the church, the Body of Christ (Verse 12). It is made up of many different members and all of us have different jobs or functions to perform (Verse 18, Romans 12:4) i.e., God has given every one of us talents or abilities and wants us to use them for His Glory. Some can preach or teach and God wants them for pastors, missionaries, etc., others can teach a high school Sunday School class, others are good in working with children and can teach in Sunday School, teach a Child Evangelism class, etc. There are many other gifts or abilities God has given that can be used in other areas of service. The important thing is that every Christian has the ability or abilities and is to use them in serving the Lord. If we fail to use that which God has given us, the same thing will happen to the Body of Christ as will happen to our human body if one part ceases to function. It will not work perfectly and its efficiency will be hindered If enough parts do not do their job, our body can be severely crippled and of little use. So it is with the Body of Christ. If you do not perform your functions, the Body of Christ will not function perfectly. If enough of us fail to do our job, the Body of Christ will be drastically hindered and will be of little use or influence in the world. The reason the church is not having an effective position in the world today like it should have is because many of us are not performing the job or function God has given us. Do you want to be one of those responsible for the ineffectiveness of the Body of Christ in the world today?
Another sad fact about not using our talents is that we will lose rewards. If we serve God faithfully while here on earth and use our talents for Him, we will be rewarded. But, if we fail to use them, the loss will be ours and our rewards will be few. We will all stand before God one day and give an account of ourselves (Romans , II Corinthians , Matt. 25:14-30). (NOTE: The talents in Matthew refer to money, but the principle is the same). I trust we will all hear "Well done, good and faithful servant." It has been said: "Only one life, 'twill soon be past - Only what's done for Christ will last.
Maybe some of you are thinking "but my talent or talents are very small and they dont really mean much." Look at I Corinthians 12:21, 22. Every member of the Body of Christ is necessary and their included you, Everyone's job in the Body of Christ are important. Perhaps: as you first use your talents you will feel inadequate and may feel like giving up. Remember, however, that any talent one has must be developed. Expert musicians such as Beethoven had to practice to develop their talent. It did not come without work. So it will be with us. We will not be an expert at first but must work. So it will be with us. We will not be an expert first but must work on developing and improving our talent. We must not become discouraged. Discouragement is just what Satan would want so that the Body of Christ will be weakened and have little influence in the world.
You may find it helpful to make a list of your talents. It may be that you are not aware of some of your talents at first thought. Pray, asking God to show you what abilities He has given you. Then go ahead using what abilities you do have depending on the Lord to reveal any others. But get to work now! I Cor. , ask your pastor, Sunday school superintendent, etc., what you can do to help out. There are some things you will discover that you will not be able to do and you should not continue with them when you find you are incapable. Perhaps you just need more training to do a better job. But, be sure to use the gifts and talents you do have and go at it wholeheartedly. Anything that we do for the Lord should be done well. As you serve the Lord, using the abilities He has given you, you will find joy. Service for God is a responsibility, but it is also a privilege. If you serve from the heart you will find delight, satisfaction and fulfillment.
Perhaps you should consider the possibility of attending Bible school even if you are not planning on going into "full time" Christian work. It will give you a good spiritual foundation and will make you a more effective layman. A year or two of Bible school will helpful in bringing this about.
Maybe the Lord would have you in "full time" Christian service as a missionary, Christian worker or may number of other areas of full-time service. Don't let age stop you in case you think you're "over the hill" for attending Bible school or going into full-time Christian service. There are those in their 3O's and even 4O's perhaps, who have "pulled up roots" gone to Bible school and then out to serve Lord in a fall-time capacity. At least pray about it and be open to the possibility that God may want you, at Bible school and/or in full-time Christian service.
Included in our service for Christ is sharing our faith in Christ with others. Any one who is a Christian can and should do this, it should be natura1 for us. Where a girl is given an engagement ring by her boyfriend she isn't ashamed nor does she try to hide it from everyone. She is delighted and if someone doesn't notice her ring she will go out of her way to make sure they see it. We have been given the greatest gift in all the world by the One who loves us more than we can comprehend, and our response should also be to want everyone else to see it and to share this wonderful gift with them,
In addition, we should possess a true concern for those who are lost and doomed forever. Receiving Christ is their only hope for eternal life. We have experienced this and have the privilege of sharing it with them. People are looking for answer to life and purpose for living. We have the answer to their searching. Should we hoard it for ourselves? You can be a "missionary" to the "heathen" at your school or place of employment. You can also share Christ with your family relatives, friends, neighbors and others you come in contact with. One should always be ready to tell others about Christ. (1 Peter 3:15). Look for opportunities.
Sometimes just sharing your testimony of how you came to know Christ and what it has meant to you will be the best way to handle certain situations or opportunities. Know the plan of salvation:
· Romans - all are sinners
· Romam8 - sin comes under God's judgment
· John - God loves sinners
- Romans 5:8 - Christ died for sinners
- I John 5:9-13, John 1:12, Rom 10:9-13 - we must receive Christ to have eternal life
- Eph 2:8,9 - the basis upon which we are saved today
Be sure to memorize these verses so you will be prepared to share the Gospel. A soldier is not much use without his weapon and neither will we be of much value without having the Word of God.
When talking with someone, be natural and sincere. Be yourself. Don't become sidetracked on doctrinal questions but stick with the Gospel. And don't argue for this usually accomplishes nothing. Make your message simple and definite and invite the individual to receive Christ. Do not force the Gospel. However, it is better to "plant the seed" than to force the person and perhaps offend him so that he will never want to talk with anyone about Christ again.
You will find that some will reject what you say and even reject you. You may lose some friends. Read John 19:1-18. We have the example of Christ, Paul, Peter and many other men and women of God who have experienced rejection, ridicule and persecution. This should not hinder us for it is a part of the Christian life, (II Tim. -12). You may find a tendency to be fearful in sharing Christ with others. Remember II Tim. 1:7, 8.
We can be a witness for Christ through our life and conduct. We are presenting a witness all the time, either a good or bad one. Our Christian lives should be consistent and above reproach. All our talking with people will mean little if our life does not back up what we say. On the other hand, our life can give emphasis to what we say and help in bringing a person to Christ. People will be able to see that we are different and it may be through this that they will ask us about Christ or what makes us different. This is our opening to share our faith in Christ with them.
One other thing we should mention in regard to our service for Christ is the stewardship of our money. A steward in the New Testament was one who managed his master's money and possessions which his master committed to him. Read Matt. 25:1-30. We too, are stewards. Everything we ever own is not ours, but the Lord has entrusted it to us to use wisely. This includes our money. We are to give to support our local church and its ministries. (I Corinthians 9:7-14). There arc many other worthwhile missionary and Christian organizations that we could support as well.
In the Old Testament, God required His people to give ten percent. Today, in this age Grace, we are not under this requirement, but we are told to given as God has prospered us (I Corinthians 16:2). If they were able to give ten percent, however, we should be able to give at least that same amount if not more. We are told that what we sow we will reap (II Corinthians. 9:6). If we give very little we will get very little in return and if we give much we will gain much back. Finally, God wants us to give cheerfully and not grudgingly (II Corinthians. 9:7). Have you ever tried to give cheerfully without wishing you didn't have to give? If you haven't you are missing something. There can be real joy in giving. Try it and see.
In this lesson we have discussed God's plan for your life, covering the necessity to surrender your life to Him and then to use the abilities God has given you to serve Him. Service for God can be a real joy and I trust you will soon find God's place for you and experience this joy. Be faithful in sharing your faith in Christ with others and you will find delight here as well, especially when you are able to personally lead a soul to salvation in Christ. And then, be a faithful steward of the finances God has entrusted to you, for here too, one may experience joy.
We trust this has been a beneficial course for you - in helping you to understand what transpired when you received Christ and by teaching some of these basic Bible truths, giving you a good, solid spiritual foundation on which to build your Christian life.
NEW CONVERTS COURSE WORK SHEET - Follow-up LESSON NO. 8
Find the answers in the above reading and the scriptures found in the follow-up lesson
1. What are we told to do with our bodies in Romans 12:1, 2?
2. Why should we surrender ourselves to God?
3. How can we be a useful vessel for God?
4. Paul compares the human body to the Church, the Body of Christ.
What does He tell us about the members of the body in Romans 12:4-7?
5. If we do not fulfill our function in the Body of Christ what will happen to the Body?
6. What will be another consequence of not using the talents God has given us?
7, If we feel inadequate and discouraged when we first begin to use our abilities, should we give up?
If not, what should we do?
8. What are some reasons one should consider attending Bible college?
9. What area of service can and should all Christian's take part (Prov.11:30)? Why should we?
10. What may we expect from some people when we share Christ with them?
11. Name another way we can be a witness for Christ other than by what we say?
Why is it important?
12. How are we stewards of God?
I Corinthians 9:7-14
13. What principle is given in, II Corinthians 9:6 concerning giving?
14. How are we to give our money?
II Corinthians. 9:7
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You have finished the eight part follow-up lessons for New Believers and believers, I hope you have found it helpful - yours in our Lord Jesus Christ!
Romans 8:38, 39 Back to follow-up Indexed Lessons
By: Theodore D Pestor/ President/Pastor BTH