Study Questions – Reach Sunday (11.19.23)
Reach Sunday: Pray, Send, Welcome, Go
Matt. 22:37-40; 28:18-20
INTRODUCTION: Reach Sunday is a time for us to focus as a body on the outward call for us as a church and as individual Christians, that is, the call of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). As a church, we believe in the importance of that call and the responsibility of believers to engage it as Jesus commanded. That means that we look for opportunities to share the gospel in the everyday places that we go and to join in gospel-advancing work to the ends of the earth. We join in that “ends of the earth” work by praying for, financially supporting, and going to serve alongside global partners for short periods of time. But what is to motivate for a life of faithful living and obedience to the Great Commission? Well, Jesus answered that question a few chapters earlier in Matthew 22:37-40. There, he was asked by a lawyer (who was a religious leader) what the most important commandment was. Matthew (who was Jewish) understood what was going on and told us that the religious leaders were testing Jesus. We ultimately know what that testing led to, the cross. But, if we are honest, their testing, while devious also had an honest side. For them, to love God meant that you obeyed the law, and the question of the greatest commandment was a very important question to them. So, what was Jesus’ answer? He says the first is to love God with your whole self. Then, he goes on to give what seems like a second command, but it is really an application or a litmus test of sorts. The second Jesus says, is to love your neighbors as yourself. How is this an application? Well, if you are loving God with your whole self, you will know that by the way you treat and interact with those around you. Simply, when we are filled with the love of God, it flows out of us and into our everyday relationships. What is the most loving thing we can offer to our neighbors? The gospel. The good news of new and abundant life through Jesus. What we come to find when we consider Jesus’ words in Matt. 22:37-40 and his command in Matt. 28:18-20, is that Great Commission living is motivated by Great Commandment love.
GETTING STARTED – This morning, you heard from Moriah on how her everyday experiences helped her see God at work in her life and world. What are the everyday experiences of your life that show you that God is at work in your life and world?
IN THE WORD – Let’s dig back into the passage. It is important to strengthen our muscles in reading God’s Word. On Sunday, we walked through the passage in the sermon. Hopefully, that helped you to see the landmarks of the passage with fresh eyes. Now, with your group, go back through it and see what God is saying to you specifically.
*Note – When reading the Great Commission, it can appear that the primary command is that to “go.” However, in the original text, the emphasis is on “make.” To get a sense of how that might sound in English, try reading the verse this way, And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. As you are going, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
First, before you read the passage, take a moment to ask God’s Spirit to quiet your mind and heart and to illuminate the text to you. Second, read the passage aloud to the group. Then, follow the simple method below. (O.P.A)
Observe: Make 8-10 observations from the passage. Pay close attention to observe and note repeated words and phrases, names, places, and themes.
Principles: From your list of observations, what patterns or big ideas do you see emerging? Can you distill it down into 2-4 big idea truths?
Apply: Moving from your list of principles, it is time to apply God’s Word. Remember, we believe that God’s Word is living and active and that it can change the way we live Monday- Friday. What is one tangible way to apply a truth from your list above?
When we consider the presence of the Great Commission in our lives, we need to be able to put a name on it. Ask yourself this question, who are three people in my life that I run into regularly and have a good relationship with that need to hear the gospel?
List those people out:
Now, commit to praying for them regularly. What should you pray? Try this simple prayer, Lord, would you move and work in ______’s life today, and would you give me an opportunity to share about your love with them?
Moriah gave us four steps to consider – Pray, Send, Welcome, Go – consider the questions for each and what intentional step is ahead of you.
Pray – 1. Do I know what I can be praying for? 2. Am I praying for the work God is doing in the world?
Send – 1. Do I personally know any global workers? 2. What do I have to give? Time, Talents, Treasures
Welcome – 1. Have you ever had a friend from another culture or religion? 2. If not, who could you reach out to?
Go – 1. Who in my life needs to hear the Gospel? 2. Where are they? Am I also there?