MTS2 Session Seven: To Reach Out

MTS-2 Bar Montenegro

October 2009

Session Seven

Why Am I Here?  To Reach Out

To Reach Out– The Gift of Great News! Isaiah 55:1-13

Teaching: During this session, the table time will drive the process of discovering God’s covenant desire for witnessing, how He partners with us, the power of His word to multiply disciples, the surpassing goodness of the Great News, and the effect salvation has on the world.

We have all heard a few sermons on “Reaching Out” and “Witnessing.” What passages come to mind right now that you’ve heard preached on?

First Passage:
The message of the Great News starts with the Great Initiator. God reached out and gave the invitation to come to the table. God has formed an agreement, a covenant with us. God has completed His part of the covenant. He has completed the requirements to buy us back. He has given us freedom – Fullness of life – Joy uncontainable – Love immeasurable – Mercy unmerited – Peace unsurpassable. And that’s just what He has for us here! He has eternity’s Google calendar planned out for us. What we have is Great News!

Pay attention, come close now,
listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words.
I’m making a lasting covenant commitment with you,
the same that I made with David: sure, solid, enduring love.
I set him up as a witness to the nations,
made him a prince and leader of the nations,
And now I’m doing it to you
: 3-5 Message

1. When you share a secret, or good news with someone, what kind of emotions do you have?
2. What is the covenant that God is making with us? Name three things it includes.
3. What does “a witness to the nations” mean here? And to you?

Second Passage:
This covenant leads to an awesome partnership. He leads us, empowers us, delivers to us the Good News and forms in us a heart of compassion. Our job – obedience.
Rick: I had lived in Texas for nearly three years, and was driving back from a pasturing position in Dallas toward home in Fort Worth (about an hour away.) I spot two Mexican guys on the side of the autostrada hitchhiking. In the US we don’t usually pickup hikers, but I knew I needed to get these guys. But I didn’t speak Spanish and they didn’t speak English. It was a long and slightly uncomfortable drive, and I ran through the list of everyone who might speak Spanish. I found Mike at the dorm (a music major) and drawing the bridge illustration on the dust of my beat up “ministry car” and getting translation help, two new believers entered into heaven’s rolls.
Nations=ethnics (we see boundaries, God sees groups and families who need Him; we see barriers to the Gospel, God sees languages of the heart that the Gospel resonates with)

You’ll summon nations you’ve never heard of,
and nations who’ve never heard of you
will come running to you
Because of me, your God,
because The Holy of Israel has honored you.” 5

Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.
8-9 Message

1. When you moved to your field, what was the first good “surprise” you got about your new country? What was your first “hard surprise?”
2. When you first arrived at your field, did you discover a “new country” in the area you never knew about?
3. In this passage, who is responsible for nations moving toward you and the news you carry?
4. Who carries the action in the second half of this passage? Who is the messenger? What is the message?
5. How does rain and snow compare to the “words that come out of my mouth?”
6. What is the promise of this passage?

Third Passage:
God works in ways both different and beyond what we expect. We might want to convince someone to trust Christ. We might want to make it make sense to them, or explain it in a way that is logical. We might want to argue them into the Kingdom.
Evangelism happens in a lot of different ways, but I think sometimes we complicate the process. 1) God is already at work in the life of the person we are sharing with. 2) Compassion is the best packaging. 3) The gift is the message. 4) It has to be opened personally. 5) Most people won’t open it unless they are invited to.
Remember what the first verses said – come if you are thirsty, hungry, want to be filled. If there isn’t a thirst already developed, your message becomes salt to make them thirsty.

“I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
8-9 Message

1. Since you have been on the field, would you say that your ministry job is: a) poetry in motion, b) a mystery, c) a love story, d) history, e) a masterpiece in process
2. How does God’s work surpass the way you work?
3. How do God’s thoughts go beyond your thoughts?
4. Is it important to line up our thoughts and work with His? Is this possible?

Fourth Passage:
God is inviting us to His table, to His fountain. He says in this chapter no less than five times “Come.” No matter what you have been drinking, what God offers is better. Eating. Feasting on relationally. Spending your spare time on.
Susan: I was in a conference a few years ago and hear the story of a girl from Trinidad and Tobago – she had a really good friend who lived apart from God and really lived like the devil – no hope, unsafe life – she pleaded with him “God love you – you don’t have to live like this.” This man married her a couple years later.

“Hey there! All who are thirsty,
come to the water!
Are you penniless?
Come anyway—buy and eat!
Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
Buy without money—everything’s free!
Why do you spend your money on junk food,
your hard-earned cash on cotton candy?
Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best,
fill yourself with only the finest.
1-2 Message

1. What is your market day like? Have you ever been aggressively talked into buying something in the market?
2. What does the market vendor’s call to “come” in these verses represent?
3. In what ways is the “food and drink” Jesus offers better?

Fifth Passage:
We really have a “one-dimensional” perspective when we share the Great News. All to often, we are thinking “no hell/know heaven.” Important – very important! Eternally important! But what happens to those around them if they are discipled so they can share their faith, too. And what about the generations to come because he or she will raise kids who will hear the gospel. And what about the praises the following verses speak about!  We can only imagine how significant one soul is to God’s heart!
“So you’ll go out in joy,
you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade,
bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession,
exuberant with applause.
No more thistles, but giant sequoias,
no more thornbushes, but stately pines—
Monuments to me, to God,
living and lasting evidence of God.”
12-13 Message

1. What excites you most about seeing someone become a new Christian? a) potential as a witness to family and friends, b) excitement about their new faith, c) heaven’s new citizen, d) new worker in church, e) the cosmic effect of their salvation

Closing:
Pray at your tables. Ask God to open eyes around you to the Great News. Ask Him to cause your life to be salt and light to the nations. Ask Him to give you open doors and boldness to give away this gift you have. Ask God to cause you to be faithful in this covenant to share.

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