Four Ways Bible Study Changes Evangelism
It is interesting that nowhere in Scripture is there a verse that encourages us to simply read the Bible. Instead, the Bible encourages us to meditate upon it as we study the wisdom within.
Psalm 1:1-2 reads, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.”
Meditate has the idea that we keep thinking and rethinking what we have learned as we study the Bible so we can thoroughly digest it in a way that enhances our spiritual walk. We are not satisfied with simply reading the Word. We want to ponder its meaning carefully and in a way that impacts our daily lives – especially as we seek to share the hope of Jesus Christ with others.
If we thoroughly digest the Word in our Bible study, how will that impact our outreach to our world in need of a Savior? Four thoughts come to mind that come straight from the Word upon which we are meditating.
Bible meditation leads to compassion toward non-believers
The reason is simple. It is because we will see them the same way Christ saw them – as sheep without a shepherd. We are told in Matthew 9:36, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”
Compassion has the idea of being filled with pity. That is how our hearts will feel for their lost condition. We see unbelievers as those who not only have not received His free gift of eternal life, but they lack purpose and meaning for their lives in the here and now. Instead of getting irritated with them, we are able to look behind the person to the problem. We long for them to come to know the same Savior we have. That longing gives us a burden to spend time with them with the view of possibly leading them to the Savior.
Bible meditation leads to praying for doors of evangelistic opportunity
Nowhere in scripture are we ever told to open a door for the gospel. Instead, doors of opportunity are doors that He has to open and then we can walk through them. As we see the lost condition of those who have never met the Savior, we begin to pray for those open doors just as Paul asked the Colossians, “Meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the Word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains.” (Colossians 4:3)
Those doors often come in unexpected ways – a conversation suddenly turns to spiritual things, an incident in the life of a friend of theirs causes them to ask questions about life and the future, a friend diagnosed with a terminal disease raises questions in their mind about the hereafter, or a book they are reading causes them to seriously consider for the first time the existence of God.
God has ways of opening doors that we never expected. All He needs from us is our availability to walk through those doors as He opens them for us.
Bible meditation leads to conversations filled with grace and truth
Believers, as they interact with the lost, often make one of two mistakes. Some speak with such grace that they are unwilling to confront the non-Christian with their lost condition. Others speak with such truth that although they confront the lost with their sinful condition before God, they lack compassion and grace in their conversation.
As the Word impacts our approach to others, we are burdened that we have the same balance that characterized the Savior – a balance of grace and truth. John 1:14 tells us, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, and the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
In so doing, non-Christians see in us not only our desire to be truthful with them but also the love with which that truth is expressed.
Bible meditation leads to asking the Lord for boldness in our witness
As we spend time in the Word, we discover that evangelism has its obstacles. We are uncertain how people will respond. That is why we are burdened to do what the disciples did – ask the Lord for boldness. Acts 3:29 expresses the prayer of the disciples. “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak your Word.” Two verses later we are told, “and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.”
Meditating on the Word causes us to ask the Lord that their pattern might become our practice and that we will not only share the gospel but do it with a Spirit-produced boldness.
In short, mediating upon the Word causes us not only to speak to the lost, but to speak in such a way that represents the Savior’s love and compassion for them. Through our words and demeanor, they hear us loudly, clearly, and compassionately proclaim, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
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