The news coming out of the current training in Yangon is very heart warming. “J…” is living with the students and he tells us; “I am encouraged. They (the students) are studying past 9 p.m. Praise the Lord for a hunger and thirst for God’s Word.”
A few of the students said:
· This training is “teaching me how to plant a church.”
· This is “giving me a hunger to read the Word of God more and more.”
· “I am learning that there are a lot of heroes in the Bible.”
There were occasions in the Book of Acts where God was creating the same hunger and desire as we are seeing today. “And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women” (Acts 17:2–4).
Look at the variety of forms and approaches Paul took in order to generate interest in those he spoke to. He “reasoned” or use a method of discussion “from the Scriptures”. “Explaining and proving” was a way of “opening the minds” of those who listened and “to show beyond doubt” that what the Scriptures said was true. In using these methods of persuasion, Paul was also proclaiming the glorious gospel of Jesus in such a way that “some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas”. All who hear will not be persuaded, for the Spirit’s work is sovereign, and we must depend on Him to open hearts and give understanding.
We have often followed the Western model of lecture. I am finding more and more that to draw in persons into a discussion of the Bible is far more effective, especially when we foster questions. Do you want to be more effective in spreading the gospel? Let the Spirit lead you and don’t let tradition make you insensitive to Him.
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