Your Relational Network

Free Bible Study Materials for Christian Discipleship
 July 2016

photo courtesy of sjcockell

Dear fellow disciple-maker,

It is God's intention to spread the Gospel by using ordinary people as informal missionaries. Jesus called them "my witnesses" (Acts 1:8). God knows that every follower of Jesus has inside access to a unique set of relationships. They are "insiders" to families, neighborhoods and workplaces. Insiders do not need to go anywhere or join a program to have a legitimate ministry. They play an indispensable role in bringing the gospel into any social context.

Relational Networks

The original and primary infrastructure to disciple the nations was families. Beyond that, our relational network extends to the people we routinely contact throughout the day (workplaces, community projects, neighborhoods, ethnic groups, recreational interests, schools, etc.). Wherever we live, work and play provides many opportunities to serve people and open doors for Jesus.

Sent By God

Jesus was sent by the Father and led by the Holy Spirit. He was humble, loving and obedient. He submitted himself to the will and agenda of his Father. He was fully aware of why he was sent when he said, "I have come down from heaven not to do my will, but the will of Him who sent me" (John 6:38). Following his resurrection Jesus said, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you" (John 20:21). For every member of the body of Christ there is a purpose, a plan and a place.

Doors Open

None of us is the leading character in the story of our life. Like Jesus, David understood this truth. He recognized that his time on earth was by design, not by accident. "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16). Jesus sends us to our relational network because God often finds people in the middle of their daily routine.

When God is at work, doors open. At any time God can guide us to someone who is searching. He can arrange events to get us where he wants us to be even when we don't know he is doing it. God puts us in the right place, at the right time, to say the right thing, to the right person.

"And He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and find him" (Acts 17:26-27).

Author:Paul Schlieker

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