1.What are some of the reasons the world regards the church with suspicion? How should we respond?
Generally speaking, the world does not know us because it does not know Jesus. It is natural for people to question, or evens hate and fear, what they do not understand. When churches meet in secret in some countries, they are suspected of plotting against the government. When they attempt to win converts from another religion, religious leaders feel threatened; they may put pressure on the state to declare proselytizing a crime. Even in America, when Christians op-pose legislation they consider unethical, they are often accused of “shoving the Bible down the throats” of those who disagree.
Our response is (at least) twofold. First, we en-sure that our own conduct is always above reproach. Second, we view non-Christians as potential converts to Christ.
2.Many of us would disavow any connection with Cain and dismiss him as “an extreme case.” Why is this a mistake? What can you learn from the story of Cain that can help you in your daily life?
Remember that, “All Scripture … is profitable for doctrine, for reproof’, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). The account of Cain is no exception. This account re-minds us that all sin has a history. Cain had a record of evil actions before he murdered his brother. This suggests the need to work continually to keep our thoughts and deeds acceptable to God. Cain was warned by God before he became murderer, and the Lord provides warnings for all of us. Sometimes the warning comes through Scripture, sometimes through a faithful friend, sometimes from a caring parent.
3. You see a shabbily dressed man on a street corner asking for money. His cardboard sign says, “Homeless veteran. Hungry. What would Jesus do?” How do you respond in a way that demonstrates Christ’s love?
When a person is born again, he or she passes from death into life. Such a person receives anew nature in which loving is natural. So impressed was the apostle John with this fact that he was shocked at the idea of a Christians who did not love a brother or sister. Even though John was referring to help for fellow Christians, the chance to help non-Christians with practical assistance is a great blessing! Some have called this kind of benevolence pre-evangelism since it can open a person’s heart to the gospel.
For the homeless persons in this case, dropping money into his cup is probably not the best approach. Such a gift may be used for alcohol, etc. You could instead keep some small boxes of raisins on hand for on-the-spot assistance with food. If your church has a benevolence programming place, you can give the person a card telling him where to go In got this help.
4.How do you counsel a fellow Christian who feels condemned by his or her own heart? How will your counsel be flexible from person to person?
First, listen and don’t talk too much! As you do, you can help the person examine himself or herself to uncover any personal sin. You may discover that there is no specific sin causing the guilt, but that the persons is feeling guilty because of unrealistic personal expectations (perfection-ism). Help the healing by affirming the person’s decision to come to you. The devil loves it when people keep personal anguish a secret.
5.Love is probably written and sung about more than any other emotion or action! In what ways will your actions this week demonstrate how the Christian concept of love differs from what the world calls love?
If we listen carefully to those shallow pop songs about love, we discover a pattern: love is a -feeling” that finds its roots in “what you do for me.”Worldly love is often little more than a reciprocal agreement of “you satisfy my needs and I’ll satisfy yours.” When this self-centered system breakdown, people end up in divorce courts or worse. Christian love, on the other hand, is sacrificial. It puts aside its own preferences and conveniences in order to focus on Christ’s desires. It is from this foundation that Christian love serves others (see 1 Corinthians 13).