The river, any river, has been a place for people to gather over the millennia. Water is a necessity for life! People and animals find their way to the river for its cool waters.
In the ancient world the river was an even more important place because that was where displaced Jews and Gentile seekers would go to find each other. On the day of rest, the Sabbath, a Jew could go down by the local stream hoping to find a place of prayer. According to Acts this was a common practice.
This week in our video Bible study series, The Ends of the Earth, we find our way to the river. When Paul and his traveling companions find a community of Jews, they offer Jesus, but not right away. This screen play is not recorded in Acts, of course, but the example of Christian witness is instructive. Paul takes a long time to explore the system of Laws and why the Jews there follow them. Their motives are not wrong – we want to try and make ourselves right with God! This is a good thing. Following the laws of Moses sounds like a good idea, but it leaves us disappointed. Who can try hard enough? Who can escaped the guilt and failure of daily life?
In your personal witness, don’t be afraid to explore the spiritual currency that your friends or neighbor uses with God. How does the person believe he or she can be accepted by God? If there is a hint of work righteousness, that must be crushed. Kick the last crutch out. There is no reason to hobble along in our sin. Admit failure. That’s where God’s Holy Law leaves us.
It is then that the person is ready to hear about Jesus. Want to hear more? Watch this Sunday’s Bible study, The River.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.