Study Guide: Twisted Scripture: Psalm 78:1-7

Sunday July 5, 2015 | Seth McCoy

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

The Kingdom of God grows through witness and repentance, not by childbirth. The direction of people’s journeys through life hinges on whether or not someone is willing to tell them about what God has done. Are you telling others what God has done in your life?

Extended Summary:

As the Old Testament records, the Israelites had lots of stories that were passed down from generation to generation – but they weren’t just stories about Israel, they were stories about God. The New Testament has shown that the same is true even today – Jesus invited a few people to follow Him as He told them about God, and they in turn shared their stories with others, and the process has never skipped even a single generation. Sharing our stories about what God has done in our lives is a crucial part of Kingdom living.

The book “The Martyr’s Mirror” tells powerful stories that, from a human standpoint, don’t always seem to end well. For example, it tells of a Mennonite man who was being chased in an attempt to capture and kill him, but as they ran across a frozen lake, his pursuer fell through the ice. Many Christians today would probably say “Thank you God!” and run to safety, but this Mennonite man turned around and saved the life of his pursuer. The tough part of the story is that it didn’t have a fairy-tale ending – the Mennonite man wasn’t thanked for saving his pursuers life and lived happily ever after, but instead was captured and killed. It can be tempting to not share stories like this, but Psalm 78 reminds us that our stories need to be shared. Remember, this is a story about a martyr, which means the story doesn’t end there…

One of the challenges of the Church has always been, “Who’s going to sit in this chair next?” Pastor Seth’s life changed after he ran away from home in high school because a youth pastor named Joel reached out and witnessed God’s love to him. Joel decided to care about others, even a young runaway, and not just himself. What do you think about the next generation? Are you sharing your stories of faith with them like Joel did with Seth?

The Church grows through witness and repentance – that’s how new Christians are born. But who is being a witness to people today? God has always cared deeply not only for what’s here, but also for what’s next. And God has given you a testimony, which is simply your story to share about how He has changed (and is changing) your life. Part of your role – your responsibility – is to share your story with others so they, too, can know what God has done.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How can I help to make space here for people who aren’t coming to Church yet?
  2. How can I make new people feel that they are welcomed here in the same way that God would welcome them here?
  3. When is the last time that I shared my story and my faith in God with someone of a different faith?
  4. Am I concerned enough about someone else’s spiritual well-being to share my story with them about what God has done? If so, who?
  5. How can I become someone who freely shares my faith in God and what I’ve witnessed with others for their sake? What, specifically, do I need to do in order to become comfortable with sharing my story and my faith in God with others?