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OPINION

BIBLE STUDY: Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curriculum and additional resources for all age groups.
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This week's Bible study is adapted from the YOU! curriculum.

Bible Passage: Luke 5:1-11

Discussion Question: How have you seen Jesus working progressively in your life?

Food for Thought:

Several years ago, Jim Cymbala, pastor at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, told the story of how Jesus worked on his heart following an Easter service. Cymbala and his pastoral staff had just finished a wonderful service that ended with several people coming forward. As those people were greeted and counseled by staff members, Cymbala was approached by a filthy, smelly man whom Cymbala wrongfully assumed was only after money. As he reached into his pocket to hand the disheveled man some cash, the man stopped him with words that convicted Cymbala to his core, "I don't want your money. I want this Jesus, the One you were talking about, because I'm not going to make it. I'm going to die on the street."

Cymbala recalls that for a brief moment, he forgot about this man standing in front of him. He was overwhelmed by how Jesus had sent this person to him, and he'd tried to toss him aside with an offer of a few dollars. Cymbala pleaded with the Father, "Forgive me! Forgive me! Please forgive me. I am so sorry to represent You this way…. You send somebody and I am not ready for it."

As Cymbala began to sob, the man cried with him. He accepted Christ and was changed. The church helped find him a home, hired him to do maintenance work in the church building and arranged for much-needed dental work. Cymbala's family even hosted the man for Thanksgiving and Christmas that year. Eventually, the man was ordained -- in Cymbala's church. He remembers that Easter Sunday and how he was so close to saying, "Here take this ; I'm a busy preacher."

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ABOUT THE YOU! CURRICULUM

Intentionally focused on urban and multicultural believers, YOU! is biblically-based with culturally relevant lessons to help people connect, grow, serve and ultimately be engaged in impacting the world for God. This flexible quarterly resource offers weekly Bible study for leaders and learners, devotionals and teaching plans as well as articles on hot topics and missions. For more information, visit www.LifeWay.com/YOU.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at www.LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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