This week's Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: Mark 12:29-31
Discussion Question: How many people would accept Christ if they knew that it would bring difficulties?
Food for Thought:
Numerous times throughout Scripture, we are reminded that as Christians we will be persecuted. Ours isn't an easy road, for Satan wishes to make our lives treacherous as we seek to share the Gospel throughout the world. Missionaries in some countries encounter difficulties regularly. The International Mission Board shared the following story on their website:
Pabitra Kata and Niladri Kanhar were jailed earlier this year simply for proselytizing. Both men have suffered beatings for claiming Christianity in their small Indian province. Kata has a jagged line over his right ear where his head is caved in from an attack, and Kanhar has a lengthy scar along his right side. They endure such beatings for the sake of the Gospel.
They met more than five years ago when Kata, a pastor who wished to impact just one family for God, followed the Lord's leading to the edge of a terrorist village. He returned to his home thinking he'd made a wrong turn and continued to pray that God would lead him to a family that needed Him. Meanwhile, Kanhar who was one of the most feared terrorist leaders in the village, was praying to one his gods for healing for his family members. During the night, his oldest daughter died. Kanhar left to take her body to a hospital for the death certificate. Moments later, Kata arrived having been prodded by the Holy Spirit to return to the village and the terrorist leader's home.
Kata pleaded with the grieving mother not to give up hope but to pray "in Jesus' name" throughout the night. He promised to return the next day. The following morning, Kanhar and his daughter, who'd been pronounced dead, walked hand-in-hand back to their village. Kata, who stood in the family's doorway, extended his hand to Kanhar and introduced himself, "I'm your new friend, Pabitra Kata."
Kanhar listened as his wife explained what had happened the evening before and began to believe. By that afternoon, he had given his life to Christ. Over the next few weeks, the two men met together in Kanhar's home for prayer and Bible study. Kata told him to expect to suffer for his newfound faith. It didn't take long. He and his family were forced to leave their home; he couldn't find work; his brothers disowned him; and his children were kicked out of their school. Then Kanhar himself was brutally attacked. He leaned on God throughout the beating. Even as he was warned that he would die if he didn't return to Hinduism, Kanhar fought back saying, "Even if you kill me or my children, I will remain a Christian until my last breath. I will stand firm in the truth of Jesus Christ."
Will you stand firm for Him in the face of persecution?
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors, offering practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.LifeWay.com/MasterWork.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at www.LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.
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