Missions: God's Heart for the World LifeGuide Topical Bible StudiesMissions: God's Heart for the World LifeGuide Topical Bible Studies
Paul Borthwick
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Beginning in Genesis the Bible is the story of God pursuing his people. This brief guide gives us a survey of how God reaches out to the world—through Jesus and through human ambassadors like us. The call to "missions" is not for a select group but is part of God's call to every Christian.In these studies you will discover your part in God's plan.

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Study 1

God the Seeker

Genesis 3:1-9

Why be involved in missions? Our mission in the world is rooted in the character of God. What we do flows from our understanding of who God is. If this is true, then the key question becomes, Who is this God?

GROUP DISCUSSION. When you think of God, what comes to mind? What adjectives or images would you use to describe God’s character?

PERSONAL REFLECTION. When you contemplate your own relationship with God, what aspects of God’s character are the most personal or intimate to you?

At this point in the Bible the story of creation has been recounted twice in Genesis 1 and 2. Adam and Eve are living in complete harmony in their relationship with God and with each other in an environment that God himself has declared “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Read Genesis 3:1-9.


1. What does the serpent do to undermine the harmony of Adam an Eve’s relationship with God (vv. 1-5)?

2. Imagine yourself as Eve. What factors would you have been weighing as you decided whether or not to eat the fruit?

What do you think entered into Adam’s decision to eat the fruit?

3. Do you think it was wrong for them to know good and evil (v. 5)? Explain.

4. How does Adam and Eve’s action affect their relationship with each other (compare Genesis 2:25 with 3:7)?

5. How does Adam and Eve’s action affect their relationship with God (v.8)?

6. Consider God’s actions in verses 8-10. What do these verses reveal about him?

7. In a world of people who are rebelling against God, how might we imitate God’s action toward Adam and Eve?

8. What difference does it make in your life to know that God came looking for you—even when you were still a lost sinner?

9. Adam and Eve walked away from God because they listened to lies (or at least half-truths). What lies do you see people believing today which separate them from each other and from God?

10. Adam and Eve made the choice to sin, yet God, the sinned-against-one in this case, still came looking for them. What is our responsibility for taking the initiative in going out after others, even those who have intentionally wronged us or sinned against God?

11. Imagine that you’re talking with a friend who insists, “God could never forgive me after all that I’ve done.” How would you use this passage to introduce that person to God’s grace?

Ask God to give you the opportunity today to reach out and be his voice, saying to an alienated person, “God loves you; he’s looking for you.”

Now or Later
Reflect on a time-either past or present—when something in your life made you want to hide from God. Hear God’s voice saying, “Where are you?” and rejoice that he never gives up in his pursuit.

Luke’s Gospel focuses on God’s pursuit of things lost. In Luke 15 Jesus tells us of the pursuit of the lost coin, the lost sheep and the lost son, all as analogies of the loving God looking for us. Read Luke 19:1-10 and observe Jesus saying, “Where are you?” to Zacchaeus Celebrate your own found-ness as Zacchaeus did, and memorize Luke 19:10 as your mission.