October 14, 2018
When the way is hard, how do we endure it?
Matthew 13:24-30; Ephesians 6:12
Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 55:3; Psalm 16:10
How do we apply this today?
Main Idea: God calls, equips and empowers his church to proclaim the gospel despite opposition and we give thanks to him for his saving power.
Fasting for health reasons is gaining popularity in the USA. What is the role of fasting in your life?
In Acts 13:1-3 we see the early church worshiping with fasting and prayer. What is the purpose for fasting according to Scripture? Why is it important? How should we practice it? What should we expect when we fast? Read 1 Samuel 7:6; Ezra 10:6; Isaiah 58:1-14; Matthew 6:17-18 and Acts 4:23.
Read Acts 13:1-13. Why were “worshiping and fasting” (13:2) important preparations for hearing the Spirit speak? Why did the believers lay hands on Barnabas and Saul as they prepared to leave?
As they were sent out by the Spirit, where did they go? Why begin in the synagogue (13:4-5; Rom. 1:16)? What threat did they face and how was God’s power displayed (13:6-12)? Why was Saul’s name changed (13:9)? What happened to Mark and why did he depart (13:13)?
Acts 13:14-52 is a helpful example of ministry in southern Turkey. What lessons for witnessing were drawn from this text? Which one is most meaningful to you and why? How did Paul use Scripture in witnessing and what can we learn from this practice (Acts 13:26-37, 41, 47)?
In Acts 14:1-23, Paul and Barnabas experience painful opposition in Iconium and Lystra. How did they respond to these severe attacks? How was their message to these Gentiles different than what they said to the Jews (14:15-17)? What can we learn from their approach?
As Paul and Barnabas travel back to Antioch, what were they doing (Acts 14:21-28)? Why is it important to provide an opportunity in the church to report on God’s power and the evidences of his grace? How is this helpful for our spiritual growth?
One encouraging aspect of witnessing is understanding God’s role and our role in sharing the good news. As a group read Acts 13:48-49 and discuss how God’s sovereignty and human responsibility work toward the spread of the gospel. Make a goal to share the good news with one person this week and be prepared to share your experience with your group next week.