November 12, 2018
Main Idea: When others misunderstand our faith in Christ, we can still share Jesus without fear.
Talk with your group: Many people view personal happiness as their highest good and greatest goal. Do you agree with this viewpoint? Why do we try to avoid suffering at all cost? What are some of the results of striving for happiness on our children, parents, employees and employers?
Have you ever been misunderstood because of your faith? Read Acts 21:1-16. Why do you think Paul’s friends misunderstood him? Why do we sometimes interpret the Spirit’s guidance differently? When Paul’s friends reacted to his plans so strongly, how did it make him feel?
James and other leaders rejoiced in Paul’s report but they also shared accusations against him and advised him to fulfill a Jewish custom (read Acts 21:17-26). Why do you think they counseled him in this way (Numbers 6:9-12)? Did Paul compromise his beliefs by following their advice (1 Cor. 9:19-23)? What happened as a result of Paul’s actions (read Acts 21:27-36)?
Though beaten, Paul sees his challenging situation as an opportunity to share the good news of Christ. Read Acts 21:37-22:21. How would you summarize what Paul said to the Jews? How did he shape his speech to connect with his Jewish audience? Why were they so angry?
How did God protect Paul from the Jews and harsh punishment from the Romans (read Acts 21:22-29)? Why did he feel it necessary to appeal to his Roman citizenship?
Do you currently disagree with other believers about the Spirit’s guidance in some area? What should we do when we disagree about God’s will with friends or church members?
Have you ever had to offer a defense of your faith, or to share your hope in Christ with a hostile audience? What happened as a result? What would you do differently next time?
Will God always protect us from harm when people oppose our witness? How does David (Psalm 23:4) and Peter (1 Peter 3:13-17) give us confidence as we share our faith?
ASSIGNMENT: We learn helpful lessons about sharing our story from Paul’s example (Acts 22:1-21). How did Paul share a) his life before he met Christ, b) how he met Christ, and c) what happened in his life as a result of following Jesus? Challenge each other to write your own faith story and share it with your Life Group in coming weeks.