Mission – Acts Living into the Big Story Acts 13:13-52 April 22nd, 2018
I.The STORY of the JEWS. (v.13-41)
A. INITIATED and SUSTAINED by God. (v.13-22)
B. DIRECTED to a specific END. (v.23-31)
C. Scripture PROMISED and FULFILLED. (v.32-41)
D. Making ROOM for the UNEXPECTED. (c.41; Hab 1:5)
E. RESPONSES always VARY. (v.42-52)
Acts 13 is a long section of Paul addressing both Jews and God seeking Gentiles in a synagogue in Pisidian Antioch during his first (of 4) missionary journeys. He spends his time anchoring the message of Jesus and the resurrection in the Scriptures and history of the Old Testament. He started with the story of the Jews.
1. What do you see in Paul’s recounting of the Jewish “story” that speaks to you of who God is and how He acts?
2. God’s story takes hundreds of years to get to Jesus. What does that teach us about how God works?
II. We ALL have a STORY.
A. Paul’s PAST was for EQUIPPING. (v.13-41; 22:3)
B. HIs PRESENT was to WITNESS. (v.15-16, 43-46; 22:12-16)
C. His future was KNOWN and UNKNOWN. (v.50-52; Acts 20:22-24)
Paul was wise in anchoring Jesus in the story of the Jews, because we all have a story. It’s a way we look at our life. He had realized that God had been directing his own story all the way up to that meeting on the road to Damascus. Realizing what God was doing and showing in Paul’s life was much like what God was doing in the lives of the Jewish nation helps us to understand that nothing happens by accident.
3. If the story of your life had section headings for each segment, what would they be?
4. What events or experiences in the past have been formational in who you are today? How did you view those events/experiences at the time?
5. Look at how Paul views his future in Acts 20:22-24. Does that speak to the way you view your future?
III. Living INTO God’s STORY.
A. God INITIATED and SUSTAINS this story. (Eph. 1:4-10)
B. Your PAST is never WASTED. (Rom. 8:28)
C. Your future is OPEN yet ASSURED. (Lk 1:38)
D. Your ROLE is as a WITNESS. (Acts 4:18-20; I Jn 1:1)
E. And WITNESS flows from “WITH-NESS”. (Mark 3:14; Phil. 3:4-11)
As Paul lived out the story God had written for him he became more and more aware of how that story fit into the story that God is writing for the whole world. The same is true for you and me. There are some powerful reminders that lie under the surface of the message in Pisidian Antioch that stretch all the way to Hope, BC and beyond.
6. What parts of your past are hard to accept? Can you trust by faith that God is using them and that they weren’t wasted? If so, how could (or does) that impact your present?
7. What does being a witness look like in your shoes?
8. In what ways are you seeking to develop your “with-ness”?