Yet Another Example of God at Work
I. A THREE-PART story. (v.1-48; Acts 1:1-2)
A. God at work BEFORE the VISION. (v.1-8)
B. God IS at work DURING. (v.9-22)
C. God CONTINUES working AFTER. (v.23-48)
Luke reminds us at at the very beginning that the book of Acts (traditionally called the Acts of the Apostles) is really the acts that Jesus is continuing to do through them. God is very much at work, even though the physical body of Jesus has ascended into heaven.
1. Kid’s Question: What do you think God is doing right now?
2. As you look at your own life, what are some ways that you have seen or are seeing God at work?
II. HEAR what the story is SAYING. (v.1-48)
A. The GOSPEL is for EVERYONE. (v.1-9,34-35)
B. Peter is LEARNING as he GOES. (v.9-22,34-35,47)
C. And NOW, a Gentile PENTECOST. (v.23-48)
D. God will COMPLETE what He has STARTED. (Acts 1:8; 10:47)
The text has a lot to teach us. It’s more than just a story of what happened, it’s a way of gaining insight into the methods and priorities of this God who is working all the time around and in us. There are several things about those methods and priorities that into focus as we look at the text.
3. What are subtle ways that we or the church as a whole communicate that the gospel is only for a certain type of people?
4. How do we balance “holding fast to the truth” and being open to new realizations as we follow Jesus? What are the challenges that come with that?
5. Where are you currently finding it hard to believe that “God will finish what He has started”? How can you share that concern with someone else as a need for prayer?
III. HEARING the story at a DEEPER level. (Mark 4:9)
A. The EARTH is the LORD’S. (v.34-35; Ps 24:1; Hab. 2:14)
B. Following involves MOVEMENT and GROWTH. (v.28-29; Mt. 4:18-20)
C. Staying OPEN to continual REALIZATION. (v.9-22,34; Jn 13:7)
D. God may UNDO you in order to REDO you. (v.16; Is. 6:1-8)
The story has a lot to teach us…but we want more than that. We want to hear the truth deeply. We want it to be transformative in our own lives. In the gospel of Mark Jesus said, Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” This is what we want to do today…to hear at the heart level and to become more like Christ.
6. How would a deep and unshaken conviction of the truth of Ps. 24:1 impact your own situation at the moment? How can you live toward that conviction?
7. On a scale of 1-10, rate yourself in regards to openness to new realizations. How would those close to you rate you?
8. When has God “undone” you? What was that like?