Weekly Reading Plan – July 5-12, 2020 – Acts 24-28

Weekly Reading Plan on Acts 24-28

DAY 1 – Acts 24 – Pray for peace and justice

DAY 2 – Acts 25 – Pray we’d be more concerned about being right rather than looking right

DAY 3 – Acts 26 – Pray for opportunities to share your testimony

DAY 4 – Acts 27 – Pray for victims of natural disasters

DAY 5 – Acts 28 – Pray we’d preach wherever we are.

While we are not gathering in our usual way in our building every week, it is the perfect time to reconsider what is the Church? We’ll start by reading in the book of Acts.

  1. Before reading, what has God been teaching you this week about the church? About yourself? About justice?
  2. What is Paul accused of doing? Which of these accusations are true? Is Paul a troublemaker? Is it wrong to cause trouble like Paul? Who creates similar trouble today?
  3. Tertullus contrasts Paul’s troublemaking with the “peace” Felix has provided. What kind of “peace” are they enjoying and trying to protect? Where do you see yourself longing for this false peace that cannot stand hard questions or disagreements or protests? Peace preserved by injustice is not worth having.
  4. What is Paul’s defense? What is “The Way” Paul mentions? How is “The Way” connected to the Israelite faith and the God of the Israelites’ ancestors? Why is it important for us to preserve this unbreakable connection to the Jewish faith?
  5. What is Felix afraid of? What gets in Felix’s way of faith?
  6. Why does Festus go to Jerusalem first? What political mechanisms do you see preventing justice? How do political implications and appearances still prevent justice? In your own life are you more preoccupied with what is right or what appears right to others? How can we die to the desire to please others and appear right?
  7. Why does Paul appeal to Caesar? What is he trying to accomplish?
  8. Paul is trying to be loyal to Jesus and God of Abraham, but he is accused of being “un-Jewish” or “anti-Israel”. Those are huge claims that seem appropriate to the vast majority of people listening to the trials, but what do those accusations specifically amount to? In the same way, what would it mean to be “anti-America” or “un-American”? What specific things are non-negotiably “American”?
  9. Acts 26 is my favorite chapter. What stands out in Paul’s speech? What does Paul talk about? Why are his accolades noticeably absent from this defense? Where are his defense witnesses?
  10. What role does God’s promise play in Paul’s defense and his willingness to die? How does Paul identify with his accusers and their fears? Does Paul hide his past sins? Why not?
  11. Why does Paul tell his story again? Why does Scripture record every word of it again? What does this show us about testimonies? What is yours? Who have you told your testimony to? What did God save you from? What road were you on when Jesus interrupted you? Where would you now be without the interruption? Where would you be in 10 or 20 years on that road?
  12. What is the gospel according to Paul? What transformation happens in believers according to Acts 26:18? Does it seem that drastic to you?
  13. What can we learn about God in Acts 27? What do we learn about the world and our lives in it? Why do natural disasters occur? How does God use this one?
  14. When have you failed to turn around after many warning signs appeared?  

Weekly Reading Plan – June 28 – July 5 – Acts 21-23

Weekly Reading Plan on Acts 21-23

DAY 1 – Acts 21:1-16 – Pray you’d have to be “torn away” from the Church and never give up easily

DAY 2 – Acts 21:17-36 – Pray for women ministers

DAY 3 – Acts 21:37-22:22 – Pray for other Christian Pastors (especially those you are prone to mistrust)

DAY 4 – Acts 22:23-23:11 – Pray for torturers and those tortured

DAY 5 – Acts 23:12-35 – Pray for USA to be a more just society

While we are not gathering in our usual way in our building every week, it is the perfect time to reconsider what is the Church? We’ll start by reading in the book of Acts.

  1. Before reading, what has God been teaching you this week about the church? About yourself? About justice?
  2. Paul and Luke have to “tear themselves away from [the church from Ephesus]”. When have you had to tear yourself away from church? Who have you had to tear yourself away from? Pray for that kind of connection with your congregation.
  3. What patterns do you see with Paul in each city on the way to Jerusalem? Why does he “seek out believers”? Have you ever done such while traveling? What ministries or churches would you like to seek out in the future? Who do you want to learn from?
  4. Why does Paul want to go to Jerusalem against so much advice? When have you had to go against the advice of wise believers? How do we know the will of God when others can’t see it?
  5. Why is it so instructive that Phillip has 4 unmarried daughters who are prophets? How should this change the way we think about women in ministry?
  6. How do the church leaders respond to Paul? What do they celebrate with him? What are they afraid of? Why?
  7. Why would Jewish Christians assume bad things about Paul? When Christians assumed bad things about another pastor or Christian teacher? How can we give the benefit of the doubt to folks’ faith?
  8. What are the mobs so mad about? When have you seen people respond violently out of fear and misunderstanding? Why does the commander save Paul’s life?
  9. Why does Paul address the crowd? Why does he tell them his testimony? Do you know your testimony? Who have you shared it with lately? What things does Paul emphasize in this re-telling?
  10. Why do people get so angry at this point in his story? Was it the reminder of Stephen’s murder or that Paul went to the Gentiles that angered them so much?
  11. What is it that you “have been assigned to do” (vs 10)?
  12. What things do Americans hate to be reminded of? Christians? Why?
  13. Both the Roman commander and the High Priest command people to hurt Paul? Why do they use violence? In what ways does our justice system still follow this distorted thinking? Should Christians ever use or allow torture?
  14. Why does it matter that Paul is a “Roman citizen” and a “Pharisee”? What privileges do these afford him that would not be given to other people? Which prisoners in our justice system are treated worst? Non-citizens? Uneducated? Poor? What can Christians do to better the justice system?
  15. To help think through the trials here in Acts, perhaps watch Just Mercy, to see how justice is miscarried and still so.
  16. This is a lynch mob working coordinated with complicit government. What do you know of America’s history of lynchings? Painful as it is, it will help you understand what happened to Paul? This is how people often try to get justice.
  17. Who saves Paul’s life? Who much are you investing in your nieces and nephews? Do they know your faith? Do they know your testimony?
  18. Why doesn’t Claudius Lysias let the Sanhedrin assassinate Paul? How can we work to prevent the miscarriages of justice in America?  

Weekly Reading Plan – June 21-28 – Acts 18-20

Weekly Reading Plan on Acts 18-20

DAY 1 – Acts 18:18-28 – Pray for Teachers to explain to us the way of God more Adequately

DAY 2 – Acts 19:1-22 – Pray against half-measures and for full surrender

DAY 3 – Acts 19:23-41 – Pray for professions contrary to the Gospel

DAY 4 – Acts 20:1-12 – Pray for Next Generation Leaders

DAY 5 – Acts 20:13-38 – Pray for a faith worth dying for

While we are not gathering in our usual way in our building every week, it is the perfect time to reconsider what is the Church? We’ll start by reading in the book of Acts.

  1. Before reading, what has God been teaching you this week about the church? About yourself? About justice?
  2. Why does Paul leave Corinth or Ephesus, when there still seems to be work to do? What give him the courage to decline the Ephesians’ petitions to stay longer? When have you made a similar decision?
  3.  What stands out to you about Apollos? Who does he remind you of? How should we imitate Apollos? How should we imitate Priscilla and Aquila?
  4. Who is the Holy Spirit? How do you know if you have been given the Holy Spirit? Is it necessary to speak in tongues to be filled with the Spirit?
  5. What is the difference between John’s baptism and Christian baptism?
  6. What do you learn of the power of Jesus’ name? When have you seen people without faith invoke the name of Jesus to become more powerful or convincing? The sons of Sceva show us half-hearted faith, while the sorcerors burn their tools in full submission. What prices have you paid for half-measures? What would full submission look like?
  7. Why are Demetrius and the silversmiths so upset? Who does the gospel of Jesus threaten? Which businesses would be hurt if large numbers of people converted to Jesus in the U.S.A.?
  8. What can we learn from the city clerk (vs35)? How can we imitate him, during this time?
  9. Why does Paul keep so many companions as he travels to teach? Why does he pick someone from nearly every province to become his traveling companion? Who are you travelling with and inviting along the way to learn from you and prepare for leadership? Who are you discipling? When are you with them? What else could you invite them to do with you?
  10. What does Eutychus teach us? Why is this story in the Bible? What does it show us about church? About God? About Preachers?
  11. What does Paul believe God is calling him to do? Why does he share this with the Ephesian elders? What would you have done if you were the elders? If you were Paul?
  12. What advice does he give the elders? What warnings?

Weekly Reading Plan – June 14-21 – Acts 16-18

Weekly Reading Plan on Acts 16-18

DAY 1 – Acts 16:16-40 – Pray for Worship during Suffering

DAY 2 – Acts 17:1-9 – Pray against Jealousy

DAY 3 – Acts 17:10-15 – Pray Verse 11 for Oakland

DAY 4 – Acts 17:16-34 – Pray for Cultural Touchpoints

DAY 5 – Acts 18:1-17 – Pray for divine appointments

While we are not gathering in our building every week, it is the perfect time to reconsider what is the Church? We’ll start by reading in the book of Acts.

  1. Before reading, what has God been teaching you this week about the church? About yourself? About justice?
  2. Why is Paul annoyed? What kind of spirit is this? Do you believe spirits like this exist still? Is this spirit a blessing or a curse to the woman?
  3. Why do the woman’s owners get so angry? What have Paul and Silas just destroyed? How does God destroy businesses today? Should we as a church seek the closure of exploitative businesses?
  4. What do you imagine this beating looked like? What I the closest thing you have seen to this extrajudicial beating by policing authorities? Why do the officials/magistrates try to hush this up and send the men on their way quickly? Where do you see misjustice hushed up for the sake of “getting back to normal”?
  5. How in the world can Paul and Silas worship in jail after being beaten nearly to death? When have you worshipped after a literal (or metaphorical) beating? What gave you the desire or ability? Why are they praising God? What do they have to praise God for?
  6. Vs. 25 says all the other prisoners were listening to them. When has your praise during suffering influenced people around you? Why is worship during suffering so powerful to non-believers?
  7. Why did the jailer come to faith? Who was baptized? Why so much joy?
  8. Paul reasoned with the Jews in the synagogue from the Scriptures. Do you feel capable of doing so? Could you demonstrate that Jesus was the Messiah from the Bible to a friend? Why or why not? What would you need to do so? Where can you seek out that kind of training?
  9. Riots are common practice both then and now. Peaceful protest is always a miracle of God. Why are people rioting in vs 5? Could the church be accused today of “causing trouble all over the world”? Would it be good trouble or sinful trouble? Where is God calling Oakland to “cause trouble”? Where are you?
  10. What is so noble about the Berean Jews? Do you “receive the message with great eagerness and examine the Scriptures to see if what [Andrew] said was true?” When you disagree with someone do you search the Scriptures for insight or trust your feelings?
  11. What does Paul do with his time in Athens while he is waiting on Silas and Timothy? Where does he preach? Why does Paul always start in the synagogues? Why does he not preach only in the synagogues? How can you and I imitate this?
  12. How Athens like your community? Are you a scoffer or an inquirer when you hear new ideas?
  13. What local ideas and cultural items does Paul use to explain the gospel? How can we do the same? What cultural symbols around us provide gateways into sharing Jesus?
  14. Why are verses 26-27 so important for “people who’ve never heard”? How is the place you were born a blessing? A curse?
  15. Does it surprise you that such a powerful preacher is a construction worker? When has God used a surprising person to pastor you? What divine appointments have you had with people?
  16. When should we shake the dust off and leave people? When should we stop preaching to people who’ve rejected the gospel multiple times and focus on people who’ve never heard it?

Weekly Reading Plan – June 7-14 – Acts 14-16

Weekly Reading Plan on Acts 14-16

DAY 1 – Acts 14:21-28 – Pray for Courageous Church Leaders who have been attacked

DAY 2 – Acts 15:1-21 – Pray for Church leaders to listen to each other well

DAY 3 – Acts 15:22-35 – Pray for us not to make it difficult for non-believers turning to God

DAY 4 – Acts 15:36-16:10 – Pray for a New Generation of Church Leaders

DAY 5 – Acts 16:11-15 – Pray for women believers and leaders

While we are not gathering in our building every week, it is the perfect time to reconsider what is the Church? We’ll start by reading in the book of Acts.

  1. Before reading, what has God been teaching you this week about the church? About yourself? About justice?
  2. Paul and Barnabas have already been to Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra; and were nearly killed in each place. Why do they return? Why do they go back to such dangerous places?
  3. How do you strengthen and encourage believers? Who is strengthening and encouraging you? Who are you strengthening and encouraging? How is this connected to appointing elders? Why does Paul appoint elders rather than congregational election?
  4. What is Paul’s relationship with Antioch Church? Why does Paul give a report? Is he bragging? How can we tell testimonies of God’s ministry through us without bragging?
  5. Why are Paul and Barnabas in “sharp dispute and debate” over circumcision? What do the opposition want happen and why? Why can Gentiles be saved without being circumcised and becoming Jewish, if Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and Christianity really just the fulfillment of Judaism?
  6. What kinds of “laws” do people try to require of Christian converts today if they are “really saved”? What is the role of obedience in salvation? Why do Christians not obey all the Old Testament regulations? Why do Christians obey Christ’s commandments?
  7. If you are a parent, how did you make your decision to circumcise or not circumcise your sons?
  8. How would you summarize Peter, Paul, and Barnabas’ arguments that the Gentiles do not need to be circumcised in order to be acceptable to God? How do you recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit in others? How can you tell if God has accepted a person?
  9. What should we NOT do as a church according to James (vs 19)? What things does Oakland do right now that “make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God”? What traditions, programs, events, etc. make it difficult for non-believers who are turning to God to enter in and belong at Oakland?
  10. Why does James still tell Gentiles to abstain from 3 things in verse 20? What would these hurt?
  11. What does the Church leadership do to share their decision? Why do they send extra people and a letter? Verse 28 says “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us”? How are these things different but connected? How can you tell what seems good to the Holy Spirit? Is it just a democratic vote or is there something more supernatural than that?
  12. Don’t you want to be part of the Antioch church?
  13. What do 15:36-41 teach you about the church? Is she perfect? Who was wrong?
  14. What stands out to you about Timothy? Are both of Timothy’s parents believers? How might this encourage you if you’re in a mixed-faith marriage? How might Timothy encourage you if you are a child of mixed-faith parents? Should Christians intermarry with non-believers? What do we sacrifice by doing so? Should people who become believers after marrying, divorce their unbelieving spouse?
  15. Who kept Paul from preaching in Asia? When have you been kept in check by the Holy Spirit? How did you know it was the Holy Spirit? How is the Spirit related to Jesus (vs7)? Does the Spirit still do these kinds of things?
  16. Why does Paul head for a leading city? Should Christians focus extra effort on metro areas? Why do they go to a “place of prayer” instead of a synagogue?
  17. What can you deduce about Lydia? How wealthy is she? Who opens her heart? Who opened your heart? Who opens anyone you share with’s heart? How can this humble and encourage us?

Weekly Reading Plan – May 31-June 7, 2020 – Acts 12-14

Weekly Reading Plan on Acts 12-14

DAY 1 – Acts 12:1-19 – Pray for People protesting 400 years of racial injustice

DAY 2 – Acts 12:20-25 – Pray for idolatrous leaders

DAY 3 – Acts 13:1-12 – Pray we’d be like Antioch

DAY 4 – Acts 13:13-52 – Pray thanksgiving for God’s whole story of faithfulness

DAY 5 – Acts 14:1-20 – Pray we would be faithful even if it’s not popular or safe

While we are not gathering in our building every week, it is the perfect time to reconsider what is the Church? We’ll start by reading in the book of Acts.

  1. Before reading, consider the following: what did you learn about church last week? How is social distancing changing your understanding and appreciation of the church?
  2. Why is Herod arresting Christians? What/who are Christians threatening? What would you allow yourself to be arrested over because of your faith? How can the current peaceful protests help you imagine this story better?
  3. What does a church “earnestly praying” look like in your mind? Is it organized gatherings or lots of individuals praying separately? What is the most powerful prayer service you’ve ever been a part of? When have you seen a church “earnestly pray”?
  4. What happens because the church prays? How can we be more earnest in prayer for each other and for our world?
  5. Do you think angels still work like this? When have you been helped by an angel (even if you didn’t understand it at the time)?
  6. Herod’s worm-death is hard to believe but is attested to outside the Bible: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_Agrippa#Reign_and_death The story goes that he dressed in solid silver to reign over Olympic-like games when he fell terribly ill?
  7. How are we like Herod Agrippa? When do we accept the praise that is only due to God? When do we give it (even jokingly)?
  8. Antioch is Paul’s “home church”. What does the church in Antioch teach us? What is the ethnic/economic makeup of their leadership? What should this teach us? What do they teach us about worship and fasting? Do you expect to hear God the same way?
  9. The Church in Antioch gives up 2 of her most gifted leaders. What does this teach us?
  10. When has someone gotten in the way of you sharing your faith? How did you respond? How can you imitate Paul next time?
  11.  Could you tell the whole story of the Bible from memory like Paul? The Apostles do this over and over in Acts. Why is this so important? Why are fulfilled prophecies so important?
  12. How does verse 27 marry human free choice and God’s providence?
  13. Why is the resurrection so important for the forgiveness of sins? WRITE verses 13:38-39 in your own handwriting. Then write them in your own words. What do they mean for your life? How would you explain this to someone?
  14. Why don’t we see “whole cities” assembling to hear the Word of God today? What would it take?
  15. Why do important people get in the way of the gospel? Why do affluence and power make it so hard for a person to hear and believe the gospel? What challenges does this present to us?
  16. How does God confirm Paul’s message in 14:3? How is he confirming it at Oakland? Why are miracles and preaching not enough for some people? How do Paul and Barnabas deal with rejection? How do you? How can we be more like Paul and Barnabas, and not swayed by the winds of people’s opinions or crushed by people’s rejection of our ministry?
  17. How are Paul and Barnabas contrasted against Herod in Acts 12? Why are the people angry when Paul and Barnabas won’t accept sacrifices and praises? How does this remind you of people’s response to Jesus? How can they go from sacrificing to stoning so quickly?

Weekly Reading Plan – May 17-24 – Acts 9-11

Weekly Reading Plan on Acts 9-11

DAY 1 – Acts 9:32-43 – Pray for those who are not healed by God

DAY 2 – Acts 10:1-23 – Pray for God to use this Quarantine to prepare us for what’s next

DAY 3 – Acts 10:24-48 – Pray we’d share with Family like Cornelius and with the nations like Peter

DAY 4 – Acts 11:1-18 – Pray for courage to retell God-stories over and over

DAY 5 – Acts 11:19-30 – Pray for Oakland to be like Antioch

While we are not gathering in our building every week, it is the perfect time to reconsider what is the Church? We’ll start by reading in the book of Acts.

  1. Before reading, consider the following: what did you learn about church last week? How is social distancing changing your understanding and appreciation of the church?
  2. Why is Peter traveling? Have you ever traveled for the purpose of “visiting the Lord’s people who lived in _________”? Could you plan a vacation around a ministry or church or mission you wanted to visit and encourage? Do you normally attend worship on vacation?
  3. In Acts, miracles grab people’s attention, but what does it mean to “turn to the Lord”? What does that mean? How is that different from believing Jesus can heal a paralyzed man?
  4. Is it fair that some people get healed (Aeneas and Dorcas), while surely there were other sick people who did not get healed? How do you deal with this reality in your own life? Is God fair or is God just? What is the difference?
  5. What was Dorcas known for? What will you be known for? What would an honest obituary say about you?
  6. Should we raise people from the dead? Should we pray for healing? If so, when?  
  7. Peter is staying with Simon the Tanner. Tanning is treating dead animal skins and makes a person unclean in the OT, but Peter is still staying with him. How is this preparation for what happens with Cornelius? When have you seen God prepare you ahead of time for something coming? Who are you friends with because of Jesus, but would not ordinarily hangout with (like Simon the tanner or Cornelius)?
  8. Who does Cornelius talk to about his faith? Who does he share his Godsightings with (vss 2,7-8)?
  9. What do you learn about prayer from Cornelius and Peter? How does God speak to people now? What has he been telling you lately? Where do you see God’s timing in this story and in your life?
  10. How can you imitate Cornelius? Verse 24? Verse 33? Is your attitude like Cornelius? How can you imitate Peter? Unlike Cornelius do you withhold your testimony about Jesus and Godsightings  from your family? Unlike Peter do you have any friends of different national or ethnic origin?
  11. Is there anything wrong with a church of all one race? Should every church be multi-racial and multi-cultural? How do you recognize the Holy Spirit in someone’s life?
  12. Why does the Bible rerecord the story in Acts 11:1-18? Why not just say “So Peter told them what happened?” How does Peter use this story to teach some theology? Why is this so effective?
  13. The Church at Antioch is my hero church? What do you learn from this church? How could Oakland be more like Antioch?

Weekly Reading Plan – May 10-17, 2020

Weekly Reading Plan on Acts 8-9

DAY 1 – Acts 8:1-8 – Pray for the Church to Preach where Scattered

DAY 2 – Acts 8:9-25 – Pray for Old Ways of Thinking to Die

DAY 3 – Acts 8:26-40 – Pray for the Holy Spirit’s Leading and Platform

DAY 4 – Acts 9:1-18 – Pray for person you think is least likely to follow Jesus.

DAY 5 – Acts 9:19-31 – Pray for us to grow more and more powerful.

While we are not gathering in our building every week, it is the perfect time to reconsider what is the Church? We’ll start by reading in the book of Acts.

  1. Before reading, consider the following: what did you learn about church last week? How is social distancing changing your understanding and appreciation of the church?
  2. What is persecution? How much do you know about historical and contemporary persecution of Christians? What happens to the church because of the persecution? What are the blessings of persecution?
  3. What were the dangers of going to church in Acts 8? Who did you put in danger by gathering for worship? Any similarities to us?
  4. The church was scattered like we are scattered. What did they do once scattered? Have you been imitating them? Would you keep preaching and healing if it meant being arrested or chased? Why would Philip risk his safety, and yet we find it hard to risk our reputation or social status?
  5. Does your household pray for miracles? Do you retell stories of past miracles?
  6. What is the big deal about preaching to Samaritans? Fulfills Acts 1:8. Why does the Holy Spirit come through someone else’s prayers? Why is spiritually not purely God and me? What does this teach us about God? When did the Holy Spirit come on you? What is the first experience of the Holy Spirit you can remember?
  7. What motivated Simon? What old habits and economies led him to this behavior which is contrary to the Kingdom? What old habits and economics fight the Kingdom within you? What does verse 23 warn us against? Bitterness is so deadly? How are you surrendering it?
  8. How does Simon respond to rebuke? How do you?
  9. How does the Spirit prompt Philip? How does the Spirit prompt you? How would you train someone to recognize the voice of God?
  10. When have you felt like the eunuch reading the Bible? How does Philip enter into a spiritual conversation and salvation conversation? What breaks the ice?
  11. Where does Philip preach in verse 40? This is a bit of a refrain, “and they preached everywhere they went”. What would the refrain be of Oakland? The American church?
  12. Who is Paul persecuting? How much does Jesus identify with his Church? When someone hurts you how does Jesus feel? When you hurt another believer, how does Jesus feel?
  13. What would you do if you were Ananias? How hard would it be to trust Paul’s conversion? What would verify it for you? What did Ananias risk? Why did Paul have to go to Ananias even after meeting Jesus firsthand? Who explained your spiritual experiences to you?
  14. How long did Saul wait to start preaching and ministering? How long did you wait? How can we be more like Paul?
  15. What does it mean to live “in the fear of the Lord and the encouraged by the Holy Spirit”?

Weekly Reading Plan – May 3-10, 2020

Weekly Reading Plan on Acts 5-7

DAY 1 – Acts 5:12-16 – Pray for Signs and Wonders

DAY 2 – Acts 5:17-41 – Pray for the Teaching about Jesus to fill JoCo

DAY 3 – Acts 6:1-7 – Pray for Oakland to be faithful to our elderly

DAY 4 – Acts 6:8-15 – Pray for us to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.

DAY 5 – Acts 7 – Pray for bold suffering.

While we are not gathering in our building every week, it is the perfect time to reconsider what is the Church? We’ll start by reading in the book of Acts.

  1. Before reading, consider the following: what did you learn about church last week? How is social distancing changing your understanding and appreciation of the church?
  2. The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. Do signs and wonders still happen? Should the church perform signs and wonders? Has God every performed a miracle through you? Have you asked him to? Have you given him opportunity to? Have prayed for the sick or bedeviled?
  3. What do you think about Acts 5:13 and 5:14? How are these both true? What didn’t people dare join the disciples? What were they afraid of? Does this same kind of fear still pervade churches?
  4. The Sadducees act out jealousy. What have you done because of Jealously? What currently causes you jealously or covetousness or discontent? How can you take that to Jesus instead of sinning?
  5. How could a Jerusalem be filled with the teaching about Jesus so quickly? Who is doing this teaching? Has to be more than the disciples. Who have you taught about Jesus? How could we fill Cleveland/JoCo with the teaching about Jesus?
  6. How does Gamaliel’s argument support the validity of the disciples claims? If Jesus were not the messiah, what would have happened?
  7. “for if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.” When have you failed by following human wisdom or your best plans? When have churches and Oakland failed by following human wisdom?
  8. “But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourself fighting against God.” How is this encouraging for believers? What will stop the church on the mission of God? What is God’s will for the Church?
  9. How long did the church make it before there was complaining? Why does complaining happen in God’s people (Israel in the wilderness and the church in Acts)? Was something actually wrong? Yeah there was. What does this teach us about addressing failures in church? Why will the church fail us sometimes?
  10. How can you tell if someone is full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom?
  11. Should we be like Stephen? How? Spend time praying for the same wisdom, Holy Spirit, and boldness that lead Stephen.

Weekly Reading Plan – April 26 – May 3, 2020

Weekly Reading Plan on Acts 3-5

DAY 1 – Acts 3:1-10 – Pray for Chances to Pray For Healing With Others

DAY 2 – Acts 3:11-26 – Pray for Stories of Transformation to Open the Way for Sharing the Gospel

DAY 3 – Acts 4:1-21 – Pray for Oakland to be Acts 4:13 People

DAY 4 – Acts 4:21-37 – Pray Acts 4:29-30 for Oakland. For bold words and miraculous wonders from the Holy Spirit

DAY 5 – Acts 5:1-11 – Pray for reverent fear of sin and God’s holiness.

While we are not gathering in our building every week, it is the perfect time to reconsider what is the Church? We’ll start by reading in the book of Acts.

  1. Before reading, consider the following: what did you learn about church last week? How is social distancing changing your understanding and appreciation of the church?
  2. What are Peter and John doing? Why? Why is it important for us to remember that these men were Jews and thought of the gospel as Jewish good news and the fulfillment of God’s promises to the Jews? What happens when we divorce Jesus from Israel?
  3. How would you describe Peter and John’s interaction with this man? Do your interactions with beggars look like this? Why? Why does the Bible emphasize eye contact in verse 4? What does this teach us generally about church? How can you “look straight at” people and let them look at you?
  4. Why don’t Peter and John give money to the man? What do they give him? What does it mean to always give “what I do have”? How can you imitate them? Do you have courage to pray for/with people? Do you believe God heals? When has God healed you physically, emotionally, spiritually?
  5. In Acts 2, the disciples went to the temple everyday, but it is only on this day that they heal him. How many times do you think they had passed him? What does this show us about God’s healing time and decision?
  6. How did people respond to the healing? How should this motivate us to seek healing and recount stories of personal transformation?
  7. What doe Peter and John preach? How is this like Peter’s sermon in Acts 2? Why would Acts record this sermon, when it’s so similar to Acts 2, instead of just saying, “Peter told them about Jesus”? How does Peter jump from the healing to the cross and resurrection? How can you transition from an everyday moment to the cross?
  8. What is so threatening to the Sadducees and guard? When have you seen Christians villainized for helping people?
  9. What is the crux of Peter’s comments to them? What does verse 12 mean? This is the 3rd “sermon” in Acts. What have we learned about preaching from these 3?
  10. What did the leaders notice about Peter and John in verse 13? These are the people that make church powerful. Do you resonate with them?
  11. How did the apostles respond to this confrontation and command? What did the church do together? How can we do this? What do the apostles pray for? Safety or boldness? Which would you rather have? Would you rather be part of a safe church or a bold church?
  12.  Pray Acts 4:29-30 over Oakland.
  13.  What do you learn about church from Acts 4:32-37? How does it make you feel?
  14. How do you feel reading about Ananias and Sapphira? What was there sin? What does this teach us about the holiness of God and his Church? Why are we so uncomfortable with this kind of holiness that hates sin? Why is lying so despicable? Would you join the church if you heard this story? Why did people?