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.
- Before reading, what has God been teaching you this week about the church? About yourself? About justice?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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”?
- 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?
- 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?
- Why did the jailer come to faith? Who was baptized? Why so much joy?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- How Athens like your community? Are you a scoffer or an inquirer when you hear new ideas?
- 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?
- Why are verses 26-27 so important for “people who’ve never heard”? How is the place you were born a blessing? A curse?
- 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?
- 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?