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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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”?
- What happens because the church prays? How can we be more earnest in prayer for each other and for our world?
- 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)?
- 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?
- 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)?
- 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?
- The Church in Antioch gives up 2 of her most gifted leaders. What does this teach us?
- When has someone gotten in the way of you sharing your faith? How did you respond? How can you imitate Paul next time?
- 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?
- How does verse 27 marry human free choice and God’s providence?
- 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?
- Why don’t we see “whole cities” assembling to hear the Word of God today? What would it take?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?