Church and Religion
Acts 4:17-42 Worthy to Suffer Dishonor For the Name Summary: There are people in the world today who suffer greatly for their faith and love for Jesus. Godís people have always experienced some form of dishonor and rejection from the rest of the world - Jesus told us to expect it if we belong to Him! Today in Acts we will see this happening to the church, and yet they are not discouraged by it! They rejoice to be counted worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus! How can this be? Letís think about it more, and hopefully get a glimpse into the joy of knowing Jesus more: Outline: When we suffer dishonor for the name of Jesus, we should ask: 1. What shall we say? 2. Whom should we obey? 3. Where is our joy? Verse: Acts 5:41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. Discussion Questions: 1. How is the church suffering here in Acts? How is it happening today in the world? In your own life? 2. What is Peterís sermon all about in this moment? Why is he always preaching this similar sermon? How can this help you when you face dishonor for Christ? 3. Are there any places in your life where you ďmust obey God rather than men?Ē How do you know when it is right to disobey the rulers over you? 4. Why are they rejoicing to be counted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus? Why would that be a cause for joy for them, or for you?
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Acts 5:12-16 A Community of Power Summary: Todayís Bible passage from Acts is all about POWER. We use and need power all the time. But the power here in Acts is all about the power of GOD at work, Godís spiritual power to heal and save and strengthen His church. During these days God was doing powerful acts of healing and saving as part of growing His church. What does Godís power look like today in the church? Letís listen and find out: Outline: 1. The power of God to heal 2. The power of God to save 3. The power of God in persecution Verse: Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes... Discussion Questions: 1. What is the purpose of al the signs and wonders happening here in Acts? Should we expect God to work in the same way today? Why or why not? 2. What were the various responses to the power of God at work in this passage? How do you see those same responses today? Who is in your life who needs to hear the Gospel? 3. Why is it so tempting for us to backdown in the face of persecution? How does this passage give us confidence in our witness?
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Text: 2 Cor. 3 Title: Unveiled Faces 1. The Veil that Separated 2. The Veil was Lifted 3. Beholding God with Unveiled Faces 4. Living life with Freedom Questions How does the New Covenant surpass the Old Covenant? (Compare and Contrast them using the Apostle Paulís terms.) How do you still live like there is a veil that separates you from God? What things need to change in your life to allow you to live in freedom before God? To live generously with the Church and Others? To build humility into your life? To endure through suffering? Kids Bulletin Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see God? I think it would be one of the coolest things that could ever happen. In the Old Testament Moses got so see God, and his face glowed. It scared the people of Israel because they saw a reflection of the holiness of God. So, they told him to put a veil over his face because they saw the glory of God. When Jesus came he removed that veil from everyone who believes so that they can behold the glory of God. This Sunday, we are going to talk about how this changes everything! Memory Verse: Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Cor. 3:17)
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1 Kings 19:1-18 Title:
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God's children will receive eternal rewards. James 5 tells us what we should do to prepare for Jesus to return.
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Acts 5:1-11 You Donít Need to Pretend Summary: Sometimes it is fun to pretend. Some of our favorite games are the ones where we imagine we are someone else! Today in Acts 5 we will see two people who pretend, but it is not a game. Sadly Ananias and Sapphira lie to God and the apostles and pretend they are being more generous than they really are. The punishment is swift. But today we can know that the Gospel of Jesus frees our hearts from having to pretend! We cannot hide from God, and donít need to. God can set us free from our pride and greed and free us up to be truly generous. Letís think about it: Outline: 1. The danger: It is possible to pretendÖfor a time 2. The awesome truth: You cannot hide from God 3. The Gospel: Jesus can set you free from from hypocrisy and greed Verse: Luke 12:15 And he said to them, ďTake care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for oneís life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.Ē Discussion Questions: Spend a few minutes contrasting Barnabas with Ananias and Sapphira. What differences do you see? What hinders your own generosity the most? What fuels the generosity of the church in this account? (See especially 4:33) How can this help you? Make concrete plans to stir up your own and/or your family's generosity in 2017. ďIs your confidence in Godís grace mingled with a healthy fear of His holiness? Have the twin truths that he searches hearts and forgives the guilty set you free to drop the masks by which you have tried to enhance your image?Ē (Dennis Johnson, Let's Study Acts).
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Acts 4:32-37 A Loving Community Summary: What does it look like when Godís Spirit begins to shape an entire church? Today we will see how the Gospel and the Spirit at work shape us into a loving and generous community that shows the grace of God to the world. Letís pray today that God would continue this good work in us! Outline: The power of the Gospel in the community of faith should produce: 1. A profound love 2. A powerful testimony 3. A generous spirit Verse: Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. Discussion Questions: What are the key characteristics of this community in Acts 4? What does it mean to be ďof one heart and soul?Ē Acts 5:4 shows us that they did not all sell every possession. So what might it mean that they had everything in common and did not believe their possessions were their own? What would that look like for you? What hinders your own generosity the most? What fuels the generosity of the church in this account? (See especially v. 33 - ďgreat graceÖ
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Acts 4:23-31 Pray for Gospel Boldness Summary: have you ever wondered why you should pray to God? Do you ever feel like he doesnít hear, or maybe doesnít even care? The disciples in Acts 4 were desperate. They had been threatened with punishment if they kept talking about Jesus! They may have been afraid. What do they do? They pray! The prayed because God is in control, even when He seems distant and the troubles seem big. Letís think about it more and learn to call on our powerful God: Outline: Because of Godís power and promises, we can pray: 1. With certainty, because all is under Godís sovereign plan 2. With courage, asking God for the strength to continue His mission 3. With expectation that God will answer Verse: Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. Discussion questions: 1. How would you characterize your prayer life? Strong? Weak? Intermittent? Why do you think that is? 2. In their desperation, the disciples turned to God in prayer. What are the prominent features of their prayer? Why do they quote from Psalm 2? 3. How should Jesusí sovereign reign (see all of Psalm 2) help our prayers, especially when we face people who are against Christ? 4. How might God want to change your prayer life this week?
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Faith in God....Love of Family
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Faith in God....Love of Family
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John 8:31-36
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Mark 2:1-17 Son your sins are forgiven Summary: Jesus wonít be taken on our terms. He doesnít act in ways that are safe or that we expect. Jesus sees the needs of his people and acts in ways that are shocking but are best for those people. Jesus isnít tame. This Sunday we are going to hear about a miracle that Jesus did that was totally unexpected, he forgives and then heals. Jesus acts beyond all expectations! Outline: 1. Unexpected Declaration 2. Unexpected Miracle 3. Unexpected Call 4. Unexpected Community 5. Unexpected Results Memory Verse: 2:17b sounds great Discussion Questions: Why does Jesus forgive the paralyticís sins first and then heal his body? How did this confront the expectations of the people gathered? The text says that Jesus saw their faith, and then that Jesus perceived the scribes spirits. Why does Mark draw this contrast between these two groups? How does this passage change the way you look at those who suffer around you? How does it move you toward evangelism?
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Daniel 1
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Acts 4:1-22 We Cannot But Speak Summary: There are times in the Christian life when we will be treated badly because of our love for Jesus and witness for Him. That might take different forms: We may be laughed at, or people try to silence us. In some cases there can be real danger. Some Christians have been arrested or even killed for seeking to tell people about Jesus. But today letís learn from the book of Acts about such tough times. Even when people resist the truth of the Gospel, Godís Word is not imprisoned! Outline: 1. Have hope, because Godís Word is unchained 2. Have conviction, because Jesusí name is the only power for salvation 3. Have courage, because when hostility rises, we must obey God rather than men Verse: Acts 4:12 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.Ē Discussion Questions: 1. Where do you see opposition to the Gospel in the world? In your own sphere? When are you most tempted to remain silent instead of speak to people about the saving power of Jesus? 2. How does Peter speak about the exclusivity of the Gospel in his defense? (See 4:12). Why is this so hard for people to hear today? How can we speak with love and truth about this when people ask ďArenít there many sincere paths to heaven?Ē 3. How can this passage give you encouragement this week to speak about Jesus to people?
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Are You Afraid? - Romans 8:18-30
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Hope for Restoration Acts 3:-11-26 Summary: Remember last week when God used Peter to heal a man whose legs didnít work? It was an amazing miracle. But it wasnít Peterís power - it was Jesusí power. And it was a little preview for us: one day God will do away with all sickness and sin and all the ways our bodies and our world donít work right. What a day that will be! Letís listen in and think more about it: Outline: 1. A promised Savior heals our true sickness 2. A call to repentance 3. A promise of relief and restoration Verse: Acts 3:13a The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus... Discussion Questions: 1. What about Peterís sermon helps you to understand the flow of the Bibleís story? Why does Peter show the people that all the prophets have ďproclaimed this days?Ē What is the heart of that story? 2. What does Peter promise that God will do for those who repent (v. 19-21)? What does he mean by ďtimes of refreshingĒ and the ďrestoring of all things?Ē Why are those so important to his hearers? How does it relate to the miracle they have just witnessed? 3. How does the hope of refreshing and final restoration help you today?
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Walking and Leaping and Praising God Acts 3:1-10 Summary: Our God is mighty and powerful and good! Today we get to see a picture of his goodness and might as he gives Peter the power to heal a man who cannot walk. The manís response is perfect! He gets up and walks and leaps and praises God!! I think we might do the same if we were him. But we have reason to jump for joy and praise God too! Letís think about it: Outline 1. A better gift 2. A powerful name 3. A perfect response Verse: Acts 3:8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. Discussion Questions: 1. Why is it important to see that the disciples were at the temple during the hour of prayer? 2. Should should this story lead us to expect miracles like this today? Why or why not? What was the original purpose of this miracle? 3. Why was it perfect for this man to respond as he did? What about Jesusí might and goodness and power might move you to the same response?
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Life in the Family of Faith Acts 2:42-47 Summary: Do you know what it means to be devoted to something or someone? When someone gets married, they promise to be devoted to their spouse - meaning they are glad to love only that person and give time and effort to their marriage. When the early church in Acts learned and believed in Jesus and saw all He had done for them, they were devoted to a whole new life of devotion. What does it look like to be devoted to Jesus? Letís look and see: Outline: 1. A learning church 2. A worshipping church 3. A loving church 4. A praying church 5. A magnetic church Verse: Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostlesí teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Discussion questions: ∑1. What are the characteristics of the early Christians in Acts 2:42-47? What was the result in their community? What was the result in their witness? 2. What parts of the early churchís life in this passage was unique to them? Why? What things do we share in common with them today? What is different about our context? 3. What would it look like for YOU to have a life devoted to Jesus? How does that compare to the devotion of the early church, and how might this text shape our own devotion? 4. Read Mark 10:45 and Philippians 2:1-11. How does the work of Christ shape our life together?
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Lord and Christ Acts 2:14-41 Summary: Have you ever had doubts or wondered if all this stuff about Jesus is really true? All of us struggle with doubt at times. On the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, many people did not believe, so Peter explained to them that the powerful work of the Holy Spirit, and the resurrection of Jesus both proved that Jesus is Lord and Savior! Today, if you doubt, letís listen to Godís word for help: Outline: 1. The gift of the Holy Spirit is proof that Jesus is Christ 2. The resurrection is proof that Jesus is the Christ 3. What shall we do? Call on the name of Jesus, repent and be baptized. Verse: Acts 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.Ē Questions: 1. Do you struggle with doubt about the truth of the Bible and Christianity? What doubts do you have? How did Peterís sermon in Acts 2 address peopleís doubts about the coming of the Holy Spirit? 2. How does Peter seek to persuade people about the truth of Jesusí identity as the Messiah? How does he use the Old Testament Scriptures in his sermon? How might this help us in our own doubts? 3. Peter was speaking to Jews who believed their Old Testaments. How might this translate into our culture today, as we seek to show Christ to unbelievers? How is it different, or similar?
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Acts 2:1-13 Pentecostal Fire Summary: Today we get to learn about one of the most amazing days in the history of Godís people: the day of Pentecost, when God sent the power of His Holy Spirit upon his church. The question is, what happened that day, and what does it mean for us today? Letís find out: Outline: The Day of Pentecost brought: 1. Godís presence with His people 3. The breaking of an ancient curse 4. Power to complete the mission Verse: Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, ďRepent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Discussion questions: 1. Why did God send His Spirit on the day of Pentecost? What did it produce? What was the significance of the Spirit coming in wind and fire? Why was it significant that they believers began speaking in tongues? 2. Should we expect that the events of Pentecost should or do still happen today? Why or why not? Why might this be a unique, unrepeatable event? 3. How does the Day of Pentecost show you the faithfulness of Jesus (see 2:22-33) to complete his mission and care for his church?
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