July 23, 2023
Message Big Idea
In this week’s passage, Luke tells of the first missionary journey, sent out from the church of Antioch. We can observe some very helpful traits for missional living. Paul and Barnabas displayed a passion for the gospel accompanied by signs and wonders, always directing attention toward God. Furthermore, they continually sought to encourage the body of Christ, especially with testimony concerning this drastic expansion of God’s people!
- Has anyone ever recognized where you were from by something you said or did? What gave you away? Was it source of embarrassment or pride for you?
- Read Acts 14.
- Discuss/highlight the parts of this passage which intrigued you most? What stood out? Why?
- Share/reflect on key highlights or takeaways from the previous Sunday’s message (Key Points on next page). What jumped out at you as impactful and/or made you want to know more?
- What are some things people in America are commonly passionate about? How do they display this passion? In what ways can you discern where someone’s passions lie?
- How would you rate the average American church-goer’s passion for the gospel? How can you tell? Is this country usually seen as a mission field as John David stated?
- Now spend some time in reflection concerning your own passion for the gospel. How does it rank among your other passions? Is there anything higher that receives more of your time, talent and treasure?
- What is a tangible way you can increase your passion for the gospel this week? How can you approach your home, your workplace, and everywhere in between as a mission field?
- Paul and Barnabas, as a part of their missionary journey, returned to testify concerning God’s work among the Gentiles. Do you see ways in which God is acting in concert with your missional efforts? Are you actively sharing stories concerning God’s work in your missional context? Who can you share with this week?
Live It Out
- What one truth from this passage would you like to take to heart and act upon? How will this affect you?
- Who will you share this with this week?
Throughout the summer, this section will consist of four areas which will help prepare for the upcoming Sunday’s sermon: a scriptural read ahead, a commentary on the passage, a reflective exercise, and a weekly practice.
- Scriptural Read Ahead: Acts 15
- Acts 15 Commentary: Matthew Henry’s Commentary https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/Act/Act_015.cfm
(Note, commentaries are not without error. Prudent commentary use will lead one to have confidence where consensus exists across commentators while holding loosely where disagreement arises.)
Reflective Exercise: Spend some time this week considering your current missional context. If you have not considered yourself on mission, try to reframe your perspective toward your home, workplace, and everywhere else you are involved (e.g., gym, coffeeshop, etc.). Think about those you regularly interact with. Have they been presented with the gospel?
Weekly Practice: Identify one person within your missional context who needs to hear the gospel. Diligently pray for an opportunity to present them with the gospel. Afterwards, share with someone from church how that interaction went. How was God faithful in that moment?
Sunday’s Sermons Key Points:
- They were passionate and resilient about the gospel.
- Their preaching of the gospel was accompanied by miracles – signs and wonders.
- They pointed people to God and not to themselves.
- They returned to the churches and encouraged the believers.
- They returned and testified of God’s work among the Gentiles.