Today is Friday, November 10th, 2017. I was struck by how much this passage reads like a suspense novel. It reminds me that thinking the Bible is boring is one of the biggest misconceptions about God’s Word; rather, it is the opposite! Those who are steadfast for the Lord will face opposition, even still God’s faithfulness and provision are still evident for Paul here. .--Monica
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Have you ever faced opposition or resistance because of your beliefs?
_Have you had to stand against someone who wanted to hurt you or your reputation? What did you do?
Take some time to thank and praise God that He is in control and sustains our lives.
DISCOVER [Acts 23: 12-22]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)
12 When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul.15 Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
16 Now the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.” 19 The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. 21 But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent.” 22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of these things.”
_Remember God’s words to comfort Paul in verse 11 (just previous to today’s reading) as you consider these events “Take courage, for as you testified to facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”
_ Why do the Jewish men approach the chief priest in vs. 14-15?
_ Who is able to come and warn Paul of this plot? (vs 16)
_What does Paul do with this news? (vs 17) What does this demonstrate about Paul’s character?
_ What does this passage teach us about Jesus?, Power?, His Spirit?, or our calling as believers?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience? (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Is there an area of your life that you need to face with confidence and trust in God’s power and plan this week? If so, where and what is your next step this week?
_ Are you discouraged because your path is difficult? Do you need to step back and see in what ways God is protecting you, like He did Paul?
+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?