Today is Monday, November 6th 2017. Thank you for continuing to journey with us through the book of Acts. I pray that as we continue through you will discover more about the Lord and his people. Today’s reading looks at Paul and the interactions he has with groups of people on his way to Jerusalem, even though they all tell him not to go. At the end of the chapter we see that Paul has gone to Jerusalem and will not be slowed down by fear. - Mallory
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
- Have you ever had people tell you that you should not go somewhere or do something despite feeling as though the Lord has called you there?
- How is the Lord impacting someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?
Lord, we pray that you would reveal truth to us today. That we would have a better understanding of who You are and who we need to be. That we may be good stewards of the Gospel, sharing it with those we are able to. Help us to find a deeper understanding of that today.
DISCOVER [Acts 21:1-26]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)
And when we had parted from them and set sail, we came by a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara 2 And having found a ship crossing to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. 3 When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left we sailed to Syria and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload its cargo. 4 And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 5 When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed 6 and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home.
7 When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for one day. 8 On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9 He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. 10 While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” 12 When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”
15 After these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16 And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge.
- Why did those with Paul want him to avoid going to Jerusalem?
- What was Agabus’ prophecy and who was it directed at?
- What was Paul’s response to those who wanted him to avoid Jerusalem?
17 When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. 18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19 After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law, 21 and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs. 22 What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; 24 take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law. 25 But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality.” 26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day he purified himself along with them and went into the temple, giving notice when the days of purification would be fulfilled and the offering presented for each one of them.
- What did Paul have to report to the elders in Jerusalem? What did the elders have to report to Paul?
- Why did the elders have Paul go and purify himself?
- The elders sent a letter to the Gentiles, what did this letter talk about? Why did they send it?
+ 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)
- Am I letting fear hold me back or slow me down in my life?
- Am I surrounding myself with people who will encourage me to listen to what the Lord is calling me to?
- What am I willing to give up for the sake of the Gospel? What am I not willing to give up for the sake of the Gospel?
+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?