1st Study – Running scared or running on God?
- Have you ever noticed how God has a way of making you know it’s time to change? What is one thing that God impressed upon you to change over the summer since last we met?
- How do you know when it is God inspiring change in your life?
- Should fear of the future dictate decisions you make today? Describe one time when your fear of what “could happen” helped you to change course mid-stream to prevent the possible outcome. Was your decision acted upon in faith or fear?
Read Acts Chapter 8:1-8 in several versions in preparation for the study.
- Who is Saul and what was he doing in verse Acts 8:1? (Acts 5:34; Acts 7:58; Acts 22:20; Mt. 23:34; Mt. 10:25-28; 1 Cor. 9:15)
- Who left Jerusalem and who stayed? (Acts 8:1) Why? (Acts 1:8; Jn 4:39-42)
- How and why did Stephen die? (Acts 5-7)
- Was the perceived threat real or only imagined by the church? (Acts 8:1-3)
- Why did Saul persecute the early church? Under whose authority? Acts 22:4-5; Acts 26:9-11; Gal 1:13-14; 1 Tim 1:13)
- What did the scattered do? (Acts 8:4) (Acts 11:19)
- Was their decision to leave Jerusalem based on fear or faith or necessity? (Mt. 10:23)
- Do you think the scattered told people about the persecution in Jerusalem? Why or why not?
“I don’t know what say.” “I don’t want to say the wrong things!” “I’m not gifted as an evangelist”. “Faith is between people and their God”.
1. Do you naturally share the gospel with friends and strangers or is that hard for you? Describe one time as of late when you’ve shared the gospel with someone. Was it a natural outflow of the conversation? Were you afraid of their reaction?
2. How do you overcome fear and insecurity when telling people about Jesus?
3. Who was Philip and why did he do what he did? (Acts 8:5) (Acts 6:5)
4. What was the reaction of those who heard Philip’s message? (Acts 8:6-8) (Acts 5:16; Mat 10:1; Mark 9:26; Mark 16:17-18; Luke 10:17; John 14:12; Heb 2:4)
5. Was Philip’s decision to run away from Jerusalem based on fear or faith or necessity?
6. Did God use Philip to expand the Kingdom? (Acts 8:8).
7. Does God use fearful people in what appears to be uncomfortable circumstances for their good or only for His Kingdom’s good?