07 Aug Discussion Guide: The Trial Of Your Life Week 1
Take the first few minutes of your time together to listen to what God is doing in one another’s lives and pray for any specific needs people in your group may have.
This week we take a slightly new direction in our study through the Book of Actsc in a new series titled “The Trial of Your Life.” As the Book of Acts shifts its focus to the missionary travels of the Apostle Paul and all the obstacles, persecution and trials he faces in spreading the Gospel we will follow along by discussing how we too can be faithful to the call of the Gospel amidst the pressures and obstacles of our own culture as well.
Have you ever been treated differently because of your beliefs?
“I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time.”
Why do you think people in our culture do not want the existence of God or the claims of Christianity to be true?
As we look at our culture, and the cultures around the world, why do you think that in light of all the attempts to do away with God and religion, faith and belief in some kind of god continues to not only exist, but spread?
Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
If you’re a Christian here, what changed in your life when you surrendered your life to Jesus?
What was motivating your decisions and behaviors before coming to faith in Christ?
How has the Truth of the Gospel changed those motivations?
Was it difficult to let go of some of those past motivations? Why or why not?
Dr. Tim Keller, Counterfeit Gods
“When anything in life is an absolute requirement for your happiness and self-worth, it is essentially an ‘idol,’ something you are actually worshiping. When such a thing is threatened, your anger is absolute. Your anger is actually the way the idol keeps you in its service, in its chains. Therefore if you find that, despite all the efforts to forgive, your anger and bitterness cannot subside, you may need to look deeper and ask, ‘What am I defending? What is so important that I cannot live without?’ It may be that, until some inordinate desire is identified and confronted, you will not be able to master your anger.”
When you look at our culture today what would you say are some of the motivations people are being fueled by?
How are these motivations affecting their lives? How are they affecting our nation?
How does that make you feel?
How might the Gospel confront and transform those motivations in people’s hearts?
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
What will it take for those people to hear and understand the Gospel?
How did Jesus respond when He saw the power idolatry had in our lives?
How does that reality give us the courage and compassion to respond likewise when we look at the idols of our culture today?
What, then, should we do about it as a group?