Bible Readings for August 8-14

Acts 4

Why was it Peter and John’s preaching that Jesus was raised from the dead that was so problematic for the priests and other Jewish leaders? How effective was their stand against the preaching of these two?

How is it that ordinary people can speak powerful messages about Jesus? What does this tell you about that message?

Who do you choose to listen to: God or man? How is this choice demonstrated in your daily life?

What is your response when people oppose or challenge your message about Jesus? In what ways is prayer a part of your response?

Acts 5

What do you think was going through Ananias’ (and Sapphira’s) mind as they said they had done one thing when in reality, they had done another? What are some examples of ways we are tempted to do similar things today?

Can you imagine the surprise of the Sadducee’s when they found out that the men they had arrested and put into prison for preaching were miraculously freed and instead of hiding, they were back in the temple continuing to preach?

Why do you think it was so hard for the Jewish leaders to stop trying to squelch the preaching of the apostles, as outmaneuvered as they often seemed to be?

What would it take for you to celebrate suffering dishonor and to consider that suffering as something worthwhile?

Acts 6

What does the way the apostles solved the problem of food distribution tell us about the importance of preaching the word of God? Do we have similar responses today? Why or why not?

Who are individuals you know of whom it can be said often: they are full of the Holy Spirit? What is it in their lives that demonstrate the Spirit in them? Or stated another way: How can you tell they have the Spirit?

How would wisdom and the Spirit help you talk about Jesus more effectively? What sort of things are you doing to get both more wisdom and to be more Spirit filled?

Acts 7

Do you think the high priest regretted giving Stephen the floor to speak? What are some reasons he might have?

What ideas or thoughts in Stephen’s sermon strike you as important for you to remember as you share about Jesus today?

How do you think you would have reacted to being called “stiff-necked” and “uncircumcised?” Given this, why might the Jewish reaction against Stephen not have been so strange after all?

Acts 8

Was the persecution against the church a good thing or a bad thing? Why do you think this to be the case? In what ways might it be good for the church today to face a little persecution?

How does Saul’s back story give credibility to the person he became later in life? Do you think we would accept someone like Saul (pre “Paul”) gladly or with some hesitancy? Why do you say this?

In what ways might God through his Spirit place us in the presence of those who need to hear God’s message or perhaps place them in our presence? In what ways would you say you have seen this in your life? Any examples you can give?

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