Welcome back to our online Inductive Bible Study on the book of Acts, “The Holy Spirit Unleashed in You” at the Women’s Bible Cafe™. We just completed Week Four, “Do You Know God’s Priorities?” This week we observed Acts Chapters 6 and 7, and saw the beginning of church leadership and ministry. As the church began to grow, the apostles saw the need to choose godly men to minister to the needs of the people so they could focus on prayer. This was a tough leadership decision that affected a lot of people. Some people may have responded positively and others may have responded negatively. Change is not always easy, but is necessary so that the gospel can be taken to a lost and dying world. The apostles realized that without a drastic change, the gospel would not reach the world. However, because the early church was willing to change, the word of God spread:
“The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:7 NASB
It takes change to make things happen. Imagine what can happen in our churches when we are willing to make the changes necessary to see more and more people hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. It takes each one of us working together to make change happen. One person cannot do it alone. We are the church, and it takes a willing heart, a willing spirit and a willing attitude working together to further God’s Kingdom. And most of all, it takes prayer!
Kay Arthur writes in the Thought for the Week:
“No matter what transpires in your life or in the life of your church, you must not neglect prayer and the Word of God. How can God’s church run apart from prayer?”
Is God asking you to change anything in your life today? Anything you need to start doing or stop doing to take your next step of faith? These are questions to ponder on this week as we continue in our study of “The Holy Spirit Unleashed in You.”
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students.
- Complete your study of Week Five, “Suffering–It goes with Salvation.
- Pray before you begin your study. Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
- Store in your heart Acts 6:4, “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)
- After praying, what was the purpose of the twelve apostles laying their hands on the seven chosen to serve in the church? Do we see this practiced in our churches today? Why or why not? (Acts 6:6)
- According to Acts 6:1-6, what do you see as priorities for Christian leaders? Why do you think these are priorities?
- What is the best way to determine whom God has gifted to do certain tasks?
- Do some people feel like second-class citizens in your church? How can you change the situation?
- BONUS QUESTION: In Acts 6:11, Stephen was accused of speaking blasphemous words against Moses and against God, and as a result they kill him by stoning him. How can men who say they support Moses and are God’s chosen people justify taking such action?