Questions and going deeper resources
Connect What habits could you continue, begin, shape, or stop to help you go deeper with Jesus in 2023?
- If someone asked you, “what is the Gospel?” How would you respond?
- What does it mean that God is sovereign? Why might people (including us) doubt that this is true?
Read Acts 12:1-5
- Who was King Herod? How have his relatives been featured in the Gospels prior to this?
- What had happened to James? How might this have affected other Christians in Jerusalem?
- What spurred Herod on in arresting Jesus? What do you think he was trying to achieve?
- When did this happen? Can you see any parallels with the account of Jesus’ arrest and trial?
- How does the church respond to Peter’s arrest? What do you think it looks like to earnestly pray?
- Are the things that you’re earnestly praying for at the moment? What helps you to bring these things to God earnestly? Are there any of these areas of prayer that you would like to share with the group?
- How does Herod’s attempts to ‘take charge’ compare to the church’s expression to ‘trust God’? Are there areas in your life in which you’re more likely to try and ‘take charge’? What helps you to trust God?
- Are you aware of areas in the world in which Christians face persecution today? What responsibility do we share in earnestly praying for them? What would help us in this endeavour?
Read Acts 12:6-24
- How bad does Peter’s situation appear? Why do you think Herod wasn’t taking any chances?
- Step through everything that now happens to Peter. Why do you think he was in such disbelief?
- Does this mean that we should expect God to rescue us from every earthly trouble? Why or why not?
- How do the people at Mary’s house respond? Was this an indicator of a lack of their faith?
- How has God freed us from the ultimate captivity? How should this give us confidence amidst trial?
- Why did Herod face judgement? Do you find this reassuring or challenging? Why or why not?
- How does the end of this passage contrast with the beginning of this passage?
- How does this event give us confidence that nothing will thwart God’s plans? How does this encourage you to participate in how God is at work in the world?
Apply What is one way you can pray earnestly for the Gospel to continue to spread and flourish?
On Your Frontline This Week: Which of your friends haven’t you caught up with this year? Invite them for a free dinner at our Alpha Launch Party! Monday 6 Feb, 7:30pm.
Listen, Watch, and Read:
- Watch: “Peter’s Escape” by Superbook
- Listen: “Why no one can get rid of the church” by William Taylor
- Read: “2023 Open Doors Watch List”
- Read: “Jesus versus the Bullies” by John Dickson
- Listen: “And Can it Be” by Charles Wesley
- Series Overview (PDF & Audiobook)
- WATCH: “Bible Project: Acts”
- LISTEN: “Lecture: The Book of Acts” by John Stott
- READ: “Acts for Everyone” by Tom Wright
- READ: “Acts: A Visual Guide” by Kevin DeYoung”
- READ: “Acts: A Commentary” by Bruce Milne
- READ: “Acts: A Devotional Commentary for Study and Preaching” by Loveday Alexander