Upside Down | Laying Hands on Untouchables | Jeff Van Duzer
August 27, 2017
Review: What joy did you find when paying attention to God’s presence in your life and community? If you tried preaching the gospel to yourself each day then how do you think that helped or hindered your ability to spot joy?
Introduction: If you follow Jesus, you’re a part of a movement. You’re in with others.
The movement of Jesus is about the people. Jesus invites us individually but deploys us corporately. The book of Acts invites us to stop coming to church and start being the church. Summer in Seattle offers a wonderful opportunity: Our neighbors are coming out of their houses. Will we welcome them into his? If we do, maybe they’ll say what the Greeks said, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also...” (Acts 17:6).
This week God turns Saul’s life upside down and presents a faithful servant of the gospel with an exceptional role in the process.
Pray: Lord God, open our hearts and minds to this story of lives turned upside down by your personal intervention. Grant us the willingness to explore the implications of your call in our own lives. Amen.
Read: Acts 9:10-20
- What work is Ananias called to by God? What is Ananias’ response?
- How does God prepare Ananias for the task? (See Acts 22:12-13 to hear of Ananias’ character.) Would this seem like enough preparation for you? How would you respond?
- What work is God calling upon Saul (also called Paul) to do?
- What qualifications does Saul have for this position? See Acts 22:3,27-28
- What previous deeds and postures might seem to a human mind to disqualify Saul from serving God in this way? See Acts 7:57-8:1, Acts 22:4-5, Acts 26:9-11, Philippians 3:4-6
(If you are unfamiliar with Saul’s encounter with Jesus you can read about it in Acts 9:1-9; Acts 22:6-21 and Acts 26:12-23.)
- What questions do you have about serving God?
- What experiences and opportunities of your life up to now could be used by God to help others to know Him?
- Do you have some circumstances that feel like they disqualify you for service?
Application: Where is God trying to get your attention? This week set aside a quiet moment each day to ask the Holy Spirit for direction or course correction. Also pray for clear answers from God to the questions and reservations raised by you and others in questions 6-8.
Pray: Lord Jesus, grant us the grace to surrender our lives in service to you. Incline our ears to your voice and give us the courage to take up the work you’ve prepared for us. Amen