Life Groups // Fall 2021 // Week 8
Posted October 29, 2021 — Lincoln Berean
Trusting God in Confusion and Chaos // Acts 19:11-41
Acts 19 brings us to Paul’s third missionary journey where the power of God is on full display. In our passage this week, we see the outflow of what happens when the Holy Spirit is at work among the community in Ephesus.
To get the most out of your group time, we invite you to look over the questions below and write your thoughts down before you meet with your group.
Warm Up (Suggested time: 20 min)
Here are some suggestions to get your conversation started:
1) If you could choose one superpower to possess, what would it be? How would you use this power for good?
2) If you decided to go on a missionary journey, where would you go and what would you do?
Transition into group discussion.
1) Open group discussion with prayer. Here are a few potential prayer items:
a. For the Spirit of God to lead you in truth
b. For the fruit of the Spirit to be cultivated in your lives
c. For grace to hear and apply what the Spirit says to you
2) Invite someone to read the passage in the group.
Study Questions (Suggested time: 40 min)
1) As you reflect on the message, what’s something that stood out to you?
2) Review Acts 19:1-10. Read Mark 5:27-34, Mark 6:56 and Acts 5:15 for similar miracles. God is clearly doing something miraculous in Ephesus. We observe Him working His power through extraordinary and unexpected means so that lives are transformed and the Gospel spreads.
a. Where do you see the power of God on display in the Sons of Sceva story (Acts 19:11-20)? How is He working through extraordinary and unexpected means? What is the difference between such miraculous works of God and the counterfeit attempts of people?
b. Reread Acts 19:17-20. What is the outcome of the battle between meager human power and evil demonic power? How can you see God as the clear winner in this battle?
c. Share a time when you trusted God to show up in a powerful way. How did this transform your heart and relationship with God? Or perhaps you are in a battle right now. How are you trusting or not trusting in God’s power to overcome?
3) The word of the Lord prevails mightily in Ephesus and yet, chaos and riots proceed shortly after within the community (Acts 19:21-41). When the gospel advances, it can lead to opposition between those who accept Christ and those who do not. The power of God was turning the city upside down.
a. What was at the root cause of the rioting (Acts 19:24-27)? Where do you see the peace of God reign over the chaos and riots? How is God working through extraordinary and unexpected means to preserve the Gospel?
b. We see Paul and his companions remain calm amongst all the chaos and confusion of the opposing voices. How do you respond in times of opposition (e.g., panic, worry, prayer)? What are some tangible ways that you choose to trust God rather than yourself? How can you experience true peace amongst the chaos of your circumstances?
4) In the worship service, Jeff gave you an opportunity to respond to this passage with a moment of reflection on where your trust resides. It was a chance to identify an area of sin that you need to lay down and surrender at the feet of Jesus so that it no longer has the power to darken the light in your life.
a. If you are willing, share with your group the area of sin that you need to symbolically “throw in the fire” and burn so that it no longer has the power to be ruinous in your life.
b. Confessing to God and sharing your decision with trusted friends is a brave first step. What are some next steps you would like to take toward healing? How can your life group support, encourage and hold you accountable in a way that makes you feel valued?
Prayer (Suggested time: 20 min)
Prayer opens us up to the leading of the Holy Spirit which makes it an important part of the Christian life. We realize that everyone has their own comfort level with group prayer, and we want this to be a time of safety and care. You may verbalize your prayer or pray silently to yourself; that way everyone is a participant in sharing this time before God together.
Some things to consider during prayer time:
- What did the message or group discussion cause you to notice about your relationship with Jesus?
- How can you express gratitude for what God’s teaching you?
- What questions are stirring that only God can answer?
- Are there troubling things in your life that need to be confessed to God?
- Is there an unmet need that only God can fulfill?
Personal Spiritual Exercises
Each week we’re suggesting a couple of spiritual exercises. These are not required, but they may help us to actually live our faith and grow as followers of Jesus. Feel free to practice one or both of them. If a certain exercise is very helpful for you, maybe you can figure out a way to incorporate it into your daily life. Next week in your Life Group, take a few moments to share how either of these exercises may have changed your outlook on your daily life.
1. Read or listen to the entire book of Ephesians from beginning to end in one sitting. It is only 6 small chapters. Listening to the entire book from your favorite Bible app will take approximately 30 minutes. It will give you a more complete view of the amazing work God accomplished in and through this community.
2. Take some time to remember specific moments in your life when the power of Christ radically changed your life. Write these moments down to give you clarity and confidence in sharing your testimony with those near you that do not know Christ.
3. Reach out to those in your life group who shared their personal struggle with sin (study question #4). Send them an encouraging word to let them know how you are praying for them.