In Acts 13, the focus of “The Movement” transitions from Peter and the Jews in Jerusalem, to Paul’s missionary journeys. Paul and Barnabas are sent by the church in Antioch. Many regard this as the first real missionary effort of the church. Paul tells the story of God’s plan of salvation and how the Light of the Gospel was now coming to the Gentiles. Jesus is the Light and he came to shine the light of hope and the love of God into the darkness of our world. The Holy Spirit is still at work empowering us to “navigate the darkness” and proclaim the forgiveness of sins by faith in Jesus.
Tell a story of a time when a storm or power outage left you “In the Dark”.
How do you feel about being in the dark?
Read Acts 13. Listen for a part of the story or a verse or a phrase that catches your attention.
- (Vs. 6-8) Think of a person who has challenged your faith, or a period of your life when your faith was challenged. Describe how that “messed with you” and how you worked through it.
- (Vs.9-10) Have you ever found yourself in the presence of a person who you felt was “evil and full of all kinds of deceit and trickery” or “perverted the right way of the Lord?” How did that person “impact your world?”
Note: In Vs. 11, Elymas, the Jewish Sorcerer, is blinded – “darkness came over him” – notice how that is contrasted with Paul’s teaching about Jesus being the “Light” to the Gentiles. We all see evidence of light and darkness in the world around us.
- (Vs.15-41) What Old Testament characters and stories did Paul use to tell the story of Jesus? How does he use them to get to the Gospel and forgiveness?
- Why do you think God’s people often get “stuck in the dark?”
- (Vs. 33-41) What does Paul conclude is the central meaning of the resurrection?
How does forgiveness “Shatter the Darkness?”
For More Thought
The Sermon talked about Jesus being, “The Light.”
John 8:12 – Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Ephesians 5:8 – For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light…
Matthew 5:13-16 – “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
In the Sermon, Pastor Dan said,
“Jesus is the Light of the World that brings Courage to our struggles, Hope to our despair,
Direction to our Chaos, Love to our brokenness, and Forgiveness for our Guilt!
He is the Light of the world… changing our whole reality.
Changing how we look at our loss, our stress, our past, our future, our everything!”
Where do you see darkness in the world?
How does your faith in Jesus help you to see the world differently?
How can we, as followers of Jesus, speak into that darkness? Shed some “Light”?
Are there any parts of my life that are “hidden in the dark” and need to be brought into the light?
How could I address them, face them, and who could I share that with and invite them to keep “shining the light of God’s grace and forgiveness” in my life?
Some of the Darkness in my life – “Isn’t my fault!” How do I bring light into that kind of darkness?
How do you see Covid affecting your relationships these days?
Pray for people you know who may be battling the darkness of addictions, stress, broken relationships, or sins that may be “imprisoning” them.
Pray for each one of us and our church to be “on Mission” – doing our part in the Movement.
Pray for missionaries.
Personal needs and requests.