Acts: Week 4 Day 3
Pray and read
Praise God that he is at work in the world bringing about his good plans and purposes, especially in the growth of his kingdom. Ask him to help you know him better, that you might grow in loyalty to him as your king. Read Acts 16:6–20:38 — there’s a lot to read so just aim to take in the highlights and see what jumps out at you (we’ll come back to focus on Paul’s time in Corinth tomorrow in preparation for our upcoming series on 1 Corinthians!)
Paul’s second and third missionary journeys (second journey = Acts 15:40–18:22; 3rd journey = Acts 18:23–21:14 — click on the links to see an overview with a map) cover a span of roughly 9 years from 49–58AD. During this time Paul went on two gospel preaching tours. Each time he travels through Turkey strengthening the churches already planted and then goes across to Greece before returning through Turkey in a big loop.
Notice how Luke’s reporting of these years is quite uneven — which places and incidents does Luke slow down to tell us about in more detail?
How does Paul accomodate his message when preaching at the Areopagus in Athens (17:16-34)?
What different types of responses to the gospel and its messengers do you see in these chapters?
Read Acts 20:17-38 where Paul has a drive-by meeting with the elders from the church in Ephesus. We are not all elders but many of us exercise Christian leadership in different contexts:
What aspects of his life and ministry does Paul call on Christian leaders to emulate? (vv.17-21,27)
How are Paul’s priorities in life shaped by the gospel? (vv.22-24)
What role does Paul give the elders in particular in safe-guarding the church? Who appoints the church’s elders? (vv.28-31)
What help does Paul promise for the task? (vv.32)
Pray for our church’s elders and for all those who lead in our church. Pray that God will build them up by the word of his grace to equip them for the challenges of leading our church, that we will remain faithful to God and his word and not to fall into error.