Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on June 7, 2020
Passage: Galatians 5:22-23; Acts 13:44-52
This Sunday, Mike continued our summer series on the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT by looking at the joy of Paul and Barnabas despite opposition and persecution.
Looking back at your notes from Sunday’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time, caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
What has been the greatest obstacle to joy you have faced and overcome in life?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. When the Jews rejected the gospel, Paul and Barnabas didn’t quit and go home. Rather, they turned to the Gentiles, in obedience to God (“commanded,” 13:47). God intended that the Jews and their Messiah should be a light for the Gentiles, that they should bring salvation to the ends of the earth. How do the following passages help you understand the common purpose we have as followers of Jesus?
2 Peter 1:3-8 (NLT2)
3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT2)
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT2)
31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Can you articulate in your own words what you believe your purpose is on earth?
Why do you think there is a connection between our surrender to God’s purposes and our joy?
2. Despite opposition to their message and physical harassment, the believers were filled with joy. In light of the following verses, what perspective do you think these believers had that allowed their Spirit-produced joy to come through unhindered?
James 1:2-4 (NLT2)
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Romans 5:3-4 (NLT2)
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
Romans 8:18 (NLT2)
18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
What is your definition of joy? How does it differ from the happiness the world promises?
What current adversity is trying to steal your joy? How are you fighting to keep your joy?
3. Read back through Acts 13:44-52 and make a list of all the obstacles that Paul and Barnabas overcame in their fight for joy.
Acts 13:44-52 (NLT2)
44 The following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the word of the Lord. 45 But when some of the Jews saw the crowds, they were jealous; so they slandered Paul and argued against whatever he said. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared, “It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will offer it to the Gentiles. 47 For the Lord gave us this command when he said, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth.’” 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were very glad and thanked the Lord for his message; and all who were chosen for eternal life became believers. 49 So the Lord’s message spread throughout that region. 50 Then the Jews stirred up the influential religious women and the leaders of the city, and they incited a mob against Paul and Barnabas and ran them out of town. 51 So they shook the dust from their feet as a sign of rejection and went to the town of Iconium. 52 And the believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever encountered any of these obstacles to joy? Did you hold onto joy?
Why is maintaining joy during trials, persecution, and adversity essential if we want to be a difference maker in the kingdom of God?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?