Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on March 27, 2022
Passage: Acts 16:6-10
In part 7 of our Resilient series, Mike shares three important principles about God’s will and how God uses “closed doors” in our life to direct our path.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
When has God closed a door to you and your desires, only to open a better door later?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. Read Acts 16:6-10 together. Why do you think Paul and Silas didn’t appear frustrated with all the closed doors they were running into? How would you have responded?
2. In verse 6 we see that God closed the door to Paul because the timing wasn’t right: “Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time.” On the surface, this verse seems odd because why would God not allow someone to preach the good news about Jesus? It wasn’t that God didn’t want the gospel to go to Asia. In fact, in chapter 18, we see Paul preaching the gospel in Asia and planting a church in Ephesus. Although we don’t know the exact reason for why the timing wasn’t right, we can trust that God knows! What do the following verses tell us about God’s timing?
Ecclesiastes 3:17 (ESV)
I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.
2 Peter 3:8-9 (ESV)
8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Acts 1:7 (ESV)
He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”
What have you been waiting on the Lord about? How can we pray for you as you wait for His answer?
3. Another reason that God closed the door on Paul’s desire to preach the gospel in Asia was that God wanted to position him at the seaport of Troas. Why? Because from there, God wanted Paul to sail to Macedonia and preach the good news. There will be times we must surrender our plans so that God can position us for greater opportunities! What do the following passages teach you about God’s plans?
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
James 4:13-14 (NLT2)
13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
Psalm 31:14-15 (AMP)
14 But I trusted in, relied on, and was confident in You, O Lord; I said, You are my God. 15 My times are in Your hands; deliver me from the hands of my foes and those who pursue me and persecute me.
When has God “slammed a door” only to put you in position for a better opportunity later?
4. When Paul had a vision that God wanted him to travel to Macedonia and preach the good news, verse 10 says Paul and his companions left “at once.” What does Paul’s immediate obedience tell you about his heart and sensitivity to the Spirit’s direction? Why do you think God places such an importance on obeying Him one step at a time? What can you learn from the following passages about obedience?
1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NLT2)
22 But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
James 1:22-25 (NLT2)
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
1 John 2:3-6 (NLT2)
3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
What have been the benefits to obeying the Lord that you’ve personally experienced?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?