Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on May 8, 2022
Passage: Acts 18:1-2, 18-26
In part 3 of our Upstream series, Mike shared three ways, from the life of Priscilla and Aquila, that we can be an encouragement to others.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
What married couple (besides your parents) do you know that demonstrate teamwork and Christlike encouragement? How do they do this?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. When Paul arrived in Corinth, he met an amazing couple – Aquila and Priscilla – who provided him tremendous encouragement by their presence. When it was time to set sail for Syria, Paul took them with him. Do you have people you spend time with that energize you? If not, you need those kinds of friends! It’s not necessarily what they say, it’s just that they are willing to be with you and support you with their presence. What do the following passages say about our need for encouragers in our lives?
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT2)
9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NLT2)
14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
2 Corinthians 7:5-6 (NLT2)
5 When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. 6 But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.
Name someone who energizes you and makes you better just by their presence.
2. Not only did Aquila and Priscilla encourage Paul with their presence and companionship, but they also personally invested in Apollos by taking him aside to add some missing pieces to his teaching. Some people are quick to write people off when they don’t have their act together. Not so with Priscilla and Aquila. They took time to invest in Apollos. Read the passage below and describe how their investment in Apollos paid off.
Acts 18:26-28 (NLT2)
26 When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately. 27 Apollos had been thinking about going to Achaia, and the brothers and sisters in Ephesus encouraged him to go. They wrote to the believers in Achaia, asking them to welcome him. When he arrived there, he proved to be of great benefit to those who, by God’s grace, had believed. 28 He refuted the Jews with powerful arguments in public debate. Using the Scriptures, he explained to them that Jesus was the Messiah.
Can you think of someone whose personal investment in you as a believer has paid off? How have they made you better?
3. In Paul’s letters we see Aquila and Priscilla’s names pop up over and over. They were highly influential in the church because of their spiritual depth. When they spent time with Apollos, they “explained the way of God even more accurately.” They knew the gospel and they boldly took Apollos aside and told him what he needed to hear. We all need seasoned believers who have grown deep in their faith because their faith has been tested. Based on the following passages, how can you develop spiritual depth and strength in your journey?
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT2)
7 “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT2)
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Ephesians 3:16-19 (NLT2)
16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Is there someone that you can encourage today with your presence and faith? If so, seek to be encouragement to them today or this week.
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?