Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on May 22, 2022
Passage: Acts 19:11-20
In part 5 of our Upstream series, Mike posed three questions that will help us evaluate our faith and strengthen us against spiritual attack.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Have you ever sensed that you have been under attack spiritually? If so, how did you know?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. A group of Jews got more than they bargained for by trying to do ministry without first establishing a relationship with Jesus. An evil spirit said, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7:22-23 (NLT):
22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
- How does one come to know Jesus personally? How can a person be confident they have a personal relationship with Him?
2. When these Jews cam under attack from the enemy, they had no strength to fight back and resist because they fought in the strength of their flesh. Read the following passage and describe how we can be strong to withstand any attack from the enemy:
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NLT2)
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Mike mentioned three habits based on the above passage that can help us stay strong. How have these habits helped you resist the enemy?
- Spend time in God’s Word
- Stay current in Your Obedience to God
- Stay consistent in Your Prayers
3. Ephesus was a center for black magic and other occult practices. The people would create magical formulas to give them wealth, happiness, and success in marriage. Superstition and sorcery were commonplace. Many of the Ephesian converts had been involved in these dark arts. The new believers in that city decided to burn the evil books they possessed which were valued at well over one million dollars.
Acts 19:17-20 (NLT)
17 The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored. 18 Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. 19 A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars. 20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect.
Why did they do such a dramatic thing? These things would drive them away from the Lord.
Think about your own life. Are you willing to give up the things you enjoy in life but aren’t good for your spiritual health?
- What could it cost you if you give up those habits, behaviors, relationships, etc. that are driving you away from your devotion to Jesus? What might you gain in return?
- As you close, spend a few minutes in quiet contemplation before the Lord, asking Him to reveal those things you need to remove from your life. Then, give those things to Him and commit to do whatever is needed to ensure they don’t drive a wedge in your relationship with Him going forward.
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?