Monday, November 23, 2015

On 11-29-15, Acts 18:1-11, 18-21a will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Teaching God’s Word

Teaching God’s Word
Acts 18:1-11, 18-21a
November 29, 2015

Jed Greenough

Frustration is a common and powerful thing.  You work away with little encouragement and discouragement catches up with you.

Encouragement is one of the gifts of the Spirit and it is something we do not all have the gift of and those who do can offer it in a timely fashion if they do as the Spirit moves them.  

These times when these people make good use of their gift is critical in the kingdom work that is going on.  Other times this encouragement is not available or is not given.  

You perhaps are a teacher and every so often you run out of steam and a Christian in your path gives of their gift and you are able to carry on with utilizing your gift to teach.  Other times they don’t live up to their potential and God steps in.

This week as we study Paul we see this encouragement working with Paul.  I think it shows how important this turns out to be when even Paul is in need.

We read how Paul testified to the Jews but they became abusive to him.  Paul reacts with frustration by shaking out his clothes and in frustration saying, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it.”  Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

But Paul received success anyway and a vision of God to bolster telling him to keep on with what he was doing and he did.  We see him continuing on still going to the synagogues  and not giving up on who he shared the message with.

I would encourage all of you who do the ministry that you are involved with to keep on keeping on.  God sees what you are doing and most who are benefitting from your work are silent but you are important to them.

For those of you who can make a difference through your encouragement, please don’t be negligent in the exercise of your gift as it really matters.

For Discussion:

  1. Discuss the significance of what verse 3 might have meant to Paul.
  2. Discuss Paul’s statement in verse 6.
  3. Discuss what the arrival of Timothy and Silas would have done for Paul.
  4. Discuss what the vision must have meant to Paul.
  5. Discuss the length of time that Paul was in Corinth.
  6. Discuss Paul’s hair cutting for an oath.
  7. Discuss where you have needed encouragement and didn’t receive it.
  8. Discuss where you have received it.
  9. Discuss where you have given encouragement or seen it given.

Upcoming Lessons

12-6-15  Teaching God’s Word  Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12-16

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

Monday, November 16, 2015

On 11-22-15, Acts 17:1-4, 10-12, 22-25, 28 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Thessalonica, Berea and Athens

Thessalonica, Berea and Athens
Acts 17:1-4, 10-12, 22-25, 28
November 22, 2015

Jed Greenough

Last week we read that the Lord opened Lydia’s heart to respond to Paul’s message.  This week  we don’t read those words but we see it in the different people who came to believe what Paul was teaching.  Sometimes there were more Gentiles and sometimes there were more Jews.

Acts 17 is very interesting to see the process that Paul used to try and convey his message.  He didn’t wait for people to come to him but rather went to where the people were.  He went to synagogues and to the marketplace and spoke before meetings both friendly and otherwise.

Paul used the scriptures to explain and prove that Jesus was the Messiah whether he was in Thessalonica or Berea or any town.  Again some came to believe and some did not.  I find it most interesting that there seemed to be more success in Berea where these people did not just listen to the message but searched the scriptures for themselves.

For those who might have been unfamiliar to the scriptures Paul looked around for things that those people could relate to and in Athens that was idols, alters and reason.  These people specialized in talking things through and Paul’s method of explaining to them who God was in verses 22-31 really had to set off some light bulbs!  Really I’d say it was ingenious if not inspired.

But all this certainly points out that first, though God could lead some spontaneously to do it on their own, someone first has to bring the message.  Thus, “ And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”  Romans 10:15-17

And, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

This part we don’t understand where some are led to believe but how we go about doing it is all we need to be concerned with.

In the last couple weeks we have talked of not ignoring his call to be sent and we have seen today how to be prepared to deliver the message.  We needn't be concerned with the outcome as God determines that.

For Discussion:

  1. Discuss God opening peoples hearts.
  2. Discuss the effectiveness of God’s word in speaking to people.
  3. Discuss the idea of going out and not staying within the church so that the message is spread.
  4. Discuss how to bring people within the church to hear the good news is done by inviting them.
  5. Discuss if the message they hear if they come will be the gospel.
  6. Discuss the need for creativity in bringing knowledge of God to people.
  7. Discuss how to support those who are bringing people the gospel message.

Upcoming Lessons

11-29-15  Teaching God’s Word     Acts 18:1-11, 18-21a

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved