Have you ever found yourself in a new situation? Starting a new school, maybe? Or a new job? Or a new city? What’s everybody’s idea of “the good life” here? you might have asked.
This week, in Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas continue their mission to the Galatian cities of Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. And, like Dorothy in Oz said, they just as well might have said, “We’re not in Kansas anymore”.
Paul and Barnabas’s journey—there and back again—gives us insight in just how we’re to respond to cultural situations where we find ourselves among a people who don’t share the same assumptions about reality that we do. How do you serve God in that place?
To serve in a new cultural situation … persist in the truth of Jesus (:1-7), help people question assumptions about reality (:8-20), and strengthen the gathered people of Jesus (:21-28).
As we consider Acts 14 together, here’s some questions that can be considered—alone or with friends or family:
What is the truth about Jesus? Who is He, and what has He done? (:1-7)
When we find that we’re in the minority as a follower of Jesus, what obstacles do we encounter? (Consider, again, Acts 14.1-7 for some ideas.).
What assumptions about reality do people in our own culture hold without even thinking? (:8-20)
How might we help our friends in our own culture question these assumptions, and in a way that would have them consider the truth of who Jesus is?
How does your view of the local church gathered change after reading about how Paul and Barnabas revisited those places where people had trusted Jesus, appointed leaders, and then celebrated with their sending church in Antioch? How central are local churches to God’s plan for this age?
I’m so looking forward to seeing each of you this Sunday. See you at Woodland!