JESUS’ JOY: Acts 8:1-8

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BIG IDEA

Like the early church in the book of Acts, we can have JOY IN OUR HEARTS by clinging to the truth of the gospel and to the fact that our bad things turn out for good. We can have JOY ON OUR LIPS by devoting ourselves to the study of the Bible and fellowship with God in prayer. We can have JOY IN OUR CITY as we keep our mouths open, telling people the gospel of Jesus, as well as our eyes open and hands outstretched, seeking to actively meet the needs of our city by the grace of God.

SCRIPTURE

ACTS 8:1-8 1 And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. 

Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city.

DISCUSSION 

Start off by spend some time praying for one another. After that, pray for the lost to be saved by Jesus, praying for your city, and praying for Jesus to build His church in Checotah, Eufaula, and Muskogee.

1. Was there anything from the sermon or the big idea that stood out to you or challenged you? What questions do you have? 

2. What stands out to you in Acts 8:1-8 and why? 

We can have JOY IN OUR HEARTS by clinging to the truth of the gospel and to the fact that our bad things turn out for good.

3.1 What fears do you think the early church faced and how does the gospel overcome those fears? *see verses 1-3.

3.2 What are some common fears in our world that the gospel overcomes? If possible, share from your own experience.

We can have JOY ON OUR LIPS by devoting ourselves to the study of the Bible and fellowship with God in prayer.

4.1 Why is Bible study and prayer key to being a faithful gospel-teller?

4.2 How can you be devoted to the study of the Bible and prayer? 

We can have JOY IN OUR CITY as we keep our mouths open, telling people the gospel of Jesus, as well as our eyes open and hands outstretched, seeking to actively meet the needs of our city by the grace of God. 

5.1 What are some tangible ways to “keep our mouths open, telling the gospel of Jesus” in our neighborhoods, jobs, and in our city at large? 

5.2 What are some injustices that really upset you? How can you be active in helping to bring the hope of the love and service of Jesus to that injustice?
5.3 What are some tangible ways to “keep our eyes open and hands outstretched, seeking to actively meet the needs of our city by the grace of God”?

GOOD WORD

If fear is like dragon-fire, the gospel is like a great amount of water poured out on the dragon which quenches the flames and drowns the beast itself. The truth is this: Jesus has already defeated our enemy by his life, death, and resurrection. We can live joyfully, talk joyfully, and seek the joy of our cities free from fear and full of hope.

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