Monday, September 28, 2015

Acts 16-20 (Week 4) - Good Morning Girls Bible Study

Hi Everyone!

This week we are studying Acts 16-20. We are reading one chapter a day, Monday through Friday. This blog post is for those  who either join our group late or would like more information on the book of Acts. 

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Acts 16


Today, we are reading Acts 16. The focus of this chapter is still on Apostle Paul. How amazing is he as a person and a follower of Jesus. It was funny that we are reading this chapter today because my Pastor was just speaking about it yesterday at Church as part of his sermon. Did you know that Paul actually wrote the majority of the New Testament? And he didn't just do that but wrote it from a jail cell. Paul was a true evangelist, even in the worst circumstances. 

I chose the following verse to focus on today:

Acts 16:31 "Believe in The Lord Jesus and you will be saved - you and your household."

Paul had many trials and ran into problems constantly throughout his ministry. He didn't run into these problems by living life the way he wanted but by choosing to obey God and to be led by him. When we become a Christian, we sign up to be warriors for God, rather that be spreading the good news to others or simply having to deal with criticism from others about our lifestyle choices. 

Paul was publicly flogged and thrown into jail for defending his faith and sending out a spirit in a slave girl. Even when put in jail, his faith did not waiver and instead of dwelling in his horrible circumstances, he decided to Pray and speak Gods word to the prisoners. God showed up with a powerful miracle by shaking the ground and unlocking all of the prisoners chains and unlocking the jail. Those prisoners were saved that day but also a guard and his entire Family. Because of Paul's unwavering faith that Jesus is Lord, many people were saved that day. I don't know about you but when I die and go to Heaven, when being judged, I want lists upon lists of those who I was able to touch through my ministry, and by the way I lived. In the end, that's all that matters. We live simply to serve God and to bring glory to him. If we have this mind set than anything is possible and God will give us everything! 

Today's Discussion Question:



Acts 17


Today we are in Acts chapter 17. It is a continuation of Paul's ministry and how he dealt with problems that arose as well as a great big chunk of his teaching. The scripture that I chose is:

Acts 17:24-31New International Version (NIV)

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[a] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[b]

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

(Copied from

We are all God's offspring, all made for God's Glory and purposes. God is not our design, we are his. 

The Greeks in Athens had alters everywhere and they were filled with idols that they worshiped. That same concept still plagues our world today, and effects everyone, even Christians. We choose to worship our Husbands, our Children, family & friends, money, shopping, food, success, power, sex, alcohol, drugs, pleasure, television, drama, and the list can go on and on. What I mean by worship is what takes you away from strengthening your relationship with God, and what you put before God. We would love to say we always put God first, but we don't. I have to fight my flesh every day to put God before my husband. My husband is physically here, he holds me when he gets home from work, he can kiss me and comfort me on those hard days through his touch. That is my fight, but I know that when I beat my flesh, the comfort and love I feel from God is like no other. It is perfect comfort, joy, and peace that nothing else on this Earth can ever give me. God is the only constant, he is our strength, and our everything. 

I know many Christians who struggle to find time with God every day. That's when worshipping something else is overpowering your worship with God. If you have time to get on Facebook, check your emails, go to lunch with friends, go shopping, online browse, and so on then you have time for God. You simply are choosing not to and are putting things above him. This is when a heart check comes in to play. Narrow down why you do the things that you do and Pray that God will change that in your heart. I've grown throughout the years in this way. It used to be I was power and success driven, I wanted to be put up on a pedestal through my status in the community, I wanted all the glory for myself. When I finally couldn't handle it anymore for multiple reasons, I broke down, got on my knees and Prayed for God to take control of my life and to change my heart. What followed was years of him breaking me down, humbling me, and making me new in his image. It is hard work but so beyond worth it. Now I'm a stay at home Mommy with no community power but living in the power of God! 

What is holding you back from fully surrendering?

Today's GMG's discussion question:



Acts 18


Acts 18! The verse I chose to focus on was:

Acts 18:9 "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent."

Paul was rightfully frustrated with the Jews and how abusive they were being to him. God came, comforted and encouraged him to keep speaking. He said "for I am with you." How powerful it is that the Lord directly spoke these words to Paul. It comforts me so much hearing them through Paul. And as we see, when Paul is brought to court, his case is dismissed and he is set free, protected by God. How refreshing is it that we get to walk in Gods strength and don't have to rely on our own.

I made my own discussion question to this chapter :)

When has there been a time when you've became frustrated when speaking to others about your faith?

I easily can become frustrated because I want everyone to be saved and I want everyone to know the good news about Jesus. Without Jesus there is darkness. Who wants to see anyone in the dark? I want everyone to walk in the light with me! When a friend or family member refuse me or just make me in to this "good religious woman" it hurts because I don't speak about God for my own glory but to bring others to God. They can compliment my lifestyle all they want to but if I'm not impacting their life than it means nothing. That's when I get frustrated and that's when I fall to my knees and God fills me with his strength. How I love our amazing God!!!

Today's GMG Discussion Question:



Acts 19


Acts 19:20 "In this way the word of The Lord spread widely and grew in power."

After a failed attempt for some Jews to drive out an evil spirit, the evil spirit told them that he knew Jesus, but didn't know them. They hadn't yet been given the Holy Spirit because of their lack of faith. But after this event, they literally had the fear of God put in them and it spread so rapidly that an entire city believed in Jesus and were saved. God used this one evil spirit to bring large numbers of others to him. The people believed in Jesus so much that they literally "burned" their old ways and chose to fully walk in the light of Jesus.

As Christians we grow and mature at all different paces and times. There are so many variables for each Christian that shapes their development. Some include: their past, their home church, life events that may boost or hinder their faith, the amount of effort they choose to put in to building a relationship with God, and the list goes on. Age of a person and the length of time as a Christian are not related whatsoever in spiritual maturity. I have learned though the secret to greater spiritual maturity is fully "burning" my past ways of thinking and living, and instead I fully live and rely on the ways of God. I do this by mediating on God's word, and continually seeking growth and wisdom through God's guidance through constant and deep Prayer.

How are you "burning" your old ways to be closer to God?

GMG Discussion Question:



Acts 20

Paul knew that he was getting ready to be imprisoned and was giving his last speech to the disciples. This chapter shows a lot about Paul's character and his view on life itself. For this chapter I am going to do things a little different by going through the 5 verses that I chose and then going a little more in depth on each one. 

Acts 20:2 "He traveled through Macedonia, speaking many words of encouragement to the people."

Paul was encouraging and helpful to others. He always tried to speak and live in a way that would make people crave to be closer to God. He subconsciously motivated others to strive to know and be more like Jesus. Is this what your life shows? For me an easy change is stopping and thinking before posting on social media. Use this question in your mind every time, Is this bringing glory to Gods kingdom?

Acts 20:19 "I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested." 

Paul was humbled by and convicted to God's causes. Paul didn't care about worldly treasures, about his wellbeing, or about his goals in life, he understood that God's cause is the only cause and that we should always give everything we have to it. What is getting in your way? Do your goals align with God's goals for you?

Acts 20:24 "I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."

Paul was focused solely on spreading the gospel to others. What we need to take from this is that Paul was a simple man just like you and me. God didn't make him King or task him with a special assignment. God tasked all of us to focus solely on him and to spread the gospel. We need to stop putting the apostles at a higher standard than ourselves and step up to the task that God has set for all of us. What makes you feel unworthy of the cause? Is it something that I can Pray for you about? Just know that God loves you so much, no matter what you ever do and that you are worth being a disciple of Jesus Christ! You were actually born to be one!!!

Acts 20:28 "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the Church of God, which he bought with his own blood."

Paul was very concerned and devoted to the wellbeing and growth of other followers and the Church. He always made sure they were taken care of. Church is a powerful way to connect with other Christians but also bring non-believers to Christ. We are a family, all of us, not just those who go to my physical building every Sunday. We should be concerned with the growth and wellbeing of our fellow siblings in Christ. We should be encouragers and a place where other feel secure to come when hurting or praising! Small groups are a great tool to connect to other Christians and develop deeper relationships with them. Everyone needs help at one point or another. And I know most of us need someone who will be there to keep us on track, you guys are mine every day!!! I am so thankful for all of you and am so humbled that I get to write to you every day!!!

Acts 20:35 "It is more blessed to give than it is to receive."

Paul was a very giving person. He took care of his followers monetarily and made sure that everyone else was taken care of before himself. What is your next step to be more giving? Mine is opening my home up more to not only our youth ministry leadership but also to some of our youth as well. I want to use the home that God gifted Matt and I as a tool to bring comfort, healing, and growth to everyone. 

GMG Discussion Question:


^^ I believe my post goes in to that in depth :D

I love you all and please please please share! We don't have too much longer with each other and I would love to hear everything you have to say!!! We all bring so many different personalities and thought processes to the group. Please share today!!!

Walk Gracefully with God, 

Jess <3

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