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ACTION IN ACTS  PHASE 4             IF GOD SAYS, “YOU MUST...YOU WILL”    SESSION 1

Acts 13/1-4

INTRODUCTION:                                                                     

Now begins what I think is the most exciting story line in the whole book of Acts. It is God’s intention that Paul preaches the Good News in Rome. This would align with the Master Plan outlined in Acts 1/8. But there were those who opposed such a goal and between “You must preach the good news in Rome as well…  (23/11) and “and so we came to Rome (28/14), there was all manner of opposition and intrigue.

There must have been more than one occasion when the obstacles appeared to Paul as insurmountable.  Even the verse Acts 23:11 (NLT)11  That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well”  Be Encouraged! You only say that to a person who is either discouraged or prone to discouragement.

So hang on to your hearts, here we go……….

[1]  ASSASSINATION CONSPIRACY (23/12-15)

a. A squad of more than 40 conspirators bind themselves in a life/death oath. Their determination to eliminate Paul is scary! Why such passion? They seek to secure the co-operation of the Council.

b. I didn’t know Paul had a sister!! In fact, I didn’t know he had a nephew! But just as well he did because that nephew heard about the plot. How? Any number of ways. What might Hollywood do with that situation?

c. Did you notice that there is no mention of any angelic involvement in this interaction? It seems more like human factors coinciding in a natural way. That’s not to say there wasn’t such divine superintendency but not everything has to be riddled with divine activity: as someone once said, “Jesus didn’t always walk on water; sometimes He went by boat”!

d. It’s fascinating to me that the people who want to stop Paul reaching Rome have just facilitated the first part of that journey! Jerusalem to Caesarea was stage one of the journey and it was accomplished with a Roman escort of 200 soldiers, 200 spearmen and 70 mounted troops.  Furthermore, Paul was provided with a horse to ride. There was also a letter of introduction from the Commander of the Jerusalem garrision.

e. When God says “You must…you will!! Having declared that to be the case, God uses a range of people and circumstances bring it to pass.

a. A nephew who somehow overheard the plans of the conspirators and passed them on. What      are the chances of that?!!

b. 40+ conspirators who tried to recruit the leading priests and elders into their scheme

c.   Commander of Jerusalem Garrison who took his role seriously

Out of your own experience, can you recall an event or a series of events that, in hindsight you can see how that time was orchestrated or engineered by the Lord? Is your recollection of a kind that you can share it with the group?

At this very time you may be waiting on God to guide you with regard to some decision you must make. Is there anything in this study that helps you look at your immediate  situation in a new light?

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