Acts 21: Join the Story

252 – Acts
21: Joining the Story 

having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through
the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When our days
there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives
and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down
on the beach we prayed and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board
the ship, and they returned home. ACTS
21:4-6 ESV

prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s
belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind
the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. ’”

When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to
Jerusalem.  Then Paul answered, “What are
you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be
imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And
since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord
be done.” ACTS 21:10-14 ESV

When we
had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. On the following day
Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. After greeting
them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles
through his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified God.  ACTS 21:17-20 ESV

…the Jews
from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands
on him… Then all the city was stirred up, and
the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple… seeking
to kill him, word came to the tribune… and when they saw the tribune and the
soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. As Paul was about to be brought into the
barracks, he said to the commander… “I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen
of no insignificant city; and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.” ACTS 21:27,30-32,37,39 ESV

4 reasons we don’t do hard things:        

1. We listen for what’s easy,
not true

I must
learn to hear God’s voice

now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing
what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in
every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my
life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and
the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of
the grace of God. ACTS 20:22-24 ESV

I must discern between
faith-filled and faithless advice

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you,
Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get
behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind
on the things of God, but on the things of man.” MATTHEW 16:22-23 ESV

2. We forget that God is
active in the world  

greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the
Gentiles through his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified God. ACTS 21:19 ESV

3. We use our privileges to
save ourselves not others

nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more
significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own
interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among
yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of
God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped…  he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the
point of death, even death on a cross. PHILIPPIANS
2:3-9 ESV

4. We resist change and
miss our part in the story

alone is with me.” 2 TIMOTHY 4:11 ESV

 “Then we went on board the ship, and they
returned home.” ACTS 21:6 ESV 

Community Group Discussion Guide

  1. Has there ever been a great opportunity or moment you feel like you missed out on? What happened and why did you miss it?
  2. What are the differences between “faith-filled” advice and “faithless” advice?  How do you recognize God’s voice and filter out the messages that actually keep you from stepping into challenging things?
  3. Have you ever took a faith-risk and afterward recognized that God was working behind the scenes already?  How were you encouraged by that?  How did that change your responses in the future?
  4. Reread Philippians 2:3-9. Just like Paul didn’t use his Roman citizenship
    to get out of harm in Acts 21, what privileges has God given you to lay down
    for the sake of others?

Outreach Training

Saturday, November 12 or 19 at Sandals
Church Hunter Park

My Notes