Week 3 // October 18th-24th

There is a real temptation right now to make our "main thing" in life about political issues, pandemic opinions, or other strong philosophies that we hold dearly. As Christians, this ought not be so. Our "main thing" should always and forever be about Jesus Christ. Our mission as the church is to help people find and follow Jesus. Now is a time of self reflection. What have you been reading, watching, and listening to? Is it a constant stream of news media be it mainstream or alternative? Is it pages of journals, blogs, and articles that affirm our ideas and opinions? Are we consuming all the problems and pains of the world or are we fixing our eyes on the ultimate solution? Why, so we can body speak about Jesus, the solution to hate, fear, injustice, and all other manner man made atrocities As the old him goes;

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
  In the light of His glory and grace.

Acts 4:23-31

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
 and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Station 1

Read verses 23-24. Right before this, Peter and John had been arrested and greatly threatened. After being released, the worries of the world could have easily dominated their minds. The injustice, the hypocrisy, and the hate could have consumed them. Instead, the chose to, with the church by their side, turn to God in prayer.

Take some time to pray now, and consider these prayer suggestions while you do:

1. Consider what your mediation is and has been lately. Confess the specific ways, if any, that you have been focusing too much on things of this world rather than things of God. 
2. Think of where you tour to for support. Is it the God and the church? Ask God for the wisdom and faith to lean into him and your church for support. Consider what this might look like in your life.
3. Thank and praise God for His patience with us. 

Station 2

Read verses 24-28. Their prayer begins with a recognition of God's power and His control over everything under heaven. Then, in their prayer, they quote God's own scriptures back to Him. The quote and remember the Scripture to illustrate how God is specifically demonstrated His control over human history.

Take some time to pray now, and consider these prayer suggestions while you do:

1. Take some time to list attributes of God to Him, give him glory for these attributes. For example: Say, "God you are loving, you are good, you are just, you are faithful, etc." Go slowly.
2. Praise God for specific ways you have seen God show himself to demonstrate those attributes in your life.
3. This last one may be hard for you, but consider quoting God's words back to him with a Scripture that has been on your mind as of late (maybe take time to look up a few scriptures). For example, "In Philippians 4 you told use how to have a peace that surpasses all understanding." Then pray for that peace. 

Station 3

Read verse 29. Here the church gets to the point. God is the maker of all things. He is in control of all things. In light of this, these threats from the religious leaders are nothing. So, they pray that they can focus on the truth of who God is, rather than their world concerns. Why? That they may be bold.

Take some time to pray now, and consider these prayer suggestions while you do:

1. Speak your world concerns to God.
2. Tell God that you are casting these anxieties on Him. Read 1 Peter 5:7 and pray this scripture to God.
3. Now prayer for you and our church to have a boldness beyond that which we ever have before. 

Station 4

Read the last two verses. Here they acknowledge the work that God is doing through them, and then God shows up in a powerful way. What is God doing through you? What is God doing through our church?

Take some time to pray now, and consider these prayer suggestions while you do:

1. Take some time to think about the ways God has gifted you, and thank God for those. If you can think of any, ask God to reveal your heart and your gifts to you int he days and weeks ahead.
2. Consider ways God is or could use you if only you would let Him. Ask for guidance to be used by God.
3. Pray for the work of your ministry and the ministry of our church.