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Lesson for September 12th, 2015

Paul: Background and Call

Scripture Focus

Acts 9:1; Philippians 3:6; 1 Corinthians15:10; Acts 9:1-22; 26:18; Galatians 2:1-17


Just as God used Saul’s totality and uniqueness to make him Paul, your uniqueness can be used to witness for God, too.

Materials Needed

Printer/drawing/butcher paper, pencils, pens, colored pencils, crayons, Bibles

Connecting with the Scripture Topic

  1. If you could choose one name to describe the “you” that you want God to make you into, what would it be? How do you think the totality of your life experiences could be used to help others know, love, and live for God?
  2. Read Acts 4:1-13. The Bible’s most amazing accounts are about ordinary, everyday people—like you and me—who were used by God. Discuss a situation when you saw an ordinary person do something extraordinary through the power of God.

Sharing and Receiving Scripture

  1. Read Jesus’ words in John 14:12-18. Now draw yourself as a comic book hero. As you draw and color yourself, write a brief description or summary of your “superpower” that can be used for God’s glory. Then, across the top in bold letters, write “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility!”
  2. Thought Questions

Read Acts 9:1-22 and answer the following questions:

  1. Why was Christianity called “The Way?”
  2. Imagine what would happen if modern persecutors became converted. What unique witnessing opportunities would they have?
  3. How would you respond if you saw a bright light and heard a voice that spoke your name?
  4. How would you respond if a supposed converted persecutor of Christians told you that Jesus had instructed them to “report to you”?
  5. Would you feel comfortable baptizing a person like Saul and bringing them to church?
  6. Other...

Read Galatians 2:1-17 and answer these questions:

  1. What do you think Paul meant when he wrote, “I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain”?
  2. Are there people in your congregation who don’t understand Christian freedom? How does this affect the church’s evangelism efforts?
  3. Do you feel that Paul’s feelings about his opponents were “un-Christian?” Is it healthy and “Christian” to have boundaries with others?
  4. How would you have reacted when Paul confronted sin and hypocrisy among the leaders? What lesson(s) can we learn from how he did it?
  5. Does God’s mandate to evangelize ever allow us to participate in sinful activities? Are balance, common sense, and discernment important?
  6. Other...

Read 1 Corinthians 15:10. Why would Paul address this issue of his greatness—almost being boastful?

  1. Because he wanted to show others how far Christians could go on their own steam.
  2. Because he wanted to show others how far Christians couldn’t go on their own steam.
  3. Because he wanted to show others what Christians could become if they submitted to God’s Holy Spirit.
  4. Because he wanted to highlight the important balance that must occur between a person’s will and choices working in tandem with God’s Holy Spirit.
  5. Because he wanted to highlight God’s amazing grace through his own conversion.
  6. Other...

Read Philippians 1:15-18 and answer these questions:

  1. How is it possible for people to preach Jesus with wrong motives and un-Christian feelings? Can the Holy Spirit still use these efforts?
  2. Is it possible that God can use the bad things that are happening to you to bless others and/or draw them closer to God? How do you feel about this?
  3. Does it make you uncomfortable or angry that people could be sharing Jesus to undermine another’s ministry and/or to hurt that person in some way?
  4. How could Paul’s response to the negative, slanderous things that were happening to him be so positive?
  5. How is Paul’s last statement to his readers also an affirmation that no matter what happens, he will continue to rejoice? What can we learn from this?
  6. Other...

Applying the Message of Scripture

Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.

  • Option 1: Reflect for a moment on the most amazing miracle(s) God has done for you throughout your life. How can you use that knowledge to more effectively share God with others?
  • Option 2: Discuss with your group a time when you witnessed to someone and, in your eyes, were a total failure, but later you realized that God used it for good. What lessons did you learn from that experience?
  • Option 3: Think about an outreach activity to a person or people group that you have absolutely nothing in common with. Then go out and do it!

Valuing Scripture in Your Life

  1. Read Philippians 3:7-11. Take time to honestly assess the positives and negatives of your childhood, knowledge, skills, and experience. Consider them in light of the amazing grace that God has freely offered you. Give God thanks for this free offer and determine that you will remove any and every obstacle to sharing God with others.
  2. Read Colossians 1:24-29. Take some time to deeply meditate upon this passage and recognize the knowledge, skills, and abilities that God has given you so that you can bless others with the knowledge of God.

Next Week's Scripture Focus

1 Corinthians 1:22-24; 15:12-22; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7; Acts 15:38-41; Philippians 3:13, 14

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