NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passage: Acts 9:36-43
Discussion Questions: How do you usually respond when you are challenged to do something difficult? When you accomplish some achievement, how can you use that accomplishment as a platform to advance the gospel?
Food for Thought:
“The Eagle has landed.” “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong said both of these phrases, the first right after he and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, and the second as he took the first step on the moon. This accomplishment represented the work of a lot of people, but Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins were the three men who took the risk. One can only imagine all the thoughts that went through their minds the first time they were told that they would be the crew to take on this challenge. Armstrong was told first and was given a day to give input on the rest of the crew.
When Peter was issued a challenge by two messengers from Joppa, he had three hours to think about it — the time it took him to travel from Lydda to Joppa. The messengers had been sent after the death of Dorcas. He knew he was being summoned to care for a person already dead and that they expected him to do more than officiate a funeral. We can only imagine the thoughts that raced through Peter’s mind on that three-hour journey. I have to assume that he prayed most of the way and he prayed like he had never prayed before.
Peter was used by God to restore Dorcas. The Scripture emphasizes that the result was people believed in the Lord because of Peter’s bold actions (Acts 9:42). Peter could have easily been the hero of this story, but Peter used this as a platform to point to the One who actually did the work.
Peter’s pointing to Christ after being used to resurrect a person may have been the boldest act in this story. Lots of us do things that give us a platform, including coaching a team, being a recognized employee, or being a good neighbor. But how many times do we use that platform to point others to Jesus?
Armstrong was selected commander of Apollo 11 in part because he did not have a large ego. Maybe God has given you a platform for the same reason — so you could put your ego aside and point others to Him.
Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.