JUL 17 / Sunday – Read Acts 3:1-26 and 4:1-22 / 1 Peter 3:15
Overview: Peter can’t help but speak about what God has done. We should be like him.
18 / Mon – The event | Read Acts 3:1-7
A reporter investigating an event would start by asking six questions (who, what, where, when, how, and why?) to determine if it is newsworthy. Imagine you had to report on what happened here. Read through these verses again. How many of the six questions could you answer? Which of the details seems most important and why? Have you been in a place where you were the person needing help or just someone passing by or maybe standing in Peter and John’s sandals? What happened?
19 / Tue – The crowd | Read Acts 3:8-26 and 4:4
It was a crowd that called for Jesus’ death. Now Peter was facing another crowd. Before Pentecost, he could not even admit he knew Jesus. But now he calls the people out for what they had done to the Messiah. Reread v. 17, 26. What does this tell you about God’s mercy? Is ‘pleading ignorance’ a justification for expecting no consequences? Or does realizing what you’ve done wrong in the past give you an opportunity to make it right in the present? What was their response in 4:4?
20 / Wed – The religious leaders | Read Acts 4:1-3 and 5-14
It is one thing to talk to strangers you don’t know and quite another to face the respected leaders of the religious community you grew up in. What gave Peter the boldness to speak the truth to these scholars of the scriptures? Why were they amazed? What did they decide was the source of Peter and John’s courage? Have you ever met a person and knew within a short period of time that they were a follower of Jesus? What gave it away? What set them apart?
21 / Thu – A compelling reason | Read Acts 4:15-22
The religious leaders dealing with Peter and John’s case went into a special closed-door session. They acknowledged in private that this was a miraculous event so why did they want to squelch it? Peter and John reject the command they were given. Why? In one sentence, in verse 20, they tell what compels them to keep proclaiming the truth about Messiah. Ever hear someone talk about Jesus and realize theirs is second-hand knowledge? Stick to telling what you’ve experienced.
22 / Fri – Asking God | Read Acts 4: 23-31
When Peter and John returned with a report of what happened, their first response was to go to prayer. Read this authentic conversation they had with God, acknowledging his sovereignty and reminding him of what the people had done to His Son. Then they made requests. What were the two things they asked for? How did God answer? Is this something you would be bold enough to ask God for yourself, for your community of faith? What might cause you to hesitate?
23 / Sat – Questions | Read 1 Peter 3:14-16
Not every Christian has the gift of evangelism, but every Christian has a circle of influence. When you live and work with others, they see what happens to you in real time. They watch you react to the difficulties and injustice and even tragedy that life can throw at a person. When you respond in unexpected ways, curiosity is piqued and questions may be asked. What would you say? Are you prepared to give the reason for your hope?