March 29, 2020
Pastor Ricky Smith
I. Encounter of Faith
1 After we were brought safely through, we then learned that the island was called Malta. 2 The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold.
A. Place of Purpose
B. People for Peace
Encounters of faith affirm the hand of God
II. Experiential Faith
3 When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. 4 When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. 6 They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
Experience is a great teacher but is not trustworthy
Experiential faith may result in:
III. Expressions of Faith
7 Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8 It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him, healed him. 9 And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. 10 They also honored us greatly, and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.
Our expression of care exposes the purity of our faith
- I choose to put my trust in Jesus and no longer rely on experiences.
- I repent of resentment over encounters and trust God may use them to mature me.
- I commit to express love to others and proclaim the Gospel every day.
- Acts 28:1-2 reveal the Sovereign hand of God, when He positioned Paul at the right place in His time. Share moments in your life where what you thought was a disruption to your plan revealed an opportunity to either give or receive encouragement.
- Acts 28:3-6 point to a people group that were fickle in their faith because they depended on an experience. How is this evident in our lives today, and why should we be weary of searching for feelings found in an experience instead of faith found in Christ?
- Acts 28:7-10 demonstrate Paul and his company’s commitment to care for those in need. Why is it important to meet the physical needs of those around us and how can we use this is a launching pad to proclaim the Gospel?
- Read Matthew 5:14-16 and discuss as a family the impact of a small light in a dark room.
- If sin and selfishness lead us to darkness, discuss how we see the Enemy at work in our world to lead people to unwise decisions.
- In light of Matthew 5:14-16, share how we can be a light in darkness to carry hope to our world while avoiding unwise decisions for our own life.