This Bible study corresponds with the November Devotion “Giving Out of Our Poverty” in The Encourager’s Devotional Series.
Read Acts 16:1-17:15, which tells of Paul and his team’s first missionary journey to Macedonia.
From Acts 16, list the troubles that Paul and his team experienced in Philippi:
- They were harrassed by a girl who was by a (vv. 16-18).
- They were and (v. 22).
- They were put in (v. 23).
What did Paul and Silas do while in prison (v. 25)?
What miracles occured in Philippi (vv. 18, 26)?
What good results came in Philippi (vv. 15, 33)?
Why did the slave girl’s owners oppose Paul and Silas (v. 19)?
Why were Paul and his team also opposed in Thessalonica (17:5)?
Why were the Jews in Thessalonica jealous (17:4)?
What happened to Jason and others simply because they were associated with Paul (17:5-9)?
How were Paul and his companions received in Berea (17:11,12)?
Who made trouble for Paul in Berea and finally drove him out of Macedonia (17:13)?
Acts 18-20 tells of Paul’s further travels back and forth through Macedonia and Greece. Notice that his traveling companions now include several Macedonians (19:29 and 20:4, note Berea and Thessalonica are part of Macedonia). Who are they?
Acts 16:40 says, “After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and them.”
Acts 20:1 says that after a riot in Ephesus, Paul “sent for the disciples and, after __________________ them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia.”
How likely are you to encourage others when you are experiencing troubles of your own?
Fill in the blanks from Acts 20:23-24: “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that and are facing me. However, I consider my life worth to me, if only I may the and the the Lord Jesus has given me the task of to the of God’s grace.”
How might working with someone who had an attitude such as this inspire the Macedonians to give sacrificially and to strive to encourage others even though they had reason to be discouraged themselves?
Fill in the blanks from 2 Corinthians 8:1-12. It says that the Macedonians, even in the most , had overflowing and that even in extreme they were rich in .
How likely are these things to be said of you?
Do you consider it a privilege to share in service to the saints as the Macedonians did, or does it seem more of a drudgery at times?
How much do you “excel in this grace of giving”?
Paul said you can “test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others” (8:8). How do you compare with the earnestness we see in Paul and the Macedonians?
Think on the example of Christ we see in our text, who “though He was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (8:9).
Take a moment to pray, thanking Christ for the sacrifice He made for us: leaving the majesty of heaven for the poverty of earth so that we earthly beggars might be made heirs of heavenly riches. Pray that He might help you be more like Him. Pray specifically for any convictions that came as you answered the questions in this meditation section or in the devotion.
Read again the end of this month’s devotion. List here any ways you may want to “stretch yourself beyond your abilities” this month.
What specifically do you want to do in response to this month’s devotion?
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