Sunday School Material 11-1-15: God Rescues Peter





(Acts 12:1-11; 11/1/15)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is Peter defends his ministry, before those in Jerusalem. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to obey God and work through our conflicts with one another, in a godly way. A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God rescued Peter from his prison. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to keep obeying God and trusting Him to handle our prison situations.

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Body:

Read Acts 12:1-5

I. Herod’s Oppression. King Herod was causing trouble for the church in our Sunday School material. He had James put to death. And he had arrested Peter. While all of this was going on, the church was earnestly praying.

Applications –

- Saved and troubled. Notice in vss. 1-3 that being a follower of Christ did not mean “trouble free” living. On the contrary, being a follower of Christ was the cause of the trouble in our Sunday School material.

In like manner, we should not think that being a Christian means that we will live a stress free life. In fact, the more we line up with God’s will for our lives, the more trouble the devil tries to send our way.

Let’s work on building the faith needed to face the troubles that come our way. Prayerful study of God’s word with a mind to obey and with the support of other disciples can help us with our faith development.

- A praying church. Notice in vs. 5 that the church was in earnest prayer. It is so sad to see how little we pray in our churches today. It almost seems as if we need a great crisis to make us show up for prayer.

Let’s work on praying more as a church family. This calls for not only scheduling prayer services, but it also calls for every member of the church to commit to participating (i.e., attending and praying).

Read Acts 12:6-11

II. Peter’s Rescue. In our Sunday School material Peter was in a deep sleep among the guards. An angel of the Lord appeared to Peter and helped him escape. Peter was outside and down the street, before he really understood what was going on.

Applications –

- Resting in the Lord. Notice in vs. 7 that Peter was in a deep sleep, even though he was locked up in the jail of his day. There are too many people who are so filled with anxiety that they get very little sleep.

However, worrying doesn’t work. We cannot have an anxious spirit and strong faith in God. Faith or fear will dominate. Let’s work on developing our faith, so we can learn to rest in the will of God.

As noted above, prayerful study of God’s word with a mind to obey and with supportive relationships can help us with our faith development.

- Walking by faith. Notice in vs. 8 that Peter trusted God enough to move forward, even though he did not fully understand. There are times in our lives, when we don’t fully understand. That is why we walk by faith, not by sight. However, we must have enough faith to move forward.

Faith without works is dead. When the Bible talks about God’s word being a lamp to our feet, we should remember that the lamp doesn’t give off enough light to brighten the entire area. It gives enough light for our next few steps.

But as we walk in the light of the lamp, we see a few more steps, every few steps that we take. Let’s work on trusting God, even when we don’t fully understand. Think about how this applies to family, church, and community.

- God the way maker. Notice in vss. 6-10 that God can make a way. In our Sunday School material God got Peter out of his chains, out of his cell, out of the prison, and down the street.

In like manner, if we trust God enough to move in the right direction by faith, He can still make a way for you. There is still nothing too hard for God. Let’s live like we trust that God is still a way maker. Such living should be noted for confident obedience.

- Give God the glory. Notice in vs. 11 that Peter gave glory to God, as he developed more understanding about what was going on. There are too many people who have been richly blessed but give so little glory to God, in a way that edifies the rest of the body of Christ.

Let’s work on giving God the glory, as we understand more and more of how He is working things out in our lives. Notice that we should glorify God, in ways that edifies the body, not just us.

Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying God and trusting Him to handle our prison situations. God has much for those who obey His will.

 

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