Grow Deep - Sent Vol 3 - Week 3

Week 3: August 4-10

Sent Through Open Doors

Memory Verse: “Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” Acts 12:5

How well do you handle change? Do you look forward to it or dread it? My youngest will soon head off to college, and in an instant, my husband and I will become empty nesters. We’re struggling with the thought of letting her go and are constantly questioning whether we have done enough to prepare her for the new path she will soon take. Our days are filled with busy preparations and efforts to do our favorite family activities one last time before she leaves. We know that in college everything will be new for her—new friends, new surroundings, new learning, and new challenges. How will her peers, coaches and professors receive her? How will she fare?

For days on end, I lay awake at night worrying about our daughter’s future and her readiness for this next step. And then, unexpectedly, I came to a realization: it’s not about what we as parents have done to prepare our daughter for her new life—it’s about what GOD has done to prepare her. She is His child and His servant. He created her. He lives in her. He loves her beyond measure. Her path is not random—God chose it and has planned every day of the rest of her life. God is SENDING her to a new place to do His work. He has transformed her, and He has equipped her perfectly for what lies ahead. The doors are wide open! She need only take that first step and walk through them. Our job is to pray for her and trust that wherever her path may lead, God will use her to build His kingdom.

Sunday, August 4
Read: Acts 12:1-3
King Herod began to persecute the Jewish Christians because it was
popular with his subjects and he thrived on power. He killed James, the brother of the Apostle John, and seized Peter.
Reflect: Have you been ridiculed or persecuted for believing in Christ? If so, how did you respond? How did Jesus use that experience to draw you closer to Him?

Monday, August 5
Read: Acts 12:4-5
Peter was imprisoned and four squads of soldiers were assigned to guard him. There was constant prayer offered up by the believers on his behalf.
Reflect: When and how do you pray? Do your prayers consist mostly of a list of wishes that you are hoping God will grant? How do you respond when your prayers seem to go unanswered? What concrete steps will you take this week to make your prayer life more meaningful?

Tuesday, August 6
Read: Acts 12:6-10
While Peter was bound in chains to a prison guard, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him to get up and get dressed and follow him. After breaking the chains that held him and leading Peter to safety outside the city gate, the angel departed.
Reflect: What chains inhibit you from doing God’s work? Are they chains of your own making? How will you break them?

Wednesday, August 7
Read: Acts 12:11-12
Acknowledging that the Lord had delivered Peter from the hand of King Herod, he was sent by God to the home of Mary, Mother of John Mark. Those gathered there were praying.
Reflect: From what calamity has God saved you? Did you realize in the midst of your experience that it was God who did it? How did He save you? Was it in the way you expected? Did you respond by telling others about God’s mercy? Who?

Thursday, August 8
Read: Acts 12:13-15
Peter knocked on the gate of the house of Mary, and a young girl named Rhoda went to the gate. When she heard his voice, she was excited and told the others he was there. They did not believe her. 
Reflect: Name the people who are closest to you. What are you doing to encourage them in their faith? Resolve to start a spiritual conversation with a loved one this week.

Friday, August 9
Read: Acts 12:16-18
Peter continued knocking, and when they finally opened the door, those gathered inside were astonished to see him. Peter told them how the Lord had rescued him. He sent them to tell that news to James, the half brother of Jesus. Peter departed from there.
Reflect: What doors is God opening for you? How receptive are you to His call? Do you respond to His sending with excuses or obedience? Ask God for the courage to go where He leads you this week.

Saturday, August 10
Read: Acts 12:19-25
King Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, but they wanted to make peace with him for economic reasons. He dressed in full royal array and gave a speech to them. They shouted out calling him a god and not a man. When King Herod accepted the glory for himself instead of giving it to God, the Lord struck him dead. And the Word of God spread.
Reflect: Think of a recent accomplishment for which you were recognized. Did you credit God for your achievement, or did you accept the praise only for yourself? How can you glorify God in what you do this week?