- Devastation (v. 12:1-2)
- Desperation (v. 12:3-5)
- Delight + Disbelief (v. 12:6-7)
- Dependence (v. 12:18-23)
- Discipline (v. 12:24-25)
- God is good and does good. The enemy loves to undermine His goodness to separate us from Him. Have you ever struggled with believing God is good and for you? When did that happen and how did you walk through it? (Acts 12:1-2)
- How would you describe your prayer life? God uses this difficulty to deepen The Church’s dependence on Him. Why does it take difficulty to deepen us? When has God used difficulty to deepen your dependence on Him? (Acts 12:3-5)
- What was The Church’s response when God answered their prayer? Why do you think they didn’t believe? How does this give you hope as you grow in Christ? (Acts 12:6-17)
- Read Psalm 37:1. The wicked prosper for a while but will soon vanish. Do you ever struggle when you see wicked people prosper? What does it look like to trust Jesus to make all things right? Read Romans 12:19. (Acts 12:18-23)
Acts 12:1-25 NASB
1Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. 2And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. 3When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. 5So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.
6On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. 7And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. 8And the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he *said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9And he went out and continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” 12And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13When he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate. 15They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel.” 16But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. 17But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to James and the brethren.” Then he left and went to another place.
18Now when day came, there was no small disturbance among the soldiers as to what could have become of Peter. 19When Herod had searched for him and had not found him, he examined the guards and ordered that they be led away to execution. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and was spending time there.
20Now he was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and with one accord they came to him, and having won over Blastus the king’s chamberlain, they were asking for peace, because their country was fed by the king’s country. 21On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. 22The people kept crying out, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” 23And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.
24But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.
25And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, taking along with them John, who was also called Mark.