Message: When God Widens the Circle

Speaker: Greg Holder

Service Date: February 12, 2023 Plain Print Version

Leaders, do a check-in with your group. Take a few minutes to celebrate any high points and make note of any lows to include in a time of prayer at the end of your group time or whenever you usually have prayer time. 

Open in prayer to invite the Holy Spirit to guide your discussion today-

Pastor Greg drew a circle: take a few minutes to discuss what that circle can represent. What are the circles that we might have experienced in our lives? Lines that we draw that separate us? Can you recall a time when you felt left out of a circle? Many of us might recall experiences of feeling left out in our middle school or high school days. How did you respond?

In Acts chapter 10 we see how God addresses the lines and circles we've drawn. Take some time to divide up the chapter among several readers and read this chapter out loud in your group, and discuss the questions in each section.

  1. Acts 10:1-8 
    • What do we know about the person of Cornelius?
  2. Acts 10:9-23
    • What do we know about Peter?
    • Discuss the vision that Peter had. How did Peter react?
  3. Acts 10:24-33
    • What lines/circles did Peter have to struggle with as he entered Cornelius' home?
  4. Acts 10:34-43
    • How does Peter grasp and preach the Good News to Cornelius and his household?
  5. Acts 10:44-48
    • What do we see God do to affirm this inclusion of the gentiles? Why is this significant?
    • Discuss how Peter responded.

    Spend the rest of your group time discussing how this story plays out in our lives- the circles we've drawn and others have drawn. Unpack ways we are called to bring the Good News of what Jesus has done to those around us? 

    Close with prayer requests and praying for one another to be a part of God's plan to push back the circles that have divided us.

    "I believe that in all men’s lives . . . one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local ring and the terror of being left outside."
    C.S. Lewis


    Acts 10 divided into sections


    What are the circles we might have to contend with in our own lives? Who are the gentiles in our lives?


    How might God be calling you to erase a circle in your life because of His love and acceptance for you? What would that look like? Consider what you might do individually or as a group to respond to the earthquake crisis in Turkey. (a good resource to consider is the World Vision website)