…to the Ends of the Earth
God Uses Means

Acts 14:1-7
Dr. Jeffrey Clark

The Big Idea: God uses speaking to achieve His outcomes.

  • God uses speaking to achieve faith, v. 1
  • God uses speaking to harden hearts, v. 2.
  • God uses speaking to bring division, v. 4.


Quick Review: Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?

My Story: In the ways of God, means are appointed to realize outcomes in human history. Where do you see God using human decisions, work, leaders and initiatives to realize certain outcomes?

Digging Deeper:

  1. God uses speaking to bring about faith. Observe how they “spoke in such a way that a great number believed” (Acts 14:1). How can you prepare yourself for, and make invitations toward, the hearing of God’s Word? How can your partnership in the local church serve to advance the robust teaching of God’s Word?
  2. God uses speaking to harden hearts. Notice how unbelievers stirred up certain hearers and poisoned their minds against believers (Acts 14:2). Great speaking does not keep people from hardening their hearts. In fact, it may be a means God uses toward that end. Review Isaiah 6:8-10. How have you seen this in your exposure to the Christian life?
  3. God uses speaking to bring division. In Acts 14:4, the people of the city were divided. Ultimately, an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews to mistreat Paul and stone him. Review Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:34. How may believers have misguided ideas about unity and peace in this fallen world?

Taking It Home: What outcomes do you seek in life and how do these relate to outcomes God seeks? How may the local church be a collaborative laboratory serving God’s outcomes? With whom can God use your verbal witness to serve His outcomes?


We want to extend a special welcome to visitors and guests, and we invite you to an informal reception immediately following our worship service. Pastor Jeff will meet you at the Welcome Center, where you can receive a special gift when you turn in a Communication Card.


Soup’er Saturdays are back! Please join us following the Saturday evening service for a great bowl of soup and fellowship. If you are interested in joining this soup’er fun ministry, reach out to Jodie Cates at [email protected] to be added to the list. We are looking to add to our soup makers, set-up/clean-up crew and bringers of desserts and soup sidekicks.


Mark your calendars for Sunday, November 18 at 6:00 PM for our community Thanksgiving dinner – Bird is the Word. Please see Michele Force in the lobby this weekend to volunteer. Small groups are encouraged to pick an area to help! Invite your neighbors and friends as we celebrate our blessings!


If you have recently begun attending Aspen Ridge Church, you are welcome to join us for our Eat & Greet event on Sunday, November 11 at 3:00 PM at Pastor Jeff and Mary’s home, 7183 Pinewood Drive in Evergreen. This is a great time to get to know the staff at the church, as well as others who are new to our church family. Please contact the church office to RSVP.


Get ready to make an impact in a child’s life! We are be filling boxes with school supplies and toys to send to a child who may never have received a gift. The shoebox will also send the good news of Jesus. Boxes are available in the lobby and must be returned no later than Sunday, November 11.


Aspen Ridge received a 98% favorable vote to extend a call to Lawrence Pridmore as Associate Pastor of Worship Arts. Lawrence and his family have accepted this call and are targeting a starting date in mid-November. We are full of expectancy and faith that God will move in powerful ways through Pastor Lawrence and our church family in the coming months and years! Please keep them in your prayers as they make this transition.


Thank you to all who participated in this year’s Aspen Hollow: Trunk or Treat! We had about 300 kids, not to mention all the moms, dads, grandparents and friends. It was a fun evening and would not be possible without our volunteers, who provided 35 trunks, lots of candy and even a chili meal…the kids loved it!! We would also like to thank our Director of Children’s Ministry, Debbie Stewart and her assistant, Meredith Zouski for their dedication and outstanding leadership. We truly believe you guys made this the best year yet!


The Saturday before Thanksgiving, we will be receiving several frozen turkeys and would like to get them to families in our community. Please call the church office to reserve a turkey for a family in need. The turkeys would be available for your pickup and delivery to the family you know on Saturday, November 17. Please contact one of our deacons, Ed Marcy, Carol Battersby, Daniel Sheffer, Carol Reinoehl, Eric Krajewski or Mike Kelly for more information. This is a great opportunity to show God’s love this season!


Dinner is served at 5:30 PM on Wednesday nights. This week, our menu includes spaghetti, bread and butter, salad and dessert for $2.50/person or $10/family. All are welcome.


Please pray for John and Elaine in Japan, as they have busy traveling schedules, meetings and events. Pray that the Lord would give them health and wisdom for each day. John had bronchitis in September, and they do not want a relapse. Pray for their connections with the Japanese people, that they would be genuine and impactful for the Lord’s work in each of their lives.

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