Message 51: Is Our Relationship With God Personal Or Profitable?

The Book of Acts

By Pastor Chris Brown, February 20, 2021

Is Our Relationship With God Personal Or Profitable?

Three chapters, two years of testimony and nothing to show for it?

Acts 23:12-26:32

Telling the story:

PowerPoints from prison:

Acts 24-26

Don’t ever let the of life overshadow the of God.

Faithfulness is always measured by , never the .

You will always reach your goal in life if your in life is to be a .

Our greatest goal in life has to be more about where we are than where we are .

Is it personal or profitable?

Acts 24-26, Matthew 7:15-28, John 15:1-17, Matthew 16:24-27

Whether our relationship with God is or
will truly determine if we have a God.


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Life Group Study Questions

For the week of February 21, 2021

(Questions and Scriptures for further study & discussion)


Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or something that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?


  1. In this weekend’s message, we heard Chris say, “Don’t ever let the problems of life overshadow the promises of God.” Another way to say that is, “Never doubt in the darkness what God has said in the light.” Has there ever been a time in your life when you had to work hard to keep focused on God’s promises instead of your problems?

If so, what helped you keep your focus on God’s promises?

  1. We heard this weekend how Paul had little impact on the government officials he talked to during his two-year imprisonment in Caesarea. What is your response to the fact that even the Apostle Paul, as experienced as he was in talking to people about Jesus, wasn’t able to convince everyone he talked to?


  1. As Chris mentioned this weekend, we often equate success with results while God equates success with our faithfulness. How does 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 reinforce this idea that our responsibility is to be faithful to what we are called to do and not be concerned with the outcome?

1 Corinthians 3:5-9 New International Version (NIV) 5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

We also don’t want to miss the fact that God does reward our faithfulness. What motivations to live a life of faithfulness and obedience do you find in the following passages?

Colossians 3:23-24 New International Version (NIV) 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Matthew 19:27-30 New International Version (NIV) 27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Matthew 25:14-21 New International Version (NIV) 14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

What would you suggest to someone who has been faithful but is now growing weary because of a lack of visible results?

What role do you think gaining rewards should play in our faithfulness?

  1. Chris talked about how Paul had little apparent impact on government officials Felix, Festus, and Agrippa during his two years of imprisonment at Caesarea. However, in his other writings, Paul describes his desire to share the Gospel with others and the impact he was able to have in people’s lives despite his incarceration. What can we learn about Paul’s attitude regarding how he views his problems and sharing the Gospel from the verses below?

Philippians 1:12-14 New International Version (NIV) 12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

Colossians 4:2-6 New International Version (NIV) 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

What does Paul’s prayer request reveal about what is involved in being a faithful spokesperson for Jesus?

How might Paul’s instructions on how to act toward “outsiders” influence the way you relate to people?


  1. Is there anyone in your life with whom you want to act with more wisdom toward as Colossians 4:5 talks about? What are some ways others can pray for you regarding this relationship?
  1. Take a moment to pray the following prayer as a way to reinforce the reality that when it comes to serving God, our part is faithfulness, and His part is producing the fruit (John 15).

“Lord, help me to be faithful to the gifts, abilities and opportunities You have given me according to the strength You give me (see Colossians 1:28-29). Then give me the grace and faith to leave the results to You.”

Colossians 1:28-29 New International Version (NIV) 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.



We’re excited to let you know we have an amazing volunteer opportunity coming your way starting April 11 called Serve Your City. During this three-week campaign, we will focus on helping others by the way we give, serve and love our community. More info to come.

If you have a professional skill such as carpentry, painting, landscape etc., and are interested in working on a hands-on project during Serve Your City, please contact Chandler Pine at cpine@northcoastchurch.


Ladies of North Coast Church, join us for a two-day conference March 26-27 as we dig into the theme of learning to trust God with all aspects of life. Hear from speaker Megan Fate Marshman and enjoy breakout sessions, worship and more! Register today at