Archive for May, 2014

Stephen Forgives His Accusers as They Stone Him

Key verse:

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”
(1 Peter 3:15)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We stand up for Jesus

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 6:8 – 7:60) Stephen was someone who stepped in to help when the church began to grow. He had wisdom and a love for Christ, which made the Sanhedrin angry with him. Their anger led them to create false accusations against Stephen, so they went to bring charges against him. When they asked Stephen if the allegations were true, he stood his ground and gave a speech, hoping to lead the Sanhedrin to repentance. Instead the Sanhedrin grew angry at him and proceeded to hurl stones at him. As Stephen was being slowly executed, he spoke the words similar to what Jesus said. He asked God to forgive his accusers and killers. Stephen was an example of how we stand our ground and stand up for Jesus. We may not face the same type of persecution, but we can feel secure in knowing that people will see the grace of God through our faith.

Share:
Ask your kids the following questions, and encourage a family discussion on sharing your faith. How can we share our faith with words? What are some actions that share our faith? What gets in the way of sharing our faith? Why is it important to use both words and actions when we’re sharing our faith? How have you seen someone use both words and actions to share faith in Jesus? What’s one way you’ll commit to sharing your faith in words and actions this week?

Activity/Challenge for Families:
1) Make heart-shaped cookies, and share them with people. If the opportunity presents itself, tell the people you share the cookies with about what having Jesus in you has meant for your life.. Then with gentleness and respect, just as our Key Verse says, invite those people to learn more about Jesus. Pray that you will make an impact in someones life by introducing them to Jesus!

 

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Christians Care for One Another

Key verse:

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching”
(Hebrews 10:24-25)

Our hope is for our kids to: Have faith in Jesus

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Psalm 23; Acts 2:42-47) The early church would often meet together for fellowship. They would eat together and likely discussed all the things that Jesus had taught them. After the Holy Spirit came upon them at the day of Pentecost, and 3000 people became saved, all the believers were unified. They began to share everything they had with each other and made sure everyone’s needs were met. This is the ultimate display of “loving your neighbor” and it definitely united the believers into a strong community. They certainly remembered the words of Jesus when he said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35)

Share:
Talk with your children about ways that your church has shown you or your family loving care. Perhaps your church brought meals when a baby was born or helped out when someone had died or was sick. Even teachers at church show loving care to your children and you. Tell your family what it has meant to you to receive loving care from your church. Then think of ways that your family can show loving care to others at church as well.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
One night during the week, take your family for a meal. Convince them that you only have enough money to buy each person an incomplete meal. For example, maybe one member of the family doesn’t get a drink, another person will not get a side order, and so on. As you begin to eat, see if everyone begins to share. If not maybe bring up how the early church shared everything so no one was without or in need. As you begin to share discuss how the early church must have felt, and compare that to how the family feels about their experience sharing.

Jesus Returns to Heaven

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”
(Matthew 28:19-20)

Our hope is for our kids to: Tell others about Jesus

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:1-11) After the resurrection, Jesus gave his disciples instructions on what to do next before he ascended into heaven. One of those instructions was to “go and make disciples”. This was easy for the disciples because they knew for sure that Jesus was who he said he is. By staying 40 days with the disciples they saw him long enough to know that this is the man who they followed for years, and who also died and rose again. Because of this we know that we can be confident in our faith, and spread the gospel to all.

Share:
Talk with your kids about how you first learned about Jesus. You might share experiences of people telling you about Jesus and heaven. Perhaps someone shared with you what it would look like to have a meaningful friendship with Jesus. Talk with your kids about the best way to share your faith in Jesus. Then encourage your children to each pick one person they’d like to tell about Jesus this week. Check back at the end of the week to see how each person followed through.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Get a blank sheet of paper and some crayons, and then gather the family. Explain that the family will work together to make “disciples” by teaching what they know about Jesus. Each person should take a turn sharing one thing he or she knows about Jesus. As the person shares, he or she should draw one part of a person on the sheet of paper. For example, while drawing a person’s head one person might say that Jesus taught about the kingdom of God. See how many disciples your family can make in this manner.