Archive for April, 2016

New Believers

Our hope is for our kids to know that: The message of the gospel is effective to save and change sinful hearts  

17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 2:42 – 47) The disciples were now filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ had told them to make disciples of all nations after they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, so now that time has come. Jesus told the disciples that they would do greater things than Him, and we witness this at the day of Pentecost. We see that 3000 people responded to Peter’s message and were saved. Peter was filled with the spirit and we see the awesome results. This response to the gospel message began the local church. We see that they all began to fellowship together and share everything they had with each other so that no one was in need. People began to see this and join them daily.

The Jesus Connection:
The behavior of the very first converts in the book of Acts shows us the fruit of the gospel through the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. These people were transformed from being mockers of Christ. In fact, some of them were probably in the crowd who had demanded that Jesus be crucified. Yet now, we see them selling their possessions to share with other Christians who had need. Peter, affected by this first dramatic gospel transformation, went on to exhort all new believers to reject their sinful past and live holy, upright lives (see 1 Peter 1:14–15).
The gospel takes someone’s worldly self-focus and turns their heart heavenward. The first converts went from hating Jesus to loving him. They served others and worshiped God through Christ. Only the Spirit of God can change hearts this way. The gospel continued to transform lives as more new converts were added each day.

Pentecost

Our hope is for our kids to know that: The promised Holy Spirit is poured out  

I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Mark 1:8

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 1:15 – 2:12) Jesus told the disciples that they need to wait in Jerusalem for a gift. After receiving this gift, they were supposed to spread the news of Christ and make disciples all over the world. In this passage we see that the gift Jesus was referring to was the Holy Spirit. As they were gathered together tongues of fire settled upon each of them, and a violent wind shook the entire place. They each began to speak in other tongues (languages) because they were filled with the Holy Spirit. People from all nations were there, and they each heard the disciples speaking in their own language. They wondered how this could be? This was God plan in showing that the gospel was for every nation, every tongue, and every person.

The Jesus Connection:
In the Old Testament, the feast of Pentecost was called the Feast of Harvest or day of the first fruits (Exodus 23:16; Numbers 28:26–30). On this day, bulls, lambs, and a goat were sacrificed, in addition to the regular offering, to make atonement.
Now that Jesus has been sacrificed upon the cross and salvation has come to the people of Israel, there is no longer need to kill the goat of atonement. In addition, the promised blessing to Abraham has been fulfilled. With the arrival of the Spirit of God, the disciples were free to begin the advance of the gospel to people of every tribe, language, and nation.

The Ascension

Our hope is for kids to know that: Jesus left the Earth, but He will come again

21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.
Acts 3:21

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 1:1-14) Jesus had accomplished his mission that He set out to do on Earth. He conquered death, sin, and the devil. The disciples wanted to know if He was going to restore the kingdom of Israel. However, Jesus had different plans that were bigger than that. Jesus told them to wait for the gift that He had promised them (the Holy Spirit) and then they were to spread the gospel to all nations. This is what God told Abraham years ago, that they were to spread the word to the entire world. After this Jesus ascended into heaven with the disciples staring up in the sky at him. While they were staring, two men in white told him that Jesus would be back again, even though it is not for us to know the day or the time. We are to pray for His return.

The Jesus Connection:
The Great Commission of Matthew 28:16–20 is not found in the other Gospels, but has a companion passage in Luke. Jesus had earlier commissioned the disciples to spread the message of his death and resurrection (Luke 24:47). Both passages tell us that the gospel is to be preached to all nations. The salvation of Jesus Christ is not limited to the Jews, but is to go to all nations and all peoples. Matthew records that those who receive the message are to be baptized. That baptism, Paul later explains, is an identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus in the life of the individual believer (Romans 6:3–4).

The Great Commission

Our hope is for our kids to know that: The Gospel Fulfills God’s Promise to Abraham  

21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.
Acts 3:21

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Matthew 28:16-20) Jesus was finished with his work on Earth as a man. He had fulfilled his purpose. He lived among us as a man, he died, and he rose again. Now it was His time to ascend into heaven, so he told his disciples to go out and spread his word. To go out and make more disciples, not just in the town they were in, but in all the world. This message was just not for the Jews, but it was for the gentiles as well! The message of Christ was spread because the disciples were excited to share the gospel. We should be just as excited today! Let’s go out and make disciples and continue to spread the gospel!

The Jesus Connection:
The Great Commission of Matthew 28:16–20 is not found in the other Gospels, but has a companion passage in Luke. Jesus had earlier commissioned the disciples to spread the message of his death and resurrection (Luke 24:47). Both passages tell us that the gospel is to be preached to all nations. The salvation of Jesus Christ is not limited to the Jews, but is to go to all nations and all peoples. Matthew records that those who receive the message are to be baptized. That baptism, Paul later explains, is an identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus in the life of the individual believer (Romans 6:3–4).