Posts Tagged ‘Paul’

Saul is knocked to the ground

Our hope is for our kids to know that: No one can resist the calling of God

“No one can come to me, unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person on the last day”
John 6:44

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 9:1-19) Saul was a Pharisee who was persecuting followers of Jesus. He did not believe that Jesus was the son of God. One day, on his way to Damascus, Jesus appeared to him and blinded him. For three days he was blind until God sent Ananias to pray for him and to let him know that he was chosen by God to spread the Word to the Gentiles. It took Ananias awhile to be convinced because he was afraid of Saul, but once he went to Saul and prayed for him Saul’s sight was restored. Saul then became Paul and began preaching in the name of Jesus. God has called all of us to spread his Word and make disciples.

The Jesus Connection:
Saul heard a voice asking, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4). He did not know who was speaking, so he asked, “Who are you, Lord?” To his amazement the response was, “I am Jesus.” Saul knew that Jesus had been a teacher, and that he had died on the cross. But Saul did not yet know and believe that Jesus was Lord, the Son of God, raised in power! We, like Saul, are sinners who do not know Jesus. Our experience in coming to know Jesus is similar to Paul’s. While we are sinners God takes the initiative to move us toward himself. Saul was on his way to kill more Christians when Jesus revealed himself to him. Saul immediately realized that the stories of Jesus’ resurrection were true. Jesus was, and is, alive!

Saul is Knocked to the Ground

Our hope is for our kids to know that: No one can resist the calling of God

Key Verse:
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the father will give you”
John 15:16

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 8:29 – 9:25) Saul (who later became the apostle Paul) started off by arresting Christians. Saul thought he was doing what God wanted him to do, because he didn’t believe Jesus was the messiah. One day, on his way to Damascus he encounters Jesus. A bright light from heaven shone down on Saul, and he heard Jesus ask him, “Why do you persecute me”. It was at that moment Saul knew that Jesus was “the way”, and instead of fighting for God he had been fighting against him. God chose Saul (Paul) to be an apostle, and spread the good news of Christ everywhere he went.

The Jesus Connection:
Saul heard a voice asking, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4). He did not know who was speaking, so he asked, “Who are you, Lord?” To his amazement the response was, “I am Jesus.” Saul knew that Jesus had been a teacher, and that he had died on the cross. But Saul did not yet know and believe that Jesus was Lord, the Son of God, raised in power!
We, like Saul, are sinners who do not know Jesus. Our experience in coming to know Jesus is similar to Paul’s. While we are sinners God takes the initiative to move us toward himself. Saul was on his way to kill more Christians when Jesus revealed himself to him. Saul immediately realized that the stories of Jesus’ resurrection were true. Jesus was, and is, alive!

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!

 

For the Love of May

Key Verse: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”
(Acts 16:31)

Our hope is for our kids to believe that: God teaches us how to love

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Corinthians 13:1-13) This passage today is commonly referred to as the love chapter. Here we see Paul explaining that love is not seeking pleasure for ourselves, but for others, just like Jesus did! The more loving we become, the more like Jesus we become. All others things will pass away, but love is eternal. Paul uses an analogy of becoming an adult and leaving childhood. As a child we thought certain things were important and had significance, but as we got older we saw that some of those things weren’t important anymore. As we mature we discover that our knowledge of God becomes more complete, until that day when we meet Jesus and everything becomes perfectly clear!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk about a time someone treated you with love. What did that person do and how did you feel? Encourage your kids to talk about things people do for them that make them feel loved. Perhaps receiving a gift makes them feel loved. Or perhaps they feel loved when they hear someone say something encouraging. Discuss ways you and your family can practice showing love in similar ways.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
This week discuss as a family someone who could use some encouragement. Review 1 Corinthians 13 and discuss what love is. After the discussion pray and ask God to reveal one or more people your family could bless this week. After deciding who to bless and how, meet as a family again and discuss how everyone felt after this act of kindness.

For the Love of May

Key Verse: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”
(Acts 16:31)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus saves us

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Romans 8:9-17) Paul in this passage is explaining a new concept to many who heard it in his day. He is making it clear that as Christians, we have the Holy Spirit within us, and this is what gives us life. Even though we still have our bodies that will die, our spirit is alive for eternity because the Holy Spirit dwells in us. When we live in the spirit we will begin to change naturally. Not by force or our own actions, but by the Spirit which forms us and makes us who we really are, which are Gods children and heirs with Christ, who suffered for us so that we could have eternal life!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk with your kids about what it means to live by God’s Spirit. Not sure yourself? Check out what the Key Verse says the fruit of the Spirit is. Then come up with examples from your own life to share how God has changed your attitude or actions as you’ve been guided by the Holy Spirit. Encourage your kids to think of ways God might change them as they continue to live for God.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Work together as a family to make fruit salad for dessert one night this week. As you prepare the fruit, tell each other what positive ways you see each person living out the fruit of the Spirit. For example, you might say to your mom, “I love the way you take the time to be patient with me when I’m having trouble with my math homework.” Make sure each family members hears a positive comment.  

 

For the Love of May

Key Verse: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”
(Acts 16:31)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus saves us

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 16:16-34) As Paul continued to preach the gospel he ran across a slave girl who told fortunes. This girl was demon possessed and followed Paul and his team for a few days, until finally Paul got annoyed. Paul didn’t want people to think this girl was associated with him, so he commanded the spirit to leave the slave girl. This left her owners angry, because they made a lot of money from her fortune telling. They dragged Paul and Silas to the authorities who put them in jail. Being in jail did not stop Paul and Silas from praising God, and soon an earthquake came and unshackled not only them, but all the prisoners! The guard knew he would surely be punished, so he took his sword and started to end his own life. However, Paul stopped him and told him about the love of Jesus, and as a response the guard accepted Christ and was baptized!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Play this Yes game with your children. The object of the game is to practice saying yes by trying not to say no. Try to have a regular conversation about everyone’s day, the weather, or what you learned in church this last week. Award a point each time someone says yes until someone says no. At that point, the game is over. At the end of the game, explain to your kids that we want to say yes to Jesus just as the jailer did in this week’s Bible lesson.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
One night this week, make milkshakes for everyone. After you’ve made the milkshakes use a package of sugar wafers to build a small prison by stacking them on a plate. Then have everyone grab hold of the plate and shake it gently, causing the “prison walls” to fall down. Then enjoy your milkshakes and eat some cookies as you review the bible story of how God used an earthquake to shake the prison and knock down the walls. Then talk about how Paul and Silas remained in jail and how as a result, the jailer believed in Jesus.

Spring Into Action!

Key Verse: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We should keep following God

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 12:1-18) In this passage Herod Agrippa is persecuting Christians to try and win favor with the Jews. This Herod is the third in a line of bad Herod’s, the first one tried to kill Jesus when Jesus was just a baby. Agrippa had already killed James, and now he arrested Peter. Peter was heavily guarded but God still used his power to free him. Even though there were sixteen guards, he escaped and was led by the angel through the gates to the street. Peter went to the others, who in their disbelief left him knocking at the door! Rhonda, the servant girl was so excited she ran to tell the others without letting Peter in. The others thought Herod killed him and that the person at the door was a guardian angel there to tell them the news. However, when they went to the door to see for themselves, they were truly amazed! Peter had been protected, a true answer to prayer!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Share an example of experiencing God’s help. It could be from your own personal experience or from the experience of someone you know. Maybe God healed someone in your family or supplied a job just when you needed it. Then talk with your kids about ways God helps us. Sometimes he answers our direct prayers, sometimes he gives us what we need before we even ask, and sometimes he sends his angels to work on our behalf. Then together, thank God for his help.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Look up the word angel to find scripture references regarding angels. Make a list of ways God used angels in bible times. When you’ve made your list, work together to make an angel food cake. While the cake bakes, imagine ways God might use angels to help your family today. Then think of ways that you, as a family, can serve God and others. As you enjoy eating your cake, thank God for loving you enough to send angels to help you.