Sunday Morning, 2/25/18 (Unit 30, Session 2: Paul’s First Journey)

Jesus’ followers preached the gospel in Jerusalem, and the good news spread to places like Judea and Samaria. More and more people believed, and new churches began as both Jews and Gentiles began to follow Jesus. Barnabas went to Antioch—a city about 300 miles north of Jerusalem—where he brought Paul to help teach the believers. The church in Antioch grew. It was in Antioch that the disciples first became known as Christians. (See Acts 11:26.)

The Holy Spirit told the believers at the church in Antioch to send out Paul and Barnabas to preach the gospel. The church obeyed, and Paul and Barnabas traveled to several cities and all over the island of Cyprus, telling both Jews and Gentiles about Jesus.

Consider Paul—once a devoted persecutor of Christians—now a Christian missionary, devoted to obeying God’s call to go and tell others the good news about Jesus. This was Paul’s first missionary journey, and it wasn’t easy. Paul and Barnabas faced rejection in every place that they traveled. Some of the people believed, but some of them were angry. Many people rejected the truth about Jesus. In some places, the Jews made plans to kill Paul.

In no place did Paul and Barnabas soften their message or abandon their mission. In Lystra, Paul healed a man, and when the witnesses to this miracle began to worship Paul and Barnabas, the two men emphatically gave credit to the one true God. When Paul’s enemies attacked him and left him for dead, Paul continued on. Paul and Barnabas shared the gospel in Derbe (DUHR bih), and many people believed.

The Holy Spirit sent Paul and Barnabas to tell Jews and Gentiles about Jesus. If Paul had not taken the gospel to the Gentiles, many of us would probably not be believers today. God uses people to tell others about Jesus so that people all over the world can be saved from their sin by trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Paul and Barnabas faced many people who rejected the good news about Jesus. But God had a plan for Paul to share the gospel with Gentiles, no matter what troubles Paul faced. Many believed in Jesus. The church grew and the gospel was shared so that people all over the world could be saved from their sin by trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

30-2card

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers

  • Christians tell about Jesus.
  • The Holy Spirit had a special job for Paul.
  • Paul and Barnabas told people about Jesus.
  • Many people believed the good news.

Preschool

  • How do people hear about Jesus? God uses Christians to tell others about Jesus.
  • The Holy Spirit sent Paul and Barnabas to tell people about Jesus.

Kids

  • How do people hear about Jesus? God uses Christians to tell others about Jesus so they may repent and be saved.
  • The Holy Spirit sent Paul and Barnabas to tell Jews and Gentiles about Jesus.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Acts 1:8

 NEXT WEEK

  • “The Message: ‘Christ Alone’” (Acts 15:1-35)
Advertisements
Tagged

Sunday Morning, 2/18/18 (Unit 30, Session 1: Paul’s Conversion and Baptism)

Saul was no stranger to religion. He grew up in a religious household. He was a devout Jew who was born in Tarsus (Phil. 3:5) and inherited his Roman citizenship from his father. So when people began talking about this man named Jesus and claiming that He was the promised Messiah, Saul was defensive.

Saul believed strongly in the Jewish faith of his ancestors. He violently persecuted God’s church and tried to destroy it. (Gal. 1:13-14) He dragged believers from their houses and put them in prison. He approved of the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Saul thought he was doing the right thing by defending Judaism, but God’s purposes could not be stopped. As Saul was on his way to arrest believers in Damascus, the Lord stopped him in his tracks.

Jesus revealed Himself to Saul, and Saul was never the same. He was struck blind and led into Damascus, where a believer named Ananias placed his hands on Saul. Suddenly, Saul could see again. Saul was convinced that Jesus is Lord. Saul later described the experience as being like dying and receiving a new life. (Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:17)

God had a purpose and a plan for Saul. He had set Saul apart before Saul was even born. (Gal. 1:15) God said, “This man is My chosen instrument to take My name to the Gentiles” (Acts 9:15).

Jesus changed Saul’s life. As you talk with your kids, clarify that conversion happens when a person recognizes his sin, repents, believes in Jesus, and confesses Jesus as Savior and Lord. Jesus changes a person’s heart, and as a result, his life is changed too.

Jesus appeared to Saul and changed him inside and out. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15) Jesus called Saul, also known as Paul, who was once an enemy to Christians, to spend the rest of his life telling people the gospel and leading them to trust Jesus as Lord and Savior.

30-1card

 

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
  • Christians tell about Jesus.
  • Paul did not love Jesus at first.
  • Jesus sent Ananias to tell Paul about Him.
  • God changed Paul’s heart to love Jesus.

Preschool

  • How do people hear about Jesus? God uses Christians to tell others about Jesus.
  • Jesus saved Saul from his sins.

Kids

  • How do people hear about Jesus? God uses Christians to tell others about Jesus so they may repent and be saved.
  • Jesus saved Saul from his sins and chose him to spread the gospel.

 

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Acts 1:8

NEXT WEEK

  • “Paul’s First Journey” (Acts 13:1-3; 14:8-28)

 

Tagged , ,

Sunday Morning 2/11/18 (Unit 28, Session 5: Peter Visited Cornelius)

[Vimeo 247695482]

The apostle Peter preached and taught boldly after Pentecost. Jesus had commanded His followers to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Acts 10 shows us how God made clear to Peter that the gospel is for everyone—not only the Jews but also the Gentiles.

The story begins in Caesarea (SESS uh REE uh), the capital city in the Roman province of Judea. Cornelius, a Roman centurion, lived in Caesarea. Like many of the people in Caesarea, Cornelius was a Gentile; however, he did not worship the Roman gods. Cornelius worshiped the one true God, and one day, God spoke to Cornelius in a vision. In the vision, an angel told Cornelius to send for Peter.

Now Peter was in Joppa (JAHP uh), about 30 miles south of Caesarea. As Cornelius’s men approached the city, Peter had a vision too. He was on a rooftop when God showed him a sheet of animals and commanded him to eat. The problem was that some of the animals were considered “unclean” by Jewish food laws. Three times, God said to Peter, “What God has made clean, do not call impure.”

Peter visited Cornelius and others who had gathered with him. Peter understood that God did not want a Jewish man to call anyone unclean just because he was a foreigner. (See Acts 10:28-29.) Peter preached the gospel to the Gentiles there, and they believed. The Holy Spirit filled them, and they were baptized.

The gospel is good news for everyone. As you teach kids, emphasize that God showed Peter that just as there is no “clean” and “unclean” food, there are no “clean” and “unclean” people. God calls believers to tell everyone the good news about Jesus, no matter who they are or where they come from. Jesus is the Lord of all.

28.5.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • The Holy Spirit helps us.
    • Peter told Cornelius about Jesus.
    • God showed Peter that the good news is for all people.
    • Everyone who trusts in Jesus will be saved.
  • Preschool
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians.
    • Peter learned the gospel is for all people.
  • Kids
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians follow Jesus.
    • The Holy Spirit told Peter to preach to Cornelius, a Gentile.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Philippians 2:13

 NEXT WEEK

“Paul’s Conversion and Baptism” (Acts 9:1-25)

 

Tagged , ,

Sunday Morning, 2/4/18 (Unit 28, Session 4: The Ethiopian Official Believed)

The believers in the early church faced intense persecution. After Stephen was killed, Jesus’ followers at the church in Jerusalem scattered; however, they did not stop talking about Jesus. They continued to share the good news. One man, Philip, took the gospel to Samaria. The crowds there listened and believed, and they had great joy.

In today’s Bible story, Philip was instructed by an angel of the Lord to go to a certain road in the desert. Philip obeyed. The Spirit led Philip to a chariot, where an Ethiopian official was reading the Scriptures from the prophet Isaiah. The Ethiopian man did not understand what he was reading, so Philip explained it to him.

The man was reading from the prophet Isaiah: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter … In His humiliation justice was denied Him. … For His life is taken from the earth” (Acts 8:32-33). The official wondered if Isaiah was speaking about himself or another person. Philip told the official that Isaiah’s words weren’t about Isaiah; they were about the Messiah—Jesus! The official believed in Jesus and was baptized.

Help your kids to consider the role of the Holy Spirit in this interaction between Philip and the Ethiopian official. Who was responsible for Philip’s going to the desert? Who helped Philip explain the Scriptures? Who changed the heart of the official so he would believe?

The Ethiopian official knew what the Old Testament prophets had said, but he did not understand that the prophets spoke about Jesus. The Holy Spirit led Philip to help the official understand the good news about Jesus: Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead, just like the Old Testament prophets said.

After his interaction with the Ethiopian official, Philip continued sharing the gospel in all the towns on his way to the town of Caesarea.

In our mission of making disciples, believers must be willing instruments to be used in the hands of the Lord. Philip didn’t go into the desert today with a strategy for converting another man; the Holy Spirit led Philip, and he obeyed. As believers, we can be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and willing to follow His lead. He will go with us.

28.4.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers
The Holy Spirit helps us.
The Holy Spirit told Philip to help the Ethiopian man.
Philip told him the good news about Jesus.
The Holy Spirit helps people believe the good news.

Preschool
What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians.
Philip told the Ethiopian man about Jesus.

Kids
What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians follow Jesus.
The Holy Spirit told Philip to tell the Ethiopian man about Jesus.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE
Philippians 2:13

NEXT WEEK
“Peter Visited Cornelius” (Acts 10)

 

 

 

 

Sunday Morning, 1/28/18 (Unit 28, Session 3: Stephen’s Address)

Stephen was one of the seven men chosen to serve as leaders in the early church at Jerusalem. (See Acts 6:1-7.) God blessed Stephen and gave him power to do wonders and miracles like some of the apostles.

Some of the Jews accused Stephen of blasphemy and dragged him to the Sanhedrin, a group of Jewish leaders who acted as a legal council. Stephen addressed the group. He drew from the Jewish history, which the leaders in the Sanhedrin would have known well. But Stephen taught from the Old Testament things the Jewish leaders had likely never realized.

As Stephen preached, he showed how the Old Testament pointed to a coming Savior and how that Savior was Jesus. Stephen pointed out that the Jews’ ancestors had rejected God’s prophets. And they were just like their fathers; they rejected the Messiah, the Lord Jesus. Not only did they reject Jesus, they killed Him!

The Jewish leaders rushed at Stephen. Stephen looked into heaven. He saw God’s glory, and Jesus was standing at God’s right hand. The Jews forced Stephen out of the city, and they stoned him.

Remind your kids of Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:22: “You will be hated by everyone because of My name. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered.” Following Jesus will include difficulty and suffering. Jesus gives words of both warning and comfort: “Don’t be afraid” (Matt. 10:26).

Stephen was killed because he was a Christian. Jesus was crucified, and He told His followers that they would be persecuted—hated, hurt, or even killed—for loving Him. Jesus also said that those who suffer for Him would be blessed. (Matthew 5:11) We can face suffering in this life because Jesus suffered first. He died and then rose again, and He is waiting for us in heaven.

28.3.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers
The Holy Spirit helps us.
The Holy Spirit helped Stephen.
Stephen told about God’s plan to send Jesus.
Stephen said that Jesus is the Messiah.

Preschool
What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians.
Stephen told people about Jesus, even when He would be hurt for it.

Kids
What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians follow Jesus.
Stephen was not afraid to die so that others would hear about Jesus.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE
Philippians 2:13

NEXT WEEK
“The Ethiopian Official Believed” (Acts 8:26-40)

Sunday Morning 1/21/18 (Unit 28, Session 2: Peter Healed a Beggar)

With the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Jesus’ disciples were empowered to carrying out Jesus’ mission for them—to take the gospel to all the nations. More and more people believed in Jesus. They met together at the temple to praise and worship God, and the first church began.

One afternoon, two of Jesus’ disciples—Peter and John—went to the temple to pray. They encountered at the gate a man who could not walk. Rather than give the man money, Peter gave him something much more valuable: immediate physical healing in Jesus’ name.

After Jesus returned to heaven, the Holy Spirit gave the disciples power to begin working. With the power of Jesus’ name, Peter healed a man who was lame. Not even the religious leaders could stop Jesus’ followers from sharing the good news about Jesus.

As you talk with your kids about this Bible story, keep three things in mind. First, Peter’s healing the beggar was not magic; it was a miracle. Beginning in Acts 3:12, Peter responded to the people who were amazed at what had happened. “Why are you amazed at this … as though we had made him walk by our own power?” The man wasn’t healed because Peter was a super-believer. Peter explained that it was by Jesus’ power the man was healed.

Second, the man’s healing made him happy and thankful. He entered the temple and rejoiced! Consider the wonderful miracle of salvation. We are dead in our sin, and God makes us alive in Christ! How we should rejoice and give thanks to the Lord!

Finally, Peter and John were bold in their witness. When confronted by the religious leaders, they did not shy away. Peter and John preached about the salvation found in Jesus. In fact, they said they were “unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).

The same power that enabled Peter to heal the man who was lame—the power of the Holy Spirit—enables believers today to live on mission for Jesus. Pray that God would give your kids a willingness to be used by Him for His glory and for the fame of Jesus’ name.

28.2.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • The Holy Spirit helps us.
    • Peter and John went to the temple.
    • They healed a man in Jesus’ name.
    • Only Jesus rescues and heals people.
  • Preschool
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians.
    • In Jesus’ name, Peter healed a man.
  • Kids
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians follow Jesus.
    • In Jesus’ name, Peter healed a man who could not walk.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 2:13

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Stephen’s Address” (Acts 6:8–7:60)

 

Tagged , ,

Sunday Morning 1/14/18 (Unit 28, Session 1: The Holy Spirit Came)

When Jesus ascended to heaven, He instructed the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come upon them. So the disciples went back to Jerusalem, where they waited and prayed.

The time came for the Jewish festival called Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks. As with the Passover festival, Jews from all over the Roman Empire would be at the temple in Jerusalem.

During this festival, the Holy Spirit came to believers in Jerusalem. They heard a sound like a violent, rushing wind. When the Holy Spirit filled the disciples, they were able to speak in foreign languages. They went out into the city and began to preach, and the Jews from all over the world were amazed. These disciples were from Galilee, but they were speaking in languages the visitors could understand.

The disciples told people about God’s plan. The Holy Spirit helped Peter teach: Jesus is the Messiah; Jesus was killed, but He is alive! (Acts 2:22-36) The Holy Spirit convicted the crowd and they asked, “Brothers, what must we do?” Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus. (Acts 2:37-38) That day, three thousand people received salvation!

God kept His promise to send the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit’s help, Jesus’ disciples could begin their work to share the gospel with the entire world. God gives the Holy Spirit to those who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit gives us power to do God’s work, and He changes us to be more like Jesus.

28.1.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • The Holy Spirit helps us.
    • God sent the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ friends.
    • Jesus’ friends told people about God’s plan.
    • People who trust in Jesus receive the Holy Spirit.
  • Preschool
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians.
    • The Holy Spirit came to Jesus’ followers.
  • Kids
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians follow Jesus.
    • The Holy Spirit came to the apostles on the Day of Pentecost.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 2:13

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Peter Healed a Beggar” (Acts 3:1-10; 4:5-31)
Tagged , ,