Chosen to Serve
What do these things have in common? They all relate to the work of some of the men in our church who are called “Deacons”. In the book of Acts, we find out about the FIRST deacons who were chosen to serve: Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicolaus.
One of their first jobs was to help the widows in the church and to make sure they had the food and they assistance they needed since their husband’s had passed away. All of them were described as “good men, wise and full of the Holy Spirit”.
I think that would describe the deacons here at St. A! I’m thankful for the deacons who make sure things that are broken get fixed, who make sure everything in the building is working as it should. Sometimes they even go to help someone at their home who needs help. They take up the offering and manage the money for the church. They are very busy serving the Lord, in addition to taking care of their families, and working and doing other important things.
Come on Sunday and we’ll look at how God used these men to help the gospel spread to those who needed to hear.
In love and service, Mrs. Bess
5 W’s and 1 H of Prayer
We are going to be talking more about prayer this week. We’re going to find answers to the questions about the who, what, where, when, why, and how of prayer. Not that we can really answer EVERY question about prayer. There are so many examples of prayer in the Bible. We can learn so much from those people who prayed.
I found an activity on the Biblewise Kids Korner for you to do before Sunday. How many of these examples of people who prayed in the Bible can you match with the thing they prayed for?
People who prayed in Bible Matching
After you take the “test” then check your answers to see if you got them right : ) Then come to Sunday School on Sunday and let me know how you did.
Let’s take some time to talk about prayer. Prayer was very important to the work of the Early Church. They were devoted to prayer and to learning about God. They were also devoted to each other in the “called-out assembly”. These things were directly linked to each other—their devotion to the church was the fruit of their relationship to God.
Jesus taught his followers to pray and the Lord’s Prayer is one of the best prayers we can learn and pray over and over again. Below is a link to a video of a young singer named Charlotte Church (appropriately named!) singing the Lord’s Prayer at a concert in Jerusalem. Her voice is so beautiful and so is the prayer she sings.
Charlotte Church, “Our Father”
This week I encourage you to think more about how important prayer is to us as followers of Jesus. Prayer is our way of talking to God and He loves to hear us when we have something we want to talk to Him about.
Love and prayers-
We continue our journey through Acts 5 this week. The Apostles continue to preach boldly in the Temple and we find the crowds gathering around Peter and John and the others just as they had gathered to hear Jesus teach. Some merely wanted Peter’s shadow to pass over them that they might be made well. They came for healing, but they came believing, too.
Peter’s Shadow Falls on Lame Man
This was a big problem for the other religious leaders in the Temple. They wanted to get rid of these followers of Jesus, just as they had gotten rid of Jesus. But they knew the people wouldn’t like that. They tried arresting them, but God has ways of working around that. Read for yourself.
After you read Acts 5:12-42- see how much you remember from the story. Click here to take a short “test”. When you come on Sunday, I want to know how well you did : )
With love and faith-
The Gift of Faith
When we come to faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior it is a gift from God. He saves us by His grace. It is because of HIS victory over sin and death that we have new life. Our works do nothing to save us.
Through the teaching of the Apostles, who had spent 3 years in ministry with Jesus and had witnessed his resurrection from the dead, the early church members were taught that truth. The Holy Spirit moved in the hearts of the people who had come to faith to give generously to those in need. Not as a way to salvation, but because they were devoted to serving the Lord through ministry to those around them.
But early on we come to a sad day in the life of the Jerusalem church in these verses in Acts 5. Two people who brought an offering to the Apostles for the benefit of the church were struck dead. Here’s a dramatization of the story:
Bible Theater: Acts – Ananias And Sapphira – LifeKids.tv
Ananias and Sapphira had not been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. They were merely making a show of faith for others. We are told in Acts 5:11, “And great fear came upon the whole church and upon al who heard of these things.” When the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts God changes us and reveals to us a better way of living.
In Psalm 139:23-24, the psalmist writes:
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
I pray that you would be lead in the everlasting way of Jesus.
All my love-
The Spirit at Work
Last week we heard about the crippled man who was healed by the power of the Holy Spirit through Peter. We ended our lesson last week with some leaping and praising God. It was exciting to see the Spirit at work in such a mighty way in this man’s life.
But the excitement would take a turn. The religious leaders became very annoyed because they thought that the problem with Jesus had been dealt with. But the Jesus problem wasn’t going away! As a matter of fact 5000 more people come to faith in Jesus after Peter preaches in the temple courtyard on the day this man was healed.
These religious leaders decide to counsel together. They call Peter, John, and the healed man to question them about what happened. Peter, again filled with the Holy Spirit, speaks directly about how this happened:
“Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12)
The religious are unable to contain this problem. They let Peter and John go with a warning not to tell anyone else about Jesus. But that isn’t going to stop Peter and John because they answer to God, not men!
Here’s a video of the Villanova University Pastoral Musicians singing the hymn “O God Beyond All Praising” by Michael Perry and Gustav Holtz . I love that there are singers and musicians of all kinds praising God with their voice and their instrument. I imagine that’s what it is going to be like in heaven. Everyone praising God for eternity!
“O God Beyond All Praising”
With Love and Praise to God-
“Silver and Gold Have I None”
Acts is a wonderful book full of travels and adventure and stories of people coming to know the Lord. The stories at the beginning of Acts take place in Jerusalem, near the temple. The temple complex was a place where many people gathered. It was in the heart of Jerusalem and had an extremely expansive courtyard that surrounded the temple building. Because the courtyard was open to Jews and Gentiles, people from all walks of life would come there going from one side of the city to the other, going about their business every day. The temple building was the place of worship for those of the Jewish faith.
In Acts 3, Peter and John come upon a lame man begging at the temple. He’s begging for money because he cannot walk and do work to support himself. But Peter and John don’t have money to give him. Do you remember what they offer him instead? Here’s a song that will remind you of what happened…
Cedarmont Kids: Silver and Gold Have I None
I love this song with all the “walking and leaping and praising God” parts! I think Sunday mornings at St. Andrews would be awesome if we all came into church that way! What a way to come before God giving Him glory for all He has done for us.
With love and leaps!