Tag Archives: Acts

Familiar Stories

One of the challenges I have is to keep the stories of scripture fresh and exciting in my life. It is an interesting challenge. I’m glad I know them, but I don’t want to be so familiar that I am no longer in awe of the truth they convey.

I started thinking about this a couple of weeks ago while teaching Sunday School. Even some of the kids in the little class I have are pretty familiar with some of the stories. But we have a new girl in our class who has never hear the majority of these stories.

We’ve been reading stories from the book of Acts in the last month or so. Well, in Acts 8 we are introduced to one of the main characters in the book, Saul. Then in chapter 9, we learn a lot more about the guy. When we first meet Saul, he is in full support of doing whatever it takes to stop believers in Jesus from talking about Jesus.

So we get to chapter 9 in Sunday School and I’m explaining this to the kids as we start to read the chapter, and this girl just cannot believe it! Why would this guy be so mean??! All the other kids are getting into it- describing how mean and nasty Saul must have been, and what God must have felt when God looked at his life.

Then we keep reading and get to the part where Jesus actually comes to Saul and talks to him. At that point, I’m loving watching this girl’s face as she reacts to the story. Why would Jesus talk to him? He’s too mean! But where it becomes amazing to watch and listen to her reaction is when we read that Saul really does change his mind about Jesus. She could hardly believe it!

Why would this man change so much? Why would Jesus care about changing him? Why not just throw him in jail??

But that is not how the story goes. The story is that Saul does change… that Jesus is really still interested in him… the story is that Jesus radically changes this guys life.

It was amazing to watch as this girl experienced the story for the first time, and how that experience shaped part of her understanding of who Jesus is.

Jesus is not just interested in “right and wrong,” but Jesus is actually interested in changing lives. Jesus still loved Saul. Jesus still wanted Saul to be part of His family. Saul’s life really did radically change after meeting Jesus.

You know something… I kind of knew all of that, but I had forgotten it in the familiarity of the story. I am glad someone helped bring it back to life for me…. and I can hardly wait for our next Sunday School lesson!

A Guy Named Saul

Have you ever had a life changing experience? The kind of experience that causes you to completely rethink and change everything? Maybe there is not just one major moment in your life… maybe you have some small moments. The kind that you look back and think, “That really shaped how I am now.” Either way, they are mile-marker moments and they are important in our lives.

Today’s Engage The Word passage is about a moment that God uses in a guy’s life to completely change the course of his life. Here are some things to think and talk about as you read this passage:

  • What do you think Jesus wants you to learn from this story?
  • What seems to be the message of this story?
  • What happened in this story when people responded to God?
  • How does God get your attention?
  • How do you respond to God?
  • How do you respond to the message of this passage?

Acts 9:1-31

The Birth of the Church

This week will mark the conclusion of Engage the Word for our congregation. It has been an amazing journey through the scriptures to this point.

Today’s passage describes the beginning of the Church. It’s an amazing passage. I would love to hear what you and your family notice and think about this passage after reading it!

Acts 2:1-47

  • Who are the characters in this passage?
  • What stands out to you about the setting?
  • What do you think it would have been like to be the people in the same place as the disciples?… as the crowd?
  • What stands out to you from Peter’s speech?
  • What do you think about the people’s response and how they behaved after hearing Peter?
  • What does this passage teach you?… about Jesus… about living for Jesus… about the Church….
  • How do you respond to this passage?

Ready For This Week?

This week our church is entering what we call Spiritual Renewal Week. It’s a time we are setting aside to meet more often and dive deeper in our faith. It’s going to be an incredible time! We have Hal and Debbi Perkins coming to be part of the week. Sometimes it’s just renewing to hear an outside voice challenge us and remind us of what is really important…

We will continue to have scriptures for us to focus on each day and I will continue to post them. But in addition to scriptures for us to read in our own homes, we will have extra meeting times during the week. This is kind of like a church retreat without going somewhere. You can find the full schedule on Facebook or our website.

In the meantime, here is the passage with which we begin this week: Acts 1:1-11. What stands out to you in this passage? Do you ever spend much time reflecting on and thinking about what the days between Jesus’ resurrection and his going back to heaven must have been like? What do you think your reaction would have been watching Jesus rise into the clouds? What do you think about his final instructions (on earth) to his disciples?