Before God used Paul to share the gospel to the masses and write half of the New Testament, he used a man named Ananias. We don’t know much about Ananias. He is not regarded as a hero of faith as we might talk about Abraham, Joseph, or Paul. But he was willing to choose God’s way and obey in spite of his fear, not for fame or glory, but because he knew that God’s way was better than his own. The story of Ananias in Acts 9 should challenge us to obey the Lord boldly, even when it’s scary!
DISCERNMENT: Seeking God's direction before acting
MEMORY VERSE: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Choose God's way and obey.
Acts 9 introduces us to Saul, a man who hated Christians so
much he put them in jail and sometimes even killed them. He got letters from officials that would allow him to be able to hurt Christians living in a city called Damascus. On his way to Damascus, Saul had a vision of Jesus and heard Jesus ask, “Why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4). Saul then believed in Jesus! But when he opened his eyes he couldn’t see, so his friends led him to Damascus. Meanwhile, in Damascus, there was a believer in Jesus named Ananias. The Lord called to Ananias in a vision and told him to go place his hands on Saul to restore his sight. Now, Ananias knew about this man named Saul who hated Christians, and he was like, “God, are You sure?!” Ananias stopped and prayed, wanting to make sure he had heard God correctly. When God told him to “Go!” for the second time, he went! Ananias listened to God, chose God’s way, and obeyed!
READ ACTS 9:10-191.
- Who was Ananias? (A Christ follower who lived in Damascus) What did the Lord ask him to do? (Go find Saul and to heal him of his blindness)
- Read verses 1-2. What did believers know about Saul? (He was an enemy of Christians and wanted to kill the Lord’s followers.) How do you think Ananias felt when God asked him to go and find Saul? What dangers did Ananias face? (Saul could do to him what he had done to other Christians.)
- What were Ananias’ two options? (He could stay home and be “safe” OR trust that God can change even the hardest hearts and go find Saul, a man who was once his enemy.) Did Ananias listen to what God said? (Yes!) What did he choose to do? (He trusted that God would protect him and went to find Saul. God used him to heal Saul of his blindness and Ananias took care of him.)
- Reread verse 15. Did God use Saul the way He said He would? (Yes! His Roman name was Paul, and God used him to write half of the New Testament and tell lots of people about Christ, including Caesar in Rome!)
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
READ PROVERBS 3:5-6. Why is it sometimes tempting to depend on what you think or know? Who CAN we trust in and why? (Trust in the Lord because He is all-knowing and all-seeing. He will guide us with His perfect wisdom. We can always come to Him for direction.) As a family, talk about some specific examples where you will need to use discernment this week.
Friend: Drive TimeGod used Paul to tell many people about Jesus. Mom and Dad, share with your kids who told you about Jesus. Think about friends or family members who don’t know about Jesus. Did you know that you can use pumpkin carving as a way to share the gospel? The Pumpkin Gospel is a fun tool you can use to both remind yourself and teach others that you were created and chosen by God. He can scoop out your yucky sin and replace it with the light of the Holy Spirit. Use the Pumpkin Gospel Guide to walk through the amazing story of grace in a few easy steps. Invite your friends and neighbors over for a party so you can do it together!
Obeying God might have seemed scary to Ananias. Have you ever been afraid to obey God, even though you knew it was the right thing to do? Thank God for always walking with us and having a plan bigger and better than we can see. Ask Him to help you trust Him even when obedience seems like a scary choice.
“Simon Says” together as a family. Talk with your kids and ask them how they can use discernment in this game. Why do they have to stop and think? What happens if they are not listening? How must they choose whether to act or not and then go with that decision?
Thank God for listening to us when we ask! Ask Him to help you remember to ask and listen to him when you don't know what to do. Thank God for helping us at all times!
Next weekend is a "We Believe" weekend! We will be learning what we believe about God!
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