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Growth in Fellowship

Read Acts 2:41-47

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (v. 42).

What is your favorite type of bread? Whole wheat? Sourdough? French? Italian? Banana? Pumpkin? Zucchini? The old saying is that “bread is the staff of life” meaning that it is one of the basic components of food in almost every region of the world. All over the globe, people are enjoying some type of bread today. When the writer of Acts wrote about the early church “breaking bread,” it probably referred to sharing the Lord’s Supper or Communion. But right before, he references the idea of fellowship — camaraderie, support, friendship, encouragement. This is one of the important ways the first-century believers connected with one another. And it could very likely have included food. Maybe those church dinners we love are biblical, after all! As members of Christ’s body, the Church, we are called by Him to develop deep relationships that help us live His way and enrich us as people created in His image. We are to keep growing in this area, always adding to our ability to host others and to accept others’ invitations graciously. You don’t have to serve bread — after all, some are gluten intolerant or eating fewer carbs these days. But you do need to share what you have. That’s a menu option we can all agree on. (Valerie A. Quesenberry)

Let us break bread together on our knees, (on our knees) Let us break bread together on our knees. (on our knees) — Traditional

Fellowship is about breaking bread to form unbroken relationships.

2019-04-22T19:33:50+00:00May 1st, 2019|Categories: Opening the Word|0 Comments

Growth in Grace

Focus Text: 2 Peter 1:1-12

Central Truth: We must build the knowledge of God’s Word and grace into our lives daily.

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list ways in which they may experience spiritual growth.

I. The Provision of God (2 Peter 1:1-4)

II. The Progression of Faith (2 Peter 1:5-8)

III. The Prompting to Remembrance (2 Peter 1:9-12)

2019-04-22T21:48:26+00:00April 29th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Waiting in Quiet

Silence is not your enemy. There is nothing wrong with allowing the class to quietly contemplate a question that has been asked or a point that has been made. It can be awkward, and you can be tempted to break silence sometimes. However, do not be afraid of the silence. It is in those moments that the Holy Spirit can speak to hearts.

2019-04-18T19:58:06+00:00April 26th, 2019|Categories: Teacher Helps|0 Comments

Courage in Suffering

Read Acts 7:54-60

“Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (v. 56)

When Stephen was falsely charged before the Sanhedrin, he courageously used the opportunity to confront the religious leaders about their historic persecution of the prophets and their recent rejection of Jesus. Such an affront to their reputation and authority angered the council members, who were “cut to the heart” and “gnashed . . . their teeth” (Acts 7:54). Stephen’s proclamation that followed, however, triggered immediate action. His claim that Jesus was standing at the right hand of God led the council to abandon all further discussion, preempting justice to deliver the immediate judgment of stoning for alleged blasphemy. In light of the council’s ability to mete out capital punishment, what inspired such courage in Stephen? Acts 6:8 reveals that Stephen was so “full of faith and power” that he “did great wonders and miracles.” Stephen believed so much in God and drew so much strength from God that even mortal danger did not shift his focus from his Savior. Even as the stones pummeled his body, Stephen — being filled with the Spirit — followed the example of his Savior by praying for his persecutors, by offering forgiveness with his final words: “Lay not this sin to their charge.” (Lyle A. Witt)

Tho’ I falter, His arm will hold me; I can rest on His strength and grace; Tho’ the darkness of night enfold me, Soon I know I shall see His face. — Civilla Martin

Stephen’s courage came from knowing and trusting Jesus.

2019-04-18T19:54:50+00:00April 24th, 2019|Categories: Opening the Word|0 Comments

A Profile of Persecution

Focus Text: 1 Peter 4:1-5, 12-19

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify ways in which they might react to suffering for Christ.

Central Truth: The example of Jesus Christ in His suffering should inspire the Christian to strength and purity in his own life.

I. AN EXAMPLE PORTRAYED (1 Peter 4:1-5)

II. RIGHT ATTITUDES COMMENDED (1 Peter 4:12-16)

III. TESTING TIMES IDENTIFIED (1 Peter 4:17-19)

2019-04-18T19:52:23+00:00April 22nd, 2019|Categories: Weekly Lesson Summaries|0 Comments

Discussion

If you decide to ask discussion questions, be certain that they will always create quality discussion. Do not ask questions that only have one right answer if you are looking for a discussion. Whenever you ask a discussion question, your goal is to help people share their thoughts and really think about the material. Ask open-ended questions.

2019-04-18T13:26:48+00:00April 19th, 2019|Categories: Teacher Helps|0 Comments

Matthew’s Story of the Resurrection

Read Matthew 28:1-10

“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it” (v. 2).

Kansas, where I have spent most of my life, is not known for its earthquakes. They are not all that rare, but they are generally too faint to be felt over a wide area. They do not usually cause any damage. The region of the world where Jerusalem sits, however, averages one major earthquake every eighty to 100 years, according to the Jerusalem Post. Since the last one was in 1927, I doubt there are many people either in the Holy Land or reading this book that can remember it. My grandparents were not even alive yet! I can just imagine what it might have been like to be on guard duty the morning the world shook, an angel appeared, and an enormous rock rolled out of place. There would have been no childhood stories to relate this to, no social context to surround it. The earth moved, a heavenly warrior materialized, and the last line of defense obediently got out of the way. (Michelle D. Avery)

No wonder the soldiers fainted.

2019-04-18T12:50:49+00:00April 18th, 2019|Categories: Opening the Word|0 Comments
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