This week we will focus on the life of Stephen, one of the first deacons we talked about last week. Stephen stood up to the leaders who were very opposed to the apostles and other followers of Jesus. Stephen makes an amazing speech to these leaders about the history of the Jewish faith and how Jesus is the fulfillment of all of the Scriptures. However, this speech made the leaders so angry they took Stephen out of the city and stoned him. The most amazing part of Stephen's story is that as he was being stoned, he pray for the people who were hurting him. This is a great lesson for us today.
Find a time this week to sit and ask these questions with your children. Really listen to what their responses are. If it seems appropriate, continue to go deeper. If not, encourage them to continue to think and ask questions of you as they come up.
1) When people lie about you.
Since the leaders lost their argument with Stephen they came up with a plan to try to get Stephen in trouble. Read Acts 6:11-14. You may remember before Jesus was crucified people made up lies about Him too. As Stephen was being falsely accused I wonder if he remembered what His Savior suffered and the Holy Spirit inside his heart enabled him to have courage.
- Has anyone every told a lie about you? How did it make you feel?
- How did you respond to these lies?
2) Our response (like Stephen's)
-What would you do if someone said to you that following Jesus made you stupid (or some other mean thing)?
- Would you quietly walk away or would you tell them about Jesus too?
Stephen had the chance to get angry when he was being hurt and made fun of, he instead chose to pray for the people that were hurting him and to ask the Lord to take care of them and do not hold their wrongs against them. This is a very difficult thing to do. This should always be our response as followers of Jesus when people treat us unfairly. Continue to share about Jesus and to pray for them!
Have a great week!