God Did What?
Act out the Bible story your kids learned this week—the story of Peter being released from prison. Assign parts (Peter, angel, soldiers, Rhoda the servant girl, etc.) and have the kids act it out as you read aloud from Acts 12:1-19.
Then talk about it:
Why was Peter in prison? (Herod didn’t like that the disciples were telling others about Jesus so he imprisoned Peter and planned to kill him.)
Even when Peter was doing the right thing (telling others about Jesus), not everyone liked it. Herod had already killed James and planned to kill Peter.
What is persecution? (Being treated in a cruel or harsh way because of what you believe or do; bad treatment because of your beliefs; etc.)
Jesus told His disciples they would be persecuted. Even though it is never easy, God was with the disciples and gave them strength to endure.
Hard Questions about Prayer
As you are tucking your little ones in bed, talk with them about prayer.
Some questions to ask:
How did God answer the people’s prayer for Peter? (He released Peter from prison)
Does God always answer our prayers the way we wish? Why or why not?
Is God our magic genie?
God is NOT a magic genie. He does not grant all our wishes.
God has the power to do whatever He chooses, but we must give our problem to Him and trust that He will do whatever is best. He may choose to do a miracle like He did when He delivered Peter from prison. Then again, He may choose NOT to do a miracle. God did not deliver James from Herod’s sword in prison; James had to die for his faith. We can ask Him anything, but we must ask Him to work out His will in the situation. Remember that He is wise and knows what is best.
Play “Cross the Border” game.
In some countries today, it is against the law to have a Bible and tell others about Jesus. In one country, border guards tried to catch those smuggling Bibles by following their footprints in the snow. They sent attack dogs in the direction of the footprints. So smugglers walked backward into the country at night. When guards saw their footprints the next morning, they sent their dogs in the wrong direction!
Hopefully, you have some snow to play this game. Mark a starting point and a finish line. Divide into two teams and run a relay race. Each person must run (or walk) backwards to the finish line, then run backwards to the starting line, carrying three or five Bibles (or books).
When Jesus said to preach the gospel to all the world (Mark 16:15), He knew it would not always be easy for His followers to obey Him. Herod killed James and imprisoned Peter.
Bold Christians today still take great risks to share God’s Word with those who haven’t heard it. If North Koreans are caught bringing Bibles into their country, they can be shot or put into prison. This is called persecution when people are harassed, bullied, or treated badly (and sometimes even killed) for their beliefs.
Pray for those who are being persecuted.
- That they will be strong and true to God even though it is hard
- That they will have joy
- That more people will come to know Jesus
(For more information about the persecuted church, go to www.persecuted.com and click on “Kids of Courage.”)