The Plan to Stop Paul
“For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
This unit we will be talking about God’s plan for Paul, who had devoted his life to preaching the gospel and planting churches, in a frightening and dangerous position. As Paul’s third missionary journey came to an end, a prophet named Agabus warned him that the Jews would seize him in Jerusalem and hand him over to the Gentiles. (See Acts 21:10-11.) But Paul did not hesitate, knowing Jerusalem was exactly where God wanted Paul to go. Paul returned to Jerusalem and was seized by a group of Jews who wanted to kill him because of the gospel. The Roman soldiers nearby saw the commotion and stepped in, taking Paul into Roman custody. Now Paul was in Gentile hands. Paul remained under Roman protection and was staying in the barracks when the Lord gave him a message: “Have courage! For as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so it is necessary for you to testify in Rome” (Acts 23:11). What a comforting message for Paul! The sovereign Lord told Paul his future: You’re going to Rome. Paul wasn’t exactly sure how he was going to get to Rome, but he could trust that God was working all things together for that purpose. The next morning, Paul’s nephew uncovered a plot to kill Paul and reported it to the Roman army commander. The commander arranged for Paul to go to Caesarea, where he would be safe. In this Bible story, we see God using human means to bring about His end. Even when others threatened his life, Paul trusted that God is faithful. He believed that God, who showed His love for the world by sending Jesus to die on the cross and rise again, would help him through hard times. We too can risk everything to share the gospel with courage because we know that God loves us and will care for us.
As you talk to your kids this week, remind them that God calls us to be obedient and faithful as we take part in His greater plan to show His glory to us and through us for the fame of His name. No matter what obstacles we may face, God’s plan for us is always for His glory and our good.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
KEY PASSAGE: Philippians 1:21
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- When should we tell others about Jesus? We should tell about Jesus all the time.
BIBLE STORY: THE PLAN TO STOP PAUL
- Some Jewish people planned to hurt Paul for teaching that Jesus rose from the dead.
- The army commander sent Paul away to another city.
- God protected Paul so he could preach about Jesus.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Did Paul do something wrong? Why was he arrested?
- How did God use Paul’s nephew in His plan?
- Who gives us courage to obey God no matter what?
- Look on a Bible times map and identify Jerusalem and Rome. Remind children that God told Paul he would preach in Rome.
- Notice and discuss ways God has protected and is protecting your family. Talk about ways God may want to use your family to spread the gospel.