Adult & Teen Discussion Guide
What does it mean to be “saved?” Sometimes we get so familiar with church vocabulary that we lose sight of the full meaning of the words and phrases we use. “Saved” isn’t conceptual imagery – it should be taken quite literally.
Acts 11:14 [ESV] “He will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.”
Accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord is the only way people can be “saved” – or rescued from an eternity of separation from God. When the angel told Cornelius he would be “saved,” it wasn’t yet a church-lingo word. That term carried with it the full weight and urgency of an escape from impending doom.
Q. What imagery comes to your mind when you think about being “saved?”
Q. Imagine someone asked you to define what you mean by “being saved” – how would you explain it to them? Can you do it without using other church vocabulary terms?
Luke 19:9-10 [NLT] “Jesus responded (to Zacchaeus), ‘Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.’”
The concept of being “saved” goes back to Jesus. It was His mission to seek out those who were headed for destruction, and save them by providing a way out. That same mission is ours today.
Q. When you remind yourself of the literal saving that many people around you need, how does that affect your motivation to share the good news?
Q. Now that you’ve thought about how to explain what “being saved” means, what other church- specific terms or phrases might you use when sharing your faith? How would you define those terms with language that a church-outsider could understand?
3. Prayer Focus
Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for saving you. Ask Him to keep the reality of what salvation means fresh on your mind, and to keep you focused on His mission to seek and save the lost in your world.
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
1. Power Verse
Matthew 5:44 “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”
Watts Up: “I Will Love And Pray For My Enemies!”
Most people would assume that the way to handle enemies is by fighting back. In the natural way of thinking, we should try to “hit them where it hurts” and possibly even “strike before they do.” That is not the way Jesus taught us to handle our enemies.
2. Bible Reading
Acts 9:1-21 “Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples… on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked.‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ …Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he answered. The Lord told him, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying…’ ‘Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and… he has come here… to arrest all who call on your name.’ But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’ Then Ananias went to the house… he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, —has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, ‘…hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners?’”
Q. Who was Saul? Were Saul and Ananias friends before this story?
Q. Did it make sense for Ananias to pray for Saul? What do you think would have happened if Ananias hadn’t obeyed God?
We all have enemies. Whether it is the person who continually talks behind our back, the person who insults us at every turn, or the bully who picks on us at school (or work), we all have those we would consider our “enemies.”
Q. How does Jesus want us to handle our enemies? Is this how you handle your enemies? How could you treat your enemies differently?
4. Prayer Focus
Lead your children in a prayer for those they consider their enemies. Pray that God will change their hearts. Pray that God will use your children to be a light to those who are living in darkness.