March 01, 2018

Sunday, March 4th: Paul's First Journey

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Dear Parents,

Jesus’ followers preached the gospel in Jerusalem, and the good news spread to places like Judea and Samaria. More and more people believed, and new churches began as both Jews and Gentiles began to follow Jesus. Barnabas went to Antioch—a city about 300 miles north of Jerusalem—where he brought Paul to help teach the believers. The church in Antioch grew. It was in Antioch that the disciples first became known as Christians. (See Acts 11:26.)

The Holy Spirit told the believers at the church in Antioch to send out Paul and Barnabas to preach the gospel. The church obeyed, and Paul and Barnabas traveled to several cities and all over the island of Cyprus, telling both Jews and Gentiles about Jesus.

Consider Paul—once a devoted persecutor of Christians—now a Christian missionary, devoted to obeying God’s call to go and tell others the good news about Jesus. This was Paul’s first missionary journey, and it wasn’t easy. Paul and Barnabas faced rejection in every place that they traveled. Some of the people believed, but some of them were angry. Many people rejected the truth about Jesus. In some places, the Jews made plans to kill Paul.

In no place did Paul and Barnabas soften their message or abandon their mission. In Lystra, Paul healed a man, and when the witnesses to this miracle began to worship Paul and Barnabas, the two men emphatically gave credit to the one true God. When Paul’s enemies attacked him and left him for dead, Paul continued on. Paul and Barnabas shared the gospel in Derbe, and many people believed.

The Holy Spirit sent Paul and Barnabas to tell Jews and Gentiles about Jesus. If Paul had not taken the gospel to the Gentiles, many of us would probably not be believers today. God uses people to tell others about Jesus so that people all over the world can be saved from their sin by trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Paul and Barnabas faced many people who rejected the good news about Jesus. But God had a plan for Paul to share the gospel with Gentiles, no matter what troubles Paul faced. Many believed in Jesus. The church grew and the gospel was shared so that people all over the world could be saved from their sin by trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Infant – 2s & 3s
    • Christians tell about Jesus.
    • The Holy Spirit had a special job for Paul.
    • Paul and Barnabas told people about Jesus.
    • Many people believed the good news.
  • Pre-K4 – 1st
    • How do people hear about Jesus? God uses Christians to tell others about Jesus so they may repent and be saved.
    • The Holy Spirit sent Paul and Barnabas to tell Jews and Gentiles about Jesus.
  • 2nd – 5th
    • Why do we tell people about Jesus?
    • Do we have to go to other countries to share the gospel?
    • What is the difference between being on mission and being a missionary?
    • Why is it important to support missionaries?

BIBLE PASSAGE

  • Acts 13:1-3; 14:8-28

NEXT WEEK

  • “The Message: ‘Christ Alone’” (Acts 15:1-35)
Jennifer Welch

About the Author

Jennifer Welch

Jennifer Welch is a City Youth coordinator. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in youth development and then worked on staff for Young Life in Jasper, Georgia. Jennifer most recently served as the children's coordinator at City Church for three years as she pursed her degree in counseling. Jennifer is now working as a licensed professional counselor intern. 

Contact jennifer@citychurch.org