Acts 9:1-6, New International Reader's Version
Saul Becomes a Believer
9Meanwhile, Saul continued to oppose the Lord’s followers. He said they would be put to death. He went to the high priest. 2He asked the priest for letters to the synagogues in Damascus. He wanted to find men and women who belonged to the Way of Jesus. The letters would allow him to take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3On his journey, Saul approached Damascus. Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground. He heard a voice speak to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you opposing me?”
5“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus,” he replied. “I am the one you are opposing. 6Now get up and go into the city. There you will be told what you must do.”
New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Envelope, to pass out to each child.
Remember last week, we stood up and declared why following Jesus is so important to us. We said that telling others is so important in sharing Jesus’ love. A man in the Bible named Saul was mean to people who said they loved Jesus. In fact, he was on his way to deliver a letter (show envelope) to the people who loved Jesus; Saul wanted to put them in jail.
One day, Saul was on his way to a city named Damascus. While traveling to arrest some people, Saul saw a bright light flashing. He fell to the ground and heard a voice. The voice said, “Saul, why are you being mean to me?” Saul asked, “Who are you?” The voice said, “I am Jesus … the one you are opposing. Now get up and go to the city.” When Saul got up, he couldn’t see for three days. He also didn’t eat or drink anything. Once he got to the city, God sent a man named Ananias to see Saul. When Ananias put his hands on Saul, something that looked like scabs fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again!
Saul completely changed from hating Jesus and wanting to hurt people who followed him to loving Jesus and wanting to tell others about him.
This envelope reminds us of the letter that Saul was taking to deliver to the people he wanted to hurt. More important, though, is that a letter is how we can deliver news to someone. How could you use a letter and envelope to tell others about Jesus? (Allow children to respond with ideas.) Most of us use email to send information to others, but how could you use this method of paper and envelope to tell others about Jesus? We could draw a picture and put it in the envelope, couldn’t we?
From that point on in our Bible, Saul’s name was changed to Paul, and his letters are found in our Bible. Use this envelope (you could include a blank sheet of paper inside the envelope to reinforce this suggestion) this week to tell others the good news of Jesus’ love for them. Maybe you would like to write people a letter to tell them about Jesus. You could use this envelope for the letter you write. This envelope will also be a reminder each time you learn something new or exciting about God. Follow God and obey God wherever you are this week and always.
Thank you, loving God, for changing us, just like you changed Saul to Paul. Help us to do what you want us to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.