Prayer. “Dear Lord, please use this study to show the children how you make all things work together for good to those who believe.”
Choose any or all of these children's learning activities.
If convenient, let the children color this picture.
Let an older child or adult tell or read the story of Acts 27:13-28:10. This story shows how God uses his people to bring good news and blessing to the world, even when bad things happen.
Ask the children these questions:
· How did Paul know that the people in the ship would not die in the storm? [Answer: see Acts 27:23-25]
· What was God’s plan for Paul? [27:24]
· Why did the people of Malta think Paul was a god? [28:5-6]
· How did the people of Malta thank Paul for bringing healing to their island? [28:10]
· How did God use something bad that happened to Paul to bring good to others?
Arrange with the leader of the main congregational worship so that the children present this brief drama with the help of some adults. If you do not have enough children for all the parts, then ask neighbors' children to help. This is a good way to help them to discover Christ. Children do not need to memorize each word of the dialogue; just make sure that each child knows the general idea of what to say.
Let older children or adults play these parts:
· Narrator. Summarize the story and help the children remember what to say.
· Publius, who invited Paul to his home
Let younger children play these parts:
· Captain of the ship
· Sailors on the ship
· People of Malta around the fire
Narrator: Read or tell by memory the first part of the story, Acts 27:13-30. Say, “Hear what the sailors shout.”
Sailors: Shout, “I'm afraid of this storm!” “We will all die!”
Narrator: “Hear what Paul shouts.”
Paul: Shout, “Sailors, don’t leave the ship! We will all survive because my God has work for me to do.”
Narrator: Tell the second part of the story, Acts 27:31-44. Then say, “Hear what the captain shouts.”
Captain: Shout, “We are sinking! Grab a plank! Swim to shore.”
Narrator: Tell the third part of the story, Acts 28:1-6.
Say, “Hear what the people shout.”
People by the fire: Shout, “Look, the poisonous snake bit him!” “He shook it into the fire!” “His hand didn't swell up at all!”
Publius,: “I am amazed that the snake did not hurt you. Your God is strong. Please come to my house.”
Narrator: Tell the fourth part of the story, Acts 28:7-10. Say, “Hear what the people of Malta shout.”
People: Shout, “His god healed our leader's father!” “Please come and pray for my sick mother.” “Come pray for my brother.”
Narrator: Explain that the drama is over. Thank the children, and thank the adults for listening.
Ask: What are other examples of how God uses painful things that happen in our lives to bring good? (Let the children or adults tell examples.)
Arrange with the leader of the congregation for the children to
· Present the drama to the adults during the worship time.
· Ask the adults the questions that are listed near the beginning of this study.
· Present the poem and anything else that they have prepared.
Memorize together Romans 8:28.
Draw a picture of a snake falling into the fire. Let older children help the younger. Let the children show their pictures to the adults at the next worship time and explain that this illustrates God defeating Satan.
Poem. Let three children recite these verses from Psalm 69:
Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched.
Zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me. They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble. May your salvation, O God, protect me.
Let the older children write a poem, song or short story, or give a testimony about an example of what they have seen happen, that shows how God brings good out of bad circumstances..
Prayer: “Dear God, we trust you to bring something good from the bad things that happen to us and to others. Help us to keep serving you joyfully even when we have bad times.”