Background: Doctor Luke wrote not only the gospel of Luke but also this additional historical account of the birth and the spread of the church by the power of the Holy Spirit of Christ. He called this book, Acts. Some call it the Acts of the Apostles or the Acts of the Holy Spirit.
Stephen was a man full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. After he had performed many amazing miracles he was dragged in front of religious leaders and falsely accused of speaking against the temple and the law of Moses. Stephen proceeded to give an amazing message about how the whole Old Testament proves that Jesus is the Messiah and that the Jews are guilty of murdering the one who came to save them. His listeners were so angry that they began to throw stones at him. As Stephen was about to die, he did something miraculous…
Ask the children…
What did Stephen ask God to do just before he died?
“As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ 60 He fell to his knees, shouting, ‘Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!’ And with that, he died..” (Acts 7:59)
Stephen knew he was about to die or He wouldn’t have asked Jesus to receive his spirit. In his last breath he asked God to forgive those who were in the process of killing him by stoning him. Only the power of God’s love could provide this kind of miraculous forgiveness in the heart of Stephen.
Ask your children who they need this same kind of power to forgive someone in their own lives? Ask them if this person deserves it any less than the people who were stoning Stephen? Now go ahead and pray a prayer of forgiveness over this person.
If you like what you read about ways to teach children the Bible, check out the children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible. CHECK OUT A FREE SAMPLE OF CHAPTER ONE BELOW.