Read: Acts 7:54-60, Acts 8:1-2

From Death Comes New Life

Stephen’s words lead to a firestorm of opposition against the church. Igniting a raging fire inside Saul, this hater of the Church goes on a rampage. The Church scatters and the good news of Jesus spreads from Jerusalem and into the rest of the world.

Explore the Theme: Stephen’s death as a martyr is tragic and painful to read, but God uses it to grow his church. How do you think the members of the Church felt when they saw and heard of Stephen’s martyrdom? What do you imagine they thought God was up to as they were scattered after that day?

Persecution often leads to the spread of the gospel. How can we see hard times as an opportunity to share Jesus?

Ask God: What are some of the hard things you are facing right now that God may want to use? When persecution and trials come, how do you often respond to them? How does it affect your relationship with God? What kind of encouragement do you think God wants to give you from this story of Stephen’s death and the spread of the gospel? Ask him for it.

Live it Out: Consider one thing in your life right now that might feel “dead” or gone, but that God might want to bring life to and redeem. How can you be an active agent with God in bringing something new out of something old or dead?

We would like to thank Sandals Church for providing this plan.