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Power to Witness

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POWER TO WITNESS 

Scripture: Acts 1:8; 3:1– 4:22

Memory verse: Acts 1:8
“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Lead—In

For this object lesson you need three bowls, two pocket mirrors, a torch and water.

Place the bowls on the table. Set a pocket mirror in the second and third bowls, resting at an angle of about 30 degrees to the surface of the table. Then fill the first and third bowls about ¾ full of water, leaving the second bowl without water. Darken the room.

Begin the class by turning a torch on and shining it at the students and then into the first bowl, which has water but no mirror. Tell the class that Jesus wants all of us to be witnesses for Him. However, there are times we have difficulty telling others about Jesus because they will not listen to us. Ask the class to give reasons why they think non-Christians will not listen to Christians. Allow several responses. Then point out that sometimes the reason non-Christians will not listen to us is because of the way we live—the way we act does not show that God is real or important.

Direct the students to look at the ceiling. Point out that the first bowl represents a person who reflects little of God in his life because he is unstable and wavers in his beliefs and behaviour like waves of the water. Ask a student to read James 1:6–8.

Now shine the torch into the second bowl containing a mirror and no water. Explain that the second bowl represents a Christian who reflects a lot of God’s influence, but his life seems rather plain. He may do all the right things, but does not have the joy of the Lord in his life.

Next, shine the torch into the third bowl, which contains a mirror and water. The last bowl represents a Christian who not only does what is right but also has a joyful attitude. His joy shows in everything he says and does. Point out that just as the true colours of the light show on the ceiling, so should our true colours show because we have God in our lives. Ask a student to read Matthew 5:16. Our study today tells us ways to shine for Jesus.

Hearing God’s Word

(Open your Bible to the main passage of Acts chapters 3 and 4 as you teach.) What is a witness?

A Witness Tells What He Has Seen

A witness knows about an event because he was there when it happened. He does not have to prove anything. He simply tells what he knows. But what makes a witness believable?

When an attorney wants to keep a witness from being believed in a court of law, he will try to show some part of the witness’ life that has not been honest or honourable. If he succeeds, the witness is discredited. The judge and jury probably will not believe his testimony.

Ask: “How can we be sure our witness for Jesus is believable?” (Allow responses.)

The way we live our daily lives will affect whether others believe or reject the things we say. Are you honest, dependable, and even-tempered? When you share your faith, those who hear you will think about what kind of person you are. If your life measures up to your testimony, people are more likely to believe what you say.

A witness is someone who has a personal knowledge of something he has seen or experienced. What have we seen or experienced of God as Christians that we can tell others about?

Jesus’ Disciples Were Witnesses

For Jesus’ disciples who knew Him when He was on earth, the answer was quite clear. They had seen Jesus walk on water, heal people, and raise the dead. They had also heard Jesus teach with power and authority on how to live in a way that is pleasing to God. The disciples were eyewitnesses of all these things. But more importantly, they knew the change that had taken place in their own lives. They had experienced Jesus’ love and forgiveness.

Jesus Lives Inside Us

All of us can identify with the disciples. None of us actually got to be with Jesus when He was on earth to see and hear His great works and teachings. But if we have experienced salvation, we have Jesus living in us. We also have the record of all the wonderful things Jesus did and taught in the Bible. We can share our personal experience of salvation and the truths of God’s Word with others.

Where We Can Witness

To whom are we to give our testimony of Jesus’ work in our lives? This question is answered in our memory verse. (Direct the students to find Acts 1:8 in their Bibles.) “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Jesus listed Jerusalem as the first area in which the disciples were to witness. This does not mean we have to go to Jerusalem. That is where the disciples lived at that time. For us, Jerusalem refers to where we live. It means our schools, neighbourhoods, communities, villages and towns.

Ask: “What two areas are mentioned next in Acts 1:8?” (Allow responses.)

Judea is a larger area, like a state or province. Samaria is like another country north of Judea. For us, Judea and Samaria would be like other cities and states around us. Remember, when you travel, people should be able to see Jesus in you by what you do and say.

A final area listed in the memory verse is “to the ends of the earth.” Obviously, this means all around the world.

Ask: “How can you as one person witness all around the world?” (Allow responses.)

Whether or not you ever become a missionary, the important thing is to be a witness wherever you go. You can also support world missions through prayer and giving.

The Holy Spirit Gives Us Power

Witnessing is not always easy. In fact, there will be times when others may make fun of you or even try to harm you for sharing your faith. After all, Satan does not want anyone to hear and receive God’s plan of salvation and eternal life. Satan will do all he can to stop Christians from witnessing. But there is help for Christians. It is mentioned in the first half of Acts 1:8.

Ask: “What is it?” (Allow responses.)

The Holy Spirit will give us the power and courage we need to share our faith with others. A good example of how the Holy Spirit gives this special help is found in Acts 3:1 to 4:22.

Peter and John Witness for Jesus

It is quite unlikely that the lame man at the temple gate expected Peter to tell him to stand up and walk. Yet the man was willing to accept Peter’s offer, and immediately a great miracle took place. As passersby came near for a closer look, Peter took the opportunity to witness to them about Jesus. He did not shrink back from the chance to share his faith but boldly proclaimed the gospel. As a result about 2,000 people became believers that day.

Trouble soon came. Before Peter could finish speaking, he and John were surrounded by angry Jewish leaders who did not believe in Jesus. Peter and John were arrested and taken to jail. The next morning they were questioned about the lame man’s healing. “By what power, or by what name, have you done this?” the Council demanded.

This was another great opportunity for Peter to preach and witness about Jesus. He made it clear it was through Jesus’’ power that the man was healed. He also made it clear that only through Jesus Christ can we be saved from the punishment for our sins.

The Council could do or say little. Clearly Peter and John had a power and boldness that was not their own. The Holy Spirit gave them this power. The Jewish leaders could only scold Peter and John and tell them not to preach or teach in Jesus’ name anymore. But this would not stop Jesus’ followers. Peter and John knew what they had seen and heard. They knew the Holy
Spirit would give them the power and courage to share that truth.

We Can be Witnesses

Peter and John were quick to take every opportunity to tell others what they knew about Jesus. We too should always be on the alert to witness for Jesus. Our telling about Jesus may be the only way some people will hear about Jesus’ gift of salvation.

Accepting God’s Word

Remind the students that the purpose of witnessing is to make others aware of the privilege and need to accept Jesus as their Saviour. Ask if anyone in your class would like to receive Jesus. Pray individually with any who respond. Instruct them to keep close fellowship with God daily by reading and obeying His Word, praying and faithfully coming to church. Encourage them to tell someone about their new life in Christ this week.

Village Elders

We were led almost immediately to the old sheik’s house. At about 90 years old, he is the oldest man in the village and still leads prayers at the mosque. The sheik is very alert, and when asked if he had memorized lengthy passages of the Quran he responded by quoting a long passage.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Zigula Elders

1. Muslim sheiks to open their village to messengers of the gospel,
2. Permit new believers in Christ to remain with their families,
3. Give property for a church building.

Prayer Promise

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask of imagine..." (Ephesians 3:20).

Remember: POWER TO WITNESS

Memory verse: Acts 1:8
“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

1. Jesus has saved me. I want to tell others that He can save them too.
2. The Holy Spirit will give me the power and courage to explain the plan of salvation to them.
3. I am ready to tell about Jesus at home, at school, in the market and wherever I have an opportunity to share.

Pray for Zigula elders.

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Study 13 | Prayer Power / Holy Spirit | africaatts.org/go-teach

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