Conversation Starters: Respect Authority

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God is the authority over everything in people’s lives.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Most authority figures are good leaders whose authority we can respect. Unfortunately, we encounter other authority figures who, at best, are inept in what they do or, at worst, are self-serving or even “out to get us.” When it comes to respect, the Bible makes no distinction between the two types of leaders. In the Book of 1 Samuel, David modeled for us how we can respect even the worst kinds of authority figures.

Concept: Respect Authority


Acts 10

LIFE POINT: Cornelius and his family loved God. One day, Cornelius was praying. An angel gave him a message from God. The angel told Cornelius to find a man named Peter. Cornelius sent some men to find Peter. When the men found Peter, they explained what the angel had told Cornelius. The next day Peter and the men went to Cornelius’s house. Cornelius was there, waiting with his family and friends. Peter began talking to them. “God wants me to tell you that He loves everyone,” Peter said. “God wants me to tell you about Jesus.” Peter told that Jesus was God’s Son, that Jesus taught people about God, and about the good things Jesus did. Cornelius and his family and friends listened to Peter. They believed everything Peter told them about Jesus. They loved
Jesus, too.

LIVE IT OUT: Make a list of friends who do not go to church that your child knows. Choose a friend and invite that child to go to a special event at your church, like a  “back to school ” event. Be sure your child knows he is helping his friend to hear about Jesus.


Acts 10

LIFE POINT: Cornelius was an important officer in the Roman army. Cornelius and his family worshiped God. Cornelius always prayed to God. One day God sent an angel to tell Cornelius to send for Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. Cornelius sent three men to get Peter who was in a town called Joppa. God spoke to Peter and told him that Cornelius’s servants were looking for him. God told Peter to go with the men. Peter obeyed. Cornelius, his family, and his friends were waiting when Peter arrived at his house. Peter preached to Cornelius and everyone at his house. Peter told them about Jesus. Peter said that Jesus was sent by God so people could be forgiven for their sins: not just Jews, but all people. Cornelius and everyone who heard Peter’s message believed in Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: How can you involve your child in God’s work around the world? If he is old enough, encourage your child to participate in a mission trip with your church. If that is not possible, he could earn money to help support a missionary or a mission trip.


1 Samuel 24:3-12

THE POINT: Respect the authorities God has placed in your life.
• What have you been taught about respecting authority?
• How do you respond to the authority figures in your life?
• What do you like best about David’s approach in these verses?
• What can we learn from David about dealing with difficult people in authority?

Discuss the following quote:

“Until the will and the affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone to accept, His lordship.” ¹ —Elisabeth Elliot

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some suggested ways for your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Spend time with your student discussing what he or she can do to further cultivate his or her relationship with Jesus.
• COMMUNITY: Are there opportunities to serve alongside your student ministry or ways for you to be a better community member? Pray this week for opportunities to lead and serve students.
• CULTURE: Talk with your student about ways we can live in submission to God and share His goodness with the world.

¹. Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Revell, 2002), 41.

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