Category Archives: SUNDAY MORNING

Sunday Morning, 2/25/18 (Unit 30, Session 2: Paul’s First Journey)

Jesus’ followers preached the gospel in Jerusalem, and the good news spread to places like Judea and Samaria. More and more people believed, and new churches began as both Jews and Gentiles began to follow Jesus. Barnabas went to Antioch—a city about 300 miles north of Jerusalem—where he brought Paul to help teach the believers. The church in Antioch grew. It was in Antioch that the disciples first became known as Christians. (See Acts 11:26.)

The Holy Spirit told the believers at the church in Antioch to send out Paul and Barnabas to preach the gospel. The church obeyed, and Paul and Barnabas traveled to several cities and all over the island of Cyprus, telling both Jews and Gentiles about Jesus.

Consider Paul—once a devoted persecutor of Christians—now a Christian missionary, devoted to obeying God’s call to go and tell others the good news about Jesus. This was Paul’s first missionary journey, and it wasn’t easy. Paul and Barnabas faced rejection in every place that they traveled. Some of the people believed, but some of them were angry. Many people rejected the truth about Jesus. In some places, the Jews made plans to kill Paul.

In no place did Paul and Barnabas soften their message or abandon their mission. In Lystra, Paul healed a man, and when the witnesses to this miracle began to worship Paul and Barnabas, the two men emphatically gave credit to the one true God. When Paul’s enemies attacked him and left him for dead, Paul continued on. Paul and Barnabas shared the gospel in Derbe (DUHR bih), and many people believed.

The Holy Spirit sent Paul and Barnabas to tell Jews and Gentiles about Jesus. If Paul had not taken the gospel to the Gentiles, many of us would probably not be believers today. God uses people to tell others about Jesus so that people all over the world can be saved from their sin by trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Paul and Barnabas faced many people who rejected the good news about Jesus. But God had a plan for Paul to share the gospel with Gentiles, no matter what troubles Paul faced. Many believed in Jesus. The church grew and the gospel was shared so that people all over the world could be saved from their sin by trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers

  • Christians tell about Jesus.
  • The Holy Spirit had a special job for Paul.
  • Paul and Barnabas told people about Jesus.
  • Many people believed the good news.

Preschool

  • How do people hear about Jesus? God uses Christians to tell others about Jesus.
  • The Holy Spirit sent Paul and Barnabas to tell people about Jesus.

Kids

  • How do people hear about Jesus? God uses Christians to tell others about Jesus so they may repent and be saved.
  • The Holy Spirit sent Paul and Barnabas to tell Jews and Gentiles about Jesus.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Acts 1:8

 NEXT WEEK

  • “The Message: ‘Christ Alone’” (Acts 15:1-35)
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Sunday Morning, 2/18/18 (Unit 30, Session 1: Paul’s Conversion and Baptism)

Saul was no stranger to religion. He grew up in a religious household. He was a devout Jew who was born in Tarsus (Phil. 3:5) and inherited his Roman citizenship from his father. So when people began talking about this man named Jesus and claiming that He was the promised Messiah, Saul was defensive.

Saul believed strongly in the Jewish faith of his ancestors. He violently persecuted God’s church and tried to destroy it. (Gal. 1:13-14) He dragged believers from their houses and put them in prison. He approved of the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Saul thought he was doing the right thing by defending Judaism, but God’s purposes could not be stopped. As Saul was on his way to arrest believers in Damascus, the Lord stopped him in his tracks.

Jesus revealed Himself to Saul, and Saul was never the same. He was struck blind and led into Damascus, where a believer named Ananias placed his hands on Saul. Suddenly, Saul could see again. Saul was convinced that Jesus is Lord. Saul later described the experience as being like dying and receiving a new life. (Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:17)

God had a purpose and a plan for Saul. He had set Saul apart before Saul was even born. (Gal. 1:15) God said, “This man is My chosen instrument to take My name to the Gentiles” (Acts 9:15).

Jesus changed Saul’s life. As you talk with your kids, clarify that conversion happens when a person recognizes his sin, repents, believes in Jesus, and confesses Jesus as Savior and Lord. Jesus changes a person’s heart, and as a result, his life is changed too.

Jesus appeared to Saul and changed him inside and out. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15) Jesus called Saul, also known as Paul, who was once an enemy to Christians, to spend the rest of his life telling people the gospel and leading them to trust Jesus as Lord and Savior.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
  • Christians tell about Jesus.
  • Paul did not love Jesus at first.
  • Jesus sent Ananias to tell Paul about Him.
  • God changed Paul’s heart to love Jesus.

Preschool

  • How do people hear about Jesus? God uses Christians to tell others about Jesus.
  • Jesus saved Saul from his sins.

Kids

  • How do people hear about Jesus? God uses Christians to tell others about Jesus so they may repent and be saved.
  • Jesus saved Saul from his sins and chose him to spread the gospel.

 

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Acts 1:8

NEXT WEEK

  • “Paul’s First Journey” (Acts 13:1-3; 14:8-28)

 

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Sunday Morning 2/11/18 (Unit 28, Session 5: Peter Visited Cornelius)

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The apostle Peter preached and taught boldly after Pentecost. Jesus had commanded His followers to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Acts 10 shows us how God made clear to Peter that the gospel is for everyone—not only the Jews but also the Gentiles.

The story begins in Caesarea (SESS uh REE uh), the capital city in the Roman province of Judea. Cornelius, a Roman centurion, lived in Caesarea. Like many of the people in Caesarea, Cornelius was a Gentile; however, he did not worship the Roman gods. Cornelius worshiped the one true God, and one day, God spoke to Cornelius in a vision. In the vision, an angel told Cornelius to send for Peter.

Now Peter was in Joppa (JAHP uh), about 30 miles south of Caesarea. As Cornelius’s men approached the city, Peter had a vision too. He was on a rooftop when God showed him a sheet of animals and commanded him to eat. The problem was that some of the animals were considered “unclean” by Jewish food laws. Three times, God said to Peter, “What God has made clean, do not call impure.”

Peter visited Cornelius and others who had gathered with him. Peter understood that God did not want a Jewish man to call anyone unclean just because he was a foreigner. (See Acts 10:28-29.) Peter preached the gospel to the Gentiles there, and they believed. The Holy Spirit filled them, and they were baptized.

The gospel is good news for everyone. As you teach kids, emphasize that God showed Peter that just as there is no “clean” and “unclean” food, there are no “clean” and “unclean” people. God calls believers to tell everyone the good news about Jesus, no matter who they are or where they come from. Jesus is the Lord of all.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • The Holy Spirit helps us.
    • Peter told Cornelius about Jesus.
    • God showed Peter that the good news is for all people.
    • Everyone who trusts in Jesus will be saved.
  • Preschool
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians.
    • Peter learned the gospel is for all people.
  • Kids
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians follow Jesus.
    • The Holy Spirit told Peter to preach to Cornelius, a Gentile.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Philippians 2:13

 NEXT WEEK

“Paul’s Conversion and Baptism” (Acts 9:1-25)

 

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Sunday Morning 1/21/18 (Unit 28, Session 2: Peter Healed a Beggar)

With the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Jesus’ disciples were empowered to carrying out Jesus’ mission for them—to take the gospel to all the nations. More and more people believed in Jesus. They met together at the temple to praise and worship God, and the first church began.

One afternoon, two of Jesus’ disciples—Peter and John—went to the temple to pray. They encountered at the gate a man who could not walk. Rather than give the man money, Peter gave him something much more valuable: immediate physical healing in Jesus’ name.

After Jesus returned to heaven, the Holy Spirit gave the disciples power to begin working. With the power of Jesus’ name, Peter healed a man who was lame. Not even the religious leaders could stop Jesus’ followers from sharing the good news about Jesus.

As you talk with your kids about this Bible story, keep three things in mind. First, Peter’s healing the beggar was not magic; it was a miracle. Beginning in Acts 3:12, Peter responded to the people who were amazed at what had happened. “Why are you amazed at this … as though we had made him walk by our own power?” The man wasn’t healed because Peter was a super-believer. Peter explained that it was by Jesus’ power the man was healed.

Second, the man’s healing made him happy and thankful. He entered the temple and rejoiced! Consider the wonderful miracle of salvation. We are dead in our sin, and God makes us alive in Christ! How we should rejoice and give thanks to the Lord!

Finally, Peter and John were bold in their witness. When confronted by the religious leaders, they did not shy away. Peter and John preached about the salvation found in Jesus. In fact, they said they were “unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).

The same power that enabled Peter to heal the man who was lame—the power of the Holy Spirit—enables believers today to live on mission for Jesus. Pray that God would give your kids a willingness to be used by Him for His glory and for the fame of Jesus’ name.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • The Holy Spirit helps us.
    • Peter and John went to the temple.
    • They healed a man in Jesus’ name.
    • Only Jesus rescues and heals people.
  • Preschool
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians.
    • In Jesus’ name, Peter healed a man.
  • Kids
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians follow Jesus.
    • In Jesus’ name, Peter healed a man who could not walk.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 2:13

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Stephen’s Address” (Acts 6:8–7:60)

 

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Sunday Morning 1/14/18 (Unit 28, Session 1: The Holy Spirit Came)

When Jesus ascended to heaven, He instructed the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come upon them. So the disciples went back to Jerusalem, where they waited and prayed.

The time came for the Jewish festival called Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks. As with the Passover festival, Jews from all over the Roman Empire would be at the temple in Jerusalem.

During this festival, the Holy Spirit came to believers in Jerusalem. They heard a sound like a violent, rushing wind. When the Holy Spirit filled the disciples, they were able to speak in foreign languages. They went out into the city and began to preach, and the Jews from all over the world were amazed. These disciples were from Galilee, but they were speaking in languages the visitors could understand.

The disciples told people about God’s plan. The Holy Spirit helped Peter teach: Jesus is the Messiah; Jesus was killed, but He is alive! (Acts 2:22-36) The Holy Spirit convicted the crowd and they asked, “Brothers, what must we do?” Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus. (Acts 2:37-38) That day, three thousand people received salvation!

God kept His promise to send the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit’s help, Jesus’ disciples could begin their work to share the gospel with the entire world. God gives the Holy Spirit to those who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit gives us power to do God’s work, and He changes us to be more like Jesus.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • The Holy Spirit helps us.
    • God sent the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ friends.
    • Jesus’ friends told people about God’s plan.
    • People who trust in Jesus receive the Holy Spirit.
  • Preschool
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians.
    • The Holy Spirit came to Jesus’ followers.
  • Kids
    • What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians follow Jesus.
    • The Holy Spirit came to the apostles on the Day of Pentecost.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 2:13

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Peter Healed a Beggar” (Acts 3:1-10; 4:5-31)
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Sunday Morning 01/07 (Unit 27, Session 6: A Song of Thanksgiving)

Picture the reality of your salvation: Imagine standing as a defendant in a courtroom. You’ve been justly found guilty of a crime and the penalty is death. But rather than ordering law enforcement to lead you away to be executed, the judge gets up and takes your place. He takes your punishment upon himself, declaring your innocence and allowing you to walk free. How would you respond?

This is essentially what Jesus does for sinners who trust in Him. God is the Judge, and rather than sentencing us to death like we deserve, the Father sent His Son to take our place. That is mercy and grace. So how should we respond?

Look at how Moses and the Israelites responded when God rescued them from Egypt and led them across the Red Sea. Exodus 15 describes their song. They praised the Lord and told what He had done for them. This same attitude of thankfulness—the proper response to the good news of the gospel—is described in the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah had a vision of God’s grace toward sinners, and he describes in Isaiah 12 the song we will sing to the Lord. We will praise God for His mercy and compassion (Isa. 12:1-2), thank Him for keeping His promise to save us (vv. 3-4), and tell of His glory and greatness among the nations (vv. 5-6).

Isaiah looked forward to the day when God’s words would come true—God would bless His people, and they would be thankful and tell everyone about Him. By sending His Son, God kept His promise to save people from sin. Jesus died on the cross and rose again. Those who trust in Him rejoice and are saved.

Once we experience salvation, we don’t sit back and cruise through the Christian life. Salvation is a call to action. Out of thankfulness for the Lord, we can love others like Jesus (1 John 4:10-12) and share with the world the good news of the gospel (Matt. 28:19-20; John 14:15). Guide your kids to recognize that every good gift comes from God (Jas. 1:17), and God’s greatest gift to us is His own Son, Jesus. With hearts of gratitude, praise and worship the Lord together.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive in heaven.
    • Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
    • God sent Jesus to rescue us.
    • We can thank God for Jesus.
  • Preschool
    • What is our mission? Our mission is to tell others about Jesus.
    • We thank God because Jesus is alive.
  • Kids
    • What is our mission as believers? Our mission as believers is to make disciples of all nations by the power of the Spirit.
    • We are thankful because Jesus died on the cross and rose again to save us from our sins.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (Preschool: 1 Corinthians 15:4)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “The Holy Spirit Came” (Acts 2:1-4,22-27)
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Sunday Morning 12/31 (Unit 10, Session 3: David Was Anointed and Fought Goliath)

As we continue our journey through the big story of the Bible this week, we come to God anointing David to replace Saul as king and David’s victory over the giant Goliath. While Saul looked the part to be king, David didn’t look like a strong warrior and seemed to be no match for the Philistine champion. But God gave David power and he defeated Goliath.

God used this victory to position David as the next king and also to show us a picture of Jesus. When Jesus came to earth, He didn’t look like a strong warrior either. But Jesus showed His power when He died on the cross and rose again to defeat death.

Help your kids see the connection between David and Jesus. Talk about how God defeated Israel’s enemy of Goliath and our greater enemy of sin and death. Guide your kids to see that David doesn’t primarily teach us to be brave, but to trust in Jesus instead.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

●      Babies and Toddlers

  • Jesus is our King.
  • God chose David to be king after Saul.
  • God gave David power to fight Goliath.
  • God sent Jesus through David’s family.

●      Preschool

  • Who is our King? Jesus is our King forever.
  • God gave David power to defeat Goliath.

●      Kids

  • Who is our King? Jesus is our King forever, and He rules over the world.
  • God gave David power to defeat Goliath.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

●      Psalm 47:7-8 (Preschool: Psalm 47:7) 

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