Category Archives: SUNDAY MORNING

Sunday Morning, May 20, 2018 – The Armor of God (Unit 33 – Session 4)

Paul knew that following Jesus is difficult. After Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, his life was turned upside down and he was never the same. Paul spent the rest of his life struggling and suffering to advance the very gospel that he had denied and fought against before his conversion.

 Paul was in prison when he wrote his letter to the believers at the church in Ephesus. Paul knew firsthand that the life of a believer is a battle—an ongoing fight. But Paul didn’t see life as a fight against the Romans, those who had thrown him in prison, or those who opposed the gospel. The battle is against evil.

 At the conclusion of his letter, Paul used a Roman soldier’s armor as a picture of how we are to prepare ourselves to fight the battle against evil. Believers are to carry God’s truth, righteousness, and peace wherever we go. Likewise, we are to hold fast to our faith, salvation, and the Word of God. When we are fully protected by this armor of God, we are ready for any battle.

 In addition to wearing the armor of God, Paul called on believers to pray at all times. Paul wanted to remind believers that even with the armor of God, we still need to rely on God to protect us and to win the fight against evil.

 Paul told believers to be ready to fight a spiritual battle each and every day. People and powers who are against God will be against us too. But Jesus died and rose from the dead. He had victory over evil. We can fight the battle against evil, knowing Jesus already won the war.

 This week, show your kids all that God has given them to help them fight against evil. Emphasize that God never intends for us to fight in our own power. We are to rely on His power.

 FAMILY STARTING POINTS

*Babies and Toddlers

God helps us love Him.

Living for Jesus is not always easy.

God will help us stand strong.

God gives us His Word and His power to help us.

*Preschool

Who changes us? God changes us to be like Jesus.

God makes us strong against evil.

*Kids

Who changes us? The Holy Spirit changes us to be like Jesus for God’s glory.

God gives us what we need to stand strong against evil.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

2 Corinthians 5:17

Advertisements
Tagged

Sunday Morning, May 13, 2018 – The Fruit of the Spirit (Unit 33 – Session 3)

When we trust in Jesus, we become children of God and the gospel changes us. Our thinking changes so we can understand what pleases God and know His will. But gospel transformation doesn’t stop there. The gospel also changes how we live each day.

 In his letter to the Galatians, Paul described the fruit of the flesh—what a person’s life looks like apart from Christ: anger, jealousy, selfishness, impurity, strife, and similar things. Paul shared that people who live like this will not enter God’s kingdom because this behavior reveals the condition of the person’s heart. These behaviors are the fruit of that person’s sinful heart.

 Then Paul told the believers in the Galatian church how to recognize that God is working in someone’s life. He contrasted the fruit of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit—what a person’s life looks like in Christ: love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is the fruit produced in a person whose heart is changed by Christ.

 As you share the fruit of the Spirit with your kids this week, be careful to help them see that this fruit is produced by the Holy Spirit working in them. It is not called the fruit of the Christian. Our response to the fruit of the Spirit should not be to think of ways we can be more loving, joyful, peaceful, or kind. That is mistakenly believing the fruit is produced by us! When we trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins to change us.

 When we trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins to change us. Paul told the believers in the Galatian church how to recognize that God is working in someone’s life. People who are saved by Jesus become more like Him, and the Holy Spirit gives them power to say no to sin and to live in a way that pleases God.

 FAMILY STARTING POINTS

*Babies and Toddlers

God helps us love Him.

God gives the Holy Spirit to people who love Jesus.

The Holy Spirit helps us love God.

The Holy Spirit helps us grow to be more like Jesus.

*Preschool

Who changes us? God changes us to be like Jesus.

The Holy Spirit helps us be more like Jesus.

*Kids

Who changes us? The Holy Spirit changes us to be like Jesus for God’s glory.

The Holy Spirit changes the way we think and act to be more like Jesus.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

2 Corinthians 5:17

NEXT WEEK: The Armor of God

Tagged ,

Sunday Morning, May 6, 2018 – Children of God (Unit 33 – Session 1)

Rome was one of the most important cities in Paul’s day. Paul understood that it was essential that the church in the capital of the Roman Empire be anchored in the gospel. Unlike many of the other churches we read about in the New Testament, Paul didn’t help plant the church in Rome; in fact, he hadn’t even visited yet. Paul was planning his first visit to this important church when he wrote a letter to make sure the believers there properly understood the gospel.

The Book of Romans contains one of the clearest explanations of the gospel in the Bible. Paul opens his letter by explaining the sin problem that plagues us all. He then moves on to share how Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection was sufficient to save people who trust in Jesus.

 In Romans 5, people are described as helpless, ungodly, sinners, and enemies apart from Christ. Then, in chapter 8, Paul begins to show how having a relationship with Jesus changes us. He describes believers as children of God in Christ. That’s quite a change!

 The gospel doesn’t just spare us from the ultimate consequences of our sin. The gospel doesn’t just make us neutral to God. Because of the gospel, we are adopted by God and have the right and privilege to call God our loving Father. Gently and lovingly explain that God is our perfect Father, a Father who is always there for us and who loves us unconditionally because of His Son, Jesus. Being children of God means we have nothing to fear. Our relationship with God is secure for eternity.

 God is changing believers to be more like Jesus. We are God’s children—freed from sin, given power to do what is right, and adopted into God’s family. Because Jesus died on the cross, God the Father welcomes us and promises a future with Him forever.

 FAMILY STARTING POINTS

*Babies and Toddlers

God helps us love Him.

Paul wrote a letter to the church in Rome.

God gives the Holy Spirit to people who love Jesus.

Nothing can ever make God stop loving us.

*Preschool

Who changes us? God changes us to be like Jesus.

When we trust in Jesus, God makes us His children.

*Kids

Who changes us? The Holy Spirit changes us to be like Jesus for God’s glory.

When we trust in Jesus, God gives us the Holy Spirit and makes us His children.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

2 Corinthians 5:17

 NEXT WEEK

The Fruits of the Spirit

 

Tagged ,

Sunday Morning, April 22nd – Love One Another (Unit 31, Session 6)

The apostle John had been one of Jesus’ closest friends. Along with Peter and James, John was part of the innermost core of Jesus’ disciples. John even referred to himself in his Gospel as “the one whom Jesus loved.”

 It is not surprising that 50 years after Jesus returned to heaven, John wrote a letter to help believers understand who Jesus is. At the center of John’s message was one key theme: love.

 John wrote that God is love, and if believers truly love God, then we will love one another. Our love for one another should be so deep that we are willing to lay down our lives for one another just as Jesus did for us. It is this deep, genuine love that will cause the world to understand the reality of the gospel.

 Love is misunderstood and distorted in our culture today, and your kids may have been impacted by this in some way. Your kids may see love as just a feeling, as something temporary, or as something that has to be earned. This session is the perfect opportunity to expose the world’s myths about love and remind your kids of the truth about God’s love.

 Remind kids that Jesus’ love for them is unconditional and unending. It is not just a feeling. Jesus’ love for us is proven by His death on the cross to rescue them from sin. We can love others because God loved us first.

 John wrote a letter to teach believers in the church about the importance of showing love. Love is more than feelings or words—it is an action. Jesus showed God’s love for us when He died on the cross to rescue people from sin.

 FAMILY STARTING POINTS

*Babies and Toddlers

God helps us obey Him.

John wrote a letter to the church.

John said Jesus’ followers show love to other people.

We love others because Jesus loves us.

*Preschool

Why does God want us to obey Him? We obey because God loves us.

John wrote that Christians should love one another.

*Kids

Why does God want us to obey Him? Obedience is our response to God’s love for us.

John wrote that others will know we are Christians because we love one another.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Galatians 2:20

Tagged

Sunday Morning, April 15th – The Church Showed Favoritism (Unit 31, Session 3)

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, many Jews struggled to believe that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God. This included James, Jesus’ half-brother. But after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus appeared to James, and at last James believed. James later became the leader of the church in Jerusalem—a vital role in the early, growing church.

 The early church was comprised mostly of Jewish believers. That makes sense because of the church’s origin in Israel but also because that was the mission Jesus gave: start with the Jews and spread out from there. James wrote a letter to these Jewish believers who were scattered around the region, helping them understand how their new faith in Jesus should frame how they live.

 James told his fellow believers that one way they could live out the gospel was by not showing favoritism. James used an example of how a church might show favoritism to a wealthy man over a poor man who came to a meeting.

 The natural response might be to treat the wealthy man better, but James told the believers that God does not show favoritism. God has treated all people—rich and poor—the same: generously with the gospel. God’s kindness toward us should cause us to want to treat others with similar love, generosity, and equality.

 When believers in the early church treated some people as better than others, James told them they were wrong. He reminded them that Jesus commanded believers to love one another. Because He has shown great mercy to us, we can show mercy to others.

 This week’s session is a great follow-up to last week’s. Your kids may think that being united is just a matter of getting along with one another and not fighting. But God’s heart is for us to be united far more deeply. Help your kids see that the gospel should compel them to treat one another in the same way—with the same love, mercy, and grace shown to us by Jesus.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

*Babies and Toddlers

God helps us obey Him.

James wrote a letter to the believers.

James said to treat all people with kindness.

Jesus loves us so we can love others.

*Preschool

Why does God want us to obey Him? We obey because God loves us.

James tells us to love others because Jesus loves us.

*Kids

Why does God want us to obey Him? Obedience is our response to God’s love for us.

James calls us to treat people with mercy because Jesus shows us mercy.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Galatians 2:20

 NEXT WEEK

Love One Another

Tagged

Sunday Morning, April 8th – The Church Was Divided (Unit 31, Session 2)

Paul helped start the church in Corinth, a city in southern Greece, during his second missionary journey. Corinth was known for its wickedness. If any city needed a church, this was it. Paul remained in Corinth for about 18 months and then continued traveling to share the gospel and plant more churches. Six years later, Paul received word from Chloe, a believer in Corinth, that the church there was struggling. The church was fractured and openly engaging in various sins. Some believers were even denying the resurrection! This news surely troubled Paul, so he sat down to write a letter to the church. One of the first issues Paul addressed was the church’s division. Even if he could help resolve the other issues, a divided church would never be healthy and impact the city the way it needed to. According to Chloe’s report, several factions had formed in the church. Some claimed to follow Paul. Others Apollos. Others Peter. And some even claimed to follow Jesus, which wasn’t as good as it sounded. This group was most likely simply trying to sound more spiritual than the others. Paul told the Corinthian believers that they should not be divided; they should all be one because of their shared faith in Jesus. Jesus isn’t divided, and He alone died on the cross for them. Paul’s message was clear: the gospel does not divide believers, it unites them.

Paul told believers in the Corinthian church to come together because of the gospel of Jesus. He reminded them that Jesus saves sinners. Because of Jesus and what He has done, believers can humbly come together as one body.

We all—our kids included—are experts in finding ways to divide ourselves. Sin and selfishness divide, but Jesus and the gospel unite. God designed the church to show what true unity among a beautifully diverse people looks like. This week, pray that the message Paul shared with the Corinthian believers takes root in your heart and in the hearts of your kids. Pray that God would break down the barriers we create and bring your kids together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

●      Babies and Toddlers

 

God helps us obey Him.

Paul wrote a letter to the church in Corinth.

 

 

Paul told the people to be kind to one another.

 

Jesus helps us know about God.

 

●      Preschool

 

 

Why does God want us to obey Him? We obey because God loves us.

 

Paul wrote that Christians should work together.

 

 

Kids

Why does God want us to obey Him? Obedience is our response to God’s love for us.

Paul wrote that Christians are joined together by faith in Jesus.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

●      Galatians 2:20

 NEXT WEEK

“The Church Showed Favoritism” (James 2:1-13)

 

 

 

Tagged

EASTER, 4/1/18 (Jesus’ Crucifixion & Resurrection)

[vimeo261035217]

God’s law for the people was plain. Read Deuteronomy 6:5. But God’s people, and all people, have broken the law. We have loved other things more than we love God. That is sin.

Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth was to save us from our sin. (Matt. 1:21) Why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn’t He just say, “You are forgiven”? God is just and requires due payment for sin. To simply forgive sin without requiring a payment would be unjust. According to God’s Word, the payment of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23) But not only is God just, He is also loving. That is why Jesus was willing to die in our place.

Jesus came to live and die to show God’s love to us (Rom. 5:7-8) so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Jesus came to die so that we would be forgiven. (Eph. 1:7) Jesus came to die to bring us to God. (1 Pet. 3:18)

Jesus died on the cross to satisfy the wrath of God toward sin. Jesus’ resurrection proved that God was satisfied with Jesus’ sacrifice, and forgiveness and life are found in Him. (See 1 Cor. 15:17.) If Jesus had died but not been raised up, He would have been like military leaders who died without a throne. (Acts 5:33-37) But Jesus conquered death, just as He said He would. (John 2:19-21)

Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope for our resurrection. (Rom. 6:5) Romans 8:11 says that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will raise our bodies to life.

Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are not the end of the story, but the center of it. Everything that was written about Jesus in the Old Testament and spoken by the prophets was coming true.

 

Tagged ,