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.

27.6.2

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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Sunday Morning 12/17 (Unit 27, Session 5: Jesus Ascended to Heaven)

After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus showed His followers that He is alive. He taught them about Himself and about God’s kingdom. (Luke 24:25-27,44-48) Jesus told them that He would soon return to the Father. (John 20:17)

Jesus directed the Eleven to go a mountain. When they arrived, Jesus appeared. Some of them wondered if Jesus was finally going to overthrow the Roman government and set up His kingdom on earth.

Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7-8).

Jesus told them to remain in Jerusalem until they received the Father’s promise—the Holy Spirit. Those who repented of their sins and trusted in Jesus’ death and resurrection would be baptized by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:5) The Holy Spirit would give them power to live holy lives and take the gospel to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

After Jesus told the disciples these things, Jesus was taken up into the sky—right in front of their eyes! (Acts 1:9) Suddenly two men stood on the mountain next to the disciples. “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven?” they asked. They said Jesus would return the same way. (Acts 1:11)

Jesus is alive in heaven, waiting to return for His people. Jesus told the disciples He was going to prepare a place for them, and when we die, we will be with the Lord. (John 14:1-3)

Jesus left earth and returned to heaven, but He did not leave us alone. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with us and help us do God’s work. One day Jesus will return to make all things new and to rule as Lord over all.

27.5.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive in heaven.
    • Jesus told His friends to wait for the Holy Spirit.
    • The friends watched Jesus go up into heaven.
    • Jesus will come back one day.
  • Preschool
    • What is our mission? Our mission is to tell others about Jesus.
    • Jesus went up to heaven in a cloud.
  • Kids
    • What is our mission as believers? Our mission as believers is to make disciples of all nations by the power of the Spirit.
    • Jesus ascended to heaven in a cloud.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

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

 NEXT WEEK

  • “A Song of Thanksgiving” (Isaiah 12)
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Sunday Morning 12/10 (Unit 27, Session 4: Jesus Gave the Great Commission)

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He appeared to His disciples over a 40-day period. At one point, He appeared to more than 500 people. During that time, Jesus taught about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3) Some disciples wondered if Jesus was going to restore the kingdom of Israel. (Acts 1:6)

Jesus had a different plan for the disciples. He directed the Eleven to go to a mountain, where He appeared to them again. They worshiped Him, but some still doubted. (Matt. 28:17) On the mountain, Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission. First, Jesus stated that all authority had been given to Him. Before the resurrection, Jesus had authority as God the Son. Through the resurrection, however, the Father gave Jesus far more than even Satan had promised. (Matt. 4:8-9) Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God subjected everything to His beloved Son. (See Heb. 2:5-9.)

Because of Jesus’ authority, He commanded His disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel, the good news about Him. The Great Commission is not just for missionaries far from home. All believers are called to share the gospel with others, teach them to obey God’s commands, and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus finished His commission with a profound promise: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

Talk to your kids about the importance of living out the Great Commission. Because Jesus has authority over all places and all people at all times, we can take the good news about Jesus to all places and all people at all times. God has given us a mission and gives us power through the Holy Spirit to obey this calling.

The good news about what Jesus has done to rescue us from our sins is too great to keep to ourselves. Before Jesus went back to heaven, He gave the disciples a job to do. Jesus wants His followers to teach people everywhere about Jesus so they will trust in Him as their Lord and Savior.

27.4.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive in heaven.
    • Jesus has power over everything.
    • Jesus gave His friends a job to do on earth.
    • Jesus’ followers tell people everywhere about Him.
  • Preschool
    • What is our mission? Our mission is to tell others about Jesus.
    • Jesus gave His friends a mission.
  • Kids
    • What is our mission as believers? Our mission as believers is to make disciples of all nations by the power of the Spirit.
    • Jesus gave the disciples the Great Commission.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

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

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Ascended to Heaven” (Acts 1:4-14)

 

 

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Sunday Morning 12/03 (Unit 27, Session 3: Jesus Forgives and Restores)

After Jesus’ resurrection and His appearance to the disciples, seven of the disciples returned to Galilee, near the Sea of Galilee where Jesus had called four of His disciples to be fishers of men. (See Luke 5:1-11.) The disciples went fishing. Perhaps they felt it reasonable to return to the fishing business since their stint as disciples was apparently over—or so they thought!

In Bible times, nighttime was the preferred time for fishing. Fish caught at night could be sold fresh in the morning at market. But by daybreak, the disciples had caught nothing. Jesus stood at the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Him. He called to them, “Men, you don’t have any fish, do you?” (John 21:5). Then He urged them to cast their net on the right side of the boat. They obeyed, and they were unable to haul in the big catch!

John knew right away who He was. “It is the Lord!” John exclaimed. Peter immediately tied his outer garment around him and jumped into the sea, swimming 300 feet to shore. When the other six disciples arrived in the boat, they found Jesus sitting beside a charcoal fire with fish and bread. “Come and have breakfast,” Jesus said. Jesus ate with His disciples; then He turned to Peter.

John 21:15-19 describes Peter’s restoration. The disciple who told Jesus that he would die for Him (Luke 22:31-34) had denied Jesus three times. (Luke 22:54-62) Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Jesus. Each time Peter responded yes, Jesus told Peter to feed His lambs. Jesus restored Peter to ministry.

Emphasize to your kids that Jesus’ plan for the disciples did not end with His death and resurrection.

When Jesus first called the disciples to follow Him, Jesus had promised to make them fishers of men. Instead of catching fish, they would tell people about Jesus. (Luke 5:1-11) The disciples had left Jesus when He was arrested and even denied Him, but Jesus still wanted to use them in God’s plan. Jesus is the Lord who forgives us and makes things right again.

27.3.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive in heaven.
    • Jesus ate fish with His friends.
    • Jesus forgave Peter.
    • Jesus wanted Peter to tell others about Him.
  • Preschool
    • What is our mission? Our mission is to tell others about Jesus.
    • Jesus forgave Peter.
  • Kids
    • What is our mission as believers? Our mission as believers is to make disciples of all nations by the power of the Spirit.
    • Jesus forgave Peter and gave him a mission.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

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

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Gave the Great Commission” (Matthew 28:16-20)
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Sunday Morning 11/26 (Unit 27, Session 2: Jesus and the Doubter)

Jesus’ followers had seen Jesus alive! Two disciples met Jesus as they were walking to Emmaus, and then Jesus appeared to a group of His disciples as they met together in a locked room. But one of the disciples, Thomas, had missed out. He wasn’t there when Jesus appeared. He hadn’t seen Jesus for himself.

So despite his friends’ claims that the Lord was risen, Thomas doubted. In fact, he refused to believe. (John 20:25) Witnesses testified that they had seen Jesus, but Thomas wanted physical evidence. He lacked faith and was stubborn in his unbelief.

More than a week passed, and Thomas was with the other disciples in a room. Again, the doors were locked for their safety. Much like before, Jesus appeared before the disciples and said, “Peace be with you.”

This time, Thomas was there. Jesus told Thomas to believe. He urged him not only to look, but to feel Jesus’ wounds for himself. Here, Jesus gave grace to Thomas. He gave Thomas the physical proof he was looking for. Jesus was no ghost; Jesus was alive!

Thomas immediately believed, and Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.” (John 20:29)

Thomas saw Jesus for himself. He saw that Jesus had been raised from the dead and was alive. He saw Jesus’ scars from the cross, where Jesus died for our sins. We have not seen Jesus, but Jesus said if we believe in Him without seeing Him, we are blessed.

The Bible says that God is pleased when we have faith. (Heb. 11:6) As you talk with your kids, explain the meaning of the word faith: “the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Faith is believing without seeing. It is trusting that God is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do. (See Num. 23:19.)

Faith cannot be mustered up on your own; it is a gift from God. (Eph. 2:8-9) Pray that God would grant your kids faith to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

27.2.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive in heaven.
    • Jesus showed Thomas that He is alive.
    • Thomas believed Jesus is the Lord.
    • We can believe God’s words about Jesus.
  • Preschool
    • What is our mission? Our mission is to tell others about Jesus.
    • Jesus showed His hands and side to Thomas.
  • Kids
    • What is our mission as believers? Our mission as believers is to make disciples of all nations by the power of the Spirit.
    • Jesus showed His hands and side to Thomas.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

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

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Forgives and Restores” (John 21:1-19)
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Sunday Morning 11/19 (Unit 27, Session 1: Jesus Appeared to the Disciples)

Only a few days had passed since Jesus was arrested, beaten, and crucified. His followers were undoubtedly afraid and confused. They met together in a house, locking the doors because they were afraid of the Jews. Would the Jews do to them what they had done to Jesus? The disciples had believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but they had abandoned Him and Jesus was killed. How could He save anyone if He was dead?

But now some people were reporting that Jesus was alive! Could it be true? The disciples were talking about these things when Jesus stood among them. They thought they were seeing a ghost.

“Peace to you!” He said. What good news! Imagine how Jesus’ words might have calmed the disciples’ anxious hearts. Their Lord, whom they had deserted, didn’t show up to scold them for their failures or shame them for their lack of faith. He spoke peace to them.

Even though Jesus had foretold His death and resurrection (Matt. 20:17-19), Jesus showed His disciples physical proof that He was alive. He showed them His hands and His side. With His resurrection, Jesus’ mission was accomplished. He paid the debt for sinners, and the transaction cleared. But the disciples’ work was just beginning.

Jesus gave His followers a job to do: “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). This verse contains the Gospel of John’s version of the Great Commission. Jesus, the One sent from the Father, sent the disciples to be His messengers and representatives. Jesus equipped the disciples with the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel—the good news of what Jesus has done—to the world.

For 40 days, Jesus presented Himself to at least 500 people and proved that He is alive. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8) Jesus is still alive today. He sends out believers to tell others about Him and gives us power through the Holy Spirit.

27.1.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive in heaven.
    • The friends were hiding in a room.
    • Jesus showed His friends He is alive.
    • Jesus told His friends about God’s plan.
  • Preschool
    • What is our mission? Our mission is to tell others about Jesus.
    • Jesus appeared to His friends.
  • Kids
    • What is our mission as believers? Our mission as believers is to make disciples of all nations by the power of the Spirit.
    • Jesus appeared to His disciples.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

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

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus and the Doubter” (John 20:24-29)
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