Sunday Morning 10/18: Unit 25, Session 3: Jesus’ Hard Teachings

On the heels of His miraculous feeding of the five thousand, Jesus encountered crowds who erroneously concluded He was worth following because He could use His power to fill their empty stomachs. But Jesus recognized their motives and challenged them to go after something greater—not to work for food, which does not last long, but to receive eternal life by believing in Him.

Over and over again, people misunderstood Jesus’ words. They asked what they could do to get the food that lasts forever. Eternal life is a gift that God gives—not to those who perform certain deeds, but to anyone who believes in Jesus. Then the crowd asked for another sign. If Moses had provided bread for 40 years, couldn’t Jesus do that too? Jesus pointed out the bread didn’t come from Moses; it came from God. The crowd was so determined to get bread to eat that they didn’t understand recognize that God had now provided true bread from heaven by sending His Son.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” He wanted to give people more than food. He wanted to give them true life. Jesus continued, “If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever” (John 6:51). As you teach, emphasize to kids that God invites us to come and eat. We partake in the bread of life by believing in Him.

The Jewish leaders struggled with Jesus’ teaching. How could this man, whom they knew as the son of Joseph, be the Son of God? Furthermore, Jesus talked about giving His flesh and blood. To the Jews, this didn’t make any sense. Jesus wanted to do more than fill people’s stomachs; He wanted to give them true life. Jesus’ teachings were hard to understand. When Jesus talked about His flesh and blood, He was talking about His death and resurrection. When we trust in Jesus, He gives us the gift of eternal life.

Many people stopped following Jesus because they could not accept His teachings. Yet Peter, one of the Twelve, grasped the truth: “You have the words of eternal life. … You are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69). When we trust in Jesus, He gives us the gift of eternal life.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • People wanted Jesus to give them bread from heaven.
    • Jesus said He is the bread of life.
    • Anyone who believes in Jesus will have life forever.
    • Jesus’ words tell us how to have life with Him forever.
    • Jesus is our King.
  • Preschool
    • Many people did not understand Jesus’ teaching. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over all He made.
  • Kids
    • Many people misunderstood Jesus’ teaching. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over His creation according to His perfect plan.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Colossians 1:13-14 (PS: Colossians 1:13)

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Jesus Raised Lazarus” (John 11)

Sunday Morning 10/11: Unit 25, Session 2: The Three Parables

In Luke 19, Jesus went after Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector. Zacchaeus was not well liked, but his interaction with Jesus led him to repent of his wrongdoing. Jesus said to him, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

Who is “the lost”? What does it mean to be lost? In Luke 15, Jesus told three parables to the crowd of tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees, and scribes. Jesus’ teaching brought gospel truth to the tax collectors and sinners—those whose unrighteousness separated them from God—and to the Pharisees and scribes—those whose relied on their own righteous efforts for salvation.

The first two parables are similar. In one, a man loses a sheep. He leaves his flock to find the missing sheep, and he rejoices when it is found. In the second, a woman loses a silver coin. The woman carefully searches until she finds it. Then she calls her neighbors and friends to celebrate with her. Heaven rejoices when even one sinner repents. Finally, Jesus told a parable about two sons. The younger son asked for his inheritance, wasted his money on immoral living, and decided to return to his father. Rather than rejecting his wayward son, the father embraced him. The older son, who had always been obedient to his father, reacted with anger.

As you read Luke 15, think about the crowd Jesus was speaking to. The focus is often placed on the younger son—the one with whom the tax collectors and sinners could identify—but Jesus also made a point about the older son. The older son was like the Pharisees and scribes, focused on his own morality and feeling entitled to his father’s favor.

The religious leaders complained that Jesus welcomed sinners. Jesus told these parables to teach about God’s forgiveness. God sent Jesus so sinners can be forgiven. As Savior, Jesus seeks sinners. He paid the ultimate price—His own life—to save people from sin

Jesus taught what God is like. He seeks sinners who have wandered far from Him, and He seeks sinners who try to earn salvation by their good works. As you talk with your kids, help them understand that being lost means not knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior. God loves us, and He actively seeks to bring sinners to Himself.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus told a story about God’s love.
    • The father was happy when his son came home.
    • God is happy when sinners trust Jesus.
    • Jesus gave His life to save people from sin.
    • Jesus is our King.
  • Preschool
    • Jesus came to save people who do not know Him. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over all He made.
  • Kids
    • Jesus came to seek and save the lost. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over His creation according to His perfect plan.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Colossians 1:13-14 (PS: Colossians 1:13)

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Jesus’ Hard Teachings” (John 6)

Parent Dedication: Oct 4, 2020 (North and West)

This past Sunday families at both campuses participated in Parent Dedication. As we charged parents to be the primary disciple-maker of these little ones, we also invited the church to come alongside both parents and children in the process of discipleship. This is a big honor and a great challenge for all! Check out the video above to witness this sweet occasion.

Sunday Morning 10/4: Unit 25, Session 1: Kingdom Parables

The Gospels record dozens of Jesus’ parables. A parable is a simple story Jesus told to help people understand the kingdom of God. Each parable taught a lesson and revealed deep and often mysterious truths about God’s kingdom for those who would understand. (See Matt. 13:10-15.)

In Matthew 13:31-33, Jesus tells two stories about the kingdom of God. In the first, He compares God’s kingdom to a mustard seed. In those days, the mustard seed was the smallest seed planted in the region. Despite its size, the seed yielded a tall, tree-like bush with branches for birds to nest in. Jesus was teaching that although God’s kingdom started out small—with Jesus and a few disciples—it grows and spreads. We still witness this growth today.

Then Jesus compares God’s kingdom to leaven, or yeast, that is mixed into flour. In time, yeast causes a dense ball of dough to grow and rise. God’s kingdom grows in a similar way, moving throughout the world and changing lives.

Then, in the parables of the hidden treasure and the priceless pearl, Jesus taught about the value of God’s kingdom. A man came across a treasure buried in a field and sold all he had to buy the field. A merchant, finding a priceless pearl, sold all he had to buy it. Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven is so valuable, we would be wise to give up everything in order to have it. Jesus emphasized this truth in His encounter with the rich young ruler. (See Matt. 19:16-22.)

As you talk with your kids, help them begin to grasp the truth about God’s kingdom. The kingdom of God is growing in the world. This kingdom is valuable and worth giving everything for. While we wait for Jesus to return and fully set up His kingdom, we carry out the mission of telling others about King Jesus, who rescues sinners.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus told people what God’s kingdom is like.
    • God’s kingdom is worth giving everything for.
    • Everyone who trusts in Jesus is part of God’s kingdom.
    • Jesus grows His kingdom when we trust in Him.
    • Jesus is our King.
  • Preschool
    • Jesus taught about God’s kingdom. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over all He made.
  • Kids
    • God’s growing kingdom is more valuable than anything. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over His creation according to His perfect plan.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Colossians 1:13-14 (PS: Colossians 1:13)

NEXT WEEK 

  • “The Three Parables” (Luke 15)

Family Worship Project: Tis So Sweet Motions Video

This Sunday, October 4 our Family Worship Project continues with “Tis So Sweet” incorporated in the kids worship experience. Be sure to check it out here on the blog anytime on Sunday or throughout the week! We would love for you to share a video of your family worshiping through this song! Use #redemptionresponse or @goredemption when posting on Facebook or Instagram.

Be sure to practice but we will have the motions on your screen to help you engage in the kids worship experience this week. See you Sunday!

Sunday Morning 9/27: Unit 9, Session 5: Ruth and Boaz

Only two books in the Old Testament bear the name of a woman: Ruth and Esther. Ruth’s story occurs at the time when judges ruled over Israel. God’s people were characterized by rebellion and immorality. At a time when the Israelites desperately needed a king to lead them back to God, Ruth’s story of faithfulness points us to Jesus Christ, a coming Redeemer who will make all wrong things right again.

Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, a woman from Bethlehem who settled in Moab with her husband and two sons to escape a famine. Naomi’s husband died, and her two sons married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. They lived in Moab for 10 years; then Naomi’s sons died.

Naomi heard that the Lord had provided food for His people during the famine, so she decided to go back to Judah. Naomi encouraged Orpah and Ruth to return to their families. Orpah returned home, but Ruth clung to Naomi. Ruth said, “Wherever you go, I will go … your people will be my people, and your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16). So Naomi and Ruth traveled back to Bethlehem together.

Naomi permitted Ruth to gather fallen grain in a field. The owner of the field was Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s late husband and a family redeemer. A family redeemer was someone who would help his close relatives if they were in trouble. Boaz noticed Ruth and told her she could safely gather grain in his field. At Naomi’s urging, Ruth sought to be redeemed by Boaz. Boaz bought back the land Naomi and Ruth had lost when their husbands died, and he married Ruth. They had a son named Obed, whose grandson would be King David.

Boaz was a family redeemer. He helped his close relatives who were in trouble. Boaz cared for Ruth and Naomi because their husbands had died. In a similar way, Jesus is our Redeemer. We need help because we sin. Jesus bought our salvation for us by taking our punishment when He died on the cross. God gave Ruth—a foreigner—a special place in the lineage of Jesus Christ. As you talk about this story with your kids, introduce them to Jesus, our Redeemer. He bought for us salvation, paying the price with His very own blood.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • God helps us obey Him.
    • God used Boaz to take care of Ruth and Naomi.
    • God sent Jesus to earth through Ruth’s family.
    • Jesus died on the cross and came back to life to redeem us.
  • Preschool
    • What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus. 
    • God provided for Ruth and Naomi.
  • Kids
    • What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus. 
    • God provided a redeemer for Ruth and Naomi.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 John 1:9 (1 John 1:9a for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Kingdom Parables” (Matthew 13)

Sunday Morning 9/20: Unit 9, Session 4: Samson

Samson was the last of the major judges of Israel. He was born to parents who dedicated him to the Lord as a Nazirite after the Angel of the Lord announced that Samson would be born to save the Israelites from the power of the Philistines. Samson grew up, and God blessed him with great strength. But when Samson requested to marry a Philistine woman, his parents were confused. Samson was supposed to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. Why would he want to marry one of them? But God had a plan in all of this. (See Judg. 14:4.)

As Samson prepared for the wedding, he gave a riddle to the men with him about an event that occurred on his way to Timnah. (See Judg. 14:9-14.) Days passed, and the men convinced Samson’s wife to tell them the answer to the riddle. This action sparked a series of events that would eventually lead to the death of Samson.

When the men solved his riddle, Samson was so angry that he torched the fields of the Philistines. He used the jawbone of a donkey to kill 1,000 men, and he left his wife. The Philistine leaders determined to kill Samson. When Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, the leaders bribed her into telling them where Samson’s strength came from.

A man came and shaved the braids from Samson’s head. He lost his strength and became helpless. The Philistines gouged out his eyes and took him prisoner. They had him stand between the pillars of a pagan temple. In a final plea to God, Samson asked for his strength back. God gave him strength, and Samson knocked over the pillars, collapsing the temple. In his death, Samson killed more Philistines than he had killed in his life. (Judg. 16:30)

Though Samson disobeyed God, God used him to accomplish His purpose of delivering the Israelites from the Philistines. As you talk to your kids about this story this week, remind them that Samson’s sin led to his own death, but God used his death to save the Israelites from their enemies. Samson’s story reminds us of Jesus. Jesus never sinned, but God sent Him to die on the cross and rise again to rescue people from sin and give them eternal life.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • God helps us obey Him.
    • God made Samson strong to help God’s people.
    • Samson made wrong choices, but nothing could stop God’s plan.
    • God sent Jesus to be our Judge.
  • Preschool
    • What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus. 
    • God made Samson strong. 
  • Kids
    • What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus. 
    • God gave Samson strength to defeat the Philistines. 

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 John 1:9 (1 John 1:9a for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Ruth and Boaz” (Ruth)

Sunday Morning 9/13: Unit 9, Session 3: Gideon

Last week, your kids learned about Deborah and Barak. This week, Judges 6 starts out in a familiar way: “The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” The period of Judges was not a good time for the Israelites. Their cycle of sin, bondage, deliverance, and peace clearly showed the law alone could not save them from sin.

The Israelites were oppressed by the Midianites, and they cried out to God for help. God chose a man to save them, and his name was Gideon. Gideon was an unlikely leader, and he knew this. Gideon said, “Please, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house” (Judg. 6:15).

God doesn’t need the biggest and the best to accomplish His plan. In fact, He often uses the weakest and least of people to fulfill His plans because that is what gives Him the most glory. God had a plan to empower Gideon in his weakness: “But I will be with you,” He said. (Judg. 6:16)

Gideon and an army of men assembled. God told Gideon he had too many men. God didn’t want the men to think they had the power to defeat the Midianites themselves. When the army was reduced to just 300 men, they prepared for battle. (See Judg. 7:1-7.)

The men ran toward the Midianites’ camp, blowing their trumpets and shouting. God turned the swords of the Midianites against each other. They ran away, but Gideon and his army chased after them and killed them.

God was with the Israelites when they went to battle. The Israelites did not win the battle themselves; God fought for them. As you reflect on this story with your kids this week, point out that the Israelites cried out to God because they knew they could not save themselves. Even Gideon was not enough to save them; God used Gideon to help His people, but God fought the battle for them. The people needed someone who was mighty to save. Jesus Christ came to save us from sin because we cannot save ourselves. Only God, through Christ, can save us.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • God helps us obey Him.
    • God’s people turned away from Him again.
    • God was with Gideon and gave him courage.
    • God sent Jesus to be with us forever.
  • Preschool
    • What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus. 
    • God gave Gideon victory. 
  • Kids
    • What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus. 
    • God showed Gideon that victory comes from Him.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 John 1:9 (1 John 1:9a for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Samson” (Judges 13–16)

Sunday, September 13: Main Worship will feature “Faithful” from the Family Worship Project

Join us for a family worship moment this Sunday, September 13 as we sing this song in main worship (9am or 10:30am). We would love for you to share a video of your family worshiping through this song! Use #redemptionresponse or @goredemption when posting on Facebook or Instagram.

Be sure to practice but we will have the motions on your screen to help you engage in worship together as a family. See you Sunday!

Sunday Morning 9/6: Unit 9, Session 2: Deborah and Barak

This week, kids learn that the time of the judges continued after the death of Ehud. The Israelites fell into a continuous cycle of sin, bondage, deliverance, and peace. Every judge was imperfect, yet God worked through the judges. At the time when the Israelites were oppressed by the king of Canaan, Deborah was the judge of Israel. Deborah sent for Barak and encouraged him to take up an army and fight the army of Canaan and its leader, Sisera.

Deborah reminded Barak that God would hand Sisera and his troops over to him. (Judg. 4:6-7) Barak agreed to go, but only if Deborah went with him. Deborah went, but she informed Barak that he would get no glory for the battle.

When Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men, “The Lord threw Sisera and all his army into confusion with the sword before Barak” (Judg. 4:15). Everyone in the army died, but Sisera escaped on foot. 

Sisera fled to the tent of Jael, who invited him inside and gave him a drink. While Sisera slept, Jael drove a tent peg through his temple and he died.

Judges 5 records a victory song Deborah and Barak sang on that day, praising God for defeating the Canaanites. The land had rest for 40 years.

The Israelites’ sin had resulted in 20 years of defeat. God fought for the Israelites and used Deborah, Barak, and Jael to accomplish the Israelites’ victory over Canaan. As you talk to your kids this week, highlight the actions of Deborah and Barak, who willingly served God and used their gifts for His glory.

Use the Christ Connection to emphasize that God does what is for His glory and our good. (Psalm 115:3; Romans 8:28) God fought for the Israelites and used Deborah, Barak, and Jael to defeat Canaan. In a similar way, God uses people and events to not only save us from our enemies, but to teach us about our ultimate good: salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • God helps us obey Him.
    • God’s people asked God to save them.
    • God used Deborah and Barak to help His people.
    • God sent Jesus to rescue us from our wrong choices.
  • Preschool
    • What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus. 
    • God used Deborah and Barak to rescue His people.
  • Kids
    • What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus. 
    • God used Deborah, Barak, and Jael to rescue His people.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 John 1:9 (1 John 1:9a for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Gideon” (Judges 6–8)