Sunday Morning 8/8: Unit 35, Session 2: Paul’s Shipwreck

Paul was in Roman custody because of unfounded accusations brought against him by the Jews. Paul had stood before rulers in Caesarea and invoked his right as a Roman citizen to appeal to Caesar. So Festus the governor arranged for Paul to go to Rome.

Paul got onto a ship going toward Rome. As if Paul’s journey to Rome had not already been delayed and complicated enough, the ship was caught up in a terrible storm. Paul had warned the crew not to sail from Crete because they would lose everything and die. But they didn’t listen. Paul pointed out the error of their ways, but he still gave them hope. An angel had appeared to Paul. He said Paul would make it to Rome and all of the people with him would survive.

Paul urged everyone on the ship to eat so they would have energy. They planned to run the ship ashore on an island, but the ship got stuck on a sandbar. The waves battered the ship and it broke into pieces; however, all of the people survived and made it safely to shore.

Paul suffered for Christ. In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul listed the kinds of things he faced: beatings, stoning, shipwrecks, various dangers, hardship, sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, nakedness, and other daily pressures. (See 2 Cor. 11:24-29.) Again and again, Paul saw evidence of God’s control over his life and the gospel was advanced.

As you talk with your kids, emphasize that Paul trusted God to keep His promise to rescue him from the storm. He encouraged the sailors to trust and obey God too. God calls us to trust in His Son, Jesus, who died to rescue us from sin and death, and to tell others this good news. We can encourage others to trust God because we know He is good and in control.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus died to keep us safe from sin and death.
    • Paul was taken on a boat to Rome.
    • A storm broke apart Paul’s boat, but God kept him safe.
    • Nothing could stop God’s plan for Paul
    • One day all Christians will see Jesus.
  • Preschool
    • Paul trusted God to keep him safe.
    • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.
  • Kids
    • Paul trusted God to rescue him. 
    • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 1:6

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Brothers in Christ” (Philemon)
  • Sunday Morning 8/1: Unit 35, Session 1: Paul Before Rulers

    Paul was in custody in Caesarea, the capital of the Roman province of Judea. The Jewish leaders had brought serious charges against him, so Paul now stood before Felix, the governor. Felix listened to Paul’s defense but delayed a ruling. He met with Paul off and on for two years. When his time as governor ended, Felix left Paul in prison because he did not want to upset the Jews.

    Festus succeeded Felix as governor. The Jews presented their accusations against Paul and asked Festus to bring him to Jerusalem. They hoped to ambush Paul as he traveled and kill him. But Festus invited Paul’s accusers to make their case in Caesarea. When Festus heard Paul’s case, he asked if Paul wanted to be tried in Jerusalem. Paul, knowing his rights as a Roman citizen, appealed to be heard by Caesar.

    Several days later, King Agrippa visited Festus and heard about Paul. He asked to listen to Paul’s defense himself. Festus wasn’t sure how he would justify his sending Paul to Caesar without substantiated charges, and he hoped this hearing would provide stronger evidence against Paul. Festus told Paul he was out of his mind, but they determined Paul could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.

    With these events, Paul was positioned to go to Rome, just as God had said he would. (See Acts 19:21; 23:11.) God had chosen Paul to take the gospel to Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites. (Acts 9:15-16) Paul met with people again and again to tell the good news about Jesus. He wanted everyone to believe that Jesus is Lord. Because Jesus has the power to save people from sin, Paul was willing to do whatever it took to share the gospel.

    As you share with your kids, prompt them to consider how Paul might have felt as he spoke before rulers and remained in custody for two years. Lead them to consider how God was at work to keep His promises.

    FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • God wants all people to hear the truth about Jesus.
      • People put Paul in prison.
      • Governors asked Paul questions about Jesus.
      • Paul taught about Jesus no matter what.
      • One day all Christians will see Jesus.
    • Preschool
      • Paul told rulers about Jesus.
      • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.
    • Kids
      • Paul was willing to do hard things to share the gospel. 
      • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.

    UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • Philippians 1:6

    NEXT WEEK 

    • “Paul’s Shipwreck” (Acts 27–28)

    Promotion Sunday

    We want to communicate with you about our promotion process so you know when it is appropriate to promote your child!

    • August 8 is the Promotion Sunday for this year.
    • From the 3-year-old through 5th grade classrooms children follow the school system cut-off (September 1) and promote every August on the promotion Sunday for that year.
    • These promotion steps are designed to avoid a bottleneck which is difficult to accommodate. Much like an elementary child doesn’t move to the next grade with their birthday, they use the school calendar and promote once annually.
    • To promote from 2-year-old class to 3s, a child must be 3-years-old by September 1 of that year and be potty trained.
    • Children that are not potty trained but are 3-years-old by the decline will promote once they complete potty training (exceptions are made on an individual basis for medical conditions of children that are different-ables).

    We hope this explanation helps and will guide you on when it is time to promote your child. We are excited for August 8 for all those promoting! We love our kids and want to serve each child and volunteer well through our stewardship of the Redemption Kids Ministry.

    First Grade Bibles

    We are excited to welcome your kids to first grade! As we begin this year, your child will receive their very own Bible! Please partner with us as we encourage the kids to regularly use their new Bible and we hope they will bring them to church! The Bibles will be our guide as we discuss God’s truth and teach them to locate the various Bible stories. Each unit of The Gospel Project will also contain a memory verse, referred to as the Key Passage. We encourage you to help your child memorize this verse and use their new Bibles to actually find the verse!

    You can find the latest lesson and memory verse (or key passage) here at goredemptionkids.com! Register for Bibles HERE!

    Sunday Morning 7/25: Unit 34, Session 4: Running the Race

    While Paul sat in a Roman prison from AD 60 to 62, he wrote letters to churches he had started or visited on his missionary journeys. Despite his circumstances, Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi is filled with joy. Philippians reveals Paul’s heart as a devoted follower of Christ. It is full of practical advice about how to live for Jesus and love others.

    In the third chapter, Paul wrote about knowing Christ. He said that his relationship with Jesus was the only thing that mattered. This was in stark contrast to his priorities before becoming a believer. As a devout Jew, Paul had been proud of his status: He was circumcised according to the Law, he belonged to the Israelite tribe of Benjamin, he was a faithful Pharisee, and he obeyed the Old Testament law. Now, as a Christian, Paul considered these accolades to be worthless.

    Paul set an example for the Philippian believers. They had been distracted by false teachings. He encouraged Christians to press on through difficulties by essentially keeping their “eyes on the prize.” He set himself up as an example for the Philippians to imitate. Paul was motivated by God’s promise to stand before the Lord, meet Him face-to-face, and know Him completely. Paul’s journey toward Christian maturity involved figuring out God’s call on his life and carrying it out. 

    Our perseverance in the race reminds us of Jesus’ enduring the cross, which provided forgiveness of our sins and salvation. Because Jesus fixed His sight on the victory that awaited Him, we persevere, fixing our gaze on the hope that one day we will be glorified with Him.

    As you talk with your kids, help them think about the Christian life as a race. We don’t want to get distracted or give up running even though it is hard. We can encourage one another toward the finish line. The Lord will help us, and He promises a wonderful prize: life with Him forever.

    Following Jesus is like running a race for a wonderful prize. We remember that Jesus never sinned but He endured the cross so we can have forgiveness of our sins. We press on to fully know Jesus and share in His victory for eternity.

    FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • Following Jesus is better than anything.
      • Knowing Jesus is better than anything.
      • Paul wanted to know Jesus more and more.
      • We wait for the day when Jesus will come back.
      • God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Preschool
      • Following Jesus is like running a race.
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is how God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Kids
      • Following Jesus is like running a race for a wonderful prize. 
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • 1 Timothy 6:12

    NEXT WEEK 

    “Paul Before Rulers” (Acts 24–26)

    Sunday Morning 7/18: Unit 34, Session 3: Together in Jesus

    During his second missionary journey, Paul stopped in Ephesus and preached in the synagogue. (See Acts 18:19.) Apollos, a Jewish believer, also taught in the synagogue there. Paul’s third missionary journey took him back to Ephesus, where he spent two to three years speaking with crowds about Jesus. (See Acts 19:8-10.) As people believed in Jesus, the church was established and grew under local leadership.

    Paul was in a Roman prison when he wrote his letter to the church at Ephesus. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians—like other letters he wrote to churches when he was unable to meet with them in person—brought words of instruction and encouragement that are still helpful to believers today. The letter to the Ephesians focuses on the big idea of unity.

    Paul wrote to teach Jewish and Gentile believers that they are one in Christ and that they should treat one another with the love of Christ. Focus on these three ways believers are united: united in sin, united in Christ, and united in one Church.

    First, we are united in sin. Paul’s description applies to first-century believers, to believers today, and to everyone. We are spiritually dead. Our union with Adam as the representative of the whole human race unites us in sin. Apart from Christ, we live as the world lives—doing whatever we want. This is bad news.

    Next, we are united in Christ. Jesus is the second Adam. All who trust in Him are united to Him and to one another through Him. He makes us alive again. This is the good news of the Bible. Finally, we are united as the Church. Jesus breaks down barriers between Jew and Gentile, and He unites forgiven sinners as one church.

    As you share with your kids, emphasize that God brings together different people as the church. People who might otherwise have nothing in common are part of the same family, adopted as brothers and sisters in Christ forever and ever.

    The gospel brings together all people who have faith in Jesus. God’s salvation is a gift of grace, not something we can earn with good works. Forgiven sinners come together as the church to obey God and do His work in the world. 

    FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • The good news of the gospel brings people together.
      • Jesus brings people to God.
      • We are saved by grace through faith.
      • The gospel makes everyone part of the same family.
      • God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Preschool
      • The gospel brings together everyone who has faith in Jesus.
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is how God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Kids
      • The gospel brings together different people as the church. 
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • 1 Timothy 6:12

    NEXT WEEK

    • “Running the Race” (Philippians 3)

    Sunday Morning 7/11: Unit 34, Session 2: Paul Was Arrested

    As Paul’s third missionary journey came to an end, a prophet named Agabus warned him that the Jews would seize him in Jerusalem and hand him over to the Gentiles. (See Acts 21:10-11.) 

    But Paul did not hesitate. He returned to Jerusalem and was seized by a group of Jews who wanted to kill him because he taught things contrary to their teaching. 

    The Roman soldiers nearby saw the commotion and stepped in, taking Paul into Roman custody. Now Paul was in Gentile hands. Paul remained under Roman protection and was staying in the barracks when the Lord gave him a message: “Have courage! For as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so it is necessary for you to testify in Rome” (Acts 23:11).

    What a comforting message for Paul! The sovereign Lord told Paul his future: You’re going to Rome. Paul wasn’t exactly sure how he was going to get to Rome, but he could trust that God was working all things together for that purpose.

    The next morning, Paul’s nephew uncovered a plot to kill Paul and reported it to the Roman army commander. The commander arranged for Paul to go to Caesarea, where he would be safe.

    In this Bible story, we see God using human means to bring about His end. Even when others threatened his life, Paul continued to obey Jesus. He believed that God, who showed His love for the world by sending His Son to die on the cross and rise again, would help him through hard times. We too can risk everything to share the gospel with courage because we know that God loves us and will care for us. 

    We too can risk everything to share the gospel with courage because we know that God loves us and will care for us. God calls us to be obedient and faithful as we take part in His greater plan to show His glory to us and through us for the fame of His name.

    FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • We obey God because He loves us and takes care of us.
      • God chose Paul to tell people about Jesus.
      • Some people wanted to stop Paul’s preaching.
      • God kept Paul safe so he could do God’s plan.
      • God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Preschool
      • God protected Paul.
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is how God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Kids
      • God protected Paul so he could preach about Jesus. 
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • 1 Timothy 6:12

    NEXT WEEK 

    • “Together in Jesus” (Ephesians 2–3)

    Sunday Morning 7/4: Unit 34, Session 1: Paul’s Third Journey

    Paul’s third missionary journey was unlike his first two because he didn’t set out to plant churches. Instead, his mission was to encourage and strengthen existing churches. Paul wrote letters to the churches, but he knew some guidance was best given in person. 

    Paul’s journey began when he traveled to the city of Corinth. To make a living, Paul was a tentmaker. Paul became friends with two other tentmakers in Corinth: a man named Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. In his business dealings, Paul was able to share the gospel with many people. The church in Corinth grew.

    Paul took Aquila and Priscilla with him to Ephesus. Ephesus was a thriving city in the Roman Empire. Aquila and Priscilla stayed in Ephesus while Paul traveled to other churches and encouraged the believers. While Paul traveled, Aquila and Priscilla interacted with a Jewish believer named Apollos. Apollos was a leader in the early church, and Aquila and Priscilla helped him better understand about Jesus and the Scriptures. Apollos went on to greatly help other believers by showing through Scripture that Jesus is the Messiah.

    The Holy Spirit led Paul to go to Jerusalem. This wasn’t an easy call to obey. The Spirit revealed to Paul that imprisonment and suffering awaited in Jerusalem. (See Acts 20:23.) Hadn’t Paul done enough? He had spent years preaching the gospel, and many people believed. Wasn’t now a good time for Paul to retire comfortably on a beach somewhere? 

    Emphasize to your kids that Paul did not cling to his own life. As Paul traveled on his third missionary journey, he used every opportunity to tell people the good news about Jesus and to help the church. Paul was dedicated to Jesus, who called him to do the work of sharing the gospel. God helped Paul preach with courage even when he was in danger. Paul boarded the ship to Jerusalem, uncertain of the future but certain of the goodness and grace of the Lord Jesus.

    FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • The church grows when people believe the good news.
      • Paul told people about Jesus everywhere he went.
      • The church grew in the places Paul preached.
      • Telling people about Jesus is most important.
      • God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Preschool
      • Paul told as many people as he could about Jesus.
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is how God makes us more like Jesus.
    • Kids
      • Paul used every opportunity to tell people about Jesus. 
      • What is sanctification? Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • 1 Timothy 6:12

    NEXT WEEK 

    • “Paul Was Arrested” (Acts 21–23)

    Sunday Morning 6/27: Unit 33, Session 4: Paul Gave Hope

    Consider how your life would change if you knew the future—if you could accurately predict the weather or outcomes of baseball games. If you could know how your life is going to turn out, would you live today differently? In the bigger picture of God’s plan for the world, we do know the future. God reveals the outcome of His plan for humanity in His Word. 

    In the Book of 1 Thessalonians, Paul wrote about the future to encourage believers facing persecution. Their hope as believers then is the same as our hope as believers today. We look forward to a final resurrection, the return of Jesus, and the judgment of the world.

    Around AD 50, the city of Thessalonica was filled with those who worshiped idols, Greek and Roman gods, and even the Roman emperor himself. So when Paul started a church there, he quickly faced persecution and was forced to flee the city. Even though he could not return, Paul still loved the young church and was concerned for them, so he sent Timothy to check on the believers.

    Timothy reported back with good news—though the church was suffering from persecution, they were holding tightly to their faith. They did have some misunderstandings about Christianity, especially the return of Jesus, but they were working hard for the Lord. Paul wrote a letter to encourage the believers and to clear up misunderstandings about the future and what happens when Christians die.

    Perhaps Paul’s greatest message was about the return of Jesus. On that day, Paul said, believers will be freed from their sufferings. On the Day of the Lord, Jesus will return for His people and judge the wicked. That’s a promise we can still claim today.

    Paul’s letter gave believers hope. The hope we find in the Bible is stronger than just wanting something to happen; biblical hope is expecting with confidence because we know God is faithful and true.

    The prophets in the Old Testament told about the Day of the Lord, a day when God would come to judge the world and save His people. Paul said that in the future, on the Day of the Lord, Jesus will return for His people and judge the wicked. Believers live with hope, knowing that Jesus will come again.

    FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • The Bible is God’s Word.
      • Believers live with hope because Jesus will come again.
      • Jesus promised He would come back.
      • Paul helped Christian understand Jesus’ return.
      • Paul said to be ready for Jesus to come back.
    • Preschool
      • Believers have hope because Jesus will come again.
      • What is the Bible about? The Bible is about God’s plan to save people through Jesus.
    • Kids
      • Paul told the church to stand firm as we wait for Jesus’ return. 
      • What is the Bible about? The Bible is the story of God’s plan to save people through Jesus.

    UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • Acts 4:12

    NEXT WEEK 

    • “Paul’s Third Journey” (Acts 18–21)

    Sunday Morning 6/20: Unit 33, Session 3: No Other Gospel

    During his second missionary journey, Paul started several churches in Galatia. Some time later, false teachers crept into these churches and began teaching that there was more to salvation than faith in Jesus. They said that obeying the law of Moses was essential too. 

    Many of the Galatian believers became confused and believed the lies of the false teachers. They turned away from the gospel Paul had shared with them. Paul wrote a letter—the Book of Galatians—to correct them and reemphasize a proper understanding of the gospel. 

    Paul asked the Galatians how their salvation could be started by an act of the Holy Spirit but then completed by their own conduct. That was foolishness! What the Holy Spirit began, He would also complete.

    Jesus’ half-brother James had written a letter to early believers, concerned about Christians’ interpreting grace to mean they didn’t have to obey God. In Galatians, Paul addressed the opposite problem: Christians who focused so much on obedience that they forgot grace. 

    James’ message was that grace will always lead to obedience. Paul’s message compliments James’ message: Obedience is impossible apart from grace. Grace and obedience work together in perfect harmony. 

    This week’s Bible story provides a wonderful opportunity to help your kids understand that obedience matters. The Bible is full of instructions and commands that we are to obey; however, the beauty of the gospel is that our ability to obey comes not through our own effort but through the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit changes our minds and hearts so that we want to obey God, and He also empowers us to obey. All of salvation—from first trusting to faithful obedience—is God’s gift to us through Jesus. The Holy Spirit changes our minds and hearts so that we want to obey God, and He gives us power to obey. Our righteousness does not come through faith in ourselves but through faith in Jesus.

    FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • The Bible is God’s Word.
      • Faith in Jesus is a gift from God.
      • God loves all people and sent Jesus to save them.
      • People are saved when they have faith in Jesus.
      • Jesus loves us and gave Himself for us.
    • Preschool
      • Paul taught that believers are saved by faith in Jesus alone.
      • What is the Bible about? The Bible is about God’s plan to save people through Jesus.
    • Kids
      • Believers are saved and grow in godliness by faith in Jesus. 
      • What is the Bible about? The Bible is the story of God’s plan to save people through Jesus.

    UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • Acts 4:12

    NEXT WEEK 

    • “Paul Gave Hope” (1–2 Thessalonians)