Author: MattMacNaughton

Family Discipleship: Ruth and Boaz

Dear Parents,

Our KidLife Preschool and Elementary Class are currently studying through the entire Bible while focusing on the Gospel. As they learn the incredible stories of Scripture, they’ll be taught how Christ is connected to all of it.

We have a deep desire to come along side you, the parent, and help you disciple your children. We want to help you teach them about God’s Word. Every week, we will send home information about the lesson your child learned. We also plan to include the lesson in our church program and post a weekly summary here, on the Grace Life Blog.

Take the time each day to go over what they learn, memorize the Scripture verse with them, and continue to show them Jesus. The greatest responsibility we have as parents is to disciple are kids and to show them how to follow Jesus. For more information on the importance of Family Discipleship, here’s a quick Facebook Live video or you can listen to this sermon on Family Discipleship from Pastor Matt.

Want the weekly KidLife lesson recap and other blog post delivered right to your inbox? Be sure to signup to receive post from the Grace Life Blog.

Here is this week’s summary:

Ruth and Boaz

Ruth 1-4

Story Point: God provided a redeemer for Ruth and Naomi.

Big Picture Question: What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus.

Christ Connection: 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.

Key Passage: 1 John 1:9

Dear Parents,

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)

Family Discipleship: Samson

Dear Parents,

Our KidLife Preschool and Elementary Class are currently studying through the entire Bible while focusing on the Gospel. As they learn the incredible stories of Scripture, they’ll be taught how Christ is connected to all of it.

We have a deep desire to come along side you, the parent, and help you disciple your children. We want to help you teach them about God’s Word. Every week, we will send home information about the lesson your child learned. We also plan to include the lesson in our church program and post a weekly summary here, on the Grace Life Blog.

Take the time each day to go over what they learn, memorize the Scripture verse with them, and continue to show them Jesus. The greatest responsibility we have as parents is to disciple are kids and to show them how to follow Jesus. For more information on the importance of Family Discipleship, here’s a quick Facebook Live video from Pastor Matt.

Want the weekly KidLife lesson recap and other blog post delivered right to your inbox? Be sure to signup to receive post from the Grace Life Blog.

Here is this week’s summary:

Samson

Judges 13-16

Story Point: God gave Samson strength to defeat the Philistines.

Big Picture Question: What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus.

Christ Connection: 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.

Key Passage: 1 John 1:9

Dear Parents,

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.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

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)

Baby Bottle Campaign

Every year, we set aside time to raise collect money for First Coast Women’s Services, a local Christian agency that provides care and support that helps remove that barriers that can cause a woman to abort her unborn child. We are thankful for the opportunity to help them make an impact in the lives of women around our city.

FCWS receives no government funding so they can freely share the Gospel of Jesus. They depend solely on the generosity of God’s people for the support they need to be able to offer life-affirming solutions in a safe, confidential place.

This is how we can get involved. This past Sunday, we distributed baby bottles for you to take home and fill with change, cash, or a check to First Coast Women’s Services. Every donation helps them continue the mission of saving lives around are county. If you did not receive a bottle, be sure to grab one this coming Sunday. This is also a great opportunity to teach your children the importance of life.

It’s not just about filling a bottle with spare change, it is also a way to understand the work that FCWS does.

  • They provide options for counseling and free pregnancy related services.
  • They help others receive forgiveness and healing from participating in a past abortion.
  • They pass the baton to the next generation to learn how important it is to stand for life

Since its inception in 1994, FCWS has served over 30,000 women and saved more than 8000 babies from being aborted. You have an important part in that.

Please consider partnering in this campaign to raise money and stand for Life. Find more information about First Coast Women’s Services by going to fcws.org

We will be collecting bottles between now and the end of June.

Family Discipleship: Gideon

Dear Parents,

Our KidLife Preschool and Elementary Class are currently studying through the entire Bible while focusing on the Gospel. As they learn the incredible stories of Scripture, they’ll be taught how Christ is connected to all of it.

We have a deep desire to come along side you, the parent, and help you disciple your children. We want to help you teach them about God’s Word. Every week, we will send home information about the lesson your child learned. We also plan to include the lesson in our church program and post a weekly summary here, on the Grace Life Blog.

Take the time each day to go over what they learn, memorize the Scripture verse with them, and continue to show them Jesus. The greatest responsibility we have as parents is to disciple are kids and to show them how to follow Jesus. For more information on the importance of Family Discipleship, here’s a quick Facebook Live video from Pastor Matt.

Want the weekly KidLife lesson recap and other blog post delivered right to your inbox? Be sure to signup to receive post from the Grace Life Blog.

Here is this week’s summary:

Gideon

Judges 6-8

Story Point: God showed Gideon that victory comes from Him.

Big Picture Question: What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus.

Christ Connection: 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.

Key Passage: 1 John 1:9

Dear Parents,

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.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

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)

Family Discipleship: Deborah and Barak

Dear Parents,

Our KidLife Preschool and Elementary Class are currently studying through the entire Bible while focusing on the Gospel. As they learn the incredible stories of Scripture, they’ll be taught how Christ is connected to all of it.

We have a deep desire to come along side you, the parent, and help you disciple your children. We want to help you teach them about God’s Word. Every week, we will send home information about the lesson your child learned. We also plan to include the lesson in our church program and post a weekly summary here, on the Grace Life Blog.

Take the time each day to go over what they learn, memorize the Scripture verse with them, and continue to show them Jesus. The greatest responsibility we have as parents is to disciple are kids and to show them how to follow Jesus. For more information on the importance of Family Discipleship, here’s a quick Facebook Live video from Pastor Matt.

Want the weekly KidLife lesson recap and other blog post delivered right to your inbox? Be sure to signup to receive post from the Grace Life Blog.

Here is this week’s summary:

Deborah and Barak

Judges 4-5

Story Point: God used Deborah, Barak, and Jael to rescue His people.

Big Picture Question: What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus.

Christ Connection: 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.

Key Passage: 1 John 1:9

Dear Parents,

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.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

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)

Family Discipleship: Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

Dear Parents,

Our KidLife Preschool and Elementary Class are currently studying through the entire Bible while focusing on the Gospel. As they learn the incredible stories of Scripture, they’ll be taught how Christ is connected to all of it.

We have a deep desire to come along side you, the parent, and help you disciple your children. We want to help you teach them about God’s Word. Every week, we will send home information about the lesson your child learned. We also plan to include the lesson in our church program and post a weekly summary here, on the Grace Life Blog.

Take the time each day to go over what they learn, memorize the Scripture verse with them, and continue to show them Jesus. The greatest responsibility we have as parents is to disciple are kids and to show them how to follow Jesus. For more information on the importance of Family Discipleship, here’s a quick Facebook Live video from Pastor Matt.

Want the weekly KidLife lesson recap and other blog post delivered right to your inbox? Be sure to signup to receive post from the Grace Life Blog.

Here is this week’s summary:

Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

Matthew 26-28

Story Point: Jesus died on the cross to pay for sin and rose again to defeat death.

Big Picture Question: What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus.

Christ Connection: The death and resurrection of Jesus is the center of the gospel. We deserve to die because of our sin, but Jesus died in our place. Because Jesus is alive, we do not need to fear anything. Those who trust in Jesus have forgiveness and eternal life, and we can joyfully obey Him.

Key Passage: Deuteronomy 31:8

This week, kids learned that the events leading up to Jesus’ death were terrifying for the disciples. Judas, their supposed friend, betrayed their Lord. Jesus was arrested, beaten, and killed. Though Jesus had plainly told the disciples that He would die and rise again on the third day, they did not understand. In fact, they were afraid to ask about it. (See Mark 9:31-21.) They had believed that Jesus was the One who would rescue God’s people, but how could He if He was dead?

Then, on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. When Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb, Jesus wasn’t there. An angel of the Lord appeared. The guards were so afraid, that they fainted. But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid.” The angel reassured the women that Jesus’ body hadn’t been stolen; in fact, “he has risen, just as he said” (Matt. 28:5-6).

The women left the tomb with fear (perhaps because they did not fully understand what was happening) and great joy (because they had heard Jesus was alive!) to tell the disciples the news. As they were leaving, Jesus also greeted them: “Do not be afraid.”

Fear exists when there is a perceived danger or threat. When Jesus rose from the dead, He eliminated the threat of eternal separation from God for all who trust in Him. Even real dangers like suffering and persecution need not be feared because nothing—neither life nor death—can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus. (Rom. 8:38-39)

As you talk about this story with your kids, emphasize the gospel: The death and resurrection of Jesus is the center of the gospel. We deserve to die because of our sin, but Jesus died in our place. Because Jesus is alive, we do not need to fear anything. Those who trust in Jesus have forgiveness and eternal life, and we can joyfully obey Him.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as The Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • God is always with us.
      • People put Jesus on a cross, and He died.
      • God made Jesus alive again.
      • God sent Jesus to rescue us.
    • Preschool
      • How can we glorify God? We can glorify God by loving Him and obeying Him.
      • Jesus died on the cross and is alive.
    • Kids
      • How can we glorify God? We can glorify God by loving Him and obeying Him.
      • Jesus died on the cross to pay for sin and rose again to defeat death.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • Deuteronomy 31:8 (Deuteronomy 31:8a for Babies and Toddlers)

Family Discipleship: Israel’s Unfaithfulness

Dear Parents,

Our KidLife Preschool and Elementary Class are currently studying through the entire Bible while focusing on the Gospel. As they learn the incredible stories of Scripture, they’ll be taught how Christ is connected to all of it.

We have a deep desire to come along side you, the parent, and help you disciple your children. We want to help you teach them about God’s Word. Every week, we will send home information about the lesson your child learned. We also plan to include the lesson in our church program and post a weekly summary here, on the Grace Life Blog.

Take the time each day to go over what they learn, memorize the Scripture verse with them, and continue to show them Jesus. The greatest responsibility we have as parents is to disciple are kids and to show them how to follow Jesus. For more information on the importance of Family Discipleship, here’s a quick Facebook Live video from Pastor Matt.

Want the weekly KidLife lesson recap and other blog post delivered right to your inbox? Be sure to signup to receive post from the Grace Life Blog.

Here is this week’s summary:

ISRAEL’S UNFAITHFULNESS

JUDGES 1-3

Story Point: God’s people repeatedly turned from Him.

Big Picture Question: What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus.

Christ Connection:

The judges saved the people from the consequences of their sin, but not the cause of it. God’s plan was to one day send a true Deliverer—Jesus, His own Son—to be the King of His people. Jesus saves people from sin forever.

Key Passage: Deuteronomy 31:8

Following Joshua’s death, the Israelites were without a leader. They fell into a cycle of sin that can be seen during each reign of the judges. The cycle is marked by an A-B-C-D-E pattern. Let’s look at the first judge, Othniel, to see this pattern.

First, the people fell into Apostasy. They turned away from God and served other gods. (Judg. 3:7) Next, they experienced a period of Bondage. God was angry with the Israelites, and He gave them into the hand of the king of Aram. (v. 8) Third, the people Cried out to God. (v. 9) Then, God sent a Deliverer to save them. (vv. 9-10) Finally, they had Ease in the land. (v. 11) Then Othniel died.

This pattern continued with Ehud. The people had again turned from God. Their apostasy made God angry. He sent them into bondage by strengthening the king of Moab to defeat Israel. The Israelites served the king of Moab for 18 years.

The Moabites were well-fed, especially the king. They enjoyed the fruit of the Israelites’ labor while the Israelites went hungry. By thrusting a sword into the king’s belly, Ehud disemboweled the king and left him dead on the floor of his room. The fat covered over the handle of the sword so that Ehud could not remove it.

After Ehud delivered Israel, the Israelites struck down the Moabites and there was peace in the land for eighty years. But Ehud would die, and they would need another judge to lead them.

As you talk with your kids this week, discuss that the Israelites needed someone better than a judge. The judges saved the people from the consequences of their sin, but not the cause of it. God’s plan was to one day send a true Deliverer—Jesus, His own Son—to be the King of His people. Jesus saves people from sin forever.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers

God helps us obey Him.

God’s people did not always obey Him.

God sent judges to rescue God’s people.

God sent Jesus to be our Judge.

Preschool

What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus.

God’s people forgot about Him.

Kids

What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus.

God’s people repeatedly turned from Him.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

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

Family Discipleship: Taking the Land

Dear Parents,

Our KidLife Preschool and Elementary Class are currently studying through the entire Bible while focusing on the Gospel. As they learn the incredible stories of Scripture, they’ll be taught how Christ is connected to all of it.

We have a deep desire to come along side you, the parent, and help you disciple your children. We want to help you teach them about God’s Word. Every week, we will send home information about the lesson your child learned. We also plan to include the lesson in our church program and post a weekly summary here, on the Grace Life Blog.

Take the time each day to go over what they learn, memorize the Scripture verse with them, and continue to show them Jesus. The greatest responsibility we have as parents is to disciple are kids and to show them how to follow Jesus. For more information on the importance of Family Discipleship, here’s a quick Facebook Live video from Pastor Matt.

Want the weekly KidLife lesson recap and other blog post delivered right to your inbox? Be sure to signup to receive post from the Grace Life Blog.

Here is this week’s summary:

TAKING THE LAND

Joshua 10-11; 24

Story Point: God made the sun stand still and gave His people victory.

Big Picture Question: How can we glorify God? We can glorify God by loving Him and obeying Him.

Christ Connection: Joshua’s name means “The Lord is salvation.” God fought for Joshua and the Israelites, saving them and giving them victory over their enemies. Sinners can look to God for victory over sin and death. God brought us salvation by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and rise again.

Key Passage: Deuteronomy 31:8

Last week, kids learned that God fought for His people at the battle of Jericho. When Moses was the leader of Israel, God gave His people instructions about entering the promised land. Among those instructions was the command to drive out the nations living in the land of Canaan. (See Deut. 7.) These nations were corrupt, and God would judge them for their sin. (Lev. 18)

In the first battle, Israel marched around Jericho and the Lord gave them the city. As Israel moved to take the rest of the land, God pledged His presence to Joshua and reminded Israel of what He required: If you want to be successful in the land, you must obey Me. (See Josh. 1:7.) The Israelites learned from experience that disobedience to God would result in certain defeat, as Achan’s sin brought about their downfall during the battle of Ai. (Josh. 7)

During the battles the Israelites faced in Canaan, Joshua was not in charge; the Lord was. God determined whom Israel battled and how Israel would win. Joshua 10–11 describes Israel’s defeat of five kings who attacked Gibeon, an ally of Israel. Miraculously, God sent hailstones and stopped the sun. He gave Israel the victory. God was with Israel as they conquered the rest of the land. Then He gave His people years of peace and rest.

Help your kids see the bigger picture beyond Israel’s individual battles against the Canaanites. Joshua’s name means “The LORD is salvation.” God fought for Joshua and the Israelites, saving them and giving them victory over their enemies. Sinners can look to God for victory over sin and death. God brought us salvation by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and rise again.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • God is always with us.
      • God made the sun stand still.
      • God helped His people take the promised land.
      • God always keeps His promises.
    • Preschool
      • How can we glorify God? We can glorify God by loving Him and obeying Him.
      • God made the sun stand still.
    • Kids
      • How can we glorify God? We can glorify God by loving Him and obeying Him.
      • God made the sun stand still and gave His people victory.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • Deuteronomy 31:8 (Deuteronomy 31:8a for Babies and Toddlers)

Family Discipleship: The Battle of Jerichho

Dear Parents,

Our KidLife Preschool and Elementary Class are currently studying through the entire Bible while focusing on the Gospel. As they learn the incredible stories of Scripture, they’ll be taught how Christ is connected to all of it.

We have a deep desire to come along side you, the parent, and help you disciple your children. We want to help you teach them about God’s Word. Every week, we will send home information about the lesson your child learned. We also plan to include the lesson in our church program and post a weekly summary here, on the Grace Life Blog.

Take the time each day to go over what they learn, memorize the Scripture verse with them, and continue to show them Jesus. The greatest responsibility we have as parents is to disciple are kids and to show them how to follow Jesus. For more information on the importance of Family Discipleship, here’s a quick Facebook Live video from Pastor Matt.

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Here is this week’s summary:

THE BATTLE OF JERICHO

Joshua 2 and 6

Story Point: God brought down the walls of Jericho.

Big Picture Question: How can we glorify God? We can glorify God by loving Him and obeying Him.

Christ Connection: By faith Rahab believed God would win the battle, and she asked the spies to show mercy to her family and keep them safe. When the Israelites attacked Jericho, Rahab and her family received mercy and became part of God’s people. Jesus has won against sin and death. Everyone who trusts in Jesus receives mercy and becomes part of God’s family forever.

Key Passage: Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord brought His people into the promised land. Now they had a task set before them: conquer the people living in the land. Before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, Joshua—in the way Moses had done decades before—sent scouts into the land. (See Num. 13:2-3.) The first city the Israelites came to was Jericho. God told Joshua that He had handed the city over to Israel.

The Lord’s reputation went ahead of the Israelites, creating fear in the people of Jericho. With the exception of one woman, the people of Jericho wanted nothing to do with God.

Rahab was unique among the inhabitants of Jericho. She wanted to be on God’s side. Hebrews 11:31 says that by faith, Rahab “welcomed the spies in peace.” Rahab didn’t hide the spies and help them escape from the city because she was especially courageous or because she had a strong desire to live; Rahab acted by faith. By faith Rahab believed God would win the battle, and she asked the spies to show mercy to her family and keep them safe. When the Israelites attacked Jericho, Rahab and her family received mercy and became part of God’s people. Jesus has won against sin and death. Everyone who trusts in Jesus receives mercy and becomes part of God’s family forever.

Rahab wasn’t the only one trusting in God. The Israelites fought the battle of Jericho by faith. (See Heb. 11:30.) Israel did not focus on what was going on inside the city of Jericho; they focused on doing what God had instructed. They obeyed even when it seemed nothing was happening. On the seventh day, the troops shouted, the trumpets sounded, and the wall around Jericho collapsed.

Joshua gave the people specific instructions to destroy everything in the city except for Rahab and her family. The Israelites were not to keep anything for themselves. The Lord would provide for all of their needs, so they had no reason to plunder Jericho. When the Israelites attacked Jericho, Rahab and her family were safe. They joined God’s people. (Josh. 6:25) By faith, we believe Jesus has defeated sin and death. Everyone who trusts in Jesus is safe and becomes part of God’s family forever.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

    • Babies and Toddlers
      • God is always with us.
      • Rahab hid the spies.
      • God made the walls of Jericho fall down.
      • God used Rahab’s family in His plan to send Jesus.
    • Preschool
      • How can we glorify God? We can glorify God by loving Him and obeying Him.
      • God brought down the walls of Jericho.
    • Kids
      • How can we glorify God? We can glorify God by loving Him and obeying Him.
      • God brought down the walls of Jericho.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • Deuteronomy 31:8 (Deuteronomy 31:8a for Babies and Toddlers)

NEXT WEEK

    • “Taking the Land” (Joshua 10–11; 24)

Preparing for 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

In just a few days (April 1), we’ll begin our annual 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting leading up to Easter Sunday. It’s a time for us to come together as a church family and seek God. It’s a time to set a side the distractions of life and focus in on the atoning work of Jesus Christ that we celebrate not just on Easter Sunday, but every Sunday.

Heading into a time of prayer and fasting can be both exciting and intimidating. Many of us have never been on this journey and don’t know where to begin. 21 Days is intended to be a time of focus, a time to draw close to God in prayer and being in his Word. It’s a time to let go of some things that may hinder your walk with God or give up something for a season so you can grow closer to him. It’s a time of dedicated prayer, confession, and repentance.

To make sure that this time is everything it is intended to be, it is best to prepare now, while there are still a few days until we start. Here are three ways to prepare for our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting.

Prepare your time

Don’t fall into the trap of “I’ll read and pray sometime today”. Find a designated time and place for you to get into God’s Word and pray. This should be a time with little to no distractions. It may mean waking up a little earlier or when the kids take a nap or in the evening with your spouse. Be strategic and intentional in planning your time.

One way to make the time more intentional is by journaling what God is doing in your life throughout our 21 Days. Find a notebook, a good pen, your Bible, and maybe a cup of coffee and find a place and time where you can have time alone with God.

Prepare your heart

The purpose of this 21 Days is to draw our hearts closer to God, but this doesn’t mean we can’t do this today. If there is unconfessed sin in your life, confess it today. Repent of your sin today and turn to Jesus. Forgiveness is available everyday. 1 John 1:9 says. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Preparing your heart for the 21 Days means going into it with a clean heart. You’re preparing yourself for a time of growth, so now is the time to dig out the weeds. 1 Peter 1:13 says “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 

Prepare for attack

During your 21 Days, you’ll be spiritually attacked. Ephesians 6 describes that our fight against sin and our Enemy is like warfare. But by God’s grace, he as equipped us to fight. You need to prepare for the attack. You’re going to be tempted to quit or question the value of participating in a fast. You’ll question your identity in Christ and you’ll be tempted to give into that sin that consistently brings you down. Prepare now for this not to be an easy task. Satan hates it when we pray and when we study God’s word. Between now and March 11th, I encourage you to read Ephesians 6 and to prepare your heart to fight.

Here’s where our encouragement comes from. In Matthew 4, Jesus, after spending 40 days in the desert fasting and praying, was approached by Satan and was tempted. Jesus stood against Satan by using Scripture and despite being physically weak, did not give into Satan’s attack.

As you head into 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting and as you begin to see the attacks, remember Hebrews 4:15 – “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

My prayer for our church during this season is that God will move our hearts towards Christ and use us to reach our community with the Gospel.

By His Grace,

Pastor Matt

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Making Jesus-Centered Disciples For God's Glory


Sunday 10am | Lake Asbury Elementary School
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