Heroes of Faith

Dear Parents,

It is common to think of faith as something that is just within us—trust and confidence in God. While that is surely part of it, faith doesn’t stop there. Faith starts inside of us and always leads to action.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews wanted to explain the fullness of faith to the early Jewish Christians. One of the best ways he could do this was to walk through examples of how men and women in the Old Testament had proven to be faithful. The result is Hebrews 11, often known as the Hall of Faith. 

Abel had faith when he gave an offering to God, and God accepted his offering. Noah had faith. He believed God when God told him to build an ark to rescue his family. 

Abraham had faith when God called him to leave his home. Abraham’s wife Sarah had faith when she trusted God to give her a family even though she was too old to have children. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses had faith too. Rahab had faith when she hid the Israelite spies in Jericho. 

All of these people trusted God, and so did many others. Having faith was not easy. Many suffered, and they died before God’s greatest promise—the arrival of Jesus—came true, but they believed that God had a wonderful plan. God was pleased with them because they trusted Him.

This week, share the examples of these heroes of faith to help your kids understand faith in action. We can and should learn from these examples; that is why God gave them to us in Hebrews 11. However, emphasize that every person in this list was a sinner in need of salvation. Each of these heroes needed a greater hero. Point your kids to the perfect hero who rescues us from sin: Jesus.

The Bible gives examples of people who had faith, but the true hero of the Bible is Jesus. Jesus looked forward to the joy that would come because of the cross. Because of Jesus, the things the faithful people in the Bible looked forward to will come true. We know that Jesus will come back one day because God always keeps His promises.

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 love Him.
    • Faith is believing that God keeps His promises.
    • Many people in the Bible had faith in God.
    • We have faith that God sent Jesus to rescue us.
  • Preschool
    • Who changes us? God changes us to be like Jesus.
    • The Bible tells us about people who lived by faith.
  • Kids
    • Who changes us? The Holy Spirit changes us to be like Jesus for God’s glory.
    • The Bible tells us about people who lived by faith.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17

NEXT WEEK 

  • “The Plan to Stop Paul” (Acts 23)

A Cheerful Giver

Dear Parents,

Paul had written a letter (1 Corinthians) addressing several sins that were being tolerated in the church at Corinth. The letter had been a risk. The Corinthians may have rejected Paul, but they did not.

Paul wrote 2 Corinthians to celebrate what God had done in the church and to call on them for help. The church in Jerusalem was in desperate need of help, so Paul was collecting money from the other churches on their behalf.

Paul encouraged the Corinthians to be generous. He told them about the churches in Macedonia. Macedonia was an area north of Corinth. The Christians there were suffering, and they did not have a lot of wealth. Nevertheless, they had joy and gave as much as they could to help others.

Paul encouraged the believers at Corinth to give too. Giving is one way we can show we love God. God is generous to us, so we can be generous to others. Jesus was rich; He had glory and honor in heaven. But He gave that up and became poor by coming to earth to help sinners. 

Jesus did this so that we, who had nothing, could become rich. Now we have salvation and eternal life in Jesus. As a result, Paul wanted the Corinthians to give generously and joyfully, out of gratitude for what God has done.

Your kids may feel like the churches in Macedonia who had little to give, but encourage them the same way Paul encouraged the church in Corinth. It is not the amount that we give that glorifies God—it is our level of generosity and joy when we give. 

God has been merciful and generous to us. He gave us the greatest gift—His own Son. Jesus showed us what generosity looks like when He gave up His life to save us from sin. Because of Jesus, we can be merciful and generous to others.

Caution kids not to give out of duty but out of gratitude. God loves a cheerful giver. Help kids find ways they can give—whether time or money or talents—to advance the work of the gospel in your city, your nation, and the world.

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 love Him.
    • God gives us everything we need.
    • Believers give to the church because they love Jesus.
    • We give to the church to help people hear the good news.
  • Preschool
    • Who changes us? God changes us to be like Jesus.
    • God wants us to give to others.
  • Kids
    • Who changes us? The Holy Spirit changes us to be like Jesus for God’s glory.
    • God is generous to us, so we can be generous to others.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Heroes of Faith” (Hebrews 11:1–12:2)

The Fruit of the Spirit

Dear Parents,

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

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

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

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

When we trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins to change us. Paul told the believers in the Galatian church how to recognize that God is working in someone’s life. People who are saved by Jesus become more like Him, and the Holy Spirit gives them power to say no to sin and to live in a way that pleases God.
 
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 love Him.
    • God gives the Holy Spirit to people who love Jesus.
    • The Holy Spirit helps us love God.
    • The Holy Spirit helps us grow to be more like Jesus.
  • Preschool
    • Who changes us? God changes us to be like Jesus.
    • The Holy Spirit helps us be more like Jesus.
  • Kids
    • Who changes us? The Holy Spirit changes us to be like Jesus for God’s glory.
    • The Holy Spirit changes the way we think and act to be more like Jesus. 

UNIT KEY PASSAGE
●    2 Corinthians 5:17

NEXT WEEK
●    “The Armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-19)
 

Children of God

Dear Parents,

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

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

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

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

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

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 love Him.
    • Paul wrote a letter to the church in Rome.
    • God gives the Holy Spirit to people who love Jesus.
    • Nothing can ever make God stop loving us.
  • Preschool
    • Who changes us? God changes us to be like Jesus.
    • When we trust in Jesus, God makes us His children.
  • Kids
    • Who changes us? The Holy Spirit changes us to be like Jesus for God’s glory.
    • When we trust in Jesus, God gives us the Holy Spirit and makes us His children. 

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17

NEXT WEEK 

  • "A Transformed Mind” (Romans 12:1-18; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Philippians 1:3-7)

Paul’s Letters to Church Leaders

Dear Parents,

As the early church expanded outside Jerusalem, new churches were planted in various cities. Each church needed godly leaders to help it grow and stay true to the gospel. Paul understood this need, which is why he wrote letters to some of the leaders in the church. Two of these leaders were Timothy and Titus. Timothy was Paul’s friend. He had traveled with Paul and helped him. Now Timothy was a leader at the church in Ephesus.

Titus was a Gentile believer. He had traveled with Paul too. Now Titus was on the island of Crete to help train more church leaders. Paul wrote to give Timothy and Titus advice, and he gave instructions for all the church leaders.

Paul warned Timothy and Titus that being a leader was difficult at times, but God had chosen them to be leaders. Their role as leaders put them in a position to serve God. Paul hoped that recognizing this would help them persevere and live in a way that pleased Christ. 

As you share with your kids this week, help them see the value in God’s gift of church leaders. Look for ways to support your leaders so that your kids value them, love them, and respect them. Consider ways your family can encourage your leaders. 

At the same time, emphasize that God is at work in your kids and that they too might be leaders in the church one day—perhaps one day soon. Help your kids see that being a leader is a great privilege to help point others to the gospel. 

Finally, be sure that your kids understand that church leaders do not lead on their own. All church leaders follow the leadership of Jesus, who was a servant-leader to us. He gave His life so that we could be forgiven of our sin.  

Paul wrote to give Timothy and Titus advice and to help all church leaders know how to lead God’s people. Church leaders help believers know what is true, and they serve the church by following the example of Jesus, who served us by dying on the cross for our sins.

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.
    • Timothy and Titus were church leaders.
    • Paul wrote letters to encourage them.
    • We can tell about Jesus even when it is hard.
  • Preschool
    • Why does God want us to obey Him? We obey because God loves us. 
    • Paul told church leaders to teach God’s Word.
  • Kids
    • Why does God want us to obey Him? Obedience is our response to God’s love for us.
    • Paul encouraged church leaders to teach God’s Word..

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Galatians 2:20

NEXT WEEK

  • “Children of God” (Romans 8:12-39)

Jesus' Triumphal Entry

Dear Parents,

The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday—the day Jesus entered Jerusalem as the King of kings the week of Passover. Many of God’s people traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. Jesus and His disciples traveled to Jerusalem as well. Near Bethphage (BETH fayj) and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples ahead into a village.

Jesus told them, “You will find a young donkey tied there. No one has ever sat on it. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” Jesus would fulfill Zechariah’s prophecy: “Look, your King is coming to you … humble and riding on a donkey” (Zech. 9:9).

Jesus made a spectacular entrance into the city. He rode a donkey, and people laid branches and their robes on the ground in front of Him. The people welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem believed He was the promised Messiah, but they expected Him to overthrow Roman oppression and set up an earthly throne. Jesus sent a different message.

The next day, Jesus entered the temple and turned over the tables of the money changers and those selling doves. Jesus referred to Isaiah 56:7, declaring that His kingship would not just be over the Jews but over all people. While Jesus was in the temple, He healed the blind and the lame. Jesus’ actions declared, “I am not just your King; I am also your God” (Isa. 35:4-6).

Finally, the priests and the scribes heard the children in the temple worshiping Jesus as their King. “Do You hear what these children are saying?” they asked. Jesus replied, quoting Psalm 8:2. Jesus gladly received their praise because He was worthy of their praise. Jesus is the Son of God who came to overthrow sin and set up an eternal throne. 

As you prepare for and celebrate Easter, help your kids connect the dots between God’s promises of a Messiah and Jesus’ coming. Help them understand why Jesus came: to save the world from sin!

During Jesus’ triumphal entry, the people welcomed Him as King. Jesus was the Messiah spoken about by the prophet Zechariah: “Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). One day, Jesus will return to earth on a white horse as King over everything. (Revelation 19:11)

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
    • Jesus is alive.
    • Jesus is God’s Son.
    • God sent Jesus to earth because He loves us.
    • People praised Jesus as their King.
  • Preschool
    • Who saves us from our sin? Jesus saves us from sin. 
    • God chose a family for Jesus.
  • Kids
    • Who saves us from our sin? Only Jesus saves us from sin.
    • God chose Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ earthly parents.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE
●    Romans 6:9

NEXT WEEK
●    “Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection” (Matthew 26:36–28:10; 
John 18:1–20:18)
 

The Church Showed Favoritism

Dear Parents,

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

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

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

The natural response might be to treat the wealthy man better, but James told the believers that God does not show favoritism. God has treated all people—rich and poor—the same: generously with the gospel. God’s kindness toward us should cause us to want to treat others with similar love, generosity, and equality. 
 
When believers in the early church treated some people as better than others, James told them they were wrong. He reminded them that Jesus commanded believers to love one another. Because He has shown great mercy to us, we can show mercy to others.

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

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.
    • James wrote a letter to the believers.
    • James said to treat all people with kindness.
    • Jesus loves us so we can love others.
  • Preschool
    • Why does God want us to obey Him? We obey because God loves us. 
    • James tells us to love others because Jesus loves us.
  • Kids
    • Why does God want us to obey Him? Obedience is our response to God’s love for us.
    • James calls us to treat people with mercy because Jesus shows us mercy.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Galatians 2:20

NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus’ Triumphal Entry” (Matthew 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19)

The Church Was Divided

Dear Parents,

Paul helped start the church in Corinth, a city in southern Greece, during his second missionary journey. Corinth was known for its wickedness. If any city needed a church, this was it. Paul remained in Corinth for about 18 months and then continued traveling to share the gospel and plant more churches.

Six years later, Paul received word from Chloe, a believer in Corinth, that the church there was struggling. The church was fractured and openly engaging in various sins. Some believers were even denying the resurrection! This news surely troubled Paul, so he sat down to write a letter to the church.

One of the first issues Paul addressed was the church’s division. Even if he could help resolve the other issues, a divided church would never be healthy and impact the city the way it needed to. According to Chloe’s report, several factions had formed in the church. Some claimed to follow Paul. Others Apollos. Others Peter. And some even claimed to follow Jesus, which wasn’t as good as it sounded. This group was most likely simply trying to sound more spiritual than the others. 

Paul told the Corinthian believers that they should not be divided; they should all be one because of their shared faith in Jesus. Jesus isn’t divided, and He alone died on the cross for them. Paul’s message was clear: the gospel does not divide believers, it unites them.

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

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

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.
    • Paul wrote a letter to the church in Corinth.
    • Paul told the people to be kind to one another.
    • Jesus helps us know about God.
  • Preschool
    • Why does God want us to obey Him? We obey because God loves us. 
    • Paul wrote that Christians should work together.
  • Kids
    • Why does God want us to obey Him? Obedience is our response to God’s love for us.
    • Paul wrote that Christians are joined together by faith in Jesus.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Galatians 2:20

NEXT WEEK

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