Author: MattMacNaughton

Resources for Fighting Sexual Sin

We concluded our Ten Commandments Sermon Series this past Sunday by looking at the Seventh Commandment. Typically, we would preach on the Seventh Commandment after the sixth, but Covid disrupted the sermon calendar, leading to the last sermon of the series being on the Seventh Commandment. If you haven’t had a moment to listen to the sermon, listen to it here.

Because of the depraved view of sexuality that is running rampant throughout our culture, it is important that we as Christians take every measure to fight against the sin of sexual lust. Jesus commands us to do whatever it takes to rid our hands and eyes of this disastrous sin (Matthew 5:27-30). As we all seek to pursue Christlikeness in all things, I want to provide as many resources as I can to help you in your walk with the Lord, both personally and parentally. 

 

PERSONAL RESOURCES

There are two gracious gifts the Lord has given us to fight sin that rightfully take place at the top of this list: the Scriptures and the Church.

Within the Scriptures, we see the depravity of our own hearts (Jeremiah 17:9-10). We see countless calls to abandon sexual immorality and to flee youthful passions (1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Colossians 3:1-5). We see the importance of confessing our sins, not just to the Lord, but to each other for the purpose of help and restoration (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Galatians 6:1-10). The Scriptures and the Church are a reminder to us that God is committed to our holiness. His will for us is our sanctification!

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. – 1 Thessalonians 4:1–8

The Scriptures remind us, and the church should as well, that we are no longer condemned because we are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-2). To pursue holiness is to eradicate sexual sin from our lives. If you are fighting sexual sin, fight it with the truth and power of Scripture alongside brothers and sisters in Christ who deeply care for your soul (Ephesians 6:10-20).

Here are additional resources to help you in your fight against sexual sin.

ANTHEM a strategic acronym by John Piper

Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace by Heath Lambert

Pornography: Fighting for Purity – a 31 Day Devotional by Deepak Reju

Sexual Sanity for Women: Healing from Sexual and Relational Brokenness by Ellen Dykas

Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys who are Sick of Porn by Tim Challies

Covenant Eyes – Screen Accountability

 

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS

Parenting in a sexually-hyper culture is not for the faint of heart. Boys and girls are introduced to some form of pornography between the ages of 5 and 10. From a Christian perspective, the goal is not just to prevent porn exposure, but rather to teach God’s design for sex, establish clear and open communication, and acknowledge the dangers.

There is a difference between not allowing access to YouTube, social media, or even iPhones or iPads and teaching them God’s design for sex. Instead of a mindset of preventing porn exposure, we need to have a mindset of preparing for porn exposure. This provides action steps when your child is “accidentally” exposed to pornographic material (whether explicit or inexplicit such as provocative television commercials) or their eyes begin wandering at the pool or beach. Yes, we prevent, but we also prepare.

We prepare them for porn exposure by teaching them the truths of Scripture and the importance of accountability. If you notice, we take the same first measures in our parenting as we do in our personal fight against sexual sin.

Scripture teaches our children God’s design.  – Our children need to know that sex is God’s design between a married man his wife for life. We are proclaiming God’s design for marriage, sex, and gender because it is God’s design that is actively being attacked in our culture. We fight the lies of Satan with the truth of God. Any conversation concerning sex should be grounded in Scripture and celebrated as a gift from the Lord for a husband and wife.

Open communication leads to intentional accountability – Talking to your children about sex in an age appropriate manner makes you the expert on the topic. They hear it from you first before they hear it on the playground or in a video game chat. Most importantly, they hear the truth behind sex found in God’s Word. Regardless of the topic, teaching the truth of God’s Word to our children before they hear the lies of the world will serve them well.

Take the time to open the Bible and candidly talk to your children about God’s design for sex and their bodies. Here are a few additional resources that will help you in this conversation:

The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality by Luke Gilkerson

God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb

Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr.: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds by Kristen Jenson (Ages 3-6)

Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids by Kristen Jenson

Raising Teens in a Hyper-sexualized World by Eliza Huie

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ON GENDER AND SEXUALITY

God and the Transgender Debate by Andrew Walker

Good God, Gay Girl by Jackie Hill Perry

Transgender by Vaughan Roberts

What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung

 

I pray these resources will aid you in your fight against sexual sin, but more importantly, I pray your heart will find joy and satisfaction as you behold the beauty of the Savior. Please contact me or another Elder if you need counsel in fighting sin. Let’s pursue holiness with a pure heart.

By His Grace,

Pastor Matt

Jesus is Holding all Things in His Hands

Dear Grace Life,

I want to provide a Covid update, but let me first share with you Colossians 1:15-20, written by the Apostle Paul to the church of Colossae to encourage them to gaze and behold the supremacy of Christ.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

The Word of God is sufficient and timeless. Its solid truth is good for our souls today, even as Covid is furiously running through our community. This text is no different.

Just before this passage, Paul writes in verses 9-14 a prayer for “spiritual wisdom and understanding so that we will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him”. He prays we will be “strengthened in the might of God” and that we will remember we are “delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”. 

He continues by reminding us of the greatness of our King Jesus. There is no one like Him. There is no earthly king, president, or ruler who compares to Him. He is the one who saved us and He is the one who sustains us through all things because “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together”.

The Savior of the world, the Son of God is holding all things together. Your life is included in “all things”. The state of our community is included in “all things”. All of life is included in “all things”. All things are held together in His hands. This is the promise I want you to hold on to today and in the days to come. 

JESUS IS HOLDING ALL THINGS IN HIS HANDS.

Like many of you, I thought we were on the other side of Covid, but, here we are again. This time we are seeing the impacts hit much closer to home. Many of you have now had Covid, and by God’s grace, have recovered. Many of you have lost a loved one or a very close friend. A few of you are working within the overworked and understaffed healthcare system and are tired of all things Covid. To all of us, remember, Jesus is holding all things together

The life we live was never promised to be easy. We were called to abandon and crucify the desires of the world because it is Christ who lives in us. Paul says to another church in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”

And while we face the next few weeks, let us rest in Jesus Christ and not in our frail humanity. We grieve in our loss (John 11:35) and we mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15) and we hope in our future home secured by Jesus Christ. As 1 Peter 1:3-9 states,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Though we do not see Him, we believe in Him and hold to the promise that He is holding all things together for our good and for His glory. What a Savior!

As we continue to deal with Covid, let me provide an update on our church plan and procedures.

  1. We will continue worshiping in person and provide a live stream of our Sunday gatherings. We plan to go online only if there is a situation within our church that prevents us from gathering (i.e. Covid exposure among leadership team).
  2. PLEASE STAY HOME IF: 
    1. You are sick in any way, even if it is minor.
    2. You have had close contact exposure to someone who has tested positive with Covid. (Close contact to COVID-19 occurs when you are within six feet of someone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19, for at least 15 minutes, or an infected person who shows no symptoms but later tests positive for the coronavirus. This is considered exposure regardless of whether one or both parties were wearing a mask.)
    3. You are feeling fine and have no symptoms but you are still within your 10 day isolation period due to testing positive or having a close contact.
  3. PRACTICE SAFE SUNDAYS:
    1. Practice Social distancing with those outside of your household.
    2. Wash and sanitize your hands.
    3. If possible, have conversation with others outside.
    4. Again, stay home if you are sick.

As a reminder, let’s practice grace and patience with one another, thinking the best of our brothers and sisters in Christ (Romans 14:1, Ephesians 4:31-32) and let’s continue to be an encouragement to one another in word and deed (Hebrews 10:24-25). 

If you need assistance or know someone who needs assistance due to Covid, please let us know HERE.

If you would like to serve on the Grace Life Care Team by providing food and supplies or running errands for members of our church and families within our community, please sign up HERE. (We are also working with Lake Asbury Elementary School and we are prepared to serve teachers, staff, and families impacted by Covid).

If you would like to give towards our Covid Relief Fund, please give HERE. All donations go towards families in our community dealing with a Covid crisis.

If you need to schedule a call with Pastor Matt for counseling, prayer, or anything else, please go HERE

I love you all and I am thankful for you. Be encouraged. Our God is faithful and it’s all in His hands.

By His Grace,

Pastor Matt

How you can get Involved in the Preparation of our New Space

Dear Grace Life, 

The last month has been good for my soul. Not because we signed the lease to our own space, but because we have seen God’s faithful leading in our church made visible to us. Let me explain.

Last year, we believed the Holy Spirit was leading us to study the book of Exodus in our LifeGroups. I know this study was impactful for many of you and if you didn’t get to participate, check out the resources here

The evening before I saw our new space, we studied Exodus 33 in LifeGroup. Moses tells God, “Show me your ways. If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here” (Ex. 33:14-16). I found myself praying that exact prayer as we walked through the new space and for a few more days. If God wasn’t going with us, I didn’t want to go. And now it is clear He is leading us into an exciting new chapter for our church. He was directing us to study Exodus for this exact time in the history of our church.

However, this next chapter is not the end. The Lord is leading us to continue making disciples. Our mission does not change even though our space does. We have not reached the end goal. Let’s continue going where God has called us to go.

I want to invite you to participate in this next chapter of our church and to be a part of the work of creating a space to continue making disciples. Here’s three ways you can get involved:

 

PRAY

And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. Exodus 33:14–15

Like Moses, we pray for the Lord to continue going before us. Not just into a new building, but into corners of our community that need to hear the gospel. Pray that we will see a gospel awakening in Clay County.

SPECIFIC PRAYER: Pray that we will celebrate with baptisms on our Grand Opening Sunday.

 

GIVE

Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “This is the thing that the LORD has commanded. Take from among you a contribution to the LORD. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the LORD’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze; Exodus 35:4-5

Like the people of Israel, we should contribute to the new space and do so with a generous heart. No gift is too small (and no gift is too big!); and giving generously allows us to turn this space into a beautiful display of the gospel.

SPECIFIC CONTRIBUTION GOAL: We have a goal to raise $10,000 as a church. It is right for us to contribute as much as we can and trust that the Lord will faithfully provide the remainder through financial partnerships. We would like to raise these funds by the end of June. You can give to the Future Grace Fund in person, online, or through the app. We are already 30% of the way there!

 

SERVE

Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. Exodus 35:30–33

Like Bezalel, God has given each of us unique gifts to serve the church. We will have opportunities to prepare for the new space in the coming weeks. If you would like to paint, clean, or help us demo/remodel, please let us know by going here and selecting “other”. Tell us how you can serve in the comment section.

SPECIFIC SERVICE PROJECT: Leading up to Grand Opening Sunday, we will be prayer walking and passing out info about our church to the two closest neighborhoods. Participate in these events and pray for Gospel conversations!

While we transition from being portable into a permanent location, I ask that you be patient with us during the weeks leading up to Grand Opening Sunday. When we have a confirmed opening date, we will let you know! Until then, let’s continue to gather together on Sunday mornings at the Shrine club, let’s continue staying in prayer and in the Scriptures, and let’s continue to fight for unity as we make disciples for God’s glory.

 

By His Grace,

Pastor Matt

 

We Belong Together: Biblical Membership at Grace Life Church

Let me take you to a moment in my living room, almost a year ago. It’s Wednesday afternoon. The furniture has been pushed to the side, replaced with lights, cables, microphones, and a video camera. Intentional design has gone into the backdrop, replacing pictures with less distracting artwork. Julie gets the camera shot perfect. We do an audio check. All good. She presses play and heads to her corner of the house where she and the kids try not to be heard on the video. I look at the camera, I take a breath, and begin my sermon. I’m a few minutes in and the air conditioner kicks on, and my mic is now picking up the air from the vent right above it. I stop and turn off the A/C, jotting down a note to turn it off next week before I start recording my sermon. I take a breath and begin my sermon again. For close to 12 weeks, I would record the sermon on Wednesday, edit it on Thursday, upload it to YouTube on Friday, and then watch it “live” on Sunday mornings. I learned a lot about my preaching on those online only Sundays. Some time after the cat knocked over the camera in the middle of recording my sermon and before the sermon I preached where I forgot to press the record button on the audio software, I remember wrapping up a sermon and saying to Julie, “This is not what church was intended to be”. Church is intended to be in the presence of other redeemed brothers and sisters in Christ, worshiping the risen Savior through singing, the preaching of God’s Word, and prayer. Church is a gathering of people, not a place or an experience. Church is about the body of Christ, not our preferences. I could keep going but the point has been made. We need to continue pushing towards a Biblical understanding of the church. Ephesians 2:19-22 states,
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
If there is anything we have learned over the last year I hope it is this: we need the church! Not just the Sunday morning gathering, but the weekly interaction with other believers. The Christian life was not designed to be lived in isolation, but in community with other children of God. We belong together. If you are not a member already, I want to invite you to become a member of Grace Life Church. Grace Life Church Membership is birthed out of our love for the local church body and her individual members whom we hope will experience the fullness of grace and joy found in Jesus Christ. A church member is someone who is formally recognized as a Christian and a part of Christ’s universal body. Jonathan Leeman writes in his book Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus: “Church membership is a formal relationship between a Church and a Christian characterized by the church’s affirmation and oversight of a Christian’s discipleship and the Christian’s submission to living out his or her discipleship in the care of the church.” Church Membership is not about status. You don’t get extra benefits and it doesn’t earn you more control. Membership recognizes God’s saving grace in your life and your desire to grow in His Word through intentional discipleship in the context of a local church. It’s a commitment to the entire body of Christ that you will be a contributor and not a consumer. Membership is recognizing the Biblical responsibilities given to a congregation and taking those matters seriously. Church Membership is committing to the local church for the glory of God, knowing that the local church is committed to your sanctification. There are two qualifications for being a church member in the New Testament: Salvation and Baptism (Acts 2:41). There is freedom to pursue ways to determine if someone has been redeemed. It is the responsibility of the Elders to protect the people of the church and to make sure wolves do not sneak in and destroy (1 Peter 5:2-12). The first step in becoming a member of Grace Life is to attend The Intro this Sunday, March 7th. The Intro will tell you more about the Vision, Mission, and Values of our Grace Life Church. You can register here, or in the app. My prayer as we move into the next few months is that we will be a church transformed by the Gospel of Jesus, committed more intentionally to the people of our church and to the advancement of the Gospel, and that we will not forsake the assembly of the believers (Hebrews 10:25). By His Grace, Pastor Matt

Happy Birthday Grace Life!

February 7th is a big day. And not because there happens to be a Big Game. February 7th is a big day because it’s our church’s birthday. Six years ago this coming Sunday, we officially launched the Sunday morning gatherings of Grace Life Church. It is truly remarkable to look back and see how faithful God has been to us since the beginning.

When Julie and I finally said “yes” to God’s call to plant a church, we spent weeks wrestling with the name of this new church. We wrote names down, said them aloud, said them to others but none of the names described what we believed God wanted our church to be.

That changed one morning after I read Titus 2:11-15 in my morning devotions. Here’s what Paul says to Titus,

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you. 

I remember reading the passage and saying, “This! This is what God wants this new church to be! He is calling us to show God’s grace to every life and teach them how to live out that grace.”

And there in that passage of Scripture was the name of our church: Grace Life Church.

This is who we are and who we will continue to be. We will be a church committed to sharing the grace of God through Jesus Christ to every life. We will make disciples. The gospel connects us together, grows us, and calls for us to be an influence in the community around us. We cannot forget who we are in Jesus Christ and what He has called us to do.

Soon after we decided on the name, I wrote down a list describing who I believe God wanted us to be. And eight years later, I still believe this list is who He wants us to be.

  1. We are a church who ultimately desires to bring all glory to God.
  2. We are a church that focuses on the gospel and seeing the gospel change lives.
  3. We are a church that wants to see believers in Christ grow in their faith.
  4. We are a church that makes disciples that make disciples and plants churches that plant churches.
  5. We are a church that loves and shows grace to broken people.
  6. We are a church that thrives in community with each other as we grow together.
  7. We are a church that serves in the church, community, and globally.
  8. We are a church that makes much of Jesus and less of us.

By God’s grace, for the last six years, we have been living out our mission to make Jesus-centered disciples and by His grace, we will continue to live out our mission to make disciples for the years to come. And we will do it for the glory of God.

Happy Birthday Grace Life!

By His Grace,

Pastor Matt

New Year, Same God

It is the first day of the year 2021, a day we have eagerly anticipated. A typical New Year brings the possibility of new adventures, new enjoyments, and new excitements. This New Year brings those possibilities and it brings relief. Relief that 2020 is over and a New Year is upon us.  Who knows what we will see and experience this year; only the Lord knows!

One thing we do know about the 364 days ahead of us is the gift of God’s mercy. The Prophet Jeremiah says in Lamentations 3 that the mercies of God are new every morning. New mercies every morning. Look at what Jeremiah says:

“Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” – Lamentations 3:19–26

Jeremiah is heartbroken over the sins of the people of Israel. He weeps and cries out to the LORD to see his affliction and his turmoil. Yet even in the pain, he remembers the character of God. He remembers God’s covenant faithfulness to His people. He remembers the Lord’s extravagant mercy.

Theologian Wayne Grudem defines “mercy” as “God’s goodness towards those in misery and distress”. God’s mercy is an act of His goodness towards us not an act towards our goodness. We are undeserving of His mercy and that is what makes His mercy so extravagant. The Lord gives His mercy out of His love for us.

When you wake up in the morning, awaiting for you is the gift of new mercies given to us by our Father in heaven. As sure as the sun rises from the east, the mercies of God are lavished upon us. Every new day brings to us a new opportunity to rest in the goodness and grace of God. When your life is in turmoil, remember God’s love and mercy for you. When you have sinned, remember God’s love and mercy for you. When you are feeling anxious, remember God’s love and mercy for you.

The reason God shows this mercy to us each and every day is due to his unending and faithful love He shows His children. He knows we need His mercy and He delights in being merciful to us. This is who God is. The mercy we receive is not based on who we are or what we have done, it is solely based on the character of a Holy God.

One of the more popular mindsets heading into the New Year is “New Year, New You”. The New Year provides an opportunity to lose weight, save money, chase that dream, or to just try something new. Resolutions are made to bring about the new you you want to be. But after a few weeks, those resolutions are stuffed in a drawer until next year. While we seek to change, our God never changes. The Psalmist states,

“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you”. – Psalm 102:25–28

The Apostle James writes,

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” – James 1:17

Did you see that? Everything changes, but God remains the same. And our response to God’s immutability, that is, God’s unchangeableness, is to know that we are secure in Him. His promises never change, His character never changes, His Word never changes. God remains the same and when the calendar changes to a new date, God’s mercies will be there waiting anew. Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace. 

This year brings different adventures, different possibilities, or it may bring more of what we have recently dealt with, but the year also brings 365 new days where God will show us new mercies. It’s a new year, but we serve and trust in the same, unchanging, and faithful God. Let’s celebrate Him.

 

Family Discipleship: The Last Supper

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:

The Last Supper

Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 13

Story Point: Jesus commanded His disciples to remember His sacrifice.

Big Picture Question: What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

Christ Connection: Jesus showed His disciples that He is the true Passover Lamb. God’s people had broken the old covenant, and God promised to make a new covenant to forgive sins. The new covenant says that everyone who turns away from sin and trusts in Jesus’ death and resurrection will b

Key Passage: Philippians 2:8

As the Passover celebration drew near, Jerusalem hummed with excitement. Everyone wondered if Jesus—teacher, miracle-worker, and prophet—would come for Passover. (John 11:56-57) The Passover meal was a permanent statute God intended for every Israelite family to observe each year. (See Ex. 12:1-28; Lev. 23:5-8.) But it was no secret the religious leaders were determined to kill Jesus. Jesus had warned His disciples what would happen this Passover. (Mark 10:33-34; Luke 18:31)

As they ate the Passover meal, Jesus broke bread and gave it to His disciples. He shared the cup with them too, explaining that the bread and cup represented His body and blood. Jesus established a new covenant.

In the Old Testament, God made a covenant, or promise, with His people. He gave them commandments to follow so they could live in right relationship with Him. But God’s people broke the covenant. They didn’t obey God, and they didn’t love Him.

What the sacrifice of the Passover lamb could not do—take away sins once and for all—the perfect Lamb of God was going to do. Jesus, the perfectly sinless Son of God, was going to take the punishment for sin upon Himself. (See Heb. 10:1-10.) As Jesus’ disciples prepared for Passover, Jesus prepared to die. By dying on the cross, Jesus brought forgiveness and made the way for people to know and love God again.

Jesus showed His disciples with the bread and the drink that He is the true Passover Lamb. God’s people had broken the old covenant, and God promised to make a new covenant to forgive sins. The new covenant says that everyone who turns away from sin and trusts in Jesus’ death and resurrection will be forgiven of his sins and will have eternal life.

Believers take the Lord’s Supper to remember what Jesus did for us in His death and resurrection. We remember God’s faithfulness, and we look forward to the day that Jesus will return.

If your kids are not ready to take the Lord’s Supper at church, gently explain that the Lord’s Supper, like baptism, is an ordinance of the church and is a celebration for those who have repented of their sin and trusted in Jesus for salvation.

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 ate a special meal with His friends.
      • Jesus told His friends about God’s plan.
      • Jesus told His friends to remember what He did for them.
      • Jesus made a new, better promise.
      • Jesus died to rescue us.
    • Preschool
      • Jesus told His disciples to remember Him.
      • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
    • Kids
      • Jesus commanded His disciples to remember His sacrifice.
      • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • Philippians 2:8

NEXT WEEK

    • “Jesus Was Arrested” (Matthew 26–27)

Family Discipleship: Jesus was Questioned

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:

Jesus was Questioned

Matthew 22; Mark 12; Luke 20

Story Point: Jesus spoke with wisdom and authority.

Big Picture Question: What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

Christ Connection: When the religious leaders questioned Jesus, He answered with wisdom and power. Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. He is the Word of God, who came to show us exactly what God is like. Jesus has authority in heaven and on earth.

Key Passage: Philippians 2:8

The religious leaders despised Jesus. He was a threat to their power, and they didn’t believe He was the Messiah. The Jews decided to confront Jesus with questions. Perhaps He would misspeak, and they could trap Him with His words. The Pharisees’ disciples asked Him, “Teacher, is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

As far as these men were concerned, Jesus could not give a satisfactory answer to this question. If Jesus said God’s law required them to pay taxes to Caesar, they could get the Jewish people—who hated paying taxes to the Romans—to turn away from Jesus. If Jesus said God’s law did not require them to pay taxes to Caesar, they could convince the Romans to arrest Jesus. But Jesus answered wisely: “Give … to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21). The men were speechless, and they left.

Then an expert in the law asked Jesus which command in God’s law is most important. The Pharisees knew the law well and felt prepared to argue. Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Then He emphasized a second command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18). These commands summarize the rest of the law, and the Pharisees could not object.

Jesus turned the tables and asked the Pharisees about the Messiah: “Whose son is he?” The Pharisees recognized the Messiah as the son of David. Jesus referred to Psalm 110, in which David calls the Messiah “Lord.” Why would he do that? The Pharisees had no answer. As fully man, Jesus is the son of David. But as fully God, He is greater than David; He is Lord. No one dared to question Jesus again.

When the religious leaders questioned Jesus, He answered with wisdom and power. Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. He is the Word of God, who came to show us exactly what God is like. Jesus has authority in heaven and on earth.

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
      • Some teachers tried to trick Jesus.
      • Jesus answered with wisdom.
      • Jesus told the people that He is the Messiah, the Son of God.
      • Jesus spoke with wisdom that comes from God.
      • Jesus died to rescue us.
    • Preschool
      • Jesus spoke with wisdom.
      • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
    • Kids
      • Jesus spoke with wisdom and authority.
      • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • Philippians 2:8

NEXT WEEK

    • “The Last Supper” (Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 13)

Family Discipleship: Jesus’ Triumphal Entry

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:

Jesus Triumphal Entry

Matthew 21; Mark 11; Luke 19; John 11

Story Point: People welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem as their King.

Big Picture Question: What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

Christ Connection: 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.” One day, Jesus will return to earth on a white horse as King over everything.

Key Passage: Philippians 2:8

Leading into the last week of Jesus’ ministry before His death and resurrection, Jesus entered Jerusalem as the King of kings. 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.” (See 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.

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.

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!

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 rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.
    • People welcomed Jesus as their King.
    • God sent Jesus to earth because He loves us.
    • Jesus is the King who rescues His people.
    • Jesus died to rescue us.
  • Preschool
    • People welcomed Jesus as their King.
    • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
  • Kids
    • People welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem as their King.
    • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

    • Philippians 2:8

NEXT WEEK

    • “Jesus Was Questioned” (Matthew 22; Mark 12; Luke 20)

Family Discipleship: Jesus Raised Lazarus

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:

Jesus Raised Lazarus

John 11

Story Point: Jesus has the power over death.

Big Picture Question: How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over His creation according to His perfect plan.

Christ Connection: When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He showed that He has power over death. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. He gives eternal life to those who trust in Him.

Key Passage: Colossians 1:13-14

Jesus received word that His friend Lazarus was sick. Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha. They lived in the town of Bethany, which was about two miles away from Jerusalem. Mary and Martha sent a message to Jesus, likely expecting Him to come right away.

Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus; yet He stayed where He was, and Lazarus died. Why would Jesus do such a thing? Jesus said that Lazarus’ sickness was “for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). He said that He was glad He wasn’t there when Lazarus died so that the disciples may believe. (John 11:15) Jesus’ timing is always perfect, and He acts—or doesn’t act—so that God will be glorified.

By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. Martha went to meet Jesus. She said to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” Jesus had shown His power to heal people who were sick. Even still, she believed He could do a miracle.

Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Jesus is the source of life—eternal life that cannot be destroyed by death. Believers do not need to fear death because physical death is not the end. (See John 11:25-26.) Jesus endured death for us so that when we die and are absent from our physical bodies, our souls are with the Lord. (See 2 Cor. 5:8.)

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. His messiahship was clearly on display, and it was Jesus’ claims to be the Son of God that would lead to His death on the cross. Jesus interrupted Lazarus’s funeral knowing His would soon follow.

Emphasize to your kids that when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He showed that He has power over death. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. He gives eternal life to those who trust in 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
      • Jesus’ friend Lazarus was very sick.
      • Jesus made Lazarus alive again.
      • Those who trust in Jesus will live forever with Him.
      • Jesus showed that He has power over death.
      • Jesus is our King.
    • Preschool
      • Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
      • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over all He made.
    • Kids
      • Jesus has power over death.
      • 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’ Triumphal Entry” (Matthew 21; Mark 11; Luke 19; John 12)

Making Jesus-Centered Disciples For God's Glory


Sunday 10am | Lake Asbury Elementary School

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