Friday, December 29, 2023

December 31

This Week's Supported Worker is the Layer family.

KIDZ in Church for the 1st - 5th graders (No Children's Church).
KIDZ sermon notes will be at the entry to the auditorium.


  • Wise Men Followed the Star
  • God led wise men to little Jesus.
  • Matthew 2:1 – 11
  • Luke 2:40

PreK/ K

  • Worshiping the King
  • God wants us to worship Jesus
  • Matt. 2:1-12
  • 1 John 4:9


1st–5th  CC -  Kids In Church

Thursday, December 28, 2023

KIDZ in Church Golden Chain

This Sunday, December 31st, is KIDZ in Church Sunday.  First through fifth graders will be in church with their families.  HERE is the kids' sermon note page that will be available on the round table outside the auditorium.

HERE is the “answer key.”  

This post contains a couple of general help for kids and parents to prepare for any Kids in Church Sunday and some specific help for this week's sermon.

BEFORE the Sunday morning service:

  • First BIG reminder: preparation for meeting with the church on Sunday morning begins Saturday night.  Get a good night's rest.  If possible, put out the clothes the family will be wearing.  
  • Read the passage; this week is Romans 8:29-30 and surrounding verses. 
  • Pray for Pastor Brett and any of the people you will meet.

 AT the church building BEFORE the service starts:

  • Encourage your children to greet and talk with people, assuming you arrived before the meeting time started.  
  • Pick up a note sheet before entering the auditorium.
DURING the service:
  • Parents model the behavior of an active worshiper during the service.  Sing. Pray.  Read along in your Bible as passages are read.  Actively listen (i.e., lean in, don't doze off, open the Bible)
  • Guide your child when needed with a point to the passage or note sheet or a quiet word to help with focus.
8 Tips for Helping Your Child Worship 
(click on the image for the full document)

Sunday's Sermon

The kids' sermon note page has some fill-in-the-blanks, a Word Tracker activity - comfort or encouragement, and a coloring page on the back.  
As Pastor Brett mentioned in the sermon, we can get caught up in debates about all these deep terms, but we need to remember Paul wrote this passage to encourage struggling believers.  

This article, Talking with Your Children About Predestination, does not offer any easy answer to questions about this doctrine, but it does offer the story of the writer growing through conversation and thinking about who God is.

This song, The God of Wow, is about how great and different than us God is.  One line that is especially challenging but true is, "Inviting me to come to You.  Inconceivable, but true."  It is a "rocky" song but full of WOW!

Here is the hard truth - this is a hard passage to understand for adults.
Here is the basic truth - God is the one who saves because of who He is.  We cannot save ourselves.

Pray your children will understand and grow in their understanding of how great God is.

Monday, December 25, 2023

God Loved

While Christmas is only once a year, we can get caught up in the busyness and familiarity of the season.  Every year, we do the same things - read the same stories, sing the same songs, and do the same things.  So we can miss the significance of the season.   

At the same time, John 3:16 is one of the most familiar verses in the Bible. 

Christmas and John 3:16 are reminders of God's awesome love.  

As mentioned in this weekend's sermon, it is not that love defines God, but rather that God defines love. 
Because of this, God's love is always given first, not earned.
We have done nothing to deserve God's love.  
God gave.
God gave by becoming a baby in Bethlehem.
God gave by living a perfect life.
God gave by fulfilling the Law.
God gave by dying on the cross for our sins.
God gave through the imputation of His righteousness.
Pastor Brett summarized the passage and sermon with this statement:
The Greatest text (John 3:16) about the Greatest being (God) with the Great power (Love) to the greatest audience (the world) giving the Greatest gift (Jesus) that demands the Greatest command (Belief) to escape the greatest tragedy (Perish) to receive the greatest inheritance (Everlasting Life) 


God, who defines love, was purposeful in His creation of man and woman.

The fourth question is "How and why did God create us?"

"God created us, male and female, in his own image to know him, love him, live with him, and glorify him. And it is right that we who were created by God should live to his glory."

God loves and created us to love Him.  
The way we love the one who loved us so much He sent his son is by living for His glory. 

PRAYER from New City Catechism

Maker of All, let us not lose sight that we, and every human being you have made, are created in your image. Never let us doubt this about ourselves. Never let us doubt this about any other man or woman, for to do so denies you the glory that is due to your name. Your likeness glimpsed in us testifies that we belong to you, body and soul. Amen.

Friday, December 22, 2023

December 24

This week's supported workers are the Layers

Next Week is a 5th Sunday, which means it is KIDZ in Church Sunday for the 1st through 5th graders.
Check back on Thursday for resources to help you and your family prepare for Sunday.


  • Shepherds  Visited Baby Jesus
  • Jesus deserves our praise
  • Luke 2:7-20
  • Luke 2:11

PreK/ K

  • Shepherds Visited Jesus
  • Jesus came to bring joy to the world.
  • Luke 2:1-20
  • Luke 2:11

1st  SS

  • Jesus, the King of Kings, Arrived
  • God provided Jesus to redeem us from our sins.
  • Luke 2:1-20

2nd-3rd SS

  • Isaiah Told of a Coming King
  • God will send Jesus to be the perfect King of Kings.
  • Isaiah 7; 9:1-7
  • Isaiah 9:6

4th–5th SS

  • The Word deserves our lifelong devotion.
  • The Word transforms sinners by His power.
  • John 2:1–3:21

1st–5th  CC

  • JOY:  Christmas Part 2
    • The lesson focused on the shepherds, the wise men, and Simeon.  People who were looking or waiting for Jesus.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

The Cause of Joy

In this past Sunday's sermon, Pastor Jory reminded us of the joy we have in Christmas.

"Christmas can be a hectic time of the year but the problem is not Christmas. [Christmas] is the occasion for rejoicing.  The problem with Christmas is we have lost sight of the cause."

The magi rejoiced greatly (Matthew 2:10).
John leapt with joy (Luke 1:44).
Mary sang for joy (Luke 1:47).
The angel proclaimed with joy (Luke 2:10).

Joy is the right response, not because life is great but rather because our God is great.
The cause and occasion of our joy are God, the Trinitarian God.


This leads to Question 3 of the New City Catechism.

"How many are the persons of the Trinity?"

"There are three persons in the one true and living God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are the same in substance, equal in power and glory."

In the New City Catechism, devotional for this question, Kevin DeYoung shares three important things the doctrine means for us.  "The final and most important [of these three]  is that the doctrine of the Trinity is crucial for the Christian because there is nothing more important in the world than knowing God."

The devotional concludes with this statement:  "In the end, the Trinity matters because God matters."

This triune God, who we can know more and more, yet not understand completely, 

The God of Hope,
provides Peace between sinners and Himself and
is our source of true, eternal Joy. 

PRAYER from New City Catechism

Father, Son, and Spirit, you are beyond our understanding. Thank you for bringing us into your love, a love that existed before the world in your three perfect persons. Amen.

God truly is the source of eternal hope.

Friday, December 15, 2023

December 17

This Week's Supported Worker is our Supported Worker


  • Angels Celebrated Jesus’ Birth
  • Jesus came to save the world
  • Luke 2:7-14
  • Luke 2:11

PreK/ K

  • Mary Praised Jesus
  • Luke 1:5-25, 39-58
  • John 3:16

1st  SS

  • Christ’s Royal Line Continued
  • God always keeps His promises.
  • Ruth 3; 4

2nd-3rd SS

  • Ahab Paid for Stealing
  • God’s relationship with us gives us the opportunity to live contentedly.
  • 1 Kings 21; 22:1-40; 2 Kings 9
  • Heb. 13:5

4th–5th SS

  • The Word Chose Followers
  • The Word deserves our lifelong devotion.
  • John 1:19-51

1st–5th  CC

  • Christmas Hope:  Part 1

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Peace on Earth?

Peace on earth is known through Peace with God in Jesus Christ.  

Sunday's message on Peace from Luke 2:1 - 20, with a focus on Peace, provided a historical comparison of Caesar August and Jesus Christ.

Peace on earth can only be known through Peace with God through Jesus Christ.  

Many of the titles and descriptions of Jesus found in this passage are similar to the titles given to Caesar at that.  Yet there is a serious contrast between the dark, forced peace of Caesar and the incarnation of Jesus, the light of the world.

Augustus was given a title reserved for deities, meaning holy.
He was also given the title "Savior of the world."

A summary of the world's teaching about Caesar Augustus.
He "ruled in unrivaled supremacy.  He was the holy savior of the world.  Sent from god the father (Zeus) to deliver his people and bring peace, on which his good will rests on all whom he is pleased to give it, and sacrifices should be brought to him."  

Luke 2:10 - 11

"Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people; for today in the city of David there has been born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among me with whom He is pleased."

We need to remember the Good News of salvation is the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ.
"Our salvation is not found in human government but rather in Christ's atonement."


Question 2 is "What is God?" -

The question "What is God?" seeks to define God.  While "Who is God?" is about is being and person.

The answer to Question 2 is "God is the creator and sustainer of everyone and everything. He is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable in his power and perfection, goodness and glory, wisdom, justice, and truth. Nothing happens except through him and by his will."

No matter what the world, ancient or modern, says, salvation belongs to our God.

Peace - true, eternal peace - comes from God, not governments or circumstances.  

God's peace is marked by perfection, goodness, glory, truth, unchangeable, and so much more.  
This peace is so much different than the peace the world talks about and longs for.

PRAYER from New City Catechism

Our Creator and Sustainer, everything holds together in you.  The smallest creature is known to you, and the mightiest army is at your command.  You rule with justice.  Help us to trust your goodness in all that you will. Amen.

Friday, December 8, 2023

December 10

This week's Supported Worker is our Supported Worker in Southeast Asia


  • Baby Jesus Was Born
  • Jesus, God’s Son, became a baby
  • Luke 2:1-7

1 John 4:10

PreK/ K

  • Gabriel Announced Jesus
  • Jesus was born a king and will one day rule on earth.
  • Luke 1:26-38
  • Matt 1:21

1st  SS

  • Ruth Reaped What She Sowed
  • God delights to meet our needs.
  • Ruth 2

2nd-3rd SS

  • God Defeated Baal
  • God hears us because He is real.
  • 1 Kings 16:29–18:46
  • 1 Kings 18:21

4th–5th SS

  • The Word Became Flesh
  • The Word is Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God.
  • John 1:1-18

1st–5th  CC

  • Last Supper and Washing Disciple’s Fee

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Our Only Hope

Our Advent series Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love kicked off on December 3.  The ONE anchor idea from Sunday's sermon is HOPE IN CHRIST, and the short and powerful verse is 2 Corinthians 5:21.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

In the middle of each week of December, a post will be connecting Sunday with one of the New City Catechism questions.  
These four important Christmas words connected to the first four questions of the New City Catechism provide great reminders this Christmas time of who are GREAT GOD is.

Our hope is not in our situations and circumstances.  We need to remember this, and 2 Corinthians 5:21 is an excellent reminder of where our hope needs to be.

Here are some specific quotes about the great truth of this verse.

“There is no sentence MORE PROFOUND in the whole of Scripture.”  Philip Hughes

“This verse stands as the MOST PROFOUND and yet also the MOST COMPACT ARTICULATION of the atonement in Paul’s letters.”  M.V. Hubbard

“The GREATEST GOSPEL VERSE in the Bible.”  John MacArthur – 15 Words of Hope

“This verse is called the ‘GREAT EXCHANGE.’  It is one of the most important verses in the Bible.” Steven Lawson

“What is the Gospel? We have volumes of literature explaining the good news of Jesus Christ. Still, we don’t need volumes in our arsenal to be prepared to ‘make a defense to anyone who asks you for the hope that is in you’ (1 Peter 3:15). What we need is A WELL-CRAFTED ARROW so we can aim for the heart in need of Christ. We find that arrow for our bow in 2 Corinthians 5:21.”  Fighter Verse devotional by Aaron Martin.

The biblical. hope, salvific hope found in this verse is full of certainty. 

Why is there certainty?

 Because of WHO our HOPE is in.  God is the sovereign creator and sustainer of the world - HE MADE.  Jesus is the sinless, perfect Savior – HIM WHO HAD NO SIN.

Another reason why there is certainty is because of WHAT our HOPE is in

A right relationship with the sovereign creator, God, because of sinless, perfect Jesus Christ. 

Becoming the righteousness of God.  It is not about getting what I want or being in the right place geographically.

At Christmas, we celebrate through song, Bible readings, and other things God's plan - the Incarnation, God in the flesh.

We also need to remember the reason Jesus came to earth.  For God's glory, to die for our sins.

This quote from C.H. Spurgeon explains why Jesus had to die.

 “See ye here the foundation-truth of Christianity, the rock on which our hopes are built. It is the only hope of a sinner and the only true joy of the Christian, [I WOULD ADD, THE ONLY TRUE JOY AT CHRISTMAS TIME AND ALL THE TIME.  SPURGEON GOES ON TO SAY…] — the great transaction, the great substitution, the great lifting of sin from the sinner to the sinner’s Surety [a person who takes responsibility for another's performance of an undertaking, for example, their appearing in court or the payment of a debt]; the punishment of the Surety instead of the sinner, the pouring out of the vials of wrath, which were due to the transgressor, upon the head of his Substitute; the grandest transaction which ever took place on earth; the most wonderful sight that even hell ever beheld, and the most stupendous marvel that heaven itself ever executed, — Jesus Christ, made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him!” [Emphasis mine]


With all this talk of Christmas Hope, think about Question 1 of the New City Catechism.

  • What is our only hope in life and death?
  • That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
As followers of Christ, our only hope is in God, the sovereign creator and sustainer of the world, and Jesus, the sinless, perfect Savior.

PRAYER from New City Catechism 

Christ, Our Hope, in life and in death, we cast ourselves on your merciful, fatherly care. You love us because we are your own. We have no good apart from you, and we could ask for no greater gift than to belong to you. Amen.

This Sunday, December 10, we will be looking at Peace.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Praying for Our Supported Workers Family

During last night's DIGGING DEEPER service, we took an extended time to pray for our supported workers in Grand Rapids and around the world.

Center for Great Commission Studies website has the general prayer requests mentioned yesterday.  Here are the four main ideas.

  • Evangelism Opportunities
  • Opportunities to Engage
  • Time for Fellowship
  • Struggles Away from Home

Make it part of your family devotion time to pray for supported Trinity's supported workers.


Harry & Eileen Bettig – TransWorld Radio
Faith in Deeds – South Asia
Good Churches –
Our supported worker – Southeast Asia
Ben & Sarah Layer – Poland
Steve & Sue Mayo – Asia Pacific
Kelly & Deb McMaster – Brazil
Our supported worker - 
North Africa
Our supported worker – East Asia
Kent & Sandra Pool – Philippines

Alpha Center – Grand Rapids
Community Kids – Grand Rapids
Nick & Dana Harmon – UNC Wilmington
Rochelle Visser – Grand Rapids

Barb Adolph
Alma Bettig
Tom & Linda Randall