TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 1:26-38
TO CHEW ON: "The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.'” Luke 1:28
Has anyone ever told you that you’re special? Perhaps your teacher singled you out as the person who did a great job of the project. Maybe your parents were surprised at how thoroughly you cleaned your room. Your friends may say things like, “I love being with you, because you make me laugh.”
Imagine getting such a message from God! That’s what happened to Mary. He sent an angel to her. The angel told her she was highly favored. Then the angel told her about an assignment that God had just for her.
"The Annunciation" by James Tissot - 1886 - 1896
She would have a special baby. She was to name Him Jesus. He would be called the Son of the Most High because God would be the baby’s father. He would be a king of the family of David. He would reign forever.
Mary was puzzled. She wasn’t even married. “How will this happen?” she asked.
“God’s power will bring it about,” the angel told her.
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as...
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This is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. May your Christmas be a day full of peace and joy!
Here is a Christmas story for you to read:
I shiver under my goat hair cloak. It’s cold at night on the hills outside Bethlehem. I wish I were at home in bed. But a few weeks ago my father said, "Joel, you're 12. You need to learn the night watch." And so here I am, cold and sleepy, but I have to stay awake because it’s my turn to watch the sheep.
I look over at the flock, an island of wooly pebbles. Beside me, father snores a soft rhythm. Nearby, Abiram and Kohar, still awake, talk quietly.
"Plugged with travelers," Kohar says.
"Caesar is insane to command a census at this time of year," says Abiram. "He just wants more names for his filthy tax list." Then, lowering his voice so I barely hear, "I met a man in the village who's gathering an army to fight those Gentile thieves. He's training them to use swords." When he notices I’m listening, he stops. "The lamblet has, big ears." He winks at Kohar.
He doesn't want me to hear because of my father....
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Matthew 2:1-15
TO CHEW ON: “’Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’” Matthew 2:2
Every night the wise men studied the stars. They wrote down when they rose and set. They gazed at their colors and brightness. They drew them and looked for shapes formed by their positions in the sky. Most of all they tried to figure out what the stars meant.
One day a new bright star came out. Such a star could mean only one thing: a new king had been born.
"Wise Men Follow a Star" by A. O. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland
The star seemed to be moving, so the wise men followed it. For weeks and months they rode, probably on camels, and always at night so they could see the star’s light. It led them west toward Judea. The star must be telling of a new Jewish king....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 6:8-23
TO CHEW ON: “’Don’t be afraid,’” the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’” 2 Kings 6:16
During the time of Elisha, the kings of Aram and Israel were at war. But because God told Elisha where the Aramaens were, and Elisha told the king of Israel, the Israeli king was always getting away.
“Who of you is telling Israel our plans?” the King of Aram demanded of his soldiers.
“No one,” they replied. “It’s Elisha, the prophet. He knows everything – even what you say in your bedroom.”
“Capture him,” The king commanded. He sent a large force of soldiers on horses to arrest Elisha. They came at night and surrounded Dothan, the city where Elisha was staying.
The next morning when Elisha’s servant got up, he saw the army around the city. “My lord, what shall we do?” he asked Elisha.
“Don’t be afraid,” Elisha replied. Then he prayed, “God, open his eyes.”
In the next instant the servant saw that the hills surrounding the city were full of horses – and these weren’t the enemy’s horses. They were surrounded by chariots of fire. God’s army of angels was all around, protecting Elisha...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 2: 8-20
TO CHEW ON: "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby...An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them..." Luke 2:8,9
Some shepherds were in the fields outside Bethlehem looking after their flocks. It was night. Some of them were asleep. Others were sitting close to the cozy fire talking and trying to stay awake."Shepherds Watching Flocks" by O. A. Stemler & Bess Bruce Cleaveland, illustrators Standard Bible Story Readers by Lillie A. Faris
Suddenly a dazzling light shone around them. They were terrified. A shining white being said, “Don’t be afraid. I have good news for you and everyone on earth. Today in the town of David (Bethlehem) a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 19:1-9aTO CHEW ON: "Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. ... he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, Lord,' he said. 'Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.' ” 1 Kings 19:3,4No sooner did Ahab get home and tell Queen Jezebel that Elijah had killed her Baal prophets than Jezebel threatened Elijah’s life. “By this time tomorrow, you’ll be dead like them,” she told him by messenger.If Elijah expected Jezebel to believe in God after the contest on the mountain, he saw now that wasn’t going to happen. Her message terrified him. He and his servant took off, running as fast and as far as they could. When they got to Beersheba, Elijah let his servant rest while he traveled another day, far into the desert.As he ran and walked and ran some more, he probably thought of what had just happened. It seemed that Ahab hadn’t learned anything from the three years of no rain and the contest on the mountain. Even though he, Elijah, had done his...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 28:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "He is not here; he has risen just as he said ..." Matthew 28:6
Something mysterious happens when people die. The invisible but living part of a person – the moving, breathing, thinking, feeling, loving part – leaves the body. The body – the physical shell which did the breathing, talking, laughing and hugging – is still there. But it is empty - the real person is gone. We call them dead.
Physical death is final. Even the most clever doctor can’t capture the living part of a person and stuff it back into a dead body to make the person come alive again.\
It was now three days after Jesus had died and been buried. Some of His women friends went to the tomb on the morning after the Sabbath.
When they got there, everything was different than they expected. The large stone that had stood in front of the cave tomb wasn’t there.
"The stone was rolled away" - Artist unknown
A shining angel greeted them. The angel said, “I know you’re looking for Jesus. He’s not here, He’s risen. Come and see where He was lying....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 12:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him." Acts 12:5
Peter was in big trouble. After King Herod killed James, he arrested Peter. For days Peter had been in a cramped, uncomfortable jail, chained and guarded by sixteen soldiers.
The night before Herod was going to put him on trial Peter was asleep in his cell. He was awakened by strange man shaking him. “Quick, get up and get dressed!” the man said. The cell was filled with light even though it was the middle of the night. Then his chains fell off.Peter's miraculous escape from prison - Artist unknown
I must be dreaming Peter thought as he pulled on his clothes, wrapped his cloak around him, and followed the man out of the prison. It was not until he had walked a block or two and his companion disappeared that Peter realized - I’m not dreaming. This is real. I was just set free by an angel....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 32:6-15 & 20,21
TO CHEW ON: “'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.' And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said." 2 Chronicles 32:7,8
Sennarcherib the fierce king of Assyria had already defeated Israel. Now he had his eye on Judah. He invaded the country with his powerful army. When soldiers surrounded the walled cities near Jerusalem, Hezekiah knew that he would soon be there.
Hezekiah did all he could to get ready. He cut off the water supply to the outside the walls of Jerusalem. He made the walls stronger. But most of all, he encouraged the people. “Don’t look at Sennarcherib’s strong army,” he said to them. “Instead, look at our big God.”
One day a messenger arrived with a letter. It was from Sennarcherib. “What are you trusting in?” the letter asked. “If Hezekiah is telling you that God will save you...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 28:10-20
TO CHEW ON: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15
Have you ever run for your life? That’s what Jacob was doing. After he tricked his father into giving him Esau’s blessing, Esau wanted to kill him. Rebekah told Jacob to go to Haran, where she grew up. Jacob set out alone
How do you suppose he felt as he walked away from his family and the only home he had ever known?- Nervous about being attacked by robbers and wild animals?- Worried about losing his way?- Lonely and wishing he had someone to talk to?
When it got dark, he stopped walking. He pitched his tent, unrolled his sleeping bag, blew up his air mattress – NOT! He had no tent, sleeping bag, or air mattress. Instead he lay on the ground, under the stars with a stone for his pillow.
After he fell asleep, he dreamed. What things were in his dream (Genesis 28:12-13)...
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 18:20-33
TO CHEW ON: "Abraham said, 'Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?'He said, 'For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.'Then he said, 'May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?'He answered, 'For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.'” Genesis 18:31,32
One day three men came to visit Abraham. He welcomed them, washed their dusty feet and fed them a hot dinner. As they talked, Abraham realized that these visitors weren’t ordinary men. Two of them were angels and one was God Himself, in human form.
After their visit, as Abraham walked down the road with them God turned to him and said, “I’m going to tell you what I’m planning to do.” Then He explained how He had heard that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were sinful and violent. He said if the angels found that to be true, He would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.
Immediately Abraham thought of Lot. He had moved near Sodom. So Abraham begged God to spare the city if there...
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The Geography of the Bible
Popular Bible Maps
The Journey of Abraham
Moses and the Exodus
Joshua and the Land
The Kingdom of David
The Kingdom of Solomon
Israel in Jesus' Time
Paul's First Journey
The Land of Israel
The Land of Egypt
The Land of Assyria
The Land of Babylon
The Land of Persia
The Land of Greece
The City of Rome
Noah's Ark and Mt. Ararat
The Tower of Babel
The Old Testament World
The New Testament World
Moses and the 10 Plagues
The 10 Commandments
The 12 Tribes of Israel
The Ministry of Jesus
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