TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
TO CHEW ON: "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14
In Bible times, teams of oxen were used to do farm work, like pull a plow. A heavy wooden yoke was placed on the necks two oxen. The yoke was attached with leather straps to the plow.
Together the oxen pulled the plow, while the plowman walked behind them working the plow parts and breaking the ground. This yoke kept the oxen moving and pulling in the same direction....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Joshua 23:1-16
TO CHEW ON: “But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, then you may be sure that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the Lord your God has given you.” Joshua 23:12,13Joshua speaks to the people - Artist unknown
Years passed. Joshua led the people in many battles. They won most of them and were now living in their new homes in Canaan. When Joshua was an old man he gathered the leaders to hear his final words. Here are some of the things he told them. Cross out the one thing he did not say:
1. Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the book of the Law of Moses.
2. Associate with the survivors of these nations; pray to their gods and swear by them.
3. One person can beat a thousand because God fights for you.
4. If you are good...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Nehemiah 4:16-23
TO CHEW ON: "From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officials posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall." Nehemiah 4:16
The threats against the workers were real. But still Nehemiah didn’t stop work on the wall. “Now we really need to work together,” he told the people.
He organized workers in shifts. While one half worked on construction, the other half stood guard. Because everyone was spread out on the wall, he made an alarm system. When people heard a trumpet blast, they should all go to where the trumpet was.
The way Nehemiah organized the people to stay safe while they worked is a great example of teamwork. We too can get more done when we work as a team. If you are part of a sports team, you know how important it is for each person to play their position and do their part. The same is true in the things we do for God....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 18:13-27
TO CHEW ON: "Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said." Exodus 18:24
One day Moses got some important visitors. His father-in-law Jethro brought Moses’ wife and two sons to be with him. They had a wonderful family reunion and Moses told them the incredible story of how God brought them out of Egypt
The next day, Moses took Jethro to work with him. Continue telling the story by choosing the best ending:
1. Jethro saw that all day: (Exodus 18:13):a] Moses gathered manna.b] Moses made plans for traveling.c] Moses judged the people.
2. He said to Moses: (Exodus 18:17):a] “What you are doing is not good.”b] “The way you do this is brilliant.”c] “Why are you so lazy?”
3. Jethro had a better way for Moses to do all that judging. He told Moses, he should: (Exodus 18:20-22):a] let people decide things for themselves.b] train others to judge the easy cases and Moses would judge only the hard ones.c] scold the people for being so quarrelsome.
"Jethro and Moses" by James Tissot
4. When Moses heard Jethro’s advice he: (Exodus 18:24)a] listened to it and did what Jethro said.b] argued with Jethro about why he really needed to judge everyone.c] was...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Chronicles 28:4-12
TO CHEW ON: “And you my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9
David was an old man. He had been king for forty years, but he knew he would soon die. One day he crowned his young son Solomon to rule after him. Then he called the people together to introduce them to their new king.
In front of everyone he challenged Solomon to be a good king and serve God for his whole life. His speech told Solomon how to do that. It went something like this:
“Solomon, be sure you search out all of God’s commands and obey them. Get to know God. Worship Him with a clean heart. Serve Him with a willing mind. Don’t think you can fool Him with pretending. Not only can He see what you do, He also knows your thoughts. Search for Him and He will show Himself to you.
“But if you...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 28:1-5
TO CHEW ON: "Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor." Exodus 28:2
What clothes would you choose?
Match the activity on the left to the clothes you would choose to wear for it on the right:
We dress differently for different activities and seasons. Though there are no right or wrong answers to the quiz above, if you answered honestly you probably didn’t say you would wear a swim suit to play in the snow or your formal dress clothes to go swimming.
What we wear may also depend on what we think of the people we’re with. If you were picked to meet a king or president, would you choose to wear dirty, ripped play clothes? Probably not. Because what you wear says something about you and how you feel toward the person you’re meeting. Your respect for an important person would stop you from dressing in a sloppy way.
God used this rule of personal appearance when He told Moses what the workers in the tabernacle – the priests – should wear. Again God gave detailed instructions....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Numbers 16:1-7
TO CHEW ON: "Then he (Moses) said to Korah and all his followers: 'In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him.'” Numbers 16:5
The Israelites had refused to trust God to help them enter Canaan. Now they were doomed to live as nomads for 40 more years. They weren’t happy and it didn’t take long before rebellion broke out again.
This time Korah, one of the Levites (the tribe which took care of the holy things in the tabernacle) was the ringleader. One day he came with friends and 250 leaders to confront Moses. “Who said you should be the boss over us? We’re just as good as you are and God chose us too.”
“Let’s have a test,” Moses replied. “Tomorrow God will show whom He has chosen to be the leader.”
The next day Moses and Aaron came with their censers and stood outside the Tabernacle. Korah and his friends and fellow leaders came too. All the rebellious leaders stood with him, their censers full of burning incense.
Then Moses explained to them...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: I Corinthians 13:1-13
TO CHEW ON: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13
As you can see, we use the word “love” for how we feel about a lot of things. But the love the Bible talks about in I Corinthians 13 goes far beyond describing the feelings we have about food or things we like to do. This is love that expresses itself in actions.
Using your Bible (I Corinthians 13:4-8) finish each statement about love. Then unscramble the bracketed letters to tell one final amazing thing about love on the blanks below....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 30:1-5
TO CHEW ON: “'Woe to the obstinate children,' declares the Lord, 'to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin.'” Isaiah 30:1
What does it mean to nag (click on the verb 'nag') someone? Have you ever done this to someone else? Has anyone ever done this to you? Do you like being nagged?
The people in Judah may have felt that God was nagging them. Prophet after prophet came with messages from Him, telling them to change. In today’s reading Isaiah comes with another warning.
“You are like stubborn children,” he said to the leaders. “Again you are doing things on your own instead of asking for My (God’s) help. You are getting together with Egypt to make your army strong. But you are forgetting to talk to Me about it. As a result things won’t work out.”
God wanted the Israelites to be completely His. He wanted them to pray to Him in trouble. Instead the people had joined their army with the army of Egypt. They did this all on their own. Unscramble the words that tell the things that Isaiah predicts will come to...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 2: 21-38
TO CHEW ON: "It had been revealed to him (Simeon) by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Messiah ....She (Anna) never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying." Luke 2: 26 & 37
When Jesus was still a tiny baby (40 days, about six weeks old) Joseph and Mary brought him to the temple in Jerusalem and gave him to the Lord. They also had to bring a sacrifice - doves or pigeons. They were obeying a command God gave Moses hundreds of years earlier.
There were probably many people in the temple the day Joseph and Mary took Jesus there. Perhaps some stopped Mary to take a look at her new baby and say how cute He was. The temple workers (Levites) probably saw Jesus when they helped Joseph and Mary with their sacrifice. But only two people recognized that Jesus was not just an ordinary baby....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 17:38-50
TO CHEW ON: "All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17:47
Though Samuel had anointed David as Israel’s next king, Saul continued to rule. And Israel was still fighting their old enemy the Philistines. At one time instead of fighting with their whole army, the Philistines picked a nine-foot giant named Goliath to challenge Saul’s soldiers. “Pick one man to fight me,” he shouted. “If he wins, we’ll be your slaves. But if he loses, you’ll be our slaves.”
For forty days Goliath came out and challenged the army like this. Of course no one volunteered. Instead, each day the men grew more afraid and intimidated.
Meanwhile, David was still looking after sheep. One day his dad asked him to check on his brothers at the battlefront and take them some food. He went and had just found his brothers when Goliath came out to shout his daily challenge. “Pick a man to fight me,” he bellowed. “Why aren’t you coming? Are you chicken?”
David heard him and was shocked. “Why...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 18:25-39
TO CHEW ON: “Answer me, O Lord, answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” 1 Kings 18:37
“You go first,” Elijah told the Baal prophets. “Prepare your sacrifice. Put it on the wood. But don’t light a fire under it. Instead, pray to Baal to send the fire.”
The four hundred prophets of Baal did as Elijah said. It was morning when they began to pray. “Oh Baal, answer us!” they shouted, over and over, louder and louder. When nothing happened, they shouted even louder and began dancing around.
When it was noon and still nothing had happened, Elijah began to tease then. “Maybe your god is meditating. He is a god, after all. Or maybe he’s busy, or traveling or sleeping.”
So the prophets yelled at the top of their voices and danced around and even cut themselves. Soon there was chaos, screaming and blood everywhere – but still no fire.
Finally Elijah said to the people watching, “Come here.”
They crowded around as he repaired the ruined altar of God that was on the mountain. Then he dug a deep trench around it. He put...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 2:1-15
TO CHEW ON: "When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, 'Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken from you?''Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,' Elisha replied." 2 Kings 2:9
One day as Elijah and Elisha were walking down the road, Elijah said, “God has told me to go to Bethel. But you stay here.”
Elisha had a strange feeling about this day. Somehow he knew that Elijah wouldn’t be with him much longer. He wanted to spend every minute he could with this incredible man. “No,” he replied. “I want to go with you.”
After spending some time in Bethel Elijah said “Now God is sending me to Jericho. You stay behind.”
But Elisha wouldn’t. He walked with Elijah to Jericho.
After they had visited the prophets in Jericho, Elijah said, “Now God is telling me to go to the Jordan, but you stay here.”
“I will not leave you,” Elisha replied.
When they got to the Jordan River, Elijah took off his robe, rolled it up and struck the water. Instantly it parted and the two men walked to the other side on dry ground.
“What can I do for you before God takes...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL:1 Kings 18:16-24
TO CHEW ON: "Elijah went before the people and said, 'How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.' But the people said nothing." 1 Kings 18:21
Obadiah found Ahab and told him that Elijah had turned up.
“Is it really you, you troublemaker?” Ahab asked when he saw Elijah.
“I’m no troublemaker,” Elijah replied. “You’re the one who is making trouble by ignoring God’s commands and following Baal instead. But it’s time for a showdown. Get all the Baal prophets and gather the people on Mount Carmel.”
When everyone had gathered, Elijah addressed the people. “How long will you go back and forth?” he asked. “It’s time to decide who you’re going to follow. So we’ll have a contest. We’ll prepare two sacrifices. The Baal prophets will put together a sacrifice for Baal and I’ll prepare one for God. Then we’ll each pray to our god. The one that answers by sending fire to burn his sacrifice is the real God. He is the one we should worship."
The people agreed this was a good plan.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to know that You are the real...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 8:1-21
TO CHEW ON: "But the people refused to listen to Samuel. 'No!' they said. We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations. . . .'” 1 Samuel 8:19,20
Samuel judged Israel till he was an old man. Then he appointed his sons to be judges after him. But they were not fair and wise like Samuel their father had been. So the people didn’t want them as rulers. Instead they wanted a king. They wanted to be just like the nations around them.
Samuel warned them that a king would give them a whole new set of problems. Name five of the disadvantages of having a king Samuel lists. A king will (1 Samuel 8:10-18):1. ___2. ___3. ___4. ___5. ___
In spite of this, the people insisted. They thought that if they had a king like everybody else, they would win wars and be as strong as their enemies.
Samuel felt hurt by this request. He felt as if the people had rejected him. But God told him, “It isn’t you they’ve rejected, but Me. Even so, listen to them and give them a king.”
The Israelites didn’t realize that it wasn’t the outward...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Chronicles 15:25-16:3
TO CHEW ON: "So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps." 1 Chronicles 15:28
For three months the ark was in the home of Obed-Edom. In that time, everyone noticed how God was blessing him. One day David decided to try to bring the ark back to Jerusalem again.
He arrived at the house of Obed-Edom with a great crowd of people. There were Levites, priests, singers and musicians dressed in beautiful robes of fine linen. There were army commanders. And there were many ordinary people.
This time the Levites lifted the ark onto their shoulders and carried it the way God had told them. As they began their walk to Jerusalem, the priests sacrificed to God. Then the singers sang and the instruments played.
The closer they got to the city, the more people joined the happy parade. Finally a great throng of happy, singing, celebrating people entered Jerusalem. But no one celebrated harder than David. He danced and leaped and spun in joy and praise to God that the ark was finally returning...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ruth 2:1-12
TO CHEW ON: “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” Ruth 2:12
The first thing Naomi and Ruth had to do when they got back to Bethlehem was figure out where to get some food. So Naomi sent Ruth to the food bank, right? Well, not exactly. But she did send her to a place where food was free.
In those times, farmers harvesting their crops were supposed to leave a little behind for exactly this reason - to feed the poor. People who needed food were allowed to go to harvested fields and pick up what was left over. This was called gleaning.
I wonder what Ruth’s thoughts were as she went out to her first gleaning job. Perhaps she wondered if there would be any grain left to glean in the fields. Maybe she worried that people would find out she was a foreigner and make fun of her or chase her away. In spite of any anxious thoughts, Ruth went out, as Naomi asked her to.
Ruth gleaning in the field - Artist unknown
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 12:1-14
TO CHEW ON: "Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger turned from him and he was not totally destroyed. Indeed there was some good in Judah." 2 Chronicles 12:12
We left the story of Rehoboam a while back. He was the son of Solomon who said he would be a mean and bossy king. Ten tribes didn’t want Rehoboam to be their king. They chose Jeroboam to be king and were called Israel. We have been following what happened in Israel (King Jeroboam, King Ahab, the prophets Elijah and Elisha).
Meanwhile back in Jerusalem, Rehoboam ruled over the two tribes that stayed loyal to him. The part of the land he ruled was called Judah.
Rehoboam soon became a strong king in Judah. He forgot all about God and worshiping Him until King Shishak of Egypt started invading. In no time Shishak had captured all the nearby cities and was just outside Jerusalem.
Scared Rehoboam and his advisors were huddled in the city trying to decide what to do next when a prophet came to them. “You have abandoned God,” the prophet said to Rehoboam.“Now He is leaving you to Shishak.”
This made Rehoboam even more frightened. That day he decided...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Samuel 9:1-12
TO CHEW ON: “'Don’t be afraid,' David said to him, 'for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.'” 2 Samuel 9:7
One day after David had been king for some years, he remembered a promise he had made. Years earlier he had promised his friend Jonathan that he would save and protect his family. Now he wanted to keep that promise – but how?
He asked around and discovered that Ziba, a former servant of Saul, was still alive. David called Ziba to the palace. “Do you know if any of Saul’s family is still alive?” David asked.
“There is Mephibosheth,” Ziba replied. “He is the son of Jonathan and is crippled in both feet.”
Immediately David called Mephibosheth to the palace.
Mephibosheth was frightened when he heard King David wanted to see him. It was the custom in those times that a new king would kill the whole family and all the servants loyal to the old king. In fact it was the day that Saul’s family ran from the palace after...
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Job 2:1-13Job and his friends - Artist unknown
TO CHEW ON: "When Job’s three friends Eliphaz... Bildad... and Zophar... heard about all the troubles that had come upon him they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him." Job 2:11
At the next heavenly council meeting, Satan suggested that God should take His protection away from Job’s body. If he got sick, Satan was sure Job would curse God.
God gave permission. Soon Job was so ill his friends who came to comfort him hardly recognized him.
Job’s friends thought it was his fault he was sick. When Job insisted he hadn’t done anything wrong, they argued, “God always punishes sin. This sickness is your punishment for something bad you did. Confess your sin and you’ll get better.”
Finally a young friend, Elihu, spoke. He said maybe Job’s sickness wasn’t because of something bad he did. Maybe God was just trying to teach Job a lesson....
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Genesis 11:1-9
TO CHEW ON: "Then they said, 'Come let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.'” Genesis 11:4
God was displeased with the people’s plan to build a tower. It wasn’t so much the building which displeased Him, but the attitude it showed. This tower plan showed pride. It was as if these people were saying, “Making this tower will prove we humans can do anything we are determined to do.”
God stopped the project. Which method did He use?1. Sent an earthquake2. Sent a plague of sickness3. Confused the languages so people could no longer understand each other.4. Caused the workers to go on strike.
In this way God reminded people of their human limits. We humans may be creative and ambitious and energetic and determined. But this story reminds us that God is greater than any human scheme or idea. If something is against His plan, He can shut it down in an instant.
PRAYER: Dear God, I want to honor and serve You with my life—not human pride and ambition. Amen
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 4:1-12
Detail from "Cain and Abel Offering Their Sacrifices" by Gustave Doré
TO CHEW ON: "Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.'” (Genesis 4:6,7)
God told Cain and Abel to sacrifice animals to Him. Cain and Abel both worshiped God by making sacrifices. But Cain disobeyed and offered fruit from the plants he had harvested. Abel obeyed and offered animals from his flock.
God was pleased with the animal sacrifice. He didn’t accept the plant sacrifice. He had told Cain what He wanted. Here are some things Cain could have done. Which one did he choose to do?...
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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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