TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 2:1-11
TO CHEW ON: "His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you.'" John 2:5
Have you been to a wedding? Which things would you find there?
beautiful clothes celebration sad music
smiling faces coffin camera tears
hearse flowers graduation cap & gown
birthday cake party good food decorations
Jesus, His disciples and His mother were invited to a wedding in Cana. I’m sure it was a joyful time like our weddings are today. But suddenly there was a wedding emergency. What embarrassing thing happened? (John 2:3) ________________
When Jesus’ mother found out there was no more wine, she told Jesus. Then she said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Even though Jesus had done no miracles up till then, His mother had faith He would know how to help.
"Wedding at Cana" - Artist unknown...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 4:4-15
TO CHEW ON: "Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.'” John 4:10
Which of these statements is true?
~ Water is the single most important substance on earth.
~ Our bodies are made up of 70% - 75% water.
~ Our bodies lose water when we sweat and go to the bathroom.
~ We can die from lack of water.
Yes, they’re all true.
Jesus was hot, tired and thirsty on His walk from Judea to Galilee. So it’s no shock He asked for a drink when he stopped at the Sychar well. But what is surprising is that he asked a woman, and a Samaritan woman at that (Jews hated Samaritans)....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 13:4-17
TO CHEW ON: “Now that I your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
Imagine walking barefoot in sandals along the hot dusty roads of Palestine. Are you thinking dusty, sweaty, grimy feet? When people arrived at someone’s house after such a journey, they wouldn’t walk all over the clean floors with their dusty feet. Instead a servant would be at the door, ready to wash the guests’ dirty feet.
When Jesus and His disciples gathered in an upstairs room to eat the Passover meal, there was no servant there to do this job. Then while the disciples were eating (with dirty feet) an unusual thing happened. The most important person in the room, the leader and teacher, Jesus, took off His outer coat. He wrapped a towel around His waist, poured water into a basin and, one by one, washed His disciples’ feet."Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet" - Artist unknown
After that, He told them they should wash one another’s feet, like He had washed their feet....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 3:1-8
TO CHEW ON: “Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again .' " - John 3:3
Nicodemus was no dummy. He had gone to school for many years to become a Pharisee. He was in government as a member of the ruling council, the Sanhedrin. Yet even though he knew a lot and was an important man, he really wanted to talk to Jesus. He went to see Jesus at night."Nicodemus" - Artist unknown
"You're obviously from God," Nicodemus said. "Otherwise how could you do the miracles you do?"
In reply Jesus didn't talk about where He was from. Instead He answered the question that was really on Nicodemus's mind - how to become part of God's kingdom....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Revelation 1:1-11
TO CHEW ON: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.... On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: 'Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches...'” Revelation 1: 1, 10-11
Where would you go to find out what will happen tomorrow? Today’s newspaper? The six o'clock news? The internet?
Of course we know none of these places will tell us. Only God knows what will happen tomorrow. So when God sent an angel to John (Jesus’ disciple) and told him to write down the things God would show him about the future, we need to pay attention. Most of the Bible book of Revelation is what John heard and saw in a vision about the future.John on Island of Patmos - Artist unknown
Though Revelation isn’t as easy to understand as a newspaper, you’ll find lots of interesting things in it. It has disaster and intrigue, dragons and mysterious horsemen, heroes and villains. Best of all, you’ll find...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Revelation 20:7-15
TO CHEW ON: "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever." Revelation 20:10
When you read a book, do you ever skip to the end, to see how it turns out? Today’s reading is the place we’d go to see how the story of the Bible, the story of the fight between God and Satan, ends."The Fall" by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Published 1907
Throughout time Satan has tried every trick to win. He started out by lying to Eve and persuading her to disobey God - to sin. Through the centuries he has lied to, stolen from, scared and tricked people. When Jesus came, Satan and his demons worked hard to destroy Him. Jesus was killed. But God used Satan’s plan to backfire on him. For Jesus didn’t stay dead. He rose, won over death and now everyone who trusts in Jesus’ death as payment for their sins wins over death as well.
1. What is Satan’s end (Revelation 20:10)?...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 2: 13-17
TO CHEW ON: “...Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” John 2:16
Jesus and His disciples went to the temple in Jerusalem for Passover. To celebrate the Passover, every worshiper had to offer an animal sacrifice and pay a tax. In Jesus’ time, the priests sold the sacrifice animals in the temple court (the outside section, like our lobby or foyer). They charged huge amounts of money for these birds and animals. They wouldn’t sacrifice any animals that weren’t bought from them."Jesus clears the temple" - Artist unknown
The tax had to be paid in temple coins. Money changers changed people’s everyday money into temple coins but they charged extra to make the exchange.
Jesus was furious when He went into the temple and found the priests were more concerned about making money than worshiping God....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Revelation 6:1-8
TO CHEW ON: "I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say, in a voice like thunder, 'Come!'" Revelation 6:1
If you get a letter in the mail, the untorn envelope and the stuck-tight flap tell you no one has opened the letter.
In Bible times, scroll letters were sealed with clay or wax. This clay or wax had the imprint of the sender’s seal - an impression of his ring or special stamp. This seal told the person who got the letter it was from the person who had stamped it, and it had not been opened. What was inside a letter stayed a mystery until the seal was broken and the letter was opened and read.
As John watched scenes of heaven, he saw the Lamb (Jesus) opening seven seals. Although these seals weren’t on actual letters, they were messages from God, telling John (and us) things that would happen in the future. Read about the first seals John saw. Then fill in the thing that each brought (pick the answer from the words below)....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 11:38-44
TO CHEW ON: "Then Jesus said, 'Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?'” John 11:40
When Lazarus got sick, his sisters Martha and Mary sent for Jesus right away. But He didn’t come. Meanwhile Lazarus got sicker and sicker. Finally he died. They wrapped his body tightly in strips of cloth and placed him in a tomb (most likely a cave).
Finally when Lazarus had been dead for four days, Jesus arrived. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would never have died,” Martha said to Jesus. She knew that Jesus had power to heal sick people. But she also knew once Lazarus was dead, it was too late for Jesus to do anything.
But Jesus didn’t know that! As He stood before Lazarus’ tomb , He told his sad friends, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”"Lazarus rising out of his grave" - Illustrator of 'Figures de la Bible' P. de Hondt (publisher), 1728
Then He called, “Lazarus come out!” What happened next? (John 11: 44) ___________________...
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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: Revelation 22:12-21
TO CHEW ON: "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.." Revelation 22:17
“Come!” What a welcome word to hear when we’re homesick. What a comforting word to hear when we’re lonely. What a delicious word to hear when we’re hungry or thirsty.
"Let everyone who is thirsty, Come" Designed by David Hetland (stained glass window Trinity Lutheran Church, Jamestown, North Dakota.)
The book of Revelation ends with this arms-wide-open invitation from God. Though our sins separated us from Him, Jesus made a way for us to be friends with God. God invites each one of us to come to Him by putting our faith in Jesus. When we do, God sees us as clean and holy. And we can look forward to spending eternity (forever and ever and ever and ever... to infinity) with Him in heaven....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 3:9-21
TO CHEW ON: “'How can this be?' Nicodemus asked." John 3:9
"Jesus the Savior of the World" - Artist unknown
Jesus told Nicodemus if he wanted to see the kingdom of God, he had to be born again. Nicodemus thought Jesus meant he actually had to be born from his mother again. Of course, Jesus didn’t mean that. But what did he mean?
He meant that Nicodemus had to have a new beginning (new birth) with God. How could this happen for Nicodemus? How does it happen for you and me?
1. Nicodemus, and all of us, have sinned (sin = disobeying God - even once).
2. The punishment for sin is death = separation from God forever.
3. Jesus is the only person who lived a sinless life. He is the only person who didn't need to die for His own sins.
4. But Jesus chose to die in our stead. God accepted His death as the payment for our sin. (It’s like when you’ve done something wrong, but someone else takes your punishment and you get off free)....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 13:18-30
TO CHEW ON: “'Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.'” - Jesus, John 13:21
Your brother promises to wait for you after school, but then walks home without you.
You tell your best friend a secret and ask her not to tell anyone. But the next day you find that five people in your class know your secret.
Your baseball team has its own signals. One day you play a team that knows exactly what each of your signals means.
You have been betrayed! Whether betrayal comes from someone disappointing you, telling your secrets or helping your enemy, being betrayed is not fun.
"My Betrayer Is Here" - Artist unknown
Jesus was betrayed too. His betrayer came to the garden where He was praying. He came with soldiers who were planning to arrest Jesus.
1. Who was the traitor? (John 18:1-6)a)____ Johnb)____ Peterc)____ Judas.
2. How did he betray Jesus: (Mark 14:43-46)a)____ He spread bad stories about Jesus all around town.b)____ He lost the money bag he was in charge of.c)____ He kissed Jesus to show the soldiers which person to arrest...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Revelation 6:9 -17
TO CHEW ON: "For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?" Revelation 6:17
Have you ever read an exciting book where the closer you came to the end, the more bad things happened? You looked at how few pages were left and wondered, how would the author ever straighten this out! In a way John’s vision in Revelation is like that. John saw more and more bad things as more seals were opened.
In the fifth seal, John heard the voices of people who had been killed for believing in God (martyrs). They asked God, how long until He would punish those who killed them. God answered, it would happen, but even more people would be martyred first.
Then came the sixth seal. It predicted some things that have never happened on earth. Read Revelation 6:12-17 and list five things John saw:184.108.40.206.5."The Opening of the Sixth Seal" by John Martin
Every day natural disasters like earthquakes, floods and erupting volcanoes take place somewhere on earth. The size of the disasters John saw here, though, were bigger than any our earth has ever seen. They help us understand how weak and helpless we humans are...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 4: 46-54
TO CHEW ON: "The royal official said, 'Sir, come down before my child dies.' 'Go,' Jesus replied, 'your son will live.' ” (John 4:49,50)
The royal official had tried everything to cure his son. Doctors, special baths, medicines – nothing had worked. Then he heard that Jesus was back in Cana. This was the Jesus that had made water into wine. It gave him an idea!
As fast as he could, he traveled the 30 kilometers (about 15 miles) from his home in Capernaum to Cana. Jesus was easy to find - in the middle of the biggest crowd.
"Nobleman asks Jesus to heal his son" - Artist unknown
But when the official asked Jesus to come home with him, Jesus didn’t go. Instead He sent the man home by himself with a promise: “You may go, your son will live.”
Would his son really get better without Jesus there, the official wondered. Before he reached home, an excited servant came out to meet him....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Revelation 4:1-11
TO CHEW ON: "Day and night they never stop saying, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.'” Revelation 4:8
Have you ever seen an angel? Have you seen Jesus? God? Heaven? Most of us haven’t. But God gave John a peek inside heaven. As we read his description, we get the feeling heaven is so incredibly magnificent, John had a hard time finding words to describe it.An Angel comes to Mary - Artist unknown
Look in Revelation 4:1-11 and then list:
1. Some of the sounds John heard:2. Some of the sights he saw:3. Some of the characters he watched:
But no matter how amazing everything else was, God was the center of heaven’s attention.4. Where was God and what did he look like?5. How did those who lived in heaven worship Him?...
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The Geography of the Bible
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The Journey of Abraham
Moses and the Exodus
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The Kingdom of David
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Israel in Jesus' Time
Paul's First Journey
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The Land of Egypt
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The Land of Greece
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Noah's Ark and Mt. Ararat
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Moses and the 10 Plagues
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