TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 5:27-31
TO CHEW ON: "Jesus answered them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'” Luke 5:31,32
One day Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi (also called Matthew) sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him. So Levi left his tax booth and went with Jesus."The Calling of Levi" - James Tissot, 1886 - 1896
Levi liked Jesus so much he wanted others to meet this new friend. He prepared a banquet and invited all his tax collector friends and Jesus.
Not everybody would have been comfortable at Levi's dinner. Most people hated tax collectors. One reason was they collected taxes for the Roman rulers. The Jews hated the Romans ruling over them.
Even worse, tax collectors usually asked for more than the Romans charged. Then they kept the extra to get rich themselves. People called them thieves and thought of them as sinners.
When the Pharisees and religious teachers saw Jesus at Levi’s party, they criticized Him. If He was such a wise teacher, how could He not know these men were sinners?...
Read More about What Would Jesus Do? »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 4:32-36
TO CHEW ON: "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had." Acts 4:32
It was only weeks after Jesus had returned to heaven. But the people who believed in Jesus lived with Holy Spirit power and amazing things happened. The Apostles - Peter, John and others - preached boldly. Signs and miracles happened everywhere. As a result thousands believed in Jesus.
These new followers of Jesus spent a lot of time together - meeting in the temple courts, praising God and boasting about what He had done. They even ate their meals together."The Apostles preaching" - Artist unknown
Another thing they did was share – everything they had. In fact, people were so generous, they sold their things and brought the money to the leaders to help pay for the needs of those who didn’t have enough. Not one of those early Christians needed to beg, use food stamps or go to the food bank....
Read More about The Sharing Church »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Titus 3:3-8
TO CHEW ON: "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." Titus 3:4,5Who is the worst person you’ve ever heard of? What did they do that made them so bad?
We may think of some people, like mass murderers or violent thieves as beyond help. People may say things about them like, “Put them in jail and throw away the key. That’s the best they deserve.”
This may be true. But then, none of us deserve any better as far as God is concerned. For though you and I may not have done really big bad things, we have sinned. And the punishment for our sin is death. All the good things we could ever do are not enough to earn God’s pardon and to make us His friends....
Read More about The Worst »
TODAY’S SPECIAL:2 Thessalonians 2:7-12
TO CHEW ON: And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:8
The Bible is a story of a fight. The fight is between light and darkness, love and hate, obedience and rebellion, good and evil, God and Satan. This fight began in the Garden of Eden when Satan, in the form of a snake, tempted Eve. He persuaded her to listen to him and eat fruit from the tree God had plainly forbidden. Sin (any act that defies God and sides with Satan) came into the world."The Fall" by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1907
Through history, God has done many things to fight Satan. He chose the Jews, gave them His laws, and commanded them to make sacrifices for sins. Then He sent His son Jesus, born of a Jewish mother, who became the final sacrifice for sin. Now we have the Holy Spirit who helps us resist Satan’s temptations and live for God.
The final showdown between God and Satan is still to come (although because Jesus rose from the dead, we know Satan’s power is...
Read More about The Enemy »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Song of Songs 2:8-13.
TO CHEW ON: "See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land." Song of Songs 2:11,12
Have you ever had a crush on someone? Though you are too young to fall in love and get married, the attraction of boys to girls and girls to boys is how God made you. The two sexes, male and female, need to come together to make babies so human life will continue.
Though having sex has become a dirty idea to many, it isn’t a bad thing. Sex was invented by God so that people could have companionship and make new families. It is a very good thing – with the right person and in the right time. (Genesis 2:24)
Q: Who is the right person?A: Your husband or wife.
Q: What is the right time?A: After you are married.
The Song of Songs is a poem written by Solomon about love between a man and a woman. It is full of joy, hope, new life and celebration. It shows us that God knows all about sex and has made it...
Read More about S** - It’s a Good Thing »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 John 5:1-5
TO CHEW ON: "In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world." 1 John 5:3,4
Which of these people would you obey?
doctor parent God
Did you choose them all? Name one reason to obey:
a policeman:a teacher:a doctor:a parent:God:
We have different reasons for obeying.
We may obey the policeman because we know if we don’t, he can fine, arrest or put us in jail. We obey out of fear....
Read More about Reasons to Obey »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 44:1-13,33-34
TO CHEW ON: “’Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.’” (Genesis 44:33,34)
Joseph’s brothers went back to their father with food. They told him about the mean Egyptian prince who said they must bring Benjamin with them next time. But Jacob said he would never let Benjamin go.
Soon the grain was gone and the family was desperate for food again. The brothers begged Jacob to let Benjamin go with them. Finally Benjamin’s older brother Judah promised that if the Egyptian prince threatened any harm to Benjamin, he would take his place.
When the brothers got to Egypt, the prince did a strange thing. He invited them to his home and served them a banquet. He even seated them in order of age from oldest to youngest. Then he gave Benjamin five times more food than everyone else. Finally he sent them on their way with the supplies they needed.
No sooner had they...
Read More about Pass or Fail? »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Proverbs 23:19-25
TO CHEW ON: "Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old." Proverbs 23:22
Have you ever had thoughts like this:- My parents are too serious. They just want me to work and not have any fun.- My parents are old fashioned. They don’t understand me and my friends.- My parents don’t let me do anything. All my friends are allowed to do it, why can’t I?
Kids getting along with parents, and parents getting along with kids has been a big deal since kids and parents were invented. In our Bible reading today, Solomon gives advice to kids on how to handle all the do's and don’t's that parents give.
Which things he does not say Proverbs 23:19-25 :1. Don’t join those who overeat and drink a lot of wine.2. As long as there’s an adult to supervise, you can go.3. Be disciplined.4. Make a project out of becoming wise and getting understanding.5. You become like the people with whom you hang out.6. It isn’t a big deal to your parents whether or not you obey them.7. When you show yourself a wise, good person, you’ll make your parents proud...
Read More about Parent Problems »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Micah 4:1-5
TO CHEW ON: "He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Micah 4:3
Can you remember a time when there was not a war happening somewhere on earth? I can’t. It seems that every night the news is full of problems in one part of the world or another. It’s much more usual to get news of more wars starting than to hear of people getting along. But Micah the prophet predicts such a war-free time.
Micah lived in Judah at the same time as Isaiah. God gave him messages for Samaria (capital of Israel) and Jerusalem (capital of Judah). They were messages of doom. “Samaria will be destroyed. Jerusalem has become just as bad. Soon it will be flattened and just a garbage dump.”
But Micah didn’t only predict bad news. God also gave him a message of hope. “In the last days Jerusalem will come back to life,” he said. “God Himself will rule from...
Read More about No Spears Needed »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Daniel 1:8-20
TO CHEW ON: "But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way." Daniel 1:8
“Can you please change the diet of me and my friends?” Daniel asked the guard. “We’d like to have vegetables and water instead of the king’s rich food.”
“You’re asking a dangerous thing,” the guard replied. “The king will have my head when the four of you look weak and get sick.
Daniel was taking a big chance by asking this favor from the guard in Nebuchadnezzar’s court. He and his three friends were Hebrew boys from Judah. They no longer lived at home but were exiles and servants in Babylon. The four boys were in special training to serve the king himself.
But Daniel was determined. He knew that the royal food was not prepared the way God had commanded in the law. He wanted to honor and obey God every way he could....
Read More about No Compromise »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jonah 3:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened." Jonah 3:10
God did ask Jonah to go to Nineveh again. This time Jonah said “yes.”
When he got to this large city, he walked around, shouting: “If you don’t stop being wicked and violent, God will destroy in you in forty days. Instead fast, put on sackcloth and pray to God. Pray hard. Who knows, God might still spare you.”
Jonah was secretly wishing God would destroy Nineveh. It was the capital city of the country of Assyria. The Assyrians were known for their cruelty. They had often been mean to the people of Israel and Judah
But the people of Nineveh were not mean to Jonah. They didn’t tease or laugh at him. Instead, they listened. Even their king came out to hear what Jonah had to say. Then he did exactly what Jonah said. He told all the people to do the same....
Read More about Loving Enemies »
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....
Read More about Love »
TODAY’S SPECIAL:2 John 1-13
TO CHEW ON: "I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." 2 John 5-6
To “walk in love” means different things to different people. To some it means having a crush on a special person. To others it means having a best friend who is always there for you. To still others it means constant reminders of someone’s love in the form of gifts and nice things.
But really loving each other is not nearly as soft and fuzzy as the things above would make us think. It’s all about choices. It’s about not doing the unloving thing and doing the loving thing. It’s about actions. It's about loving things that we do whether or not we feel loving.
I Corinthians 13:1-13 tells us some of the difficult things a person who lives a loving life does or doesn’t do. Which ways to “walk in love,” below, are hard for you?Being patientNot being rudeBeing kindNot getting angryNot boastingProtecting othersNot being proudTrusting othersNot looking after my own interests firstBeing hopeful (positive)Not remembering bad things done...
Read More about In Love »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 10:29-37
TO CHEW ON: "...so he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'” Luke 10:29
One day when Jesus was teaching in the province of Judea Mr. Scripture Expert came to Him with a question. He looked proud of himself as he asked, “What do I do to get eternal life?”
“What’s written in the law (Bible)?” Jesus asked.
“Love the Lord with all your heart ...and love your neighbor as yourself,” Mr. Expert replied.
“Do this and you’ll get that life,” Jesus told him.
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus answered that question by telling a story (today’s “Read”). In it bandits robbed and beat up a Jewish man. As he lay unconscious beside the road a priest came along. He saw the beat up traveler and crossed to the other side of the road. A Levite did the same thing. Then along came a Samaritan....
Read More about He’s My Neighbor? »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Zephaniah 3:11-17
TO CHEW ON: "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Again Judah was in a mess. When King Manasseh died, his idol-worshiping son Amon became king. Amon was king for just two years when officials murdered him and crowned his eight-year-old son Josiah to be king instead.
God gave another prophet named Zephaniah, messages for King Josiah. Most were not popular. “God’s judgment day is coming,” he said one day. “If Judah doesn’t return to God, it will be destroyed, just the like nations around it. Jerusalem will be destroyed too. Only a few people from it will be saved.”
Then Zephaniah ended his stern message with the beautiful picture of a God who can also be gentle. He is a God who loves and cares for those who stay true to Him.
Have you ever seen a mother or father quiet a crying baby? How do they do it?
In our reading today, God is that parent. He quiets His restless children with...
Read More about God’s Lullabies »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Galatians 5:16-26
TO CHEW ON: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22,23a
What do you like about fruit - its sweetness? Its juiciness? The way it feels in your mouth? What is your favorite kind of fruit?
If you live in a place where fruit grows, you know only certain plants produce fruit. You don’t expect to pick apples from an oak tree or find blackberries on a cedar bush. Even fruit trees can only produce one kind of fruit. Plum trees will not grow peaches, neither will cherry trees grow pineapples.
We can think of people as plants. Their fruit is the things they do. But unlike plants, people’s lives can grow many kinds of fruit - a real fruit salad.
In the letter he wrote to the church in Galatia, Paul talks about the kinds of fruit a person who has given their life to Jesus should grow. It's Holy Spirit fruit. When we give Jesus our lives and let the Holy Spirit change us to be like Him, our lives will grow this kind of fruit too....
Read More about Fruit Salad »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 10:1-8
TO CHEW ON: "At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion...” Acts 10:1
Cornelius was not a Jew but a Gentile. It wasn’t only his race that made the Jewish people want to avoid him. His job was a problem too. He was a centurion (centurion = captain) in the Roman army. Roman soldiers often mistreated the Jews. Jewish people were suspicious and afraid of Cornelius.
But Cornelius had some surprising beliefs for a Roman soldier. Unscramble the words below that tell about him (Acts 10:2):He (dreefa)________ (dgo)________.He (vgae)___________ to those in need.He (yrdepa) __________ to God regularly.
One afternoon an angel talked to him in a vision. The angel told him God had noticed his prayers and gifts. He was to send someone to Joppa, find Simon Peter and bring him to his house in Caesarea. God looked past Cornelius’s race and job, into his heart. He knew Cornelius wanted to know Him better. Peter (who was a Jew) would help with that – or would he?
"Cornelius is confronted by the angel" by Caspar Luiken, 1672-1708
Do you ever jump to conclusions about what a person is like because of their skin color, the fact that they are...
Read More about Centurion Summons Simon »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ephesians 3:14-21
TO CHEW ON: "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." Ephesians 3:17b,18The highest mountain on earth is 29,0781 feet above sea level. What is its name?
a) Mt. McKinleyb) Mt. Everestc) Mt. K2The deepest ocean trench is over 36,0002 feet under the sea. What is its name?
a) Mariana Trenchb) Japan Trenchc) Aleutian Trench...
Read More about BIG Love »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 20:32-42
TO CHEW ON: "Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord saying, "The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever."'” 1 Samuel 20:42
King Saul’s jealousy meant that the palace was no longer a safe place for David. Saul even told his servants and his son Jonathan to kill David if they got the chance. So David left to live somewhere else. This made Jonathan sad. He liked David a lot. In fact, you could say they were best friends.
One day Prince Jonathan asked his father, “Why are you trying to kill David? He doesn’t mean you any harm.”
“You’re probably right,” King Saul answered. He promised to stop trying to kill David. Then Jonathan convinced David to come back and live in the palace again. But no sooner had he moved back when again Saul tried to kill him and David had to run for his life....
Read More about Best Friends »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 10:24-35
TO CHEW ON: "Then Peter began to speak: 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.'" Acts 10:34,35
Peter went back with Cornelius’s servants to Caesarea. Even though Cornelius and his men were Gentiles and not Jews, Peter knew God wanted him to visit Cornelius. Peter probably had an idea his vision was about more than eating unclean food. After he heard Cornelius’s story, Peter knew God was telling him to accept people he had thought of as unclean. What two things did Peter learn (Acts 10:34,35)?
"Peter and Cornelius" - Artist Unknown
1. God does not _____________________________________________2. God accepts ______________________________________________
God hasn’t changed. He still loves everyone – no matter what color their skin, what language they speak or where they live. We should love them too....
Read More about Accepting All People »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 5:1-14
TO CHEW ON: “Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, 'If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.' ” 2 Kings 5:2,3
Suppose you were a little girl who, one day, was captured by enemy soldiers. They took you far away from home. Alone in a new country, you had to work for the people who captured you. This was what happened to the little Israeli girl who worked for Captain Naaman’s wife.
One day she noticed her mistress was very sad. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“My husband has leprosy,” Naaman’s wife answered.
Now the little girl could have been selfish. She could have thought, this man’s soldiers took me away from my parents. He deserves to be sick. But that wasn’t her attitude. Instead she thought about how she could help Captain Naaman. And she thought of prophet Elisha. He did amazing things. He had even raised a little boy from the dead.
“If only my master could see the prophet who is in Samaria,” she said. “He...
Read More about A Little Girl’s Big Love »
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
Bible Stories with Maps
Coloring Book Images