TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 4:1-7
TO CHEW ON: "Elisha replied, 'How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?''Your servant has nothing there at all,' she said, 'except a small jar of olive oil.'” 2 Kings 4:2
Elisha became a leader among the prophets like Elijah was before him. One day the wife of a prophet who had died came to Elisha with a big problem. “My husband owed a man some money,” she said. “Now that man says if I don’t pay back the debt, he’ll make my sons his slaves.”
“What do you have in your house?” Elisha asked.
“Only a little oil,” the woman replied.
“Here’s what to do,” Elisha said. “Send your boys out to gather oil containers. Collect as many as you can. Then close the door of your house and fill all those containers with the oil you have.”
How would she ever fill even one container with the little bit of oil she had, the woman wondered. Yet she did as Elisha said. After her sons had collected bottles, jugs and jars of all shapes and sizes from the neighborhood, they began to fill them. And an amazing thing happened. The oil never ran...
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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: Joshua 3:1-17
TO CHEW ON: “Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap .... So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.” Joshua 3:15,16
Excitement filled the air. Today was the day! After living in the desert and in tents for forty years, walking miles in the heat, sleeping in the cold, eating only manna for as long as they could remember, the Israelites would enter Canaan, their new home.
People made manna sandwiches and filled up water skins. They packed their clothes and tools, rolled up their tents and got in line. The priests who carried the ark led the way.
But there was one HUGE – problem. In order to enter Canaan, they had to cross the Jordan River which was wide and fast-flowing. How would they do it?
“Tell the priests to keep walking toward the river,” God told Joshua.
When the priests were nearly at the water’s edge, God gave the next instruction. “Tell the priests to step in the river and stand there.”
So even though the river...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 8:26-39
TO CHEW ON: "Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus." Acts 8:35
Imagine you are an African government official. You are living shortly after Jesus died. You believe in God. In fact your boss, Queen Candace of Ethiopia, has just given you time off to worship Him in Jerusalem. Now you are on your way home. You’re reading more about God from a scroll (a Bible-time book of Scriptures) called Isaiah. The trouble is, it doesn’t make sense.
Suddenly a man appears beside your chariot. (But you’re on a desert road from Israel to North Africa. Where did he come from?)"The Ethiopian Converted" - by O.A. Stemler & B.B. Cleaveland, 1925
He asks you what you’re reading. When you tell him you don’t understand it, he joins you in the chariot and explains it all as you ride along. He tells you the good news about Jesus. He even shows you that Jesus was the one you were reading about in the scroll....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Joshua 6:1-5 & 20
TO CHEW ON: "Then the Lord said to Joshua, 'See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.' " Joshua 6:2
The first city the Israelites faced after they crossed the Jordan River was Jericho. It had walls, an army and a king. The Israelites were not trained soldiers. They had no armor to protect them. Their weapons were simple. How could they ever defeat Jericho and make this city their own?
God gave Joshua a plan or strategy. His instructions are below, but they are all mixed up. Put them in the right order: (see Joshua 6:3-5)
1. The priests should blow a loud blast on the ram's horn and trumpet.
2. The people should march around the city once per day for six days.
3. The people should shout with a loud shout.
4. On the seventh day the people should march around the city seven times....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 20:20-29
TO CHEW ON:"As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated." 2 Chronicles 20:22
It was the morning of battle day. The day before, the prophet had told Jehoshaphat that God would fight this battle for him and his soldiers. But the army still had to go to the battlefield. “Have faith in God,” Jehoshaphat encouraged the men, “and you will be successful.
Then Jehoshaphat arranged his army in a strange way. Who did he put at the front? (2 Chronicles 20:21)1. Chariots and horsemen.2. A choir of singers and praisers.3. The most skilled fighters with bows and arrows.
As the army marched to the battlefield the singers, who led the troops, began to sing and praise God. When they did this an amazing thing happened. Trouble broke out in the enemy camp. The Ammonites and Moabites began to fight against the soldiers from Mount Seir. After that they fought and killed each other.
When Jehoshaphat’s army came to the hill overlooking the battlefield, there was no one left to fight. They trusted God and praised Him for helping them...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Judges 16:4-22
TO CHEW ON: "With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it. So he told her everything.” Judges 16:16,17
“I’m in love with a Philistine girl,” Samson announced to his dad one day. “Get her for me.”
Samson’s parents didn’t approve. “Can’t you find a good homegrown girl to marry?” they asked. But Samson insisted. And so began his up-and-down relationship with the Philistines.
The marriage soon went sour when Samson’s new wife tricked him. He left her. When he went back, he found that she was now married to someone else. That made him furious. He caught 300 foxes, tied their tails together, lit them on fire and released them to burn the Philistines’ fields of wheat, grapes and olives.
And so it went. Again and again Samson had dealings with the Philistines and got double-crossed. That made him angry and, with his strength from God, he got even. Once he killed 1000 men with only the bone of a donkey as a weapon.
Another time he escaped capture by breaking ropes he was tied with, then busting open the gates of the city by pulling them off their hinges. In this way...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 7:1-13
TO CHEW ON: “ Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.” Exodus 7:4b, 5
Suppose someone told you to do something but at the same time told you that you would fail? Wouldn’t you be tempted to ask what’s the use and then not do it?
This is what happened to Moses and Aaron. When God told them about talking to Pharaoh, He said He would harden Pharaoh’s heart. At first Pharaoh wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron.
But God also told Moses the end of the story. In the end God would judge the Egyptians for mistreating the Israelites. The Israelites would be allowed to leave Egypt.
Many things in life are the same way. We may not have friends on the first day at a new school, but if we keep being friendly, we will make new friends. We may not understand the math lesson the first time the teacher explains it, but if we keep trying, finally...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 4:1-17
TO CHEW ON: "He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if it were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it." Exodus 4:16,17
Suppose you have these jobs. Which tool(s) would you pick to do each one?
1. empty water from a boat2. plant a garden3. cut grass4. write a story5. take a picture6. cook dinner7. paint a house8. rake leaves
Obviously we need different tools for different jobs.
When God gave Moses the job of bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, He gave him tools for that job. These tools may have seemed surprising to Moses....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 3:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money." Acts 3:3
The man who sat at the temple entrance to beg had always been crippled. As a boy he had never climbed trees, played tag or walked to a friend’s home to play. By now he was used to not being able to walk. He didn’t ask for much any more -- just a few coins to buy food and pay rent.
His life was hard and disappointing. He had few nice surprises. I’m sure he didn’t expect much to change. Probably after he asked Peter for money and heard his answer: “Silver and gold I do not have...” he was already feeling disappointed."St. Peter and St. John cure the lame man" - Nicolas Poussin 1655
But in the instant that Peter took the man’s hand and lifted him to his feet, God’s power came into his body. His feet and ankles became strong. He could walk for the first time -- and leap and skip and jump! God gave him, not what he asked for but something far, far better....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Numbers 20:1-13
TO CHEW ON: "But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.' ” Numbers 20:12
Now the Israelites kept traveling from place to place. While in the desert of Zin they ran out of water. As usual the people came to Moses to complain. “Why did you bring us here,” they whined. “There is no grain. There are no figs, grapes, and pomegranates. Now we have no water.”
When Moses and Aaron asked God what to do, God said to Moses, “Take your staff, gather the people and speak to that rock.”
So Moses did exactly as God had said – almost. He took his staff, gathered the people at the rock but then, instead of speaking to the rock, he hit it with his staff.
Water gushed out and the people stopped complaining and began drinking and filling up water jugs.
God had answered Moses’ prayer. But He was not pleased with Moses’ disobedience. Even though he was the leader God had chosen, and God had often talked to him like...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 10:21-29
TO CHEW ON: Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.” “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.” Exodus 10:28,29
What is the darkest place you have ever been? Did you know that in complete darkness you can’t see the step in front of you or your fingers right in front of your eyes?
When Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go after everything that had happened (Nile water turned to blood, frogs, gnats, flies, sick cattle, boils, hailstones and locusts), God sent darkness.
Imagine sleeping all night but in the morning when it’s time to get up – no light! And then imagine only heavy darkness through a second day, and a third. The people began to panic. What if it always stayed dark? What if the sun never came out again?
But, was it dark where the Israelites lived? ___________ (Exodus 10:23).
After three days Moses got this message, “Come to the palace. Pharaoh wants to talk.”
However, when Moses and Aaron came, Pharaoh wanted to make his own rules. “The people can go,” he said....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 15:22-27
TO CHEW ON: " He said, 'If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.' ” Exodus 15:26
Think of a time you were very thirsty. What did it feel like? What did you want more than anything?
After the Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea, Moses led the people into the desert. A desert is a dry place. It is often hot. As the people walked through the desert, they took sips from their water bottles. But soon all their water was gone. And theyfound no water for three days!
Walking anywhere for three days with little or no water is bad. But walking through the hot dry desert without water is scary. It’s no wonder when they got to a place with water, they went straight to it. A drink at last!
But no. The water tasted bitter. It probably isn’t even safe....
Read More about I need a drink »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Daniel 5:1-6
TO CHEW ON: "Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking" Daniel 5:5,6.
What is the most mysterious thing you have ever seen?
I’m sure that for King Belshazzar it was the night a body-less hand wrote on his wall.
The night started out as a fun party. To make it special, Belshazzar served wine in the gold goblets brought from the temple in Jerusalem. Everyone was having a great time eating, drinking, talking, laughing, and dancing when from nowhere a hand appeared. When Belshazzar saw it, he stared. How could this be? The longer he watched, the more scared he became. Whose hand was this? The words were in a language he couldn’t read. What did they say? What did they mean?
The queen mother saw how frightened he was. “I know who will be able to read this,” she said. Then she called for Daniel....
Read More about God’s Graffiti »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 2:20-32
TO CHEW ON: " And the Lord did what Moses asked. The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained. But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go." Exodus 8:31,32
Have you ever been caught in a plague of creatures or insects? Maybe the trees in your town were attacked by tent caterpillars. Or your home was invaded by ants. I heard of a city in India that was overrun with monkeys.
What was your plague?How long did it last?How did it end?
This is what happened to the Egyptians when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt.Nile river is turned to blood - by James Tissot
First Moses turned the Nile River into blood. Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go.
Then came the plague of frogs. Imagine frogs everywhere, jumping onto your bed, into your glass of milk, up your pant leg. Still Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go....
Read More about Frogs, Gnats, Flies and a Hard Heart »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 12:29-36
TO CHEW ON: "During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, 'Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested.' ” Exodus 12:31
Imagine that first Passover night. Your family did exactly what Moses said. Your dad killed the lamb and painted its blood on the doorframe. Your Mom roasted the lamb’s meat. Then your family ate it with herbs and flat bread. For this meal you were dressed and ready to leave at a moment’s notice. But you weren’t allowed outside because God had said to stay in until morning.Pharaoh commands Moses to leave Egypt - by James Tissot
Just after midnight the wailing from the Egyptians began. It woke you as it got louder, spreading from house to house. Soon there was crying everywhere – from the poorest servant’s shack to Pharaoh’s palace. For in every Egyptian house, including Pharaoh’s palace, the firstborn son had died.
Pharaoh sent for Moses. “Take your flocks and your families,” he shouted. “Take everything and get out!”
As the sun rose on a new day, your family packed. You packed your clothes, your pets, your toys, your dishes, your beds. You gathered all your...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Daniel 2:14-28
TO CHEW ON:"Daniel replied, 'No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come.'” Daniel 2:27, 28a
Arioch, the commander of Nebuchadnezzar’s guard had an unpleasant job. He was supposed to kill all the wise men of Babylon. This was because King Nebuchadnezzar had had a dream which he couldn't remember. When his wise men couldn't tell him what he had dreamed and what his dream meant, he ordered them all killed.
But when Arioch came to Daniel to give him the bad news, Daniel was surprised. He hadn't heard anything about Nebuchadnezzar and his dream problem. Daniel begged for more time. Then he gathered his friends and the four of them prayed that God would tell him what Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed and what it meant.
During the night God answered Daniel's prayer. Early the next morning he went to Arioch. “Don’t kill any of the wise men,” he said. “Instead, take me to the king. I know the dream and its meaning.”
Arioch took Daniel to the king.
Then Daniel told...
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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: Luke 5: 1-11
TO CHEW ON: "He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat." Luke 5:3
Would you lend it?
~ Your friend asks to borrow your bike to deliver papers.~ Your sister needs to use your markers to finish her homework.~ Your mom needs to borrow change from you for the parking meter.
Would you lend these things? Your answer will probably show if you’re the kind of person who easily shares your things or likes to keep them for yourself.
Simon must have been a sharer. One day Jesus got into Simon’s boat, asked him to row it a way from the shore and then used it as a platform for teaching the people. Never once did Simon say: “Why should I let you use my boat?”"Jesus teaching from a boat" - James Tissot
Later, after the people went home, Jesus thanked Simon in an amazing way. Though Simon and his partners hadn’t caught any fish the night before, Jesus told Simon to try fishing again. What happened when they let down their nets now? (Luke 5:6)...
Read More about Fish! »
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: Daniel 6:12-23
TO CHEW ON: “ 'My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.' ” Daniel 6:22
“Bring them in!” commanded king Darius to his servant.
The Babylon rulers smirked as they entered and bowed before the king. “We’ve found someone who broke your new law,” they said. “We caught Daniel praying to his God.”
Darius was shocked. Not Daniel! He was his favorite servant. And then he understood. The other rulers were jealous of Daniel. They wanted him gone. They knew that he prayed to his God three times a day. So that was why they had come to the king and suggested he pass the new law. It said that for thirty days it was illegal to pray to anyone but the king. Punishment for disobeying was death by hungry lions.
All day King Darius tried to get Daniel freed. But he couldn’t. “May the God whom you serve rescue you,” he said to Daniel as servants tossed him into the lions' den....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL:2 Kings 4:27-37
TO CHEW ON: "He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord." 2 Kings 4:33
Elisha and his servant Gehazi did a lot of traveling. One day they went to Shunem. A rich woman there invited them for a meal in her house. Then, knowing Elisha often traveled to Shunem, she and her husband fixed up a room for Elisha and his servant. Now every time they came to town, they had a place to stay.
One day Elisha asked the woman, “After all you’ve done for us, what can we do for you?”
“I have everything I need,” she said.
“She doesn’t have any children,” Gehazi said to Elisha after she had left.
“Right,” said Elisha. “Call her back.”
When the woman came, Elisha said to her, “By this time next year, God will give you a son.”
Sure enough, a year later, she had a baby boy. She had never been happier! But one day, when the little boy was with his dad, he got sick. “My head! My head!” he cried. Servants carried him home. But a little while later he died.
Immediately his mother saddled a donkey and went to find Elisha. If anyone...
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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:126.96.36.199.5."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...
Read More about And More and More and More… »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 14:15-31TO CHEW ON: "And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant." Exodus 14:31Even after God spoke to him, Moses kept crying to God for help. Finally God interrupted Moses’ frantic prayer. “Stop praying,” God said. “Get busy. Here’s my plan.”
The waters are divided by James Tissot
Read the story in Exodus 14:15-31, then cross out the three things, below, that did not happen:
1. Moses stretched out his staff toward the sea.2. The cloud came between the Israelites and the Egyptian army.3. The Egyptians bothered the Israelites all night.4. An east wind turned the sea into dry land.5. The Israelites waded through the sea in waist-deep water.6. The Israelites walked across the sea on dry ground.7. The Egyptian army followed the Israelites into the sea.8. The Egyptian army became confused.9. When Moses gave the signal, the sea rushed back into place.10. Some of the Egyptians got across in canoes.11. The whole Egyptian army drowned in the sea that day....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 28:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured." (Acts 28:8,9)
Paul had just come through a two-week storm and a hair-raising shipwreck. The sailors and passengers had landed on the Island of Malta. You’d think he would be asking for a holiday. But not Paul!
"Paul sails for Rome" - Artist unknown (after Gustave Dore)
First he helped collect firewood. When a viper (a poisonous reptile) fastened itself to his hand, the superstitious islanders thought this was a sign Paul was a murderer. They watched closely to see him fall over dead. When Paul didn’t die they thought he was a god....
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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: 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...
Read More about A Letter and a Prayer »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 20:1-11
TO CHEW ON: “'Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, 'This is what the Lord, the God of your father David says: "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life . . ."’” 2 Kings 20:5,6a
Hezekiah was very ill. The doctors expected him to die. Even the prophet Isaiah said, “Put your affairs in order, because you’re going to die.”
But Hezekiah didn’t want to die. As Isaiah left the room, he turned his face to the wall and began to cry. As he wept, he prayed, “God, I’ve tried to please you. I’ve served you wholeheartedly...”...
Read More about A Deathbed Prayer »
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...
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