TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 20:17-24
TO CHEW ON: "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace." Acts 20:24
What’s important to you?- Winning the championship?- Getting an A on the test - or even just a pass?- Pleasing your parents?- Hanging out with friends?- Going on a holiday?
Though these things are good and should be important to you, there is something even more important. It is discovering and doing the job Jesus has for you."Paul's farewell to the Ephesians elders" - Artist unknown
As Paul said farewell to the Christians in Ephesus, he knew that some not-so-nice things might be ahead for him. The Holy Spirit had warned him that a]____________ and b]______________ awaited him (Acts 20:23). But that didn’t make him want to stop serving God....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 14:8-20
TO CHEW ON: "Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead." Acts 14:19
Have you ever been to a sports game where the hometown team starts making mistakes? Very quickly a cheering crowd turns into a hissing, booing one.
Paul and Barnabas found this out. When they came to Lystra, Paul healed a man who had never walked."Paul heals the man at Lystra" - Caspar Luiken, 1672-1708
After seeing that, the people were in awe of Barnabas and Paul....
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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: Philippians 3:10-14
TO CHEW ON: But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13b, 14
Each member of your baseball team has to sell 20 boxes of chocolates as a fund-raiser. But after tramping the neighborhood for an hour and hearing “No thanks” at every door, do you feel like giving up?
When you keep going in spite of everything it’s called “perseverance.” We can learn a lot about perseverance from some Bible characters. Which person:
1. Begged Pharaoh many times to let his people leave Egypt? (a. Jacob, b. Joseph, c. Moses).
2. Prayed for years before God gave her a son? (a. Mary, b. Hannah, c. Eve)
3. Prayed, and then sent his servant to check six times before he saw a rain cloud? (a. Elijah, b. Nathan, c. Samuel)....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Nehemiah 6:1-16
TO CHEW ON: "So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God." Nehemiah 6:15,16
The wall was nearly done. There were no more broken gaps and only the gates were missing. But instead of the opposition getting less, it got worse. One day Nehemiah got another message from Sanballat and Geshem. “Come to a meeting in a nearby village,” it said.
Nehemiah smelled trouble. He was sure these men were planning to harm him. He sent back word, “I’m busy on a big project.”\
They didn’t give up easily. Three more times they called him to a meeting. Finally on the fifth try, the messenger showed Nehemiah another letter from Sanballat. It said, “We know that you and the Jews are plotting a revolution. You’re planning to become king. If you don’t want this reported back to Artaxerxes, you’d better meet with us.”
Still Nehemiah refused to be distracted. “These are all lies,” he wrote back. “You’re making this up out of your head.”
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 40: 1-16, 34, 35
TO CHEW ON: "Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle." Exodus 40:34,35
After Moses had cleaned up the golden calf, God rewrote the smashed tablets of stone. Then Moses asked the people to collect things for building the tabernacle. People brought gold jewelry, beautiful cloth, colorful thread, dyed animal hides, gem stones, spices, incense and oil. Soon there was enough.Israelites bring treasures for the Tabernacle - Artist unknown
Next God told Moses which talented artists and builders to put in charge of building the tabernacle. They organized and taught volunteers who made all the parts of the tabernacle and its furniture and tools.
Finally the tent church and all its furniture was built. On the first day of the first month God told Moses to put up the tabernacle. He also told him exactly where to put each piece of furniture along with each utensil and tool.
God told Moses to dress Aaron and his sons in the special priest clothes. As they stood...
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 18:20-33
TO CHEW ON: "Abraham said, 'Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?'He said, 'For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.'Then he said, 'May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?'He answered, 'For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.'” Genesis 18:31,32
One day three men came to visit Abraham. He welcomed them, washed their dusty feet and fed them a hot dinner. As they talked, Abraham realized that these visitors weren’t ordinary men. Two of them were angels and one was God Himself, in human form.
After their visit, as Abraham walked down the road with them God turned to him and said, “I’m going to tell you what I’m planning to do.” Then He explained how He had heard that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were sinful and violent. He said if the angels found that to be true, He would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.
Immediately Abraham thought of Lot. He had moved near Sodom. So Abraham begged God to spare the city if there...
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