TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 3:5-15
TO CHEW ON: "The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this." 1 Kings 3:10
Suppose one day God came to you and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” What would you ask for?
This very thing happened to young Solomon. It was in the beginning of his reign. He was about twenty years old and he didn’t have much experience. Every day he realized more what a big job it was to be king. One night he had a dream. In that dream God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
Think of all of the things for which Solomon could have asked. Can you list some?...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 26:36-46
TO CHEW ON: “'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'” - Jesus, Matthew 26:39
After Jesus and His disciples had eaten the Passover meal they went for a walk. They walked to a garden called Gethsemane. But it was not a relaxing, enjoyable time for Jesus. He knew what was ahead of Him.1. Choose the words that describe how He felt: (Matthew 26:37,38)
Happy Sorrowful Giddy
Troubled Relaxed Sleepy
It’s easy to think of Jesus as someone who was so God-like that He wasn’t affected by sadness, dread or wanting His own way. But here, in this garden, we see Jesus praying, and begging His heavenly Father for something.2. What does He ask for? (Matthew 26:39) _________________________________.
Jesus praying in the Garden - Artist unknown...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 38:1-6
TO CHEW ON: "This is what the Lord says: ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but whoever goes out to the Babylonians will live. They will escape with their lives: they will live.’" Jeremiah 38: 2
None of us likes to bring unwelcome news. Yet when God told Jeremiah to say things that were opposite of what everyone wanted to hear, he said them even though it got him into big trouble.
It was now about sixteen years after Jehoiachim had burned Jeremiah’s scroll. Jehoiakim had died. Babylon was getting stronger every day. Its king Nebuchadnezzar had made Zedekiah king of Judah. But Nebuchadnezzar really wanted Judah for himself. When he came with his army and surrounded Jerusalem, King Zedekiah asked Jeremiah if God had any message for him.
“Yes,” Jeremiah told him, “the Babylonian army will capture the city and burn it down.”
Zedekiah and his officials didn’t like the sound of that, so they put Jeremiah in prison. But he had more to say. “Give yourselves up to the Babylonian army,” he told everyone who came to see him. “If you stay in this city, you’ll die.”
Jeremiah’s words enraged Zedekiah’s officials. “He’s...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 3:1-8
TO CHEW ON: "Many are saying of me, 'God will not deliver him.' But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Psalm 3:2,3
Have you ever been in big trouble? Maybe some bullies at school are picking on you, or someone in your family is deathly sick, or your house was wrecked in a storm or fire – or some other thing. What do you do when big trouble comes?
When David wrote Psalm 3, he had a big problem. By now he had been king for many years. He also had many children. One of his sons, Absalom, was ambitious. He wanted to become king instead of David.
Secretly Absalom won the hearts of the people. He did this by talking to each person who came with a problem for the king to judge. He said things like, “Isn’t it a shame the king is too busy to hear you? Now if only I were the king, things would be different.”
After acting like this for four years, he made his move. Without his father knowing it Absalom went to Hebron. Then he sent secret messengers through the land. They told...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Joshua 9:1-21
TO CHEW ON: "The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord." Joshua 9:14
Have you ever been tricked? Maybe you were tricked for a good thing, like having someone throw a surprise party for you. Or maybe it was for a bad thing, like falling when someone pulled a chair away. The Israelites had a trick played on them the day some raggedy strangers rode into camp.
“Who are you and what do you want?” Joshua asked them.
“We’re people from a far country,” they told him. “We’ve heard about how God has helped you and we’re scared of you. We want to sign a peace treaty with you.”
“How do I know that you’re not from close by?” Joshua asked.
“Here’s proof,” the men said. They showed Joshua dry, moldy bread, cracked wineskins, torn faded clothes and worn out sandals. “These things were all new when we started on this trip,” they told Joshua. “We’ve been traveling so long the bread got moldy, the wineskins cracked and our clothes wore out.”
The Israelites eat the Gibeonites bread - Artist unknown
Joshua and the people tried the bread. It was very old. They examined the wineskins and the clothes. They...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ezra 8:21-32
TO CHEW ON: "There by Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children and all our possessions." Ezra 8:21
Ezra hugged the king’s letter to himself. He could hardly believe it – permission to go back home! He opened the letter and read it again. Yes, there it was. Not only could he gather the people for the trip back to Jerusalem, but the king was also sending gold and silver to replace the temple furniture.
About sixty years had passed since the first exiles had returned to Jerusalem. King Xerxes and Esther were now dead and a new king, Artaxerxes, ruled in Babylon. Ezra, a man who had spent his whole life studying God’s laws, was the leader of the exiles.
Quickly Ezra spread the word that they could go home to Jerusalem. People packed their belongings and gathered at Ahava Canal from where they would set out. Soon the crowd had swelled to 1700 people. Everyone was eager to get going.
But Ezra was worried. The trip would be long. With all the gold and silver they were carrying, they...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL:2 Corinthians 12:7-10
TO CHEW ON: "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9
Do you or someone you know have any of the following:
- crooked teeth - epilepsy - poor hearing- diabetes- poor eyesight
These are what Paul might have called a “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7). You know that a thorn poking into you won’t kill you. But it hurts just the same. When there's a thorn in your shoe and you're trying to walk it's annoying, always there, and not easy to ignore....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Romans 7: 14-25
TO CHEW ON: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Romans 7:15
What happens when someone says, “Close your eyes and don’t peek”? Do you have a big urge to open your eyes and DO exactly what you’ve been told NOT TO DO?
That seems to be what happens when you concentrate on the things God tells you not to do. You know that disobeying our parents, stealing, lying and being jealous are things God tells you not to do. But have you ever found that the more you concentrate on those ‘don’ts’ the more you find yourself doing them?
In his letter to the Romans, Paul talked about the way people tend to act and feel this way. It is what makes it more natural for us to disobey God than obey Him. Later we feel sorry that we did what God said we shouldn't.
How do we escape from this circle of knowing we shouldn’t do something but doing it anyway? Paul gives us the answer....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 17:8-15
TO CHEW ON: "So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning." Exodus 17:10,11
As the dust clouds on the horizon got bigger, word spread through the camp: “Someone is coming!” Soon the Israelites could make out galloping camels and on their backs, desert nomads. It was the Amalekites. Did they come in peace or war? Before the men could get organized, the raiders reached the camp and attacked.
The Bible doesn’t tell us if the Amalekites came to kill people or to steal the stuff. But we do know that soon after this attack, Moses told Joshua to pick some men and go after those quarrelsome Amalekites.
While the men fought, Moses stood on a hill above the battle, watching and raising his hands as a prayer for God’s help. Soon he noticed an interesting thing. As long as his arms were up, the Israelites were winning. But as soon as his arms got tired and he put them down, the Amalekites were winning.
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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: 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...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL:1 Timothy 2:1-8
TO CHEW ON: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." 1 Timothy 2:1,2
Who is in authority over you? Do you know the name of your mayor, the people who represent you in government (member of the legislature, member of parliament, congressman, senator etc.) and your country’s head ruler (prime minister, president, king or queen)?\
If your country is a democracy, your parents may be able to vote for who governs you. You may be happy with them because they treat you fairly and rule wisely. Or you may be not like them because they are unfair, mean, unwise, and even wicked.
Whomever the people in authority over us are, and no matter how they treat us, there is one thing we must do for them. We are to talk to God about them - make requests, pray, intercede* and give thanks.
*intercede: to ask or beg on another person’s behalf
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for ___________ who is in authority over me. Please give him/her wisdom to govern well. Amen....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 2:1-13
TO CHEW ON: "Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, 'What does this mean?'” Acts 2:12
Picture this. A group of people have met in a house for a church service. Suddenly the house is filled with the sound of a loud wind.
"Pentecost" by Kelly Nora
Tongues that look like fire rest on each person’s head. Then these people begin to talk, but in languages they’ve never learned.
Out on the street people passing by hear sounds from inside the building. They gather to listen. These listeners have come from many places and speak different languages. Now they are hearing the people inside the house saying words they can understand. They’re talking about how wonderful God is....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 14:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, 'Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.'” 2 Chronicles 14:11
Judah’s king Asa (King Rehoboam, then Abijah, then Asa) put a lot of energy into pleasing God. He started out by smashing the idols and cutting down the Asherah poles all through Judah. Then he built walls around the cities to protect them. During most of his reign there was peace.
But one day a Cushite chieftain named Zerah threatened him. Asa and his army marched to the valley where Zerah was camped. When they looked down on the huge fighting force in front of them, they had good reason to be terrified. This army was way bigger with better weapons than theirs.
But Asa didn’t panic. Instead, he went right to God. He prayed the prayer above (2 Chronicles 14:11), telling God that He was the only one who could defeat Zerah’s army and...
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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: Psalm 1:1-6
CHEW ON: "But they (people who try to please God) take joy in doing all God wants them to. They think about God’s laws day and night. They think about ways to follow him more closely." Psalm 1:2 (The [Simplified] Living Bible)Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992
Saul tried to kill David because he was jealous. He kept his envious thoughts growing by going back to them again and again. He imagined how the people were saying David should be king instead of him. He wished David weren’t around. Maybe if he killed David, the people would admire him the most again …
Our minds are always busy, thinking about something. But we don't have to let our minds go wherever they choose. We can control what we think about. If we find ourselves thinking jealous, hateful, revengeful thoughts, we can stop. We can turn our minds to other things – and think thoughts that are good, loving, wholesome and kind.
What are your favorite things to think about? What are some things you try NOT to think about?
Read Philippians 4:8, then make a list of good things to think about.
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 18:41-46
TO CHEW ON:"Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. 'Go and look toward the sea,' he told his servant. And he went up and looked. 'There is nothing there," he said. Seven times Elijah said, 'Go back.'" 1 Kings 18: 42,43
God sent the fire to burn Elijah’s sacrifice. Elijah killed all the Baal prophets. But there was more to come. For God told Elijah He would send rain on dry, dusty Israel. Even though the sun was still blazing from the cloudless sky, Elijah was sure that God would keep His promise. “Rain is coming,” he told Ahab.
Then Elijah went to the top of Carmel, got on his knees and began praying for rain. After he had prayed for a while, he sent his servant to check the distant horizon.
“Nothing,” the servant told Elijah when he got back.
Elijah prayed some more. Then he sent the servant to look again.
Again the servant saw nothing – no clouds, no sign of rain.
Five more times Elijah prayed and sent his servant to check the horizon.
- How do you think Elijah felt as he prayed and prayed but...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Esther 4:1-17
TO CHEW ON: "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this." Esther 4:14
Esther eyes opened wide as the servant delivered Mordecai’s message. Was he telling her to go to the king without an invitation? Didn’t he know that could get her killed?
It had all started when Esther’s servants had seen Mordecai dressed in sackcloth, covered in ashes and wailing as if someone had died. She had sent fresh clothes for him and asked what the problem was. Now the servant had returned with a copy of Haman’s new law and Mordecai’s request. He was asking her to go to the king and beg for the life of the Jews. And she would have to tell him no. Because what he was asking was impossible.
But her servant returned with Mordecai's reply: “Esther, you too are a Jew. Don’t think you’ll escape Haman’s law just because you’re in the palace. Who knows, it may be that you are queen now just so that...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 40:1-23
TO CHEW ON: “But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.” (Genesis 40:14)
- Maybe the teacher will forget about giving the test.- Maybe the new kid will turn out to be my friend.
When we’re not ready for a test or we need a friend, we can think of ways God might answer our prayers.
I’m sure Joseph had been praying to get out of prison. Now he probably thought Pharaoh’s cup-bearer was going to be the answer to that prayer. After Joseph told the cup-bearer that he would be be going free, Joseph asked him to talk to Pharaoh. Pharaoh could get innocent Joseph out of jail.
Can’t you just imagine Joseph watching the prison door after the cup-bearer was set free, waiting for someone to tell him he could go free too? But day after day no one came. Soon he realized his prayers to go free would not be answered in the way he thought.
God often doesn’t answer our prayers the way we expect. But still we can trust Him. Because He knows everything and will answer at the right time...
Read More about Isn’t this the plan? »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 9:1-7
TO CHEW ON: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
Have you ever been in pitch black darkness? If you’ve turned on a flashlight to find your way at night, or lit a candle when the electricity went out, you know how even a tiny light pushes the dark aside. Isaiah’s prediction about a wonderful child who would be born was such a ray of light in a dark time.
This child would bring light. His names would be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. He would be from David’s family. And His kingdom would last forever.
Has this prediction come true? Yes – in the birth of Jesus.- Jesus is the light: John 8:12- the Spirit of Jesus is called Counselor: John 14:16- Jesus is God: Hebrews 1:3- Jesus and the Father are one: John 14:7-10- Jesus is from David’s family: Matthew 1:1- Jesus’ kingdom will never end: Luke 1:32,33
In this engraving from the 1800s, artist Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld illustrated some of the things...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 20:1-19
TO CHEW ON: "Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him." 2 Chronicles 20:3,4
What is the first thing do when:- the school bully and his friends are after you?- your Mom loses her job?- someone steals your bike?
King Jehoshaphat’s big problem was a huge army coming to fight him. When he heard this, he was worried. But he didn’t do things like make his army bigger, call for help from another king or panic. Instead he asked everyone to join him in fasting and praying to God, till he got God’s instructions of what to do next.
Many families came to Jerusalem from all over Judah to pray. They met outside the temple. Grandmas and grandpas, moms and dads, girls and boys stood there while Jehoshaphat prayed aloud.
No sooner had Jehoshaphat ended his prayer by telling God how helpless he felt than God’s Spirit gave Jahaziel, one of the Levites, a message. What three things did God say to Jehoshaphat through Jahaziel? (2 Chronicles 20:15-17)...
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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: Exodus 16:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "The Lord said to Moses, 'I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’ ” - Exodus 16:11-12
Yesterday the Israelites grumbled about no water. Today they are grumbling about not enough food. In fact, they are in such a bad mood, they’re ready to go back to Egypt for just one of those great Egyptian meals!
God heard the people. He told Moses what He would do (Exodus 16:11,12): unscramble the words.1. In the evening God would send (tmea) __________.2. In the morning He would rain down (debar) __________.Gathering manna by James Tissot
The bread God sent the Israelites every morning was called manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey (Exodus 16:31)....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Timothy 2:1-7, 15
TO CHEW ON: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15
Would it be possible to be a bank teller without knowing how to do math and use a computer? Could you be a gardener without knowing about plants. What about being a doctor without knowing about the human body, diseases, and medicines?To do a job well, you have to learn about your job or business.
Once someone is trained to do a job, they have to be willing to do the hard things in their job.If a person is an athlete, she has to keep her body fit and play by the rules of the sport.If a person is a nurse, he has to be prepared to work with sick people, give needles, and sometimes work the night shift.Someone who is a teacher has to be willing to prepare lessons and mark homework....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 6:26-34
TO CHEW ON: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33George Mueller
Jesus taught how we can trust God to take care of all our needs. The British man George Mueller (1805 to 1898) showed by his life what it is like to trust God for everything.
Mr. Mueller had only two shillings in his pocket when God brought a couple of orphans to his church. Even though he had little money, he knew that he couldn’t turn them away. In the months that followed, more and more children came. With them came the need for many things - coal to warm the house, beds and blankets, clothes and food.
Because George Mueller believed God would take care of all his needs, he didn’t borrow or ask people to give money to the orphanage. Instead, he just prayed about things.
Sometimes his bank account had nothing in it and the cupboards were bare. When there was no food, the children said grace over empty plates. Several times the food arrived just then - in time for the meal. The hundreds of children who lived in his orphanage over...
Read More about God’s Addition »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Hosea 14:1-9
TO CHEW ON: "Return, O Israel, to the Lord you God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: 'Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously that we may offer the fruit of our lips.'” Hosea 14:1,2
Hosea was another prophet to Israel at this time. God asked him to do more than just talk to the people. Even his life was an object lesson of what God was like.
“Go marry a woman who won’t be true to you,” God told him.
So Hosea married Gomer, a prostitute. They lived together and had children. But Gomer left Hosea and had affairs with other men.
This made Hosea sad. God told him, “Your wife is just like the Israelites. She left you just like they left me to worship idols.The Israelites going to worship idols
I don’t want you to divorce her. Instead, you are to take her back.”
Hosea paid money and took his wife back into their home. Then God said to him, “Tell the Israelites that what you did is a picture of what I will do for them. Just like you took your wife back even though she...
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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: Daniel 3:1-18
TO CHEW ON: "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17,18
One day an urgent message was sent to all the provinces of Babylon: “Come to the plain of Dura. Nebuchadnezzar is putting on a special celebration.”
Daniel’s three friends Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego joined the rest of the rulers. When they got to Dura they saw a huge golden statue as high as a six-story building. An announcer was telling everyone what to do: “When you hear the music, fall down and worship the statue. Whoever doesn’t will be burned in a furnace.”
Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego didn’t want to pray to anyone but God. Yet the price of disobeying was certain death. What should they do?
Soon the music started. Immediately everyone around them fell to their knees. But Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego stayed standing. Many people saw them. Soon someone came to them and said, “Nebuchadnezzar...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 24:17-25
TO CHEW ON: "After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them. They abandoned the temple of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols." 2 Chronicles 24:17,18
Though Joel warned King Joash that bad things would happen if he didn’t return to God, he refused to change his ways. When Jehoiada’s son Zechariah warned him too, he killed Zechariah. After that things quickly fell apart.
Soon a small enemy army from Aram easily defeated Joash’s large army. In the end, Joash’s own servants murdered him in revenge for murdering Zechariah. Though Joash started out well, he ended badly.
The change in Joash came after Priest Jehoiada died. This man who saved his life had been just like a father to him. He encouraged Joash and helped him to follow God. But it seems Joash didn’t know God himself. For as soon as Jehoiada was gone, Joash turned away from God....
Read More about Fake Friendship »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 7:2-13
TO CHEW ON: "Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far has the Lord helped us.'” 1 Samuel 7:12
God’s predictions for Eli’s family soon came true. The next time the Israelites were losing against the Philistines, someone suggested they bring the ark to the battlefield to help them win. So Eli's his sons brought the ark. But the Philistines beat them anyway. On top of that they killed Eli's sons and took the ark back home with them.
The Philistines didn’t keep it long though. Because wherever they took it, sickness broke out. They soon sent it back to Israel where it was stored in a little town. But even then the Philistines didn’t stop hassling the Israelites. They were as cruel and bossy as ever.
This went on for twenty years. By now Samuel was a grown man. The people began coming to him for advice. “What can we do to defeat these Philistines?” they asked.
1. Here are some things Samuel could have told him. What did he say? (1 Samuel 7:3)A. Conscript more soldiers and build a bigger army.B. Do sword practice three hours a...
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