TODAY’S SPECIAL: Colossians 1:13-20
TO CHEW ON: For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him. Colossians 1:19
You are a real person who lives on earth, right? Describe yourself:Who are you?What do you look like?What have you done?
Jesus was a real person who lived on earth too. He could have written a description of himself much like yours. It could have told us about His family, what He looked like, where He went to school, what His grades were like, all the things He had learned to do."The Transfiguration" - Titian, 1560-1565
But Paul in Colossians 1 tells us that Jesus was and is far more than someone who just lived on earth a long time ago. Let’s build a description of Jesus....
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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: Jeremiah 26:1-15
TO CHEW ON: "As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right. Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.” Jeremiah 26:14,15
Josiah was dead. Jehoiakim, his son, was now king in his place. Jehoiakim didn’t follow his father’s ways. Quickly the country slipped back into sin.
One day early in Jehoiakim’s reign, God gave Jeremiah another assignment. “Stand just outside the temple,” He said, “and tell the people if you follow my laws and listen to my prophets with all your hearts, then I will change my mind about destroying this city. But if you don’t do these things, I will really destroy Jerusalem, just like I destroyed Shiloh.”
Jeremiah did what God said. But instead of listening and obeying, the priests and false prophets got angry. “How dare you say Jerusalem will be destroyed?” they asked. Soon the king’s officials arrived on the scene. “This man should be...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Micah 5:1-5
TO CHEW ON: "But you, Bethlehem, Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be a ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." Micah 5:2
Royally dressed strangers on camels were asking to see the king. “Bring them in!” Herod commanded. “What do you want?” he asked when they stood before him.
“Where is the king of the Jews? We have been following his star. It has led us this far and now we want to worship him.”
Herod called the priests and teachers. “Where is the king of Jews to be born?
“In Bethlehem,” they replied. And then they read these words from our reading today: "But you, Bethlehem, Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be a ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." They are words Micah had written 750 years earlier.
Micah’s prediction of where Jesus would be born came true. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. This fulfilled prophecy is another proof that the Bible is no ordinary book. Only God could know...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 11:1-9
TO CHEW ON: "The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11:8,9“And a Little Child Shall Lead Them” Original oil painting © 2007 by Darlene Slavujac
Would you let your baby sister play near the hole of a poisonous snake? Of course not! That would be almost certain death. Yet in this prophecy, Isaiah tells about a time when people and animals will get along without fear of each other. Match the creatures who will live together without fear (Isaiah 11:6-7)...
Read More about Tomorrow’s News—Written Years Ago »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Revelation 1:1-11
TO CHEW ON: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.... On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: 'Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches...'” Revelation 1: 1, 10-11
Where would you go to find out what will happen tomorrow? Today’s newspaper? The six o'clock news? The internet?
Of course we know none of these places will tell us. Only God knows what will happen tomorrow. So when God sent an angel to John (Jesus’ disciple) and told him to write down the things God would show him about the future, we need to pay attention. Most of the Bible book of Revelation is what John heard and saw in a vision about the future.John on Island of Patmos - Artist unknown
Though Revelation isn’t as easy to understand as a newspaper, you’ll find lots of interesting things in it. It has disaster and intrigue, dragons and mysterious horsemen, heroes and villains. Best of all, you’ll find...
Read More about Tomorrow’s News »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 14:13-16
TO CHEW ON: "Then the Lord said to me, 'The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.'” Jeremiah 14:14
Have you ever been outvoted by the majority? Perhaps you were working on a project and most people in your group didn't like your idea. Or you had a suggestion for a family outing, but everyone else wanted to do something different.
It’s not fun when no one agrees with you and you have to stand alone. Jeremiah found that out when he gave God’s messages to the people of Judah. “Unless you change your ways, God will send plague, war and famine,” he said.
But other prophets said the opposite: “Don’t worry about war or shortages of food. There will be lasting peace.”
Of course the people liked the message of the other prophets more than the Jeremiah’s message. The people thought he was annoying and simply ignored him.
Jeremiah talked to God about this. God told him, “I haven’t sent those other prophets. They aren’t saying my words. They’re telling lies. As a...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Nahum 1:1-11
TO CHEW ON: "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into darkness." Nahum 1:7-8
Remember Nineveh, the city where Jonah went to preach? Though the people turned to God after hearing Jonah’s warnings, they were soon back to their idol worshiping, cruel and warring ways. God gave the prophet Nahum a message about Nineveh.
Nahum explained that God was patient and good. But there would come a time when He would act.
God had used Assyria (the country of which Nineveh was the capital) to discipline the people of Israel and Judah. But that didn’t mean God wouldn’t make them pay the consequences of their idol worship and cruelty. Nahum prophesied that the city of Nineveh and the nation of Assyria would be completely destroyed. And this is exactly what happened.
Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992
Today, Nineveh is only a mound called Tell Kuyunjik which means ‘the mound of many sheep.’
God hasn’t changed in His fairness. He still watches individual people and whole...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 11:26-40
TO CHEW ON: "Then he said to Jeroboam, 'Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord, the God if Israel, says: "See I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hands and give you ten tribes." ’ ” 1 Kings 11:31
Solomon ruled for many years. Though God had told him that the kingdom would be taken away from his family because they worshiped idols, everything went on as usual. Perhaps Solomon thought God had forgotten what He had said and wouldn’t do it after all.
After Solomon built the temple and his palace, he built many other things. One of his best workmen was Jeroboam. When Solomon saw how well Jeroboam did his job, he made him a boss over many people.
One day when Jeroboam was on his way home, he met Ahijah the prophet. When Ahijah saw Jeroboam he did a strange thing. He took off his new cloak and tore it into twelve pieces. “Take ten of these pieces for yourself,” he said to Jeroboam. “God told me to tell you, ‘I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes. I’m doing this...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 6:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?'And I said, 'Here am I. Send me.'” Isaiah 6:8
God sat on a high throne. The train of his majestic robe was more glorious than any bride’s. It filled the temple. Angels were all around. Some flew back and forth calling “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. The whole earth is filled with his glory.” At the sound, the temple pillars shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
These are things Isaiah saw in a vision. He would never forget what happened next. As he saw God’s glory and heard the angels, Isaiah suddenly felt like he wasn’t good enough to be there. “Woe is me,” he said, “for my mouth is dirty with bad words.”
Then one of the angels came to him. He had a coal from the altar, and touched that coal to Isaiah’s lips. “God has taken away your guilt and sin,” he said.
Then Isaiah heard God’s voice: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
Without knowing what God would ask him to do, Isaiah replied, “Here am I,...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 7:1-13
TO CHEW ON: "This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words and say, 'This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!' " Jeremiah 7:3,4
People thronged to the temple after Josiah’s clean-up. Looking at the crowds in “church” you’d think that everything had changed in Judah. But for many people, once they were away from God’s house, nothing had changed.
Crime and murder were common. Widows and orphans were ignored. Foreigners were mistreated. People thought that these things didn’t really matter. They thought Jerusalem would never be destroyed because the temple was there. They had a superstitious faith that the temple would save them no matter what they did.
One day God told Jeremiah to stand at the entrance way of the temple. He was to give the worshipers this message from God: “Change the way you act. Don’t put your faith in the temple. Look at what happened to Shiloh where the ark used to sit. I will do the same thing to Jerusalem if you...
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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: Luke 1:1-25
TO CHEW ON: "Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him ... When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear." Luke 1:11, 12
What do you want the very most in the world - a pet, a skateboard, a brother or sister, a friend?
Zechariah and Elizabeth wanted a baby - a son. But they were old and no son had been born to them. They had given up hope. But God had other ideas.
God was planning to answer their prayer.1. What surprise did He send to Zechariah in the temple? (Luke 1:11) _________"The Vision of Zechariah" by James Tissot 1886-1896
2. What did the angel tell Zechariah? (Luke 1:13) ____________
3. Zechariah found out some surprising things about the baby which would be born. Which statements are NOT true? (Luke 1:14-17)
a. They were to name him Johnb. He was to drink only wine and fermented drink.c. He would be sickly.d. He would be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth.f. He would preach but people wouldn’t listen.g. He would prepare people for the Lord....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: I Corinthians 15:51-58
TO CHEW ON: "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." I Corinthians 15:51-52
How do you feel about surprises? Most of us like surprises that are good – wrapped parcels at Christmas, a surprise party on our birthday, an unexpected visit from a friend.
Someday there will be a surprise bigger than any Christmas or birthday. Jesus will return! The dead will be raised. We will transform into our new bodies."The angels sound their trumpets" - Artist unknown
Did you know this could happen at any time? It could happen today while you’re still alive (“We will not all sleep” means not everyone will die). Or it could happen at a time after you have died. If you have trusted Jesus for eternal life, His coming will be the most wonderful surprise ever.
If you have not trusted Him - you still can (“Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” Psalm 95: 7,8). Then you too...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Malachi 3:6-12
TO CHEW ON: “'You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.'” Malachi 3:9,10
“You are robbing God!” Malachi’s words got the peoples’ attention. But how could he say that? They weren’t stealing from the temple.
“You are stealing from God by keeping the tithe for yourselves instead of giving it to Him,” Malachi explained.
A tithe is one tenth. Years earlier God had commanded the people to give one tenth of what they earned and grew (their harvest and their herds of animals) to God. They were to do this whether they were rich or poor and whether times were good or bad. Giving to God in this way showed that they trusted God to supply what they needed. It was also a way of saying thank you for all He had given them. And when they did this, miraculously they...
Read More about Stealing From God »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 40:1-6
TO CHEW ON: "But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please." Jeremiah 40:4
The people from Jerusalem, bound and chained, had set out on the long march to Babylon. Jeremiah was with them. Then at Ramah a surprising thing happened. Nebuzaradan, a commander in the Babylonian army, found him.
“I know about your God and how this is a punishment for the sins of the people,” he said. “But today I’m going to set you free.”
With that he took the chains off Jeremiah’s hands and feet. “You can come with me,” he went on, “or go wherever you like in the country. If you stay here you might want to go to Mizpah. There Gedaliah is watching over everyone who is left.”
So Jeremiah went to live with Gedeliah. Again God had helped him. This time He had sent an enemy commander to set him free....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 53:2-8
TO CHEW ON: "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6
It was the most important day of the year, the Day of Atonement. Everyone came to the holy gathering bathed and in clean clothes. Men, women, girls and boys had watched the High Priest make the offerings. Now it was time for the last event.
A hush came over the crowd as one of the priests led a goat to the High Priest. The High Priest laid his hands on the goat’s head. Then he confessed the peoples’ sins: “We have been selfish. We have been proud. We have not honored our parents. We have been jealous. We have lied. We have stolen...” On and and on he went. As he named the sins, his hands on the goat's head were a picture of laying all those sins on the goat. This goat was called a scapegoat.
When the priest was finally finished, he gave the goat to a servant. The servant took it to the desert and there released it to...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Habakkuk 1:1-11
TO CHEW ON: "How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, 'Violence!' but you do not save?" Habakkuk 1:2
Have you ever wondered whether it does any good to pray? That seems to be what the prophet Habakkuk was asking at the beginning of his short book.
Habakkuk was another prophet in Judah. He lived at the same time as Jeremiah did. Instead of God giving Habakkuk messages for the people, he talked to God for them.
He asked questions that people from all times and places have asked:- If You’re in control, God, why does evil win so often?- How can You ignore unfairness? Why do evil people get richer and more powerful?- Why do You use evil people to work Your will?
Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992
God answered Habakkuk’s questions. Sometimes his answers were surprising. When Habakkuk complained, in today’s reading, that it seemed like God was ignoring unfairness, God replied, “You haven’t seen anything yet!” Then he explained that soon He would use the cruel nation of Babylon even more.\
But God’s answers did finally satisfy Habakkuk. And...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Joel 1:1-4 and 10-14
TO CHEW ON: The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails. Joel 1:10
Which people do we go to, to find out what might happen in the future
weathermen scientists prophets
I’m sure you’d agree that in our time we may go to weathermen and scientists, but we don’t often go to prophets. Even in Bible times people sometimes made fun of what prophets predicted. Yet God chose to speak through these ordinary men who didn’t speak their own ideas but said what God told them to say.
Joel was such a prophet. He lived in Judah around the time Joash was crowned king. He had seen the way King Jehoram and Ahaziah and then Queen Athaliah had turned the people away from praying to God.
When Joash became king, Joel hoped that things would be different. And they were for a while. As long as Priest Jehoiada was alive Joash followed his advice and honored God. But after Jehoiada died, Joash stopped worshiping at the temple. He put up Asherah poles and soon the land was filled with idols again.
Read More about Prophets and Plagues »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 1:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord." Jeremiah 1:7,8
Do you have any idea what you’d like to do when you grow up? Have you ever thought that God may have a special job for your life?
God talked to Jeremiah when he was just a child. He told him what his job would be. He would be a (Jeremiah 1:5) 1. _____.
Jeremiah argued back. What two reasons did he give for why he couldn’t do what God asked (Jeremiah 1:6) 2. _____ 3. _____.
But God didn’t buy Jeremiah’s arguments. For He had chosen Jeremiah before he was born. Now God touched his mouth and said, “I have put my words in your mouth.”
Jeremiah’s words would be not only to his nation Judah, but to the nations all around. They would have much power – power to uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow, build and plant.
Have you ever asked God if He has a special job...
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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...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 9:15-20
TO CHEW ON: "Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel: 'About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him leader over my people Israel...'” 1 Samuel 9:15,16
When Samuel told the people to go home after they had asked for a king, he didn’t know who that king would be. But God did.
Some time after that some donkeys got lost. Their owner Kish, from tribe of Benjamin, sent his son Saul and a servant to look for them. They walked for miles and miles but they couldn't find the donkeys. Finally Saul was ready to give up. “We’d better go home,” he said, “or Dad will start worrying about us.”
“Let’s try just one more thing,” the servant suggested. “A prophet lives nearby. Let’s ask him if he knows where the donkeys are.”
Meanwhile Samuel, the prophet, had heard from God. God had told him, “Tomorrow I will send a man to you from the tribe of Benjamin. He will be the new king.”
The next day Samuel was walking outside his house when along came a tall, handsome stranger. “Do you know where the prophet’s...
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Matthew 2:1-15
TO CHEW ON: “’Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’” Matthew 2:2
Every night the wise men studied the stars. They wrote down when they rose and set. They gazed at their colors and brightness. They drew them and looked for shapes formed by their positions in the sky. Most of all they tried to figure out what the stars meant.
One day a new bright star came out. Such a star could mean only one thing: a new king had been born."Wise Men Follow a Star" by A. O. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland
The star seemed to be moving, so the wise men followed it. For weeks and months they rode, probably on camels, and always at night so they could see the star’s light. It led them west toward Judea. The star must be telling of a new Jewish king....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 35:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shout forjoy." Isaiah 35:5,6
What things make you joyful - finishing homework, seeing an old friend, being greeted by your dog, getting help with a hard job?
Even the greatest joy we feel now will be small compared to the joy Isaiah talks about in today’s reading. It will be the joy people feel when God comes to reign on earth. All of creation – plants, animals and people will know joy at that time.
Why will there be so much joy? Because of who God is. He is a God who makes wrong things right. He is a God who heals – makes the weak strong, the sick well, the blind see, the dumb shout, the lame walk. His power over nature makes even deserts become gardens and wild animals tame as pets....
Read More about Leaping, Bursting, Shouting Joy! »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Zechariah 9:9-10
TO CHEW ON: "Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious,lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey" Zechariah 9:9,
Would you expect a king to ride on a lowly donkey? Kings would usually come riding into town on war horses or decorated camels wouldn’t they? Yet when Zechariah predicted the coming of the King of Zion (Jerusalem), he said it would be on a donkey.
Fast forward about five hundred years to the time of Jesus. One day Jesus sent two of His disciples to a village to borrow a donkey. Then He rode into Jerusalem on its back. As he went through the streets the people began cheering. They took off their coats and laid them in the donkey’s path, just as they would for a king. They waved palm branches and cheered, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21)...
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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: Isaiah 30:1-5
TO CHEW ON: “'Woe to the obstinate children,' declares the Lord, 'to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin.'” Isaiah 30:1
What does it mean to nag (click on the verb 'nag') someone? Have you ever done this to someone else? Has anyone ever done this to you? Do you like being nagged?
The people in Judah may have felt that God was nagging them. Prophet after prophet came with messages from Him, telling them to change. In today’s reading Isaiah comes with another warning.
“You are like stubborn children,” he said to the leaders. “Again you are doing things on your own instead of asking for My (God’s) help. You are getting together with Egypt to make your army strong. But you are forgetting to talk to Me about it. As a result things won’t work out.”
God wanted the Israelites to be completely His. He wanted them to pray to Him in trouble. Instead the people had joined their army with the army of Egypt. They did this all on their own. Unscramble the words that tell the things that Isaiah predicts will come to...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Zechariah 8:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there' " Zechariah 8:4-5.
After winter comes ________After night comes _________After sadness comes _________
The Israelites had had years of sadness when they lived in Babylon. Now some of them had returned to Jerusalem. There was much to do – a city to clean up, homes to build, a temple to rebuild. Would things ever get back to the wonderful way they had once been?
God sent Zechariah, another prophet, to encourage everyone. His message was as hopeful as spring after winter, morning after night, joy after crying. “Jerusalem won’t always be like this,” he said. “Exiles from all over will come home. Then old men and women will visit in the streets. Boys and girls will play there."Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age. The city streets will be filled with boys and...
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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: Ezekiel 14:1-6
TO CHEW ON: “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Ezekiel 14:3
The Israelites in exile soon discovered that Ezekiel heard from God. They came to him often to find out if God had something to say to them. One day when some of Israel’s leaders had come to Ezekiel in this way, God gave him private information about them.
“These men have idols in their hearts,” God told Ezekiel. “Tell them, ‘Don’t think I am going to give you messages from Me knowing all the while you are worshiping something else. You need to get rid of these idols before I will tell you anything.’”
In the past the people of Israel had worshiped actual idol statues. Here God showed that idols don’t have to be physical things at all. They could be anything people admired, or trusted in, or relied on more than God. Even though these people may not have been going to actual shrines and praying to figurines, the idols were there just the same in the attitude of their hearts....
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