TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 2:12-26
TO CHEW ON: "Meanwhile the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord....And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people." 1 Samuel 2:21, 26
Do you think it’s possible to live as a Christian in a neighborhood where you have no friends who love Jesus? What about in a school where people tease you if they find out you read the Bible, or in a family where you’re the only one who trusts in God and prays?
You would expect for little Samuel, the tabernacle, where people came to worship God, would be the easiest place in the world to get to know God. But it wasn’t. Instead, it was a place full of rebellion, disobedience and sin.
The trouble was not with Eli, the old priest, but with his sons. They had no respect for God and pretty much did as they pleased. They demanded offering meat before it was ready and had sex with the servant girls who worked near the Tabernacle. Even after Eli scolded them, they didn’t change.
Meanwhile Samuel was growing up. Every year he got stronger and taller. Every year his parents...
Read More about Toxic Tabernacle »
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....
Read More about The War Inside Me »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 7:11-22
TO CHEW ON: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
After Solomon had finished the temple, he built a luxurious palace for himself. One night when both those projects were done, God appeared to him again.
“I heard your prayer and chose your temple,” He said. Then God gave Solomon some advice. “Keep my laws like David your father did. Worship only me. If you do this, kings will always come from your family.
“But if you turn away from me and start worshiping idols, bad things will happen.”
1. Pick out the three bad things God named in 2 Chronicles 7:20:
A. I will send Israel back to Egypt to be slaves.B. I will uproot Israel from my land.C. I will reject this temple.D. I will burn your palace.E. I will make this temple an object of ridicule....
Read More about The Way Back »
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,...
Read More about The Call »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 2: 13-17
TO CHEW ON: “...Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” John 2:16
Jesus and His disciples went to the temple in Jerusalem for Passover. To celebrate the Passover, every worshiper had to offer an animal sacrifice and pay a tax. In Jesus’ time, the priests sold the sacrifice animals in the temple court (the outside section, like our lobby or foyer). They charged huge amounts of money for these birds and animals. They wouldn’t sacrifice any animals that weren’t bought from them."Jesus clears the temple" - Artist unknown
The tax had to be paid in temple coins. Money changers changed people’s everyday money into temple coins but they charged extra to make the exchange.
Jesus was furious when He went into the temple and found the priests were more concerned about making money than worshiping God....
Read More about Tempest in the Temple »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 11:1-11
TO CHEW ON: "Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, 'Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.'” 1 Kings 11:10,11
Solomon was known as the wisest man who ever lived. God came into the temple Solomon built. He talked to Solomon. He promised to make him wise and to keep his family the ruling family. But in order for that to happen, Solomon was to worship only God.
As Solomon’s power and fame grew, he began doing what many kings did and marrying many wives. He married over seven hundred princesses from other countries to help him get along with the nations around him. He married three hundred more women because they were beautiful and he liked them....
Read More about Steps Downward »
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Colossians 3:1-11
TO CHEW ON: Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5
Our bodies are surrounded by invisible enemies. Tiny bacteria and viruses live all around us on places like toothbrushes, doorknobs and dishcloths. They are always trying to find places to grow and multiply, and our bodies are great for that. So they sneak into our mouths when we drink, fly into our noses when we breathe, enter through the injured skin of a cut or wound when we’re hurt.
While they’re trying to get in, we’re trying to keep them out. We use antibacterial soap, disinfectant and, when germs get in us and make us sick, antibiotics to make us well again....
Read More about Sin Germs »
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...
Read More about Scapegoat »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 28:3-20
TO CHEW ON: "He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him . . . . Saul then said to his attendants, 'Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.'” 1 Samuel 28:6,7
The Philistines were threatening again and Saul was terrified. He wanted to talk to God and find out what to do. But Samuel had died, Saul had killed the priests, and no prophet came with any message. God was silent.
In desperation Saul asked his servants to find a medium. A medium was a person who could contact the spirits of dead people and get messages from them. But this power came from Satan and not God. God had commanded Saul to rid the land of all mediums and spiritists.
Still Saul’s men managed to find a medium. Saul disguised himself and went to her house. He persuaded her to try to bring up the spirit of Samuel so Saul could talk to him.
Soon the woman saw something coming out of the ground. And then Samuel’s voice filled the room, “Why have you disturbed me?...
Read More about Saul the Desperate »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 33:7-13
TO CHEW ON: "And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God." 2 Chronicles 33:13
“The Assyrians are coming!” A messenger blurted the news to King Manasseh.
Manasseh called his priests and told them to pray to the gods, check the omens, and make sacrifices. But not to the God of heaven. For Manasseh, Hezekiah’s son and Judah’s king, was not like his dad. Instead of worshiping God, he rebuilt hilltop shrines where people went to pray to statues of Chemosh and Baal.Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992
He sacrificed his own sons to idols, was deeply into witchcraft and even built idol altars in the temple. God had tried to talk to Manasseh and the people, but they refused to listen.
The sacrifices Manasseh made that day did no good. He was captured by the Assyrian generals, chained and taken to prison in Babylon. There, in a dungeon and all alone, he had time to think. He remembered the things his father...
Read More about Prison Prayers »
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...
Read More about No Favorites »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 37:12-36
TO CHEW ON: “... So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.” (Genesis 37:17b,18)
Joseph’s brothers were far away from home, herding their father’s flocks. One day Joseph’s father Israel (also called Jacob) sent Joseph to see how his brothers were getting along. Finish the story by filling in the answers from the words at the bottom:
When Joseph was still far away his brother recognized him and planned to 1. _______ (Genesis 37:20).When he got there they 2. ________ and 3. _________ (Genesis 37:23,24).But they didn’t kill him. Instead they 4. ____________ (Genesis 37:27)...
Read More about Jealousy’s Rotten Fruit »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 51:1-19
TO CHEW ON: "My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise." Psalm 51:17
After Nathan had talked to David, he felt terrible. Now he knew how seriously God took what he had done. It wasn’t just some little "mistake." It was sin – adultery, lying, murder. He felt guilty. He felt dirty. He felt sad. He felt afraid that God wouldn’t be his friend any more. He was very sorry.
David wrote his thoughts and feelings in Psalm 51.
1. Even though David had killed Uriah, whom had he sinned against the most? ____ (Psalm 51:4)...
Read More about I’m Sorry »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Joshua 7:10-25
TO CHEW ON: “Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.” Joshua 7:11
Have you ever done something sneaky – stolen something, told a lie, or cheated on an exam? Achan did such a thing when he went into Jericho. He had heard Joshua’s command about what to do with the loot. But when he saw a beautiful robe, some silver coins, and a wedge of gold, he sneaked these things home, dug a hole inside his tent and hid them in the ground.
A few days later Joshua sent scouts to Ai, the next city. “It’s a small town,” the scouts reported when they got back. “We’ll only need part of the army to capture it.”
But the people of Ai chased the Israelites from their city, beat them and killed many soldiers.
Joshua and the people were stunned. Joshua fell on his face before God and asked, “Why didn’t you help us?”
“Get up!” God told him. “There’s sin in the camp. Someone has stolen and lied. You need to deal with...
Read More about Hidden But Not Secret »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 18:1-16
TO CHEW ON: "Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. 'They have credited David with tens of thousands,' he thought, 'but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?' And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David." 1 Samuel 18: 8.9
David’s victory over Goliath sparked a big celebration. All the women in towns along the road from the battlefield to the palace came out to cheer. They had tambourines and lutes and sang a song:
“Saul has slain his thousandand David his ten thousands.”
When Saul heard this, he grew very jealous. They were praising David more than him. Next they’d want to crown David king.
Because David was now a famous warrior, Saul invited him to stay at the palace. David had actually been at the palace before, to play the harp for Saul. He did this to calm Saul when an evil spirit bothered him.
The day after they got back, the evil spirit came to Saul again and he asked David to play his calming music. This time, though, Saul’s jealousy was too strong. As David was playing, Saul took up a spear and threw it at...
Read More about Green-eyed Monster »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 5:15-27
TO CHEW ON: “When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, 'Where have you been, Gehazi?''Your servant didn’t go anywhere,' Gehazi answered" - 2 Kings 5:25Naaman offers gifts to Elisha
After he had left, Elisha’s servant Gehazi couldn’t get the thought of Naaman’s gifts out of his mind. My master was too easy on Naaman, he thought. But I’d sure like some of those things.
He ran after Naaman’s carriage, caught up to it and said, “My master has changed his mind. He has visitors and could use some of your gifts.”...
Read More about Greedy Lying Gehazi »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 32:7,8, 15-26
TO CHEW ON: "They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt'.... And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made." Exodus 32:8, 35
While the people were worshiping and celebrating around the idol, God told Moses, “It’s time for you to go down. The people are doing something bad.”
So Moses went down the mountain, carrying the tablets of stone on which God had written. But even God’s warning hadn’t prepared him for the sight that met his eyes when he got back to camp. There, in the middle of everything, was the gold calf idol. Around it the people were dancing, singing and celebrating.
Moses stormed into camp. He threw down the stone pieces he was carrying and they shattered."Moses Breaks the Tablets of Stone" from Treasures of the Bible (Moses)
Then he tore the calf idol off its stand and heaved it into a fire....
Read More about Gold Frappuccino »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Samuel 12:1-10
TO CHEW ON: “Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in His sight?” 2 Samuel 12:9
David was now a successful and loved king. One day when he was relaxing on the palace roof, he caught sight of a beautiful woman taking a bath. He couldn’t get her out of his mind. So he told his servant to bring her to the palace.
She came and David found out her name was Bathsheba. She was married to Uriah, one of David’s soldiers. But that didn’t stop David from taking her to his room and making love to her. Then he sent her back home. A short time later, Bathsheba sent word to David that she was pregnant.
Now this was a problem, because her husband wasn’t home. He was on the battlefield. People would ask, “Who is the father of this baby?” Maybe David would be found out. So David sent for Uriah to come back from the war. David thought Uriah would welcome the chance to be with his wife. Then he would think the baby was his.
But when Uriah came home, he refused to go home to Bathsheba. “Why should...
Read More about David’s Secret »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 John 1:5-10
TO CHEW ON: "But if we walk in the light, as he (God) is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7
Your living room is a dim comfortable place where you spend a lot of time. Then one day someone pulls open the curtains and light shines in.
Suddenly you see the dust balls in the corners and the smudges all over the TV screen. Piles of books, CDs, and DVDs litter the floor. The coffee table is cluttered with dirty dishes and half-full glasses of pop. What looked like a comfy room in the darkness is quite a mess in the light!
God is the one who lights up the room of our lives. As we get to know Him, talk to Him in prayer and spend time reading the Bible, His light floods in. When that happens we see things that never bothered us before. What are some things God’s light might show us?...
Read More about Darkness or light? »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 17:15-20
TO CHEW ON: "But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, 'Do not do as they do.' " 2 Kings 17:14,15
Israel was in big trouble. It was about thirty years and five kings after Jeroboam II. Shalmaneser king of Assyria had discovered that Israel’s present king Hoshea had secretly made a pact with Egypt. When Hoshea stopped paying the tax that Shalmaneser demanded, he arrested King Hoshea and took him to an Assyrian prison.
Then his army went through the countryside, rounding up the people. When they came to Samaria, the gates were locked. But Shalmaneser had all the time in the world. His army camped outside the city and waited for the people inside to surrender.
The Samaritans hung on for three years. But finally, desperate for food and water, they surrendered. In no time Shalmaneser had rounded up all those people...
Read More about Copying the Wrong Cat »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 3:9-21
TO CHEW ON: “'How can this be?' Nicodemus asked." John 3:9
"Jesus the Savior of the World" - Artist unknown
Jesus told Nicodemus if he wanted to see the kingdom of God, he had to be born again. Nicodemus thought Jesus meant he actually had to be born from his mother again. Of course, Jesus didn’t mean that. But what did he mean?
He meant that Nicodemus had to have a new beginning (new birth) with God. How could this happen for Nicodemus? How does it happen for you and me?
1. Nicodemus, and all of us, have sinned (sin = disobeying God - even once).
2. The punishment for sin is death = separation from God forever.
3. Jesus is the only person who lived a sinless life. He is the only person who didn't need to die for His own sins.
4. But Jesus chose to die in our stead. God accepted His death as the payment for our sin. (It’s like when you’ve done something wrong, but someone else takes your punishment and you get off free)....
Read More about Born Again »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 19:11-20
TO CHEW ON: "Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly." Acts 19: 18-19a
Paul went back to Ephesus. His powerful sermons and miracles had made him famous. God worked so mightily through him that people took clothes that Paul had touched, laid them on sick people, and they were healed.
"Healings" by Christoph Weigel - 1695
When some Jews in the city tried to heal and do exorcisms (make evil spirits leave people) in Jesus’ name, like Paul did, the evil spirits knew they were fakers. The demon-possessed people beat up the imitation healers....
Read More about Bonfire »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Leviticus 17:11
TO CHEW ON: "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life." Leviticus 17:11
Moses had been up on the mountain with God for a long time and God had told him many things. One of the things God gold Moses was a way to deal with sin.
What is sin? It is missing the target. If we think of doing everything God has said we should do, and not doing anything God has said we shouldn't do as the target, sin is missing that target.
For example, when God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the special tree in the garden and they did – that was sin. And when God told the people they were not to worship any other God but Him and they made a calf idol and worshiped it – that was sin. God gave the people a list of rules (we call them the Ten Commandments) which told them what was sin for each area of life, from how they treated parents and neighbors to how...
Read More about Blood Sacrifice »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ezra 9:5-15
TO CHEW ON: "Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God and prayed: 'I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.' " Ezra 9:5,6Ezra and the people were overjoyed when they reached Jerusalem. There were cheers, tears of joy and hugs as old friends met again and families got re-acquainted. But it took only one meeting with the leaders for Ezra to find out that things here were far from perfect.
“The men have again begun to marry idol-worshiping women,” the leaders told him. “Even the priests and Levites are doing this.”
Ezra was shocked, terribly disappointed, and afraid. He tore his clothes, pulled hair from his head and beard, then sat on the ground in silence.
Why hadn’t the people learned their lesson? Would God now need to punish them again? Or would He give up on them and wipe them out altogether?
Soon others who were also loyal to God joined him. They...
Read More about A New Start »
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 19:12-29
TO CHEW ON: "The two men said to Lot, 'Do you have anyone else here...? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.'” Genesis 19:12,13
When the two angels got to Sodom they met Lot at the city gate. He invited them to stay at his home for the night. But even there the visitors didn’t escape the violence of the city.
Soon a crowd of men was banging on Lot’s door. They wanted to abuse the two angels - who they thought were ordinary men. When Lot went out to calm them, they threatened him. They were about to break down his door when the angels pulled him into the house and made the men go blind.
“Do you have anyone else here that belongs to you?” the angels asked Lot. He talked to the young men who were engaged to his daughters. But when he told them God would destroy the city, they thought he was joking.
Before dawn the next morning, the angels pulled Lot and his family out of bed. “Hurry! Get...
Read More about God as Judge »
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 4:1-12
Detail from "Cain and Abel Offering Their Sacrifices" by Gustave Doré
TO CHEW ON: "Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.'” (Genesis 4:6,7)
God told Cain and Abel to sacrifice animals to Him. Cain and Abel both worshiped God by making sacrifices. But Cain disobeyed and offered fruit from the plants he had harvested. Abel obeyed and offered animals from his flock.
God was pleased with the animal sacrifice. He didn’t accept the plant sacrifice. He had told Cain what He wanted. Here are some things Cain could have done. Which one did he choose to do?...
Read More about Choices »
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 3:1-9
TO CHEW ON: "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden." (Genesis 3:8)
Up till now Adam, Eve and God had been friends. When God was in the garden, Adam and Eve hurried to meet Him, eager to tell Him about their day. But this day was different.
This day Adam and Eve broke God’s rule by eating the fruit from the only tree that God had forbidden. Now they felt guilty. Instead of hurrying to meet God, they hid from Him....
Read More about Hiding »
The Geography of the Bible
Popular Bible Maps
The Journey of Abraham
Moses and the Exodus
Joshua and the Land
The Kingdom of David
The Kingdom of Solomon
Israel in Jesus' Time
Paul's First Journey
The Land of Israel
The Land of Egypt
The Land of Assyria
The Land of Babylon
The Land of Persia
The Land of Greece
The City of Rome
Noah's Ark and Mt. Ararat
The Tower of Babel
The Old Testament World
The New Testament World
Moses and the 10 Plagues
The 10 Commandments
The 12 Tribes of Israel
The Ministry of Jesus
Bible Stories with Maps
Coloring Book Images