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: 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: I Peter 4:12-19
TO CHEW ON: "If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you." I Peter 4:14
Which of these things has happened to you because you are a Christian?- called names- left out- teased- made fun of
It’s not fun going through things like that. But it shouldn’t surprise us. People in the past were insulted and persecuted because they trusted in God:"Goliath" - Artist unknown
David’s older brother made fun of him when David came to the battlefield and started asking questions about why no one was challenging Goliath when he insulted God. (1 Samuel 17:28)"David" - Artist Unknown
Nehemiah was teased by Sanballat and Tobiah when he began rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. They made fun of his work, joking, “..if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones.” (Nehemiah 2:19; 4:3).
Jesus said that his followers would be arrested, persecuted, even killed (John 15:20)....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 19:1-9
TO CHEW ON: "Jesus ... said to him, 'Zacchaeus...I must stay at your house today'...All the people saw this and began to mutter, 'He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.'” Luke 19:5,7
What are taxes? You probably know they are amounts of money people in cities, provinces, states and countries must pay. Government workers collect this money. They use it to pay for things used by everyone - like roads, schools, firefighters and the police.
In Jesus’ time, the Roman rulers charged taxes. They got people in each neighborhood, to work for them. These people were called tax collectors. They usually charged the people more than the Romans asked. They kept the extra money for themselves. Everybody thought of them as traitors, cheats, sinners, and hated them. Zacchaeus was a tax collector.
One day Zacchaeus heard Jesus was coming to town. He wanted to see Him. But Zacchaeus was too short to see above the crowd. Besides, he didn't much like being in crowds because he was so unpopular. So he climbed into a tree and watched as Jesus and the crowd walked by.
Jesus didn’t care how the crowds felt about Zaccheus. When He came to the tree...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 36:1-26
TO CHEW ON: "The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes." Jeremiah 36:24
“I’m sure the people will change their ways when they hear all this,” Baruch said, as he put the final touches on the scroll.
God had told Jeremiah many months before to try another way to get the people to listen. “You write down all the things I’ve told you,” God told him. “Then read them to the people. When they hear about the judgments that are coming, surely they’ll change their ways.”
Jeremiah had hired Baruch as his secretary. He had spoken the things God had said to him, while Baruch wrote them on a scroll. It was slow work and took a long time. But finally they were done.
On a day when many people were in Jerusalem, Baruch read Jeremiah’s words at the crowded temple courtyard. Micaiah heard them. He hurried to a room where the king’s officials were gathered. “You’ve got to hear this!” he told them.
They invited Baruch to read Jeremiah’s scroll. After he finished they said, “This is serious. We’d better make sure the king hears this!”
On a cold winter...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 32:22-31
TO CHEW ON: "So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, 'It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.'" Genesis 32:30
Soon Jacob was a father, once, twice. three times... As he kept working for Laban, God blessed him with wealth and many children. But things were not going well. Laban and his sons were jealous of Jacob’s wealth. There was quarreling.
One day God told Jacob to move back to his childhood home. He sneaked away from Laban with his family. Though Laban came after him, he didn’t make Jacob come back. Now Jacob and his family were really on their own.
To get back home, he had to pass through Edom, where his brother Esau lived. This worried Jacob a lot. Was Esau still angry with him? Did Esau still want to kill him?
He got ready to meet Esau by preparing a gift of animals and servants. He put the gift in front, with his own flocks behind that, and at the very back his wives and children.
The night before they met, he spent time alone, praying and worrying about what the next day would bring. Then a man met him. They...
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Job 42:1-16
TO CHEW ON: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.... Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Job 42:2,3
After Job and his friends had spoken, God talked. He asked Job questions.- “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4 Simplified Living Bible)- “Have you found the springs from which the seas come?” (38:16 SLB)- “Do you know where the gates of death are”? (38:18 SLB)- “Where does the light come from and how do you get there?” (38:19 SLB)- “Who gave the heart wisdom? Who gave knowledge to the mind?” (38:36 SLB)
...and on and on.
Do you know the answers to these questions? What would you have said if you were Job?
Actually, Job didn’t have much to say. “I am nothing,” he said. “How could I ever find the answers?” (Job 40:4 SLB).
By questioning Job this way God wasn’t asking him questions because He didn’t know these things. He was showing Job (and us) that as the creator of the world, He sees the big picture of beginnings and endings. He understands more than we...
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 3:8-15
TO CHEW ON: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.." (Genesis 3:15)
The snake that tempted Eve was not just any ordinary snake. It was God’s enemy, Satan appearing as a snake. After Adam and Eve gave in to Satan's temptation and ate the fruit from the tree God had forbidden, they were scared. They hid from God.
God soon found them. He asked what they’d done. Then it all came out. Adam blamed Eve for telling him to eat. Eve blamed the snake for tempting her. But all three got in trouble. The result of sin (breaking God’s rule) became very clear....
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