TODAY’S SPECIAL: Numbers 21:4-9
TO CHEW ON: "But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, 'Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!' ” Numbers 21:4,5
Have you ever grumbled about any of these things: food, clothes, the weather, too much to do, not enough to do, the things you have, the things you don’t have?
I have to admit, I have – and I’d be surprised if you haven’t as well.
Grumbling and complaining are pretty common ways people react to things they don’t like. And that’s what the Israelites did as they continued their travels. They complained about God, Moses, the food, no water. Instead of trusting in what God had said about their future, they doubted and wailed, “We’re going to die in this desert.”
So God sent poisonous snakes among them. These snakes bit them and many of the people died – just for complaining! The only way they could be saved after they had been bitten was to look at the bronze snake Moses had mounted on a pole in the...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Hebrews 11:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
Think about some of the ways you show faith every day.If you jump from the third step, you have faith that you will land, not on the ceiling or against the wall, but on the floor.If you plug in an iron and turn it on, you don’t touch the bottom, because you have faith that it will be hot.If the light turns green in traffic, your mom drives through the intersection with faith that the people who would be coming across your path will have a red light and will stop.
In the same way that we have faith in invisible things like gravity, electricity, and people, God wants us to have faith in Him. In order to please God, what two things must we believe? (Hebrews 11:6):1.2.
If we have faith in God, we will show it by doing the things He tells us to. Hebrews 11 names some people who had faith. They proved it by what they did. Match each person with the faith act he did (check the references if you’re not sure):...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Esther 6:1-14
TO CHEW ON: "That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him." Esther 6:1
King Xerxes was tired of tossing and turning and trying to fall asleep. “Bring the record books and read to me,” he commanded.
A servant began reading to him and soon came to the part that told about Mordecai telling about the plot to kill him.
“Has anything been done to honor him for that?” Xerxes asked.
“No, nothing,” the servant replied.
Just then there was a sound in the courtyard. It was Haman. “Call him in,” the king commanded.
Haman was excited. He had just finished building a 75-foot gallows in his yard and was on his way to get permission from Xerxes to hang Mordecai on it. But before he had a chance to say anything, the king asked, “What should I do for the person I’d like to honor?”
Who would the king want to honor more than me, Haman wondered. And so he told Xerxes the best thing he could imagine. “That person should wear a royal robe,” he said. “He will be put on the king’s...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Nehemiah 4:1-15
TO CHEW ON: "After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, 'Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.' ” Nehemiah 4:14
The people eagerly set to work rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. Each family was responsible to fix the section closest to their home. Everyone helped.Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992
But as the piles of rubbish became a strong, thick wall again, there were rumors of trouble. Rulers from the neighboring Samaria and Ammon didn’t want Jerusalem to be strong. They were angry about Nehemiah’s project and made fun of it....
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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: Exodus 14:1-14
TO CHEW ON: "Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.' ” Exodus 14:13,14
After a few days of traveling in the desert, the Israelites’ excitement at being free started to wear thin. Even though they were no longer slaves, walking for miles every day under the hot sun wasn’t exactly easy either.
But one thing this crowd of about two million people didn’t need to worry about was getting lost. From the beginning God showed them the way. In the day He led them with a cloud. In the night that cloud lit up as if filled with fire. Whenever the cloud moved, the Israelites moved. When it stopped, they camped.Israelites leaving Egypt - Artist unknown
In a few days they found themselves camped in a dead end, between rocks, desert and the sea. But God had led them here, so it must be okay.
Meanwhile back in Egypt, Pharaoh couldn’t believe he let the Israelites go. What was he thinking? Such a huge...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 27:27-44
TO CHEW ON: "Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” (Acts 27:34)
Have you ever been seriously scared or nervous? Perhaps it was the time your team had to play the championship game, or you had to perform a solo in a piano recital, or you were driving through a snowstorm and the car started sliding all over the road.
Our bodies respond to fear in a physical way. How does your body feel when you are nervous or afraid?
- You can’t eat.- You get sick to your stomach.- You feel shaky.- You get a headache.- Your hands get cold and clammy.- Your face gets red.- You bite your nails.
The 275 passengers with Paul had been in the storm for 14 days. They were terrified the whole time. Many of them hadn’t eaten anything and were growing weak....
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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."Moses on...
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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: Nehemiah 2:11-20
TO CHEW ON: “The God of heaven will give us success . . .” Nehemiah 2:20a
When Nehemiah got to Jerusalem he took a few days to rest. Then he gathered some men and went to look at the wall. As they circled the city, Nehemiah saw that it was every bit as bad as Hanani had described.
What had once been sturdy walls were now piles of boulders and bricks. Where thick wooden gates had once protected the city, there were now only charred posts and empty spaces. He realized this would be a huge project. But he came back from exploring more determined than ever. With God’s help he would rebuild the wall!...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 27:13-26
TO CHEW ON: "Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called a 'Northeaster,' swept down from the island. The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.” Acts 27:14,15
At last Paul was getting his wish. He was on his way to Rome to appear before Caesar. Perhaps he was hopeful Caesar would rule that all the accusations the Jewish leaders had made against him were false."Paul heads to Rome" - Johann C. Weigel, 1695
Much of the trip had to be made by ship. The first part of Paul's voyage was smooth....
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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...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Esther 2:12-18
TO CHEW ON: "Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti." Esther 2:17
Esther gathered the few possessions she was planning to take with her. She said goodbye to Hegai and all her friends in the harem. This was the night she would go to the king. She would never come back to live here again. For after this night, the king would either choose her as his new queen or she would be sent to live in another part of the palace.
Even though this night was the most important night in her life, Esther kept things simple. Though she could have taken anything she wanted from the harem to impress the king, she didn’t do that. Instead she took only what Hegai suggested.
But when Xerxes saw her, he was charmed with her natural beauty. In fact she pleased him more than any other woman. The king liked Esther so much, he named her his new queen....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ruth 3:1-18
TO CHEW ON: “'I will do whatever you say,' Ruth answered." Ruth 3:5
Boaz’s kindness to Ruth got Naomi thinking. Maybe Boaz would be willing to do even more for them. Naomi remembered that Boaz was a relative. He had the right to buy back the land she and her husband had sold when they left Bethlehem years earlier. But if he did that, he would also have to marry Ruth. Would Boaz want to do that? She would find out.
“Take a bath and put on your best clothes,” Naomi said to Ruth one night. “Then go to the threshing floor. When Boaz goes to sleep, lie near him and uncover his feet. When he wakes up, he’ll tell you what to do.”
Did Ruth understand that by doing this she was actually asking Boaz to marry her? Didn’t she know that the man usually asks the woman to marry him? What if he didn’t want to marry her? Whether Ruth understood exactly what she was doing, or thought about how things could turn out – or not, she did exactly as Naomi told her.
1. What happened when Boaz woke up? (Ruth 3:8-11) _________Ruth sleeps at Boaz's feet -...
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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: 2 Kings 9:1-13
TO CHEW ON: "You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the Lord’s servants shed by Jezebel." 2 Kings 9:7
One day after Ahab had died and his son Joram was king, Elisha sent one of the prophets on a special errand. “Take a bottle of oil and go to Ramoth Gilead,” he said. “Find Captain Jehu and secretly anoint him king.”
When the prophet found Jehu at the army barracks he said, “I have a message for you.” They went into the house so they could talk privately. There the prophet poured oil on Jehu’s head and said, “I anoint you king over Israel. You are to destroy all the family of Ahab. This is because Ahab and Jezebel destroyed God’s servants the prophets.” When he was done, the prophet opened the door and ran....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 1:22-2:10
TO CHEW ON: “...She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said.” Exodus 2:5,6
Joseph and his brothers eventually died. Their children continued to live in Egypt. Their numbers grew until they were a nation. The Egyptians called them Hebrews or Israelites.
Four hundred years passed. Now a different Pharaoh ruled in Egypt. He was mean. He made the Israelites his slaves. They were forced to work for no pay. Even so, the number of Israelites kept growing.
This made Pharaoh worried. There were too many. What would he do if they decided to rebel and not to obey him any more? So he passed a new law. Every baby boy must be killed at birth.
How terrible! Instead of being happy that a new baby was about to be born, now the mothers were terrified. For it was against the law to let a baby boy live.
We know that at least one family didn’t obey this law. Use the sentence fragments and your Bible (Exodus 2:3-8) to finish the...
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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...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 15:22-27
TO CHEW ON: " He said, 'If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.' ” Exodus 15:26
Think of a time you were very thirsty. What did it feel like? What did you want more than anything?
After the Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea, Moses led the people into the desert. A desert is a dry place. It is often hot. As the people walked through the desert, they took sips from their water bottles. But soon all their water was gone. And theyfound no water for three days!
Walking anywhere for three days with little or no water is bad. But walking through the hot dry desert without water is scary. It’s no wonder when they got to a place with water, they went straight to it. A drink at last!
But no. The water tasted bitter. It probably isn’t even safe....
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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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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 32:1-6
TO CHEW ON: "He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.' ” Exodus 32:4
Moses was on Mount Sinai for a long time. When he didn’t come back, and didn’t come back, the Israelites camping at the bottom of the mountain wondered what was taking so long. Maybe God had destroyed Moses in the fire that rested on the top of the mountain. Maybe a wild animal had killed him. Who could help them if Moses never came back? They remembered Egypt. There the people had prayed to statues or idols.
The people went to Aaron. “Make us a god idol!” they demanded.
“Give me your jewelry,” he said. Then Aaron melted the gold he collected and cast it into the shape of a calf.
“This is our god,” the people shouted to each other. “This is the god who brought us out of Egypt.” They offered sacrifices to the idol and then they began to party.Israel celebrating around the calf idol - Artist unknown
Which statement, below, tells why this...
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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...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ezekiel 34:11-16
TO CHEW ON: I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, ...” Ezekiel 34:15,16
If you were compared to an animal, you would probably not want someone to say you were like a sheep. Sheep are easily led astray. When they get lost, they are not smart enough to find their way back home. They are not agile and quick but clumsy and slow. Their heavy coats of wool slow them down even more, making them an easy catch for wolves or mountain lions. In order for sheep to survive, they need someone to look after them.
But the Bible often compares people to sheep. That’s what God said the Israelites were like when they were far from home in Babylon. God promised to be a shepherd to them, even though their problems came from their headstrong, sheep-like ways. He would search for the lost ones, rescue the ones that were trapped or caught, bandage the hurt ones and make the weak ones strong.
Someday He would bring them back to...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 40: 27-31
TO CHEW ON: "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:30,31
Isaiah continued to remind the people of Judah what God is like. It’s as if he has heard someone complain and say, “God doesn’t see me and my problems. He doesn’t know me or care about me. He’s ignoring me.”
To that Isaiah replied with some facts about God. Complete the things Isaiah told the people, using words from the word bank below: (Isaiah 40:28,29)1. God is _________2. He is the __________3. He doesn’t get _______ or ________4. Nobody can fathom his ___________5. Instead of getting weary, he gives ___ and ____
power tired weary
But they may have asked – and you might too – How does God give us these things? Verse 31 has the answer. God’s strength comes to us when we hope in the...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 17:38-50
TO CHEW ON: "All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17:47
Though Samuel had anointed David as Israel’s next king, Saul continued to rule. And Israel was still fighting their old enemy the Philistines. At one time instead of fighting with their whole army, the Philistines picked a nine-foot giant named Goliath to challenge Saul’s soldiers. “Pick one man to fight me,” he shouted. “If he wins, we’ll be your slaves. But if he loses, you’ll be our slaves.”
For forty days Goliath came out and challenged the army like this. Of course no one volunteered. Instead, each day the men grew more afraid and intimidated.
Meanwhile, David was still looking after sheep. One day his dad asked him to check on his brothers at the battlefront and take them some food. He went and had just found his brothers when Goliath came out to shout his daily challenge. “Pick a man to fight me,” he bellowed. “Why aren’t you coming? Are you chicken?”
David heard him and was shocked. “Why...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 13:6-12
TO CHEW ON: "But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith." Acts 13:8
What happens on mission trips but problems?
Barnabas and Saul (from now on called Paul - Acts 13:8), were invited by one of Cyprus’s government officials, Sergius Paulus, to talk about God. But one of the servants, Elymas who was a sorcerer told his boss not to listen to them and not to believe in God.
Then the Holy Spirit showed Paul whose side Elymas was on. So Paul went to him and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right.” To prove God’s power was behind his words, Paul told Elymas he would go blind - and he did.The Conversion of the Proconsul - By Raphael, 1515-1516
When Sergius Paulus saw God’s power, he believed in God. Isn’t it just like God to turn a problem into praise!
We should not be surprised if we get resistance when we’re telling people about Jesus. Satan, Jesus’ enemy and ours, doesn’t want people to know about Him or trust Him. But we don’t need to fear Satan or...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Esther 8:11-17
TO CHEW ON:"In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating..." Esther 8:17
Quickly things turned around in Susa. Haman was gone. When Esther told the king that Mordecai was her cousin, he gave Mordecai the job Haman had before. But the king’s law still stood. The Jews were still in danger.
Again Esther went to the king. “Please spare the life of my people,” she pleaded.
“My law from before can’t be overturned,” the king told her. “But you can write another one.”
So Mordecai called together the secretaries. They wrote a new command. It said that the Jewish people could now fight back to defend themselves from anyone who attacked them. Couriers on horses raced to the farthest parts of the land to post the new law....
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