TODAY’S SPECIAL: James 3:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark." James 3:5
Which of these could start a forest fire?- a cigarette butt- a spark from a campfire- a match
If you answered, “all of them,” you’re right! When the forest is dry, the tiniest spark starts a fire which can grow to destroy miles and miles of trees, hundreds of homes, businesses, power lines, animals, and even people.
James compares the words we say (with the help of the little red, wet, wiggly thing in our mouths called a tongue) to sparks that start a forest fire. But can our words really do that much damage?...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Timothy 3:14-17
TO CHEW ON: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16
Have you ever had a toy that needed putting together, or a complicated watch or camera? It came with an instruction book, right? That book had all the information you needed to put the toy together, to set the watch, or take photos with the camera. It’s a lot easier to understand how something works by reading the book than trying to figure it out yourself.
As Christians we have an instruction book too. It’s the Bible.
The Bible is no ordinary book. Though sections of it were written hundreds of years apart, and by many different people, it fits together and never gets outdated. Each part is necessary and useful in some way....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL:Philippians 4:4-9
TO CHEW ON: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Philippians 4:8
You’ve probably heard the proverb, “You can’t stop a bird from landing on your head, but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair.”
Our thoughts are a lot like that bird. The first time a thought occurs to us is like the bird sitting on our head. We can’t help that it landed there but we can choose what happens after that. We can choose to invite the thought to stay by thinking about it more, or shoo it away by replacing it with a better thought.
For example, suppose you stop by your best friend Jessica’s house to walk her to school. Her Mom tells you that she’s already left with Danielle. Immediately you have the thought: “Danielle’s trying to steal my friend.”
Now you have a choice. Do you encourage that jealous thought by telling yourself things like:I never could trust Jessica.Next time I see Jessica and Danielle I'll give them a piece of my mind.
Or do you replace...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Esther 2:19-22
TO CHEW ON: "But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai." Esther 2:22
“Xerxes is a tyrant. He’s gone too far!”
"We should kill him . . .”
Mordecai sat motionless as he strained to hear the secret conversation. In his job at the king’s gate, he had heard a lot of things. But never before had he overheard people actually plotting to murder the king.
As soon as the plotters left, Mordecai hurried to the palace and straight to Queen Esther. He told her everything he had heard.
Esther lost no time in reporting the plot to the king. “And Mordecai your servant, who sits at the king’s gate is the one who uncovered this,” she told him.Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992
Immediately Xerxes had the two men arrested and killed for their plans. Then the whole incident was recorded in the king’s record book.
Let’s think about what Esther did for a minute. Now that she was queen, her responsibility to Mordecai was done. She could have taken the credit for uncovering that plot for herself. It...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 5:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "With his wife’s full knowledge, he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and laid it at the apostles’ feet." Acts 5:2
Some early Christians sold their property and gave the money from those sales to help others. Ananias and Sapphira decided to do this too. But instead of bringing the whole amount, they brought just a part and kept back some for themselves.
There was nothing wrong with this. But then Ananias did a sneaky thing. He gave the money to the leaders as if it were the entire amount. He tried to leave the impression that he was giving everything, even though he wasn’t. Later his wife Sapphira lied in the same way.
But God saw their deception. He told Peter, and Peter exposed their lie. That day Ananias fell down dead when Peter confronted him with what he had done."Death of Ananias" by Raphael
Later the same thing happened to Sapphira. It was God’s judgment on them for trying to deceive....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ephesians 6:10-18
TO CHEW ON: "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes." Ephesians 6:11
Why would anyone choose to wear a hot bullet-proof vest, a stiff camouflage uniform, a heavy helmet, weighty steel-toed boots, an uncomfortable gas mask and on top of all that carry a cumbersome weapon and ammunition? Only someone who needed a lot of protection - like a soldier in war.
Everything a soldier wears helps protect him from the enemy. His camouflage uniform makes it easy for him to hide. His helmet, vest and boots protect his head, chest and feet. His gas mask filters out poison or germs from the air. His weapon helps him defend himself or even take more land for his country.
Christians have to be just as prepared to fight against the devil. But what exactly are we fighting against? (Ephesians 6:12) We are not fighting against a]_____ but against the b]_____, against the c]_____ against the d]_____ and against the e]_____....
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