TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ephesians 6:6-9
TO CHEW ON: "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does." Ephesians 6:7,9
“No TV until your room is clean,” Mom announces one Saturday morning.
Your room is a total mess. After you spend a few minutes trying to tidy it, you know it’s hopeless. So you take everything that’s cluttering up your floor and desk, and either slip it under the bed or pile it in the closet. Once you’ve closed the closet door and made your bed, your room looks great. Everyone is impressed - until Mom inspects it. In no time you’re back in your room and hard at work!
Though we may sometimes get away with doing a half-hearted job for people, we can never fool God. He sees our attitude and knows if we’ve really done our best.
When we do our best, we may not get compliments and thanks from people. But God sees and someday He’ll reward us for jobs well done. Knowing He is watching is the best reason to do our best in everything....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ephesians 2:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
Think back through the last 24 hours. What things have you used in that time which someone once had to invent, design and make? For example did you ride a bike, wash with a bar of soap, use a computer, send a text message on a cell phone, load a dishwasher? Make a list.
Just think – not one of the things you listed came into being on its own. Someone had to think of, design and put together each of these things to do their special job.....
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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: Acts 18:1-4
TO CHEW ON: "And because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.” Acts 18:3
What do you want to be when you grow up – a musician? a pilot? a cook? an artist? a road builder? Could you do these things – and be a missionary too?
Paul would say “yes.” He was a missionary, but when he needed money for rent and food he also had a job. He made tents. When the church in Corinth was small and there weren’t enough people to pay the salary of a full-time missionary pastor, Paul worked with his friends Priscilla and Aquilla at tent-making during the day. In his time off he worked for the church."Paul worked as a tentmaker" Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992
We still use the word “tentmaker” to describe people who do a second job to support themselves while they work for God. These modern tentmakers don’t literally make tents. They do many jobs, from teaching English to nursing to engineering. They can often get into countries where pastors and missionaries aren’t allowed. Sometimes they work in places where the local...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 29:1-11
TO CHEW ON: "He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side and said, 'Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your fathers. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary.'” 2 Chronicles 29:4,5
What are you most likely to do when your room gets messy?- clean it up- nothingWhen Hezekiah, Uzziah’s great-grandson became Judah’s king, one of the first things he did was a clean-up job, even though the mess wasn’t in his room and it was a mess he hadn’t made. In the first month of his reign King Hezekiah called together the priests and Levites and told them to clean up the temple.
The reasons for cleaning it up were more than that Hezekiah was a neat-freak. After thirty two years of being ruled by evil kings (his father Ahaz and his grandfather Jotham), Hezekiah knew there was a connection between worshiping God and having His blessing. He wanted God’s blessing more than anything. And so he told the priests and Levites to take everything that didn’t belong in the temple out so that they could again worship God...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Nehemiah 4:16-23
TO CHEW ON: "From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officials posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall." Nehemiah 4:16
The threats against the workers were real. But still Nehemiah didn’t stop work on the wall. “Now we really need to work together,” he told the people.
He organized workers in shifts. While one half worked on construction, the other half stood guard. Because everyone was spread out on the wall, he made an alarm system. When people heard a trumpet blast, they should all go to where the trumpet was.
The way Nehemiah organized the people to stay safe while they worked is a great example of teamwork. We too can get more done when we work as a team. If you are part of a sports team, you know how important it is for each person to play their position and do their part. The same is true in the things we do for God....
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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: 2 Timothy 2:20-26
TO CHEW ON: "Those who cleanse themselves ... will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." 2 Timothy 2:21
Are you a leader? Before you quickly answer “no,” think about it. Do you have younger brothers and sister to whom you teach things? Have you ever been asked by your school teacher to show a new kid around? Perhaps you’ve been chosen by your friends to lead the project or to captain the team. You are probably much more of a leader than you know.
Though you’re young, it’s not too soon to learn how to lead well. God often calls great leaders when they’re young. Timothy was a young leader when Paul wrote him some leader instructions.
"Paul teaches Timothy" - Artist unknown
Can you find five things Paul told Timothy a leader should do and three a leader should not do? (2 Timothy 2: 22 - 25)Should do:184.108.40.206.5.
These instructions are still excellent advice for leaders today - young and old....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Proverbs 24:30-34
TO CHEW ON: "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man." Proverbs 24:33,34
What does it mean to be lazy? Read what a dictionary says.
Below are some ways people might act. Which of these actions could you mark with an L to show the person might be lazy?
1. ___ Begins work on the assignment right away, even though it’s not due for a week.2. ___ Shoves things under the bed and in the closet when cleaning his room.3. ___ Spends all day in front of the TV.4. ___ Keeps her garden plot free of weeds.5. ___ Never folds or hangs up her clothes.6. ___ Does all his jobs as soon as he gets home from school.7. ___ Hides half of his papers in the park so he won’t have to deliver them....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 1:3-8
TO CHEW ON: “'But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'” Acts 1:8
We pay close attention to a person’s last words. When we know we are seeing someone for the last time, we’re careful to listen to the things they say.
The words above are the last words written in the Bible that Jesus said to His disciples before He went into heaven. He told His followers two important things."Jesus before His return to heaven" - Artist unknown
Complete Jesus’ instructions by filling in the blanks using Acts 1:8 and the words below:
1. Jesus had a job for them to do:You will be ______ ________ in __________, ___________, __________ and to the ends of the earth.
2. He would help them do that job:You will _________ _________ when the ________ ______ comes on you....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Timothy 2:1-7, 15
TO CHEW ON: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15
Would it be possible to be a bank teller without knowing how to do math and use a computer? Could you be a gardener without knowing about plants. What about being a doctor without knowing about the human body, diseases, and medicines?To do a job well, you have to learn about your job or business.
Once someone is trained to do a job, they have to be willing to do the hard things in their job.If a person is an athlete, she has to keep her body fit and play by the rules of the sport.If a person is a nurse, he has to be prepared to work with sick people, give needles, and sometimes work the night shift.Someone who is a teacher has to be willing to prepare lessons and mark homework....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Chronicles 11:1-9
TO CHEW ON: "And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord Almighty was with him." 1 Chronicles 11:9
Now that Saul was dead, the people of Israel needed a new king. They gathered in the city of Hebron where David was staying. David had proved himself a natural leader and a fearless warrior. They knew that God had already chosen him to be king. Now they wanted to make it official and crown him king. They did this at Hebron.
Then the Israelites went with David to the city of Jerusalem. David wanted Jerusalem to be the place from which he ruled.
Rebels who didn’t like David lived there. “You’ll never get in here!” the people of Jerusalem shouted at David from behind thick walls....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Nehemiah 6:1-16
TO CHEW ON: "So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God." Nehemiah 6:15,16
The wall was nearly done. There were no more broken gaps and only the gates were missing. But instead of the opposition getting less, it got worse. One day Nehemiah got another message from Sanballat and Geshem. “Come to a meeting in a nearby village,” it said.
Nehemiah smelled trouble. He was sure these men were planning to harm him. He sent back word, “I’m busy on a big project.”\
They didn’t give up easily. Three more times they called him to a meeting. Finally on the fifth try, the messenger showed Nehemiah another letter from Sanballat. It said, “We know that you and the Jews are plotting a revolution. You’re planning to become king. If you don’t want this reported back to Artaxerxes, you’d better meet with us.”
Still Nehemiah refused to be distracted. “These are all lies,” he wrote back. “You’re making this up out of your head.”
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 19:9-18
TO CHEW ON: "Then the Lord said to him, 'Go back the way you came. . . .'” 1 Kings 19:15
When Elijah came to Mount Horeb, he found a cave in which to sleep. That night God spoke to him. “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
“I’ve done my best for You,” Elijah replied. “But the Israelites have turned their backs on You. They’ve broken your altars and killed your prophets. I’m the only one left. Now they’re trying to kill me too.”
“Come outside,” God told him. “I want to show you something.”
As Elijah stood outside the cave, a powerful wind came up, shaking the trees and loosening rocks so they came tumbling down. But Elijah didn’t hear God in the wind. Suddenly the earth underneath him began shaking. But Elijah didn’t hear God in the earthquake. Then he saw fires burning around him. But God wasn’t in the fires either.
Finally Elijah heard a quiet voice. He recognized it. It was God. Again God asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 28:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured." (Acts 28:8,9)
Paul had just come through a two-week storm and a hair-raising shipwreck. The sailors and passengers had landed on the Island of Malta. You’d think he would be asking for a holiday. But not Paul!
"Paul sails for Rome" - Artist unknown (after Gustave Dore)
First he helped collect firewood. When a viper (a poisonous reptile) fastened itself to his hand, the superstitious islanders thought this was a sign Paul was a murderer. They watched closely to see him fall over dead. When Paul didn’t die they thought he was a god....
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 24:12-20, 57-61
TO CHEW ON: "Then he prayed, 'O Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.'" Genesis 24:12
Abraham sent his servant on an errand. He was to find a wife for Isaac among Abraham’s relatives far away. This was a hard job. As the servant traveled he wondered how would he ever find Abraham’s family, let alone know which was the right girl.
When he got to the faraway land, he still didn’t know what to do. He found a well and sat there to rest. As he rested he prayed, "God please help me find the right girl. May it be the girl that when I ask her for a drink, she'll offer to water my camels too. If that happens, I'll take it as a sign that she's the right girl."
Before he finished praying beautiful Rebekah came to the well.
Unscramble the words to find out what the servant said and how the girl answered him (Genesis 24:17-19)
Could this be the right girl?
It turned out Rebekah was also one of Abraham’s relatives. When the servant explained his errand to Rebekah’s family they asked her, “Will you go?” and...
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The Geography of the Bible
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Israel in Jesus' Time
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