TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 22:1-21
TO CHEW ON: “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.” Acts 22:1
About a week after Paul got to Jerusalem he was arrested. Some Jewish leaders from the cities he had traveled to earlier saw him in the Jerusalem temple. Now they set the whole crowd against him. Soon there was another riot as bad as the one in Ephesus.
The crowd became so violent Roman soldiers had to rescue Paul or he would have been killed.
The soldiers tied him up with chains. They thought someone who got the crowd so angry must be a very bad person. Then they carried him to jail.
Just before Paul was taken into the jailhouse, he asked for permission to talk to the angry crowd....
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Tags: write storytelling Saul/Paul God’s plan Acts
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Judges 6:11-16
TO CHEW ON: "The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.' ” Judges 6:16
After Joshua died the people quickly forgot his final instructions. They began marrying their Canaanite neighbors and were soon praying to idols. So God allowed the nations around them to pick fights with them and win. The kings of these nations took their cities, made them servants and stole their crops.
When this happened, the people prayed for help. Then God raised up rulers called judges. These judges trusted God. They helped the people turn back to God. They led them into battle, helped them get back their land and live in peace again.
But the peace never lasted for long. No sooner was the danger past than the Israelites went back to worshiping idols. Then God allowed their enemies to trouble them again.
In one of these times the people from Midian – the Midianites – were hassling the Israelites so much they had to leave their homes and live in caves. They were running out of food because the Midianites stole their crops and cattle, and wrecked their land.Gideon, threshing wheat in his hideout...
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Tags: write promises problems Judges God’s help Gideon courage
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 3:1-8
TO CHEW ON: "Many are saying of me, 'God will not deliver him.' But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Psalm 3:2,3
Have you ever been in big trouble? Maybe some bullies at school are picking on you, or someone in your family is deathly sick, or your house was wrecked in a storm or fire – or some other thing. What do you do when big trouble comes?
When David wrote Psalm 3, he had a big problem. By now he had been king for many years. He also had many children. One of his sons, Absalom, was ambitious. He wanted to become king instead of David.
Secretly Absalom won the hearts of the people. He did this by talking to each person who came with a problem for the king to judge. He said things like, “Isn’t it a shame the king is too busy to hear you? Now if only I were the king, things would be different.”
After acting like this for four years, he made his move. Without his father knowing it Absalom went to Hebron. Then he sent secret messengers through the land. They told...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Proverbs 23:19-25
TO CHEW ON: "Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old." Proverbs 23:22
Have you ever had thoughts like this:- My parents are too serious. They just want me to work and not have any fun.- My parents are old fashioned. They don’t understand me and my friends.- My parents don’t let me do anything. All my friends are allowed to do it, why can’t I?
Kids getting along with parents, and parents getting along with kids has been a big deal since kids and parents were invented. In our Bible reading today, Solomon gives advice to kids on how to handle all the do's and don’t's that parents give.
Which things he does not say Proverbs 23:19-25 :1. Don’t join those who overeat and drink a lot of wine.2. As long as there’s an adult to supervise, you can go.3. Be disciplined.4. Make a project out of becoming wise and getting understanding.5. You become like the people with whom you hang out.6. It isn’t a big deal to your parents whether or not you obey them.7. When you show yourself a wise, good person, you’ll make your parents proud...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Numbers 11:4-6, 31-34
TO CHEW ON: "But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague." Numbers 11:33
The Israelites camped at Mount Sinai for a long time. Then one day the cloud lifted from over the tabernacle. Quickly the people packed up their tents and belongings while the Priests and Levites took down the tent church. It was time to move on.
The cloud led them from place to place. Though their feet got tired from walking, they were never hungry for long. Each morning they awoke to a new supply of manna on the ground.Israelites gathering manna - A. F. Pearse
The manna kept them from getting hungry but after a while they got bored. “We’re so tired of this manna,” they whined. “We want the food we had in Egypt – the fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks onions and garlic.” As the wailing spread through the whole camp, Moses prayed for God’s help.
God was angry with the Israelites for their grumbling. Even so, He sent a great wind. It brought quail from the sea. Quickly news spread around...
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Tags: write Numbers Moses grumbling disobedience
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Lamentations 1:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see. Is any suffering like my suffering that was inflicted on me, that the Lord brought on me in the day of his fierce anger?" Lamentations 1:12
What is the saddest thing that has ever happened to you? How did you handle your sad feelings - by crying, sleeping, staying busy, playing sports, talking to others, writing?
Lamentations is a Bible book that someone (most likely Jeremiah) wrote about a very sad time – the fall of Jerusalem.
It is poetry and full of word pictures. Jerusalem is compared to a widow. She was once married but now she is a slave dressed in clothes that are dirty with the sins she has done. Jerusalem’s former rulers are like deer who are starving and so weak they don’t have the strength to run away from the hunter. The roads leading to Jerusalem weep and its gates are empty.
Though Jeremiah escaped going to Babylon, this poem shows that he felt as sad as anyone. He loved his country. He loved Jerusalem. He hated to see it destroyed and its people taken away. Writing Lamentations probably...
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Tags: write temple Lamentations Judah Jeremiah
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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Tags: write trust problems prayer Israel faith Elijah 1 Kings
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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Tags: write true/false persecution Nehemiah Jesus friendship David 1 Peter
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 23:1-6
TO CHEW ON: "Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23:6
Do you keep a journal or diary? Have you ever read someone else’s, like The Diary of Anne Frank? You can tell a lot of things about someone by reading their journal. You can tell whether they’re mainly a happy or sad person. You can tell how they feel about others like family members and friends. And you can tell the things that make them scared, excited, discouraged or hopeful.
David, the boy Saul anointed king, kept a kind of journal. We still have it today. His journal was made up of poetry or songs called psalms. Many of David’s writings are found in our Bible book of Psalms (though not all the psalms in it are written by David). Since we know that David was someone who pleased God, it’s a great thing to have these personal writings of his.
Like most journal writers, David wrote about everyday things familiar to him. He was a shepherd and knew about sheep and looking after them. In Psalm 23 he wrote...
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 6:14-22
This Noah's Ark mural was once in the children's entrance of my church.
TO CHEW ON: "Noah did everything just as God commanded him." (Genesis 6:22)
Imagine this: you and your family are the only people who love God on the whole earth!
People talk about you. They say things like “Have you heard about that Noah family? They’re no fun. All they care about is pleasing God!”
Then one day God tells you to build a big boat (the Bible calls it an ark). Then people talk even more: “Get a load of this. That crazy Noah is building a boat – a BIG boat. And there’s not even any water nearby.”...
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