Sunday, April 19, 2015

Peacemaker

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 25:14-20; 32-35

TO CHEW ON: "David said to Abigail, 'Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.'” 1 Samuel 25: 32,33


Many people loyal to David began to join him in the cave where he was hiding. Eventually David and his men moved from caves to the desert. While they were there, some shepherds, the servants of a man named Nabal, were herding sheep nearby. David and his men made friends with the shepherds. They protected their flocks from wild animals and bandits.


After the shepherds had taken the sheep home, David heard that Nabal was going to throw a party for his servants. This would be a good time to get a meal from Nabal in payment for protecting him, David thought. He sent one of his men to Nabal with a polite note, asking if he and his men could come to the party.

Nabal, who was very rich, but also very selfish, answered David’s servant roughly. “Why should I take the food I make for my servants and give it to any old person?” he asked.

When David heard what Nabal had said, he was furious. He and his men strapped on their swords and set out toward Nabal’s ranch. They would make him pay for his selfishness!

Meanwhile, one of Nabal’s servants had heard the way he talked to David’s messenger. He went to Abigail, Nabal’s wife, and told her what happened. “I’m worried,” he said. “The way Nabal treated David, I’m sure David will try to get even.”

Abigail set right to work. She collected a lot of food – bread, wine, sheep, roasted grain, raisins and figs. Then she loaded them on donkeys and set off down the road.

Soon she met David and his men. Sure enough, they were red-hot angry and eager to make Nabal pay for insulting them. Abigail got off her donkey, bowed politely, then asked David to take the gifts of food she had brought. She also begged him to spare her life and the lives of her husband and their servants.


As David listened to this beautiful, wise woman, his anger cooled. “Praise God that you came,” he said. “If you hadn’t, not one male person on your ranch would have been spared. Today you kept me from doing a bad thing.”

PRAYER: Dear God, please give us the wisdom, humility and courage to be peacemakers. Amen.

MORE: A peace harvestChoosing to be a peacemaker instead of fighting may feel like a sissy way to respond to threats and insults. But God calls making peace between enemies a wise thing to do. James 3:17,18 talks about peacemakers.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.


According to this verse, what does a peacemaker need to be like? You may want to memorize this verse to help you remember how to be a wise peacemaker.

Answers

***********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Saturday, April 18, 2015

All-seeing Eyes

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 139:1-16

TO CHEW ON: "You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways." Psalm 139:2,3

David couldn’t sleep in his own bed any more, or eat at his own table, or be close to the people he loved. That would make it too easy for Saul to find and kill. Instead, he had to run away. He ran from city to city. But as soon as someone recognized him he had to leave because it was no longer safe.

Finally David found a good place to hide in some caves. Saul couldn’t find him there. David’s own family didn’t know where he was. But Someone did. God never lost sight of David all the time he was hiding.

In Psalm 139 David writes about God’s all-seeing eyes. Pick out every statement below, that tell where God sees us and what He knows about us. (Psalm 139:1-16)

1. God sees where we sit in school.
2. God sees us when we get up in the morning.
3. God knows what we will say this evening.


4. God sees us when we’re in a space rocket.
5. God sees us when we’re under water in a submarine.
6. God sees us when we’ve moved to a new home across an ocean.
7. God sees us when we’re in total darkness.
8. God saw us when we were being formed inside our Moms.
9. God knows how many days we will live and sees every one of them.


If you picked every statement – you’re right. God sees everything about us, past, present and future.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for seeing and knowing all about me. Amen.

MORE: Eyes
When compared to God’s sight, ours is very limited. Still our eyes and the sense of sight is a wonderful thing. Here are some neat facts about eyes and sight:


1. We need light to see.
2. Our eyeball is about the size of a table tennis ball.
3. Everyone’s iris (the colored part of your eye) is different and can be used like a fingerprint to identify you.
4. Our eyelids close automatically whenever they sense danger.
5. We blink thousands of times a day.
6. Our tears wash our eyeballs and keep them healthy.
7. Our vision can be improved with glasses, contact lenses or surgery.
8. Birds of prey like hawks, eagles and owls have the sharpest vision.

Find out more about eyes and your sense of sight through books or the internet.

************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Friday, April 17, 2015

Best Friends

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 20:32-42

TO CHEW ON: "Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord saying, "The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever."'” 1 Samuel 20:42


King Saul’s jealousy meant that the palace was no longer a safe place for David. Saul even told his servants and his son Jonathan to kill David if they got the chance. So David left to live somewhere else. This made Jonathan sad. He liked David a lot. In fact, you could say they were best friends.

One day Prince Jonathan asked his father, “Why are you trying to kill David? He doesn’t mean you any harm.”

“You’re probably right,” King Saul answered. He promised to stop trying to kill David. Then Jonathan convinced David to come back and live in the palace again. But no sooner had he moved back when again Saul tried to kill him and David had to run for his life.

Again Jonathan tried to get him to come back. “My Dad and I are very close,” he said. “He hasn’t said anything to me about killing you.”

But David refused to come back. Instead, he and Jonathan made a plan to test Saul’s real feelings. In a few days Saul’s family would gather to celebrate a festival. Though David was expected to come, he would stay away. Jonathan would watch Saul’s reaction. If Saul didn’t care that David was missing, everything was probably alright. But if he got angry, they would know that Saul really was planning to kill David.

The first day of the festival, Saul said nothing about David’s empty place. But on the second day, Saul asked Jonathan where David was.

“His brothers asked that he spend time with his own family,” Jonathan said.

Then Saul’s temper flared – this time at Jonathan. “Don’t you know that David has his eye on being king?” he asked. “If he doesn’t die, you’ll never get to be king yourself.” And then in a rage, Saul hurled his spear at his own son.

Jonathan knew now what Saul’s true intentions were. The next day Jonathan went to the place where he and David had agreed to meet. Even though it was dangerous for him to even be seen with David, he again risked his life for his friend to tell him the sad truth. Before they parted, they promised each other that whatever happened they would always be friends and would always treat each other’s families with kindness.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to be a good friend, like Jonathan was to David. Amen.



MORE: Friendship
1. What are some ways Jonathan and David were good friends to each other?

2. Who is your best friend?

3. What do you like about being friends with that person?

4. What can you and your friends learn about friendship from David and Jonathan?













************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mind Matter

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 1:1-6

CHEW ON: "But they (people who try to please God) take joy in doing all God wants them to. They think about God’s laws day and night. They think about ways to follow him more closely." Psalm 1:2 (The [Simplified] Living Bible)

Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible
© American Bible Society 1976, 1992, used with permission.



Saul tried to kill David because he was jealous. He kept his envious thoughts growing by going back to them again and again. He imagined how the people were saying David should be king instead of him. He wished David weren’t around. Maybe if he killed David, the people would admire him the most again …

Our minds are always busy, thinking about something. But we don't have to let our minds go wherever they choose. We can control what we think about. If we find ourselves thinking jealous, hateful, revengeful thoughts, we can stop. We can turn our minds to other things – and think thoughts that are good, loving, wholesome and kind.

What are your favorite things to think about? What are some things you try NOT to think about?

Read Philippians 4:8, then make a list of good things to think about.

When you think happy thoughts, thank God for the good things in your life. When you think sad, scary or angry thoughts, stop. Pray and ask God to help you change them.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for my mind. Please help me think wholesome, good, true, loving thoughts today. Amen.

SUPERSIZE IT: Your favorite things
There’s a song called “My Favorite Things.” In it the singer lists the nice things she tries to think about when feeling bad or sad – things like roses, kittens, and packages tied with string.

You can listen to it here.

















Now draw a picture of your favorite things to think about. Write a short prayer of thank-you below your picture.

**********
 Scriptures marked The Living Bible (or TLB) copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. The Living Bible, TLB, and the The Living Bible logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Green-eyed Monster

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 18:1-16

TO CHEW ON: "Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. 'They have credited David with tens of thousands,' he thought, 'but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?' And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David." 1 Samuel 18: 8.9

David’s victory over Goliath sparked a big celebration. All the women in towns along the road from the battlefield to the palace came out to cheer. They had tambourines and lutes and sang a song:

“Saul has slain his thousand
and David his ten thousands.”

When Saul heard this, he grew very jealous. They were praising David more than him. Next they’d want to crown David king.

Because David was now a famous warrior, Saul invited him to stay at the palace. David had actually been at the palace before, to play the harp for Saul. He did this to calm Saul when an evil spirit bothered him.


The day after they got back, the evil spirit came to Saul again and he asked David to play his calming music. This time, though, Saul’s jealousy was too strong. As David was playing, Saul took up a spear and threw it at David, trying to kill him. Just in time, David got out of the way. But from then on, jealous Saul couldn’t get the thought of killing David out of his head.


PRAYER: Dear God, please show me any jealous feelings in my heart and help me to deal with them. Amen.

MORE: Five ways to fight the Jealousy Monster
Have you ever been in a situation like this?
- The teacher pays special attention to other kids in class but ignores you.
- The new kid in your school has stolen your best friend.
- You have trouble liking the person who beat you out in baseball tryouts.

Are you tempted to respond with jealousy?
(Jealousy = when you resent or hate someone who is getting what you think you deserve, what you would like to have, or what you once had and lost.)

Here are five ways to fight the Jealousy Monster:
1. Admit that your jealousy is sin (Galatians 5:19-21).

2. Ask God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

3. Ask God for wisdom to know how to deal with your jealous feelings (James 1:5).

4. Accept yourself as God made you (Romans 12:3-8).

5. Accept the things that are happening in your life – even the ones that make you feel jealous – as allowed by God (Romans 8:28). He works even through difficult things to make you into the person He can use. Be teachable.

*********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Giant Problem

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 are we letting him insult the army of the living God like this?” he asked. And then he volunteered to take on Goliath himself.

“Put on my armor for protection,” Saul insisted when the men brought David to him. But David found Saul’s armor way too heavy and cumbersome. He took it off and began walking towards Goliath unprotected.

Goliath saw him. He was insulted. “You’re going to fight me with sticks? Do you think I’m a dog? You’ll soon be bird food!”

1. How did David answer him? (1 Samuel 17:45) __________




2. When David was close enough, he took a stone from his bag, put it in his sling and let it go. Then what happened (1 Samuel 17:49, 50) __________



3. What do you think was the main reason for David’s success: (Choose one)

A. He was skilled with the sling.

B. God helped him because David trusted God and stood up for His honor.

C. He was brave because he was young and didn’t know any better.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to trust You and stand up for You like David did. Amen

MORE: Modern Goliaths
Have you ever met these modern Goliaths? Can you think of more?
- A smart-mouthed kid in your class teases you for being a Christian.
- A teacher in your school makes fun of God and the Bible.
- Your Dad’s boss makes sure he works every Sunday shift even though he wants to go to church.
-

Ask God to help you find a way to stand up for God to the Goliaths in your life.

What do you think: Do people who honor God in this way always win as spectacularly as David did?

Answers


************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Bible Journal

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 the writer by reading someone’s 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 about sheep. But his heart was also so full of thoughts about God that he put God in his world. He called God his shepherd and pretended that he was a sheep.

Suppose you didn’t know anything else about David except that he was a shepherd. By reading this psalm, what can you tell about:
1. The things David liked.
2. The things that made David afraid.
3. Who David trusted in.
4. How David felt about God.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the Bible and especially the Psalms which help us see inside the heart of David and others who knew You well. Amen


MORE: Your own journal
If you don’t already keep a journal, you may want to start one. Your journal doesn’t have to be a fancy book. A school scribbler works just fine. Here are a few journal points that will help make yours a treasure long after the book is full:

1. Date your entries.

2. Write about the everyday things in your life.

3. Write about God, or to God, or the things you hear God say to you.

4. Write regularly, even if it’s just a line or two.

5. Reread your journals later to remind you of the things you’ve learned and how God has been with you.



Answers










**************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Handsome Inside

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

TO CHEW ON: "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people looks at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7

For a long time Samuel felt sad about Saul and way he had turned out as king. One day God said to him, “Stop feeling bad about Saul. Today I want you to anoint a new king.” Then God told him where to go (Bethlehem) and which family the new king would come from (Jesse’s).

When he got to Bethlehem, he invited Jesse and his sons to join him and other people in offering a sacrifice to God. Then he asked Jesse to introduce him to his sons.


The first son, Eliab, was tall and handsome – just like a king. But God said, “Don’t judge by his height and good looks. I see his heart, and I have rejected him.”

The same thing happened when Jesse’s second son met Samuel, and the third, and the fourth, all the way to number seven.

“Is this all the sons you have?” Samuel asked Jesse.

“There’s one more,” Jesse said. “He’s the youngest and he’s tending sheep.”


“Get him,” Samuel said.

When David, Jesse’s youngest, son got there, Samuel saw that he was just a sunburned kid. He didn’t look like a king at all. But God said to Samuel, “He’s the one!”

Then Samuel poured oil on David’s head as the person God had picked to be Israel’s next king.


PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to have a heart that pleases You. Amen.

MORE: Inner versus outer
Many people judge us by how we look on the outside. They decide whether we’re worth getting to know and have as a friend by how beautiful or ugly we are, if our clothes are in or out of style, if we’re smart or slow, fun or serious. But those things aren’t all that important to God. He focuses on the appearance of our hearts.

Spend a few minutes thinking about how your heart looks to God. Are you full of love for Him? Do you want to please Him and do what He asks no matter what? Or are you full of yourself and determination to have your own way?

No matter what you find, God can change your heart so your attitudes and actions become more and more beautiful to Him.

***********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Dethroned

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 15:17-26

TO CHEW ON: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22

Samuel came to Saul one day to give him a new job from God. He was to fight Israel’s old enemy, the Amalekites. After the battle was over, Samuel gave him plain instructions not to let any person or animal escape alive.

Saul’s army won easily. Then they did as Samuel told them and destroyed all the people. But they kept the best cattle and Saul saved the life of king Agag.

After the battle God talked to Samuel. “Saul hasn’t carried out my instructions,” He said.

So Samuel went to find Saul. When Saul saw him he was all smiles. “I did exactly what God told me to,” he said.

“Then what are the sounds of sheep and cattle I hear?” Samuel asked.

“The soldiers kept those,” Saul said. “They’re planning to sacrifice these animals to God. I destroyed all the people just like you told me to. I only kept Agag the king.”



But Samuel wasn’t fooled by the Saul's excuses. “God wants your obedience,” he said, “not your sacrifice. What you did shows that you have a rebellious heart which doesn’t want to obey God. Because you have rejected God, he has rejected you as king. He has torn the kingdom from you and your family and will give it to one of your neighbors.”

Then Saul was sorry. He wished he could go back and do what God had told him to do.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to obey You and the people, like my parents that You have put over me. Amen.

MORE: Obedience
We don’t have specific instructions of things God wants us to do like Samuel gave Saul. But God does give us general instructions on how to live. These are in the Bible.

One set of instructions is the Ten Commandments - Exodus 20:1-17.

Write the commandment that is easiest for you to obey. _____________

Write the commandment that is hardest. _________________________

**********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Friday, April 10, 2015

Impatient Saul

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 13:7-14

TO CHEW ON: "He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, 'Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.' And Saul offered up the burnt offering." 1 Samuel 13:8,9

One day after Saul had been king for a while, Saul’s son Jonathan attacked a Philistine outpost. This was like poking a stick into a wasp’s nest. Immediately the Philistines gathered their army and came against the Israelites to fight.

Saul’s army was only two thousand men. In a panic he sent trumpeters through the land to call back the rest of the army and anyone else able to fight. Then he and his men waited. They waited for more soldiers to come. They also waited for Samuel, the prophet and priest, to offer a sacrifice and ask for God’s help. Saul knew that it would be useless to go to war without that.

Meanwhile every day the Philistine army grew larger. It swelled to three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers and thousands upon thousands of soldiers.

The men in Saul’s army watched and grew more terrified by the hour. Soon they lost all courage and began to run away and hide in caves, among trees, behind rocks and in cisterns.

Saul too felt afraid and desperate. Where was Samuel? He said he’d come in a week. The week was over and he still hadn’t arrived. If they didn’t get going soon, his army would be down to nothing. Even though he wasn’t a priest, Saul decided to make the offering himself.

He was just finishing when Samuel arrived.




“What have you done?” Samuel asked. When Saul told him, Samuel said, “You have acted foolishly.” Then he told Saul that God was displeased with him and there would be consequences of his impatience and disobedience.

PRAYER: Dear God, please guard me from the impatience that would cause me to do things my way instead of Your way. Amen.

MORE: Waiting. . . waiting . . . waiting. . .
Do you like to wait? What things make you impatient?

It’s easy to get impatient with things, people – even God, especially when He doesn’t seem to hear and answer our prayers.

Here is a verse that reminds us God is always on time. You might want to memorize it.

"In that day they will say, 'Surely this is our God; we trusted in him and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.'” Isaiah 25:9

Next time you’re tempted to impatiently do things your way instead of waiting for God’s help in His time, remember the story of impatient Saul, review this verse and wait for God's timing.

**********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Changed!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 10:1-9

TO CHEW ON: “The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” 1 Samuel 10:6,7

The next day Samuel sent Saul back home. Just before they parted, Samuel took out a bottle of oil and poured some on Saul’s head. Anointing him in this way showed that Saul was God’s choice to be Israel’s king.


1.To make sure that Saul knew this was God’s idea and not just Samuel’s, Samuel predicted some things that would happen to Saul in the next few hours. Which thing Samuel did not say: (1 Samuel 10:2-6)

A. You will meet two men who will tell you the donkeys have been found and your father is now worried about you.


B. You will find the donkeys on the road to Gibeah.


C. You will meet three men carrying goats, bread and wine.


D. You will meet a band of prophets playing instruments and prophesying.


E. You will prophesy and be changed.


2. What happened as Saul turned to leave Samuel? (1 Samuel 10:9) __________

All the things happened that day, just as Samuel had said.

When Saul met the prophets and joined them in prophesying, praising and worshiping God, the people who knew Saul and his family were surprised. “Who would imagine that Saul would be a prophet!” they said. It was obvious that he had been changed.

From that time on God was with Saul in a special way. God’s Holy Spirit changed him and gave him everything he needed to do the job of being king.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your Holy Spirit who changes us into people who can do the things You ask us to do. Amen.

MORE: Power for everyone
Before Jesus came, the Holy Spirit helped especially the people who had big assignments from God.

Just before Jesus went back to heaven, He gave all his followers – those that were living then and those that would live in the future – a big assignment. It was to tell the Gospel. They were to tell people all around the world the good news that Jesus had paid the penalty for their sins. By trusting in Him, everyone could be forgiven and be friends with God.

But in order to do this assignment, every one of them would need Holy Spirit power. Read the story of when the Holy Spirit first came on many people at once in Acts 2:1-13.

Answers

************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lost but Found

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 9:15-20

TO CHEW ON: "Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel: 'About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him leader over my people Israel...'” 1 Samuel 9:15,16

When Samuel told the people to go home after they had asked for a king, he didn’t know who that king would be. But God did.

Some time after that some donkeys got lost. Their owner Kish, from tribe of Benjamin, sent his son Saul and a servant to look for them. They walked for miles and miles but they couldn't find the donkeys. Finally Saul was ready to give up. “We’d better go home,” he said, “or Dad will start worrying about us.”

“Let’s try just one more thing,” the servant suggested. “A prophet lives nearby. Let’s ask him if he knows where the donkeys are.”

Meanwhile Samuel, the prophet, had heard from God. God had told him, “Tomorrow I will send a man to you from the tribe of Benjamin. He will be the new king.”

The next day Samuel was walking outside his house when along came a tall, handsome stranger. “Do you know where the prophet’s house is?” the stranger asked.


Even as Samuel was replying, “I am the prophet,” God was speaking to him. ‘This is the man.’

Samuel told Saul that the donkeys had been found. Then he invited Saul to his house for a meal. They had a long talk and Saul spent the night.

How interesting that God used an ordinary, even annoying thing – losing something and having to look for it – to bring Saul to Samuel. Can He still work in everyday situations like this? Does He?



PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for being in every place and happening in my life. Amen.




MORE: Donkeys
Donkeys were more common in the Bible than horses. Find out about donkeys:
1. How are they different from horses?
2. What do they eat?
3. How would you care for them?
4. How are they useful to people?
5. Read some more donkey stories from the Bible
- A donkey speaks: Numbers 22:21-31
- A donkey carries Jesus: Matthew 21:1-11

************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Copy-cats

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 8:1-21

TO CHEW ON: "But the people refused to listen to Samuel. 'No!' they said. We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations. . . .'” 1 Samuel 8:19,20

Samuel judged Israel till he was an old man. Then he appointed his sons to be judges after him. But they were not fair and wise like Samuel their father had been. So the people didn’t want them as rulers. Instead they wanted a king. They wanted to be just like the nations around them.

Samuel warned them that a king would give them a whole new set of problems. Name five of the disadvantages of having a king Samuel lists. A king will (1 Samuel 8:10-18):
1. ___
2. ___
3. ___
4. ___
5. ___

In spite of this, the people insisted. They thought that if they had a king like everybody else, they would win wars and be as strong as their enemies.


Samuel felt hurt by this request. He felt as if the people had rejected him. But God told him, “It isn’t you they’ve rejected, but Me. Even so, listen to them and give them a king.”

The Israelites didn’t realize that it wasn’t the outward stuff that made them win or lose a war. It wasn’t the kind of government that would make them weak or strong as a nation. Winning or losing, being weak or strong depended on whether they obeyed God – or not.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to gain success by living in a way that pleases You rather than by copying people who look successful. Amen

MORE: Monkey see, monkey do
We are not so different from the Israelites in the way we don’t like to be different. Sometimes this is not a bad thing. At other times our wanting to fit in can take us down the wrong road. Pretend you are an advice writer. What would you tell each of these kids who wants to fit in, but also wants to please God?




























Answers


*************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ebenezer

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 7:2-13

TO CHEW ON: "Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far has the Lord helped us.'” 1 Samuel 7:12

God’s predictions for Eli’s family soon came true. The next time the Israelites were losing against the Philistines, someone suggested they bring the ark to the battlefield to help them win. So Eli's his sons brought the ark. But the Philistines beat them anyway. On top of that they killed Eli's sons and took the ark back home with them.

The Philistines didn’t keep it long though. Because wherever they took it, sickness broke out. They soon sent it back to Israel where it was stored in a little town. But even then the Philistines didn’t stop hassling the Israelites. They were as cruel and bossy as ever.

This went on for twenty years. By now Samuel was a grown man. The people began coming to him for advice. “What can we do to defeat these Philistines?” they asked.

1. Here are some things Samuel could have told him. What did he say? (1 Samuel 7:3)
A. Conscript more soldiers and build a bigger army.
B. Do sword practice three hours a day.
C. Get rid of all the idols and serve only God.

After the people took Samuel’s advice, he called them to gather in the town of Mizpah to fast and pray. While everyone was there word got around that the Philistines were coming to attack the town right now! The people were terrified.




2. What did Samuel do then? (1 Samuel 7:7-9)
A. Got the ark.
B. Sacrificed a burnt offering
C. Broke up the prayer meeting and sent the people to war.

3. What happened next? (1 Samuel 7:10-11).
A. Nothing.
B. The Philistines defeated the Israelites again.
C. Thunder threw the Philistines into a panic. The Israelites easily chased and killed them.


4. Why did the Israelites defeat the Philistines this time when they hadn’t so many times before? (1 Samuel 7:12) ___________

5. How did Samuel make sure the people would remember this? (1 Samuel 7:12) _____

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to trust You for help more than any other person or thing. Amen.

SUPERSIZE IT: Your own Ebenezer stone
The stone Samuel set up reminded the people it was God who helped them defeat the Philistines.


You could make your own Ebenezer stone.
1. Find a smooth stone about the size of a baseball.
2. Think of a time God helped you with something.
3. With felt marker write that thing and the date, on the stone.
4. Put your Ebenezer stone in a place where it can remind you that God helped you in the past – and can do it again.

Answers

**********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's