Friday, September 30, 2016

A Parade of Palms and Praise

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 21:1-11

TO CHEW ON: "A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road." Matthew 21:8

One day as Jesus and His disciples walked toward Jerusalem, He sent two of them on an errand. “Go to the village ahead of you,” He said. “You will find a donkey tied with her colt. Bring them to me.”

Soon the disciples were back with the animals. They put their cloaks (outer clothing) on the animals’ backs and Jesus got on the colt and rode toward the city.

Crowds gathered beside the road. Many had probably seen Jesus’ miracles and heard His teaching. When they saw Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the donkey, they remembered what prophet Zechariah had said. They recognized this was how Messiah (the Jews’ promised deliverer) would ride into Jerusalem.

Then they took off their cloaks and spread them on the road in the donkey’s path. They cut palm branches and spread them on the road too or waved them as they ran beside Jesus shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” They were honoring Jesus as royalty.

"The Triumphal Entry" - Artist unknown"The Triumphal Entry" - Artist unknown

Spreading coats in the path of a donkey, waving branches and shouting “Hosanna” may seem like a strange way to greet someone who is special. But this was how people of that time honored someone as a king. And they could all get in on the celebration because the things they used – branches, clothes and their own voices – were things they all had.

We too can honor Jesus as our King by using what we have. And what is that? Ourselves and our love, worship and obedience.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to crown You king by giving You my life. Amen.


SUPERSIZE IT:
Showing Honor
Though we don’t throw coats on the ground for our kings, queens and presidents to ride over, or wave palm branches as they parade down the street, we too honor important people. Some things we do to honor our kings, queens, presidents, heroes or sports champions are:

1. Roll out a red carpet for them to walk on when they come off a plane or into a reception hall.


2. Have them ride in parades.

3. Meet returning athletes or heroes with flowers.

4. Take care to greet them with perfect manners.

Can you think of more?



 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, September 29, 2016

Minas and More

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 19:11-27

TO CHEW ON: "He replied: 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.'” Luke 19:26

One day Jesus told the story of a king. Before the king went on a trip, he gave ten servants one mina* each. He told them to put the money to work for him.

When the king got back, he asked the servants for a report. Servant One had made ten minas with his one mina. Servant Two had made five. But Servant Three only had the original mina.

This made the king angry. He took the mina away from Servant Three and gave it to Servant One.

"Servants reporting to the king" - Artist unknown
"Servants reporting to the king" - Artist unknown
This parable teaches us:
1. Life isn’t fair.
2. It pays to be greedy and get all we can.
3. If we don’t use the things we’ve been given, we’ll lose even those things.

I think it’s number 3 - don’t you?

Jesus' stories are not only interesting but they teach us about God and what is important to Him. In this story we learn about how God wants us to use what we have.

The king in the story gave his servants money. You may not have money, but you have other things. Some of them could be health, energy, special abilities, an education, a friendly nature. Can you think of more?

God gave you these things to use not just for yourself but for Him. You could use your health and energy to help a neighbor or play with a younger brother or sister. If you’re smart in school you could use your intelligence to tutor a friend who has a hard time. If you’re good at writing, drawing or singing you might want to take lessons and learn more so that you can bless others with your talents.

Someday we’ll all report back to God about how we used the things He gave us. Let’s not neglect them or use them selfishly. Instead let’s use them well, so we can look forward to report day.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to use all You’ve given me so I will welcome the day I report back to You. Amen.


SUPERSIZE IT: Use Your Gifts:
How can you use these gifts you’ve been given:

- Your talents and special abilities?




- Your education?

- Your experiences?

- Your money and possessions?



* 1 mina = about three months’ wages.


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, September 28, 2016

Dinner With a Sinner

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 19:1-9


TO CHEW ON: "Jesus ... said to him, 'Zacchaeus...I must stay at your house today'...All the people saw this and began to mutter, 'He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.'” Luke 19:5,7

What are taxes? You probably know they are amounts of money people in cities, provinces, states and countries must pay. Government workers collect this money. They use it to pay for things used by everyone - like roads, schools, firefighters and the police.

In Jesus’ time, the Roman rulers charged taxes. They got people in each neighborhood, to work for them. These people were called tax collectors. They usually charged the people more than the Romans asked. They kept the extra money for themselves. Everybody thought of them as traitors, cheats, sinners, and hated them. Zacchaeus was a tax collector.

One day Zacchaeus heard Jesus was coming to town. He wanted to see Him. But Zacchaeus was too short to see above the crowd. Besides, he didn't much like being in crowds because he was so unpopular. So he climbed into a tree and watched as Jesus and the crowd walked by.

Jesus didn’t care how the crowds felt about Zaccheus. When He came to the tree where Zacchaeus was sitting, He stopped. He called up to Zaccheaeus and persuaded him to come down. Jesus said He wanted to have a meal with Zacchaeus. Then what happened? Which three statements are UNTRUE? (Luke 19:5-9)

1. Zacchaeus welcomed Jesus to his home.
2. Zacchaeus denied that he had done anything wrong.
3. Zacchaeus offered to give a quarter of his possessions to the poor.
4. Zacchaeus offered to pay back four times the amount he’d cheated from people.
5. Jesus condemned Zacchaeus and said there was no hope for him.
6. Jesus said salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ home.


"Zacchaeus" - Artist unknown"Zacchaeus" - Artist unknown

Do you know people who have a reputation as bad as Zacchaeus's? Maybe they’re known for being mean or stuck-up or stingy. Perhaps everyone avoids them. But you can be different. You can follow Jesus’ example and be kind. You never know, God may be preparing them to meet Jesus just like he prepared Zacchaeus. God may use you to introduce them to Him.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to show kindness to unpopular people, like Jesus did. Amen.


SUPERSIZE IT: Tax Facts
- What kinds of taxes do you and your family pay?

- How are taxes collected where you live?

- What are some things for which your tax money is used?

- What attitude should Christians have toward the people in government and the taxes they collect?

Some places the Bible talks about government and paying taxes:
  • Matthew 17:24-26
  • Matthew 22:15-22
  • Romans 13:1-3
  • 1 Peter 2:17
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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kids Rule!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Mark 10:13-16

TO CHEW ON: “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” - Mark 10:14

Circle what you think Jesus was like: kind? gruff? liked kids? impatient? funny? mean? happy?

At different times Jesus reacted in different ways. But we know He loved kids.

"The Little Children and Jesus" - Artist unknown"The Little Children and Jesus" - Artist unknown

When He found out the disciples were scolding people for bringing children to get His blessing, He was not pleased.

"Jesus receives children" - Artist unknown"Jesus receives children" - Artist unknown

Jesus said adults need to be childlike in the way they welcome God into their lives. What things could adults learn from children?

The Growing-Up ABCs (You might want to print this page to do this activity.)

In front of the following statements, write A if it would be true of an Adult; B if it would be true of a Baby and C if it would be true of a Child (some may have more than one letter).

1. ____ Needs to be fed and carried.
2. ____ Loves to run and play.
3. ____ Learns to read.
4. ____ Goes to work to support a family.
5. ____ A ball or a rattle makes him smile or laugh.
6. ____ Likes to jump into a parent’s arms.
7. ____ Gets up at night when a child cries.
8. ____ Goes shopping for groceries.
9. ____ Attends school.
10. ____ Waits for someone to prepare food.
11. ____ Makes meals.
12. ____ Drives a car.
13. ____ Worries about losing a job.
14. ____ Wears a diaper.


Cross out all the statements that have only an A in front of them.
Of the statements you marked with a B and/or a C :
  • Underline in RED the ones that show babies and children are TRUSTING.
  • Underline in BLUE the ones that show babies and children are DEPENDENT.
  • Underline in GREEN the ones that show babies and children are PLAYFUL.
  • Underline in ORANGE the ones that show babies and children are LEARNING.
(some may have two or more lines)

Jesus loves children. We are all like children to Him. No matter what our age, He wants us to keep coming to Him like trusting, dependent, playful and learning children.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me always to trust You, depend on You, enjoy You and learn about You. Amen.

SUPERSIZE IT: Favorite Place


Draw a picture of your favorite kid-type place to go.

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, September 26, 2016

For God's Glory

TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 11:38-44

TO CHEW ON: "Then Jesus said, 'Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?'” John 11:40

When Lazarus got sick, his sisters Martha and Mary sent for Jesus right away. But He didn’t come. Meanwhile Lazarus got sicker and sicker. Finally he died. They wrapped his body tightly in strips of cloth and placed him in a tomb (most likely a cave).

Finally when Lazarus had been dead for four days, Jesus arrived. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would never have died,” Martha said to Jesus. She knew that Jesus had power to heal sick people. But she also knew once Lazarus was dead, it was too late for Jesus to do anything.

But Jesus didn’t know that! As He stood before Lazarus’ tomb , He told his sad friends, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

"Lazarus rising out of his grave" - Illustrator of 'Figures de la Bible' P. de Hondt (publisher), 1728"Lazarus rising out of his grave" - Illustrator of 'Figures de la Bible' P. de Hondt (publisher), 1728

Then He called, “Lazarus come out!” What happened next? (John 11: 44) ____________________

"The Raising of Lazarus" by Mattia Preti, 1650s"The Raising of Lazarus" by Mattia Preti, 1650s

Why do you think Jesus waited so long to help his friends? Wouldn’t it have been just as easy for him to come right away and save Martha and Mary all that grief?

Probably. But God had a bigger purpose than the happiness of Martha and Mary. By waiting till Lazarus was dead, and then raising him from the dead, Jesus showed that God has power even over death. Many people who saw Jesus raise Lazarus put their faith in Jesus. His miracles showed how powerful God was and He became more famous than ever.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to want Your glory more than my own happiness. Amen

SUPERSIZE IT: Thinking About Death
Death is something we don’t like to think about. But it happens around us every day.

  • Have you ever had a pet that died?
- What was its name?
- How did it die?
- What did you do then?

  • Has someone you love died?
- Who?
- What do you remember about that time?
- What comforted you?

  • What do you think?
- Can God still raise people from the dead?
-Does God still raise people from the dead?

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, September 25, 2016

Lost and Found

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 15: 1-7


TO CHEW ON: "...Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep." Luke 15:6

When you lose a favorite toy, do you:
- say, “Oh well, I still have lots of other toys,” then find something else to play with?
- look for that toy for a while, then give up and play with something else?
- look for your favorite toy until you find it?

"The Parable of the Lost Sheep" by Alfred Usher Soord"The Parable of the Lost Sheep" by Alfred Usher Soord

Jesus told a story of a shepherd with 100 sheep. One day one of his sheep got lost. He left the 99 sheep and looked for the lost one until he found it.

"The Parable of the Lost Sheep" Illustrator of Abbott Illustrated New Testament, 1878"The Parable of the Lost Sheep" Illustrator of Abbott Illustrated New Testament, 1878

This kind of story is called a parable. It uses ordinary things to teach a spiritual lesson. In this parable about a shepherd and sheep we learn something about God (the shepherd) and people (sheep). What three things does the story teach us?

1. God loves each person.

2. God quickly gives up looking for us.

3. God loves people who do bad things as well as people who try to be good.

4. God is happy when sinners repent (are sorry for sin and turn away from it).

We can be glad God loves everyone, even people who do bad things. He is as happy when sinners repent as the shepherd was when he found his lost sheep.


"The Parable of the Lost Sheep" Illustrator of Abbott Illustrated New Testament, 1878"The Parable of the Lost Sheep" Illustrator of Abbott Illustrated New Testament, 1878

Has God found you? If not, remember God loves you just as much as the shepherd loved his one lost sheep. Will you let Him find you? There will be a party in heaven when you do!

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You that You care about me as much as the shepherd cared about the one lost sheep. Amen.


SUPERSIZE IT: Finding Lost Things
There are many ways of looking for things. How would you look for:

- a finger ring lost in sand?

- approaching weather systems?

- a lost pet?

- a broken bone in your body?

- a stolen car?

- a lost piece of clothing?


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, September 24, 2016

He's My Neighbor?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 10:29-37

TO CHEW ON: "...so he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'” Luke 10:29

One day when Jesus was teaching in the province of Judea Mr. Scripture Expert came to Him with a question. He looked proud of himself as he asked, “What do I do to get eternal life?”

“What’s written in the law (Bible)?” Jesus asked.

“Love the Lord with all your heart ...and love your neighbor as yourself,” Mr. Expert replied.

“Do this and you’ll get that life,” Jesus told him.

“And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus answered that question by telling a story (today’s “Read”). In it bandits robbed and beat up a Jewish man. As he lay unconscious beside the road a priest came along. He saw the beat up traveler and crossed to the other side of the road. A Levite did the same thing. Then along came a Samaritan.

Samaritans were people the Jews hated and avoided. Samaritans hated and avoided the Jews too. But this Samaritan stopped. He saw what bad shape the man was in and he took care of his wounds.

"The Good Samaritan" - Artist unknown"The Good Samaritan" - Artist unknown

Then the Samaritan loaded the wounded traveler on his donkey and carried him into town.

"The Good Samaritan" by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890
"The Good Samaritan" by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890

In town the Samaritan checked the traveler into an inn and paid the innkeeper to look after him.

Then Jesus asked Mr. Expert, “Who was a neighbor to the man?”

“The one who had mercy on him,” he replied.

Jesus finished, “You love your neighbor in the same way.”

Why do you think the good Samaritan was called a neighbor to the robbed traveler
a] because he lived next door to the man?
b] because he knew the man?
c] because he was the same race as the man?
d] because he saw the man was in need and helped him?

I’d say it’s d]. And if you think of it, that definition of “neighbor” means we may have many more neighbors than we thought! Who is your neighbor? In what way can you help him or her?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to recognize my neighbor and to be willing to help whenever I can. Amen.


SUPERSIZE IT: Being Neighborly
How could you be a neighbor (help out someone who is in need) when:

- Your next-door neighbor is ill and can’t walk her dog

- Your mom is late getting dinner, everyone is hungry and the baby is crying.

- Your friend is still sick after already missing three days of school.

- You see some of your classmates being mean to a little kid on the playground.


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.

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Solid House

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 6:46-49

TO CHEW ON: "As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock." Luke 6:47-48a

Which part of a house is built first:

- the walls?
- the roof?
- the rooms?
- the front porch?
- the foundation?
- the basement?

You probably know that the foundation of a house is the very first thing a builder makes. He usually starts building that foundation by digging a hole. If he can dig down to bedrock and fasten the house’s foundation onto rock, the house will be almost immovable. But if a house’s foundation rests on earth or sand, it can be swept away by floods, toppled by earthquakes and smashed by storms.

One day Jesus told a story of one man who built his house on a rock. Another man built his house on sand. When the storm came, which house stayed standing?

"The house upon the rock and the house upon the sand" by William James Webb"The house upon the rock and the house upon the sand" by William James Webb

Jesus explained the story. He said those houses on their different foundations are like our lives. When we hear His words and put them into practice, we are building the house of our life on the foundation of solid bedrock. When we hear His words but don’t do them, we’re building our life’s house on sand.

Here are some foundations on which you could build your life. Which one will you choose?

- What other people think.
- Money
- Happiness
- Comfort
- Obeying Jesus’ words.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to hear, understand and obey Your words. Amen


SUPERSIZE IT: Houses In Many Places
Find out about houses in different places.

- How would you build a house’s foundation in the arctic, where the ground is either frozen solid or thaws to become a bog?

- Why are houses sometimes built on stilts?

- What kinds of houses are built in the dessert?


- What kinds of houses are built in the jungle?


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, September 22, 2016

God's Addition

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 6:33

George Mueller
George 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 60 years never missed a meal. Mr. Mueller proved that God can give us all the things we need.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to trust You to supply the things I need. Amen.


SUPERSIZE IT: First things First
God promises to supply our needs when we put Him first (“seek first His kingdom”) and live in a right way (“seek his righteousness”). Choose the things below that do that:

1. Mom has given me lunch money, but I use most of it to buy baseball cards from a friend.

2. I tithe (take one tenth and give it to church or Sunday School) my allowance, even though if I didn’t I’d have enough to buy the skateboard I’ve been saving for.

3. I pack up old clothes and games to give away to the second-hand store.

4. I take a job delivering papers on Sunday even though it means I have to miss church.

5. I help my elderly neighbor walk her dog even though she doesn’t pay me.


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, September 21, 2016

Closed-door Prayer

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 6:5-15

TO CHEW ON: "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. " Matt. 6:6

Sometimes we do things with secret motives. Match the action on the left with a possible reason for doing it on the right.


One of the things Jesus talked to His disciples about while on the mountain was the reason we do things. Though the people who see us may not know our motives, God always knows. It makes Him especially sad when we use things like prayer to impress others. That’s why He told the disciples – and us – to pray in private and not use praying to show off.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to pray to you simply, humbly, honestly and privately. Amen.


"The Lord's Prayer" by James Tissot
"The Lord's Prayer" by James Tisso

SUPERSIZE IT: The Lord’s Prayer
Jesus gave us a model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. This is called “The Lord’s Prayer.” Maybe you know it.

We often think of prayer as only asking for things. But the Lord’s Prayer is made up of much more than that. Can you find examples of these kinds of prayer in The Lord’s Prayer?

Purple - Praise and worship (praising God for who he is and telling him how great he is)

Red - Confession (confessing the wrong things we’ve done)

Blue - Intercession (asking for things for others) and Petition (asking for things for ourselves)

You could print the Lord's Prayer, then mark each kind of prayer with a different color of highlighter pen or pencil crayon.

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Salty You


TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 5:13-16

TO CHEW ON: “You are the salt of the earth.” - Matthew 5:13

How much salt is in a loaf of bread?
- 1 cup?
- 1 tablespoon?
- 1 teaspoon?

If you guessed 1 teaspoon, you’re right. Not much salt is needed. But if you’ve ever had bread without salt, you’ll know how important even that little bit is, to make the bread taste right.

One day Jesus climbed a mountain near Capernaum. His disciples followed Him, sat around Him and He taught them. What Jesus said that day is called the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5, 6 and 7 and Luke 6:20-49).

"Jesus Teaching" - A. O. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland"Jesus Teaching" - A. O. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland

One of the things Jesus taught was that people who believed in Him were like salt. Just like salt flavors and preserves food, Christians can make a difference wherever they are. When they are kind, pure and honest not only do they please God but they are an example to everyone watching.


How could you be a salty Christian:
- when someone is being teased?
- when everyone around you says swear words?
- when your friends ask you to help them cheat on a test?

The number of people who are Christians compared to the number of people who aren’t may seem small on your street, in your school, in your city. But just like a little salt makes a big difference in a loaf of bread, a few “salty” Christians make a big difference in the world.

PRAYER: Dear God help me to be a Christian who makes a difference in my world. Amen



 

SUPERSIZE IT: Pure Salt
~ In the time of Marco Polo, cakes of salt were pressed with images of the Grand Khan in Tibet and used as money.

~ Unrefined salt can be black (India) or red (Hawaii).

~ Salt keeps food from spoiling by drawing water out of bacteria and fungus cells so they can’t live.

~ The average person’s body contains about eight ounces of salt.

~ Popcorn salt is extra fine salt that sticks well to the bends and corners of snacks like popcorn and chips.

~ Sprinkling a little salt into canvas shoes can help dry them and make them smell better.



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, September 19, 2016

All Better!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 4: 46-54

TO CHEW ON: "The royal official said, 'Sir, come down before my child dies.'  
 'Go,' Jesus replied, 'your son will live.' ” (John 4:49,50)

The royal official had tried everything to cure his son. Doctors, special baths, medicines – nothing had worked. Then he heard that Jesus was back in Cana. This was the Jesus that had made water into wine. It gave him an idea!

As fast as he could, he traveled the 30 kilometers (about 15 miles) from his home in Capernaum to Cana. Jesus was easy to find - in the middle of the biggest crowd.

"Nobleman asks Jesus to heal his son" - Artist unknown

"Nobleman asks Jesus to heal his son" - Artist unknown
But when the official asked Jesus to come home with him, Jesus didn’t go. Instead He sent the man home by himself with a promise: “You may go, your son will live.”

Would his son really get better without Jesus there, the official wondered. Before he reached home, an excited servant came out to meet him.

"The Nobleman is told his son is well" - Artist unknown
"The Nobleman is told his son is well" - Artist unknown

“Your son is all better!”

“When did this happen?” the official asked.

“At the seventh hour the fever just disappeared.”

Then the official knew, it was Jesus who had healed his little boy. For that was exactly the time Jesus had said to him: “Your son will live.” Jesus had healed his son in His own way.

PRAYER: Help me to trust You to answer in the best way when I pray. Amen



SUPERSIZE IT: When You Are Sick
~ What things do you do when you are sick?

- go to the doctor
- take medicine
- read a doctor book
- eat chicken soup
- pray
- check the internet for advice


~ Do you believe God can heal you when you are sick? Along with all the other things you do (and which God also uses to heal you), do you remember to pray?

~ Make a list of people you know who are sick. Can God heal them too? Say a prayer, asking Him to do that.


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, September 18, 2016

Water please

TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 4:4-15


TO CHEW ON: "Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.'” John 4:10


Which of these statements is true?

~ Water is the single most important substance on earth.

~ Our bodies are made up of 70% - 75% water.

~ Our bodies lose water when we sweat and go to the bathroom.

~ We can die from lack of water.

Yes, they’re all true.

Jesus was hot, tired and thirsty on His walk from Judea to Galilee. So it’s no shock He asked for a drink when he stopped at the Sychar well. But what is surprising is that he asked a woman, and a Samaritan woman at that (Jews hated Samaritans).

"The Woman from Samaria" - Artist unknown"The Woman from Samaria" - Artist unknown

Jesus quickly turned the conversation from physical water to spiritual water. He offered this woman water that would be in her and would never run dry. Did Jesus mean that she’d never need a drink of water again? What did Jesus mean?

When we accept Jesus and are born again, like Nicodemus was, God the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us. He is our teacher, comforter and constant companion. He helps us understand the Bible and reminds us in many ways that God loves us and is with us. His presence in our lives is living water to our spirits.

PRAYER: Dear God, I accept Your living water. Help me to always be satisfied by it. Amen.



SUPERSIZE IT:
Spirit Water
Can you think of some ways God reminds you that He loves you and is with you? Make a list.
1.
2.
3.
4.


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, September 17, 2016

Born Again

TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 3:9-21

TO CHEW ON: “'How can this be?' Nicodemus asked." John 3:9

"Jesus the Savior of the World" - Artist unknown"Jesus the Savior of the World" - Artist unknown

Jesus told Nicodemus if he wanted to see the kingdom of God, he had to be born again. Nicodemus thought Jesus meant he actually had to be born from his mother again. Of course, Jesus didn’t mean that. But what did he mean?

He meant that Nicodemus had to have a new beginning (new birth) with God. How could this happen for Nicodemus? How does it happen for you and me?

1. Nicodemus, and all of us, have sinned (sin = disobeying God - even once).

2. The punishment for sin is death = separation from God forever.

3. Jesus is the only person who lived a sinless life. He is the only person who didn't need to die for His own sins.

4. But Jesus chose to die in our stead. God accepted His death as the payment for our sin. (It’s like when you’ve done something wrong, but someone else takes your punishment and you get off free).

5. Now all we have to do is accept Jesus’ death for us to be friends with God and have eternal life.

It’s all explained in John 3:16 (a verse you might know by memory):

For God so loved the world (God loved every person who lives, has lived or will live, so much)
that he gave his one and only Son (that He gave Jesus)
that whoever believes in him (so everyone who accepts that Jesus’ death pays sin’s punishment)
shall not perish (won’t go to hell - a place where we’re separated from God forever)
but have eternal life ( but will live with God forever).

PRAYER: Dear God, I put my trust in Your Son Jesus. You have promised that if I believe in Jesus I will have eternal life. Amen.

"The Bronze Snake" - Artist unknown

"The Bronze Snake" - Artist unknown

SUPERSIZE IT: Crosses and Snakes
Jesus mentions the story of Moses and the snake in the desert (John 3:14,15). You can read that story in Numbers 21:4-9.

- Are there poisonous snakes where you live? ___ What kind? _____________

- What should you do if you get bitten by a poisonous snake? _____________________

- When the Israelites were bitten by snakes in this story, God made a different way for them to be healed. They just had to look at the snake statue that Moses had made, and they got better.

In the same way, we just have to look to Jesus (who was lifted up on a cross just like the snake statue in the desert was raised on a pole) to get healed from the sting of sin.



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, September 16, 2016

Two Births?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 3:1-8

TO CHEW ON: Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again .' " - John 3:3

Nicodemus was no dummy. He had gone to school for many years to become a Pharisee. He was in government as a member of the ruling council, the Sanhedrin. Yet even though he knew a lot and was an important man, he really wanted to talk to Jesus. He went to see Jesus at night.

"Nicodemus" - Artist unknown"Nicodemus" - Artist unknown

"You're obviously from God," Nicodemus said. "Otherwise how could you do the miracles you do?"

In reply Jesus didn't talk about where He was from. Instead He answered the question that was really on Nicodemus's mind - how to become part of God's kingdom.

1. What one thing did Nicodemus need to do? (John 3:3)

- Be a very good person.
- Study about God.
- Give money to the poor.
- Memorize lots of Scripture.
- Be born again.
- Keep the Sabbath day.
- Be careful not to break any of God’s laws.

2. Who would have to help Nicodemus to do this? God the ________ (John 3:8)

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to respond to Your Spirit. Amen.


SUPERSIZE IT: Windy Lesson
Jesus told Nicodemus that God the Spirit makes us want to be born again. His Spirit comes as mysteriously as the wind. What can you discover about the wind?

- Where does it come from?

- Where does it go?

- What kinds of winds blow in the area you live?

- How many words can you think of for ‘wind’?


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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tempest in the Temple

TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 2: 13-17

TO CHEW ON: “...Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” John 2:16

Jesus and His disciples went to the temple in Jerusalem for Passover. To celebrate the Passover, every worshiper had to offer an animal sacrifice and pay a tax. In Jesus’ time, the priests sold the sacrifice animals in the temple court (the outside section, like our lobby or foyer). They charged huge amounts of money for these birds and animals. They wouldn’t sacrifice any animals that weren’t bought from them.

"Jesus clears the temple" - Artist unknown
"Jesus clears the temple" - Artist unknown

The tax had to be paid in temple coins. Money changers changed people’s everyday money into temple coins but they charged extra to make the exchange.

Jesus was furious when He went into the temple and found the priests were more concerned about making money than worshiping God.

"Jesus clears the temple" - Artist Unknown
"Jesus clears the temple" - Artist Unknown

Do we buy and sell things in our churches today? Do you think this is a good or bad thing?

PRAYER: Dear God, help me always to respect my church and use it as a place to meet with and worship You. Amen.


SUPERSIZE IT: First Passover
Jesus and His disciples went to the temple to celebrate Passover. Read about the first Passover in Exodus 12:1-13.

"The Passover" - Artist unknown
"The Passover" - Artist unknown

What things were part of the Passover celebration?

bitter herbs     Easter eggs
bells            bread without yeast
salt             blood
palm branches    cross
lamb             roasted meat

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

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.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Big Twelve

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 10:1-10

TO CHEW ON: "He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to cure every kind of disease and sickness .... '...Freely you have received, freely give.'” - Jesus, Matthew 10:1,8

Would you say a “disciple” is:
1. someone who is a big fan of a famous person?
2. someone who accepts, follows, and imitates a teacher?
3. someone who lives by a lot of rules?

Though we don’t use the word “disciple” a lot nowadays, you probably know that when Jesus talked about disciples, He meant 2. - the people who accepted His teaching, wanted to spend time with Him, and become like Him. When Jesus began teaching and doing miracles, a lot of people wanted to be His disciples. One day, after He had spent the night praying (Luke 6:12), Jesus chose twelve men to be His closest friends, the twelve disciples.

But Jesus expected these disciples to do more than just listen to His stories and watch His miracles. One day, after giving these men special authority, He gave them a job. They were to: (cross out the one thing He did NOT tell them) Matthew 10:9-10
1. Preach.
2. Heal the sick.
3. Raise the dead.
4. Drive out demons.
5. Take a lot of money and stuff with them.
6. Cleanse the lepers.

"Jesus Sending the Apostles" - Artist unknown"Jesus Sending the Apostles" - Artist unknown

Jesus chose disciples to help Him tell people about God. He also gave them authority, so that God’s power could flow through them.

Do people still need to hear about God? Does Jesus still need disciples today? How can you be His disciple?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to be Your disciple. Amen.



SUPERSIZE IT: The Big 12! - Word Search
These are the twelve disciples that Jesus chose. (There are only 11 names because there were two disciples named “James.”)

Bartholomew Peter
Thomas  Judas Iscariot*     
Thaddaeus James
Matthew  Simon
John            Philip
Andrew          James


Find each name in the word search.

(To print the word search alone, click on it, then print it from the window that opens.)


"Created with Puzzlemaker on DiscoveryEducation.com"

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fish!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 5: 1-11

TO CHEW ON: "He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat." Luke 5:3

Would you lend it?

~ Your friend asks to borrow your bike to deliver papers.
~ Your sister needs to use your markers to finish her homework.
~ Your mom needs to borrow change from you for the parking meter.

Would you lend these things? Your answer will probably show if you’re the kind of person who easily shares your things or likes to keep them for yourself.

Simon must have been a sharer. One day Jesus got into Simon’s boat, asked him to row it a way from the shore and then used it as a platform for teaching the people. Never once did Simon say: “Why should I let you use my boat?”

"Jesus teaching from a boat" - James Tissot"Jesus teaching from a boat" - James Tissot

Later, after the people went home, Jesus thanked Simon in an amazing way. Though Simon and his partners hadn’t caught any fish the night before, Jesus told Simon to try fishing again. What happened when they let down their nets now? (Luke 5:6) ________________

"The calling of the first disciples" - Artist unknown"The calling of the first disciples" - Artist unknown

Simon, James and John were shocked at the number of fish they caught when Jesus was with them. Now they had proof Jesus was no ordinary person. They decided to stop being fishermen for a while. They left their boats to be with Him.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to let You use me and my things as You like. Amen.


SUPERSIZE IT: Fishing
What’s your favorite kind of fish to eat?

How many ways can you think of to catch fish? List them.

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, September 12, 2016

What Would Jesus Do?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 5:27-31

TO CHEW ON: "Jesus answered them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'” Luke 5:31,32

One day Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi (also called Matthew) sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him. So Levi left his tax booth and went with Jesus.

"The Calling of Levi" - James Tissot, 1886 - 1896"The Calling of Levi" - James Tissot, 1886 - 1896

Levi liked Jesus so much he wanted others to meet this new friend. He prepared a banquet and invited all his tax collector friends and Jesus.

Not everybody would have been comfortable at Levi's dinner. Most people hated tax collectors. One reason was they collected taxes for the Roman rulers. The Jews hated the Romans ruling over them.

Even worse, tax collectors usually asked for more than the Romans charged. Then they kept the extra to get rich themselves. People called them thieves and thought of them as sinners.

When the Pharisees and religious teachers saw Jesus at Levi’s party, they criticized Him. If He was such a wise teacher, how could He not know these men were sinners?


"Jesus dines with sinner" (detail) - by Paolo Veronese 1702"Jesus dines with sinner" (detail) - by Paolo Veronese 1702

But Jesus didn’t care about their criticism. He knew that everyone – even people who did wrong things – mattered to God. Just because Jesus ate with these tax collectors didn’t mean He approved of their stealing and dishonesty. In fact, He called them “the sick.” When He became their friend He talked to them about God. He explained how God could heal their sick hearts so they could change their sinful actions.

Are there people that you’d rather not be seen with?

It’s sad that we tend to think of some people as worse than us, some about the same and some above us. We make these judgments by looking at the clothes people wear, the color of their skin, how much money they have, the way they talk, what they’re good at, whether or not they have a disability, what job they do. We treat people differently. We try to be friends with some and ignore or are mean to others.

Jesus wasn’t like that. He knew everyone was special and had value. He said that God loved everyone. But He didn’t only say it. He lived God’s love by spending time with unpopular people.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me see people the way You see them. Amen.

SUPERSIZE IT: Jesus and Your Friends

Jesus and the Children - Artist unknown
"Jesus and the Children" - Artist unknown

- Think of someone who is unpopular.

- Imagine you are with that person, and Jesus is with you. How does Jesus treat that person?

- Ask God to help you do what Jesus would do next time you meet that unpopular person.


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