Thursday, April 27, 2017

Praise!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 150:1-6

TO CHEW ON: "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." Psalm 150:6

To help the people celebrate, David and other song writers wrote praise psalms. One of them is Psalm 150. We learn many things about praising God from this psalm.

We learn that praise can sound from many places. It can come from a sanctuary or a church. It can also come from nature, like the “mighty heavens,” those beautiful stars, planets, the sun and the moon that God made. Can you think of more places?

The planets Saturn and Jupiter

We learn that we praise God for many reasons. We may praise God for His “acts of power.” These could be miracles that God has done.

People in Bible times would think of things like how God sent plagues on the Egyptians so the Israelites could go free, or dried up the Jordan River so they could cross.

We can praise God for these things too. But we can also praise God for the mighty acts that God has done for people in our time. Perhaps you’ve heard stories of how God has healed people, or helped them escape from dangerous situations, or sent someone to rescue them just in time. Maybe God has done something like that for you. This is a great reason to praise God.

We also praise God for His “surpassing greatness.” This is praise to Him just because of who He is – all knowing, all powerful, all seeing, merciful, just, kind, eternal. When we think of God – how big and amazing He is – we can’t help but praise Him.

This Psalm also helps us learn ways to praise God. We can sing, dance and play musical instruments. Do you praise God like that? The people in Bible times played many instruments.



List the instruments that the writer mentions in Psalm 150:2-4.

1. ______

Have you seen any of those? Circle the ones you know.

Now add to the list instruments that people in your church play to worship God.

Finally, we learn who should praise God. Who? (Psalm 150:6)
2. _______ Does that include you?

PRAYER: "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! Amen"

MORE: Make a Tambourine
One of the musical instruments in Psalm 150 is a tambourine. Make a tambourine of your own.

What you need:
2 paper plates; crayons or paints, stapler, dried beans

What to do:
1. Decorate the bottom of both paper plates with the crayons or paints.
2. Place one plate, decorated side down, on a work surface.
3. Place the other plate, decorated side up, on top of the first plate.
4. Staple the plates together around the rim, leaving a 4-inch space.
5. Slip a handful of beans into the space between the two plates.
6. Finish stapling the plates together, making sure there are no spaces where beans can escape.

Play your tambourine:
Put on your favorite praise CD and join in the praise with your tambourine.

Answers


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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.



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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Celebrate!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Chronicles 15:25-16:3

TO CHEW ON: "So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps." 1 Chronicles 15:28

For three months the ark was in the home of Obed-Edom. In that time, everyone noticed how God was blessing him. One day David decided to try to bring the ark back to Jerusalem again.

He arrived at the house of Obed-Edom with a great crowd of people. There were Levites, priests, singers and musicians dressed in beautiful robes of fine linen. There were army commanders. And there were many ordinary people.

This time the Levites lifted the ark onto their shoulders and carried it the way God had told them. As they began their walk to Jerusalem, the priests sacrificed to God. Then the singers sang and the instruments played.

The closer they got to the city, the more people joined the happy parade. Finally a great throng of happy, singing, celebrating people entered Jerusalem. But no one celebrated harder than David. He danced and leaped and spun in joy and praise to God that the ark was finally returning to Jerusalem.

David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem - by Darlene Slavujac Thau"David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem"
Original oil painting ©1993 by Darlene Slavujac Thau (used with artist's permission)

The Levites brought the ark to the tent David had made for it. After they sacrificed more offerings, David sent everyone home with loaves of bread, and cakes of dates and raisins.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to celebrate You like David did. Amen.

MORE: We celebrate
1. What is your favorite celebration of the year? What fun things do you do on that day?


2. What things do you celebrate in church? Which is your favorite of the church celebrations and what makes it special?

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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.


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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Book Like No Other

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 19:1-14

TO CHEW ON: "By them your servant is warned and in keeping them there is great reward." Psalm 19:11

What is your favorite book? Why do you like it?

If we could have asked David what his favorite book was, I’m sure he would have said, “God’s Word” – even though books in those days were rolled up strips of parchment or animal skin called scrolls, and even though God’s Word wasn’t the Bible we now have.

When David lived, God’s Word was made up mainly of the writings of Moses. They are our books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

1. David called God’s Word by many different names. What names does he call it in Psalm 19?

2. What words does David use in Psalm 19 to describe and praise God’s Word?


After David tried to bring the ark to Jerusalem and Uzzah was killed, he could go back to God’s Word. There he could read how the ark was supposed to be carried. If he took God’s warnings seriously, he could grow wise and avoid making the same mistake again.

PRAYER: Dear God, please teach me to love Your word. Amen

MORE: God’s Word – a hammer and much much more
This poem is full of word pictures about God’s Word found in the Bible. These pictures help us understand what God’s Word is like and what work it can do. What is your favorite?


GOD'S WORD

God's Word is eternal,
God-breathed, radiant, right,
Pure spiritual milk,
Our lamp and our light.

It's a fire, a hammer,
The power of God.
It's sweeter than honey,
A two-edged sword.

It's wisdom for life,
Our standard and rule.
Choose to ignore it
And you'll be the fool.

© 1998 - Violet Nesdoly

Answers

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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.


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Monday, April 24, 2017

Breaking the Rules

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Chronicles 13:1-14

TO CHEW ON: "They moved the ark of God from Abinadab’s house on a new cart, with Uzzah and Ahio guiding it." 1 Chronicles 13:7

One day, sometime after he had become king, David thought of the ark. For many years this special gold box had been sitting in Abinadab’s house in Kiriath Jearim.* Now David wanted to bring it back to the tabernacle in Jerusalem.

He went with a crowd to Kiriath Jearim to move the ark. They put the ark on a new cart. Then he and the people celebrated with singing and playing harps, lyres, tambourines, trumpets and cymbals. Behind them came the lumbering oxen pulling the precious load.


Suddenly one of the oxen stumbled. Uzzah, who was guiding the animals, saw that the ark was starting to slip. He reached out to steady it. The minute he touched it he fell down – dead!



The procession stopped. David was shocked, even angry with God – and very afraid. Why had God killed Uzzah? Wasn’t God pleased that they were bringing the ark back to Jerusalem?

But David had forgotten one important thing about moving the ark. God’s warnings and instructions to Moses, back when the ark was made, were clear.

1. What did God tell Moses about the carriers touching any of the tabernacle furniture? ___ (Numbers 4:15)

2. How was the ark supposed to be carried? ______ (Exodus 37:4,5)

Now David didn’t feel like taking the ark any farther. The house of Obed-Edom was nearby. He left the ark there. Then he and all the people went home feeling puzzled, frightened and sad.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to be careful to live by Your rules. Amen

MORE: Rules – a good thing?
God didn’t invent the rule that people shouldn’t touch the holy things from the tabernacle because He was fussy or to make things complicated for them. There was a reason for that rule. God’s presence was in the tabernacle and on the ark. It was more powerful than thousands of volts of electricity. Human bodies couldn’t stand to touch that much power and still stay alive. The rule not to touch the ark was given for everyone’s safety.

1. What are some rules in your home, school or favorite sport?

2. Choose one of these rules and tell how that rule is a good thing.

* You can read the story of how the ark got to Kiriath Jearim in 1 Samuel 4-7:1


Answers

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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.


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Sunday, April 23, 2017

God Save the (New) King

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Chronicles 11:1-9

TO CHEW ON: "And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord Almighty was with him." 1 Chronicles 11:9

Now that Saul was dead, the people of Israel needed a new king. They gathered in the city of Hebron where David was staying. David had proved himself a natural leader and a fearless warrior. They knew that God had already chosen him to be king. Now they wanted to make it official and crown him king. They did this at Hebron.



Then the Israelites went with David to the city of Jerusalem. David wanted Jerusalem to be the place from which he ruled.

Rebels who didn’t like David lived there. “You’ll never get in here!” the people of Jerusalem shouted at David from behind thick walls.



But David had many brave soldiers in his army. One of them, Joab, led the attack. In no time, David’s army had won the city.

David moved into the castle. He and Joab began city improvement projects.



They made their capital city, Jerusalem, safe, strong and beautiful. God’s presence with David made him powerful and successful in everything that he did.

PRAYER: Dear God, please give me the gift of Your presence and Your blessing. Amen.

MORE: Capitals
Jerusalem was the city from which David ruled. It was like our capital cities.

1. What is the capital city of your country?

2. What is the capital city of your province or state (or whatever the smaller parts of your country are called)?

3. Have you ever visited a capital city? Write about what you saw, or draw a picture.

4. Look for pictures, in books or on the internet, of buildings and monuments found in your country’s and state’s or province’s capital city.

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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.


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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saul the Desperate

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 28:3-20

TO CHEW ON: "He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him . . . . Saul then said to his attendants, 'Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.'” 1 Samuel 28:6,7

The Philistines were threatening again and Saul was terrified. He wanted to talk to God and find out what to do. But Samuel had died, Saul had killed the priests, and no prophet came with any message. God was silent.

In desperation Saul asked his servants to find a medium. A medium was a person who could contact the spirits of dead people and get messages from them. But this power came from Satan and not God. God had commanded Saul to rid the land of all mediums and spiritists.

Still Saul’s men managed to find a medium. Saul disguised himself and went to her house. He persuaded her to try to bring up the spirit of Samuel so Saul could talk to him.


Soon the woman saw something coming out of the ground. And then Samuel’s voice filled the room, “Why have you disturbed me?”

“The Philistines are threatening again,” said Saul. “I need to know what to do.”

Then Samuel gave Saul a message he probably didn’t want to hear.


With that Saul fell on the floor, weak and paralyzed with fear. The knowledge he got through the medium didn’t help. It only made him more afraid.

True to the prediction, Saul and three of his sons were killed in battle the next day. Here is how the Bible talks about his death: “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death . . .” (1 Chronicles 10:13,14)

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to stay away from the things and practices that don’t please You. Amen.

MORE: Occult warning
The world of the occult is fascinating, but dangerous. Here are some things to keep in mind when tempted to get involved in occultic practices like horoscopes, telling fortunes, talking with spirits, palm readings, witches, warlocks, I-Ching, seances, the Oiji game, Wicca etc.

1. These practices are condemned many times in the Bible. Some places are Leviticus 19:31, Micah 5:12 and Revelation 21:8

2. Satan is known for lying. Though the things we learn from the occult about ourselves, others and the future may seem accurate, we need to remember the source of that knowledge – Satan. Talking about Satan, Jesus said, “. . . there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

3. If you have occultic objects and books in your home, in your room or in your desk or locker at school, be like the Christians in Ephesus (Acts 19:19), and get rid of them.

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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 21, 2017

Hands Off!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 26:1-12

TO CHEW ON: "But David said to Abishai, 'Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?'” 1 Samuel 26:9

Messengers came running to Saul. “We’ve seen David,” they said. “We can tell you where he is!” So Saul took three thousand soldiers and went to the place the messengers had said.

David had his own spies. They knew exactly when Saul arrived and where his army was camped. One day David went to the hill overlooking Saul’s camp. As he peered down, he saw Saul asleep in the middle of all the soldiers. Even his bodyguard, Abner, was asleep.

After dark, David and his friend Abishai crept down the hill and into the camp. They tiptoed right past all the sleeping soldier to the place where Saul lay.

“Here’s your chance,” whispered Abishai. “God is giving Saul into your hands. Let me kill him for you.”


“No!” David said. “He’s the king that God chose. It’s up to God whether he lives or dies. I won’t lay a hand on him.” But David took Saul’s spear and the water jug that was close to his head. Then they left the camp as quietly as they had come.

When they were at the top of the hill David shouted, “Abner!”

Abner woke up “Who are you?” he asked.

“Where is the king’s spear and water jug?” said David. “You didn’t guard your king very well!”
Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible
© American Bible Society 1976, 1992, used with permission.

By now Saul was awake. He realized the danger he had been in and how David had spared his life. He felt bad. “I have sinned,” he said. “I won’t try to harm you again.”

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to respect and honor the people You have called in a special way, like David honored Saul. Amen.
 

MORE Respect for leaders
Saul was doing bad things. God’s blessing was no longer on his life. Still David knew that he had been God’s choice as king over Israel. David was determined to respect God’s choice.

Some people God puts over us are parents, pastors, school and Sunday school teachers, coaches. Most times those people are good. But sometimes they are bad and want to hurt us. Below are some things from this story about how to act toward people over us. Which thing does this story does not teach:

1. We should respect the people in authority over us.
2. Sometimes the people over us are bad or evil.
3. It’s always okay to get a teacher or coach we don’t like in trouble
4. God is able to care for us even when we’re under bad leaders.

Answers

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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.


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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Safe

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 91:1-16

TO CHEW ON: "I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'” Psalm 91:2

What things frighten you?




Do you know one person who isn’t afraid of something?

Even courageous David, when he was hiding from Saul, was probably afraid. He was scared of being found by Saul. He was afraid of being killed.


We don’t know if David wrote Psalm 91. He could have written it. In it the writer reminds himself how God is his protector. Find the word pictures from Psalm 91 that show how God protects us
- God is a 1._________ and 2._________ (Psalm 91:2).

A fortress was a place where soldiers were protected. They could see their enemies and shoot at them, but the enemies couldn’t get them. Sometimes it was a natural place, like rocks on a hillside. Sometimes it was man-made, like the thick-walled towers on city walls. God can be that safe place for us.

- God is like a bird. He covers us with his feathers like a mother bird protects her chicks.

- God is like a 3. ______________ (Psalm 91:9). We can live in God and be protected, just like we are safe from rain, storms and the sun when we are in our homes.

- God sends 4. _______________ (Psalm 91:11). God gives them the job to protect us from physical harm.

PRAYER: Dear God, please remind me of Your protection whenever I feel afraid. Amen.


MORE: Pictures of protection
The Bible gives us more pictures of God as our protector. He is compared to:

- A shelter from the storm (Isaiah 25:4).

- A shade from the heat (Isaiah 25:4).

- a watchman (or security guard) who never goes to sleep (Psalm 121:4).

Choose your favorite picture of God giving you protection. Draw a picture of yourself as you are kept safe by God in that way.

Answers

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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 19, 2017

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

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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 18, 2017

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.

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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 17, 2017

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?













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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 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

This is Easter Sunday - the day we celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the dead.


 

Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed!

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.

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 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.


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Saturday, April 15, 2017

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.

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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.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

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


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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.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

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 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 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










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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 12, 2017

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.

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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.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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. _________________________

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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.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

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.

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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.

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

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

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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.

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

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

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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