Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What's Faith?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Hebrews 11:1-12

TO CHEW ON: "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1


Think about some of the ways you show faith every day.
  • If you jump from the third step, you have faith that you will land, not on the ceiling or against the wall, but on the floor.
  • If you plug in an iron and turn it on, you don’t touch the bottom, because you have faith that it will be hot.
  • If the light turns green in traffic, your mom drives through the intersection with faith that the people who would be coming across your path will have a red light and will stop.

In the same way that we have faith in invisible things like gravity, electricity, and people, God wants us to have faith in Him. In order to please God, what two things must we believe? (Hebrews 11:6):
1.
2

If we have faith in God, we will show it by doing the things He tells us to. Hebrews 11 names some people who had faith. They proved it by what they did. Match each person with the faith act he did (check the references if you’re not sure):

1) Abel     a) built an ark on
dry land (Genesis 6:9-22)

2) Enoch    b) left his home and went
where God led him. (Genesis 12:1-4)

3) Noah     c) walked with God
beyond this life. (Genesis 5:24)

4) Abram  d) pleased God by making
an animal sacrifice.(Genesis 4:3-7)


PRAYER: Dear God, I believe You exist and will show Yourself to me as I seek You. Help me to prove my faith be being obedient. Amen


MORE: Faith in Action
- Would you say you have faith in God?
- What faith act is God asking you to do?
- How can you prove your faith in God is real?

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.



Other Food: daily devo's

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

X-ray Book

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Hebrews 4:12,13

TO CHEW ON: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

You have just fallen off your skate board. But even after you cleaned up your scraped arm it keeps hurting. Then it begins to swell. What do you do?
- Take a pain pill to make the pain go away?
- Wrap it in a sling and keep it very still?
- Go to the doctor for an examination and an x-ray?


You may do the first two. But chances are if the pain doesn’t go away, you’ll do the last one too. Though a pill and keeping your arm still may help make the pain less for a little while, those things don’t tell you the reason for the pain so you can fix the cause.

An x-ray picture, on the other hand, will show the doctor what happened inside your arm. If it shows your arm is broken, the doctor can move the bone pieces back together (set it), and put your arm in a cast to protect it and help it heal straight.



The Bible is a lot like an x-ray machine for our hearts. As we read it, we discover what God is like and what pleases Him. And we also see what we are like and where our thoughts and attitudes are twisted, broken and displeasing to God. Then we can ask Him to help us change so that we will be healthy on the inside.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your word which shows me what I’m like. Please help me to change my thoughts, attitudes and actions to please You. Amen



MORE: X-plain X-ray
  • What are x-rays?
  • How do they work?
  • Have you ever had an x-ray? Why? Did it hurt?
  • Are x-rays used for other things besides looking inside our bodies?
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Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.


Other Food: daily devo's

Monday, December 11, 2017

Making Things Right

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Philemon 1-25

TO CHEW ON: "I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me." Philemon 10,11



Onesimus was a slave who lived in Colosse. His master’s name was Philemon. One day Onesimus stole some money from Philemon and ran away to Rome.

After some time, perhaps after all the money was spent, Onesimus found Paul. He may have met Paul before because Philemon was a Christian and a church met in his home. Paul had probably visited there.

Soon Onesimus became a Christian too. Then he faced a big problem. What should he do about his master Philemon and the money he had stolen? If he went back, Philemon might punish him or even kill him. He would certainly be a slave again. But if he didn’t, his conscience would bother him and give him no peace.

What would you have done? Do you think it’s important to confess and make right the wrong things we’ve done to people? Why or why not?

Paul wrote Onesimus’s master a letter. In it he asked Philemon to forgive Onesimus and take him back as a Christian friend. Then Paul sent Onesimus back to Colosse to deliver the letter to his master.

"Philemon" by Johann C. Weigel, 1695

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, is there anything I need to confess or make right with someone? Please give me the courage to do it. Amen.


MORE: How the Story Ends
The Bible doesn’t tell us how this story ends. What do you think happens when Onesimus returns to Philemon?

"Onesimus and Philemon" by O. A. Stemler

Write or tell the ending to the story:
  • as Philemon would tell it
OR
  • as Onesimus would tell it.
***************
Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Other Food: daily devo's

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Worst

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Titus 3:3-8

TO CHEW ON: "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." Titus 3:4,5

Who is the worst person you’ve ever heard of? What did they do that made them so bad?



We may think of some people, like mass murderers or violent thieves as beyond help. People may say things about them like, “Put them in jail and throw away the key. That’s the best they deserve.”

This may be true. But then, none of us deserve any better as far as God is concerned. For though you and I may not have done really big bad things, we have sinned. And the punishment for our sin is death. All the good things we could ever do are not enough to earn God’s pardon and to make us His friends.

But He doesn’t save us and make us His friends because we’re good. Neither does He leave us out because we’re bad. God accepts each person who comes to Him. This is not because of what we have or haven’t done. Rather it’s because His death paid the price for our sin. His love is big enough to love even the worst person.

"The Good Shepherd" by William Dyce, 1856

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for being merciful and saving people who don’t deserve it. Thank You for saving me. Amen.

MORE: Pray
Do you know someone who does bad things? Talk to God about that person regularly. God loves them and can save and change them.

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Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Other Food: daily devo's

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Read the Book!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Timothy 3:14-17

TO CHEW ON: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16

Have you ever had a toy that needed putting together, or a complicated watch or camera? It came with an instruction book, right? That book had all the information you needed to put the toy together, to set the watch, or take photos with the camera. It’s a lot easier to understand how something works by reading the book than trying to figure it out yourself.


As Christians we have an instruction book too. It’s the Bible.


The Bible is no ordinary book. Though sections of it were written hundreds of years apart, and by many different people, it fits together and never gets outdated. Each part is necessary and useful in some way.

Some parts tell us stories about how God worked in the past. Some show us what God is like. Some help us to pray and worship. Some tell us the story of Jesus. And many parts tell us how to live in ways that please God.

If you haven’t been reading the Bible for yourself, give it a try. Start with the book of John – a book that’s all about Jesus.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Scripture - the Bible. Please help me to hear it, understand it and obey it. Amen.


MORE: Life’s FAQs
Does the Bible have answers for life’s Frequently Asked Questions?
Below are some. Look up the bible references, then match each one to the question it answers:

1. How can I break bad habits?
2. What do I do when I’m afraid?
3. How do I handle worry (anxiety)?
4. What attitude should I have toward money?
5. How do I answer an angry person?
6. How can I know God?
7. What will happen to me after I die?


A. 1 Timothy 6:9-10
B. Proverbs 15:1
C. 1 Peter 5:7
D. John 11:25
E. Philippians 4:13
F. Psalm 56:3
G. John 14:6


ANSWERS

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Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Other Food: daily devo's

Friday, December 8, 2017

Ready to Lead

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Timothy 2:20-26

TO CHEW ON: "Those who cleanse themselves ... will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." 2 Timothy 2:21

Are you a leader? Before you quickly answer “no,” think about it. Do you have younger brothers and sister to whom you teach things? Have you ever been asked by your school teacher to show a new kid around? Perhaps you’ve been chosen by your friends to lead the project or to captain the team. You are probably much more of a leader than you know.

Though you’re young, it’s not too soon to learn how to lead well. God often calls great leaders when they’re young. Timothy was a young leader when Paul wrote him some leader instructions.

"Paul teaches Timothy" - Artist unknown

Can you find five things Paul told Timothy a leader should do and three a leader should not do? (2 Timothy 2: 22 - 25)
Should do:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Shouldn't do:
1.
2.
3.

These instructions are still excellent advice for leaders today - young and old.

PRAYER: Dear God, please prepare me to be the leader You want me to be, now and in the future. Amen.

MORE: Prepared - Then and Now
Paul told Timothy that as a Christian worker he should “Flee the evil desires of youth.”
  • If Timothy lived now and were your age or a bit older, what things do you think Paul would mean for him (and you) to stay away from?

Paul also told Timothy to “pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace...”
  • If Timothy lived now, what things do you think he (and you) could do to follow Paul’s advice?
ANSWERS

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Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.


Other Food: daily devo's

Thursday, December 7, 2017

God's Workman

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Timothy 2:1-7, 15

TO CHEW ON: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

Would it be possible to be a bank teller without knowing how to do math and use a computer? Could you be a gardener without knowing about plants. What about being a doctor without knowing about the human body, diseases, and medicines?
To do a job well, you have to learn about your job or business.


Once someone is trained to do a job, they have to be willing to do the hard things in their job.
  • If a person is an athlete, she has to keep her body fit and play by the rules of the sport.
  • If a person is a nurse, he has to be prepared to work with sick people, give needles, and sometimes work the night shift.
  • Someone who is a teacher has to be willing to prepare lessons and mark homework.


Being a worker for Jesus means training and hard work too. And no matter what other jobs we do, if we are Jesus’ followers, we are His workers as well. Which things below might be training for this job? Can you think of more?

1. Memorize Bible verses.
2. Spend a lot of time shopping at the mall.
3. Help out in Sunday School.
4. Work on the committee of your youth group.
5. Watch TV every chance you get.
6. Have a time every day when you read your Bible and pray.
7. Learn how to introduce someone to Jesus.
8.
9.



PRAYER: Dear God, please help me be a good worker for You, so when I see You, I will not be ashamed. Amen.

MORE: Your Dream Job
- What job would you like to do someday?

- What training do you need for this job?

- What would a day of work be like for a person in this job? (If you don’t know, how could you find out?)


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.



Other Food: daily devo's

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Money God

TODAY’S SPECIAL: I Timothy 6:6-10

TO CHEW ON: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." I Timothy 6:10a



How do you feel about money? Do you have any? How much? Do you earn money regularly? When you get it, what do you do with it? Spend it all? Save it all? Spend and save both?


It’s hard to imagine a world with no money in it. Getting money for a job we’ve done shows us our work is worthwhile. We use money to buy many things we need like food, clothes, a house, and a car. Money is not a bad thing.


But when we love money, when we feel we always need more and think being rich is the most important thing in the world, we are on a dangerous path. Very quickly money can become more important than God. It can become something we worship like a god.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me never to love money more than You. Help me to spend my money wisely and be content with what I have. Amen.


MORE: A Crush on Cash
What kinds of evil can the love of money lead to? Below is a list of some things. Can you think of more?

The person who loves money may:

1. Become a workaholic who has little time for friends and family.

2. Become addicted to gambling.

3. Do illegal things to get money (like steal, or deal drugs)

4. Become self-centered and proud.

5.

6.

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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.




Other Food: daily devo's

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Pray for Leaders

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Timothy 2:1-8

TO CHEW ON: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." 1 Timothy 2:1,2

Who is in authority over you? Do you know the name of your mayor, the people who represent you in government (member of the legislature, member of parliament, congressman, senator etc.) and your country’s head ruler (prime minister, president, king or queen)?

If your country is a democracy, your parents may be able to vote for who governs you. You may be happy with them because they treat you fairly and rule wisely. Or you may be not like them because they are unfair, mean, unwise, and even wicked.

Whomever the people in authority over us are, and no matter how they treat us, there is one thing we must do for them. We are to talk to God about them - make requests, pray, intercede* and give thanks.

*intercede: to ask or beg on another person’s behalf

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for ___________ who is in authority over me. Please give him/her wisdom to govern well. Amen.



MORE: What Should We Pray For?
Here are some prayers we could pray for rulers and authorities.*

1. Pray that godly leaders will have God’s wisdom to govern.

2. Pray that all leaders would discover God loves them.

3. Pray that bad leaders will follow bad advice and lose power.

4. Pray that leaders in lands where there is war will get tired of war and work for peace.

5. Pray that leaders who don’t follow God will allow Christians to preach the Gospel.

6. Pray that leaders who don’t know God will turn to Him.

**************

* Prayer ideas from the book Dick Eastman on Prayer - Love On Its Knees by Dick Eastman, Global Christian Publishers, Grand Rapids Michigan USA copyright 1978, pages 96-104

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.



Other Food: daily devo's

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Enemy

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

TO CHEW ON: And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:8

The Bible is a story of a fight. The fight is between light and darkness, love and hate, obedience and rebellion, good and evil, God and Satan. This fight began in the Garden of Eden when Satan, in the form of a snake, tempted Eve. He persuaded her to listen to him and eat fruit from the tree God had plainly forbidden. Sin (any act that defies God and sides with Satan) came into the world.


"The Fall" by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1907

Through history, God has done many things to fight Satan. He chose the Jews, gave them His laws, and commanded them to make sacrifices for sins. Then He sent His son Jesus, born of a Jewish mother, who became the final sacrifice for sin. Now we have the Holy Spirit who helps us resist Satan’s temptations and live for God.

The final showdown between God and Satan is still to come (although because Jesus rose from the dead, we know Satan’s power is broken). Our verse today talks about a future battle in the fight between God and Satan. Satan’s servant, the lawless one (also called the Antichrist) will someday try to convince all people living on the earth to follow Satan. But though he uses Satan’s most powerful signs, wonders and miracles, his end will be the same as his boss’s. What happens to the lawless one? (2 Thessalonians 2:8) __________.

"The Antichrist" - Artist unknown, 1593

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to recognize and stand against Satan’s tricks. Help me remember he is defeated through Jesus. Amen.


MORE: Satan, A.K.A....
In the Bible, Satan is called many names. Knowing what they are helps us understand him and resist his ways. Look up each Bible reference and make a list of the names Satan is called.
1. Isaiah 14:12
2. Isaiah 27:1
3. Matthew 13:19
4. 1 Thessalonians 3:5
5. 2 Corinthians 4:4
6. Ephesians 2:2
7. Matthew 12:29
8. 2 Corinthians 11:14
9. 1 Peter 5:8
10. John 8:44
11. Revelation 9:11

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.



Other Food: daily devo's

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Are You Ready?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: I Thessalonians 4:13-18


TO CHEW ON: For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. I Thessalonians 4:16,17


Your grandma, who lives far away, is coming for a visit! You clean the house and make the guest bed. Your mom stocks the fridge with Grandma’s favorite foods. On the day she’s due to arrive, you drive to the airport and wait impatiently in the arrivals lounge. You can’t keep your eyes off the doorway through which she’ll soon appear

Someone else just as special as grandma will arrive one of these days. Jesus promised over 2000 years ago He would someday return to earth. We don’t know when He will come back and we won’t go to meet Him at an airport, bus depot or train station. But He promised someday He will appear in the sky. It could be any day. It could be today, or eleven months or fifty-three years from now.


Like we prepare for the visit of someone we love, we can also get ready for Jesus’ return. Which statements, below, do you think are made by someone who is living with Jesus’ return in mind:
  • The most important thing is to have fun and be happy.
  • Jesus died for my sin; He is the boss of my life.
  • I’m young. I’ll have lots of time to think about Jesus when I’m old.
  • The most important thing is to reach my goals.
  • I live each day as if Jesus were watching me.
  • Making lots of money is the most important thing in life.
  • I live every day as if it could be my last.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I know You could return at any time. Help me to be ready. Amen.

MORE: Heaven
When Jesus returns He will take us to heaven to live with Him. What will that be like? The Bible talks a lot about heaven. Revelation 7:9-17, Revelation 21:1-8 and Revelation 22:1-5 are three such places. Which statements about heaven, below, are true (check the Bible passages, above, if you’re not sure)?

A. There will be no more death.

B. We will sit around on clouds playing harps all day.

C. There will be no sadness or crying.

D. We’ll spend time sailing on heaven’s seas.

E. People from every nation on earth will be there.

F. No sun, moon or stars are needed; God is heaven’s light.

G. There will be no sickness in heaven.

H. We’ll still get hungry and thirsty in heaven.

I. We’ll see God, Jesus and angels.

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.



Other Food: daily devo's

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sin Germs

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Colossians 3:1-11

TO CHEW ON: Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5


Our bodies are surrounded by invisible enemies. Tiny bacteria and viruses live all around us on places like toothbrushes, doorknobs and dishcloths. They are always trying to find places to grow and multiply, and our bodies are great for that. So they sneak into our mouths when we drink, fly into our noses when we breathe, enter through the injured skin of a cut or wound when we’re hurt.

While they’re trying to get in, we’re trying to keep them out. We use antibacterial soap, disinfectant and, when germs get in us and make us sick, antibiotics to make us well again.


These invisible germs and viruses are a lot like the sins that love to live in our spirits. We try to destroy the invisible army of germs and viruses so they won’t invade our bodies. In the same way we need to destroy the sin germs that try to get into our lives and make us spiritually sick.

What eleven sins does Paul tell us to destroy in Colossians 3:5-9?

1.            2.
3.            4.               
5.            6.
7.            8.               
9.            10.          
11.


PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to recognize the sin in my life, and then confess it and stop doing it. Amen.


MORE: Sin’s Signs and Symptoms
Match the sin-germ with the sickness it causes:
1. Greed ___
2. Filthy talk ____
3. Malice ____
4. Slander ____
5. Lying ____
6. Anger ____
7. Lust ____


a. saying something untruthful or deceitful.
b. damaging someone’s reputation by what you say.
c. showing strong feelings of displeasure and hostility.
d. saying bad words and using dirty talk.
e. wanting to hurt someone with speech or action.
f. having an intense sexual desire.
g. selfishly desiring possessions.


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.



Other Food: daily devo's

Friday, December 1, 2017

Who Is Jesus?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Colossians 1:13-20

TO CHEW ON: For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him. Colossians 1:19


You are a real person who lives on earth, right? Describe yourself:
- Who are you?

- What do you look like?

- What have you done?


Jesus was a real person who lived on earth too. He could have written a description of himself much like yours. It could have told us about His family, what He looked like, where He went to school, what His grades were like, all the things He had learned to do.

"The Transfiguration" - Titian, 1560-1565

But Paul in Colossians 1 tells us that Jesus was and is far more than someone who just lived on earth a long time ago. Let’s build a description of Jesus.

- Who is He? (All verses below taken from Colossians 1)
1. (Colossians 1:17)
2. (Colossians 1:18)
3. (Colossians 1:18)
4. (Colossians 1:18)

- Who does He look like?
5 (Colossians 1:15)

- What has He done / is He doing?
6.(Colossians 1:13)
7. (Colossians 1:16)
8. (Colossians 1:17)
9. (Colossians 1:20*)

* reconcile: means to bring back to friendship after being enemies; to settle a quarrel.

Though Jesus was once a human person, He was and is 10. (Colossians 1:19) _______________

The amazing thing is that Jesus, the God-man, wants to have a friendship with each one of us. He wants to be your friend. If you don’t know Him, here’s how you can become His friend today.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I worship You as God. Amen.

MORE: Jesus’ Names
The names Jesus was called in the Bible give us clues about how people thought of Him. Which names that show Bible writers thought of Jesus as God. Which names show that Jesus was human?

A] Bread of life (John 6:35)

B] Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 21:11)

C] Lord of Lords (I Timothy 6:15)

D] The first and last (Revelation 1:17)

E] Son of David (Matthew 8:20)

F] Man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3)

G] I Am (John 8:58)

H] Jesus (Matthew 1:21)

I] Word (John 1:1,14)

J] Offspring of woman (Genesis 3:15)

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.



Other Food: daily devo's

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Nesting Thoughts

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Philippians 4:4-9

TO CHEW ON: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Philippians 4:8

You’ve probably heard the proverb, “You can’t stop a bird from landing on your head, but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair.”


Our thoughts are a lot like that bird. The first time a thought occurs to us is like the bird sitting on our head. We can’t help that it landed there but we can choose what happens after that. We can choose to invite the thought to stay by thinking about it more, or shoo it away by replacing it with a better thought.

For example, suppose you stop by your best friend Jessica’s house to walk her to school. Her Mom tells you that she’s already left with Danielle. Immediately you have the thought: “Danielle’s trying to steal my friend.”

Now you have a choice. Do you encourage that jealous thought by telling yourself things like:
  • I never could trust Jessica.
  • Next time I see Jessica and Danielle I'll give them a piece of my mind.

Or do you replace it by thinking things like:
  • I don’t know everything about the situation (truth thoughts).
  • I can have more than one good friend (right thoughts).
  • I don’t own Jessica - she needs to be free to walk to school with anyone she likes (noble thoughts).

PRAYER:
Dear God, help me to recognize thoughts that don’t please You. Then help me to replace them with thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Amen.



MORE:
Thought-provoking
We can do something about the thoughts that come to us. Which activities below may lead to good thoughts? Which do you believe would lead to bad thoughts?



1. Go on chat rooms where people post put-downs.

2. Memorize Bible advice about your thoughts.

3. Read Christian fiction and stories of famous people who loved God (biographies).

4. Watch every new movie that comes out.

5. Listen to music with God-honoring lyrics.

6. Hang around with kids who swear.

7. Play violent video games.

8. Spend time online at Christian web sites for kids your age.

9. Go to church, Sunday School and club.


You might want to memorize today's TO CHEW ON verse. It's a good way to remind yourself about the thoughts to encourage and the ones to shoo away.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.


- Philippians 4:8

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