Tuesday, January 31, 2017

He's Back!

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 35:1-15

TO CHEW ON: "Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel." Genesis 35:14,15

Jacob and his family had spent many months moving around, living as nomads. One day God talked to Jacob again. He told him to go to Bethel and settle there.

Jacob hears the voice of the Lord - by Frederick SandysJacob hears the voice of the Lord - by Frederick Sandys


Jacob had been at Bethel before.

1. Why did he stop there the first time? (Genesis 28:11)

2. What happened during the night? (Genesis 28:12)

3. What promise did God make to Jacob the first time he was in Bethel? (Genesis 28:15)

4. Now, years later, Jacob had a large family. He was rich with servants and cattle. And he was back at Bethel. Had God kept His promise? (Genesis 35:14,15)

PRAYER: You are a God who keeps promises. Thank you! Amen.

MORE: Promises

Below are three Bible promises. Choose one. Why is it important to you? You might also want to memorize it.

"When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." (Isaiah 43:2)

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you"” - Jesus (John 14:1,2)

“Therefore I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” - Jesus (Mark 11:24)

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Can you find the city of Bethel on this map of ancient cities? It's north of Jerusalem.

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You can download and print a coloring book that tells the story of Jacob's here .

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.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Reunion

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 33:1-11

TO CHEW ON:
“If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.” Genesis 33:10

The day Jacob had looked forward to and dreaded was here. Today, after many years, he would see Esau again.

1.What happened when the brothers met? Genesis 33:4
2. Who of the brothers had done something wrong and needed to be forgiven?
3. Who did the forgiving?

The meeting of Jacob and Esau - Artist unknownThe meeting of Jacob and Esau

Seeing Esau again and knowing he was no longer angry was a big deal for Jacob. He compared getting Esau’s forgiveness to seeing the face of God.

Are there broken friendships in your life? Be like Jacob and Esau, and mend them.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me forgive the people who have hurt me, and help the people I have hurt to forgive me. Amen.

MORE: Forgiveness
What does it mean to forgive? Do you agree or disagree with the statements about forgiveness, below. Look up the reference to see what the Bible says.

1. It’s enough to say ‘I forgive you,’ even though you keep thinking mean thoughts about the person who hurt you. (Psalm 103:12)

2. You can’t forgive someone unless they say ‘sorry’ to you. (Luke 11:4)

3. You should forgive someone as soon as they hurt or offend you. (Mark 11:25)

4. If you forgive a person for something, but then he does the same thing over and over, you don’t have to forgive him because it seems he’s not really sorry. (Luke 17:4)

5. We should forgive others, just like Jesus forgave us. (Colossians 3:13)

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.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

God is Here

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 32:22-31

TO CHEW ON: "So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, 'It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.'" Genesis 32:30

Soon Jacob was a father, once, twice. three times... As he kept working for Laban, God blessed him with wealth and many children. But things were not going well. Laban and his sons were jealous of Jacob’s wealth. There was quarreling.

One day God told Jacob to move back to his childhood home. He sneaked away from Laban with his family. Though Laban came after him, he didn’t make Jacob come back. Now Jacob and his family were really on their own.

To get back home, he had to pass through Edom, where his brother Esau lived. This worried Jacob a lot. Was Esau still angry with him? Did Esau still want to kill him?

He got ready to meet Esau by preparing a gift of animals and servants. He put the gift in front, with his own flocks behind that, and at the very back his wives and children.

The night before they met, he spent time alone, praying and worrying about what the next day would bring. Then a man met him. They begin to wrestle. At dawn, after they had wrestled all night, the man said, “Let me go.”

“Bless me first,” Jacob begged.

Jacob wrestling with the Angel - Gustave Dore
Jacob wrestling with the Angel - Gustave Dore
“Your name will be changed from Jacob to Israel,*” the man replied. Then with one touch He crippled Jacob’s hip. Now Jacob knew this was not an ordinary man, but God. He felt good because he knew God had not forgotten about him. God would be with him on this day when he met his brother Esau.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You that when I am worried and anxious, You are there. Amen.

MORE: Seeing God

God showed Himself to several people in the Bible. (When God makes Himself visible to people we call it a theophany.) Which of these statements about seeing God are true? Which false? Look up the Bible references if you’re unsure.

____ 1. Sometimes when God appeared, He looked like a man. (Genesis 18:1-2)

____ 2. Moses, Aaron and the 70 leaders of Israel died when they saw God. (Exodus 24:9-11)

____ 3. Sometimes God appeared to people in dreams. (1 Kings 3:5)

____ 4. Some people who saw God felt dirty and unclean. (Isaiah 6:5)

____ 5. People thought if they saw God, they would die. (Judges 13:22)

____ 6. God only appeared to people when they were in church. (2 Chronicles 3:1)

*Israel means “he struggles or wrestles with God.

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.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tricked!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 29:15-28

Jacob and Rachel - Artist unknown
Jacob falls in love with - Artist unknown

TO CHEW ON: "When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, 'What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?'" Genesis 29:25

Jacob eventually found his mother’s relatives in Haran. There he got work with his uncle Laban. He also fell in love with Laban’s beautiful daughter Rachel. Laban told Jacob he could marry Rachel if he worked for him seven years.

Seven years pass quickly. Now it was the wedding day. But after the party was over, Jacob found his uncle had married him to Leah, Rachel’s older sister. (In that time women’s wedding clothes included veils to hide their faces.)

“Why did you deceive me?” Jacob asked his uncle. Now Jacob found out how Esau felt when he was tricked.

Jesus said, “Whatever measure you use will be used towards you and even more than that.” (Mark 4:24 Phillips). As Jacob discovered, the way we treat others becomes the way others treat us.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to treat others the way I would want to be treated. Amen.

SUPERSIZE IT: Two Wives!?

In Bible times it was common for men to have more than one wife. This is called polygamy.

Even though many people had more than one wife, it led to problems. Usually the husband liked one wife more than the others. There was often jealousy and quarreling among the wives.

Sometimes kings had several wives for political power. They married foreign princesses to make alliances with other nations.

Later in the Bible, most marriages were monogamous (one wife, one husband). They followed God’s plan for marriage given in Genesis: “...a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife and they become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

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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.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Alone - but not alone

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 28:10-20

TO CHEW ON: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15

Have you ever run for your life? That’s what Jacob was doing. After he tricked his father into giving him Esau’s blessing, Esau wanted to kill him. Rebekah told Jacob to go to Haran, where she grew up. Jacob set out alone

How do you suppose he felt as he walked away from his family and the only home he had ever known?
- Nervous about being attacked by robbers and wild animals?
- Worried about losing his way?
- Lonely and wishing he had someone to talk to?

When it got dark, he stopped walking. He pitched his tent, unrolled his sleeping bag, blew up his air mattress – NOT! He had no tent, sleeping bag, or air mattress. Instead he lay on the ground, under the stars with a stone for his pillow.

After he fell asleep, he dreamed. What things were in his dream (Genesis 28:12-13)


Esau   Angels     Isaac    Heaven     Tent

Stairway    God    Rebekah    Bears   Earth


Jacob's Dream - Artist unknown
Jacob's Dream - Artist unknown

Also, in his dream God talked to him. He promised Jacob someday the land he was lying on would be his. He said all people on earth would be blessed through Jacob and his family. And God promised to go everywhere with him. Now Jacob knew he was not alone. God was with him!

PRAYER: Dear God, please go everywhere with me as You went with Jacob. Amen

Girl sleeping under moon and stars
MORE: Dream Facts

- We dream every night.
- While we dream our eyes dart back and forth.
- A sound or touch while we’re dreaming may become part of our dream.
- Our dreams are often about things we worry about, wish would happen or are afraid of.
- We often don’t remember our dreams.

Though God may speak to us through dreams, usually our dreams don’t predict the future or contain special messages for us.

Tell about a dream you remember.

Find out more about sleep and dreaming here.

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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.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Deceit and Trickery

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 27:1-41

TO CHEW ON: "But he said, 'Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.'" Genesis 27:35
Isaac blessing Jacob - Gustave Dore

Isaac was old and knew he would soon die. He asked Esau, his favorite son, to catch some wild game and make his favorite food. Then he would say a blessing over him.

Rebekah heard this. She didn’t want Isaac to bless Esau. Jacob was her favorite son. And hadn’t God said to her at the birth of Jacob and Esau, “The older will serve the younger”?

Here’s what happened next. But one of these things is not true. Which one?

1. Jacob brought Rebekah two young goats and she prepared food for Isaac.
2. Rebekah dressed Jacob in Esau’s clothes and covered his hands and neck to smell and feel like Esau.
3. Jacob took Rebekah’s food to Isaac and Isaac ate it.
4. Isaac blessed Jacob after he smelled his clothes and felt his skin to make sure it was Esau.
5. Esau brought prepared food to his father.
6. Isaac told Esau he had already eaten and spoken a blessing – on someone else!
7. Esau didn’t care that Jacob had stolen his blessing.
8. Esau vowed to kill Jacob as soon as their father died.

By tricking Isaac in this way, Rebekah took matters into her own hands. She could have trusted God to see how He would make sure Jacob got the promised blessing. Instead, she did it her way and started a family fight.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to have faith in You to work things out instead of trying to do it my way. Amen.

MORE: Bible Disguises and Masquerades
Face behind a mask
Other people in the Bible put on disguises to trick people. Match the person with what they did and whom they tried to trick. Here are Bible references to help you:

  • Saul - 1 Samuel 28:8
  • King Jeroboam’s wife – 1 Kings 14:2
  • David – 1 Samuel 21:12-13
  • King of Israel – 1 Kings 22:29-30




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.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Now - or Later?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 25:19-34

TO CHEW ON: "Jacob replied, 'First sell me your birthright.'
'Look, I am about to die,' Esau said. 'What good is the birthright to me?'"Genesis 25:31-32

Though Jacob and Esau (sons of Isaac and Rebekah) were twins, they were far from identical. What things do we know about them that show how different they were? (Genesis 25:27-28)

Esau
1.
2.
3.

Jacob
1.
2.
3.

One day when Esau came back from hunting, Jacob was making stew. When hungry Esau asked Jacob for some stew to eat, Jacob used his cleverness to get Esau to promise him the birthright in exchange for a pot of stew.

A birthright was a big deal. It was what the oldest son in a family inherited. As firstborn of the twins and the oldest son, Esau’s inheritance was twice as big as Jacob’s. The birthright also brought with it the job of being the family leader next to Isaac.

But in one reckless moment, Esau said, “What good is a birthright to me if I die by hunger anyway?” Then he promised Jacob his birthright if he would give him a bowl of stew. Later he regretted this decision with all his heart.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to make decisions based on wisdom, not impulse. Amen.

MORE: Got to have it - NOW!

It’s natural to want things NOW! But insisting we get what we want immediately is often not wise.

meal of various foods
candy
Sort these things into two groups.
  • Which things satisfy right away and go on the Instant Reward (IR) pile? 
  • Which give a reward later and go on the Delayed Reward (DR) pile?

1. ____ Spending all your money on gum and candy.
2. ____ Waiting till mealtime to eat with your family.
3. ____ Spending all your free time on play.
4. ____ Nibbling on snacks whenever you’re hungry, then skipping meals later.
5. ____ Practicing a musical instrument for half an hour a day.
6. ____ Saving your money by putting some in a bank.

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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

God, I need help!

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 24:12-20, 57-61

TO CHEW ON: "Then he prayed, 'O Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.'" Genesis 24:12

Abraham sent his servant on an errand. He was to find a wife for Isaac among Abraham’s relatives far away. This was a hard job. As the servant traveled he wondered how would he ever find Abraham’s family, let alone know which was the right girl.

When he got to the faraway land, he still didn’t know what to do. He found a well and sat there to rest. As he rested he prayed, "God please help me find the right girl. May it be the girl that when I ask her for a drink, she'll offer to water my camels too. If that happens, I'll take it as a sign that she's the right girl."

Before he finished praying beautiful Rebekah came to the well.

Unscramble the words to find out what the servant said and how the girl answered him (Genesis 24:17-19)


Could this be the right girl?

It turned out Rebekah was also one of Abraham’s relatives. When the servant explained his errand to Rebekah’s family they asked her, “Will you go?” and she answered, "I will go."

You too can ask God for help with your work. Do it today. The answer may take a while to come, or it may appear before you finish your prayer!

PRAYER: Dear God, today please help me with _________________________ (name a job you must do today). Amen


MORE: Memorize this!

Here is a Bible promise about prayer. You may want to memorize it to remind you to ask for God’s help with anything and everything!

"Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear." Isaiah 65:24

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.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Big Test

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 22:1-19

TO CHEW ON: “...and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22:18

Imagine Abraham’s horror the day God told him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Perhaps he had some of these questions and thoughts:

- Did I hear God right?
- Why would God make me wait all these years to have a son, only to ask me to kill him?
- Didn’t God forbid human sacrifice?
- God can do anything. Maybe He is planning to raise Isaac from the dead.

Whatever Abraham was thinking, he didn’t argue with God. Instead, he took Isaac, the stuff they needed for the sacrifice and they went to the place God told him.

Using Genesis 22:9-12 as a guide, put the rest of the story in order.




An angel stops Abraham from sacrificing Isaac - Artist unknown
An angel stops Abraham from sacrificing Isaac - Artist unknown
Abraham’s faith was tested to see what he believed in. God was testing him to see whether he believed in what his mind told him God would do, or whether he believed in God, even though he didn’t understand. Abraham’s actions showed he believed in God. He passed the test!

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to pass the faith tests I face. Amen.

MORE: A Father who really did sacrifice His Son

This story of Abraham and Isaac reminds us of a story that happened hundreds of years later. Another Father watched as His Son was sacrificed–not on an altar, but on a cross. Read about it in Mark 15:33-41.

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.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Promises, promises

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 21:1-7

TO CHEW ON: "Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him." Genesis 21:2

I’ll play with you after school today.

Never tell a soul– promise?

Wait till summer; then I’ll take you fishing.

We’ll go to Disneyland next year - it’s a promise!


Our lives are full of promises. Do we keep all the promises we make? Do others keep their promises to us? Probably not.

But there is Someone Who does keep every promise He makes. God promised Abraham and Sarah they would have a son. In fact He said it over and over. Now at last, when Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90 years old, the baby was born.

1. What did Sarah do? (Genesis 21:6)

2. Abraham and Sarah named the baby Isaac. What does the name "Isaac" mean?

God kept His promise. What a happy time!

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the joy of kept promises. Amen.

MORE: God's promises to you

The Bible is full of God's promises to you. Read the following promises and solve the crossword puzzle below.

1. Eternal life: (John 11:25) "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will (1 DOWN) even though he dies.'"

2. Rewards: (Ephesians 6:8) "Because you know that the Lord will (2 DOWN) everyone for whatever good he does whether he is slave or free."

3. Forgiveness: (1 John 1:9) "If we confess our sin he is faithful and just and will (3 ACROSS) us our sins."

4. Guidance: (Psalm 25:9) "He (4 DOWN) the humble in what is right and teaches them his way."

5. Protection: (Psalm 125:2) "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord (5 ACROSS) his people both now and forevermore.




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.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

God as Judge

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 19:12-29

TO CHEW ON: "The two men said to Lot, 'Do you have anyone else here...? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.'” Genesis 19:12,13

When the two angels got to Sodom they met Lot at the city gate. He invited them to stay at his home for the night. But even there the visitors didn’t escape the violence of the city.

Soon a crowd of men was banging on Lot’s door. They wanted to abuse the two angels - who they thought were ordinary men. When Lot went out to calm them, they threatened him. They were about to break down his door when the angels pulled him into the house and made the men go blind.

“Do you have anyone else here that belongs to you?” the angels asked Lot. He talked to the young men who were engaged to his daughters. But when he told them God would destroy the city, they thought he was joking.

Before dawn the next morning, the angels pulled Lot and his family out of bed. “Hurry! Get out of the city,” they said. “God is going to completely destroy it!”

In the picture Lot and his family are running away from Sodom. But someone looked back. Who was it? What happened to her? (Genesis 12:26)

Lot and his family fleeing Sodom - Artist unknown
Lot and his family fleeing Sodom - Artist unknown
God had promised to spare the city if there were ten good people in it. How many good people were found? (Genesis 19:16)

What did Lot see when he got to Zoar and looked back at Sodom? (Genesis 19:24)
God destroyed the city but saved Lot’s life. Why?(Genesis 19:29)

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to remember that You are a holy God who punishes sin. Amen.

MORE: Sodom’s Sins

The Bible doesn't tell us the specific sins of Sodom that were so awful God wanted to destroy the city. After reading Genesis 19:5-7 and 19:9-14 what do you think the sins of Sodom were?

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.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Ask and Ask Again

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 18:20-33

TO CHEW ON: "Abraham said, 'Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?'
He said, 'For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.'
Then he said, 'May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?'
He answered, 'For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.'” Genesis 18:31,32

One day three men came to visit Abraham. He welcomed them, washed their dusty feet and fed them a hot dinner. As they talked, Abraham realized that these visitors weren’t ordinary men. Two of them were angels and one was God Himself, in human form.

After their visit, as Abraham walked down the road with them God turned to him and said, “I’m going to tell you what I’m planning to do.” Then He explained how He had heard that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were sinful and violent. He said if the angels found that to be true, He would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.

Immediately Abraham thought of Lot. He had moved near Sodom. So Abraham begged God to spare the city if there were good people found in it. Abraham asked God, would He please spare the city if there were fifty good people left in it?

God answered, “Yes.”

Abraham asked again, “What about forty-five?”

“Yes.”

“Forty? Thirty? Twenty?"

Three more times God said,“Yes.”

Still Abraham was worried. But should he test God's patience by asking still another time? He would ask just once more.
Abraham talking to the angels

Abraham was persistent and determined when he talked to God. We too can pray for others (intercede) like Abraham did.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help and protect and bless my family, my friends, my coach, my teachers, my pastor, my mayor, my member of parliament or senator, my prime minister or president. Amen


MORE:
Never-give-up prayers

Abraham didn’t easily give up in his praying. He kept asking and asking and asking.

Who is someone you’ve been praying for for a long time?

Learn from Abraham’s example, and don’t give up praying for that person!

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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.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

More than a Promise

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 17:1-10

TO CHEW ON: "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations." Genesis 17:4

Twenty four years after God said to Abram “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you,” Abram still didn’t have even one son, let alone a nation of sons. By the time he was 99 years old, can we blame him for thinking God had forgotten His promise?

Abram listening to God - Artist unknown
Abram listening to God - Artist unknown
But now God came to Abram again and told him, “I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.... You will be the father of many nations.”

God gave Abram more than a promise. He called it a covenant. It is the strongest promise anyone can make.

Circle the things a covenant IS (look it up in the dictionary if you need to).

promise         wish        contract        lie         

dream         pledge


To prove Abram and Sarai He really would do what He said, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, and Sarai’s name to Sarah.

PRAYER: Dear God, I trust to keep Your promises even if it takes a long time. Amen.

MORE: Changing names

In Bible times, the meaning of a person’s name was important. Names told about people – what they did for a living and what they were like. Sometimes when a person’s life changed, their name was changed too.

Here are some Bible characters who were given new names. Match their old names with the new:

Look up the Bible references if you need help:
Abram – Genesis 17:5 | Sarai – Genesis 17:15 | Jacob – Genesis 32:28 |
Gideon – Judges 6:32 | Solomon – 2 Samuel 12:25 | Saul – Acts 13:9.


What’s your name?
What does it mean?
Does the meaning describe you?
I'm sure you like your name. But if you were to change it, what new name would you choose?
Why?

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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Can't Wait

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 16:1-9

Abram looking at the stars - Artist unknown
Abram looking at the stars - Artist unknown

TO CHEW ON: 'Your slave is in your hands,' Abram said. 'Do with her whatever you think best.'” Genesis 16:6

What promises had God given Abram?
  • Genesis 12:2
  • Genesis 15:5

If Abram was to be a nation and have as many children as there are stars, he would first need at least one child. But year followed year and still Abram and Sarai had no children. They were old when they first moved. Now they were very old.

We can’t wait any longer. God needs help with this, thought Sarai. So she gave her servant Hagar to Abram to have a baby for her. Though this was a legal thing to do at that time and place, it was not God’s way.

Hagar got pregnant. But now she scorned Sarai. Sarai blamed Abram. Abram told Sarai to do as she liked with Hagar. So Sarai sent Hagar away into the desert.

An angel comforted Hagar. He told her she would have a son, Ishmael, but he wouldn’t get along with his brothers. And the angel told Hagar to go back to Abram and Sarai.

What the angel said to Hagar about Ishmael came true. Ishmael became the father of the Arab nations. Through the centuries they have fought with the Jews, who are the descendants of the child Abram and Sarai did finally have. How much better if Sarai would have waited for God to give Abram and her the child He had promised.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me always to wait for Your timing. Amen.

MORE: The Impatient Way

We too want things sooner rather than later. Which actions below may show impatience?

1. Buy lottery tickets to get rich.
2. Go to school to get an education.
3. Starve to lose weight
4. Borrow money so you can buy what you want now.
5. Get a job and save your money.
6. Use a credit card to buy things you don’t have cash to pay for.
7. Eat a little less at meals to lose weight.

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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

First Choice

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Genesis 13:1-17

Abram and Lot - Artist unknown
Abram and Lot - Artist unknown
TO CHEW ON: "So Abram said to Lot, 'Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me.... Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.'” Genesis 13: 8,9

Abram did take one member of his family along – his nephew Lot. Lot also had flocks and servants. Soon their servants were fighting over the same pastures. Abram didn’t want fighting. He had a meeting with Lot. “I think it’s time for our families to part,” he said.

Abram was the leader and the respected older person on this trip. He could have told Lot to graze his cattle on the scrubby hills while he (Abram) took his cattle to the green valley. Instead Abram let Lot have first choice about where he’d go.

What an easy decision for Lot. Of course he picked the lush green valley for himself. Besides being the best pasture land, it was near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah where his wife could shop and he could get supplies.

If Abram was sorry about his decision to let Lot pick first, it wasn’t for long. After Lot left, God met Abram again. He told him that even though Lot had picked the best, God would someday give Abram and his family all the land he could see in every direction.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to put others first. Amen

SUPERSIZE IT: Generosity in Action

• Here's a Bible verse about being generous. You might want to memorize it. Then you will have God's promise to generous people at your fingertips next time you're tempted to be selfish.

Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38.

• Try this:
Next time you’re tempted to choose the biggest and best for yourself– STOP!
- Let someone else have first choice.
or
- Choose the dessert that’s smaller, the bottom bunk, the back seat in the car or whatever tells the other person you’re giving them the best.














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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.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Faith Adventure

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Genesis 12:1-7

Abraham journeying into the Land of Canaan by Gustave Dore
Abraham journeying into the Land of Canaan by Gustave Dore
TO CHEW ON: "The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you....” So Abram went as the Lord told him." Genesis 12:1,4

People move from one home to another for many reasons. Sometimes they move to find work. Sometimes they move to be close to family. Sometimes they move to experience life in a different city. And sometimes they move just because God tells them to.

One day God talked to a man named Abram. (He was a man who was alive at about the same time as Job.) God told Abram to move – and he did, just because God said so.

He had to have a big faith in God to leave the country he lived in, the city he knew, and even his family. He was 75 when God asked him to do this. That's older than your grandparents! To make it even harder, God didn’t give him a map or a moving truck. He just told Abram and his wife Sarai to pack their stuff and go wherever He would show them.

Abram had herds of goats, flocks of sheep and camels. It wasn't a quick, easy move. Abram did take servants along. But he left most of his family behind.

God promised Abram some good things would happen as a result of his move. How many promises can you find in Genesis 12:2,3? Make a list.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You when we move on Your instructions, we set out on a faith adventure. Amen.
Moving boxes

MORE: Moving

Tell or write about a time you moved. If you haven’t moved ask a friend to tell you about their move.

1. Why did you move?
2. How did you move?
3. Where did you move to?
3. What was good about your move?
4. What was hard about your move?
5. In what way was your move a faith adventure for you and your family?

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.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Questions Answered?

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Job 42:1-16

Clouds reflecting the sun
TO CHEW ON: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.... Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Job 42:2,3

After Job and his friends had spoken, God talked. He asked Job questions.
- “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4 Simplified Living Bible)
- “Have you found the springs from which the seas come?” (38:16 SLB)
- “Do you know where the gates of death are”? (38:18 SLB)
- “Where does the light come from and how do you get there?” (38:19 SLB)
- “Who gave the heart wisdom? Who gave knowledge to the mind?” (38:36 SLB)

...and on and on.

Do you know the answers to these questions? What would you have said if you were Job?

Actually, Job didn’t have much to say. “I am nothing,” he said. “How could I ever find the answers?” (Job 40:4 SLB).

By questioning Job this way God wasn’t asking him questions because He didn’t know these things. He was showing Job (and us) that as the creator of the world, He sees the big picture of beginnings and endings. He understands more than we do.

God didn’t tell Job (and He often doesn’t tell us) the reason for his suffering. But He did help Job understand he could trust an all-wise God to have plans that are good, and to make them happen in the best way.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You that You know all things and can do all things. Amen

Job--recovered and wealthy again - Artist unknown
Job--recovered and wealthy again - Artist unknown
MORE: A Happy Ending
What finally happened to Job? Read the end of Job’s story in Job 42:10-17. Which things are not true?

1. Job’s brothers, sisters and friends came to visit and brought gifts.
2. Job never got better.
3. Job had more children.
4. Job became rich again with more sheep, camels, oxen and donkeys.
5. Job lived 140 more years.
6. Job was never a grandfather

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.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Why? Why?? Why???

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Job 2:1-13

Job and his friends - Artist unknown
Job and his friends - Artist unknown
TO CHEW ON: "When Job’s three friends Eliphaz... Bildad... and Zophar... heard about all the troubles that had come upon him they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him." Job 2:11

At the next heavenly council meeting, Satan suggested that God should take His protection away from Job’s body. If he got sick, Satan was sure Job would curse God.

God gave permission. Soon Job was so ill his friends who came to comfort him hardly recognized him.

Job’s friends thought it was his fault he was sick. When Job insisted he hadn’t done anything wrong, they argued, “God always punishes sin. This sickness is your punishment for something bad you did. Confess your sin and you’ll get better.”

Finally a young friend, Elihu, spoke. He said maybe Job’s sickness wasn’t because of something bad he did. Maybe God was just trying to teach Job a lesson.

Of course none of this talk made Job feel any better. But he kept on trusting God anyway. Job said, “But he knows the way I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to trust You even when things in my life don’t make sense. Amen.

MORE: No Answers
1. Tell about a time you suffered because you did something bad.
2. Tell about a time you suffered and you didn’t have a clue why.

Sometimes we just don’t have answers. In those times, we can keep on coming to God with our mixed up feelings and questions, just like Job did.

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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.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Job's very bad, terrible, no good day

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Job 1:6-22

Job hearing of his ruin by Gustave Dore

TO CHEW ON: "At this Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: '. . . The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.'” Job 1:20,21

Sometime after the flood, a man named job and his family lived in the land of Uz. Job was a happy man. He had a wife and a large, healthy family. He was also rich with donkeys, sheep, oxen, camels, and servants. Then one day his good life fell apart. Match Job’s possessions with what happened to them: (Job 1:13-18)


What a horrible day for Job! One after the other, his servants came to him with news of robbers, fire, wind, calamity and death.

It wouldn’t surprise us to see Job feel sorry for himself, or full of fear, or angry enough with God to curse Him. But though Job was shocked and grieved (and did show his feelings by tearing his clothes and shaving his head - like the people of his time did), he didn’t curse God for his troubles. What did he say instead (Job1:21)?

PRAYER: Dear God, help me praise You when bad things happen, just like Job did. Amen.

MORE: Behind the Scenes

Before any of this happened to Job, we get a peek at a heavenly meeting (Job 1:6-12).
Draw the two characters who said the things in the speech bubbles.






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.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Human Towers

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Genesis 11:1-9

Skyscrapers silhoutted against the sky

TO CHEW ON: "Then they said, 'Come let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.'” Genesis 11:4

God was displeased with the people’s plan to build a tower. It wasn’t so much the building which displeased Him, but the attitude it showed. This tower plan showed pride. It was as if these people were saying, “Making this tower will prove we humans can do anything we are determined to do.”

God stopped the project. Which method did He use?
1. Sent an earthquake
2. Sent a plague of sickness
3. Confused the languages so people could no longer understand each other.
4. Caused the workers to go on strike.

In this way God reminded people of their human limits. We humans may be creative and ambitious and energetic and determined. But this story reminds us that God is greater than any human scheme or idea. If something is against His plan, He can shut it down in an instant.

PRAYER: Dear God, I want to honor and serve You with my life—not human pride and ambition. Amen

MORE: Modern Babel
After years of trying, there are still some human goals people have not been able to reach. Some are:
1. Explore all of space.
2. Create life.
3. Keep people from dying.
4. Stamp out disease.

- Pick one of the human goals that interests you, above, or name another.
- Find out from books, magazines and the internet some of the steps made to reach that goal.
- What do you think—will people someday achieve it? Explain why you think as you do.

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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Everyday Life

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Genesis 8:15-22

Noah and his family leave the ark - Artist unknown
Noah and his family leave the ark - Artist unknown
TO CHEW ON: "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." (Genesis 8:22)

The flood was over. At last the animals and people could leave the ark!

Here they came, tumbling out of the doorway, taking deep breaths of fresh air, skipping, jumping, running, then galloping. They loved the feel of the sun on their backs and the breeze on legs and faces.

Best of all, God had told them there would be no more floods. Now life could get back to normal.

Though we’ll never have to go through a worldwide flood like Noah and his family did, we also live through things which disturb our everyday routine. These can be as frightening as having our house burn down or as fun as going on a vacation. But whether good or bad, there comes a time when we’re ready to get back to ordinary everyday life

Before you complain that that’s too boring, think of all the variety God has built into the repeats of nature. Match the opposites of everyday living on the lists below:


PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for day and night, and the seasons which make up my life on earth. Amen.

MORE: Covenant
God gave Noah a special sign that He would keep His promise never again to destroy the earth in a flood.
Rainbow

- Read about it in Genesis 9:13-15
- Can you name the order of the colors in a rainbow?
- Using books or the internet, find out how rainbows form in nature.

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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Water Water Everywhere

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Genesis 7:24-8:12

Noah welcoming the bird back to the ark - Artist unknown
Noah welcoming the bird back to the ark - Artist unknown

TO CHEW ON: "But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded." (Genesis 8:1)

Have you ever been stuck in the house for a week because of a snow-storm? Or perhaps you’ve been forced to leave home and stay in a school gym or church basement for a long time because your house was in the way of a forest fire, flood, or tornado. Whatever the reason, it’s hard to stay cooped up in a small space for a long time, isn’t it?

Imagine how Noah and his family felt after the ark’s door was shut and it began to rain. If rain had ever fallen on earth before, it had never come down like this! First the ground was covered. Then the ark began to float. If the ark would have had windows, Noah and his family would have seen first the treetops disappear under water, then the hilltops, then the mountaintops. Can’t you imagine them asking, “Will this never end?”

But it did. After 40 days and nights the rain stopped. After 150 days the water began to go down After 224 days the mountaintops showed again.

In the same way your problems have an end too. Your hard year of school finishes. You make friends in your new home. Your dad gets another job. You recover from a long illness. Just like God remembered Noah, He remembers you.

PRAYER: Dear God thank You for remembering me when I feel like something hard will never end. Thank You for sending Your help just in time. Amen.

MORE: Weather Calamity

1. What sorts of weather or natural disasters happen where you live?
Floods | Fires | Drought | Insect plagues | Earthquakes | Tsunamis | Tornados | Other _____

2. Have you lived through one of these?

3. What happened?

4. How did it end?

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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.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Noah Faith

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 6:14-22

Noah's Ark - Mural
This Noah's Ark mural was once in the children's entrance of my church.

TO CHEW ON: "Noah did everything just as God commanded him." (Genesis 6:22)

Imagine this: you and your family are the only people who love God on the whole earth!

People talk about you. They say things like “Have you heard about that Noah family? They’re no fun. All they care about is pleasing God!”

Then one day God tells you to build a big boat (the Bible calls it an ark). Then people talk even more: “Get a load of this. That crazy Noah is building a boat – a BIG boat. And there’s not even any water nearby.”

And then God tells you to bring pairs of all the birds, animals and ground creatures – insects and reptiles – into the boat.

Now people laugh even more and and point fingers: “That Noah nut-case is turning his boat into a zoo!!”


In spite of how strange this must have seemed to Noah’s neighbors (and maybe even to Noah and his family), we never read that Noah or his family argued with God or asked for an explanation. Instead they obeyed, trusting that God knew exactly what He was doing.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to have faith in You even when I don’t understand. Amen.

MORE: Ark Journal

Pretend you are one of the passengers on the ark (person or animal).

Write three journal entries about what it is like:

1. After just getting on board the ark.

2. In the middle of your time in the ark.

3. On the day you know you are going to leave the ark.

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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.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Strong Noah

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 6:9-14

Noah and sons build an ark - Artist unknown"Noah and Sons Build the Ark"

TO CHEW ON: "But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God." (Genesis 6:8,9)

Have you ever been the only person or family doing something, or NOT doing something? That’s what it was like for Noah and his family. While all the other people were sinning and living like they pleased, Noah was famous for something else. He had the reputation of being good. He was known as someone who pleased God.

Can you imagine how he must have been teased and called all kinds “Goody-goody” names? Some people probably plotted ways to try to get Noah and his family to do bad things. When there was a celebration or wild party in town, guess who wouldn’t be invited?

But Noah resisted the temptation to follow the crowd. Instead he stuck to his God-pleasing ways.

Which character qualities do you think Noah had?



PRAYER: Dear God, help me to have Noah’s courage to resist wrong living. Amen.

MORE: Strong You

Can you think of a time when you or someone from your family was the only person doing something, or not dong something? I'm sure it wasn't easy.

We all need help to stand alone. Memorize this verse now to help you remember who is with you and will help you next time you’re tempted to follow the crowd:

 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 
~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

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.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Choices

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 4:1-12

Cain and Abel - Gustave DoreDetail from "Cain and Abel Offering Their Sacrifices" by Gustave Doré

TO CHEW ON: "Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.'” (Genesis 4:6,7)

God told Cain and Abel to sacrifice animals to Him. Cain and Abel both worshiped God by making sacrifices. But Cain disobeyed and offered fruit from the plants he had harvested. Abel obeyed and offered animals from his flock.

God was pleased with the animal sacrifice. He didn’t accept the plant sacrifice. He had told Cain what He wanted. Here are some things Cain could have done. Which one did he choose to do?

1. Bought an animal and sacrificed it.
2. Ignored God and made another sacrifice of his harvest.
3. Became so upset, he murdered the brother who pleased God.
4. Argued with God about why his plant offering was just as good as an animal offering.

Sometimes we don’t like to hear what God says to us. He may tell us ways we need to change. He may make us aware of people we’ve wronged, or remind us of things for which we should apologize. But God will never force us to do the right thing.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to choose Your right way. Amen.

MORE: Right Choices

Suggest good choices to make if you find yourself in these situations:

Boy with puzzled look on his face

1. You accidentally break Mom’s favorite mug.

2. You’ve forgotten all about the test teacher promised today.

3. You find a purse in the washroom of a mall. It has lots of money in it.

4. A bunch of girls in your class are bullying another girl.

5. You’re only half finished delivering your papers, and you’re due at baseball practice.

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.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Enter Sin

Adam and Eve driven out of Edey by Gustave Dore
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 3:8-15

TO CHEW ON: "And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.."
(Genesis 3:15)


The snake that tempted Eve was not just any ordinary snake. It was God’s enemy, Satan appearing as a snake. After Adam and Eve gave in to Satan's temptation and ate the fruit from the tree God had forbidden, they were scared. They hid from God.

God soon found them. He asked what they’d done. Then it all came out. Adam blamed Eve for telling him to eat. Eve blamed the snake for tempting her. But all three got in trouble. The result of sin (breaking God’s rule) became very clear.

Adam and Eve had to leave their garden home. God had harsh words for Satan. From now on God and Satan would be at war. Right at the beginning God told him how that fight would end. The woman’s offspring (or child, meaning Jesus who would be born), would crush Satan’s head, though Satan would bruise His heel.

Who do you think wins that one?
– The one with the bruised heel (Jesus)
– The one with the crushed head. (Satan)

PRAYER: Thank You, God, that Satan and all evil are defeated by You. Amen.

MORE: Life After Eden (Genesis 3:16-24)

Life outside Garden of Eden was different. Which sentences are true? Which are false?

1. Having babies was painful.
2. People had to work the soil to grow food.
3. There were no thorns, thistles and weeds–they came later.
4. People died.
5.Adam and Eve were allowed back into Eden once in a while.

Answers

AND STILL MORE:
Today is the birthday of French book illustrator Gustave Doré. He's the man who drew the picture of Adam and Eve in today's devotion.

Mr. Doré was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1832. His drawings were noticed by the time he was five. He never took art lessons, but by the age of 15 he had published his first illustrated story. At 16 he moved to Paris and became the highest paid illustrator in France. Most of his drawings are wood engravings or steel engravings.

He was given the job of illustrating an English version of the Bible. It was published in 1866. The hundreds of Bible story illustrations he drew were used in Bibles of many languages. The picture of Adam and Eve in today's devotion is one of those pictures. In the days ahead you'll see many more Bible illustrations drawn by Gustave Doré in Bible Drive-Thru.

Mr. Doré died in January 23, 1883. He was only 51.

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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.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hiding

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 3:1-9

TO CHEW ON: "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden." (Genesis 3:8)

Up till now Adam, Eve and God had been friends. When God was in the garden, Adam and Eve hurried to meet Him, eager to tell Him about their day. But this day was different.

This day Adam and Eve broke God’s rule by eating the fruit from the only tree that God had forbidden. Now they felt guilty. Instead of hurrying to meet God, they hid from Him.

Adam and Eve - Artist unknown
Do you ever feel like hiding–yourself or something you’ve done. When that happens ask yourself, why? Have I done something that’s wrong, so I feel guilty? If you have, tell God you're sorry. Make it right with any people you have wronged. Then come out and live in the light.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to be open with You and with others. Amen.

MORE: Sneaking Around
Many Bible characters hid things. Match the Bible character to what he or she hid, and then to where they hid it.

Check the Bible reference if you don’t know the answer: 1. Joshua 7:20-21; 2. 2 Kings 5:19-24; 3. Exodus 2:11-12; 4. Genesis 31:34




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.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Consequences

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 2:15-17

TO CHEW ON:...but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:17)

Match the action on the left with what will probably happen on the right:


We know what will happen if we do the everyday things above. When we lose our grip while we're in a tree we’re not surprised that we fall down towards earth, rather than up towards the sky. Neither is it a shock that we hit the ground hard enough to break a bone. We know about earth’s gravity. It helps us make a rule (Don’t jump from a high place) or there will be consequences (or you’ll hurt yourself). It's something we expect.

God gave Adam and Eve one rule when He put them in the garden. The rule was: Don’t eat fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Then God told them what would happen if they broke that rule. What was it? (Genesis 2:17).

We may not like rules but most of them are made for our good. They protect us from getting hurt or hurting others. Do you obey your parent's rules? the rules at school? God's rules?

Boy swimming with flotation aids

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to learn Your rules and to live by them. Amen.

MORE: Broken Rules
Think of a time you broke a rule.

1. What rule did you break?

2. How did you break it?

3. What was the consequence?

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.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Special Creation

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read: Genesis 1:24-2:2

TO CHEW ON: "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:27)


The creation of Adam (detail) by MichelangeloThis is a detail from a painting by Michelangelo called "The Creation of Adam." It is Michelangelo's idea of God (on the right), reaching out to touch Adam with the spark of life.

How are people different from other things God created?

1. They walk upright?
2. They talk?
3. God created them in His image?

Did you pick 3? But what does it mean to have God's image?

When God created the first humans they they were pure and sinless. That’s part of having the image of God. But even after the first man and woman sinned, God’s image was still in people. It set them apart from the rest of creation. Here are some ways:

- People have creativity. They can draw, sing, build.

- People are self-conscious. They are aware of being sad, happy, bored, excited and having many feelings.

- People have personality. Each person has a special way of thinking, feeling and acting.

- People can think about more than what they see, feel and hear (think abstractly).

- Besides having just a body (like reptiles and fish) and a also soul (which some say birds and animals also have) people have a spirit, the part that makes us want to know God.

- People can make decisions and choices. These lead to feelings, like being proud, or embarrassed or guilty.

When God put His image in people, He gave them a special place in creation. He made them responsible as rulers and caretakers of the rest of creation.

Each person is precious and valuable because of God's image in them. You are precious and valuable because God's image is in you.

PRAYER: God, thank You for Your image in me. Help me to learn what that means. Amen.

MORE: God’s Image - What Is It?
What activities, below, can you do because God created you in His image?

1. Make rules
2. Eat
3. Die
4. Choose between right and wrong
5. Sleep
6. Want a friendship with God.

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.