Introduction: The Lord warned the Israelites before they entered Canaan. Listen to the reading and then tell me what His warnings were.
Reading: Numbers 33:50-56
Maria was visiting her friend Mr. Ray. Mr. Ray was her “grandpa” from church. She liked to walk to his house on Saturday mornings and help him in his garden. Maria liked walking in the cool, shady garden, searching for vegetables and putting them in her little basket. Today they were picking cucumbers and tomatoes.
“These plants grew so quickly,” said Maria, admiring the tomato plants that were almost as high as her shoulders.
“I know,” said Mr. Ray. “It seems like just yesterday you were helping put the seedlings in the ground. We’ll have a good harvest. You can bring some to your mama and she can make you a big salad tonight. And Mrs. Ray will teach you how to pickle the cucumbers and can the tomatoes for spaghetti and soup this winter.”
Maria’s mouth watered. She took Mr. Ray’s hand and said, “Thank you, Mr. Ray. That’s very nice of you to share these with us.”
“Well, I must pay you for your labor,” he laughed. Then he pointed at a cucumber vine next to them. “Tell me, Maria, have you ever seen anything but a cucumber grow from a cucumber vine? Can a tomato or a watermelon grow off a cucumber vine?”
Maria shook her head. “I’ve never heard of that happening.”
“What would you do if you were picking cucumbers off a vine and then came across a tomato?”
She laughed, “Well that would be so weird, Mr. Ray. I guess I’d call the newspapers because it would make me pretty famous!”
Mr. Ray laughed also. “Yes, that would be strange all right. In fact, we’d probably think we made a mistake in our planting, or that something was very wrong with the plant.” His voice became more serious as he said, “In the book of John, Jesus said He is a vine, and we are His branches. Our souls grow and learn because He nourishes us with His Word. He wants us to bear fruit, which are the good works we do and the good way we treat others. Someone who really follows the Bible will bear just the fruit God wants, nothing different. God and others will be able to see how well that person lives according to God’s Word.”
Maria nodded and looked at her basketful of vegetables. “I would really like Jesus to be as happy about my fruits as I am about this garden of yours.”
“It’s your garden also, Maria,” said Mr. Ray. “And I know it makes Jesus very happy to see good children like you.”
For Further Study:
- The Lord warned the Israelites before they entered Canaan. What warnings did He give them? Did the Israelites obey all these warnings? See John 10:10. God wants us to have an abundant life. That’s why He gave us many warnings – so that “the thief” – the devil – couldn’t come in and destroy our lives. Did you know that God cares about everything in your life? God’s given us Scripture to help us with our families, our friends, and our work. This is so that we can fill our whole lives with His goodness and righteousness. Read some of the commandments and warnings that God has given us in these areas: 1 Corinthians 5:11; Titus 2:2-8; Ephesians 6:5-9.
- Can you think of any part of your life where God cannot help you? Pray about your family; your school; your friends; your sports, clubs, and other activities; and your church. What does Godliness mean in each of these areas? God wants to help you do right in all areas of your life.