Readiness

Sept. 25                       Day 268                  Luke 12:35-40

The following story is an excerpt from “Stand by the Ship.”  This story can be found in the book, Tiger and Tom and other stories for boys which was published in 1910.  Now out of print, the book can be read freely online.

STAND BY THE SHIP

“Do, grandmother, tell us about the little drummer boy whose motto was, ‘Stand by the ship.'”

“Grandmother is not used to telling children stories; but, if you will be quiet, she will try.” And this is the story she told us:–

During one of the fiercest battles of the civil war, the colonel of a Michigan regiment noticed a very small boy, acting as drummer.

The great coolness and self-possession of the boy, as displayed during the engagement; his habitual reserve, so singular in one of his years; his orderly conduct, and his fond devotion to his drum (his only companion, except a few well-worn books),–all these things unusual in one so young had attracted notice, both from the officers and the men. Colonel B.’s curiosity was aroused, and he desired to know more of him.  So he ordered that the boy should be sent to his tent. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Straight and Narrow Way

Reading: Matthew 7:13-20

Today’s reading shows us how important it is for those who love God to keep their focus on their Heavenly goals. The way that leads to life eternal is narrow and difficult. It requires patience, effort, and courage to follow God’s will instead of “going with the crowd” and living only for today. Also, there are many distractions along the way.

What kind of distractions did you read about in today’s verses? What did Jesus say would happen to people who tried to take others off the right way to Heaven?

The author of the following parable is unknown. The story was passed on to me by a friend.

Once, a Christian father and his three adolescent sons went on a winter hike. They came to They came to a field glistening white from a snow the night before. There was not a single track of any kind that had been made in the field. The father, wanting to challenge his youngsters and perhaps teach them a lesson, suggested they have a contest – which one could walk the straightest path across the field? Read the rest of this entry »

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Marching to Heaven

Reading: Jeremiah 50:4-5

When I was young, I played in the marching band.  It was hard being a new band student.  One of the strangest things to learn was to march with your head sideways. Sometimes our routines called for this, so that the sound from our instruments would all go in the same direction. Have you ever tried to walk with your head pointing in a different direction from your feet? Try it some time. It takes concentration and practice. Imagine if you had to do it all the time! You see, it isn’t natural. Our feet usually walk in the direction in which our face is pointed. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Little Footstool

Reading: Isaiah 66:1-2

What kind of picture do these verses put in your head? Do you have a footstool? What do you use it for?

Sometimes in this busy world it is hard to remember that God is ruling over us. There are so many things that make us forget. We have our worries, our chores, and our responsibilities, and sometimes it feels like God is very far away.

We have to remember that God is all-present and all-powerful. He made all things, and therefore He can control all things. Even in a world of sin and sadness, He says that He will be with us.

God is so powerful that one day He will destroy this earth, His footstool, just as easily as you can break up a little footstool yourself. Can you imagine having that much power over this earth? That alone should make us tremble at His Word (verse 2).

However, for the man who is humble and contrite in spirit, God’s power is an awesome and comforting thing. The person who is humble, contrite, and fearful knows that the all-powerful God is on His side. God is looking at him and wants to take care of him. Is that what God wants to do for you?

The next time you need a chair or footstool to reach something, remember that it serves you, just like we should serve God, and obey Him in all things. For He rules over us with wisdom and lovingkindness, wanting all men to obey His Word.

For Further Study:

  • Today’s reading talked about being humble. What does it mean to be humble? Do you know any humble people? Read these other promises that God makes to the humble: Proverbs 22:4; Isaiah 57:15; Matthew 18:4. Did you notice that last verse? Children are an example to Christians of being humble! How special you are in the sight of God!
  • I’m afraid that sometimes we become too “used” to God. Sometimes people tend to make Christ their “pal,” instead of giving Him the proper honor that He deserves. This reading today reminds us that the Father and Son are worthy of our fear and awe. Read Psalm 135:20; Ecclesiastes 5:2; Jeremiah 2:19; 1 Peter 2:17.
  • How can you be more humble? What makes it hard to be humble? What can you pray to God about being more humble?
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A Steadfast Heart

Reading: Isaiah 26:1-4

The following essay was written by Bruce S. Wright and published in The Children’s Six Minutes in 1922. The book is in the public domain and may be read freely on the internet.

KNIFE LESSONS

I have here a knife. It was given me by a friend, a token of his affection and esteem, when I went aboard the steamer in Manila, Philippine Islands, to return to the homeland. All these years since then the knife has been on my study desk, daily teaching me. What lessons does this knife teach?

First of all the knife tells me of Strength. The most important part of this knife is what I call the backbone. It is the main portion of the knife to which all the blades are fastened, as well as the polished pearl handle. This would be a weak and useless knife did it not have a backbone. It says to me every day “Be strong, stand up, have convictions, be steadfast.”

Lesson number two, Discipline. This knife has been subjected to many trials and tests. The steel of which these blades are made had to go through a hard, hot, trying process before they were tempered and fit to take an edge and hold it. Sometimes I rebel about certain processes of the days, then I think of my knife and learn from it the lesson of discipline….

The [last] lesson is Usefulness. Really it is quite wonderful the variety of uses to which this knife can be put. Here is a big blade, and a small blade; here is a blade with a file; folded in the back is a tiny pair of scissors. So the great test of life is its usefulness.

For Further Study:

  • Isaiah 26:1 talks about a strong city that God has prepared for His people. God has prepared a great city for His people in Heaven. You can read more about this city in Hebrews 11:13-16 (first it talks about a country, then a city) and Revelation 21.

 

  • Isaiah 26:3 talks about God keeping us in perfect peace because of our trust in Him. This is the same message found in Philippians 4:6-7. How can we find peace in God?

 

  • Think about the qualities discussed in the story of the knife today: spiritual strength, discipline, and usefulness. How are you doing in these areas? Where can you improve?
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Be Careful Little Eyes

Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It

(As you sing each verse, point to the body part)

Be careful, little eyes, what you see,

Be careful, little eyes, what you see,

For the Father up above (point to sky)

Is looking down in love (look around with hand shielding eyes)

So be careful, little eyes, what you see.

Be careful, little mouth, what you say…. (proceed as in verse 1)

Be careful, little ears, what you hear…

Be carefeul, little hands, what you do….

Be careful, little feet, where you go….

Be careful, little mind, what you think….

Be careful, little heart, what you love….

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Treasure in Heaven

Reading: Psalm 49:5-9

Lily was trying on winter clothes that her mother had taken out of the closet. They were going to see which ones fit her for the cold weather ahead. The clothes that were too big would be stored away for next winter. The clothes that were too small would be given to her cousin Julie at church.

“I remember this,” Lily said, holding up a pick striped sweater. “I hope it still fits me, Mama. It was my favorite.” She held it up to herself and turned to the mirror.

Lily’s mother stopped folding clothes and looked at her. “Well, it still fits you, but I’m afraid something else got to it before we did.” She pointed to a hole in the sleeve. “That looks like a moth made it.” Mother frowned. “I should have stored that in the trunk with the other sweaters.”

“Oh!” Lily was disappointed. “Do you think it’s ruined? Can we mend it?”

“I’ll try, dear. Or you can just wear it around the house and we’ll find other sweaters for wearing outside.” Mother shook her head and resumed her folding. “I wish I had taken better care of your favorite sweater. I’m sorry.”

“If I put it in the trunk next spring, moths can’t get to it then,” said Lily. “I can wear it forever!”

Mother smiled. “I know you love that sweater, Lily, but eventually you’ll outgrow it. Besides, our clothes don’t last forever. Nothing lasts forever, except for what we treasure up in Heaven. That’s what the book of Matthew says in chapter six.”

“Can I treasure up my sweater in Heaven?” asked Lily, looking in the mirror again.

Mother laughed, “No, my dear, you can’t. The things we treasure up in heaven are the love we give to others and the good things we do for Christ. God sees this and will reward us for it.”

“Nobody can take those things away from us, can they, Mother?”

“You’re right. Nobody can take them away from us. And they never wear away, nor do moths, rust, or dust get to them. They are fully protected and will be waiting for us in our Heavenly home someday!”

For Further Study:

  • What else does the Bible say about people who trust in their riches? Read Job 31:24-28; Hosea 12:8; and Luke 12:16-21.
    Journal:

 

  • Do you have treasure in Heaven? Write down the names of the people you pray for and love. Write down the ways you help your family and friends. How much Heavenly treasure have you stored up so far?
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