Idols in our hearts

Reading: Exodus 32:1-6

Have you heard this story before?  Did you know that God was so angry with the Israelites for making a golden calf that Moses killed 3,000 men for worshiping that idol (Exodus 32:28)?

Most Americans can’t ever imagine bowing down to a statue the way that the Israelites did.  But people don’t realize that anything can be an idol if it comes before our love for God.  For example, when we are greedy and covetous, that is a form of idolatry (Colossians 3:5).

Do you remember that when the Israelites entered Canaan, God told them to destroy all the people and all their idols?  He did not want any of that to remain.  God knew that idol worship would make the Israelites forget their love for him.  And the same thing can happen to us if we put anything before God.

How to be Happy was written by Lydia Sigourney and published in 1833.  Now out of print, the book is in the public domain and may be read freely online.  The following is an excerpt from one of the chapters.

LOVE YOUR SAVIOR

His character, so beautifully related in the Bible, is worthy of your warmest love. You remember his obedience to his mother, his being subject to her will, even when his wisdom astonished the most learned men of the realm. May you also, my dear children, as you “grow in stature, grow in wisdom, and in favor with God and man.”
Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Bible History, Heart, Holiness/purity, Idols, Loves children, Savior, Worship. Comments Off on Idols in our hearts

Priorities

Reading: Colossians 1:15-23

“It’s my turn!”
“Me first!”
“Ladies first!”

Everybody wants to be first.

But who is really FIRST?  Colossians says that Christ is first.

He was first-born ~ He was here before anything else was.  By Him, all things were created, even things we can’t see.

He is also “pre-eminent” ~ He has authority and power.  He rules over kings and presidents.  He is the head over His church.

Even though Christ deserves to be first, He came to earth and made Himself LAST.  He died so that we could have forgiveness.  It pleased God to do this and show us how much He loved us.

Have you learned the word “priority”?  To make something a priority means to give it first place in importance.  Christ should be a priority in our life, THE priority in our life, because He is our King, Creator, and Savior.

“Thanksgiving” was written by Bruce S. Wright and published in The Children’s Six Minutes in 1922.  The book is now out of print and in the public domain.

THANKSGIVING

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? I hear one boy say, “It means a big dinner.” I think we all agree with him. Who does not welcome and enjoy a good dinner! I hear Mary say, “Thanksgiving means a day off from school.” I guess you are right too. School is not such a charming place that girls and boys are unwilling to have an occasional holiday.

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Sing With Me The Story

My friend Aleta wrote some wonderful songs for children and has published them in Sing with Me the Story.  Here is the publisher’s description of the book: “each song serves as a stepping stone through God’s overall plan for mankind; from Creation to living a godly life. We recommend that this hymn book be placed in classrooms and provided for each student, beginning with those who can read and older.”

Aleta is a faithful Christian and experienced Bible class teacher.  I know that any child will be blessed by having this book.  You may order it here.

Loyalty

Introduction: David’s son Absalom is trying to take the kingdom from him. Instead of fighting his son, David is going to run away. He doesn’t want to fight his son.

David’s people and servants are going to run away with him. One of his servants, Ittai, is a new man. He has just arrived the day before. David tells him to stay behind. David doesn’t want to make Ittai and his family travel so much when they had just arrived the day before. Let’s see what we can learn from this story.

Reading: 2 Samuel 15:13-23

Did Ittai go or did he stay behind? Ittai said he would go with his king. He was more loyal to the king than Absalom, the king’s own son. That loyalty and faithfulness is something God wants in all of us.

There will be many tough times ahead for people, and especially for children of God. The Lord says that people who follow Him will be hated by the world (1 John 3:13). And this imperfect world will bring us pain and sadness sometimes. But we should be loyal to our King. When we are loyal during battle, then our King will reward us when our battles are over.

MY HEART IS FIXED

My heart is fixed, my mind is made,
I shall not ever be afraid,
Love conquers fear, our God will do
What He has promised me – and you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bible History, Courage, Government, King/Judge, Work. Comments Off on Loyalty

Whole-Hearted Love

Reading: 2 Kings 10:21-31

Jehu the king did many good things for God. However, Jehu had learned how to worship idols just like his father. Jehu never did remove idol worship completely from Israel. He was not “careful to walk in the ways of the Lord with all his heart.” There were things that Jehu allowed his heart to love more than God. Isn’t that sad?

No matter how much good we do, it doesn’t help us if we love other things more than God. There are many good people in the world. But God wants our hearts. If we give God our whole hearts, then goodness will follow. Learn to love God now with your whole heart, while you are young and can choose a godly life. Give Him your heart!

“Only This Once” appeared in Tiger and Tom and Other Stories for Boys. This book of short moral stories for children was published in 1910 and can be read freely online.

ONLY THIS ONCE

“I’ll be in again very soon, mother; I am only going ’round the corner to see the new billiard rooms;” and, cap in hand, Harry was closing the parlor door when his mother called him back.

“I cannot consent to your going there, my dear,” she said; “you must know that both your father and myself disapprove of all such places.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bible History, Courage, Heart, Holiness/purity, Idols, King/Judge, Youth. Comments Off on Whole-Hearted Love

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 »

Posted in Courage, Heaven, Inspiration of the Word, King/Judge, Pilgrims/pioneers/immigration, Prophets. Comments Off on The Straight and Narrow Way

Choose your master

Reading: Joshua 24:14-15

These verses are part of Joshua’s farewell speech to the Israelites. In these two verses, we can learn many things:

1. Everyone has a master.

2. We choose our master. Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me.” (Matthew 12:30).

3. Our faith should not rest on other people. God wants you to choose Him because that’s what you want. The Bible says to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

Joshua gave the Israelites a choice. Every day, we make the same choice, whether we know it or not. I’m so glad you’re here with me, choosing God!

The following story is from Tiger and Tom and Other Stories for Boys. Published in 1910, this book is now out of print and can be read freely online.

THE RIGHT DECISION

It was the beginning of vacation when Mr. Davis, a friend of my father, came to see us, and asked to let me go home with him. I was much pleased with the thought of going out of town. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bible History, Courage, King/Judge, Prayer. Comments Off on Choose your master