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.

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 »

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

Ghost Town

Reading: Lamentations 1:1-1-2

Have you ever heard of a ghost town? I live in Texas, and there are many legends of old Wild West ghost towns, towns that used to be filled with cowboys and gold miners, but which now stand empty. Imagine buildings with darkened rooms, cobwebs and tumbleweeds everywhere, and no sound but the lonely desert wind. That is what I imagine when I read these verses in Lamentations. The Israelite’s enemies have come and taken God’s people away. Jeremiah the prophet is looking out over his beloved city and all he sees is a ghost town. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bible History, Idols, King/Judge, Pilgrims/pioneers/immigration, Prophets, Wars. Comments Off on Ghost Town

Teaching Our Children

This wonderful article was written by Joanne Beckley, aka “Granny,” who has a wealth of experience as a Bible teacher.  I hope it will encourage you as much as it did me.

TEACHING CHILDREN – My story

We chose to live in a foreign country in order to spread the gospel in that part of the world. In doing so, we felt the burden of realization that we were without the support of other Christians available to help us teach our children. The significance of this weighed heavily upon us the entire 14 years our sons were with us in South Africa. Read the rest of this entry »

The Lord’s Highway

Reading: Isaiah 35:8-10

“I think we are lost,” said Michael to his older brother. He tried not to sound too scornful, but the sun was hot, and he was tired.

The boys had taken a picnic lunch and gone riding through their ranch all morning. Now they were heading home on their horses. But lately there had been no familiar landmarks. The sun was right above them, so they could not use that as a guide.

Matthew scanned the horizon for something familiar, perhaps a windmill or a hill that would tell him where they were. He tried not to look worried. He knew that if they stayed gone too long, their family and ranch hands would come looking for them. However, he didn’t like the idea of being stuck in the wilderness waiting for them, especially when it grew dark. He knew there were wild animals roaming about, as their ranch land covered thousands of acres. Fortunately, the days were long, and they would have several hours more to try and reach home before the coyotes and mountain lions emerged.

Suddenly Michael pointed at something shiny on his left. “Look at that streak of light. What do you think it is? The river?”

Matthew looked carefully for a while to make sure of what he saw, then said a silent prayer of thanks. “That’s the highway. And praise the Lord, it’s on our left-hand side. That means we’re headed in the right direction. We’ll turn a little bit so we come closer to it, but we’re going the right way, Michael. We should be home in about an hour.”

Michael was relieved. He knew that if they had turned their backs to the highway by mistake, their travels would have taken them many miles away from home. “It’s a good thing I saw that.”

Matthew agreed. And though he didn’t admit it, he felt a lot safer knowing where they were headed.

For Further Study:

  • Here are some other verses about walking on the Lord’s way: Proverbs 4:11; Proverbs 16:17; Psalm 23:3; Psalm 25:10; Psalm 119:35; Matthew 7:14. How do we know that we are walking on the right path for God? What has He given us to guide us? Think of the opposite of these verses – what are people like, and what is life like, when His way is not followed?

  • At what times in your life have you felt spiritually lost? Has there been something you are doubting or fearing? Is there something in the future that worries or scares you? Let God know about it today.
Posted in Beasts & Birds, Inspiration of the Word, Pilgrims/pioneers/immigration. Comments Off on The Lord’s Highway

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?
Posted in Courage, Heaven, Holiness/purity, King/Judge, Pilgrims/pioneers/immigration, Savior, Work. Comments Off on A Steadfast Heart

Depending on God

Reading: Proverbs 27:23-27

Imagine that you came home one day and there was no refrigerator in your home. Imagine that there was no pantry or cupboards. What you ate was whatever you could catch or find. How much would you trust in God if you didn’t know when you would eat again?

These verses in Proverbs show us a particular kind of wisdom, the kind that comes from knowing God will provide for us. It is the kind of wisdom that takes care of our blessings and makes the most of the riches around us. It is the kind of wisdom that is thankful for God’s bountiful care.

It is so easy for us to expect to be fed and clothed. We forget that the food piled up in our pantries and the many clothes hanging in our closets are because God has ordained for the earth to bring forth its growth every season, and for the animals to multiply and sustain us.

Wise children of God remember that His hand blesses them every single day. Do you have this kind of wisdom?

 

For Further Study:

  • Read Exodus 16:1-7. How did God teach the Israelites to depend on Him? In Matthew chapter 10, Christ sends his twelve disciples out to begin their work for Him. In verses 9-11, He gives them some commandments about how they will be cared for during their journeys. Why do you think they can’t take anything with them?

 

  • Read Philippians 4:10-19, especially verse 19. How will our attitude about our riches influence the way we help and share with others?

 

  • Imagine you only have one shelf in your refrigerator and one shelf in your pantry. Imagine you only have room for three outfits in your closet, and one pair of shoes. What could you live without? What would you try to keep?