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

The Influence of the Young

Reading: 1 Timothy 4:12-16

This is a wonderful passage for young people to read.  Imagine that you are Timothy.  You were raised by a Christian mother and grandmother, and you traveled and learned from the apostle Paul.  You are now a young preacher in a congregation with many people older than you, who know the Jewish law better than you do.

Wouldn’t you be concerned about how you could influence people in the church?  Have you ever been told that “you’re just too young” to do something?

Paul tells Timothy not to worry about that.  Timothy has something very special: the Word of God.  If Timothy would continue to study it and obey it, those around him would believe and be saved.

Timothy was concerned about what he could do for others – we should be as well.  Isn’t there a lot of work for young people to do in God’s kingdom?  You can pray that your example and teaching can have the same powerful effect on others!

Small Means and Great Ends is a collection of stories edited by Mrs. M.H. Adams published in 1851.  The book may be read free online.

SMALL MEANS AND GREAT END (OR, THE WIDOW’S POT OF OIL)

“Oh! how I do wish I was rich!” said Eliza Melvyn, dropping her work in her lap, and looking up discontentedly to her mother; “why should not I be rich as well as Clara Payson? There she passes in her father’s carriage, with her fine clothes, and haughty ways; while I sit here–sew–sewing–all day long. I don’t see what use I am in the world!

“Why should it be so? Why should one person have bread to waste, while another is starving? Why should one sit idle all day, while another toils all night? Why should one have so many blessings, and another so few?”

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Posted in Contentment/Thankfulness, Loves children, Talents, Work, Youth. Comments Off on The Influence of the Young

A Loving Father

Matthew 7:7-12

These 6 little verses are so full of wisdom and encouragement from our Lord. What kind of pictures did these verses put in your mind? Why do you think Jesus used the example of a father and a son to explain God’s love to us? What does this say about the way God hears our prayers?

The last two verses of this reading are very helpful. We are told to ask for things from God because we know He loves us. We are told that He wants to give us good things. What should we tell ourselves then, when our prayers are not answered in the way we wish?

Finally, there is verse 12. Read this verse again. If we trust and love our Heavenly Father, how will we treat others in the world?

I TELL THE KING

Once in an Eastern palace wide
A little child sat weaving;
So patiently her task she plied,
The men and women at her side
Flocked around her almost grieving. Read the rest of this entry »

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Boast in These Things

Reading: Jeremiah 9:23-24

What are the things which delight you? Delight means happiness. What are the things which make you happy?

What are the things which make your parents happy? Do you like to see your parents delighted in you? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Benevolence, Family, Heart, Humility/Pride, Kindness, Loves children, Talents, Work, Youth. Comments Off on Boast in These Things

God Charges Jeremiah

Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10

When I was a little girl my mother had to take a job in the evenings at a pharmacy. My father cared for me and my two little sisters while she was working. I was nine years old, my next sister was six, and my youngest sister was a baby. You can imagine what hard work that was for my father in the evenings. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Church, Courage, Family, Hope, Humility/Pride, Inspiration of the Word, Loves children, Prophets, Talents, Work, Youth. Comments Off on God Charges Jeremiah

On Eagles’ Wings

Reading: Isaiah 40:27-31

Do you know any children who are smaller than you? When I was growing up, I was always the smallest one in my class. And now that I am an adult, I am still the smallest in my class. In fact, if you ever met me in person, you would see that I am actually smaller than some children, even though I am quite older than a child. I have always been a very small person. Perhaps that is why I sympathize with little children, who are often told to hurry up, catch up, and grow up. Has anyone ever said this to you? It’s hard to do that when you’re small.

These verses from Isaiah tell us not to worry about being small and weak. You see, we have a strong and mighty God who wants to help us. He is Everlasting, and has known us from our smallest beginnings. He is the Creator, so He knows everything that might hurt us or harm us. Bigger, stronger people may stumble at the problems and trials of life, but we have One who wants to lift us up on eagles’ wings.

Unlike me, YOU will probably grow quite a bit more in your lifetime. And then do you know what? Perhaps you will shrink when you are older. My grandmother became smaller when she grew older. Her bones became frailer, and she stooped lower. I wonder if that will happen to me as well? But it doesn’t matter. I will still have the same Heavenly Father to lift my faith and help me feel strong enough to face the difficulties of life. I hope that, big or small, you will too!

For Further Study:

  • Have you ever seen an eagle? I’ve seen them at the zoo, but not in the wild. The eagle is used to describe swiftness and power in the Bible. Read Exodus 19:3-6; 2 Samuel 1:23; Job 9:25-26; and Proverbs 123:5. What things are likened to eagles in these verses? What can we learn about God’s power and goodness from them?

  • What are the things in your life that make you feel weary? Perhaps there are some responsibilities, activities, and even relationships that are tiring you. What can you pray to God about these things?
Posted in Beasts & Birds, Courage, Elderly, Hope, Loves children, Patience, Savior, Youth. Comments Off on On Eagles’ Wings

Remember Your Creator

Reading: Ecclesiastes 12:1-3

The following essay was written by Bruce S. Wright and published in The Children’s Six Minutes in 1922. The book is now in the public domain and available for reading free on the internet.

COME

There is not a girl or boy … who does not feel within the desire to do good. The drawing power of good–in other words, the drawing power of God. He it is who says to you, “Come.”

I want to illustrate this by a few things which I have here. The first is this magnet. And here are some small nails. These tiny nails represent girls and boys of about eleven or twelve years of age. I apply the magnet to these nails and I lift up–can you see me–twenty-five or thirty nails. You see it is a great deal easier to respond to the drawing power of good, to answer the great “Come,” in girlhood and boyhood.

Now here are some nails that are a little larger. I can lift up only five or six of these larger nails. They represent young people of eighteen or nineteen. As one gets older he does not hear as readily, at least he does not answer, Christ’s blessed “Come.”

Next we have some nails still larger. The magnet will lift up only one or two of these. They stand for men and women in mature life. Oh, if one has not responded to Christ’s call in childhood or youth, it becomes increasingly difficult as the years pass. How seldom, how very seldom, does an aged one answer the divine call and give his heart to the Lord!

Here is a very large nail, and it is rusty. Indeed it is literally coated with rust. This represents the life that is deep in sin. For long years this life has been persisting in his evil ways. As the magnet must be very strong to penetrate the rust and grip the nail, so Christ’s call must be strong and loving to reach the sinful soul. Christ can save “from the uttermost,” but how much better it is to say in early youth, “I hear thy voice, my Lord. Gladly I come.”

For Further Study:

  • There are many verses from the Bible that tell us not to wait to remember our Creator. Read Psalm 90:12; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Ephesians 5:15-16; Colossians 4:5.

 

  • Read Luke 9:57-62 and 14:15-24. What kind of excuses did people give in these stories? What was Christ’s reactions to these excuses? Can you think of similar excuses that people give today for not obeying God?

  • Why do you think a young person can find it easier to remember his Creator than an older person? What advantages do the young have over older people? How are you making use of these advantages in your service to God?
Posted in Baptism, Family, Loves children, Youth. Comments Off on Remember Your Creator