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 »

Posted in Hope, Kindness, Loves children, Prayer. Comments Off on A Loving Father

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