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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Love & Friendship

Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

How to be Happy was written by Lydia Sigourney and published in 1833.  This little book of spiritual advice is now in the public domain and may be read freely online.

BE A FRIEND TO YOUR COMPANIONS

You have little playmates with whom you like to spend your holiday hours. Never quarrel with, or be unkind to them. If you hear them use any improper word, or see them do any improper action, advise them to a different course. If they are happy, and praised by others for their good behavior, rejoice with them. If you feel provoked at any thing while you are with them, use no angry words. It is better to leave off playing, than to contend. The excellent poet, Dr. Watts, says in his hymns for children,

Hard names, and threats, and bitter words
Which are but noisy breath,
May end in blows, and naked swords,
In discord and in death.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Family, Kindness, Love, Youth. Comments Off on Love & Friendship

Serving Others

Reading: Matthew 25:31-40

“The Best Fun” is from the book Tiger & Tom and Other Stories for Boys.  Published in 1910, the book can be read freely online.

THE BEST FUN

“Now, boys, I’ll tell you how we can have some fun,” said Fred Blake to his companions, who had assembled on a beautiful, moonlight evening for sliding, snowballing, and fun generally.

“How?” “Where?” “What is it?” asked several eager voices together.

“I heard Widow More tell a man a little while ago,” replied Fred, “that she would go to sit up with a sick child to-night. She said she would be there about eight o’clock. Now, as soon as she is gone, let’s make a big snow man on her doorstep so that when she comes home, she cannot get in without first knocking him down.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Benevolence, Elderly, Humility/Pride, Kindness, Love, Work, Youth. Comments Off on Serving Others

On Sacrifice

Reading: John 12:24-28

Jesus says we have to be willing to “hate” our lives for Him.  He is talking about giving up the things we love.  He is talking about sacrifice.  He wants us to love Him and to love others more than ourselves.

Jesus did not just sacrifice when He died on the cross.  He sacrificed every day when He taught, visited, encouraged, prayed for, and forgave others.  We can do those things too.

If we want to follow Christ, we will have to let our selfishness “die” by giving to others.  But Jesus said He has some gifts for us too:

  • we will “bear much fruit” – good things will happen because of our good works, we will feel good about ourselves, and we will be an example to others;
  • we will have eternal life in Heaven;
  • He will live with us;
  • the Father will honor us.

Think about these things the next time you are asked to put someone else’s needs before your own.  Giving may seem hard, but in the end it will be a great blessing for you and them.

“…remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  (Acts 20:3)

The following is an excerpt from the story “The Wonderful Pocket.”  This tale can be found in the book, The Wonderful Pocket and Other Stories which was written in 1869 by Chauncey Giles.  Now out of print, the book can be read freely online.

THE WONDERFUL POCKET

One cold Christmas Eve, Charles Lee was sitting by the fire, looking earnestly at the coals as they burned cheerfully in the grate, sometimes sending out great volumes of smoke, and then bursting into flame, and lighting up the little room in which he was sitting, and making its naked walls look quite ruddy and cheerful. But none of its pleasant light entered Charles’ mind. He looked gloomy and sullen, and occasionally muttered something to himself as if he were angry at everybody. Read the rest of this entry »

Doing Good

Reading: Luke 6:27-38

The following tale is an excerpt from the story “Metempsychosis.”  This tale can be found in the book, The Wonderful Pocket and Other Stories which was written in 1869 by Chauncey Giles.  Now out of print, the book can be read freely online.  It is an interesting story that encourages young boys and girls to do good to others.

METEMPSYCHOSIS

“O Father!” said little John Clive, “what is the meaning of this long, hard word?”

“What word?” asked his father.

“I cannot pronounce it. It is too long and hard for me,” said John… John brought the book to his father.

“That is metempsychosis.”

“Me-temp-sy-cho-sis,” said John, pronouncing it very slowly. “What a long, hard word! It must have a big meaning, I am sure. But I don’t see what they make such long, hard words for.”

“They make them to express ideas,” said his father.

“Well,” replied John,” metempsychosis must express a bigger idea than I ever had.”

“Very probable,” said his father; “but it contains a very interesting one, nevertheless; and when I have explained it to you, I will tell you a very strange dream I had about it last night.” Read the rest of this entry »

Self-Control

Reading: 1 Kings 21:1-16

Jezebel was a wicked queen. In this story, she knows that her husband Ahab is jealous for Naboth’s vineyard. She wants to make him feel better. She does this by having Naboth killed! Later on, the prophet Elijah says that God will punish both of them (you can read about their deaths in 2 Kings).

In the book of Revelation, the Lord tells John that there is an evil woman in the church who is a false prophetess, teaching the Christians to commit sin and worship idols (Revelation 2:20-23). The Lord doesn’t give the woman’s real name, but He says she is a Jezebel!

We can be like Jezebel too:

  • When we’re willing to sin to make someone happy.
  • When we teach others to do evil.
  • When we don’t teach the Word of God correctly.
  • When we trust our feelings and emotions instead of trying to find out what is truly right.

Sometimes it’s very easy to be guided by our feelings instead of stepping back, being careful, and looking at things the way God wants us to. Part of growing up and being wise means learning to control our feelings and not using our influence on others to get things for ourselves. Pray to God that you can learn to do this as you get older and learn more from His Word. Pray to God that you can learn to use all your strength and knowledge to serve Him and others.

MY DAILY CREED

Let me be a little kinder,
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me;
Let me praise a little more;
Let me be, when I am weary,
Just a little bit more cherry;
Let me serve a little better
Those that I am striving for. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Anger, Hope, Humility/Pride, Kindness, Love, Patience. Comments Off on Self-Control

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