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 »

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

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

Jesus teaches us how to pray

Reading: Matthew 6:5-15

Have you ever thought about what a wonderful relationship Christ had with His Heavenly Father while He was living on the earth? He talked to His Father often and believed that His Father heard Him. With His Father’s help, Christ could face the problems of the world with a strong faith and a willing heart, with kindness towards others no matter how they treated Him. Christ never worried or fretted, and although there were times He grieved or became angry, He was able to overcome these trials. Read the rest of this entry »

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Facing Our Fears

Haman was going to kill all the Jews.  Only the Queen could save them.  But Queen Esther was scared to approach the king. How could her uncle Mordecai help her feel brave again?

Reading: Esther 4:10-17

The following story was written by Howard J. Chidley and published in Fifty-Two Story Talks for Boys and Girls in 1914. The book is now out of print but can be read for free online.

THE TERROR BY NIGHT

In some parts of Canada, where the country is still thinly settled by people, wild animals are quite numerous. In one of these communities there once lived a boy who was in the village late one night. He had been at the village-store, and had heard the men talking about a wildcat that had been seen in that neighbourhood a short time before.

The boy was not a coward, but when he started for his home, three miles away, in the country, he was nervous. Nothing happened, however, until he was climbing over a set of bars at the end of a lane leading through a piece of woods near his home. Then he heard the bushes moving and twigs crackling under the feet of some animal the other side of the lane-fence. He thought of the wildcat. He jumped to the ground, picked up a heavy stick he had seen under a tree on his way through that day and listened. Nearer and nearer came the rustling of the bushes, and every little while he could hear an animal sniff the air. Finally it came to the fence, clambered up opposite him. The boy raised his club and waited, and when the animal jumped down beside him, its eyes shining in the darkness, he struck with all his might. Off the beast went into the darkness. All was silence again, and the boy stood listening and trembling. Then from the top of a nearby hill he heard a dog howl with pain. He found, next morning, that it was only a neighbour’s dog that had frightened him so.

That boy is not the only one who has seen things mistakenly, just because he was afraid. If you are dreading something, you will think that everything that happens brings the thing you dread. Usually nothing happens at all. The trouble was only in the person’s mind, just as that wildcat was in the boy’s mind, and so every noise he could not explain was a wildcat.

I am sure David must have known something about that fear when, as a boy, he watched his sheep out on the lonely hills at night. But David learned that there was One who was able to protect him by night as well as by day. It was God. And so he wrote of God: “He that keepeth thee will not slumber. God is thy keeper. God is thy shade upon thy right hand. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day; for the pestilence that walketh in darkness…. It shall not come nigh thee.”

Let us remember that no real harm can come to us unless it comes from within ourselves. God is our protector. In His love we can trust by day, and in His care we can lay us down to sleep at night without a fear.

For Further Study:

  • Think of these Bible characters and the special things they did. Were they ever afraid? What would have happened if they had been too afraid to do what God needed them to do?

v Abraham (Genesis 12, 22)

v Moses’ parents (Exodus 2)

v David’s best friend Jonathan (1 Samuel 18)

v Mary & Joseph (Matthew 2:13-17)

v Stephen (Acts 7-8)

  • Esther fasted and prayed before she went to the king. Do some research in your Bible on fasting. When did people do it? How did it help them?

Posted in Courage, Family, Hope, Loves children, Prayer, Talents, Youth. Comments Off on Facing Our Fears

A Wise Master Builder

Reading: Psalm 127

Do you sometimes go driving in town and see construction people and machines putting up new buildings? Do you sometimes make castles and other things in the sand? Do you sometimes build things with blocks or clay?

This psalm talks about a great Builder. Did you know that the Lord can build houses and cities? He does this by working in His people. When Christians ask the Lord to help them have good, loving families, then they are asking people to help them build their homes. When we pray for our country and our neighbors, we’re asking God to help us build up our cities and communities. God can work through Christians to make this a wonderful world.

How else does God build homes and cities? He makes children! This psalm says that children are a gift from God. If children weren’t born, this world wouldn’t go on, would it? Children are a wonderful blessing from God. YOU are a blessing to me!

For Further Study:

  • What other verses do you know that talk about how precious children are to God? Read Psalm 128:3, Proverbs 17:6; and Matthew 19:4.

 

  • We can be builders for God too! Read 1 Corinthians 3:9-10. God built His church by sending the Word, and we help build it up when we spread the Word.

 

  • Think about the things that different people in your family are doing. Also, take a look at your town’s newspaper this week. Ask God to help you build your home and city. What can you pray about for your family and community today?
Posted in Church, Family, Loves children, Prayer. Comments Off on A Wise Master Builder

A Forgotten Book

Reading: 2 Chronicles 34:14-21

“Aunt Mary,” said Jonah, “who is this little boy with the toy bear?” Jonah was looking at an old photo album that he had found in his aunt’s bookshelf. He pointed to a faded picture of a little boy hugging a teddy bear.

Aunt Mary smiled and patted the picture. “That is my little brother, your Daddy. He carried that bear with him everywhere when he was a baby. It was his favorite toy.”

“He must have really liked that bear. Where is it now? I should like to see it.”

“Oh, sweetie, that bear is long gone,” said Aunt Mary, shaking her head.

“He didn’t keep it? I thought it was his favorite.”

“Well, Jonah, sometimes we give up old toys and find new favorite toys to replace them. You don’t play with the same toys you had when you were a baby, do you?”

“No, I don’t. But I like the toys I have now better.”

His aunt nodded. “That’s as it should be, because you are getting older and learning new things, so your toys must change for you to enjoy them. However, there is one thing that never changes, and we must continue to cherish it our whole lives.”

“What’s that, Aunt?”

“That is the Word of God. We must never outgrow it, for it can teach us what we need to know even as we grow older and change. It is precious, and should not be forgotten.” Aunt Mary pointed to the photograph in the album. “Your Daddy no longer has that toy bear. But your Daddy still reads his Bible every day.”

Jonah nodded. “I’m going to do that also, and I shall not forget God’s Word.”

For Further Study:

  • Read Matthew 5:4. Think about today’s reading from 2 Chronicles. Why did the king mourn in this story? What did he do when he mourned? Read 2 Chronicles 34:27-28. How was the king comforted?

  • Do you know of people in your church family who are mourning, either over their sins or over problems in their lives? How can you give them comfort?
Posted in Humility/Pride, Inspiration of the Word, Prayer, Priesthood, Repentance & Forgiveness. Comments Off on A Forgotten Book

“Uncleanness”

Reading: Leviticus 11:41-45

Louis was looking at his picture book from Bible class.  He was looking at a picture of the tabernacle.  Men in the picture were dressed in special robes, and they were leading different animals to the tabernacle for sacrifice.

“I’m glad I didn’t live in Bible times, Daddy,” said Louis.

“Why is that, son?” asked his father.

“There were too many rules!  I don’t think I could remember them all.  Wasn’t it an awfully strict way to live?”

“It did have many rules,” agreed Daddy.  “We have to remember that God had a special purpose for the Israelites.  Do you remember the special Person who would come from their nation?

“Jesus!” said Louis.

“That’s right,” said his father.  “And because such a special Person was to come from their family, the Israelites had to live in a special way.  All of these rules made them different from the idol-worshippers around them.  It made the Israelites realize that they had to be holy and special, like God and their future Messiah.”

“It would still be a hard way to live,” said Louis, looking again at the picture in his book.

“I agree, son, and I’m thankful God freed us from that way of life when Jesus died and taught us to live as Christians.  But God’s people still have to think of God as holy and special, and we still have to live in a way that shows we belong to Him.”

“Why, how can we do that, Daddy, when we don’t have the same fancy clothes or other rules that those people had?” asked Louis, pointing to the picture of the priest.

“Well, the New Testament still teaches us how to act, and talk, and dress in a way that shows people we belong to God.  We talk about the Bible, we act kindly, and we dress modestly.  People will notice how different we are, even if it’s not as obvious as it is in your picture book.  The way we spend our time, the things we spend our money on, and the way we treat others, all show people what is in our hearts.  And Who is supposed to be in our hearts, Louis?”

“Jesus!” said Louis, who felt this was a safe answer since it worked before.

His father smiled and hugged him.  “You are right again!  Jesus Christ is in our hearts, and we must show Him to everyone because we love Him.”

Memory Verse: Therefore be ye holy, for I am holy.  Leviticus 11:44 (also quoted in 1 Peter 1:16).

For Further Study:

  • In the book of Leviticus, from chapters 11-15, the word “unclean” is found more than 100 times. Read Acts 10.  Peter was told by God that the foods which were once unclean to the Jews could now be eaten.  What did that tell Peter about Cornelius and other Gentiles?
  • Have you ever heard the saying, “Cleanliness is next to godliness”?  Read these verses to see what God says about “cleanliness” today:
    Matthew 23:27-28 ~ What does God really want us to cleanse?
    Acts 22:16 ~ How are men able to “wash” themselves on the inside?
    2 Corinthians 7:1 ~ What happens when a person washes his soul?
  • How often do you wash your hands?  How often do you wash your face?  How often do you wash your body? Do you pray this often?  Prayer for help and forgiveness helps cleanse our souls from disobedience.  It lifts away the filthiness of our sins, and also the guilty feelings we may carry around.  It can refresh and revive our spirits!  We give up many benefits when we neglect prayer.  Make a plan today to pray more often (not just at mealtimes, and not just with mom and dad).  Can you put up reminders or have people help you?
Posted in Heart, Holiness/purity, Idols, Modesty, Prayer, Priesthood, Repentance & Forgiveness, Savior, Worship. Comments Off on “Uncleanness”