Sunday, November 30, 2008

"I am happy to do what God wants."

Our lesson this morning for the second-graders in our Sunday School class was the visit of the angel Gabriel to tell Mary that God had chosen her to bear the Son of God. Mary could have resisted. She could have been unwilling. But she submitted to God's plan for her. "Mary said, 'Here I am. I want to obey God. He has a plan for me. I am happy to do what he wants. I know you are telling the truth.' And then the angel went away" (Luke 1:38, The B-I-B-L-E). Wouldn't it be great if we too would obey God's plan for us!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Do your work with a happy heart

Dave and I teach second-graders in Sunday School. Our memory verse for this month has been Colossians 3:23. It is important for children to learn to do their work with a happy heart. Here is that verse in The B-I-B-L-E:
"Always work hard. Always have a happy heart. You work for your master. But pretend you are working for God. You try to make your master happy. But pretend you are working to make God happy" (Colossians 3:23, The B-I-B-L-E). This verse is in the context of Paul's instructions for slaves. It is very applicable for us too in whatever task we are doing.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

God wants us to be thankful

“People, listen to me. I am God. You are not making me happy. The offerings you give me are OK. But I do not want any more offerings from you. All the animals are mine. I do not need any more. All the birds are mine. I do not need any more. I will not ask you for food. The whole world is mine. Everything in the world is mine. I do not need the offerings you give. I will tell you what I want. I want you to tell me ‘thank you.’ I want you to keep your promises to me. When you are in trouble, ask me for help. I will help you. I will save you. And then you can tell me ‘thank you’ ”
(Psalm 50:7-15, The B-I-B-L-E).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Care about others

"God loves you. He chose you. He wants you to be part of his family. So be careful! Be very kind to others. Care about others. Do not just think about yourself. Be careful and gentle with others. Be patient. Do not get upset. Do not be crabby with others"
(Philippians 3:12, The B-I-B-L-E).

What great advice for the children around us!

Monday, November 24, 2008

God will always help me

"God, please be kind to me. I am asking you for help. When I am in trouble, I will run to you. You are the safe place where I can hide. I am praying to God. He is super strong. He has a good plan for me. He will make it work. He will help me. He will save me. Some people are trying to hurt me. God will keep me safe. He will always love me" (Psalm 57:1-3, The B-I-B-L-E).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The rule is "Love others"

"You are my friends. I am telling you important things. This is not a new thing. It is an old thing. You know this rule. The rule is 'Love others.' It is an old rule. But it is new too. Now we have Jesus. And he wants us to love others. He is giving us light. He is helping us do what is right. He is making the darkness go away. He is helping us stop doing bad things" (1 John 2:7-8, The B-I-B-L-E).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We need God's forgiveness

"We have all done bad things. We all need to say we have done bad things. A stupid person says, 'I never did any bad things.' He is telling a lie. He is not telling the truth. We need to tell God we have done bad things. We need to say we are sorry. Then we can count on him. He will forgive us. He will clean our heart. A stupid person says, 'I never did any bad things. God is telling a lie.' That person is far away from God. He does not care about God’s Word" (1 John 1:8-10, The B-I-B-L-E).

Monday, November 17, 2008

We should pray about our problems

Yesterday Dave and I taught Sunday School for second-graders. Our lesson was on Nehemiah. Nehemiah learned that things were not going well in Jerusalem for the Jews who returned there from exile in Babylon. That was very sad news for him: "That was very bad news for me! I sat down and cried. I cried and cried. I was very sad. I stopped eating. I prayed to God" (Nehemiah 1:4, The B-I-B-L-E). The important lesson is that Nehemiah prayed about his problems. He prayed a lot. And that is what we should do too!

Friday, November 14, 2008

God, check me out!

Every day we see the faces of many people. But we cannot see their thoughts and attitudes. Only God can do that.
"God, look at my heart. Check me out. Test me. You know what I am thinking. Are you happy with me? Am I doing any bad things? Please show me. Help me obey you. I want to make you happy. I want to live with you forever" (Psalm 139:23-24, The B-I-B-L-E). We need to always seek to influence children around us for the Lord. We need to encourage them to read God's Word and apply it to their life.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

People all around the world praise God

Many people all around the world are part of God's family. Dave and I spent ten years working in Mozambique. We treasure wonderful friendships with faithful followers of God in that country. We need to keep on telling others the Good News all around the world.
"God, you are awesome. Everyone will praise you. Everyone around the world will praise you. You are super strong. You always win"
(Psalm 48:10, The B-I-B-L-E).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Children need to understand God's Word

Simply reading the words of the Bible is not enough. We need to understand God's Word and think about it. Then we can apply it to our life. Then we can grow to know God better. My passion is to make the Bible understandable for children. Then they can shape their attitudes and habits in line with God's Word.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A strong fort where I can hide

Life is full of uncertainty and difficulty, but God is our rock and the strong fort where we can hide. He will take care of us.
"God, I love you. You are strong. You make me strong too. You are like a rock for me. You are like a strong fort where I can hide. You save me. You take care of me. You are strong. I will pray to God. He is awesome. He takes care of me" (Psalm 18:1-3, The B-I-B-L-E).

Monday, November 10, 2008

God gives us hope

Dave and I taught Sunday School yesterday to second-graders. The lesson was about God's promise of restoration of the people of Judah who were in exile in Babylon. God wanted to give the people a message of love and hope. God has a great plan for our life.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You can see how great God is!

"Look up at the sky. It is beautiful. Look at all the amazing things God made. You can see how great God is. You can look at the sky every day. You can look at the sky every night. It is beautiful. You can see that God is great. You can see that God is good. The sky does not say any words. You cannot hear the sky talk. But all over the world, the sky shows how great God is"
(Psalm 19:1-4, The B-I-B-L-E).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God is super good!

"I will tell how good God is. He always tells me what to do. He even tells me things at night. God is always with me. I will always trust in him. He is close to me. That is why I am super happy. That is why I say God is super good. That is why I can sleep in peace" (Psalm 16:7-9, The B-I-B-L-E).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Think about God's Word all the time

"Obey God. Do what makes him happy. Then you will be happy too. Think about God all the time. Think about God’s Word all the time" (Psalm 1:2, The B-I-B-L-E).
Let's encourage children to read God's Word. We need to ground them in God's Word so they can resist the negative influences around them and choose to do what is right.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

God's plan is best!

"People like to make plans. They say, 'Today I am going on a trip. I am going to another town. I will do my work there. I will get some money. Then I will come back later.' Be careful! You do not know what is going to happen. Life goes by really fast. Our life is like a bubble. Bubbles pop soon, and then they are gone. We are like that. We live for a time. Then we are gone. Here is what you should say: 'I have a plan. I will see if God thinks it is a good idea. I will see if God wants me to do that.' You do not know what is going to happen. So do not talk about your own plans. That is not good. Ask God to show you his plan" (James 4:13-16, The B-I-B-L-E).