Sunday, May 1, 2016

I'm Sorry

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 51:1-19

TO CHEW ON: "My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise."
Psalm 51:17



After Nathan had talked to David, he felt terrible. Now he knew how seriously God took what he had done. It wasn’t just some little "mistake." It was sin – adultery, lying, murder. He felt guilty. He felt dirty. He felt sad. He felt afraid that God wouldn’t be his friend any more. He was very sorry.


David wrote his thoughts and feelings in Psalm 51.

1. Even though David had killed Uriah, whom had he sinned against the most? ____ (Psalm 51:4)

2. What did David ask God to do for him (Psalm 51:7-12)?
A. Create a new heart in him.
B. Let him be happy again.
C. Help him be more clever at covering his sins next time.
D. Wash and cleanse him.
E. Give him the will to obey God.
F. Take all temptation away from him.

David knew that God wanted more than sacrifices. God wanted a different attitude inside. He wanted a broken heart and a broken and contrite spirit. David felt that way. He knew God would forgive him.

Still, there would be consequences to what he had done. A man had been killed. There was a baby on the way. And God had said David’s family would never be the same. Even though God forgave him, David would still have to bear the consequences of his sin.

PRAYER: Dear God, I too want a pure heart and the will to obey You. Amen.

MORE: Signs of ‘Sorry’
Has God brought to your memory some sin that you need to deal with? Perhaps you’ve realized for the first time how seriously God takes what you did. Now you feel like David – guilty, dirty, sad, sorry. What can you do? Here are some things:

1. Confess your sin to God. He has promised to forgive you and make you clean again. (1 John 1:9)

2. Ask yourself, who was injured by my sin? Do I need to ask any person for forgiveness or repay something I’ve stolen, or make right a lie I told? Then do what you need to do.

3. Now ask God to give you a heart that is sensitive to the things that please and displease Him.


Answers

************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

David's Secret

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Samuel 12:1-10

TO CHEW ON: “Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in His sight?” 2 Samuel 12:9

David was now a successful and loved king. One day when he was relaxing on the palace roof, he caught sight of a beautiful woman taking a bath. He couldn’t get her out of his mind. So he told his servant to bring her to the palace.


She came and David found out her name was Bathsheba. She was married to Uriah, one of David’s soldiers. But that didn’t stop David from taking her to his room and making love to her. Then he sent her back home. A short time later, Bathsheba sent word to David that she was pregnant.

Now this was a problem, because her husband wasn’t home. He was on the battlefield. People would ask, “Who is the father of this baby?” Maybe David would be found out. So David sent for Uriah to come back from the war. David thought Uriah would welcome the chance to be with his wife. Then he would think the baby was his.

But when Uriah came home, he refused to go home to Bathsheba. “Why should I enjoy my wife when my fellow soldiers are dying?” he asked. Then he spent the night with David’s servants.

So David went to Plan B. He sent Uriah back to the war with a note for his captain. The note said to make sure Uriah was sent to the most dangerous place on the battlefield. No one should defend him when he was attacked. This way he would be killed by the enemy.

A few days later Uriah was killed in battle. Soon after that, David married Bathsheba. He thought that no one knew what had happened and everything would be just fine.

But God knew. One day God sent Nathan the prophet to see David. He told David a story about a rich man who stole the only pet lamb of a poor man, in order to feed his guests.


Illustrations by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible
© American Bible Society 1976, 1992, used with permission.

When David heard Nathan’s story he was angry. “That rich man should pay four times for the lamb he stole,” he exclaimed.

“You are that man,” Nathan replied. “You had all the women you wanted. Yet you weren’t satisfied. You stole Bathsheba from Uriah and had him killed. There are consequences for your sin. Now there will always be killing in your family.”

PRAYER: Dear God, am I hiding any sin like David was? Please help me remember, face up to it and make things right. Amen.

MORE: Snowball Sin
Have you ever made a snowball with sticky snow? Though you start with a ball of snow so small you can hold it in your hands, as you roll it in the snow and more and more snow sticks to it, it’s soon so big and heavy you can hardly push it.

Sin is like that. David’s look at Bathsheba led to thinking about her and wanting her. That led to adultery (having sex with someone who is married to someone else), and deceit and eventually murder.

- Can you think of a time sin was like a snowball in your life?

- Remember how easily sin grows next time you’re tempted to let your thoughts go where they shouldn’t, tell a ‘white lie,’ take something that isn’t yours.

***********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Friday, April 29, 2016

Cool Stuff About Creation

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 104: 24-32

TO CHEW ON: "How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures." Psalm 104:24

In the sea a dolphin sights a squid in the water above.


It races toward the yummy meal. But the squid sees the enemy coming. Immediately its body changes. It begins to glow and its shape disappears. To the dolphin looking up, all it now sees is the light filtering through the water from the surface.

Then the squid squirts ink-like dark fluid into the water. The dolphin thinks it has found the squid again. It darts toward the blob of ink while the squid speeds away.


The squid is one of a family of sea creatures which can camouflage its body when in danger. Another member of this family is the octopus which lives on the ocean floor. It can change the color and pattern of its body to exactly match the colors of its surroundings. In a sea full of enemies, the ability to blend is necessary for survival.

Of course there are millions more creatures in the sea, on land and in the air with abilities just as interesting. There are animals like porcupines which wear a prickly armor of quills to protect them from enemies.


There are insects like wasps and bees which sting anything that is a threat to them.


There are plants like poison ivy which look harmless but have a substance in their leaves and stems to make the skin of people that touch them painful, swollen and itchy.


Our creator God has thought up this amazing variety of ways that sea creatures, animals, insects and plants can live and survive. He has created on our earth the kind of food that each living creature needs. God has also made each creature in such a way that it can find that food and take it in. It’s mind-boggling, isn’t it!

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for creating and keeping the earth and each creature on it. Amen.

SUPERSIZE IT: Creature Focus
Choose one sea creature, animal, bird, insect or plant. Find out, through books or the internet how God has created it to:

1. Find and eat its food _____

2. Avoid its enemies ________

3. Multiply __________

************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Kept Promise

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Samuel 9:1-12

TO CHEW ON: “'Don’t be afraid,' David said to him, 'for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.'” 2 Samuel 9:7

One day after David had been king for some years, he remembered a promise he had made. Years earlier he had promised his friend Jonathan that he would save and protect his family. Now he wanted to keep that promise – but how?

He asked around and discovered that Ziba, a former servant of Saul, was still alive. David called Ziba to the palace. “Do you know if any of Saul’s family is still alive?” David asked.

“There is Mephibosheth,” Ziba replied. “He is the son of Jonathan and is crippled in both feet.”

Immediately David called Mephibosheth to the palace.

Mephibosheth was frightened when he heard King David wanted to see him. It was the custom in those times that a new king would kill the whole family and all the servants loyal to the old king. In fact it was the day that Saul’s family ran from the palace after hearing Saul and Jonathan had been killed, that Mephibosheth, who was then only five, had fallen from his nurse's arms and hurt his feet.

Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible
© American Bible Society 1976, 1992, used with permission.



Now he came to David shaking with fear. What did David want? Was he going to finish the job of doing away with Saul’s family by killing him?

But David’s voice was kind. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Long ago I promised your father I would be kind to his family. Now that I’ve found you, I can keep my promise.”



Then David gave Mephibosheth all the land that had formerly belonged to Saul. Since Mephibosheth was crippled, David asked Ziba to look after it for him. David also invited Mephibosheth and his family to live in the palace and eat meals at the king’s table.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to keep the promises I make. Amen

MORE: Light promises
Do you keep all your promises? It’s easy to make promises lightly. We promise things for many reasons.

- Sometimes we promise things to stop people from bugging us.

- Sometimes we make promises because we pity people and feel sorry for them. When our strong feelings grow cool, we forget all about the promises we made.

- Sometimes we promise to do something because we know it’s what the person asking wants to hear – even though we have no intention of doing what we said.

In Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus told a story about a boy who made a promise he had no intention of keeping. It is not our promises that please God, Jesus told the people, but our actions.

1. What promises have you made and kept?

2. What promises have you made and not kept?

3. How could you turn those unkept promises into kept ones?

************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Praise!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 150:1-6

TO CHEW ON: "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." Psalm 150:6

To help the people celebrate, David and other song writers wrote praise psalms. One of them is Psalm 150. We learn many things about praising God from this psalm.

We learn that praise can sound from many places. It can come from a sanctuary or a church. It can also come from nature, like the “mighty heavens,” those beautiful stars, planets, the sun and the moon that God made. Can you think of more places?

The planets Saturn and Jupiter

We learn that we praise God for many reasons. We may praise God for His “acts of power.” These could be miracles that God has done.

People in Bible times would think of things like how God sent plagues on the Egyptians so the Israelites could go free, or dried up the Jordan River so they could cross.

We can praise God for these things too. But we can also praise God for the mighty acts that God has done for people in our time. Perhaps you’ve heard stories of how God has healed people, or helped them escape from dangerous situations, or sent someone to rescue them just in time. Maybe God has done something like that for you. This is a great reason to praise God.

We also praise God for His “surpassing greatness.” This is praise to Him just because of who He is – all knowing, all powerful, all seeing, merciful, just, kind, eternal. When we think of God – how big and amazing He is – we can’t help but praise Him.

This Psalm also helps us learn ways to praise God. We can sing, dance and play musical instruments. Do you praise God like that? The people in Bible times played many instruments.



List the instruments that the writer mentions in Psalm 150:2-4.

1. ______

Have you seen any of those? Circle the ones you know.

Now add to the list instruments that people in your church play to worship God.

Finally, we learn who should praise God. Who? (Psalm 150:6)
2. _______ Does that include you?

PRAYER: "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! Amen"

MORE: Make a Tambourine
One of the musical instruments in Psalm 150 is a tambourine. Make a tambourine of your own.

What you need:
2 paper plates; crayons or paints, stapler, dried beans

What to do:
1. Decorate the bottom of both paper plates with the crayons or paints.
2. Place one plate, decorated side down, on a work surface.
3. Place the other plate, decorated side up, on top of the first plate.
4. Staple the plates together around the rim, leaving a 4-inch space.
5. Slip a handful of beans into the space between the two plates.
6. Finish stapling the plates together, making sure there are no spaces where beans can escape.

Play your tambourine:
Put on your favorite praise CD and join in the praise with your tambourine.

Answers


*************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Celebrate!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Chronicles 15:25-16:3

TO CHEW ON: "So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps." 1 Chronicles 15:28

For three months the ark was in the home of Obed-Edom. In that time, everyone noticed how God was blessing him. One day David decided to try to bring the ark back to Jerusalem again.

He arrived at the house of Obed-Edom with a great crowd of people. There were Levites, priests, singers and musicians dressed in beautiful robes of fine linen. There were army commanders. And there were many ordinary people.

This time the Levites lifted the ark onto their shoulders and carried it the way God had told them. As they began their walk to Jerusalem, the priests sacrificed to God. Then the singers sang and the instruments played.

The closer they got to the city, the more people joined the happy parade. Finally a great throng of happy, singing, celebrating people entered Jerusalem. But no one celebrated harder than David. He danced and leaped and spun in joy and praise to God that the ark was finally returning to Jerusalem.

David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem - by Darlene Slavujac Thau"David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem"
Original oil painting ©1993 by Darlene Slavujac Thau (used with artist's permission)

The Levites brought the ark to the tent David had made for it. After they sacrificed more offerings, David sent everyone home with loaves of bread, and cakes of dates and raisins.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to celebrate You like David did. Amen.

MORE: We celebrate
1. What is your favorite celebration of the year? What fun things do you do on that day?


2. What things do you celebrate in church? Which is your favorite of the church celebrations and what makes it special?

***********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Book Like No Other

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 19:1-14

TO CHEW ON: "By them your servant is warned and in keeping them there is great reward." Psalm 19:11

What is your favorite book? Why do you like it?

If we could have asked David what his favorite book was, I’m sure he would have said, “God’s Word” – even though books in those days were rolled up strips of parchment or animal skin called scrolls, and even though God’s Word wasn’t the Bible we now have.

When David lived, God’s Word was made up mainly of the writings of Moses. They are our books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

1. David called God’s Word by many different names. What names does he call it in Psalm 19?

2. What words does David use in Psalm 19 to describe and praise God’s Word?


After David tried to bring the ark to Jerusalem and Uzzah was killed, he could go back to God’s Word. There he could read how the ark was supposed to be carried. If he took God’s warnings seriously, he could grow wise and avoid making the same mistake again.

PRAYER: Dear God, please teach me to love Your word. Amen

MORE: God’s Word – a hammer and much much more
This poem is full of word pictures about God’s Word found in the Bible. These pictures help us understand what God’s Word is like and what work it can do. What is your favorite?


GOD'S WORD

God's Word is eternal,
God-breathed, radiant, right,
Pure spiritual milk,
Our lamp and our light.

It's a fire, a hammer,
The power of God.
It's sweeter than honey,
A two-edged sword.

It's wisdom for life,
Our standard and rule.
Choose to ignore it
And you'll be the fool.

© 1998 - Violet Nesdoly

Answers

**************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Breaking the Rules

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Chronicles 13:1-14

TO CHEW ON: "They moved the ark of God from Abinadab’s house on a new cart, with Uzzah and Ahio guiding it." 1 Chronicles 13:7

One day, sometime after he had become king, David thought of the ark. For many years this special gold box had been sitting in Abinadab’s house in Kiriath Jearim.* Now David wanted to bring it back to the tabernacle in Jerusalem.

He went with a crowd to Kiriath Jearim to move the ark. They put the ark on a new cart. Then he and the people celebrated with singing and playing harps, lyres, tambourines, trumpets and cymbals. Behind them came the lumbering oxen pulling the precious load.


Suddenly one of the oxen stumbled. Uzzah, who was guiding the animals, saw that the ark was starting to slip. He reached out to steady it. The minute he touched it he fell down – dead!



The procession stopped. David was shocked, even angry with God – and very afraid. Why had God killed Uzzah? Wasn’t God pleased that they were bringing the ark back to Jerusalem?

But David had forgotten one important thing about moving the ark. God’s warnings and instructions to Moses, back when the ark was made, were clear.

1. What did God tell Moses about the carriers touching any of the tabernacle furniture? ___ (Numbers 4:15)

2. How was the ark supposed to be carried? ______ (Exodus 37:4,5)

Now David didn’t feel like taking the ark any farther. The house of Obed-Edom was nearby. He left the ark there. Then he and all the people went home feeling puzzled, frightened and sad.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to be careful to live by Your rules. Amen

MORE: Rules – a good thing?
God didn’t invent the rule that people shouldn’t touch the holy things from the tabernacle because He was fussy or to make things complicated for them. There was a reason for that rule. God’s presence was in the tabernacle and on the ark. It was more powerful than thousands of volts of electricity. Human bodies couldn’t stand to touch that much power and still stay alive. The rule not to touch the ark was given for everyone’s safety.

1. What are some rules in your home, school or favorite sport?

2. Choose one of these rules and tell how that rule is a good thing.

* You can read the story of how the ark got to Kiriath Jearim in 1 Samuel 4-7:1


Answers

*************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Saturday, April 23, 2016

God Save the (New) King

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Chronicles 11:1-9

TO CHEW ON: "And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord Almighty was with him." 1 Chronicles 11:9

Now that Saul was dead, the people of Israel needed a new king. They gathered in the city of Hebron where David was staying. David had proved himself a natural leader and a fearless warrior. They knew that God had already chosen him to be king. Now they wanted to make it official and crown him king. They did this at Hebron.



Then the Israelites went with David to the city of Jerusalem. David wanted Jerusalem to be the place from which he ruled.

Rebels who didn’t like David lived there. “You’ll never get in here!” the people of Jerusalem shouted at David from behind thick walls.



But David had many brave soldiers in his army. One of them, Joab, led the attack. In no time, David’s army had won the city.

David moved into the castle. He and Joab began city improvement projects.



They made their capital city, Jerusalem, safe, strong and beautiful. God’s presence with David made him powerful and successful in everything that he did.

PRAYER: Dear God, please give me the gift of Your presence and Your blessing. Amen.

MORE: Capitals
Jerusalem was the city from which David ruled. It was like our capital cities.

1. What is the capital city of your country?

2. What is the capital city of your province or state (or whatever the smaller parts of your country are called)?

3. Have you ever visited a capital city? Write about what you saw, or draw a picture.

4. Look for pictures, in books or on the internet, of buildings and monuments found in your country’s and state’s or province’s capital city.

************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Friday, April 22, 2016

Saul the Desperate

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 28:3-20

TO CHEW ON: "He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him . . . . Saul then said to his attendants, 'Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.'” 1 Samuel 28:6,7

The Philistines were threatening again and Saul was terrified. He wanted to talk to God and find out what to do. But Samuel had died, Saul had killed the priests, and no prophet came with any message. God was silent.

In desperation Saul asked his servants to find a medium. A medium was a person who could contact the spirits of dead people and get messages from them. But this power came from Satan and not God. God had commanded Saul to rid the land of all mediums and spiritists.

Still Saul’s men managed to find a medium. Saul disguised himself and went to her house. He persuaded her to try to bring up the spirit of Samuel so Saul could talk to him.


Soon the woman saw something coming out of the ground. And then Samuel’s voice filled the room, “Why have you disturbed me?”

“The Philistines are threatening again,” said Saul. “I need to know what to do.”

Then Samuel gave Saul a message he probably didn’t want to hear.


With that Saul fell on the floor, weak and paralyzed with fear. The knowledge he got through the medium didn’t help. It only made him more afraid.

True to the prediction, Saul and three of his sons were killed in battle the next day. Here is how the Bible talks about his death: “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death . . .” (1 Chronicles 10:13,14)

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to stay away from the things and practices that don’t please You. Amen.

MORE: Occult warning
The world of the occult is fascinating, but dangerous. Here are some things to keep in mind when tempted to get involved in occultic practices like horoscopes, telling fortunes, talking with spirits, palm readings, witches, warlocks, I-Ching, seances, the Oiji game, Wicca etc.

1. These practices are condemned many times in the Bible. Some places are Leviticus 19:31, Micah 5:12 and Revelation 21:8

2. Satan is known for lying. Though the things we learn from the occult about ourselves, others and the future may seem accurate, we need to remember the source of that knowledge – Satan. Talking about Satan, Jesus said, “. . . there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

3. If you have occultic objects and books in your home, in your room or in your desk or locker at school, be like the Christians in Ephesus (Acts 19:19), and get rid of them.

***********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hands Off!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 26:1-12

TO CHEW ON: "But David said to Abishai, 'Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?'” 1 Samuel 26:9

Messengers came running to Saul. “We’ve seen David,” they said. “We can tell you where he is!” So Saul took three thousand soldiers and went to the place the messengers had said.

David had his own spies. They knew exactly when Saul arrived and where his army was camped. One day David went to the hill overlooking Saul’s camp. As he peered down, he saw Saul asleep in the middle of all the soldiers. Even his bodyguard, Abner, was asleep.

After dark, David and his friend Abishai crept down the hill and into the camp. They tiptoed right past all the sleeping soldier to the place where Saul lay.

“Here’s your chance,” whispered Abishai. “God is giving Saul into your hands. Let me kill him for you.”


“No!” David said. “He’s the king that God chose. It’s up to God whether he lives or dies. I won’t lay a hand on him.” But David took Saul’s spear and the water jug that was close to his head. Then they left the camp as quietly as they had come.

When they were at the top of the hill David shouted, “Abner!”

Abner woke up “Who are you?” he asked.

“Where is the king’s spear and water jug?” said David. “You didn’t guard your king very well!”
Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible
© American Bible Society 1976, 1992, used with permission.

By now Saul was awake. He realized the danger he had been in and how David had spared his life. He felt bad. “I have sinned,” he said. “I won’t try to harm you again.”

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to respect and honor the people You have called in a special way, like David honored Saul. Amen.
 

MORE Respect for leaders
Saul was doing bad things. God’s blessing was no longer on his life. Still David knew that he had been God’s choice as king over Israel. David was determined to respect God’s choice.

Some people God puts over us are parents, pastors, school and Sunday school teachers, coaches. Most times those people are good. But sometimes they are bad and want to hurt us. Below are some things from this story about how to act toward people over us. Which thing does this story does not teach:

1. We should respect the people in authority over us.
2. Sometimes the people over us are bad or evil.
3. It’s always okay to get a teacher or coach we don’t like in trouble
4. God is able to care for us even when we’re under bad leaders.

Answers

*********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Safe

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 91:1-16

TO CHEW ON: "I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'” Psalm 91:2

What things frighten you?




Do you know one person who isn’t afraid of something?

Even courageous David, when he was hiding from Saul, was probably afraid. He was scared of being found by Saul. He was afraid of being killed.


We don’t know if David wrote Psalm 91. He could have written it. In it the writer reminds himself how God is his protector. Find the word pictures from Psalm 91 that show how God protects us
- God is a 1._________ and 2._________ (Psalm 91:2).

A fortress was a place where soldiers were protected. They could see their enemies and shoot at them, but the enemies couldn’t get them. Sometimes it was a natural place, like rocks on a hillside. Sometimes it was man-made, like the thick-walled towers on city walls. God can be that safe place for us.

- God is like a bird. He covers us with his feathers like a mother bird protects her chicks.

- God is like a 3. ______________ (Psalm 91:9). We can live in God and be protected, just like we are safe from rain, storms and the sun when we are in our homes.

- God sends 4. _______________ (Psalm 91:11). God gives them the job to protect us from physical harm.

PRAYER: Dear God, please remind me of Your protection whenever I feel afraid. Amen.


MORE: Pictures of protection
The Bible gives us more pictures of God as our protector. He is compared to:

- A shelter from the storm (Isaiah 25:4).

- A shade from the heat (Isaiah 25:4).

- a watchman (or security guard) who never goes to sleep (Psalm 121:4).

Choose your favorite picture of God giving you protection. Draw a picture of yourself as you are kept safe by God in that way.

Answers

***********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Peacemaker

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 25:14-20; 32-35

TO CHEW ON: "David said to Abigail, 'Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.'” 1 Samuel 25: 32,33


Many people loyal to David began to join him in the cave where he was hiding. Eventually David and his men moved from caves to the desert. While they were there, some shepherds, the servants of a man named Nabal, were herding sheep nearby. David and his men made friends with the shepherds. They protected their flocks from wild animals and bandits.


After the shepherds had taken the sheep home, David heard that Nabal was going to throw a party for his servants. This would be a good time to get a meal from Nabal in payment for protecting him, David thought. He sent one of his men to Nabal with a polite note, asking if he and his men could come to the party.

Nabal, who was very rich, but also very selfish, answered David’s servant roughly. “Why should I take the food I make for my servants and give it to any old person?” he asked.

When David heard what Nabal had said, he was furious. He and his men strapped on their swords and set out toward Nabal’s ranch. They would make him pay for his selfishness!

Meanwhile, one of Nabal’s servants had heard the way he talked to David’s messenger. He went to Abigail, Nabal’s wife, and told her what happened. “I’m worried,” he said. “The way Nabal treated David, I’m sure David will try to get even.”

Abigail set right to work. She collected a lot of food – bread, wine, sheep, roasted grain, raisins and figs. Then she loaded them on donkeys and set off down the road.

Soon she met David and his men. Sure enough, they were red-hot angry and eager to make Nabal pay for insulting them. Abigail got off her donkey, bowed politely, then asked David to take the gifts of food she had brought. She also begged him to spare her life and the lives of her husband and their servants.


As David listened to this beautiful, wise woman, his anger cooled. “Praise God that you came,” he said. “If you hadn’t, not one male person on your ranch would have been spared. Today you kept me from doing a bad thing.”

PRAYER: Dear God, please give us the wisdom, humility and courage to be peacemakers. Amen.

MORE: A peace harvestChoosing to be a peacemaker instead of fighting may feel like a sissy way to respond to threats and insults. But God calls making peace between enemies a wise thing to do. James 3:17,18 talks about peacemakers.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.


According to this verse, what does a peacemaker need to be like? You may want to memorize this verse to help you remember how to be a wise peacemaker.

Answers

***********
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's

Monday, April 18, 2016

All-seeing Eyes

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 139:1-16

TO CHEW ON: "You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways." Psalm 139:2,3

David couldn’t sleep in his own bed any more, or eat at his own table, or be close to the people he loved. That would make it too easy for Saul to find and kill. Instead, he had to run away. He ran from city to city. But as soon as someone recognized him he had to leave because it was no longer safe.

Finally David found a good place to hide in some caves. Saul couldn’t find him there. David’s own family didn’t know where he was. But Someone did. God never lost sight of David all the time he was hiding.

In Psalm 139 David writes about God’s all-seeing eyes. Pick out every statement below, that tell where God sees us and what He knows about us. (Psalm 139:1-16)

1. God sees where we sit in school.
2. God sees us when we get up in the morning.
3. God knows what we will say this evening.


4. God sees us when we’re in a space rocket.
5. God sees us when we’re under water in a submarine.
6. God sees us when we’ve moved to a new home across an ocean.
7. God sees us when we’re in total darkness.
8. God saw us when we were being formed inside our Moms.
9. God knows how many days we will live and sees every one of them.


If you picked every statement – you’re right. God sees everything about us, past, present and future.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for seeing and knowing all about me. Amen.

MORE: Eyes
When compared to God’s sight, ours is very limited. Still our eyes and the sense of sight is a wonderful thing. Here are some neat facts about eyes and sight:


1. We need light to see.
2. Our eyeball is about the size of a table tennis ball.
3. Everyone’s iris (the colored part of your eye) is different and can be used like a fingerprint to identify you.
4. Our eyelids close automatically whenever they sense danger.
5. We blink thousands of times a day.
6. Our tears wash our eyeballs and keep them healthy.
7. Our vision can be improved with glasses, contact lenses or surgery.
8. Birds of prey like hawks, eagles and owls have the sharpest vision.

Find out more about eyes and your sense of sight through books or the internet.

************
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo's