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Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Story StewardsDeuteronomy 4:1-9
Take heed . . . lest you forget the things your eyes have seen . . . . And teach them to your children and your grandchildren. (Deut 4:9) Many people take great care to make sure their resources are used well after they die. They set up trusts, write wills, and establish foundations to guarantee that their assets will continue to be used for a good purpose after their life on earth is done. We call this good stewardship. Equally important, however, is being good stewards of our life story. God commanded the Israelites not only to teach their children His laws but also to make sure they knew their family history. It was the responsibility of parents and grandparents to make sure their children knew the stories of how God had worked in their behalf (Deut. 4:1-14). God has given each of us a unique story. His plan for our lives is individualized. Do others know what you believe and why? Do they know the story of how you came to faith and how God has worked in …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

A Special BirthIsaiah 7:10-15
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.(Isaiah 7:14) In the pages of Scripture, several baby-boy births stand out. Cain, the firstborn after creation. Isaac, the hope of Israel’s future. Samuel, the answer to a mother’s fervent prayer. All extremely important. All joyously expected. And all described exactly the same by the chroniclers of Scripture: In each case, we are told that the mother conceived and bore a son (Gen. 4:1; 21:2-3; 1 Sam. 1:20). Now consider one more baby boy’s birth. The description of this arrival was much more greatly detailed: a few words were clearly not enough to tell of Jesus’ birth. In Micah, we were told where He would be born—Bethlehem (5:2). In Isaiah, that His mother would be a virgin (7:14), and that He was coming to save people from their sin (ch.53). In the New Testament, we were given such key information as what His name would be and why (Matt. 1:21), where He was born in fulfillm…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Another Hero Of ChristmasMatthew 1:18-25
Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. (Matthew 1:19) For most of my life, I missed the importance of Joseph in the Christmas story. But after I became a husband and father myself, I had a greater appreciation for Joseph’s tender character. Even before he knew how Mary had become pregnant, he decided that he wasn’t going to embarrass or punish her for what seemed to be infidelity (Matt. 1:19). I marvel at his obedience and humility, as he not only did what the angel told him (v.24) but also refrained from physical intimacy with Mary until after Jesus was born (v.25). Later we learn that Joseph was willing to flee his home to protect Jesus (2:13-23). Imagine the pressure Joseph and Mary must have felt when they learned that Jesus would be theirs to raise and nurture! Imagine the complexity and pressure of having the Son of God living with you every moment of every day;…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Snug As A Bug In A Rug!Psalms 91:9-16
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalms 4:8) When I was a child, my family lived in a house my father built in the cedar breaks west of Duncanville, Texas. Our house had a small kitchen-dinette area, two bedrooms, and a great room with a large stone fireplace in which we burned 2-foot-long cedar logs. That fireplace was the center of warmth in our home. There were five people in our family: my father and mother, my sister, my cousin, and me. Since we had only two bedrooms, I slept year-round on a porch with canvas screens that rolled down to the floor. Summers were delightful; winters were cold. I remember dashing from the warmth of the living room onto the porch, tiptoeing across the frost-covered plank floor in my bare feet, leaping into bed and burrowing under a great mountain of blankets. Then, when hail, sleet, or snow lashed our house and the wind howled through the eaves like a pack of w…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Hope For SkepticsIsaiah 55:6-13 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please.(Isaiah 55:11) As a workplace chaplain, I’m privileged to be in conversation with many different people. Some are skeptics of the Christian faith. I’ve discovered three major hurdles that keep them from trusting in Christ for salvation. The first barrier, surprisingly, isn’t an unwillingness to believe that God exists; instead some doubt that they’re important enough for God’s attention. Second, some believe they are unworthy of His forgiveness. People are often their own harshest judges. The third hurdle? They wonder why God is not communicating with them if He is out there. Let’s work backward through the hurdles to see what God’s Word says. First, God doesn’t play head games. He promises that if we read His Word, He will make sure it accomplishes His purpose (Isa. 55:11). In other words, if we read it we will discover that God is commu…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Wonders Of The HeartJob 38:1-11
By You I have been upheld from birth. (Psalms 71:6) Our heart beats about 100,000 times every day, pumping blood to every cell in our bodies. This adds up to about 35 million beats a year and 2.5 billion beats in an average lifetime. Medical science tells us that every contraction is similar to the effort it would take for us to hold a tennis ball in our palm and give it a good hard squeeze. Yet as amazing as our heart is, it is only one example of a natural world that is designed to tell us something about our Creator. This is the idea behind the story of a man named Job. Broken by a series of mounting troubles, Job felt abandoned. When God finally spoke, He didn’t tell Job why he was suffering. Nor did the Creator tell him that someday He would suffer for Job. Instead, He drew Job’s attention to a series of natural wonders that are always whispering to us—and sometimes shouting—about a wisdom and power far greater than our own (Job 38:1-11). So what can we…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Our Life Is A PrimerDeuteronomy 6:4-9
You shall teach them diligently to your children . . . when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Deut 6:7) The New England Primer was published in the late 1600s. Throughout the colonies that would later become the United States, the book became a widely used resource. This early American textbook was based largely on the Bible, and it used pictures and rhymes based on Scripture to help children learn to read. It also included prayers like this one: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord, my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” In Colonial America, this became a way that one generation was able to pass along their faith to the next generation. It fit well with what God wanted of His people, the ancient Israelites, as recorded in Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach [God’s commandments] diligently to your children, and …