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Showing posts from November, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Discover The Treasures
Proverbs 2:1-9
The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6) Profitable Bible study involves more than just opening to a chapter and reading what’s there. Here are six guidelines to help you make the most of your study of the Bible. 1. Set aside a regular time. Unless you schedule it, you’ll neglect it. 2. Before you start reading, ask God for help and understanding. 3. Carefully think about what you are reading. The treasures of the Bible seldom lie like pebbles on the surface. To mine the gold, you have to dig. 4. Before you decide what a passage means to you, try to understand what the author was saying to the original readers. 5. Write down at least one truth or principle you can put into practice. 6. Don’t get discouraged. Some parts of the Bible are difficult to understand, but there’s much that you can understand. And if you apply what you’ve learned, it will revolutionize your life.
Now read today’s passage from Proverbs 2 …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Proper Preparation
Acts 20:7-12
In a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep.(Acts 20:9) Eutychus was probably not the first person to fall asleep listening to a preacher in a church meeting (Acts 20:9), and he certainly won’t be the last. Part of the blame can lie with the humdrum nature of the worship service and the dullness of the sermon. But other factors can also be at work. For instance, as a boy I noticed that men who worked outdoors in the winter found the warmth of a church building most conducive to sleep. A few years later, after working 17 hours on Saturday in a meat market, I struggled to stay awake in the Sunday morning service. Saturday eveningsocial activities can also make for slumberous Sunday mornings. One of the keys to having a vital encounter with God on Sunday morning is proper preparation the day before. Yes, those in leadership should give much thought and prayer to every part of the worship service. But those of us who sit…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Unlikely People
Mark 1:16-20
They were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." (Mark 1:16-17) Not only was the Son of God born in an unlikely location and of unlikely parents, He chose His first followers at an unlikely place. He didn’t search the religious schools for the most learned scholars. He didn’t look among the ranks of brilliant military leaders. He stayed away from skilled statesmen and famous orators. Rather, Jesus went to the shores of Galilee and called out four common fishermen—Peter and Andrew, James and John. “Bad choice,” some might say. “Uneducated. Tough characters. What would they know about starting a worldwide movement? They couldn’t work a crowd if they had to.” Now, on behalf of fishermen everywhere, let me say that they have many positive traits. They must be resourceful, courageous, and patient. They must plan carefully and take care of their equipment. Such qualities are no doubt helpful in carrying o…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

God Sees You
Genesis 16:1-13
She called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees.(Genesis 16:13) Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid, was being treated unkindly by Sarah, so she fled into the wilderness. As Hagar stood beside a spring in that desolate and lonely place, the Angel of the Lord visited her. He assured her that God Himself was aware of her situation. Hagar responded, “You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees” (Genesis 16:13). She found great comfort in knowing that the Lord God saw her and knew about her distress. You and I can have that same confidence in God’s watchcare. We can be sure that the Lord God is with us wherever we go, and He knows everything that happens to us. As the all-powerful One, He is able to solve every problem, no matter how overwhelming or perplexing it may be. We are never alone, never forgotten, and never beyond hope. Whatever your troubling circumstances are, whether you’re afflicted by illness or injury, brokenhearted over the loss of a loved one, or disi…

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Is It Time To Pray?
 Philippians 4:1-7

In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Phil 4:6) When people face trials, they often turn to prayer only as a last resort. I knew a man who was fighting a valiant battle with cancer. As people observed the gradual effect on his body and lifestyle, one person said, “Well, they’ve tried everything else. I guess it’s time to begin praying.” Another man was going through an extremely difficult time at work. It was a crisis of major proportions that had ominous implications for him and for the future of his company. He just couldn’t resolve it. Finally he said, “I’ve tried everything I know to get through this situation and nothing has worked. It’s time to start praying.” In both of these instances, prayer was seen as a last-ditch effort to resolve the problem. Only after all other options were eliminated did the person decide to pray. It was a desperate “grasping at straws.” Instead of prayer b…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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Pain's Purpose
 Hebrews 12:7-11

No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. (Heb 12:11) Affliction, when we accept it with patience and humility, can lead us to a deeper, fuller life. “Before I was afflicted I went astray,” David wrote, “but now I keep Your Word” (Psalm 119:67). And again, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (v.71). Pain, far from being an obstacle to our spiritual growth, can actually be the pathway to it. If we allow pain to train us, it can lead us closer to God and into His Word. It is often the means by which our Father graciously shapes us to be like His Son, gradually giving us the courage, compassion, contentment, and tranquility we long and pray for. Without pain, God would not accomplish all that He desires to do in and through us. Are you one whom God is instructing through suffering and pain? By His grace, you can endure His …

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Traveling Light
 Luke 12:13-21

Whose will those things be which you have provided? (Luke 12:20) Many vacation travelers take along too much stuff. They pack more shoes, clothes, and gadgets than they will ever need. Their mindset is, “I’d better not forget anything because I can’t go home and get it.” They would be better off if they asked, “How much can I get along without?” They often end up dragging around heavier-than-necessary suitcases. Some people even purchase so many new items on vacation that they have to leave some of their other stuff behind in the hotel. We’re inclined to accumulate far too many possessions on our journey through life. We’re bombarded with ads that urge us to purchase things we “just can’t live without.” So we buy more and more and more. The rich man in Jesus’ parable (Luke 12:13-21) may have been dreaming about all the good things he could acquire because he had a great crop. He said he would build bigger barns, and he would spend his time eating, drinking, a…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

People Pressure
1 Kings 12:1-17
Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. (Proverbs 16:19) The desire for the approval of others makes us do strange things. We wear clothing that is fashionable whether we like it or not, we accept invitations we’d rather decline, and we work much harder than we want to for a level of financial success we don’t need. Most regrettably, however, we sometimes choose to follow a crowd that encourages us to do what is wrong. In 1 Kings 12, we read about King Rehoboam, who also succumbed to people pressure. He rejected the good advice of older wise men who had known his father Solomon and the mistakes he had made as king. Rehoboam listened instead to the counsel of his peers, younger advisers with whom he had grown up. They were probably motivated by pride and a desire for power, and he was obviously swayed by their influence. How dearly he paid for his mistake! People pressure—we are all influenced by it. It bears d…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Thoughtful Praises
Psalms 47 God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with understanding
(Psalms 47:7)
I wonder what God thinks about the way we sing at church. I’m not talking about the quality of our voices, but the honesty of our words. If we’re being truthful, the following rewritten hymn titles might more accurately express what’s in our hearts as we sing:
“Just As I Am” is “Just As I Pretend To Be.”
“O How I Love Jesus” becomes “O How I Like Jesus.”
“I Surrender All” is actually “I Surrender Some.”
“He’s Everything To Me” means “He’s Quite A Bit To Me.” Jesus said that we are to worship Him in truth (John 4:24). Singing sincerely and with understanding is a serious challenge (Psalm 47:7). Let’s take up the challenge by seeking God’s help to make the original titles of these hymns true for us. In repentance and without pretense, let’s turn to Him just as we are. In His forgiving presence, let’s declare total love for Jesus by surrendering all to Him. As a result, Jesus truly will bec…

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Working In The Harvest Matthew 9:35-10:4
Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Matthew 9:38) While D. L. Moody was attending a convention in Indianapolis on mass evangelism, he did more than just talk about it. He asked a friend, who was a gifted musician, to meet him on a street corner at 6 o’clock one evening. The man stood on a box and sang a song. When a crowd gathered, Moody spoke briefly and then invited the people to follow him to the nearby convention hall. Soon the auditorium was filled with spiritually hungry people, and he preached to them. When the convention attendees began to arrive, Moody stopped preaching and said, “Now we must close, as the brethren of the convention want to discuss the topic, ‘How to reach the masses.'” When Jesus saw the masses, He was “moved with compassion” for them (Matthew 9:36). He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful . . . . Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers” (vv.37-38). And He s…

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Letters To God
 Psalm 65:1-8
 O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come. (Psalms 65:2) Every year thousands of letters addressed to God find their way to a post office in Jerusalem. One letter, addressed to “God of Israel,” requested assistance in getting a job as a bulldozer driver. Another said: “Please help me to be happy, to find a nice job and a good wife—soon.” One man asked forgiveness for stealing money from a grocery store when he was a child. But were those heartfelt requests heard by God? The psalmist said that God is the one who hears prayer (Psalm 65:2). Whether we say our prayers silently, voice them aloud, or write them on paper, they go directly to God. But He does not answer every request as we would wish. Our petitions may be self-serving (James 4:3), or sin may be blocking our fellowship with Him (Psalm 66:18). More than giving us what we want, the Lord knows our deepest needs, an…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Loving The Unlovable
Luke 19:1-10
The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.(Luke 19:10) Zacchaeus was easy to dislike. As a tax collector for an oppressive occupying government, he made himself rich by overcharging his countrymen. Yet, to the consternation of the crowd, Jesus honored him by going to his house and eating with him. A judge with a reputation for toughness tells how he learned to relate to unlovable people. In a Sunday morning homily his clergyman urged the congregation to try to look at people through the eyes of Jesus. A few days later the judge was about to give a stiff sentence to an arrogant young man who kept getting in trouble. But then he remembered what the minister had suggested. The judge said, “I looked this young man in the eye and told him I thought he was a bright and talented human being. And then I said to him, ‘Let’s talk together about how we can get yo…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Our Lord's Command
John 21:14-22
Jesus said,..."Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." (Mark 1:17) Jesus asked Simon Peter a heart-searching question long ago on the seashore in Galilee: “Do you love Me?” (John 21:15-17). Then the risen Lord told His disciple Peter that his future would lead to martyrdom. And Peter accepted that destiny without complaint. But then Peter asked about the apostle John’s future (v.21). We can only guess what motivated his question. Was it brotherly concern? Was it fleshly curiosity? Was it resentment because he thought that John might be spared a martyr’s death? Whatever Peter’s motive, Jesus responded with a counter-question that applied not just to Peter but to every follower of His: “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me” (v.22). In that question, Jesus was saying in essence, “Don’t worry about what happens in the life of anybody else. Your task is to keep following Me steadfastly.” It is so ea…

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Counterfeit Reality
2 Timothy 3:1-5,12-17 Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13) When people see a photograph or video today, they often ask, “Is it real?” A home computer can manipulate images to create a picture of an event that never happened. Images can be inserted into or removed from photographs. A video can be doctored to make it appear that a person was caught committing a crime or performing an act of heroism. The camera may not lie, but the computer can. Centuries before such modern technology, the apostle Paul warned Timothy about counterfeit reality in the church. He said that in the last days people would be self-absorbed, “having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). He repeatedly emphasized the need to live a godly life, warning that “evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (v.13). Paul charged Timothy to “continue in the things which you have learned and b…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Pigeon Walk
Daniel 6:1-10
He knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom. (Daniel 6:10) Have you ever wondered why a pigeon walks so funny? It’s so it can see where it’s going. A pigeon’s eyes can’t focus as it moves, so the bird actually has to bring its head to a complete stop between steps in order to refocus. It proceeds clumsily—head forward, stop, head back, stop. In our spiritual walk with the Lord, we have the same problem as the pigeon: We have a hard time seeing while we’re on the go. We need to stop between steps—to pause and refocus on the Word and the will of God. That’s not to say we have to pray and meditate about every little decision in life. But certainly our walk with the Lord needs to have built into it a pattern of stops that enable us to see more clearly before moving on. Daniel’s practice of praying three times a day was a…

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The Joy Of Waiting
1 Samuel 1:19-28
For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition. (1 Samuel 1:27) Nine months can seem like forever for a mother-to-be. In the first trimester, hormonal changes sometimes cause lingering morning sickness. Emotions rise to the surface, prolonging afternoon blues. Then a changing appetite stretches out evening hours with late-night cravings for pizza, chocolate, and dill pickles. During the next 3 months, Mom outgrows her clothes and spends long hours looking for a new wardrobe. The last trimester turns normal activity into a chore as the final watch begins. Then, suddenly the endless waiting is over. Nine months become like yesterday’s newspaper. They are gone. They become insignificant, a faint memory—overcome by joy. Ask the new mom if she regrets enduring her pregnancy. Never! Hannah’s wait began even more slowly. For years she was unable to have a child. She f…