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Showing posts from December, 2019

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 …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Stones Cry OutLuke 19:28-40
I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.(Luke 19:40) Every year it seems that Christmas becomes more and more commercialized. Even in nations where the majority of people call themselves “Christian,” the season has become more about shopping than worshiping. The pressure to buy gifts and plan elaborate parties makes it increasingly difficult to stay focused on the real meaning of the holiday—the birth of Jesus, God’s only Son, the Savior of the world. But every holiday I also hear the gospel coming from surprising places —the very places that so commercialize Christmas—shopping malls. When I hear “Joy to the World! The Lord is come; let earth receive her King” ringing from public address systems, I think of the words Jesus said to the Pharisees who told Him to silence the crowds who were praising Him. “If they keep quiet,” Jesus said, “the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40 niv). At Christmas we hear stones cry out. Even …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Johnny’s RaceHebrews 10:19-25
Comfort each other and edify one another.(1 Thess 5:11) When 19-year-old Johnny Agar finished the 5k race, he had a lot of people behind him—family members and friends who were celebrating his accomplishment. Johnny has cerebral palsy, which makes physical activity difficult. But he and his dad, Jeff, have teamed up to compete in many races—Dad pushing and Johnny riding. But one day, Johnny wanted to finish by himself. Halfway through the race, his dad took him out of his cart, helped him to his walker, and assisted Johnny as he completed the race on his own two feet. That led to a major celebration as friends and family cheered his accomplishment. “It made it easier for me to do it with them behind me,” Johnny told a reporter. “The encouragement is what drove me.” Isn’t that what Christ-followers are meant to do? Hebrews 10:24 reminds us, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (niv). As we model the love of our Savior (Jo…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Better Than Before 2 Kings 5:1-15 Vs 14 - [Naaman’s] flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child As infants, my children had nearly perfect skin. Their flesh was soft—they had no dry elbows or rough patches on their feet. Smooth and new, it contrasted with mine, which was marked by years of various scars and callouses. As a mighty warrior and the commander of the Syrian army, Naaman may have had scuffed skin and battle scars, but he also had a serious skin disease—leprosy. When a servant suggested that the prophet Elisha could heal him, Naaman visited him. He followed Elisha’s instructions, and his diseased flesh became “like the flesh of a little child” (2 Kings 5:14). This cure left Naaman better off both physically and spiritually. After being healed, he proclaimed, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel” (v.15). Through this miraculous experience, he learned that there is only one true God (1 Cor. 8:6). Like Naaman, we can learn important lessons ab…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Human Chess 1 John 4:7-12 Vs 7 - Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Chess is an ancient game of strategy. Each player begins with 16 pieces on the chessboard with the goal of cornering his opponent’s king. It has taken different forms over the years. One form is human chess, which was introduced around ad 735 by Charles Martel, duke of Austrasia. Martel would play the game on giant boards with real people as the pieces. The human pieces were costumed to reflect their status on the board and moved at the whim of the players—manipulating them to their own ends. Could this human version of the game of Chess be one that we sometimes play? We can easily become so driven by our goals that people become just one more pawn that we use to achieve them. The Scriptures, however, call us to a different view of those around us. We are to see people as created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26). They are objects of God’s love (John 3:…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Called by name Luke 19:1-10 v5 - [Jesus] looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” At the beginning of the academic year, a school principal in our city pledged to learn the names of all 600 students in her school. Anyone who doubted her ability or resolve could look at her track record. During the previous year she had learned the names of 700 students, and prior to that, 400 children in a different school. Think of what it must have meant to these students to be recognized and greeted by name. The story of Zacchaeus and Jesus (Luke 19:1-10) contains a surprising element of personal recognition. As Jesus passed through the city of Jericho, a wealthy tax collector named Zacchaeus climbed a tree in order to see Him. “When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house’” (v.5). Instead of ignoring Zacchaeus or saying “Hey, y…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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Whose Side Are You On?Psalms 73 v28 -It is good for me to draw near to God.  In the heat of the American Civil War, one of President Lincoln’s advisors said he was grateful that God was on the side of the Union. Lincoln replied, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” What a great challenge for us who assume that God is there to support our plans, our perspectives, our decisions, and our desires. However, Lincoln’s reply reminds us that even our best plans may not be near to what God desires. Clearly the psalmist wants to be on God’s side when he pleads, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; . . . and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24). When we follow the psalmist’s example to “draw near to God” (73:28), we can be certain that we are on His side, as His Spirit helps us measure every thought and action by His ways that are always right. So, let’s ask ourse…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Losing Our Way1 Timothy 6:6-10
The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness.(1 Tim 6:10) An online survey conducted by a New York law firm reveals that 52 percent of Wall Street traders, brokers, investment bankers, and other financial service professionals have either engaged in illegal activity or believe they may need to do so in order to be successful. The survey concludes that these financial leaders “have lost their moral compass” and “accept corporate wrongdoing as a necessary evil.” In mentoring young Timothy, the apostle Paul warned that the love of money and the desire to get rich had caused some to lose their way. They had yielded to temptations and embraced many “foolish and harmful” desires (1 Tim. 6:9). Paul saw “the love of money” (not money itself) as a source of “all kinds of evil” (v.10), especially the evil of trusting in money rather than depending on Christ. As we learn to see that Christ is the sourc…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Struggling With AddictionHebrews 4:14-16
God is faithful. (1 Cor 10:13) Eric was struggling with an addiction, and he knew it. His friends and family members encouraged him to stop. He agreed that it would be best for his health and relationships, but he felt helpless. When others told him how they had quit their bad habits, he replied, “I’m happy for you, but I can’t seem to stop! I wish I had never been tempted in the first place. I want God to take the desire away right now.” Immediate deliverance may happen for some, but most face a daily battle. While we don’t always understand why the temptation doesn’t go away, we can turn to God on whatever path we find ourselves. And perhaps that is the most important part of our struggle. We learn to exchange our futile efforts to change for complete dependence on God. Jesus was tempted also, just as we are, so He understands what we’re feeling (Mark 1:13). He sympathizes with our struggles (Heb. 4:15), and we can “come boldly to the throne of g…