LESSON: Samuel stands out in Biblical history because he was faithful to God from his youth until old age. He never wavered. As we serve God and society, let us never waver. Be faithful.
PRAYER: Lord, it is difficult, but help me to be faithful all the days of my life. Amen.
BLESSED ASSURANCE, JESUS IS MINE Fanny Crosby was born in a little cottage in southeast New York. When she was six weeks old, she was permanently blinded by an illness. At the age of nine, she prayed and asked God to use her for some good and for a noble purpose. After she dedicated her life to Christ as a child, she wrote her first poem: Oh what a happy soul am I, Although I cannot see; I am resolved that in this world Contented I will be. How many blessings I enjoy That other people don't; To weep and sign because I'm blind, I cannot and I won't. During her life, Fanny Crosby wrote many popular hymns and poems. she was so gifted, it would only take her minutes for the words to flow from her. Often people would bring songs to her and seek her help in putting words to the music. Such was the case when an accomplished organist came seeking her assistance. She was inspired to write one of our most beloved hymns, Blessed Assurance, for that occasion.
Fanny Crosby lived to be ninety-five years of age and wrote eight thousand hymns, poems and songs that have touched the lives of people the world over. Talk about faithful all the days of her life!
How long had Saul ruled when he chose 3000 men for war?
Did Samuel have to rebuke Saul?
LESSON: Saul did not take his responsibilities very seriously. He was rebuked for this. It is important that whatever responsibility we are given, to take it seriously and to do our best.
PRAYER: Lord God, teach me to be responsible in all that You give me to do. Amen.
WORKING IN GOD'S GARDEN Kemmons Wilson, founder of an international motel chain, quoted some advise for planing a "garden that would enhance our work skills."
Five rows of "peas" PRAYER, PREPAREDNES PROMPTNESS PERSEVERANCE POLITENESS
Three rows of "squash" SQUASH GOSSIP SQUASH CRITICISM SQUASH INDIFFERENCE
Five rows of "lettuce" LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER LET US BE FAITHFUL LET US BE LOYAL LET US BE UNSELVISH LET US BE TRUTHFUL
Three rows of "turnips" TURN UP FOR CHURCH TURN UP WITH A NEW IDEA TURN UP WITH THE DETERMINATION TO DO A BETTER JOB TODAY THAN YOU DID YESTERDAY
Today, let's evaluate our attitude toward our work. Do we see it as a necessary evil that deserves the least possible effort? As an unfortunate prerequisite to retirement? Or, do we see it as an opportunity to serve God?
What was the name of the giant who confronted David?
LESSON: There came time when David had to face the giant Goliath. There are many giants in life that we too must face. To be victorious we must go forth as David trusting in the Lord.
PRAYER: Father, help me when I must face the giants of life. Lead me to victory. Amen.
FACING YOUR GIANTS Richard Coss, an ordained Southern Baptist Minister, has quiet a story to tell. Richard grew up in Minnesota and was in a detention center by the age of nine. By age twelve, he was in the state reformatory. Between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five, he was confined in city jails, county jails, county prison farms and prison. He was filled with anger, violence and hatred towards society. What counselors, psychologists and prison could not accomplish in Richard's life, Jesus Christ did. On March 16, 1969, Richard gave his life to Christ. Richard lost two grand-babies in the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. through all the trials, heartaches, and tribulations that Richard has experienced, God has molded him into a faithful and dedicated servant. when we know Christ, the impossible becomes possible. We receive comfort and strength for times as needed, just as Richard did when he lost his two precious grand-babies. whatever your heartaches or tribulations, there is a God with whom you will find peace and comfort, strength and hope. Each of us has a story to tell. those who know Christ have the blessed assurance of knowing there is victory through Christ! Praise His holy Name!
LESSON: Although David was a man of faith, this did not take away all of his problems. Likewise, we need to realize that life is filled with problems and difficult times. Let's keep going. Never give up.
PRAYER: Lord, I understand that life consists of problems. Be with me in times of need. Amen.
THANKS FOR THE THORNS We don't often thank the Lord for our trials, heartaches or difficulties. We always praise Him for His goodness, but we fail to realize that even the difficulties that come into our lives are blessings in disguise. Scottish preacher George Matheson had that problem. He knew he was not ready to praise God when things went wrong as he was when they went right. However, he changed his thinking when he began to lose his eyesight. for many months he struggled with the terrible burden of going blind, until finally he broke down in tears crying out to God, "My Lord, I have never thanked You for my thorn. Father, teach me to value my thorn." when we count our blessings, we should include the weaknesses, the hardships, the burdens, and the trials we face. At such times when you come to the Lord in thanksgiving, you will discover that He has helped you to grow spiritually through the difficulty. Why is that? Because it's during those hard times that we discover the sufficiency of God's grace. As we depend on the Lord, we find that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Take a moment and think about the way God has let you. When you praise God for your blessings, do you remember to thank Him for the thorns? those who thanks God in their trials turn burdens into blessings.
Who said "Who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed?
What people did David live with to escape from Saul?
LESSON: The word of God makes it clear that you should never touch God's anointed. This does ont mean just in a physical sense, but also in a general sense. Even King David realized this truth.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to honor and respect Your anointed and to do them no harm. Amen.
WELLSPRING OF GODLINESS When we consistently thank God from our hearts, we become more godly. Being godly his having the mind of Christ and living spiritual lives daily. All believers in Christ are to endeavor to live in godliness, and in so doing, be examples of Jesus before a sinful world. But when we are critical of others, are we truly being a reflection of Jesus Christ? Or, for that matter, are we being an example to a lost and sinful world? An elderly pastor once looked back over his life and marveled at the goodness of the Lord to him. He had a congregation that love, honored and respected him as God's anointed. He had experienced a fruitful ministry into his eighties, a wonderful marriage of 60 years, a loving family, and a host of friends. As he gave thanks to God, he said, "I don't know if I am finishing well, but I am finishing thankful." Havnig a daily walk with the Lord and having a sincere heart of gratitude for what God has done is the wellspring of godliness. Be thankful for your pastor as he has been hand-picked by God for you. I DON'T WANT TO GO TO CHURCH! A mother went to wake her son for church one Sunday morning. When she knocked on his door, he said, "I'm not going!" "Why not?" asked his mother. "I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "One, they don't like me. Two, I'm tired." His mother replied, "I'll give you two good reasons why YOU WILL go to church. One, you're 47 years old. Two, you're the pastor!"
LESSON: Saul's life teaches us that those who live by the sword die by the sword. He was God's anointed, but he did not do right. God in His own time took care of Saul.
PRAYER: My Father, may I walk honestly before my fellow man and to seek Your will in my life. Amen
FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS After a woman sued a fast-food restaurant for being burned by hot coffee, companies began issuing more warning labels. Check out these instructions:
On a frozen dinner: DEFROST BEFORE EATING On an iron: DO NOT IRON CLOTHES ON BODY On a peanut butter jar: MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS On a milk bottle cap: KEEP UPRIGHT AFTER OPENING
If people need these obvious instructions on household items, think how much more we need God's direction. Psalm 119 tells of the importance of following the Lord's manual, the Bible. The Psalmist instructs us as follows: "The entrance of God's words give light; His word gives understanding to the simple." Scripture is meant to give us protection, correction, guidance and God's perfect peace, regardless of our circumstances. Pray and seek the Lord to teach you His statutes and to direct your steps according to His word. Then read the Bible often and follow His instructions!
LESSON: At the very heart of the everyday life of the Children of Israel was that of worship. We see that the building of the Temple was important to them. Worship is important. Make time for God.
PRAYER: Father, in the midst of my busy life, help me to pause and worship You. Amen.
OH, WORSHIP THE KING! Young people often ask the question, "I wonder what God is like?" When you read the Scriptures, you will quickly see that God has revealed His character to us in many ways down through the ages. There is no need to respond like the little boy who looked up at the sky and asked his mother, "Is God up there?" When Mom assured him that He was, the boy replied, "Wouldn't it be something if God would stick His head out so we could see Him?" What the boy didn't understand is that the Lord did let us see Him. By sending His Son Jesus to earth, our Heavenly Father fully revealed Himself to all mankind. In Colossians 1:15, we read that "Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." That statement alone makes you want to fall to your knees and worship our Most Holy and Almighty God! God has shown us what He is like in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. Christ left His heavenly home to become our sacrificial Lamb, who was despised and rejected. Jesus reminds us in the Gospels, "He who has seen me has seen the Father." Praise the Lord! Jesus became a man so that we might become sons and daughters of God. this is truly cause to rejoice and worship our Lord and Savior. Take time during your day to stop and worship the One who came to this earth, the One who suffered, died and rose again for you and for me. O worship the Kind!
Who spoke with David about building a house for the Lord?
LESSON: The Ark of the Covenant represented God's relationship with mankind. It involved all of his promises and blessings. This is why they were to treat it with respect. As we work today, let us respect God.
PRAYER: Thank you, Father, for all your promises. Continue to bless. Amen.
What was the servant's name from the House of Saul whom David showed kindness?
Who was Joab?
LESSON: Two things stand out in the life of David. The Bible says he was a man after God's own heart and it says he was kind. These two attributes go together. We can be both firm and kind.
PRAYER: Dear God, help me to be kind to my fellow man, even as I carry out my responsibilities. Amen.
HOW DO YOU TREAT YOUR ENEMIES Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament. Yet hidden away in its pages is a question that should concern all Christians: How should we treat our worst enemy when he experiences misfortune? God called Obadiah to minister to people of Jerusalem at the time when they were under attack by the Babylonians. As the citizens of Israel were being slaughtered and the city was under siege, the Edomites looked on from outside Jerusalem. Instead of fighting against the Babylonians, they rejoiced to see the death and destruction that was falling upon the Israelites. Although the Edomites were descendants of Jacob just as the Israelites, it did not stop them from actually dancing and cheering as the Babylonians destroyed the temple of the Holy City. Obadiah condemned the Edomites for their actions saying, "You shouldn't gaze on the day that your brother is taken into captivity; nor should you rejoice over the death of the children of Judah." It's not unusual for people to find pleasure in seeing their enemies hurt and experiencing misfortune. However, the Bible warns Christians against this practice. In Proverbs 24:17 we read, "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles." Instead, we are to show compassion and forgiveness. The love that we have for God can be measured by the love that we show our enemies.
LESSON: This is a sad event in the life of David. Note, however, that he paid dearly for his sin and brought great reproach upon his family. Sin has a great price tag. We need to consider all our ways.
PRAYER: Father, may my eyes be on You and my trust in You. Guide and strengthen me. Amen.
How much did Absalom's hair weigh after he cut it?
LESSON: We sometimes think that we have the only generation that was rebellious. Study the life of Absalom and you will see that he would fit right in today. Consider, however, the results.
PRAYER: Lord, lead me in the pathway of righteousness and not to have a rebellious spirit. Amen.
IT'S ALWAYS FOR OUR GOOD Isaiah said, "Come now, and let us reason together..." (Isaiah 1:18). A local newspaper gave this report of an ironic turn of events that happened to a group of motorcyclists as they traveled to the state capital in Michigan to protest the motorcycle helmet law. The group was scheduled to meet at the capitol building to make some speeches and burn their helmets. But on the way to the protest, one of the bikers lost control of his machine and slammed into a construction warning sign. He suffered head injuries that would have been avoided if he had been wearing his helmet. Sometimes we are like those cyclists. We look at the ways of the Lord as unnecessary. While continuing to ask and expect His protection and blessing, we resist, rebel, and are disobedient to His loving guidelines. No one likes having his style cramped by laws. But when we read the first chapter of Isaiah and consider the alternative, we begin to realize that one principle stands behind every restriction our Lord gives us: IT'S ALWAYS FOR OUR GOOD!
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE An atheist scientist came to God and said, "We've figured out how to make a man without you." God said, "Okay, let me see you do it." So, the atheist bent down to the ground and scooped up a handful. God stopped him and said, "Oh, no you don't. Get your own dirt!"
Who did Absalom appoint as Captain instead of Joab?
LESSON: Even though Absalom was rebellious, he was still loved by David. The life of Absalom is a tragic story and the sad part is we see it over and over in the work we are doing. Stay focused on God.
PRAYER: Father, give me a kind and caring spirit as you gave to your servant David. Amen.
What happened to Absalom just before he was killed?
Did David grieve over the death of Absalom?
LESSON: We note that David was a just and Godly person, but he also had troubles and heartaches. This is a part of life. We all have trouble. Therefore, be helpful to your fellow man.
PRAYER: Father, I know that trouble is my lot in life, but I pray for your presence during those times. Amen
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Matthew 7:13 THE NARROW GATE I walked along the path of life Till I came upon two gates. One was narrow, the other wide, Just as the Scripture states.
My arms were filled with self and sin so the narrow wouldn't do. But the wider gate had ample room To allow my baggage through.
Yet through the narrow one I saw Jesus waiting on the other side. I longed to go and be with Him, To my yearning He replied.
"To fit through the narrow gate, child, You must be willing to put down your load." So I left my sins by the narrow gate And passed through to the heavenly road.
When you happen upon these gates yourself and, like me, you have to choose, Lay down your burden at the narrow one And with ease you, too, can pass through.
LESSON: If I was writing the Bible, I would have left all the bad stuff out and would have wrote only good things. To me, this proves the Bible is God's word. Man would have never written this way. Think about it.
PRAYER: Father, you created me and you know my weaknesses. Help me in my weaknesses. Amen.
LESSON: A good question we need to ask is, "Is God my rock and my fortress?" Is God our foundation? We must settle these questions before we can be stable in life.
PRAYER: Lord, You are my rock. The One on whom I trust in all situations. Amen.
SCARECROWS IN THE GARDEN A dear Christian saint enjoyed working a small garden outside her back door. One season she was pleased to have four rows of strawberries. But as she watched the robins, starlings, and brown thrashers made a picnic of her strawberries, she decided to build a scarecrow. She gathered up an old coat, a pair of trousers, and a white hat that she placed on several boards on a broomstick. Then she patiently waited to see what would happen. For several days her garden was free of birds. The starlings and thrashers would fly over, but avoid any contact with the strawberries. Then, to her surprise, one morning she saw a wise robin perched on top of the hat. He was singing at the top of his voice, and she thought his song might have been, "Come and get your free strawberries!" She saw two kinds of birds: wise and foolish. The foolish birds sat in the trees afraid of the scarecrow, while the wise birds enjoyed delicious berries and knew that the scarecrow was an "advertisement in disguise." The Lord blesses those who live by faith. Don't be stopped by the scarecrows of fear and doubt. After al, if God cares for the sparrow, how much more will He care for you?
LESSON: When David was about to die, there was a mad rush to be king. The trouble is they wanted to be king for the wrong reasons. We need to remember to serve God in our positions. We should do it for the right reasons.
PRAYER: Father, may I serve You for the right reasons. Help me to be honest with You. Amen.
LESSON: Solomon had great wisdom and it was God who gave it to him. When you stop and think about it, without God, there is no wisdom. Seek God and His wisdom today.
PRAYER: God, grant unto me a portion of the wisdom You gave Your servant Solomon. Amen.
A TIMELY REMINDER FROM LOT by Dr. Henderson Ward 3/08/2016 Christian Living Nearly everyone had heard of Lot. Not because of who Lot was, or anything he did, but because of the stupendous manner of the passing of his wife. As we know, she looked back on her way out of Sodom and she turned into a pillar of salt. The circumstances surrounding Lot are will known. Lot was given a choice and he chose the lush, fertile plains of Jordan. Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, and we know what happened to Sodom. So, the question arises, "How did this just and righteous man, Lot, come to trouble and loss?" Whatever some people may think, there was nothing wrong in Lot choosing prime grazing land for his cattle, or in seeking to locate his property away from the rugged hills and the attendant hazards and threats associated. In truth, this was a case of a man looking for the best for the present instead of looking to the future and weighing the pros and cons of what impact his choice would have on his family. His family paid for the unwise decisions that he made as the head of the family.
I wonder how many people will reflect on Lot's circumstances and still not see the larger picture before their eyes. "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness..." is still the most effective solution to stop us making poor, wretched choices.
How long did it take to complete the Lord's House and the King's House?
LESSON: It took a long time and a lot of effort to build the temple. This reminds us that anything worthwhile takes time and effort. Let us not be discouraged in well doing. Stay focused.
PRAYER: Father, help me to focus on those things that are worthwhile and add to life. Amen.
THE BIBLE AND THE TV GUIDE On the table side by side: The Bible and the TV Guide. One's well worn and cherished with pride (Not the Bible, but the TV Guide) One is used daily to help folk decide; No! It isn't the Bible; it's the TV Guide.
As pages are turned, what shall they see? Oh, what does it matter? Turn on the TV. Confusion reigns, they all can't agree on what they shall watch on the old TV. So they open the book in which they confide (No! It's not the Bible; it's the TV Guide).
The Word of God is seldom read Maybe a verse ere they fall into bed. Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be, Not from reading the Bible, from watching TV! So then back to the table, side by side, Are the Holy Bible and the TV Guile.
no time for prayer, no time for the Word. The plan of salvation is seldom heard. Forgiveness of sin so full and free Is found in the Bible, NOT on TV.
LESSON: It is amazing how Solomon turned to other gods, even though God had blessed him so much. Often times we do the same, only a different god. There is the god of self, fortune, etc. Worship God only.,
PRAYER: Lord, You have blessed me abundantly and I will serve You faithfully. Amen.
Did Nadab do good or evil in the sight of the Lord?
LESSON: As we read these Old Testament Scriptures, we see over and over the struggle between good and evil. It is a never-ending battle. To give up is to accept defeat. Fight the good fight.
PRAYER: Lord God, help me in the battle between good and evil. Help me to be victorious. Amen.
TROUBLESOME TIMES We are living in troublesome times! We have seen many changes in our country since 2001, and particularly since 2004. Our nation is facing tremendous political trials, moral standards that were once wrong are now considered right, Christians in this country are beginning to face persecution as never before, and there are heartaches and temptations such as we have not witnessed in our lifetime. For those who do not know the Lord, they are perplexed and see no hope for the future. When the heavy weight of having to do battle comes upon you, remember the words of the Lord in Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Faith in God brings peace for the battle and for the unknown. We receive comfort for the burdens that can weigh us down. As we prepare for each new day, begin with prayer to Almighty God. He will give you strength for the day. Read your Bible daily for the word that God has just for you. For a mid-week lift, fellowship with your church family and be encouraged with a Bible study and prayer time. The apostle Paul said, "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together." All of these things help to give us strength for the journey of daily living and for the battles that assail us.
LESSON: Ahab and Jezebel are classic examples of how selfish and cruel some people can be in their desire to have more. God said, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you."
PRAYER: Lord, I am satisfied with what You have given me. Help me not to want what belongs to others. Amen.
SEEK YE FIRST... We work so hard to have stuff. We think all the stuff that we just have to have will make us happy and content. Sometimes, the more we have the more we want. It's a never-ending cycle. There is the story of a man who makes $80,000 + annually and absolutely despises those who make more than he does. He is never happy with what he has and always wants more. He has a wife, two children, and a granddaughter - a wonder family, yet he is dissatisfied with what God has blessed him. He is critical of and hurtful to others who have what he does not. When we focus on "Seeking first the Kingdom of God," we will receive blessings beyond measure, AND we find that our hearts turn once again to the spiritual things that matter. There is nothing wrong with having stuff. Thank God for what you have been blessed. It is only when we are discontented with what we have or we begin coveting what other people have that we run into trouble. Are you content with your circumstances? Are you content with your life? Take stock of your spiritual inventory. Seek what is right and pleasing to God and be grateful for the everyday blessings.