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Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Paul Praises God In Prison

paul praises God in prisionMemory Verse: Acts 16:26

Life Application: Others are effected by our worship to God.

Bible Text:

Acts 16:22-25

Ephesians 5:19-20

Colossians 3:16

Isaiah 26:3

Psalm 5:11-12

Psalm 94:22-23

Psalm 18:6

Psalm 56:3-4

Psalm 118:10-11

2 Timothy 4:17-18

Psalm 118:14-18

Isaiah 12:2

Psalm 118:19-21

Psalm 118:22-24

Psalm 118:25-29

Acts 16:26

Paul and Silas had been arrested, beaten and thrown into jail. The jailer was instructed to keep them securely locked up. He put them in the inner prison and fastened their feet in stocks.

Acts 16:22-25 NKJV

“Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”

From the deepest, darkest part of the prison at the darkest time of the night, a song of praise and honor unto God arose. Paul and Silas began singing a hymn to God. Not about God, but to God. They were ministering to the Lord in their time of need. They were desperate men. They knew what they facing. But they also knew that they were not alone – God was with them.

Ephesians 5:19-20 NKJV

“…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”

Paul was no stranger to praising God in every situation and in every circumstance. In Ephesus he encouraged the Christians to sing (and say) psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. In his letter to the church at Colosse, Paul instructed them to teach and admonish each other in psalms, hymns and in spiritual songs.

Colossians 3:16 NKJV

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Paul had an intimate relationship with God. He knew that the Holy Spirit was living in him and that he was God’s dwelling place. He was at perfect peace, knowing that God was with them, even in the midst of their troubles

Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

“You will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on You,

Because he trusts in You.”

God delivers His people from bondage and He provides for their needs. He gives salvation and physical blessings. Paul knew and believed beyond a shadow of doubt that God was able to deliver them with miraculous intervention, just as He had in the past. Paul was committed to the Lord and he placed his trust solely in Him.

Psalm 5:11-12 NKJV

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You: Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name

Be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.”

Like Paul, we must place our trust in God alone. God protects and cares for His people. He is our help, refuge and shield.

Psalm 94:22-23 NKJV

“But the Lord has been my defense,

And my God the rock of my refuge. He has brought on them their own iniquity,

And shall cut them off in their own wickedness; The Lord our God shall cut them off.”

We should praise God because He is our shelter and protection. Paul was able to praise because he knew that the Lord was his shelter and protection from danger and trouble.

Psalm 18:6 NKJV

“In my distress I called upon the Lord,

And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple,

And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.”

The Lord hears our cries and our prayers. God always meets the needs of His people. When we are surrounded by the enemy, and overtaken by trouble and sorrow we must remember to cry out to the one who can deliver us.

Psalm 56:3-4 NKJV

“Whenever I am afraid,

I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word),

In God I will put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?”

We should praise God because He is on our side. Paul was able to praise because he knew that God was on his side, that God was for him and not against him. He praised God for who He was, despite being locked up in a dirty, dark dungeon. Even though it might have seemed that they was all alone, Paul and Silas knew that God was there with them.

Psalm 118:10-11 NKJV

“All nations surround me,

But in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. They surrounded me,

Yes, they surrounded me; But in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.”

We should praise God because He will triumph. Paul was able to praise because he knew that the Lord would triumph. The Lord will destroy our enemies. Even when we are completely encircled by our enemies, we can rest in the peace of knowing that our Lord will triumph over our enemies. Our help comes from the Lord. Because of His help we will triumph.

Psalm 118:12-13 NKJV

“They surround me like bees; They were quenched like a fire of thorns; For in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. You pushed me violently, that I might fall,

But the Lord helped me.”

We should praise God because He is our help. Paul was able to praise because he knew the Lord as his help. No matter how difficult the circumstance, God will empower us and give us strength to triumph over our adversary. Throughout Paul’s life, God continually empowered him and gave him strength to preach the truth.

2 Timothy 4:17-18 NKJV

“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and forever. Amen!”

We should praise God because He is our song of strength. Paul was able to praise because he knew the Lord was his song of strength. He was able to praise God and rejoice because he knew that the Lord would deliver him and that he would live to declare the works of the Lord.

Psalm 118:14-18 NKJV

“The Lord is my strength and song,

And He has become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation

Is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. I shall not die, but live,

And declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has chastened me severely,

But He has not given me over to death.”

Exodus 15:2 NKJV

“The Lord is my strength and song,

And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will exalt Him. My Father’s God, and I will exalt Him.”

Isaiah 12:2 NKJV

“Behold, God is my salvation,

I will trust and not be afraid; For YAH, the Lord, is my strength and song;

He also has become by salvation.”

We should praise God because He is our salvation. Paul was able to praise because he knew that the Lord was his salvation.

Psalm 118:19-21 NKJV

“Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them,

And I will praise the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord,

Through which the righteous shall enter. I will praise You,

For You have answered me, And have become my salvation.”

He was able to praise because he knew Jesus as his Savior. He knew that Jesus was the gate or door to salvation. We can praise God because we know that Jesus saves us from the penalty of sin and He rescues us from an eternity separated from God.

We should praise God because He is our Chief Cornerstone. Paul was able to praise because he knew the Lord was his chief cornerstone.

Psalm 118:22-24

“The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

He was able to praise because he knew that God can turn rejection into direction. When people refuse to believe you or believe in you, God can turn the situation around. When faced with rejection for Christ’s sake we can still rejoice because we know that God will use it for His glory, if we keep our eyes on Him.

We should praise God because He is God and worthy of our praise. Paul was able to praise because he knew the Lord was God and that his praise blessed the Lord. He declared in the chains of the enemy that the Lord God was his God, and that he was going to exalt His name. Nothing was going to stop him from honoring and lifting up the name of the Lord. Paul glorified the Lord even in his darkest hours. He knew that the mercy of God never runs out.

Psalm 118:25-29 NKJV

“Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.

God is the Lord, And He has given us light; Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horn of the altar. You are my God, and I will praise You: You are my God, I will exalt You. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

For His mercy endures forever.”

As Paul and Silas began to minister to God by telling Him what He meant to them and how much they loved Him, power was released. Power to break chains and shackles, power to open doors, power to save, power to heal, and power to restore. Our praise (blessing the name of the Lord) not only has an effect on us, it effects those around us. Through praise, chains and shackles are broken, doors are opened and freedom (salvation) comes.

Paul and Silas were not the only ones in the deep, dark dungeon. There were other men there also. It is quiet possible that many of them had lost all hope. Not only were the other prisoners physically in bondage, but they were also in emotional and spiritual bondage. They were depressed and oppressed by the enemy – they were in the chains of the enemy. When Paul and Silas began to pray and to sing a song of praise to God (hymn) the other prisoners were listening. As they sat there in the dark listening to Paul and Silas minister to God their faith was renewed. Hope began to replace despair. Even though everything around them still looked dark, the light of God began to fill the place.

Acts 16:26 NKJV

“Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.”

In the Light of God, evil cannot stay. Doors will be opened and chains will be broken. Not only will we be set free but those that are depressed and oppressed will be set free also.

Review

1. From the deepest, darkest part of the prison Paul and Silas began singing a hymn to God – not about God, but ____ ______.

2. Paul and Silas were ______________________ to the Lord in their time of need.

3. Paul and Silas were desperate men. What does desperate mean?

4. Paul had an _______________ ___________________________ with God.

5. God was with Paul and Silas even in the ____________ of their troubles.

6. God delivers His people from bondage, _________________ for their needs, gives _____________________ and physical blessings.

7.Does the Lord hear your prayers?

8. Does God always meets the needs of His people?

9. God is on your side -He is for you and not __________________ you.

10. The Lord will ________________ your enemies.

11. We can rest in peace knowing that our ___________ comes from the Lord.

12. No matter how difficult the circumstance, God will _________________ us and give us strength to triumph over our adversary.

13. What does deliver mean?

14. Jesus is the gate or door to salvation. What does that mean?

15. God can turn ___________________ into direction.

16. When faced with rejection for Christ’s sake we can still rejoice because we know that God will use it for His ______________.

17. As Paul and Silas began to minister to God what happened?

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Ruth Is Loyal

ruth

Memory Verse: James 1:12

Bible Truth: While running your race remain loyal.

 

When there was a famine in the land, Elimelech took his wife, Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, to live in another country, where they would have food to eat. After a period of time Elimelech died and his two sons married Moabite women. The women’s names were Orpah and Ruth. After about ten years the two sons died. This left all three of the women widows.

Ruth 1:1-5 NKJV

“Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion—Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.”

One day, Naomi heard that the famine in Bethlehem was over. She decided to return to her homeland where she could be around relatives and friends. Naomi and her two daughter-in-laws, Orpah and Ruth, pack up and left for Bethlehem. While traveling Naomi stopped and told her daughter-in-laws to go back to their parent’s homes so that they might be able to find another husband and be happy again.

Ruth 1:6-9 NKJV

“Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread. Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each to her mother’s house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” So she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept”

Naomi kissed both of them good-by but they told her that they would return with her to Bethlehem. Naomi told them that it made her very sad to leave them, but that there was no reason for them to go with her. She wanted them to be happy with their own families.

Ruth 1:10-13 NKJV

“And they said to her, “Surely we will return with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go—for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!”

Orpah and Ruth began to cry. Orpah kissed Naomi good-by and she left. Ruth continued to cry and to cling to Naomi. She did not want to leave.

Ruth 1:16-17 NKJV

“But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you;

For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people,

And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.’ ”

When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined in her heart to stay with her she stopped asking her to leave.

Ruth 2:10-12 NKJV

“So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, ‘Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?’ And Boaz answered and said to her, ‘It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.’’

Camp Challenge

Loyal is being true and faithful to love, to a promise, to a duty, or other obligation. It is also being faithful to those in authority over you. We are to be true and faithful to God. In our Christian walk, faithfulness is staying true to God in our thoughts, words, and actions.

2 Chronicles 19:9 NKJV

“And he commanded them, saying, “Thus you shall act in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and with a loyal heart”

Ruth is a good example of loyalty. She was determined to remain loyal to Naomi no matter what. God blessed Ruth for her loyalty. Ruth found favor in the sight of man because of her love and sense of duty toward Naomi. Later, God provided a new husband (Boaz) for Ruth.

If we demonstrate our love for God by remaining loyal to Him we too will be rewarded. A crown is promised to all who are faithful. Just as Ruth firmly declared her choice to follow Naomi, we must firmly declare our choice to follow God.

James 1:12 NKJV

“Blessed is the man who endures temptations; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

Prayer Points

Ask God to help you be faithful to Him no matter what.

Ask God to help you to remain true to Him in your thoughts, words, and actions.

Ask God to help you act in the fear of the Lord.

Ask God to help you have a loyal heart.

Ask God to help you firmly declare your choice to follow Him.

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God Gave Daniel Wisdom

daniel

Memory Verse: James 1:5

Bible Truth: While running your race ask God for wisdom.

King Nebuchadnezzar’s army overthrew Jerusalem and took the strong, healthy, and intelligent young men captive. One of these young men was Daniel.

Daniel 1:1-9 NKJV

“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god. Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego. But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs”

The king wanted these young men to forsake their God, and to work for him and serve his gods. However, Daniel and his three friends did not forsake their God. They stayed loyal and obedient to God no matter what happened. God gave Daniel and his friends knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom. God also gave Daniel understanding in all visions and dreams.

Daniel 1:17 NKJV

“As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”

One night King Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that troubled him so much he could not sleep. He called the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to come to him and tell him his dream. The Chaldeans told the king to tell them the dream and they would give him the interpretation. The king told them that he would not tell them the dream, and that they were to make known to him the dream and the interpretation. If they could not tell the king what he had dreamed about and the interpretation of the dream then they would be killed. If they could tell the king what he had dreamed about and the interpretation of the dream then they would be rewarded and receive great honor.

Daniel 2:8-13 NKJV

“The king answered and said, “I know for certain that you would gain time, because you see that my decision is firm:
if you do not make known the dream to me, there is only one decree for you! For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the time has changed. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation.” The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.”

The Chaldeans told the king that there was not a man on earth that could do both- know what the king had dreamed and know the interpretation of the dream. The king became very angry and he ordered all the wise men killed. When the king’s order was being carried out they sought Daniel and his friends to kill them. When they came to Daniel he ask why the wise men were being killed. The captain of the king’s army told Daniel all that had happened concerning the king and his dream. Upon learning what had happened, Daniel went in to see the king. He asked the king for a little time, that he might be able to tell the king the dream and the interpretation. The king agreed and Daniel went to his three friend to tell them. The four of them prayed and sought God for the dream and the interpretation.

Daniel 2:14-19 NKJV

“Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; he answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, “Why is the decree from the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel. So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”

God revealed the dream and the interpretation to Daniel in a night vision. Daniel was very thankful to God so he blessed Him, thanked Him, and gave Him praise.

Daniel 2:19-23 NKJV

“Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him. “I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, And have now made known to me what we asked of You, For You have made known to us the king’s demand.”

Daniel went to the captain of the king’s army and asked him to take him to the king so he could tell the king what he wanted to know. When Daniel approached the king he told him that the God in heaven had made known to him the dream and the interpretation.

Daniel 2:46-49 NKJV

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him. The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.” Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon. Also Daniel petitioned the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.”

After Daniel told the king what God had revealed to him, he received favor, great gifts and honor.

Camp Challenge

God gave Daniel wisdom in his time of need. Daniel would not have been able to save his life or the lives of others had it not been for the wisdom that God gave him. We are to trust in the Lord with all our heart. This kind of trust is a conscious dependence on God. We must know and acknowledge that our help is in Him alone. As we learn more and more about God and His nature we will not rely on our own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NLKV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

The wisdom of God begins with reverence for Him and confidence that He controls everything and He will guide your path.

Psalm 111:10 NKJV

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”

We are instructed to ask God for wisdom. When we do we can be confident that He will give it to us in an abundant measure.

James 1:5 NKJV

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

Prayer Points

Ask God to help you trust Him with all your heart.

Ask God to help you grow in your acknowledgement that He alone is your help.

Ask God to help you not rely on your own understanding.

Ask God to help you lean not on your own understanding.
Ask God to help you grow in your reverence for Him.

Ask God for wisdom.

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Joshua Obeys

joshuaMemory Verse:  1 John 5:4

Bible Truth:  While running your race be obedient.

As Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land, they faced a very strong obstacle – the walls around the city of Jericho. As Joshua viewed the city of Jericho and its impenetrable wall, the Commander of the Lord’s army appeared to him.

Joshua 5:13-15 NKJV

“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.”

The city of Jericho closed its gates, sealing itself off from Israel’s attack. God wanted Israel to overcome Jericho so they could live victoriously in the Promised Land. To do that, Israel would have to overcome the wall surrounding the city.

Joshua 6:1 NKJV

“Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in”

God’s enemy Satan tried to use the wall to discourage Israel, making victory seem impossible.

Joshua 6:2-5 NKJV

“And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.
You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

God gave instructions for Israel to follow in conquering Jericho. Joshua gave the people the instructions that God had given him – march around Jericho daily for six days. Only by obeying God’s instructions could Israel have victory over Jericho. They needed to know what God said, believe it, and act upon it.

Joshua 6:6-7 NKJV

“Then Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” And he said to the people, “Proceed, and march around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the Lord.”

Marching around the city each day probably did not make sense to the people, but they obeyed.

Joshua 6:8-14 NKJV

“So it was, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord advanced and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them.
The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.” So he had the ark of the Lord circle the city, going around it once. Then they came into the camp and lodged in the camp. And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. Then seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually and blew with the trumpets. And the armed men went before them. But the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. And the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. So they did six days.”

Israel obeyed God, silently marching around Jericho for six days. On the seventh day the people marched around Jericho seven times, and Joshua commanded that when they heard the trumpets they were to shout.

Joshua 6: 15-16 NKJV

“But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!’

Joshua told the Israelites that Jericho and all its inhabitants (except Rahab and her family who believed God) were doomed to total destruction.

Joshua 6:17-18 NKJV

“Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.”

God declared His judgment on Jericho because of the sin of the people. Most of the people of Jericho refused to believe in God, and now they would suffer His judgment on their sin.

Joshua 6:19-20 NKJV

“But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.” So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.”

At the trumpet blast, Israel gave a loud shout, and the wall fell down flat by God’s great power, allowing the Israelites to march in victoriously. All in Jericho were destroyed except Rahab and her family.

Joshua 6:21-25 NKJV

“And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. But Joshua had said to the two men who had spied out the country, “Go into the harlot’s house, and from there bring out the woman and all that she has, as you swore to her.” And the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. So they brought out all her relatives and left them outside the camp of Israel. But they burned the city and all that was in it with fire. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.”

Camp Challenge

Satan wants to discourage us and he wants us to do wrong. He will do anything that he can to draw us away from God and cause us to loose sight of our final victory. God can give you victory over your temptations and obstacles. He can help you even when it seems impossible. Just as He did for Israel when they faced the obstacle of Jericho. When the people of Israel obeyed God, He miraculously provided victory for them.

In First Samuel we are told that obedience is better than sacrifices.

1 Samuel 15:22 NKJV

“So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.”

Jesus tells us that if we love Him, we will obey Him.

John 14:15 NKJV

“If you love Me, keep My commandments”

God wants to give you victory too. When the world’s temptations try to draw you away from obedience to God, remember that you are born of God and that you can overcome the world.

1 John 5:4 NKJV

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.”

Prayer Points

Ask God to give you strength to obey Him.

Ask God to help you overcome discouragement.

Ask God to help you overcome temptations and obstacles.

Ask God to help you remember that it is He who gives you victory.

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Gideon Is Bold

gideon   Memory Verse: Hebrews 13:6

Bible Truth: While running your race be bold.

The children of Israel had done evil in God’s sight, so God allowed the Midianites to oppress them for seven years. Afraid of their enemies, the Israelites hid.

Judges 6:1-3 NKJV

“Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains. So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them.”

The Midianites continually stole animals and ruined the crops, leaving the Israelites to starve.

Judges 6:4-6 NKJV

“Then they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it.
So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.”

When Israel cried out to the Lord, God sent a prophet to remind them of His faithfulness and their disobedience. Israel had angered God by foolishly worshipping Baal. The people sought strength from the idol instead of relying on God, the true source of strength.

Judges 6:7-10 NKJV

“And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord because of the Midianites,
that the Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel, who said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. Also I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.” But you have not obeyed My voice.’”

As fearful Gideon hid from the Minianites threshing wheat in a winepress, the Angel of the Lord appeared and said, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”

Judges 6:11-12 NKJV

“Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”

Gideon was fearful when the Angel of the Lord appeared to him.

Judges 6:13-15 NKJV

“Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

When Gideon accused God of forsaking Israel, the Angel shocked him with the news that God would use him to deliver them. The Angel encouraged Gideon, assuring him of God’s presence and promising victory over Midian.

Judges 6:16-23 NKJV

“And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”
Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You.” And He said, “I will wait until you come back.”So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot; and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them. The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so. Then the Angel of the Lord put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the Lord departed out of his sight. Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face.” Then the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.”

At last Gideon believed, built an altar and worshiped God.

Judges 6:24 NKJV

“So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The Lord- Is-Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites”

That night God told Gideon to tear down his father’s altar to Baal and build an altar to the Lord in its place.

Judges 6:24-26 NKJV

“So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-Is-Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. Now it came to pass the same night that the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it; and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.”

God wanted Gideon to build an altar to remind Israel of the only way to Him. Gideon wanted to obey God, but he was still timid, so he tore down the idol of Baal by night and built an altar to the Lord.

Judges 6:27 NKJV

“So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the Lord had said to him. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night.”

The next day the men of the city saw what had happened and demanded to know who was responsible. Eventually they learned it was Gideon.

Judges 6:28-29 NKJV

“And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, there was the altar of Baal, torn down; and the wooden image that was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was being offered on the altar which had been built. So they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And when they had inquired and asked, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.”

Gideon’s father, Joash, defended him when the men wanted him put to death. Joash told them to let Baal stand up for himself.

Judges 6:30-31 NKJV

“Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has torn down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the wooden image that was beside it.”
But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Would you plead for Baal? Would you save him? Let the one who would plead for him be put to death by morning! If he is a god, let him plead for himself, because his altar has been torn down!” Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, “Let Baal plead against him, because he has torn down his altar.”

God was helping Gideon learn to be bold – to stand up for God and do what was right. It wasn’t easy, but God was with him. Later when the Midianites prepared to attack Israel, God gave Gideon His Spirit and he boldly gathered the army of Israel.

Judges 6:32-40 NKJV

“Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, “Let Baal plead against him, because he has torn down his altar.” Then all the Midianites and Amalekites, the people of the East, gathered together; and they crossed over and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them. So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said—look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. hen Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.”
And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.”

 

Camp Challenge

Isaiah 12:2 NKJV

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.”

God wants you to be bold and do what is right. God is our strength and He will help us be bold for Him.

Hebrews 13:6 NKJV

“So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

Prayer Points

Ask God to strengthen your faith.

Ask God for boldness.

Ask God to help you see yourself as He does.

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Painting

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Outdoor Activities – July 14, 2015

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Kickball

7-1-2015 3;56;50 PM - Copy (2)

Use the basic rules of softball and baseball: four bases to run, three chances to kick the ball and three outs to an inning.

The pitcher rolls the ball to the kicker. Bouncing, other than the little bounces that you get when the ball rolls over grass, is not allowed. If the ball rolls over home plate and is not kicked, that is a strike. If the ball is kicked but goes foul, that is a strike.

The fielder can catch the ball and tag the runner, or step on the base, or throw the ball at the runner to make the out. The ball should not be thrown at the runner’s head. If the ball is thrown at the runner and misses, the runner may advance only one additional base. A kicked ball that is caught in the air is an out.

The team that is in the field should space themselves out according to the numbers of players. They will, of course, move in for the smaller players and out for the stronger players.

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Popsicle Stick Box

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Philippians 2:8 NKJV

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

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Lunch and a Walk – June 30, 2015

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Psalm 86:11-12 NKJV

“Teach me Your way, O Lord;

I will walk in Your truth;

Unite my heart to fear Your name.

I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,

And I will glorify Your name forevermore.”

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