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

Hannah

 

Bible Text:

1 Samuel 1:1-20

 

1 Samuel 1:1- 4 NKJV

“Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the mountains of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there. And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.”

Hannah, one of two wives of Elkanah, had no children, although she had been married for some time. Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah, had children.
Each year the family would faithfully go to Shiloh and worship and offer a sacrifice to God. Elkanah loved Hannah very much, even though she did not have any children. Elkanah treated Hannah very kindly and special. He even gave her a double portion of the offering to give to God. However, Peninnah was not so nice to Hannah. She made fun of Hannah because she did not have any children.

1 Samuel 1:5-8 NKJV

“But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat. Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”

Year after year Peninnah teased Hannah so much that Hannah even lost her appetite. Her childlessness affected her whole outlook on life. She was so depressed and sad. In her bitterness and misery she could not see her many blessings, such as God’s goodness in giving her a loving husband.
In the house of God, Hannah cried out to God, asking the Lord to give her a son. She earnestly, specifically, and believingly prayed to Him. Hannah was praying so hard that her lips were moving but she wasn‘t making a sound., Eli, the priest, accused her of being drunk.

1 Samuel 1:9-14 NKJV

“So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”

Hannah explained to Eli, the priest, that she was not drunk, but praying, because she was very sad. Knowing that God would surely do what was best for Hannah, Eli told her to go in peace. Eli reminded Hannah that as she brought her request to God in faith, she could have peace knowing that He would answer in the way best for her.

1 Samuel 1:15-18 NKJV

“But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.”

Eli knew that God would answer Hannah’s prayer in His own perfect way, so he told her to go in peace. After Hannah prayed and Eli spoke to her she was no longer sad or unhappy. She went her way rejoicing, knowing that God had truly heard her prayer. The next morning Elkanah and his family returned home.
God answered Hannah’s prayer in time and gave her a son. She named the baby Samuel, which means “Heard by God.”

1 Samuel 1:19-20 NKJV

“Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.”

 

Memory Verse: 1 Samuel 1:13

 

Life Application: God hears our silent cries.

 

Review

1. Hannah had no ________________, although she had been married for some time.

2. Each year Hannah’s family would go to Shiloh and ________________ and offer a sacrifice to God.

3. Hannah’s husband treated her very kindly and ______________.

4. Peninnah was not ________ to Hannah. She made fun of Hannah because she did not have any children.

5. Hannah cried out to God, asking the Lord to give her a ______.

6. Hannah explained to Eli, the priest, that she was not drunk, but ______________, because she was very sad.

7. Eli told her to go in peace because God would ____________in the way best for her.

8. Hannah went her way ________________, knowing that God had truly heard her prayer.

9. God answered Hannah’s prayer in ________ and gave her a son.

10. Hannah named the baby ____________, which means “Heard by God.”

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Birth Of Jesus

birth of jesus

Memory Verse

John 2:15 NKJV
“And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.”

Bible Truth

Jesus was born in humble surroundings.

Bible Text:

John 2:15

John 1:1

Genesis 1:1

John 1:14

Luke 1:30-35

Luke 1:38

Luke 2:1-7

Luke 2:8-14

Luke 2:15-18

Luke 2: 21-22

Luke 2:25-32

Luke 2:35-38

Luke 1:80

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Jesus was with God from the beginning, at creation. He helped create the entire world, including the earth, and everything on it. Jesus is “the Word.”

John 1:1 NKJV

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Genesis 1:1 NKJV

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Jesus was the most important person who ever lived on earth because He is the only person who was 100% human (man) and 100% God. Sometimes we call this the Incarnation, which means God came to be with us.

John 1:14 NKJV

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

In John 1:14 the Bible says that Jesus was made flesh and dwelt among us. That means that Jesus, the second person of the trinity, came to live with us on earth. He willingly left His home in heaven with God the Father to come to this world because He knew that people needed a way of salvation – they needed a way to be restored into a right relationship with God.

John 14:6 NKJV

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

People in many parts of the world celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25. They call it Christmas. However, that is not the true date of Jesus’ birth. Most likely Jesus was born in the fall. The Bible tells us that the sheep were still in the field when Jesus was born. The sheep were not in the fields during the winter months.

Angel Appears To Mary

Luke 1:30-35 NKJV

“Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”

God sent an angel named Gabriel to appear to Mary in the city of Nazareth in Galilee. Mary was a young woman who was engaged to marry Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth. Both Mary and Joseph were of the family of King David. The angel Gabriel, spoke to Mary and told her that she was favored by God. The Holy Spirit would overshadow her and place within her Jesus, the Son of God, the Light of the World. Mary gladly accepted the words of the angel because she was a faithful servant of the Lord. Then the angel disappeared.

Luke 1:38 NKJV

“Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”

Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem for a census when Mary was almost ready to have her baby. After arriving in Bethlehem Joseph and Mary could not find a room in the inn because of the large number of visitors to the town. All Joseph could find was a stable behind the inn. While staying in the stable Jesus was born.

Luke 2:1-7 NKJV

“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
to be registered with Mary, his bethrothed wife, who was with child.
So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

 

Angels Appear To Shepherds

Luke 2:8-14 NKJV

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, and goodwill toward men!”

The night Jesus was born an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds in a field watching sheep. The shepherds were afraid when they saw the angel, but the angel told them not to be afraid. Then the angel told them about the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. Other angels joined the one angel and they began to sing unto God.

Luke 2:15-18 NKJV

“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
Now when they had seen Him, they made wildly known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.”

After the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds ran all the way to the village and found baby Jesus lying in the manger. They fell on their knees before Jesus, and worshipped Him. Then the shepherds went out and made widely known what was told to them. They were so excited to tell everyone that they had seen the Messiah with their own eyes. All those who heard it marveled at those things which were told to them by the shepherds. Afterwards the shepherds returned to their flocks of sheep, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told to them.

Jesus Is Dedicated

When Jesus was eight days old Mary and Joseph took Him to the temple in Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.

Luke 2: 21-22 NKJV

“And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord”

At the temple, Simeon, a very righteous man, and Anna, who was a devoted servant of God knew who Jesus was the moment they saw Him. God had revealed to them that Jesus was the Messiah through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 2:25-32 NKJV

“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law,
he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”

Luke 2:35-38 NKJV

“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;
and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

After His dedication, Mary and Joseph returned home with their new baby, Baby Jesus. Jesus grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.

Luke 1:80 NKJV

“So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.”

 

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Camp Challenge

Mary and Joseph surrendered their lives to God. They surrendered their dreams, goals, and desires for that of God.

Have you surrendered your life to God?

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Prayer Points

Ask to be restored into a right relationship with God.

Ask God to help you celebrate His birth the way He desires.

 

Ask God to help you accept the plans that He has for You.

Ask God to help you surrender all to Him.

Ask God to help your life be worship unto Him.

Ask God to help you to make widely known who He is and what He has done for you.

Ask God to help you believe in His promises.

Ask God to help you be a devoted servant to Him.

Ask God to help you grow strong in spirit and to fill you with wisdom.

 

 

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Jesus’ Childhood

JESUS' CHILDHOOD

Memory Verse

Luke 2:51 NKJV

“Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.”

Bible Truth

Jesus was obedient to His parents.

Bible Text:

Luke 2:51

Matthew 2:1-4

Matthew 2:7-11

Matthew 2:13-14

Matthew 2:15

Luke 2:41-42

Luke 2: 43-47

Luke 2:48-52

Proverbs 20:11

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In honor of His birth, Jesus was given three gifts from the wise men. These three gifts represented the three “offices” that Jesus would hold. Jesus was a prophet, priest and king. During the Bible time gold was a gift for a king, myrrh was a gift for a prophet, and frankincense was a gift for a priest.

Jesus is the King of Kings.

In addition to being God’s Son, Jesus was a prophet also – He spoke for God.

Jesus is our High Priest – He made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

The Wondrous Star

Matthew 2:1-4 NKJV

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.”

On the night that Jesus was born wise men who studied the stars discovered a new and wondrous star. These wise men had access to Daniel’s scrolls which contained the prophesy of Jesus.

Seeing the star, they realized a great king had been born. They were so sure that He was the King of Kings that they set out on a journey to find Him. Their journey lasted for several years. Nothing stopped them in their quest to find Him. They didn’t give up searching for Him.

Matthew 2:7-11 NKJV

“Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

Finally, they arrived at Mary and Joseph’s house. When they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him. Then they presented Him with the gifts that they had brought with them – gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Joseph’s Dream

After the wise men departed, later that night an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. The angel told Joseph to take his family to Egypt and to stay there until he was told to leave. The angel told Joseph that King Herod was looking for Jesus and wanted to kill Him.

Matthew 2:13-14 NKJV

“Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt”

The family arose immediately that night and departed for Egypt and was there until the death of King Herod, then they returned home. The gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus provided for Joseph to take his family to Egypt in order that the prophecy would be fulfilled and that Jesus would live.

Matthew 2:15 NKJV

“and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

Jesus Grew

Luke 2:41-42 NKJV

“His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.”

Jesus continued to grow in wisdom. Jesus and His parents would go to the temple in Jerusalem for each of the Jewish feast and festivals. The temple was an important part of Jesus’ life. Once when they had went to a Passover celebration in Jerusalem, Jesus amazed the scholars with His wisdom and knowledge of the Scriptures. Jesus was about 12 years old at the time.

Luke 2: 43-47 NKJV

“When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers”

After the feast Mary and Joseph left Jerusalem thinking that Jesus was somewhere among their traveling group. When they didn’t find Him they returned to Jerusalem and searched for Him for 3 days. Finally they found Him in the temple listening to the teachers, asking questions, and teaching them. The priest and scribes in the temple knew there was something different about Jesus. They listened to Jesus explain the scriptures in a way that was way beyond His years.

Luke 2:48-52 NKJV

“So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

When Jesus’ parents found Jesus in the temple He told them that He must be about His Father’s business. From this point on the Bible does not say anything else about Jesus’ childhood.

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Camp Challenge

We must surrender to Jesus’ kingship through salvation and obedience to Him.

We must also be obedient to our parents, just as Jesus was obedient to His parents.

Proverbs 20:11 NKJV

“Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right.”

 

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.Prayer Points

Ask God to help you give your best to Him.

Ask God to help you not give up in your quest for more of Him.

Ask God to help you in your worship unto Him.

Ask God to help you be sensitive to the dreams He gives you.

Ask God to help you to do what He instructs you to do immediately.

Ask God to help you be obedient to Him.

Ask God to help you be obedient to your parents.

Ask God to help you grow in wisdom and knowledge of the Scriptures.

Ask God to help you be about His business.

Ask God to help you surrender to Jesus’ kingship through salvation and obedience to Him.

 

 

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Hiking From Nazareth To Jerusalem – Child’s Booklet

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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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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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Living In An Ungodly World

living in an ungodly worldMemory Verse: Daniel 1:8

Life Application: We must purpose in our heart to obey God.

Bible Text

Daniel 1:1-9

Daniel 1:6

Daniel 1:8

Daniel 1:15

Daniel 1:17-20

Daniel 6:26-27

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”

Many Israelites were taken to the ungodly kingdom of Babylon to become slaves. Some of these men were chosen to serve in the king’s palace. These men were to be young men without physical defect, handsome, intelligent, educated, quick to understand. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were among those chosen to be the king’s servants.

Daniel 1:6 NKJV

“Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.”

Daniel and his friends obeyed God, and God was with them, even though they were surrounded by people who did not know about God. Daniel decided to obey God’s laws and not defile himself with the king’s food and wine. He made a deliberate choice to obey God.

Daniel 1:8 NKJV

“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.”

Daniel’s love for God led him to request a special diet of the chief of the eunuchs for his friends and himself. He showed great courage, boldness, and a desire to do what was right. Daniel also had faith that God would help him and his friends. The chief of the eunuchs agreed to Daniel’s request and at the end of the ten day period Daniel and his friends looked healthier than anyone who had eaten the king’s food.

Daniel 1:15 NKJV

“And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies.”

God blessed Daniel and his friends for doing right. He gave them knowledge, wisdom, the ability to interpret dreams and visions, and the king found them 10 times better than all the wise men in his kingdom.

Daniel 1:17-20 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.

Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king.

And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.”

As a result of standing strong for God, the king recognized Daniel and his friends served a powerful and living God. Their lives were a powerful witness to everyone around them.

Daniel 6:26-27 NKJV

“I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.

For He is the living God,

And steadfast forever;

His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,

And His dominion shall endure to the end.

He delivers and rescues,

And He works signs and wonders

In heaven and on earth,

Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

Review

1. When Jehoiakim was king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon __________________ Jerusalem.

2. Some of the children of Israel, some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles were taken ______________.

3. Many Israelites were taken to the ungodly kingdom of Babylon to become ______________.

4. Some of these men were chosen to serve in the king’s palace. These men were to be young men without _______________ _____________, handsome, ___________________, educated, quick to ___________________.

5. The chief of the eunuchs gave the young men new names. What new names were the following young men given?

Daniel – _________________________________

Hananiah – _________________________________

Mishael – _________________________________

Azariah – _________________________________

6. Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with what?

7. Daniel and his friends obeyed God, and God was with them, even though they were ____________________ by people who did not know about God.

8. Daniel made a deliberate _______________ to obey God.

9. What does deliberate mean?

10. Daniel showed great __________________, boldness, and a desire to do what was right.

11. The chief of the eunuchs agreed to Daniel’s request and at the end of the ten day period Daniel and his friends looked ________________ than anyone who had eaten the king’s food.

12. God ________________ Daniel and his friends for doing right.

13. How did God bless Daniel and his friends?

14. As a result of standing strong for God, the king recognized Daniel and his friends served a ____________________ and ______________ God.

15. Their lives were a powerful witness to everyone around them. What does witness mean?

16. How can you can be a witness to the unsaved around you?

17. What would have happed to Daniel and his friends if they had chosen to disregard God’s laws and do what everyone else was doing?

18. What do you think might happen to a person, a group of people or a nation that disregards God’s laws?

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Genuine Or Counterfeit

genuine of counterfeitMemory Verse: Matthew 13:29

Life Application: The church is God’s field and in it there are both wheat and tares.

Bible Text:

Matthew 13:24-30

Jesus gave the parable of the wheat and tares in order make a point about the individuals in the church, the body of Christ. In the parable a man sowed good seed in his field, however unknown to the man, while he was asleep his enemy came and sowed tares in his field. Tares, darnel, are poisonous weeds that closely resemble wheat. When the wheat and tares first began to grow they looked alike. The two are almost indistinguishable until fully mature at harvest time. When the tares began to mature the servants went to the owner and asked him if they should go and gather them up. But the owner said, ‘No, if you gather up the tares you will also uproot the wheat with them.” He told them to let both grow together until the harvest. At the harvest they were to gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them. After that they were to gather the wheat.

Matthew 13:24-30 NKJV

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

The church is God’s field and in it there are both wheat and tares. He places the “wheat” in the field, however, His enemy (Satan) sows “tares” in God’s field. The genuine believers are the wheat and the tares are counterfeit believers (those who reject Christ). God will allow both to remain in the church and in the world until it is time for harvest. If the counterfeit believers were pulled out before harvest it could hurt, wound, the true believers.

Prior to Jesus’ return to the earth those who reject Christ (publicly or privately) will become more hardened, and those who believe will begin to look more like Christ. Just like the wheat and tares, God will allow both to grow together. At the time of harvest He will say to the reapers (angels), “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” The believers will be gathered into heaven and the counterfeit believers will be bound and thrown into the lake of fire.

Review

1. What is the parable of the wheat and tares about?

2. What are tares?

3. Wheat and tares looked _________ when they first began to grow.

4. Why did the farmer want the wheat and tears to be left alone until the harvest?

.

5. The church is God’s ___________ and in it there are both wheat and tares.

6. The genuine believers are the wheat and the tares are _________________ believers (those who reject Christ).

7. If the counterfeit believers were pulled out before harvest what could happen?

8. Prior to Jesus’ return to the earth those who reject Christ (publicly or privately) will become more ________________, and those who believe will begin to look more like Christ.

9. What does it mean when a person’s heart becomes hardened?

10. At the time of harvest Jesus will say what to the reapers?

11. The _________________ will be gathered into heaven and the _______________ ______________ will be bound and thrown into the lake of fire.

12. “But ____ said, ‘No, lest __________ you gather up the ___________ you also ____________ the _____________ with them.” Matthew 13:29 NKJV

13. The church is God’s _________ and in it there are both __________ and ___________.

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