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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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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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David

david Memory Verse: Psalm 51:10

Bible Truth: While running your race keep your heart pure.

King Saul had disobeyed God on many occasions which caused God to reject him as Israel’s king. This made Samuel sad. One day God asked Samuel how long was he going to be sad over it. Then God told Samuel to fill a container with oil because He was going to send him to Bethlehem to anoint someone else to be Israel’s king. God had picked out someone from a man named Jesse’s family. Samuel was concerned because he thought that King Saul would kill him if he found out. So God told Samuel to go and do what He had instructed Him to do but to take some things for a sacrifice. Then he could tell people that he had come to sacrifice to God, instead of the real reason he was there.

1 Samuel 16:1-3 NKJV
“Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” But the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.”

Samuel prepared the items that he needed and took them with him to Bethlehem. When the people in Bethlehem saw Samuel they were alarmed and asked him why he was there. Samuel told the people that he was there to sacrifice to the Lord, which was what God had instructed him to say. He invited the elders to come to the sacrifice and then he went and invited Jesse and his sons.

1 Samuel 16:4-5 NKJV

“So Samuel did what the Lord said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.”

When Jesse’s family came, Samuel saw one of his sons named Eliab. Samuel thought to himself, “Surely he is the one!”

1 Samuel 16:6 NKJV

“So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!”

However, God told Samuel not to look at the outward appearance. God had not chosen Eliab. Then He told Samuel that He did not look at the outside of a person – He looked at the heart of a person instead.

1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God was showing Samuel that how a person looks on the outside isn’t important. He shouldn’t be judged by his physical appearance. What really matters is a person’s heart attitude toward God.

Samuel was learning that God looks at what’s on the inside of a person and not at the outward appearance.

1 Samuel 16:8-10 NKJV

“So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.”

One by one Jesse’s sons were shown to Samuel. Samuel looked at all seven of them and stated that God had not chosen any of them. Then he asked Jesse if that was all his sons – did he have any more?

Jessie told Samuel that he had one more son. He was the youngest son and he was out in the field taking care of the sheep. Samuel told Jesse to bring that son to him, and that they would not sit down to eat until he was there with them.

1 Samuel 16:11 NKJV

“And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.”

So someone went out into the field and brought David, Jessie’s youngest son, to where Samuel and the others were. When Samuel say David, God instructed him to anoint him as the chosen king.

1 Samuel 16:12 NKJV

“So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”

God had rejected all seven of David’s brothers and chosen David instead as the king. David was very young and to the natural eye and because of his appearance he would not have been the best choice, however God did not look at David’s outward appearance. He looked at David’s heart. In David’s heart God saw love and trust in God, a desire to please God, and a heart completely committed to God. David’s heart-attitude pleased God, and God was going to use him to lead His people.

1 Samuel 16:13 NKJV

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.”

Samuel took the oil that he had brought with him and he anointed David as the next king of Israel. After that Samuel went to Ramah and David returned to the field of sheep. For a period of time David continued to work in the fields taking care of the sheep while he awaited God’s time for him to become king.

Camp Challenge

God searches our hearts instead of looking at our appearances. Man looks at the outside of a person however, God looks at a person’s heart. What’s inside a persons heart is far more important and significant that their physical appearance or their natural abilities.

Psalm 7:9 NKJV

“For the righteous God tests the heart and minds.”

Everything that comes out of our mouth begins on the inside (innermost part) of us.

Matthew 12:33-37 NKJV

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings firth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

God knows everything in our hearts – every motive, desire, dream and word, even before we express it. God will search (test, examine) each person’s heart to see what is in it. He searches our hearts so that He can help us. Like David, we too should desire for God to examine our hearts (and our thoughts) and to purge us of sin so that we may have everlasting life.

Psalm 139:1-24 NKJV

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

You know my sitting down and my rising up;

You understand my thought afar off.

You comprehend my path and my lying down,

And are acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word on my tongue,

But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

You have hedged me behind and before,

And laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

It is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend into heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there Your hand shall lead me,

And Your right hand shall hold me.

If I say,

‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’

Even the night shall be light about me;

Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,

But the night shines as the day;

The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

For You formed my inward parts;

You covered me in my mother’s womb.

I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;

When I awake, I am still with You.

Oh, that You would slay the wicked O God!

Depart from me, therefore you bloodthirsty me.

For they speak against You wickedly;

Your enemies take Your name in vain.

Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?

And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

I hate them with perfect hatred;

I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me, and know my anxieties;

And see if there is any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.”

The Bible tells us that whatever is in the heart will come out of our mouths. It also tells us that each one of us will give an account for every idle (unfounded) word that we speak. That our words will either justify us or condemn us. God desires for us to ask Him to search our hearts. Not so that He can condemn us but to help us.

Psalm 51:10 NKJV

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Prayer Points

Ask God to search your heart.

Ask God to help you not judge people by their outward appearance.

Ask God to help you be careful with the words you speak.

Ask God to reveal to you what’s in your heart.

Ask God to purge you of sin so that you may have everlasting life.

Ask God to create in you a clean heart.

Ask God to renew a steadfast spirit within you.

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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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Abigail Helps To Bring Peace

abigail 

Memory Verse: Hebrews 12:14

Bible Truth: God wants you to be a peacemaker.

1 Samuel 25:3 NKJV

“The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance; but the man was harsh and evil in his doings. He was of the house of Caleb.”

Nabal was a very rich man. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. His home and business were in a wilderness area. He was a target for thieves and bandits because of the location and because of his great wealth. At the time of sheep shearing, David sent word to Nabal asking for a reward for the services that he had been given. David and his men had protected the flocks of Nabal as well as his possessions. Nabal would have plenty of money on hand from the sale of the wool to pay David and his men. David had left the amount of the reward due up to Nabal to decide since no certain price had been set.

1 Samuel 25:4-11 NKJV

“When David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep,
David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, go to Nabal, and greet him in my name.
And thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity: ‘Peace be to you, peace to your house, and peace to all that you have! Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds were with us, and we did not hurt them, nor was there anything missing from them all the while they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David.’” So when David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in the name of David, and waited. Then Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master. Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?”

When David’s men went to Nabal to ask for what they were due, Nabal acted like he didn’t know David and spoke of him in a mocking tone. Nabal even suggested that David was a runaway servant. The behavior (conduct) of Nabal and his response to David’s men was very foolish and defiantly the wrong thing to do. One of Nabel’s workers went to Abigail and told her everything that had happened. Both, what David and his men had done for them and the way that her husband had treated David’s men. The servants were very angry at Nabal because his actions put their life in danger.

1 Samuel 25:12-16 NKJV

“So David’s young men turned on their heels and went back; and they came and told him all these words.
Then David said to his men, “Every man gird on his sword.” So every man girded on his sword, and David also girded on his sword. And about four hundred men went with David, and two hundred stayed with the supplies. Now one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master; and he reviled them. But the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, nor did we miss anything as long as we accompanied them, when we were in the fields. They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the time we were with them keeping the sheep”

Abigail knew that her husband was wrong and that she would have to take matters into her own hands. She immediately knew that she need to try to make things right with David. She gathered up a lot of goods to give to David in hopes that he would accept it as compensation for what he and his men had done for Nabal. Abigail sent the provisions to David right away by some of their servants.

1 Samuel 25:18-22 NKJV

“Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys.
And she said to her servants, “Go on before me; see, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
So it was, as she rode on the donkey, that she went down under cover of the hill; and there were David and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them. Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good.
May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light.”

After the servants had left with the things to give to David, Abigail followed after them. As soon as Abigail saw David she got off her donkey and fell on her face before him. Humbly Abigail began to plead for mercy and forgiveness for Nabal. Abigail understood that the right thing to do was to show David respect and honor.

1 Samuel 25:23-31 NKJV

“Now when Abigail saw David, she dismounted quickly from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground. So she fell at his feet and said: “On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant. Please, let not my lord regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him! But I, your maidservant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent. Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, since the Lord has held you back from coming to bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek harm for my lord be as Nabal. And now this present which your maidservant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For the Lord will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord fights the battles of the Lord, and evil is not found in you throughout your days.
Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling. And it shall come to pass, when the Lord has done for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel, that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. But when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your maidservant.”

David called Abigail’s speech blessed because through it God had kept him from avenging himself with bloodshed. After receiving the provisions from Abigail, David told her to go in peace to her home because he had heeded her words and had respect for her.

1 Samuel 25:32-35 NKJV

“Then David said to Abigail: “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand. For indeed, as the Lord God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal!” So David received from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have heeded your voice and respected your person.”

Camp Challenge

Peace can be described as the absence of hostility, strife, and disorder. It is also being calm and quiet, free from struggles in your mind and heart. In his writing to the Corinthians, Paul encouraged the believers to live in peace.

2 Corinthians 13:11 NKJV

“Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

Abigail could have ignored the conflict between Nabal and David’s men, however if she had many people would have suffered. She chose to be a peacemaker. Instead of fighting and living in conflict God wants peace to rule our lives. He wants us to be a peacemaker.

Hebrews 12:14 NKJV

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord”

Hebrews 12:14 shows us that our relationship with others and our relationship with God are equally important. God wants us to be at peace with others and He wants us to be at peace with Him.

1 Thessalonians 5:13 NKJV

“…Be at peace among yourselves.”

Prayer Points

Ask God to help you be at peace with Him.

Ask God to help you be at peace with others.

Ask God to use you as a peacemaker.

Ask God for strength to be a peacemaker.

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Joseph

Genesis 50:20 NKJV

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

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