Christianity 201

July 19, 2011

He Will Sing Over You

Yesterday I wrote about the challenge of producing Bible study and curriculum material for children.  It seems easy on the surface, but you have to really understand certain concepts for yourself before you can attempt to state them plainly so that toddlers, school-aged kids, and pre-teens can understand. 

This is part two of a rather rare back-to-back focus on devotionals for kids from Bible Drive-Thru.  (Read yesterday’s for more details if you missed it.)  Violet is a freelance Christian writer from Western Canada who is also a prolific blogger, with seven blogs that I’m aware of!  Maybe your children have never done an exercise like this before at home.  Copy and paste what’s below and print it out for them.  If you don’t have kids, allow the truth of today’s passage from Zephaniah to reach into your heart.

God’s Lullabies

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Zephaniah 3:11-17

TO CHEW ON: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Again Judah was in a mess. When King Manasseh died, his idol-worshiping son Amon became king. Amon was king for just two years when officials murdered him and crowned his eight-year-old son Josiah to be king instead.

God gave another prophet named Zephaniah, messages for King Josiah. Most were not popular. “God’s judgment day is coming,” he said one day. “If Judah doesn’t return to God, it will be destroyed, just the like nations around it. Jerusalem will be destroyed too. Only a few people from it will be saved.”

Then Zephaniah ended his stern message with the beautiful picture of a God who can also be gentle. He is a God who loves and cares for those who stay true to Him.

Have you ever seen a mother or father quiet a crying baby? How do they do it?

In our reading today, God is that parent. He quiets His restless children with love. He sings over them – lullabies perhaps or story songs that remind them of the things He has done for them.

Next time God seems mean and strict and far away to you, remember this picture of God. He is near you even when you don’t feel Him. He can save you from any problem you are in. He delights in you and sings over you. Let Him love you.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to know Your parent-love for me. Amen.

SUPERSIZE IT: Pictures of God.
God is pictured in the Bible in many ways. These pictures help us understand what He is like. Match the references with the way God is pictured in each verse (one verse has two descriptions).

A. Psalm 121:4 B. Psalm 91:4 C. Isaiah 25:4 D. 2 Timothy 4:18

1. ______ Shelter from the storm.
2. ______ Rescuer.
3. ______ Bird who shelters us under His wings.
4. ______ Watchman who never sleeps.
5. ______ Shade from the heat.

ANSWERS

Adult readers – DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo’s.

July 18, 2011

Discovering God’s Word for the First Time

I’ve mentioned before that when I started this blog, C201 was meant to contain original devotional content each day, but the pressure of life and the maintenance of other blogs quickly turned it into a “best of” the Christian blogosphere.  So I have a great respect for those who write original devotions or studies each day, but I have even greater respect for those who attempt to get doctrinal concepts across to children.

Today’s reading is from Bible Drive-Thru.  Violet describes this as a daily devotional kids that allows readers to sample something from every book of the Bible over the course of a year.   Kids?  I’ll bet this story from II Chronicles will be new to a couple of you adults, which is ironic because the selection  is about a king who discovered God’s word for the first time.  And you can answer the questions at the end in the comments if you wish.

If you have children, consider Bible Drive Thru as the basis for spending some time together daily in the Bible.  They’ll love the ‘fast food’ layout of these studies, with a “to chew on” section and a “supersize it” section for deeper reading.  (Violet recommended our including a different devotional, which I decided, in a rare back-to-back posting, I’m going to include tomorrow, but if your kids are bit younger, they might enjoy it today.)

Finding a Special Book

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chron 34:14-19 & 31

TO CHEW ON: “Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.’ And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king. When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes.” 2 Chronicles 34:18,19

When King Josiah turned sixteen something changed. Perhaps after being king for eight years he realized what a hard job it was. Maybe he wished he had help and wanted to be sure that God was on his side. He may have asked, which god? For the people in Judah worshiped many gods.

Perhaps he remembered his grandfather, King Manasseh, and thought of how he had smashed the idols and taken down the Asherah poles after he got back from prison. Then he had told everyone to worship the unseen God of the temple.

However it came about, over the next four years, Josiah took down every altar and high place and pole connected with idol worship. Then he decided to clean up the temple too. He put the priests and Levites to work. One day as they were clearing out garbage, they found a book. It was the book of the Law that God had given Moses.

When Shaphan the secretary showed Josiah what they had found, Josiah wanted him to read it. So Shaphan read God’s laws to Josiah. He had never heard them before.

He became so upset and afraid, he tore his clothes. Then he asked Shaphan and the priests to pray to God for him and the nation, that they would be spared the terrible punishments God had promised.

Hilkiah the priest and others prayed for Josiah. God answered that He would punish Judah just as the book said. But if Josiah would keep on doing the right things, this punishment would come after his lifetime.

We have God’s book with us today. It is the Bible. Unlike Josiah’s time, Bibles today are not lost. They are plentiful and common. But in order for the Bible to help us as it did Josiah, we need to follow his example. We need to read, respect and obey it.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to read and obey Your word. Amen.

SUPERSIZE IT: Bible Search
1. How many Bibles or parts of the Bible do you have in your home?

2. Which is your favorite Bible?
Why?

3. What is your favorite Bible verse?
Why?

Adult readers – DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS  are available too at Other Food: daily devo’s