Count Your Blessings!

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:” Psalm 103:2

I love Autumn.  To me, it is a season of tucking in.  The air turns a little cooler, with just a hint of crispness touching you amid the fall breezes.  Smells change as we turn from super floral fragrances to that of cinnamon, spice, and everything nice.  Schedules, prayerfully, slow down a bit as the run around of summer dissipates and more time is gathered around home and family.

For me, the feeling of fall brings an added bonus.  It seems that with the shifting of seasons we become more reflective and our hearts turn more to being appreciative of what we have and have been blessed with.

One day recently, things did not go according to plan.  My schedule was shot and the things I had on my agenda for the day – well, most of them didn’t happen.  But, as I spent time thinking about it, I just began to mentally thank God for all the things He did allow me to do.  Although my plans went awry, I was able, in those moments, to be there for others, to support them, and help them.

Lately, I have felt a strong impression on my heart to literally count my blessings.  Not by number, but by being more appreciative of daily things.  The day may have been hard and full of work that was strenuous, but I thank God that I was able to work it.  I may not have gotten the whole house clean, but I thank God for the small chores that I was able to accomplish.  The food on the table may not have been food cooking show worthy, but I thank God, not only for the food but for the opportunity to serve my family in this capacity on this day.

In the little things, as well as the big things in life, there are so many reasons to be grateful.  If we truly took a moment to reflect, we would readily say that God has been so good to us.

Life is going to happen.  And while we are living, it’s going to happen to us all.  Some days are going to go off perfectly, without a hitch, and we’ll feel like we can take on the world.  Other days may feel like a constant struggle – just making it through – can’t wait until bedtime comes and bring this day to a close.

Whatever the day brings, may our hearts find reminders of gratefulness in it.  Focusing more on God and the blessings that He has already provided can tip the scales, allowing the counting of blessings to far outweigh any negatives we may face.

How does Autumn speak to you?  Do the changes of the seasons stir special feelings inside you?

Whatever this season brings you, I pray God’s best for you in it all.

Blessings ~

“Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;” Psalm 105:5

“What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” Psalm 116:12

“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 118:29

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17

Copyright © Word For Life Says.com articles/lessons/worksheets may not be copied or redistributed without the express written permission of WordforLifeSays.com.  Please see the COPYRIGHT PAGE for more details.  Blessings to you.

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“What Would Jesus Say?” – part 1

“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4

Words, despite the children’s poems we recite, we know and have more than likely experienced the stinging effect of the wrong words spoken at the wrong time.  We know that just as easily as words can build, they can also tear down and hurt the receiver of them.

One thing is certain, our world is full of words and full of people who like to use words.  The human language and the ability to communicate with one another is a beautiful thing.  It is when we mar that beauty with unrighteous speech rolling off our tongues and flowing from our mouths that we get into trouble.

People have practiced communication skills for centuries, and yet, when it comes to the daily application of speech, sometimes we falter and do not use the words that God has given us in a healthy and productive manner.

If we are going to learn how to use the tongue healthily, the best example is that of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus had all the right words at the right time.  He knew how to speak compassion when it was needed most.  He knew how to speak conviction in truth without berating another.  And Jesus knew how to speak life.

In Isaiah 50:4, we see the prophesied Servant, whom we know to be the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ talking about the words He uses and the way He uses them to speak.  There He says, “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak. . .” 

Never do we see Jesus in the Bible using words in a frivolous or lackadaisical manner.  Words and how they are used are powerful, and Jesus, just as His Father, knew the value of words and used them as such.  To Him, everything that came out of His mouth was to be treated carefully.

Jesus’ heart was always, and I do mean always, to do the will of the Father (John 6:38).  In everything, right down to going to the cross, God’s will was His number one priority (Luke 22:42).  With the will of God governing His whole life and ministry, even the words He spoke had to be what “The Lord GOD hath given me.” 

In Isaiah, that which was given is described as “the tongue of the learned;” as one who had been taught by God what to say and how to say it.  One can speak something that is true, but how the message is delivered can affect how another receives it.

In John 12:49-50, Jesus said, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”  Jesus, even in His speech, sought to bring glory and honor to the Father.

Through this, we see that Jesus was very strategic with the words He uses.  In this part, we have learned that Jesus is our best example in valuing words and in understanding the importance of using speech that is not only healthy but also God-honoring.  Jesus treated the words He spoke very carefully, and we should too.

In the days coming, we are going to explore this verse further in two more parts of this three-part mini-series.  May we learn what God wants us to say and how to say it, so that we, too,  may have “the tongue of the learned” relating to one another in speech even as Jesus did, so that we will know how to speak. 

This three-part mini-series is adapted from a Sunday School Lesson I previously published titled 4 Ways to Use Words Better.  You can click on that link if you are looking for a deeper study on this topic.

Copyright © Word For Life Says.com articles/lessons/worksheets may not be copied or redistributed without the express written permission of WordforLifeSays.com.  Please see the COPYRIGHT PAGE for more details.  Blessings to you.

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Shamgar, Who?

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“And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.” Judges 3:31

Reading through the pages of the Bible, some stories leap off the pages while others hardly get a second glance.  There are some stories and lives we know a lot about.  Action and suspense surround their name.  Then, we have those little-known characters.  People who, without a diligent search, may not have been seen at all with a quick read.

But one of the greatest blessings we find in the Bible is the stories of the “unknowns,” or those we read of by name but really have not much more to go on.  These people and the offering of their lives and stories to the pages of Scripture remind us that everyone’s story matters.

Many today have a comparison problem where only the flashiest, biggest, most sensational stories and people grab the attention of the headlines.  And, yet, throughout the world over, daily there are those who go unrecognized by the masses, but they make a huge difference in their circle, in their sphere of friends and family; they make a difference in their world.

Shamgar, noted early in the book of Judges, had this one verse that spoke of his contributions to Israel’s deliverance.  Other than an honorable mention later by Deborah (Judges 5:6), that’s all we really know of him.

But to God, we don’t need a whole chapter or book dedicated to an individual to see that to Him, they matter.  God pays attention to the littlest details of our lives and to Him, every contribution we make for God, His kingdom, and His people – none escapes His notice, and they all matter.

The widow who put in two mites, nobody knows her name, but Jesus honored her actions (Luke 21:1-4).  And with that, there are countless stories of the named and unnamed in the Bible, throughout history, and even in our world today who are only recognized by our heavenly Father.

If you feel like you aren’t celebrated here, no worries.  If you don’t even have one verse dedicated to your earthly achievements (none of us do), it’s okay.  God knows you and you have a reward of faithfulness coming your way (Colossians 3:23-24; Revelation 22:12).

Take heart, and keep pressing forward.  Your worth to God is so much more, and your story, no matter if it is big or small, is important and worthy of note to our heavenly Father.

Other Good Reads:

“What Will Our Story Tell?”

“Your Content Reads More Than Your Cover!”

“Overlooked? Not By God!”

Copyright © Word For Life Says.com articles/lessons/worksheets may not be copied or redistributed without the express written permission of WordforLifeSays.com.  Please see the COPYRIGHT PAGE for more details.  Blessings to you.

Please Note: Ads below or referenced on this site are prefabricated and mass-produced (of which I currently have no control over) and DO NOT necessarily represent the views and/or beliefs of this site and its admin.

Sunday School Lesson – “When God Called Moses” Exodus 3:1-12

VERSE DISCOVERY: Exodus 3:1-12 (Public Domain)

1) “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

2) And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

3) And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

4) And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

5) And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

6) Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

7) And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

8) And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

9) Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.

10) Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

11) And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

12) And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.”

 Lesson Introduction:

Going back into history a little more, Moses’ path in life was far from ordinary.  From the time of his birth, he was deemed a “beautiful child” (Ex. 2:2).  When she could no longer hide him from the Egyptians who oppressed her people, Moses’ mother went to great lengths to save his life, leading him to become Pharaoh’s daughter’s child (Ex. 2:5-10).

Being raised in the house of Pharaoh did not block his view of the suffering of his people.  Taking matters into his own hands at one point caused him to flee for his own life, beginning the next leg of his life’s journey in Midian (Ex. 2:1.1-15).  There, he established a new life.  He even married and had sons in the process (Ex. 2:21-22; 18:3-4).

Time went by, but the problem in Egypt remained.  The Bible says, “The children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.  And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob,” (Ex. 2:23b-24).  God was ready to deliver His people from bondage.  For that, He would raise up a man, a prophet, to lead them.  And this man’s name, as we have already been focusing on, was Moses, the subject figure of this week’s lesson.

Lesson Summary:

For Moses, an ordinary day turned extraordinary.  The mundane task of tending the flock of his father-in-law took a dramatic turn, one that would change the course of his life forever.

It all started when “Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.”  By this time in his life, Moses is at the ripe old age of 80.  Any of those terrible thoughts of his previous life in Egypt have probably faded as he has been settled for some time in his new life of shepherding his father-in-law’s flock.

His goal for that day when he woke up and ventured out was to find the best pasture for the flocks to graze and feed.  That’s it.  His ambitions didn’t go any higher than that.  The simple life is what he lived and what he had grown accustomed to.  No drama.  No hardness.  No dealing with extraordinary circumstances that were beyond his control.  Simply, find pasture, feed the flock, and get on with the day as usual.  The furthest thing from his mind on that day was a personal encounter with God.

Please Note: God never has to ask our permission when He wants to call us into service.  He doesn’t focus on our convenience or acceptance of the call.  He calls us according to His perfect timetable and empowers us with His Spirit to follow through on the course He has laid out for us.  Be it an ordinary day or not, when God is ready, He will reveal Himself to us.  In that, He asks us to trust Him and follow His lead.

While going about his daily routine, his mundane tasks, his inconsequential chores on the “backside of the desert” on “the mountain of God, even to Horeb” (later to be referenced to as Mt. Sinai, the place where Moses will receive the Ten Commandments), his day was interrupted by a sight he had never seen before.  There, before him, was a “bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” 

The Bible describes the event as something divine in nature going on.  God was getting ready to not only change Moses’ everyday course forever, but He was ready to speak a new calling into his life.  He was going to take him from the ordinary shepherd that he was today and make him a notable instrument in freeing His people from the bondage of Egypt for a better tomorrow.  But first, He had to get his attention.  With that, an “angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush.” 

For Moses, at that time, all it appears he is fascinated with is the fire that does not affect the bush that is set to flames.  This miraculous occurrence is intriguing to him, and in his curiosity, he is resolved to find out more and investigate the matter thoroughly.   He said, “I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”  Seeing a bush on fire in the heat of the desert is nothing new.  Seeing a bush on fire in the heat of the desert that doesn’t burn up, well that’s a whole other story worth finding out about more.

“When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses.”  If the last thing he expected to see on this unusual day was a burning bush that was not consumed, then surely, he would have never imagined hearing a voice coming “out of the midst of the bush” saying his name, “Moses, Moses.” 

What a frightful and awesome experience it must have been to hear the words of the living God being uttered in His powerful and true oration.  And to not only hear His words but to hear Him call you by your name, personally.  But that’s how God is.  He knows us wonderfully.  He knows us completely.  He knows us each, individually, on a one-on-one basis.

Jesus even spoke in the New Testament, saying, “He calleth his own sheep by name,” (John 10:3).  To Him, you are somebody.  To Him, you are valued.  To Him you are important.  To Him, you are not invisible.  He knows you.  He knows your name.  How wonderful is that?  We serve a personal God!  Hallelujah!

To the calling of his name out of the flames, Moses’ response was, “Here am I.”  This is the same way Samuel responded when he thought Eli was calling him.  Turns out the voice he was hearing was from God as well, and he was instructed to respond to Him, saying, “Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth” (see 1 Samuel 3:4-10).

When God calls, we must be responsive to answering His call.  He’s not calling without purpose.  He doesn’t want to deal with inactivity or an indifferent attitude.  We must be willing to hear and receive from Him and follow through on what He instructs us.  This is something Moses would initially struggle with, but through God’s working and leading, he became a powerful leader of God’s people with his name etched in history forever.

“And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.”  As Moses was coming nearer to the object of his attention, the burning bush, God stopped him from proceeding farther.  One cannot tread the presence of God with a heavy foot.  We must recognize the severity of being in the presence of the true and living, holy God.  He is omnipotent. He is the Sovereign of the universe, the Creator of all. He is divine all by Himself. He is God all by Himself. He declared in Isaiah, “Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior . . . ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God,” (43:10-12).

Being the awesome God that He is, required, and still requires respect before drawing nigh unto His indescribable presence. “Put off thy shoes!” Recognize where you are and who you are approaching!  This is a sacred place.

“Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”  God introduces Himself (compare to Genesis 15:7) to Moses and identifies exactly Who it is that is speaking to him from the midst of the bush.  Referencing his own father and the patriarchs, God identifies Himself as the same God who is and has been in covenant relationship with His people Israel.  He is the same God of the Hebrews that initiated with Abraham this awesome promise and carried it through his lineage and down the line to where Moses and his people are today.  The years have not whittled away that covenant.  It is still intact, and God was ready to show up and show out on His people’s behalf.

“And Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look upon God.”  Rightly so!  The presence of God is awesome and terrible all at the same time.  At this present time, Moses has yet to enter the intimacies of being in a personal relationship with God.  One where he becomes familiar with God and God refers to him as a friend (see Exodus 33:11).  Even still, when Moses did gain the boldness to ask God, “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory,” (Exodus 33:18) God’s response was, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live,” (Exodus 33:20).

God then begins to talk to Moses about the situation at hand: “the affliction of my people which are in Egypt.”

God’s people weren’t always “afflicted” in Egypt.  Earlier, when Joseph, through much historical detail (read Gen. 39-47 for full details), helped not only the Egyptians through a harsh time of famine but also his own family, the family of Jacob through whom the promises of God flowed, they all enjoyed a time of favor in Egypt.  Pharaoh told Joseph, “Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee: The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell” (Gen. 47:5-6).

But, when that Pharaoh died, this “affliction” they now faced was spurned by the fears of a new Pharaoh (Ex. 1:8-11).  The children of Israel now suffered mightily and served as slaves for the Egyptians.  Over 400 years have gone by, and God says He has, “heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows.”

Though, throughout their history, their lives went from fantastic to fearful, God’s ears were opened and attentive to their cries the whole time.  In a time after this, David will also acknowledge the God who hears his cries, saying, “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even unto his ears,” (Ps. 18:6).  The point is God always sees and hears the troubles of His people and He knows “their sorrows.”

“I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians.”  Our God is a God of action.  God gets involved in the situation.  Dear friends, you are never left to fight through this world alone, no matter how you feel or how dark the days may seem.

God not only sees and hears, but He also initiates a plan for their deliverance.  Those who are currently in Egypt have never tasted freedom before.  It is something they have only ever dreamed about.  They know nothing about life outside of slavery.  God was going to change it all and “deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians.”  The Egyptians may have a tight hold on them now, but God was going to snatch them out of the hand of the enemy.

In other words, God came to meet them in their deepest time of need, at a time when the stripes of the taskmasters were too much to bear. God will come to meet you in your time of need to bring you out!  You may think you are in the worst place possible, but rest assured, wherever you are, you will never be out of the reach of God.

“To bring them up out of that land . . . unto a land flowing with milk and honey.”  God’s purpose was not only to deliver them from the evil clutches of the Egyptians but to “bring them” unto something better: their Promised Land, the land that was given as a promise to Abram [Abram was Abraham’s name at that time] (for the promise see Genesis 12:7; 13:14-15; 15:18; 17:2, 7-8).  The land may have been currently inhabited by the “Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites,” but that same land has been allotted to the people of God as part of their covenant/promise heritage (refer to Genesis 15:18-21; Psalm 105:6-11).  When God delivered His people, these evil nations would be evicted from inhabiting their promise, and that land of prosperity would be given over to His people (compare Deuteronomy 6:3; 11:22-25; Psalm 105:44).

“Behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me.”  Here is a reiteration that God hears their “cry.”  He also is noted as seeing “the oppression.”  He sees the harshness of their situation.  It has “come unto” Him.  It does not escape His knowledge!  God is closely knit to His people.  What we feel, He feels.  What we experience, He knows all about it.  Even today, the Bible assures us, “We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15a).

One of the greatest lies of the enemy is to speak against the faithfulness of God by trying to convince people that God doesn’t care; by persuading them that He has turned a blind eye to the troubles we face.

Nay, but God sees it! Your battle and your scars are not invisible to God. You are not invisible to God! He is paying attention to each and every one of us. “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” David asked, knowing the true insignificance of man compared to all of creation in Psalm 8:4. Yet, God is mindful; He is paying attention!

Not only has He seen, but all His senses are put on high alert, and He has heard. Did not the psalmist declare, “I called on the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me and set me in a broad place” (Psalm 118:5; NKJV)?

“I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people.”  God’s purpose for appearing and speaking to Moses wasn’t for naught.  He had an assignment for him.  Moses is going to be a key in the deliverance of God’s people from the Egyptians.  This is his calling.  This is the ministry God has ordained for his life.  Moses is being sent in as the man for the job.

His mission would entail him going before Pharaoh and bringing God’s groaning people out through signs and wonders performed in Egypt, the going through of the Red Sea, and even through their 40 years of wilderness wanderings, Acts 7:35-36; thus fulfilling more of His faithful promises to Abraham: “they shall come out with great substance,” (Gen. 15:14) and “in the fourth generation they shall come hither again,” (Gen. 15:16).

With such a heavy calling, Moses asked, “Who am I?”  If anyone felt inadequate about a task before him, Moses did.  To find out that God wanted to use him personally in such an extraordinary way was a little more than he could take in.  “Who am I?”  Moses spent the last 40 years shepherding animals and now God suggested that he would begin to shepherd His people “out of Egypt.”

“Certainly I will be with thee,” was God’s promise to him.  God never called anyone to a task and abandon them.  Later, after Moses passes off the scene God will have to reassure his successor, Joshua, in the same way, saying, “For the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest,” (Joshua. 1:9).  There is comfort that comes with knowing that God is in the midst no matter how overwhelmed we may feel by the job He has given us.

“And this shall be a token unto thee.”  Not only did God’s promise simply say that He would be with him, but God also backed it up with action.  He said, as proof, “When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.”  And, when they reach that point, they will realize that it was not their own hand that delivered them. They were brought out because God was with them the whole time, thus fulfilling His promise.

Lesson Conclusion:

Moses was a prophet that was chosen by God for the specific ministry of leading His people out of bondage and shepherding them through their time in the desert.

Jesus had a definite calling for His life; He had a mission.  That mission was prophesied of in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament.  Moses once spoke of Him, and prophesied, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken,” (Deuteronomy 18:15).  Jesus Christ would be the fulfiller of that prophesy and so many more, and He would become the ultimate Shepherd of God’s people (John 10:1-15).

What is God calling us to do?  What areas do we feel Him nudging us into service?  Has the call been answered?  These are questions we must ask and answer for ourselves.

PDF Full Printable Sunday School Lesson Pack (With easy to read instructions following the P.E.A.R.L. format on how to conduct each lesson with areas for adding personal notes): Sunday School Lesson – When God Called Moses

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES:

House of Cards Object lesson: When God calls someone to service, it requires us to lay down our will and build upon His will. When we follow God’s will and ways, we build upon a firm foundation (you can use sturdy children’s blocks that interlock to demonstrate this, or something similar).  But going our own way is like trying to build a house with a deck of cards (demonstrate).  They are flimsy and not very strong.  When the least little bit of breeze comes through, the house falls, and you must rebuild it again.

Note: The parable of the wise and foolish builders can also help demonstrate this (Matthew 7:24-26).

Moses, in today’s lesson, opened himself to hear and receive God’s will for his life when he said, “Here am I.”  Although he felt unqualified, God knew he was the man for the job.  Let’s get into it and learn more about When God Called Moses.

Game: Following the call of God requires that we lay down our will and pick up God’s will. Sometimes, people have a hard time with this, and they want to do their own thing.  This idea can be demonstrated by playing a game of Tug of War. Put a flag or a marker in the middle of the rope.  Attach a paper or a ribbon with the words “God’s Ways” on one side of the rope and on the other side, attach one with the words “Our Way.”  Proceed to play the game as usual, noting this is not what’s supposed to happen when God asks us to get on board with His plans.  Jesus, when faced with the tough job of going to the cross, said, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42).

Craft Idea: The Prince and the Shepherd: Find pictures of a prince and one of a shepherd for students to color and cut out. Once they have finished that, they can glue them onto craft sticks to use as puppets in the retelling of Moses’ story.  It would be a bonus idea to add a sheep to it as well to help reenact the lesson.

Adult Journal Page: Adult Journal Page – When God Called Moses

Kid’s Journal Page: Kid’s Journal Page – When God Called Moses

Blank Journal Page: These pages, one designed for adults and one for children, can be used to bring out, remember, or write a particular part of the lesson you wish for you and/or your class to focus on.  Click>>Blank Adult and Kid’s Journal Pages to access the journal pages.

Draw the Scene: When God Called Moses Draw the Scene

Memory Verse: When God Called Moses Memory Verse

Word Search: When God Called Moses Word Search  Answers: When God Called Moses Word Search Answers

Crossword: When God Called Moses Crossword  Answers: When God Called Moses Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: When God Called Moses Word Scramble  Answers: When God Called Moses Word Scramble Answers

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“There’s More Than One Way”

There’s more than one way to be a champion. 

There’s more than one way to use your gift. 

There’s more than one way to make a difference. 

There’s more than one way to create change.

His original design for your life may not look like everyone else’s.  For some to stand with their own earthly measuring rods to compare may have not taken into account the uniqueness that makes you, you.  It may look quirky to some, but to God, it looks like you are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” (Psalm 139:14). 

You are not a cookie-cutter fabrication of the rest.  Nor are you a tired remodel of the “best.”  Just the best you is who you are with your offerings to the world.  So go ahead and step out in the way He has planned for you.  Show them what you have to bring to the table matters.  Show them (despite the sometimes judgmental stares) your voice, your calling, and the workmanship He has sown in you with great care. 

There’s more than one way to do a lot of things, but there’s only one way to be – that’s you! Show them you.

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“Be a Promise Accepter!”

“For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen, unto the glory of God by us,” 2 Corinthians 1:20

 It’s back to school time around here. Each school year starts out brand new. New backpacks, new supplies, new clothes; along with new hopes and dreams with the anticipation of promise lingering in the air. This is going to be a wonderful year!

By the end of the first month of school, children and sometimes parents too, start looking forward to days off, delayed openings due to weather and such. The reality of the daily grinding and horse race schedules overshadows the promise that was once felt. Instead of realigning oneself to keep hold of the promise that was once felt in the atmosphere, we begin to gripe and complain. Looking forward to the end of the school year, or at least Christmas break for some relief becomes the new goal.

Often times, we treat the promises of God in the same manner also.

He gives us this wonderful volume (the Bible), filled with sixty-six books. And in each of those sixty-six books therein is packed with “more.” God has “more” for you than this. Line upon line and precept upon precept tells us how much He cares for us, loves us, and wants more for us. The Bible starts way back in the book of Genesis with promise. And, it goes all the way through to the end of Revelation. How does it end? With promise! “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen,” (Rev. 22:20-21). That’s a promise!

Unfortunately, as it is with the school year so it is in life. In the beginning, when the promise is fresh we are ecstatic. Then, as the everyday issues begin to settle in it starts to wear on the assurance that once was, leaving one to do nothing but constantly focusing on the end. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly,” (John 10:10). He doesn’t desire for “life” to be something tolerated. Rather, He wants it filled. And with that, there is the anticipation of something better.

Promise!

Promises only work when one accepts it. You can quote it all that you like, but unless it is internalized as a hopeful thing in the life of each of us, it does absolutely no good. Many people can read of the promises but they can’t believe in them for themselves. Only seeing with the eyes but never touching. They never experience the greatness that God wants to do. That’s not God’s intention for you. “For all the promises of God in Him are yea.”  That means “YES!” Now, it may be just me but when I see the words “all,” and “promises,” and “God,” and “yes,” I get excited! If you are in Christ, God says yes to every promise that comes with that salvation. Yes!

Won’t you accept it today? Yes!

I don’t have enough space or time here to even begin to list what He has in store for us. And, the half has not been told. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him,” (1 Cor. 2:9). The promises are there in His Word. All you have to do is believe it and receive it!

Be a promise accepter today. Go through the Bible, find verses that speak to you right now, highlight them, and write them down or whatever you do to remember a verse, then, lay hold of it as your personal treasure. Let them be your source of strength when life doesn’t feel as “abundant.” Accept what He said anyhow. Step out in faith, holding on to those precious promises for dear life.

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“What will you do in the end?”

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You are watching the movie.  The scene is intense.  You are waiting for something climactic to happen.  Then, so as not to disappoint the viewers, the characters stumble upon a ticking agent.  On it, there is a clock whose time is counting down indicating when it reaches zero, something big is going to happen.  The time will be up.

We love those moments when the story keeps us on the edge of our seats.  When it makes us stay glued in anticipation of what the characters are going to do now, or what’s going to happen in the end when the signal comes and there is no more opportunity to avert the crisis.  Danger is imminent.  The time of warning is over and the cataclysmic event starts now!

While it might be fun to watch on the screen as the suspense builds and the action unfolds, there is a very real countdown coming and once it reaches its end we must ask, “What will you do?”

The problem is so many are unprepared for what the end will bring.

Jeremiah had to confront the people with this line of questioning in his prophesying.  The Lord used Jeremiah to let the people know about the wickedness He sees in the land.  But, He also uses Jeremiah to confront false prophets who prophesy lies and love tickling the ears of the people and the people who give ear to it.  In Jeremiah 5:30-31, he writes, “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will you do in the end thereof?”

With wickedness pervading the land the people needed a good, healthy dose of Holy Ghost truth spoken into their lives and not messages that sugarcoat their wrongs and make them believe that they are still okay and that God is still going to bless them. Because there is an end coming and what is it going to profit them if they have not learned to live holy, if they have not learned to repent, if they have not learned that there is a right way before God to live, but they are not there yet.

Yes, we have the promise of heaven before us if we are living lives of righteous faith before God but on the other end of the spectrum, there is a very real, horrible place called hell.  It is a place for judgment and punishment that will never see an end.

Too many are unprepared for an eternal future in one place or the other because they are not taught to be ready anymore.  They are not taught that tomorrow is not promised and that they could step into eternity at any moment.  They are not taught that holiness matters and that God requires holiness for He said, “Be ye holy; for I am holy,” (1 Peter 1:16).

Instead, there is a lot of tickling of the ears.  Messages that continually show us how to prosper here and tell us that we are next in line here even though this earth is not our final home.  While I enjoy a good message of blessing myself, I and everyone else also need to know how to prosper and push for the eternal goal of heaven.  Without it, what will you do in the end?

In that time to come, how will you be prepared for the reality of what lies ahead?

“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein . . .” (Jeremiah 6:16a).  When you do that, when you seek the proven path of God’s word and choose to live by it then we have this promise for our end, “ye shall find rest for your souls,” (Jeremiah 6:16b).

Sadly, many choose not to listen for the rest of that verse tells us, “But they said, We will not walk therein,” (Jeremiah 6:16c).  They made the decision for their eternity.

The way forward into eternity with God is through the old proven path of His sound Word.  God relayed through Jeremiah that when He delivered His people He instructed them to “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you,” (Jeremiah 7:24).  But, the truth became clear: “But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward,” (Jeremiah 7:25).

They chose a backward mentality after the things that would not profit them in the end.

Daily we find ourselves running against the clock to get this done and that.  May we all take heed that there is a spiritual clock we are racing against, and one day it will read “Time’s up!”  What will you do in the end?  A very real question that will one day require a very real answer.

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“Study Him!”

“The works of the LORD are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them,” Psalm 111:2, NKJV

Why such doubt?  Why such confusion?  Have you studied Him?  Have you studied the works of our God?

Open your understanding to the truth of who He is.  Open, and expand your knowledge of our Heavenly Father.  Seek Him, and search Him out.  As the greatest treasure that is to be found, don’t stop digging till you have unearthed His glorious truths.

“His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever,” (Psalm 111:3, NKJV).  So, dig deep, my friends, and find Him for yourself.

Look through His holy pages and see Him.  See what He has done.  See the testimonies of the lives that have walked in those written lines.  See the things He performed in them and through them.  See what He continues to do even in this day.  See, and believe.

For where the truth of this treasure is, it leaves no room for doubt and confusion.  Truth eats up the empty spaces that make room for lies.

Therefore, study Him.  Let not your appetite be quenched by the false junk and ideologies of this age.  Take your fill of God, our Father.  Learn of Him.  Explore Him, and you will not only be satisfied with that which nourishes for all eternity, but you will enter an abundant adventure of a lifetime today (John 10:10).

It’s there, in those pages of the Bible.  Seek Him.  He’s not hiding from you.  Study Him, and enrich your own life further and deeper than you could have ever imagined.

“He has made His wonderful works to be remembered . . .” Psalm 111:4, NKJV

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A Man and His Maker

“At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.” – Isaiah 17:7

Father God, I pray today for that man, woman, or child who would look to You and recognize You as their Maker.

I pray today, that people would have respect for the Holy One of Israel.

I pray today, that people everywhere would honor You as God over all.

I pray today, that not only eyes but hearts would look to You and be saved.

I pray today, that they would see You as Creator of all.

I pray today, for scales to fall from blind eyes and they would recognize that You are the God who loves them, cherishes them, and wants them to dwell eternally in heaven with You.

I pray today, that hearts would be softened to Your will and Your ways.  That many souls would repent and seek a restored relationship with You.

I pray today, for confusion and rebellion to dissipate so that people would see with clarity that You are the true God who reigns from everlasting to everlasting.

I pray today, for people to join Your holy family.  For a man and his Maker to come into sweet fellowship and holy communion as was intended from the time of Creation.

Thank You, for sending Jesus Christ, who makes this reconciling possible through His shed blood.  And I pray today, that men everywhere would grab ahold of that sweet and precious gift for themselves and be saved.  In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I pray, AMEN!

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A Message of Peace:

Dear Friends, if you are trying to push through your day today with a troubled heart, I pray that God’s peace would overshadow all the trouble you are feeling. Jesus often spoke of peace; when He calmed the storms and when He appeared after His resurrection. Peace is something that many search for, but it can only truly be found in Him. Peace is something God wants us to experience, so I pray that your sorrows will melt away and dissolve in His peace today. That all your hurts of a troubled heart will disappear into His grace.  I pray for God’s mercy to fill the gaps each of us need filling.  I pray for peace in your home and out.  I pray for peace in your coming and your going.  I pray that in the midst of everything, God would send a revelation of peace just for you.  In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN!

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

“The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” – Numbers 6:26

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jeremiah 29:11

“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” – Ephesians 2:14

“Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” – Isaiah 26:3

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