Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Here Am I - Send Me! (Isaiah 6)

In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah said, "I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple." What glory! The temple was huge! Can you imagine enough fabric to cover the whole temple?

Angels flew above the him, and they called to each other:

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory." 
The sound of their voices made the doorposts and thresholds shake, and smoke filled the temple.

"Woe to me!" cried Isaiah. "I am ruined! For I have unclean lips and I live among people with unclean lips. My eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty."
Then an angel came to Isaiah with a burning coal from the altar and touched his lips. "See, this has touched your lips. Your guilt is taken away and your sin is atoned for."

The Lord said to Isaiah, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"

And Isaiah said, "Here am I. Send me!"

God called Isaiah to prophesy to the people of Israel, but they did not listen and God destroyed the cities.

Think About It
Following God was not popular in Isaiah's day and it's not popular today. Yet His ways are good and right and true. His ways bring peace and joy and love. Will you be one that follows God even when your peers do not? Even when your friends laugh at you?

Pray About It
Thank you, Father God, for the story of Isaiah. Teach us to be strong and brave, to make good choices that will bring peace and joy and love. Amen.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Here I Am (Samuel 3)

Hannah dedicated her son, Samuel, to the Lord because God saved her from the disgrace of not having children. So Samuel grew up in the temple, with Eli the priest.

Eli had two sons,  Hophni and Phinehas. No one gives their sons such names anymore because these boys did bad things. Eli did not correct them as a godly father would, which disappointed God the Father.

One night while Eli slept, God called Samuel. He thought it was Eli and went to him. "Here I am," he said. "You called me."

But Eli said, "I did not call you. Go and lie down," so Samuel went and lay down.

He heard the call again and went to Eli. "Here I am. You called me."Eli said he did not call him and told him to go and lie down so he did.

Samuel heard the call a third time and went to Eli. "Here I am. You called me."

This time Eli sat up in his bed. He realized that the Lord was calling Samuel and he said to him, "Go and lie down and if He calls you again, say, 'Speak Lord. Your servant is listening.'"

The Lord called again, "Samuel! Samuel!"

This time Samuel stood and replied, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

God said He would make the ears of everyone in Israel tingle when they heard what He was about to do. He said He would judge Eli and his family for their sins.

The next morning Eli called Samuel.

"Here I am," he said.

Then Eli asked what the Lord said to him. "Tell me everything. Don't be afraid."

Then Samuel told him what God said.

"He is the Lord," Eli said.

God was with Samuel as he grew up in the Lord. He became Israel's prophet. He even anointed King Saul and King David.

Think About It
We may not hear God's voice as clearly as Samuel, but we can grow up to know His will for our lives. It is written in His word. By reading the Bible and living as God teaches, we will grow up to love and serve Him as Samuel did.

Pray About It
Thank you, Father God, for the story of Samuel and how he grew from a young boy to love and serve you all the days of his life. Help us to be like him. Amen.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

God to the Rescue (Daniel 3:8-30)

Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king, but he hungered for more power. He set up a golden statue of himself and demanded that at the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum and every kind of music, his people should fall down and worship the image.

Some Chaldeans accused three young Jews, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They told the king, "These men do not worship your gods or your golden statue."

This made Nebuchadnezzar very, very angry, and he had the three brought to him. "Is it true you do not serve our gods or worship the golden statue?" Then he ordered the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum and every kind of music to sound off, but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not worship the image. They said their God would rescue them in the fire, and even if He didn't, they would not worship the golden statue.

Nebuchadnezzar ordered the temperature in furnace to be raised seven times hotter than normal. It was so hot it killed the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the blazing fire.

Then something amazing happened. The king looked into the window of the furnace and saw, not three but four men walking around in the fire. He said, "One looks like a son of the gods!" The men's robes did not catch on fire and their hair did not burn. Nebuchadnezzar had them brought out of the furnace. The Jews didn't even smell like fire or smoke.

Do you know what the king did? He praised the God of Shadrach Meshach and Abednego, because He rescued the men who trusted Him.

Think About It
Has anyone tried to get you to do something you knew was wrong? Did they persuade you? Next time remember how God protected Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. You can trust Him to protect you too.

Pray About It
Father God, it's hard to stay true to you when our friends want us to go along with things that are not right. Be our strength and help us to trust you, even when it's not the popular thing to do.