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A devotional that explains God ’s Word through engaging stories. With devotions that children can connect with and questions to get them thinking and talking, this 31-day devotional will encourage families and their young ones to spend time in God’s Word and draw closer to Him.

Give S I H T US DAY ad e r B y l i a Our D and Kids s for Familie

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This Book Belongs To:


WRITER S: Ames Chen (AC), Alina Teo (AT), Betsy Whittaker (BW), Chia Poh Fang (CPF), Charmaine Weng (CW), Esther Eio (EE), Emily Lim (EL), Jasmine Goh (JG), Karen Kwek (KK), Kimberly Quek (KQ), Ke Meifeng (MF), Liu Meiying (MY), Ng Wei Joo (NWJ), Ruth Wan-Lau (RW), Selena Heng (SL) EDITORIAL: Asia Pacific Content Development Team DESIGNER S: Mary Tham, Joshua Tan Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com. Images used under licence from shutterstock.com © 2021 Our Daily Bread Ministries®. All rights reserved.


Hello! Have you ever wondered: What God is like? And why do Christians pray? In this booklet, we hope to help you find answers to these important questions and more. We pray that as you read the Bible, you will draw closer to Jesus, get to know what He is like, and become more like Him. And we hope that you will learn to love people like Jesus does, and start new habits that will help you follow Jesus every day. Here are some tips on how you can use this issue of Give Us This Day to enjoy meaningful moments with God: • Set aside a specific time every day to spend time with God. • Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Word. • Read the Bible passage. • Read the devotion. • Reflect on the questions. • Pray and ask God to help you apply His Word to your life. God is waiting to meet you every day! What are you waiting for? Let Him speak to you through His Word today! The Our Daily Bread team 


God ’s Love ay Verse of the Dr, God othe If we love one an s love is lives in us and hi in us. made complete —1 John 4:12

READ

1 John 4:8–16

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eiying was enjoying the family holiday. She walked in quiet amazement as Dad pointed out the different types of daisies and Mom took pictures of the cows in the countryside. As the mountain ranges loomed into view, Meiying gushed out loud: “Thank You, God, for Mother Nature!” Mom responded: “That’s right, Meiying. God makes the grass grow for the cows, and waters the mountain. God’s care for His creation shows His immense love for us.” “Do you know what else can show God’s love?” Dad asked. “What else? Isn’t aaaalllll this enough?” Meiying exclaimed. Dad replied: “You and me. As followers of Jesus Christ, we can show God’s love to those around us.” Dad tapped on his phone’s Bible app and read: “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one

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Pra yer has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:11–12).

loved us so much that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, which is our disobedience to God. If we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He will live in us and give us the ability and capacity to love others. “God is love,” Dad added.

Dad explained that God

Lord , pl to sh ease use ow Y me ou the p eopl r love to ea Than k You round m e. f me a nd h or living elpin in love g me them to with Your love.

“When we love one another, it shows that God is living in us and we belong to Him.” Meiying looked around her, took a deep breath, and said: “I want to love the people around me more.” Mom and Dad smiled and gave her a big hug. —NWJ

tion Reflec u? It love to those around yo How can you show God’s t, or er, like your grandparen could be a family memb u do or yo ll wi at a classmate. Wh someone at school, like say to these people?

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Kind Father ay Verse of the Dyour Father

will How much more od gifts to those in heaven give go atthew 7:11 who ask him! —M

READ

Matthew 7:7–12

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am lingered in the classroom after Sunday School, looking visibly troubled. “What’s wrong, Sam?” asked his teacher Melvin. Sam muttered: “I need a new pair of soccer boots, but mom may not have the money to get me one.” “Have you asked God for it?” Melvin asked. “God delights to hear us.” Sam said: “Can I really do this? Can I really approach God and ask Him for things?” Coming from a single parent family, Sam had never experienced a father’s love. Melvin gave Sam a gentle hug. Then, he took out his Bible and asked, “Who does Jesus say God is to you in Matthew 7:11?” Sam read aloud the verse: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Sam’s eyes brightened as he said: “He is my Father.”

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Pra yer Lord Melvin nodded. “Now, imagine , than kY Y ou a you have a father who is wealthy but re m ou that y c k apab cares little for you. Would you ask le Fa ind and ther. run t him for anything?” o You I can with my c are al Sam shook his head. “Why know s and co l n i n c bother when he wouldn’t to he g that Yo erns, a u r me delig respond?” . ht Melvin agreed, then added: “If you have a father who is generous but poor, would you ask him for anything?” Sam replied: “Er . . . nope. He wouldn’t be able to do anything even he wants to.” Melvin nodded again. “Jesus says if you ask God for bread, He won’t give you a stone. God delights in giving good gifts to His children who ask Him. He is our kind and capable Father. Shall we ask Him for the soccer boots?”

After praying together, Melvin said, “You know what? I think God wants to answer your prayer through me. Shall we go and shop for the soccer boots together?” —CPF

tion Reflec in the agine God the Father is Close your eyes and im ur mind. Him about what’s on yo room with you. Talk to 7


t c e t i h c r A r e t Mas ay Verse of the Dthese

ars Everyone who he d puts them an words of mine e a wise into practice is lik s house on man who built hi ew 7:24 the rock. —Matth

READ

Matthew 7:24–25

“U

ncle Julian, Papa says you are an architect!” Kai Jie said. “What exactly does an architect do?” “An architect comes up with the plans for a building,” Uncle Julian replied. “He draws up the detailed blueprints for the construction team to follow.” “But what if the blueprint was defective?” Kai Jie asked. “That would be a serious problem,” Uncle Julian said. “That’s why the Hotel New World building collapsed in Singapore in 1986.” “You mean, a whole building fell down?” Kai Jie exclaimed. “Yes! The building authorities discovered that the building plans had some serious problems,” Uncle Julian said. “Firstly, the building wasn’t designed by a qualified person. Secondly, someone calculated the building’s weight wrongly, so the building could not support its own weight.” “That reminds me of the Parable of the Wise and the Foolish

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Pra yer Builders,” Kai Jie said. “My Sunday School teacher said that anyone who listens to Jesus’ teaching and follows it is like the wise man who built his house upon a rock. It did not fall when the storms came.”

is the most qualified person to give us the right blueprint to build our lives. If we obey Him, we build our lives in the best way because God has our best interests at heart,” Uncle Julian said. “When we follow Jesus’

“That’s right. Jesus

Lord , help m follo w Jes e to us in obed ie build nce. I wa nt my li fe on to my fi rm fo J unda esus, tion.

teachings, we can stand strong through the storms of life.” “Uncle Julian,” Kai Jie said. “You aren’t the only architect I know.” “Really?” Uncle Julian asked in surprise. “God is our master architect,” Kai Jie said. “Amen!” Uncle Julian said. “We, the construction crew, must read His plans diligently and follow what He says. Then we build and invest in a life that lasts till eternity!” —EL

tion Reflec us’ ing to and following Jes How have you been listen low fol d ys you can listen to an teaching? List three wa Jesus more this week.

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ing y a r P p o t S ’t Don ay Verse of the Dve up. not gi Always pray and —Luke 18:1

READ

Luke 18:1–8

“I

finally got Nicky off my back!” Jake huffed as he walked through the front door. “Sounds like a rough day at school,” Dad commented, looking up from his desk. “Nicky has been pestering me all week to lend him my Nintendo Switch. At first, I was reluctant because I was afraid he might lose it or spoil it. However, he bugged me to no end and promised me to take good care of it, so I finally gave in,” Jake recounted as he took a seat next to Dad. Patting Jake on his shoulder, Dad smiled and said, “This reminds me of a story Jesus told in Luke 18:1–8. A persistent widow kept coming to a judge to ask for justice. Even though the judge didn’t want to help her, he did not want her to bother him with her requests, so he finally agreed to help her.” “So the judge helped the woman just to get her off his back, like

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Pra yer Lord me getting Nicky to stop bugging me?” , give t o Jake asked, incredulous. keep me faith trus You, “Yes,” Dad smiled. “But that’s not even ting in when get a the point of the story. Jesus was n an I don swer ’t pray t e o rs im teaching His disciples to ‘always med my Help ia me t pray and not give up’ (Luke 18:1). o kee tely. and p n ot gi He was showing us that unlike the ve up praying . uncaring judge, God cares deeply for us. And if an uncaring judge would answer a persistent plea, would God the loving Father do any less? No—He hears our prayers and will act for our good, as quickly as is best for us. Therefore, we should have faith in God and

always pray.” Persevering is never easy. I shall remind myself that God loves me and I should not stop calling out to Him because He hears my prayers and will definitely answer, Jake decided in his heart. —AT

tion Reflec praying m praying? Commit to What could stop you fro ays y. Remember, God is alw for 5 minutes every da listening.

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Glow Worms ay Verse of the Dfor my feet, mp Your word is a la . th pa y a light on m 5 —Psalm 119:10

READ

5 Psalm 119:97–10

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avid and Lucas finally arrived at the drop-off point for The Glow Worm Caves at Tamborine Mountain in Gold Coast, Australia. As they had to walk through a pitch-black forest to reach the caves, Dad brought a couple of torchlights. He handed two to Mom and David. Then he held onto young Lucas’ hand while holding his own torchlight. “Let’s walk slowly,” Dad repeated the tour guide’s instructions. “The ground is uneven and we can hardly see beyond a few steps.” David treaded carefully behind Mom. Dad and Lucas followed. “Why is David so slow?” Lucas complained. He broke free from Dad’s grip and dashed ahead. “Lucas, stop!” Dad cried. But Lucas ran ahead of the light and tripped. “Ouch!” he howled in pain as he scraped his knees.

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Pra yer Lord , help me t alwa o ys re ad, li and s ten ob Plea ey Your W to, se ke ep m ord. fallin e fro g. Lucas sobbed louder. m Mommy soothed Lucas and said, “You know, this reminds me of Psalm 119:105: ‘Your word is a lamp for Dad carried him till they reached the caves. “Lucas, I hope you will listen and not run ahead in future,” Dad lectured.

my feet, a light on my path.’ When we read, listen to, and obey God’s Word, His truth lights up our path and keeps us from falling.” Lucas quietened down as Mom cuddled him. “Likewise, your father wants the best for you. When you follow his words, it keeps you from falling.” Just then, the Glow Worms show started. “Sorry, Dad,” Lucas whispered. “I see clearly now. I will listen to you . . . and God’s Word.” Dad smiled, “That’s good. Look, these glow worms are right on time in bringing light to the dark!” —EL

tion Reflec st recently that goes again Have you done anything to ing ten lis t le? How did no what God says in the Bib   rn? lea u yo to “trip”? What did God’s Word cause you 13


my Love Your Ene ay Verse of the Dry,

hung If your enemy is ans 12:20 feed him. —Rom

READ

Romans 12:17–21

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hen Jim Elliot, a missionary, was killed by Huaorani tribesmen in Ecuador in 1956, no one expected what happened next. Jim’s wife, Elisabeth, chose to live among the very people who killed her husband. She spent several years living in the Huaorani community, learning their language, and translating the Bible for them. Her testimony of forgiveness and kindness convinced the Huaorani of God’s love for them, and many received Jesus as their Savior. Elisabeth did not repay evil with evil, but with good (Romans 12:17). The apostle Paul encouraged the church in Rome to show, through their actions, the transformation that God had brought into their lives. What did Paul have in mind? Paul wanted the church in Rome to go beyond the natural desire to take revenge; instead, they

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Pra yer were to show love to their enemies by meeting their needs, such as providing food or water.

Lord , help me t resis o t the natu desir r al e Help to take re v me t o sho enge. to th w ose w ho h love urt m e.

Why do this? Paul quotes a proverb from the Old Testament: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink” (v.20; Proverbs 25:21–22). Is there someone in school who is bullying you or being mean to you? When

we show kindness to our enemies, we could win them over to Jesus and lead them to repentance. —Adapted from Our Daily Bread, 18 January 2020, by Estera

Pirosca Escobar

tion Reflec mean is bullying you or being Is there somebody who t rents about it. Pray abou to you? Talk to your pa . him to s es dn kin d showing forgiving the person an

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Whose Fault? ay Verse of the D d fall short of ed an For all have sinn — Romans 3:23 the glory of God.

READ

Romans 3:23–24

“I

t’s her fault! She made me do it!” Raphael cried. “I didn’t make you do anything!” Rachel, his sister, protested. “Yes, you did! If you hadn’t stuck out your tongue at me, I wouldn’t have pushed you! You made me push you!” Raphael said. Have you ever thought like Raphael? Perhaps you shouted at someone in anger. Then, you told yourself: “It’s not my fault. That person did something to anger me. It’s his fault.” Whose fault is it when we sin—meaning, when we disobey God, don’t follow His ways, and don’t trust Him fully? Let’s imagine: If a person knocks a cup of juice onto the floor and creates a mess, whose fault is the mess? Most people would say it is the person who knocked the cup over. However, think about this: if there had been no juice in the cup, there wouldn’t have been any mess.

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Pra yer Lord We are like the cup, and sin is like , I un t h the juice. When someone “knocks” us at I a derstand I can m a sinn over, sin spills out in the form of anger er. ’t when blame ot or other sorts of disobedience to h ers I diso Forg ive m bey You. God. While we can blame the person e word s and for my si who “knocked” us—the person nful actio ns. who made us angry—we must recognize that sin had been inside us all this while. If there had been no sin in us, there would have been no mess to spill out. The sin comes from inside us.

Romans 3:23 says: “For all have sinned and fall

short of the glory of God.” We must acknowledge the sin in us when we disobey God with our angry words and hurtful actions. Only then will we truly repent by saying sorry to

God, and be forgiven by Him. —RW

tion Reflec have thing recently that would Did you say or do some or rds wo caused those sinful displeased God? What giveness. actions? Ask God for for

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Rich in Mercy ay Verse of the Dercy,

in m God, who is rich ith Christ made us alive w ere dead in even when we w transgressions. 5 —Ephesians 2:4–

READ

Ephesians 2:4–8

“I

can’t believe it,” Jason blurted out as he hung up the phone. “Can’t believe what?” Mom asked. “Greg said that he forgives me. He isn’t mad at me, and he’ll get the iPad fixed once he’s saved up enough from his holiday job. He doesn’t expect me to help pay for the repair.” “Wow, that is something,” Mom commented. Earlier, at his aunt’s place, Jason had accidentally dropped his teenage cousin Greg’s iPad, cracking its screen badly. Greg had been out when it happened, and Jason had been worrying about what his cousin would say and do when he got home. He had also been frantically trying to figure out how to scrape together enough money to get the iPad fixed. “Jason,” Mom continued, “what Greg’s shown you is called mercy.

Mercy is kindness extended to someone who deserves punishment. You know, this is actually a great picture of

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Pra yer what God has done for us.”

Lord , th for Y ank You our r ich towa rds m mercy e—o cross n the a offer nd even n ing f orgiv ow, when ene ever I con ss my s fess in.

Jason’s eyes widened as he suddenly understood. “You and I are sinners because we are disobedient towards God,” Mom explained. “The Bible tells us that the punishment for sin is death. But thank God that He is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4). Because only a God full of mercy would willingly send His only Son to die on the cross for us, so that we don’t get the punishment we deserve. That is what Jesus did on the cross for us. How does Greg’s mercy make you feel, Jason?” “Unbelievably grateful,” Jason replied without hesitation. Mom nodded in agreement. “Likewise, God’s rich mercy should make us feel thankful and resolve to love Him more.” —KQ

tion Reflec week? ient to God in the past Have you been disobed time to ke Ta u? ful towards yo How has God been merci rcy. me h ric nk God for His confess your sins and tha

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P.H.D. ay Verse of the Dtes in

mpe Everyone who co to strict in the games goes it to get a training . . . we do st forever. crown that will la 25 —1 Corinthians 9:

READ

–27

1 Corinthians 9:24

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ean flung himself onto Matilda’s bed. “I’m bored!” he declared. “Now that my swimming competition is over, my life has no meaning!” Matilda raised an eyebrow. “Stop exaggerating, bro! Life is about much more than swimming. In fact, did you know you’ve been given a PhD in life?” “A P-H-D?” Sean asked. “Yes. It’s an advanced education certificate attained in university, but Pastor John used the letters ‘P’, ‘H’, and ‘D’ to tell us about the true meaning we have in life.” “Okay, sis. Tell me about this P-H-D.” Sean sat up. Matilda opened up the Bible. “Pastor John pointed us to 1 Corinthians 9:25, which says: ‘Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.’ He said

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Pra yer Lord that as Christians, we’ve been given , hel b e sel p me to ‘P’, which is eternal Purpose. Just as f-con and an athlete is focused on attaining a to st trolled ay aw from ay trophy, we Christians are to focus distr actio temp n s ta on receiving the eternal crown train tions. I w and a m nt in heaven—eternal life in an yself plea to do to s i ng to imperishable new body.” You. what is Matilda continued: “But how do we do that? That’s where the ‘H’ comes in: it stands for Holiness, which means being set apart from the world. Just as an athlete avoids fried foods, we Christians must stay away from distractions and temptations, and be different from the world. Finally, we must have ‘D’, which is Discipline. An athlete’s training is strict. Likewise, we are to have self-control and train ourselves to do what is pleasing to God.” “Purpose, Holiness, and Discipline. P-H-D!” Sean exclaimed. “Yup, so don’t ever live life aimlessly. You have Purpose, and you’re to be Holy, and Disciplined!” —RW

tion Reflec the be as you “train” to get What would your motto like k loo would your training crown in heaven? What every day?

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r In Living Colo ay Verse of the De had the ther The one who sat sper and ruby. appearance of ja —Revelation 4:3

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Revelation 4:1–6

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hen Xavier put on the glasses Aunt Celena gave for his 10th birthday, he burst into tears. Born color blind, Xavier had only ever seen the world in shades of grey, white, and black. With his new special glasses, however, he saw color for the first time. He was amazed, looking at the colorful beauty around him. Seeing God’s colorful brilliance also evoked a powerful reaction in the apostle John (Revelation 1:17). After encountering the full glory of the resurrected Christ, John glimpsed “a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. . . . From the throne came flashes of lightning” (Revelation 4:2–5).

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Pra yer In the Old Testament times, the prophet Ezekiel had a similar vision, seeing “what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli,” with a figure above the throne who “looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire” (Ezekiel 1:26–27). This magnificent figure was surrounded by rainbow-like radiance (v.28).

Lord , I loo k for mee ward ting You to face f a ce-to in he a to ce ven. Iw le of Yo brate the ant ur cr eatio beauty and n he now. re

One day we will meet Christ face-

to-face. These visions give us just a hint of the magnificence that awaits us. As we celebrate the beauty of God’s creation here and now, let’s look forward to seeing the glory yet to be revealed. —Adapted from Our Daily Bread, 14 July 2019, by Remi Oyedele

tion Reflec lly e you saw something rea When was the last tim you do at Wh l or mountain? beautiful, like a water fal can we t tha k like? Thank God think heaven might loo look for ward to it!

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ed Always Accept ay Verse of the Dter

h? Af Are you so foolis ns of the beginning by mea w trying to Spirit, are you no of the flesh? finish by means —Galatians 3:3

READ

Galatians 3:1–6

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herie was normally happy to be home after school, but today, she felt miserable. Mom noticed her crying quietly, and asked gently, “Cherie, is something wrong? Want to tell Mommy?” After some hesitation, Cherie said: “My classmates dislike me. I try hard to be helpful, to be a good friend, but they just ignore me.” Mom gave Cherie a hug, then pulled out a Bible. Wanting to be accepted, she said, was something that many Christians experience. “How so?” Cherie asked. Mom read out Galatians 3:1–6, emphasizing verse 3: “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Noting Cherie’s puzzled look, she explained that the Galatian Christians had received salvation by faith—by simply believing that Jesus died and rose for them. But then, they thought that they had to

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Pra yer do more to be accepted by God, so they started trying to follow the ways of the Jews. “So, you see, Cherie, most of us want to belong and be accepted,” continued Mom. “But the

Lord , th show ank You fo ing m love e tha r is t You r Help enough for m me t e. o rel othe ate t rs o abou without worr t get y ting appr their ing oval.

good news is, Jesus is all we need to be accepted by God. We don’t have to do anything extra to earn it.” Cherie nodded, but added: “What should I do now, Mommy?

I still want to have friends in school.” Mom understood. “Next time, when you do something for your classmates, try not to think too much about trying to win their approval or to be accepted,” she said. “Remember instead that you have already been accepted by the most important person—God.” Cherie gave a little smile. “Thanks, Mommy. Having friends is important, but I know belonging to God’s family is enough.” —NWJ

tion Reflec w did your friends recently? Ho What have you done for pted ce knowing that you are ac they respond? How will ends? you relate with your fri by God change the way

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s e n d l o B f o t i S pir

s

ay Verse of the Dt make us

no The Spirit . . . does d us power, love an timid, but gives 2 Timothy 1:7 self-discipline. —

READ

2 Timothy 1:7–9

“H

ey Sarah, what are you doing after school today?” asked Jane. “I’m heading to the library to study for a test,” Sarah said. Jane nudged Sarah, “We’re going shopping. It would be so much more fun if you come too.” “I really can’t,” Sarah replied. “This test is important.” “But you can study later,” replied Jane. “Don’t you want to hang out with us?” “Of course! But I need to revise for the test first,” Sarah replied gently but firmly. Jane looked disappointed. She said, “Okay. But how about meeting up tomorrow, then?” “That would be great!” Sarah said with a smile, “See you then!” When Sarah got home, she found Mom cooking dinner. “Mom, remember how I thought last night’s devotion didn’t apply to my

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Pra yer Than life? Well, something happened today, k You that neve I’m r and now I understand.” She told Mom s I don tanding alo ’t about her conversation with Jane. afrai have to b ne. d e , “Wow!” Mom exclaimed, “I’m Spiri because Yo t is w glad that you really took 2 Timothy ith m ur e. 1:7 to heart: ‘For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’” Mom added: “You know, Timothy was a young man called to stand up for his faith and lead a church. He was to set an example in his speech, life, love, faith, and purity. You could just imagine his fears. But Paul encouraged Timothy that God’s spirit lives in him and would give him the ability to do what is right. God’s spirit that empowered Timothy also lives in us, giving us the ability to please Him.”

Sarah nodded. “It was really hard. But God really did help me to do the right thing that pleases Him!” —BW

tion Reflec aid en you felt timid and afr Think of those times wh ay’s thing. Try writing out tod to speak up for the right ng it to your heart. God can bri verse and storing it in ed it! your mind when you ne

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ip s Good Hardsh ay Verse of the D fferings,

our su We also glory in that suffering ow because we kn erance. produces persev —Romans 5:3

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Romans 5:3–4

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ikaela was learning how to ride a bicycle. She turned a corner and fell, scraping her knee. Dad rushed up to her. “Are you all right?” he asked. “I’m okay, Daddy,” she replied. “It just hurts a little. I’ll just rest for a while, then I want to continue.” After another hour of riding, Mikaela and Dad went home. When they entered the kitchen, they saw Oliver crying. He had burnt his little finger while baking. “It hurts quite bad, Mommy,” he cried. “I think I’ll rest my finger, then I’ll finish off the rest of the cookies.” Mom and Dad were pleased that their children were persevering in learning new skills, even when it meant getting hurt. “Look, children,” Mom said and took out her Bible. “Your perseverance reminded me of Romans 5:3–4. When

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we live our


Pra yer lives for Jesus, we may have to go through trials and hardships, but these trials and hardships are good for us, because they help us to grow in our character and faith.”

Lord , pl to pe ease hel p me rs give evere an d no up li t vin espe cially g for Yo u, w hard to do hen it’s so.

“That’s right,” continued Dad. “God wants us to keep on believing in Him and keep on living for Him, and He will help us do that through the Holy Spirit.” “Does that mean scraping my knee is good for me, Mommy?” asked Mikaela. “In a way,” replied Mom, “because it teaches you to be more careful.” “Does it mean that eating burnt cookies is good for me too?” asked Oliver. “Look! They are burning in the oven.” Mom quickly turned off the oven, and everyone laughed. —MY

tion Reflec Ask the for you to follow Jesus? What makes it dif ficult ies and overcome these dif ficult Holy Spirit to help you not to give up.

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am c S t s e t a e r G The ay Verse of the Dserpent “The The woman said, I ate.” d an e, deceived m —Genesis 3:13

READ

Genesis 3:1–13

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randma sighed deeply as she read the newspapers. “What are you reading, Grandma?” Laura bounced over and read out the headline: “Elderly lady cheated of $1.6 million in phone scam”. Laura gasped. “That’s a lot of money!” “Isn’t it terrible?” Grandma said. “According to the article, the lady received a phone call and became curious when the caller seemed sincere. The scammer persuaded her to invest in a fake scheme and even convinced her to pass him her bank account details!” “What a scam!” Laura muttered. “I hope I never meet such a scammer.” “You know, Laura,” Grandma continued, “this reminds me of what happened in Genesis. The serpent struck up a seemingly sincere conversation with Eve. Although God had told Adam he would certainly die if he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and

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Pra yer evil, the serpent told Eve the opposite: ‘You will not certainly die . . . you will be like God’ (Genesis 3:4–5).” “The serpent scammed Eve!” Laura exclaimed. “And she fell for it!” “Yes, but so do we all,”

Lord , I kn ow t Sata ha n wi ll try t sin s t o ma ee ke Give m attrac tive. me w isdom throu g t stren h his sca o see m, an gth t d o sta again nd fi st hi r m m.

Grandma said. “Satan continues to try to deceive us today. He tries to make us doubt the badness of sin. For example, he may whisper to us, ‘You won’t

get punished for this sin . . . it’ll make you popular with friends.’” Laura thought carefully. “Satan is the greatest scammer of all. He will try to make sin seem not so bad or even attractive.” Grandma nodded. “Every time we hear of scams, let’s remember not to fall for scams ourselves—especially from the greatest scammer of all!” —RW

tion Reflec y try ways in which Satan ma What are some common not er w can we help each oth to deceive us today? Ho to fall for his “scams”?

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ery t s y M e h T g n i Solv ay Verse of the D us the

n to [God] made know ill according mystery of his w sure, which he to his good plea t. purposed in Chris —Ephesians 1:9

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Ephesians 1:3–10

D

etective Sheldon sank into his chair. He massaged his temples as his thoughts unfurled. Weeks had passed and the case of the missing diamond was still unsolved. No matter how much he investigated, he didn’t seem to be getting closer to the truth. The clues he had gathered didn’t make sense. Sheldon went through each piece of evidence in his mind again. It was no use—there were too many missing pieces. Do you ever feel that trying to understand the Bible is like solving a mystery? You hear one part from Dad and Mom, another part from your Sunday School teacher, and yet another part from reading your devotionals. It’s like trying to piece together clues to solve the “mystery” of God’s plan for the world. But, unlike Detective Sheldon who has to search for missing clues, God’s story doesn’t have to remain a mystery to us.

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Pra yer Ephesians 1:9 says that God has “made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ.”

God uses the Bible to tell

us His plan to save mankind, and Jesus is the main

Lord , th givin ank You fo g me the B r that sh ib love ows me Y le and o ur pla us th roug n to resc hY ue Jesus Chris our Son t.

character of this plan. The stories in the Bible all point to the main theme of God’s love and rescue through Jesus. For example, Jesus is the great shepherd mentioned in Psalm 23. And He is the one who ultimately saves His people from slavery to sin, just like Moses saved the people from slavery to Pharaoh in Exodus 12. Can you think of other examples? The next time you read the Bible or hear a Bible story, remember: Jesus is the key to helping us understand God’s story and how every part of the Bible fits together. —JG

tion Reflec d or ent Bible story you rea What was the most rec your are Sh it point to Jesus? heard about? How does School ay nd ur parents or your Su understanding with yo teacher.

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nth Stay Home Mo ay Verse of the D are my

, “You I say to the LORD you I have no Lord; apart from alm 16:2 good thing.” — Ps

READ

Psalm 16:1–11

“M

om, why do all of us have to stay at home this whole month?” Angelina asked as she pounded the dough for the bread that Mom was baking. “The Covid-19 virus is very infectious,” Mom said. “By staying at home this month and not meeting other people, we help to prevent the virus from spreading between people.” Mom kneaded some yeast into the dough and flattened it. “It’s like how a little yeast can spread through this big lump of dough to increase the volume of bread that we end up with.” “I hope this month passes quickly and we can go out freely again,” Angelina said. “I’m bored already.” “Hey, why don’t we find some new recipes for different breads?” Mom said. “Okay! That sounds fun,” Angelina said, perking up. Mom smiled. “Joy can be found in simple things, like baking

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Pra yer Lord bread. I’m also glad that Dad and I can , than kY o ur tr do our office work from home, and our ue jo ou that y f rom come family has more time together.” kn s our S owing Y “Me too!” Angelina said. ou a avior s . Hel see t pu ha “Yet, for all that we can or come t all goo s to d thi from cannot do during this period, there ngs You. is ultimately only one source of joy,” Mom said. “Psalm 16:2 says: ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’ In

this psalm, David reflects on his relationship with God, giving thanks for His presence and His blessings. This is a difficult period for everyone. But when we keep our eyes on God, like David did, we can rejoice and be glad through this time.”

Angelina watched the dough rise in the oven. “Look, Mom, the bread is rising! If Jesus is in our life, we will also rise and be filled with the joy of His presence, right?” “Exactly!” Mom said with a smile. “Now, let’s feed on Jesus, our bread of life!” —EL

tion Reflec out what nday School teacher ab Ask your parents or Su out ab God, and how they go it means to find joy in elf. urs of the examples for yo doing it. Try one or two 35


Clean Room ay Verse of the Dmountain the Who may ascend The one who of the LORD? . . . and a pure has clean hands :3–4 heart. —Psalm 24

READ Psalm 24

R

achel giggled when she saw the note in Dad’s phone calendar: “Clean Room.” She asked: “Is your work room as messy as my bedroom, Dad?” Dad laughed. “No, the clean room is a room at work where we make microchips—the tiny parts that store and transfer information in devices like computers and phones. All who enter this room must wear special suits that cover us from head to toe, so that nothing from outside or from our bodies gets onto the microchips. Even the tiniest speck of dust can ruin a microchip.” “Wow! The requirements are really strict!” Rachel marveled. Dad asked: “Do you know what Psalm 24 says God is like? Go on, look it up on my phone.” Rachel scrolled through the passage. “God made the world (v.1); He is strong and mighty (v.8); and He is the Lord Almighty, King of glory (v.10),” she said.

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Pra yer Dad nodded. “That’s right. And what does it take to approach such a powerful God?” “Clean hands and a pure heart,” Rachel read from verse 4.

“God is holy,” Dad

Lord , th Jesus ank You th d cross ied on th at e for m me t y sin o liv . H elp ej acco rding oyfully to Yo ur w ays.

reflected. “That means He is perfect and doesn’t accept anyone ‘dirtied’ by sin. And all of us sin— sin—we ignore God, disobey His commands, or love other things more than Him. By God’s strict standards, we’re just not ‘clean’ or right enough.”

Dad continued: “But the good news is that Jesus, who never sinned, took the punishment for our sin. By trusting in Him, we are made clean according to God’s requirements, and can be with Him!” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Rachel clapped her hands. “Thank God for Jesus!” “Yes, indeed! Now if only I could trust you to clean your bedroom too!” quipped Dad. —KK

tion Reflec has that believing in Jesus How does it feel to know can you ean” before God? How made you perfectly “cl ness? respond to God’s good

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en He Has Forgiv ay Verse of the Dr thei For I will forgive will wickedness and sins no r remember thei 31:34 more. —Jeremiah

READ

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Jeremiah 31:31–

“N

o drinking on the sofa!” Dad’s voice rang clear from his study. He was going to be busy for some time on the phone and had put on Kate’s favorite movie in the living room. Barely 15 minutes later, Kate spilled an entire glass of milk on the sofa when she tried to reach for the remote control. Kate knocked on Dad’s door and pointed to her “crime” scene guiltily. Still wearing his earphones, Dad desperately tried to clean up the mess, then punished Kate by putting her in her naughty chair. Kate apologized, but wondered: “Will Daddy ever forgive me for what I did? I made him so angry.” Later that evening, Kate and Dad headed to a nearby park for a short cycle while Mom bought dinner from a coffee shop nearby. Still worried from the morning’s events, Kate crashed her bicycle into a tree.

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Pra yer Lord Without any hesitation, Dad , than k Yo f o lifted Kate into his arms to check if rgivi ng m u for I e wh say s she was hurt. That was when Kate en o wron rry for d oing hugged him tightly and starting g tow ar Help me n ds You. sobbing loudly, partly from the ot to that You shock of her fall, but more so love doubt me. because she realized Dad had truly forgiven her and still loved her. “Why do you still love me, Daddy?” she asked. “I did not listen to you this morning and made a huge mess.”

“God still loves me despite all the wrong I’ve done towards Him. Jeremiah 31:34 says God will show mercy to the sins of His people. He will totally erase their sins,

Dad replied:

and He did that through sending His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. God has forgiven me, and I have forgiven you, Kate. I will always love you.” —AC

tion Reflec ong. e you did something wr Think about the las t tim to d still loved you? Ask Go Did you wonder if God u when es you and forgives yo remind you that He lov you say “sorry ” to Him.

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ple Being An Exam ay Verse of the D I follow e, as Follow my exampl rist. the example of Ch :1 11 ns —1 Corinthia

READ

Titus 2:1–8

“I

want to be a teacher so I can scold others!” Nathaniel was telling his Sunday School teacher what he wanted to be when he grew up. “Is that why you want to be a teacher?” asked Aunty Dawn. “Yes,” said Nathaniel with a smile. “The teachers in school and the Bible always teach us to listen to the adults and obey. So when I’m an adult, children will listen to me!” Aunty Dawn replied: “Does the Bible teach only children? Let’s read Titus 2:1–8 and see what it says.” That’s when Nathaniel realized that the Bible had instructions for older men, older women, younger women, and younger men too. He read out verses 6 and 7: “Encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good.”

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Pra yer Dear “That’s right!” said Aunty Dawn. Jesu t o “We are not to scold people just be li s, help m e an ex ke You a because we feel like it.” nd b amp e le the p Nathaniel thought for a bit, then eopl of You to e aro und shared: “Maybe I want to grow up me. like the young man described in the Bible. Someone who is a good example to others.” Aunty Dawn smiled and nodded. “That’s awesome, Nathaniel! Just remember that you will be a good example when you follow the example of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).”

“Ah, I see now! That’s why Mommy always asks me to behave well as an example to my younger brother. So, we follow Jesus’ example and others follow us!” “Good example, Nathaniel!” said Aunty Dawn encouragingly. “I still want to be a teacher . . . not to scold others but to be a good example,” Nathaniel finished. —EE

tion Reflec does it r say about you? What What does your behavio Him? for ple n you be an exam say about Jesus? How ca

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ow Quick-slow-sl ay Verse of the D ick to be qu Everyone should k and ea sp listen, slow to gry. an slow to become —James 1:19

READ

James 1:19–21

“O

uch! MOM! Sam threw a ball at my head!” Mom ran towards the raised voices and found Sue on the floor massaging her forehead, while little Sam stood over her. The siblings’ faces were a matching shade of red—one flushed with rage, the other with pain. “What’s going on here?” thundered Mom. “She called me ‘stupid’!” Sam wailed. “What? I didn’t say any such thing!” Sue protested. “Sam kept bouncing his ball in the living room while I was practicing my dance steps. I asked him to play outside, but he kept on bouncing, so I told him to stop it!” Sam looked stricken. “Oh . . . I heard ‘stupid’, not ‘stop it’, and got mad at you. I’m sorry, Sue, how does your head feel?” As he helped his sister up, he asked, “What dance were you doing?” “The quick-step,” Sue replied. “Quick–quick–slow, quick–quick–

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Pra yer slow. I need to learn this for a school performance.” Mom’s eyes lit up. “There’s a verse in James that sounds like steps in a dance that goes ‘quick– slow–slow.’ We are to be ‘quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry’ (James 1:19).

Lord , fo lashi rgive me ng o for ut a when I am t others me t angr or y. He lp help un to Yo u w f temp hen I fee or l er ris ing, s my liste n we o I ca ll an right d res n ly. pond

When we stop to consider someone else’s point of view, we put our own wishes aside for a moment, and are less likely to blow up. Losing your temper is never pleasing to God, and almost always hurts the people around you.” “Yeah, Mom. My ears sometimes hurt when you yell at me,” muttered Sam. Mom said: “I’m sorry, son. Shall we ask God to help us all be gentler?” —SL

tion Reflec ger, and u were overtaken by an Think of a time when yo k God As r. or responded in ange you spoke harsh words ca u n s you mad, and how yo to show you what make ct. change the way you rea

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A Little Yeast ay Verse of the Da little that Don’t you know e whole th s yeast leaven batch of dough? 6 —1 Corinthians 5:

READ

7

1 Corinthians 5:6–

J

iaxuan stood in front of the oven, her eyes fixed on the rising dough. She had spent the whole morning watching her mother bake her favorite ham and cheese buns. “Mom, what makes the bread expand?” she asked. “Did you see the two teaspoons of yellow powder that I added earlier?” her mother asked. “That’s yeast, which causes the bread to expand and become lighter and softer. This is called the leavening effect.” Jiaxuan pondered for a while before asking: “What is leavening?” Mom replied: “Remember you told me how Julie said that your best friend Kate has smelly feet? Her little lie was like the yeast I added to the mix—it spread and became a big thing, and everyone in school avoided Kate.” Then she quoted 1 Corinthians 5:6–7, in which Paul noted how the Corinthian church was tolerating the sins of some in its midst: 44


Pra yer “Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are.”

Mom explained: “The

Fath er, me t please h o be e caref lp abou u l t any bad thou ghts or ac may tion ha effec ve a leav s that ti enin g help n my life . Plea me n se o yeas t in t t to be li k h e e arou nd m lives of thos e. e

believers let sin remain among them. But Paul warned that this sin could spread. In the same way, when we tolerate a little sin in our lives, it can spread and prevent us from living in a way that would please Jesus.” Jiaxuan nodded. Then she said: “Tomorrow when I go to school, I will share the delicious ham and cheese bun with Julie and how you baked it using a little yeast. Then I will explain how her lie about Kate is like yeast.” Her mother smiled and gave her a kiss. —NWJ

tion Reflec ve a hts in your life may ha What things and thoug get rid to How can you ask God “yeast effect” on you? of them?

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Make Room ay Verse of the Dd man

icke In his pride the w ; in all his m hi does not seek no room thoughts there is 10:4 for God. —Psalm

READ

18

Psalm 10:4, 16–

“I

’m sorry I can’t join the family devotion tonight. I have to pack for my camp tomorrow!” Robin apologized as he hurried off. Robin was struggling to fit all the items on his packing list into his backpack, when all of a sudden, he cried out in frustration, “I’m in charge of bringing these mess tins and this first-aid box, but they’re so bulky! They won’t fit in no matter how I squeeze them in!” Dad bent down and emptied the backpack. “Let’s try again. First, pack the first-aid box and the mess tins,” Dad instructed. “Once you have made room for the big items, it’s a lot easier to fit the smaller items around the larger ones.” Robin did accordingly, and was surprised that he managed to fit everything into his backpack.

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“You know,” observed Dad, “it’s easy to neglect our time


Pra yer with God when we are busy, but we need to be mindful that we don’t end up like the wicked man mentioned in Psalm 10:4. He proudly thinks he can handle things on his own,

Lord , fo the t rgive me imes for I othe r thin have put gs ab You. ove Help me t first o see Your k kin Your ways gdom an . d

and so, he doesn’t seek God. God is absent in all his thoughts.”

“I know, Dad. I do want to make room for God,” Robin answered. “Making room for God means putting Him first. We must seek to trust and please Him in everything we do (Matthew 6:33),” Dad replied. “When you first make room for God, who is the most important, then everything else, which is less important, will fall into place and fit around that.” “Sounds like the same principle for packing this bag!” Robin laughed. “Come on, Dad, I think everyone’s waiting for us for devotion to start!” —RW

tion Reflec ? How nd, and third in your life What comes first, seco ule? ed sch God in your daily can you make room for

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Our Boast ay Verse of the Dt of

boas Let not the wise the strong their wisdom or ngth boast of their stre their of t as or the rich bo 9: h 23 riches. —Jeremia

READ

Jeremiah 9:23–24

T

he classic children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit, tells the story of toys in a nursery. One of the toys is the old and wise Skin Horse. He “had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by and by break . . . and pass away.” These new toys looked and sounded impressive, but their bragging eventually amounted to nothing. Boasting starts out strong, but in the end, it always fades away. In the Old Testament, the prophet Jeremiah reminds us not to boast in our wisdom, strength, and riches (Jeremiah 9:23). For wisdom

The wise old prophet tells us that there is only one thing we can boast about: that we truly know God and understand that He is the Lord who shows His “kindness, fades, strength weakens, and we can lose our riches.

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Pra yer justice, and righteousness on earth” (v.24).

Lord , I kn ow t wisd hat om, s treng riche th, an s wil d la away , so t lways fa de here noth ’s ing t o bo really I wan ast a t bout my r to boast . elati i n Y ou, fo onsh in Ch ip wi r rist J th Yo esus fade u will away neve . r

Let us, the children of God, brag about God, our good Father. He created us and continues to watch over us. He sent His Son Jesus to take the punishment for our sins by dying on the cross. If we trust in Jesus, we become the redeemed sons and daughters of God. Now isn’t that something worth bragging about?

—Adapted from Our Daily Bread, 24 July 2019, by John Blase

tion Reflec sin, us who took away your Have you trusted in Jes to er ay pr a y Sa ce to God? which is your disobedien . ay rd and Savior tod trust in Him as your Lo

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e In Jesus ’ Nam ay Verse of the D Jesus, me of By faith in the na u see and this man whom yo strong. know was made — Acts 3:16

READ

Acts 3:2–8

A

riel stood by the sliding door to the garden, serving out her usual punishment to “face the wall.” This time, it was for squabbling with her kid sisters. When Mom looked up from her chores, Ariel’s gaze was transfixed on something ahead of her. Soon, the girl was moving towards the perimeter wall of the house. “Mom! A zebra dove!” The more Ariel tried to reach for it, the more it retreated into an opening in the wall. When Ariel finally scooped the frightened bird into her hands, they discovered its wings were injured, probably mauled by the neighborhood cat. Everyone at home scrambled to make their feathered guest comfortable: an empty cardboard box, a saucer of water, bread and even fluffy toy companions, courtesy of Betsy and Cassie—all transgressions of big sister forgotten by now, on account of the task at hand. 50


Pra yer Lord Meanwhile, Dad made a call to , plea se gi p lain the local wildlife rescue hotline. They ve m and e s t impl o be came promptly to bring the bird to e fai lieve t h i and powe n the lov , its facility. e r of J all ti esus mes. Just as the bird did not expect at to be fussed over by the children and rescued for rehabilitation to the wild, the man in Acts 3 did not expect to be made whole when he saw Peter at the temple gate. Lame from birth, he simply expected to receive alms. But Peter challenged him to trust in Jesus, and helped him to respond in faith. As a result, not only could he walk, but he could also jump and praise God for all to see.

As children of the Most High God, we can call on the

name of Jesus for help. He will fuss over us and rescue us, for He loves us more than we can imagine, and He has the power to do the impossible. —MF

tion Reflec Ask u struggling with now? What challenges are yo your in u yo lp trust God to he Jesus to help you, and “impossible” task.

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se Pandemic Pau ay Verse of the Dto ght Give careful thou i 1:5 ga your ways. —Hag

READ

Haggai 1:5–7

“H

ow can a tiny Covid-19 virus cause so many problems?” Elise asked. “This virus is very infectious,” Mom said. “Staying home helps prevent the virus from spreading in the community. That’s why workplaces and schools are closed for this whole month.” “Why did God allow this virus to spread?” Elijah asked. “The spread is the result of our own actions,” Dad said. “But God sometimes allows things to happen for a reason. In Haggai 1:5, He told the Israelites, ‘Give careful thought to your ways’, and asked them to reflect on their fruitless labor (v.6) so that they would recognize their need for God and return to Him.” Dad continued: “Perhaps God is using this time to show how our human activities have consequences. For example, we keep buying new things, so factories have to produce more, which uses up more natural resources and causes more pollution.”

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Pra yer

Mom agreed. “God loves

us and may be giving us this time to pause from thoughtless activities to reflect on our ways and

Lord , help me t what o You are s hear to us aying w happ hen bad en, s t o tha hings walk t I ma more y You close and l y wit a l so pl h in do ay a ing g part ood.

our need for Him,” she said. “Since staying home, I’ve been spending more time reading God’s Word,” Ethan said. “I see more clearly now how much we need God.” “I now see our cleaners and garbage collectors who are still working while we stay at home,” Elijah said, “I think God wants me to care more for such essential workers.” “I see the garbage truck outside now!” Elise exclaimed. “Shall we pass the workers some snacks and drinks to thank them?” Elijah asked. “That’s a thoughtful idea,” Dad said. “Let’s wear our masks when we do that.” —EL

tion Reflec now. ening around you right Think about what’s happ do to u yo n ca g to you? What What might God be sayin Him? spend more time with

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own D t o N , t u O k Loo ay Verse of the Dpassion com Show mercy and to one another. —Zechariah 7:9

READ

Zechariah 7:8–10

M

om and Lina were on their way home one afternoon when they saw a group of foreign workers lying down at the open area below their apartment block. “Thank you! See you this Sunday!” replied Ava, waving goodbye as she and Toota left. “Eew . . . these workers are so dirty and sweaty. Why are they sleeping here?” Lina shook her head disapprovingly. “Lina,” Mom said sharply. “These men have left their homes far away to come here to build our homes and keep our country clean. They’re probably exhausted and have no place to rest.” Lina lowered her head.

“God calls us to show mercy and compassion to one another,” Mom went on. “And He specifically mentioned the foreigners. In Zechariah 7:9–10, He warned against oppressing the

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Pra yer Lord widow or the fatherless, the foreigner , hel b e me p me to or the poor. If these people matter to r comp ciful and God, they should matter to us too.” assio n thos e wh ate to “But . . . what should I do then?” o are need we y, Lina was still unsure. negl forgotten ak, ect ,a “We can follow Jesus’ example. Show ed by so nd c ie me w He cared for the outcast and help hat I ty. . c an d reached out to those overlooked o to by society,” Mom replied. “Perhaps we can start by looking out for the foreign workers and others who are vulnerable, rather than looking down on them.” Mom added: “Ah, I do know of an organization that collects clothes and other supplies for the foreign workers here. Shall we take a look at their website to see how we can support them?” Lina responded enthusiastically: “Yes! I want to help!” —CW

tion Reflec u? How eign workers around yo How do you treat the for at wh In l? nts in your schoo about the foreign stude m? the to y dness and hospitalit ways can you show kin

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x They Don ’t Mi ay Verse of the Dand

em Come out from th the Lord. be separate, says 17 —2 Corinthians 6:

READ

–7:1

2 Corinthians 6:14

R

ajini and her classmates watched closely as Miss Chan, the science teacher, showed them two beakers containing different liquids—one colorless, the other yellow. “What are these?” the teacher asked. Rajini’s hand shot up. “Water and oil!” “Correct,” Miss Chan said. “Now, watch what happens when I mix the two.” The mixture turned light yellow at first, but when Miss Chan stopped stirring it, yellow globules joined together, floated to the top, and formed a layer above the colorless water. When Rajini got home, she couldn’t wait to tell Mom the explanation. “We learnt that all substances are made up of basic units called molecules. Oil and water molecules differ in such a way that they cannot join or bond. That’s why the two liquids separated into different layers.”

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Pra yer Lord Mom’s Bible was open at a passage , tha b eliev nk You t she had just been reading. “Hey, the h i mad ng in Jes at apostle Paul mentions something e me us ha s Yo Help similar here.” Together, they looked me l ur child. iv that plea e in way at 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1. s se Yo u. “Paul gives examples of things that differ completely, such as light and darkness, and believers and unbelievers,” said Mom. “The two should be separate.” Rajini frowned. “Does that mean we can’t be friends with unbelievers?” Mom shook her head. “We play and hang out with people who don’t all share our belief in Jesus. But God wants us to be holy, or set apart, pleasing Him in our attitudes and actions (7:1).

The way a believer lives ought to be different—we live to please God.” Rajini nodded. “Got it. You can put oil and water together, but they just don’t mix.” —KK

tion Reflec the lef t a sheet of paper. Title Draw two columns on y”. List wa the right side, “God’s side “World’s way”, and you are you can. In what areas as many dif ferences as . ge k God to help you chan living like the world? As

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Peacemakers ay Verse of the D

Blessed are the they will peacemakers, for of God. n be called childre —Matthew 5:9

READ

–16

Matthew 5:9, 13

M

om overheard a conversation between her two children, Aaron and Nicole. “On the school bus tomorrow, you push Jake back and I will tell Bus Aunty that Jake started it first,” Nicole told her brother. “What did you just say?” Mom asked. “Nothing,” Nicole quickly said. Mom looked at them intently until Aaron admitted: “Jake shoved us on the school bus today. We told him to stop, and he just laughed at us!” “Were you hurt?” Mom asked. They shook their heads. “I’m glad you’re not hurt,” Mom said. “If you are, I will definitely find out more. I’m also glad that you stood up for yourself and told Jake to stop. I think you both did well—” “But we still feel upset!” Nicole interrupted. “I know you do,” Mom replied understandingly. “But we cannot

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Pra yer Lord change how others behave. It will only , hel a peac p me to b drive us crazy. Sometimes, we want e be th keeper a e people to be sorry, but they’re not. e sal nd to t this worl and light Should we also misbehave and be d. of less pleasing in God’s eyes because of them?” “I know you will quote Matthew 5:9 again, Mom,” said Nicole. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” Aaron recited. Mom smiled. “That’s right. That’s how we can be different from others as God’s children. We

do not start or continue a fight, even though many people do. We don’t keep quiet, but we keep the peace. We are the salt and light of the world (vv. 13–15). When people see how we behave, it will bring glory to God. “ —EE

tion Reflec others? to quarrel or fight with What makes you want pick a o respond to people wh What is a better way to quarrel with you?

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ock Divine Roadbl ay Verse of the D ynia, but r Bith They tried to ente would not the Spirit of Jesus ts 16:7 allow them to. —Ac

READ

Acts 16:6–10

O

wen’s family had just relocated to Vietnam for Dad’s work, and Mom noticed that Owen hadn’t been his usual self. “Owen, what’s troubling you?” she asked. “I miss being in my school’s soccer team. I wish I didn’t have to leave. I don’t have friends here. I can’t even speak their language,” Owen replied. Mom nodded empathetically. She said. “I know it’s difficult for you.” “I had trained so hard to get in, and I wanted to play in the interschool games,” Owen continued. “Plans don’t always go the way we want, even the good ones,” Mom said. “The apostle Paul and his companions had great plans to bring the gospel to Mysia and Bithynia, which is modern Turkey today. But the Spirit stopped them from going there (Acts 16:6–7).”

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Pra yer Lord “Why did God stop them from , You r wa h ighe doing something great?” Owen looked r and ys are Help the b puzzled. m e chan e to acce st. “Because God had other plans ges t pt th o my e know pl ing Y in store. He wanted Paul to bring ou a ans, cont re in rol. the gospel to Troas first. So, He full had to close some doors, even the good ones,” Mom explained. “And sometimes, it’s just not God’s timing yet. The gospel eventually spread to Turkey, but in God’s timing, not man’s.” “Do you think God has His purpose for bringing me here at this time?” Owen asked.

“Absolutely!” Mom replied. “We may not see it now, but as

long as we trust our all-knowing God to direct our steps and allow the Spirit to lead us, we will in time see God’s perfect plan unfolding in and through our circumstances.”

“Thanks, Mom!” Owen beamed. “Maybe I’ll have a go at my new school’s international soccer team!” —CW

tion Reflec ve been changed? What Which plans of yours ha you t along the way? How did roadblocks have you me react? 61


What ’s Next? ay Verse of the Dore for s in st He holds succes overbs 2:7 the upright. —Pr

READ

Proverbs 2:1–11

A

t a mission school’s graduation ceremony, the speaker gave students a challenge. At this time in their lives, he noted, everyone would be asking them, “What’s next?”, or, “What school will you be going to next?” But the more important question, said the speaker, was this: “What are you doing now?” He was asking them how their faith journey was going. What decisions would they be making each day, that would guide them to live for Jesus and not for themselves? The speaker’s words reminded me of the book of Proverbs, which gives us advice about how to live each day. For instance, we are to be honest (11:1), choose the right friends (12:26), show integrity (13:6), have good judgment (13:15), and speak wisely (14:3).

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Pra yer

Living for God now, by the

leading of the Holy Spirit, makes it easier for us to make decisions about what to do next.

Than k You , Lord Your , guid ance for life t in m oday y . Prot and ect m give e me w to liv isdom e plea in a way ses Y that ou.

Are you wondering about what school to go next after graduation? Or what co-curricular activities to take up? We can take to heart God’s promise in Proverbs 2:6–8: “The Lord gives wisdom; . . . He holds success in store for the upright, . . . he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” Let’s ask God to help us to live by His ways today, and to guide us into what’s next so that we bring glory to His name in whatever we do. —Adapted from Our Daily Bread, September 7, 2020, by Dave Branon

tion Reflec so that ed to make in your life What changes do you ne you to k God to guide and help you will please God? As do what is right today!

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oir God ’s Reserv ay Verse of the D will become them The water I give of water welling in them a spring —John 4:14 up to eternal life.

READ

John 4:1–14

“D

ad . . . has the money reservoir dried up?” Cherie asked her father, who looked unhappy as he tried to withdraw some cash to buy Cherie a new schoolbag. “No, it’s just that the machine isn’t working,” he replied, pointing to the message on the ATM screen: “This machine is temporarily unable to dispense cash.” The ATM had run out of money, he explained, because the trays inside could only hold that much cash. “Why don’t they build a bigger machine so that it’ll never run out?” Cherie asked. Daddy smiled. “That’s a good question! But there’s always a limit. They can’t build a machine too big, otherwise it’ll take up too much space.” Then he added: “Everything has a limit . . . except the Holy Spirit in us.”

64


Pra yer Cherie looked mystified, so Dad pulled out his mobile phone and read out Jesus’ promise in John 4:14: “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Lord , th givin ank You fo g Spiri me the H r t, wh o wil oly run d ln ry. Pl ease ever reme h m el on w ber not t p me o de hat t pen he but o nly o world of d fers, n You .

has given all believers the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and is an everlasting spiritual source of refreshment. That means He will keep giving us joy, peace,

Dad continued: “God

strength, and comfort. We can always go to Him for more, because He will never run dry—unlike this ATM.” Cherie nodded thoughtfully. Then she asked Dad cheekily: “Dad, does it mean you have a bigger reservoir since you have a big tummy?” Dad laughed. “No, dear, God doesn’t store His supply in our physical bodies . . . But thanks for reminding me to do something about my weight!” —NWJ

tion Reflec ly Spirit for today? What will you ask the Ho refreshment? you receive His gif t of

How can

65


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