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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 s and Kids for Familie

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This Book Belongs To:


WRITER S: Lena Jerissa Chew (LJC), Chia Poh Fang (CPF), Esther Eio (EE), Sophia Huang (SH), Leslie Koh (LK), Shiwei Quek (SQ), Sim Kay Tee (SKT), and Ruth Wan-Lau (RW) EDITORIAL: Ruth Wan-Lau, Jasmine Goh, Sim Kay Tee DESIGNER S: Grace Goh, Joshua Tan Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures quotations are taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Images used under licence from shutterstock.com

© 2020 Our Daily Bread Ministries®. All rights reserved.


INTRODUCTION These devotions are written specially for children and families. They can be read out loud during family devotional time. Children can also use these devotions for their personal time with the Lord. Through the use of stories and examples, these devotions aim to make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable to children and families, and to challenge them to apply the Word of God to their daily lives. Here are some tips on how to carry out family devotional time using these devotions: • Set aside a specific time every day as family devotional time. • Read the Bible passage out loud. • Read the devotion out loud. • Ask the children to summarize the devotion. • Read the reflection questions out loud. Have a discussion about them. • Summarize the key learning points for everyone. • Pray, asking God to help everyone apply His Word to their lives. As you use this book, we pray that you will enjoy meaningful moments with God and with one another! The Our Daily Bread team 


ry o t S e l o h W e Th ay Verse of the D known

u have From infancy yo res, which tu the Holy Scrip you wise are able to make ugh faith in for salvation thro Timothy 3:15 Christ Jesus. —2

READ

Old Testament

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2 Timothy 3:14–

“T

ime for family devotions!” Dad announced. Corey, Sophie and Owen sat down, feeling fresh after their shower. “Today, we’ll be reading some verses from Isaiah and Matthew,” Mom said, after checking the Bible reading plan she had printed out. The family was following a plan that would take them through the whole Bible in a year. “Isaiah? That’s in the Old Testament, right?” Corey said. “The Old Testament makes me sleepy!” Sophie complained. “Can’t we skip the Old Testament? Can’t we just read about Jesus in the New Testament?” Corey asked. Sophie and Owen gave Mom and Dad their sweetest pleading looks. Dad smiled. He picked up the book that Corey had been reading before his shower and said, “If we just read the middle chapter of a book, would we understand the whole story?”

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Pra yer “Or,” Mom added, “if we watched one episode from the middle of a TV series, would we understand what’s going on fully?” The children shook their heads. Dad said, “Likewise, we need

Lord , th the O ank You fo ld an d Ne r Testa w m us yo ents. The y giv ur w hole e abou story t Jes us w offer ho su throu s salvati on gh fa ith.

to read the whole Bible to fully understand the whole of God’s story. The main character of God’s story is Jesus, God’s son. And, 2 Timothy 3:15 tells us that understanding God’s Word, which includes the Old Testament, gives us the wisdom to be saved by Jesus. In short, all of God’s Word points to Jesus who offers us salvation through faith. Let’s read today’s verses from the reading plan, then let’s discuss how they relate to Jesus, okay?” “Okay, Dad!” Corey grinned. “Let’s do it!” Sophie smiled. “Whoohoo!” Owen giggled, raising his arms in the air. —RW

tion Reflec a passage from the Old The next time you read om ote this passage? To wh Testament, ask: Who wr big the are at Wh s it written? was it written? When wa an th wi ss cu Dis linked to Jesus? themes? How are they adult who can help you. 5


ou Y g n o m A e s o Th ay Verse of the Ddes

r resi When a foreigne ur land, do among you in yo . not mistreat them 3 :3 19 —Leviticus

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34 Leviticus 19:33–

M

om and Ellie were at a shopping mall. While Ellie was waiting to try on some shoes, a little girl approached her, smiling and wanting to hold her hand. Ellie backed away. Mom quickly went to the little girl and gave her a high five. “Ellie, why did you do that when the little girl just wanted to play with you?” Mom asked. “I just didn’t want to,” replied Ellie, then she added: “That girl looked . . . different from me.” Mom waved goodbye to the little girl and her mother, who were conversing in a foreign language. Later, as Mom was paying for the shoes, she struck up a friendly conversation with the Filipino cashier. Before saying goodbye, the cashier asked Mom, “I hope you don’t mind me asking: Are you a local?” “Yes, I am. Why?” replied Mom. The cashier looked surprised and

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Pra yer Lord explained, “Well, most locals are not as , help me n to m friendly as you are to foreigners like ot istre a t forei me. Thanks for making my day!” gner the sI Inste “Mummy, what did the cashier ad, h meet. e lp m love et th mean by what he said just now?” kind em with o n genu ess. asked Ellie as she walked away ine with Mom. Mom replied: “I guess some locals may not treat foreigners kindly because they may think they are better than them. But is that how God wants us to behave?” Ellie shook her head. “Today, I was listening to a devotion on my daily devotion app and it reminded me that Leviticus 19:33 says: ‘When a foreigner

resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them.’ God wants us to show genuine kindness to the people around us, including foreigners.” Ellie nodded. “Next time, I’ll try to play with people who look different from me. I promise!” —EE

tion Reflec me, you see every day, at ho Name some foreigners ine nu ge round. What would in school or in the playg look and sound like?  kindness towards them

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on i L g n i r a o R e Th ay Verse of the Dmind.

ber Be alert and of so vil prowls de e Your enemy th ing lion around like a roar ne to looking for someo 5:8 devour. —1 Peter

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1 Peter 5:8–9

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ulian hit his computer keyboard repeatedly, moving his computer mouse left and right. He was winning this round of the computer game! Suddenly, an enemy soldier appeared in the game, turned into a lion, and walked out of the computer screen. Entering Julian’s bedroom, the lion roared and prepared to swallow Julian up . . . “Help! Help! Help!” Julian woke up, startled. Dad ran in. “What’s wrong, Julian?” Julian told Dad about his bad dream. “Sounds like you’ve been thinking about the Bible verse we discussed at family devotion yesterday. Remember? 1 Peter 5:8 says: ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’” “I guess so,” Julian said. “But, Dad, a computer game is just a game. It’s not my evil enemy the devil, right?” 8


Pra yer Lord Dad answered: “Computer games , I do no idols are not evil. But they can become in m t want y life will idols that replace our focus on God. hin tha lovin der me f t When I taught at Sunday School last g ro Help and plea m sing me s month, a boy played his handheld You. tay a lert. game instead of listening to God’s Word. When I asked him to stop, he refused. If we do not stay alert to the

possible dangers of gaming, they could sneak up on us and we could get ‘devoured’—they could overwhelm us and hinder us from loving and pleasing God.” Julian nodded. As he recalled the roaring lion swallowing him up in his dream, he couldn’t help but shudder. I don’t want gaming to become my idol. What can I do to prevent this from happening? Julian thought. He decided to ask Dad for advice. —RW

tion Reflec ls your life that could be ido What are some things in at ing and pleasing God? Wh hindering you from lov the rselves to stay alert to questions can we ask ou ng God is asi ple d an ensure loving to d an ls, ido of er ng da our top priority? 9


Not Forsaken ay Verse of the Dhave

why My God, my God, Why are e? m you forsaken ving me, you so far from sa ies of so far from my cr 22:1 anguish? —Psalm

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Psalm 22:1–5

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ohn was at the playground helping his sister Amy down the slide when a boy brushed past them and knocked her over. Amy screamed at the top of her lungs, covered her ears and rocked her body from side to side. She wouldn’t stop. Amy was a special needs child. “Dad! Help!” shouted John. Dad came running. “Quick! Let’s pray.” “That’s no use! We pray every night and God hasn’t changed Amy!” protested John. “Does God hear?” Dad cradled Amy in his arms. He thought for a long while before answering. “That’s a good question, John. King David in the Bible

asked the same question. He may have been a king, but he was a real person with real troubles. He was struggling so much that in Psalm 22:1, he asked: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” 10


Pra yer Lord “King David dared to talk to God ,I c like K ry out to like that?” asked John. in Y I kno g David ou, “Yes, he told God exactly how di w not a that You d. he felt, bad or good. He asked God nswe may ri I wan t, bu n the wa difficult questions. Jesus too asked t You y pray er. hear if God had forsaken Him as He my me, Y You will n ou w suffered on the cross. Let’s pray: ill w ot leave and alk w You love i Lord, please help Amy calm me v th me, e ry m down. In Jesus’ name, amen.” uch. “A-um!” said Amy. Dad and John were stunned. Amy’s meltdown had stopped immediately. “God hears us, Dad!” exclaimed John. Dad smiled: “God does not promise to always answer our prayers in the way we want, but He does promise never to leave or forsake His people (Deuteronomy 31:6). He promises to walk with us through difficult moments, even through the darkest valley (Psalm 23:4). And, we know He loves each of us, including Amy, very much (John 3:16).” —SH

tion Reflec doesn’t for something and God Have you been praying me time so d en way you want? Sp seem to answer in the lking wa t ars you. You are no thanking God that He he ry much. alone. God loves you ve 11


Let ’s Share ay Verse of the Ddo

to And do not forget with e ar good and to sh ch others, for with su pleased. sacrifices God is —Hebrews 13:16

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Hebrews 13:14–

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ave you heard of The Toddlers’ Creed? Written by T. Berry Brazelton several decades ago, it is a poem that goes like this:

If I want it, it’s mine. If I give it to you and change my mind later, it’s mine. If I can take it away from you, it’s mine. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine. If it’s mine, it will never belong to anybody else, no matter what. If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.

Such self-centered behavior is common in toddlers, but as we grow older, God speaks to us through His Word in Exodus 20:17: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your 12


Pra yer Lord neighbor’s wife, or his male or female , help me t enjo servant, his ox or donkey, or anything o y sha ring othe with that belongs to your neighbor.” rs. H elp m to cr en What does this verse mean? God ave f o r thin ot aren ’t mi gs th does not want us to covet, which ne. at means to crave for things that are not ours. In fact, He wants us to do the opposite—to share what is ours with others.

He Himself did this when He gave His Son Jesus to us, sending Him from heaven to earth to save us from our sins. Just as God gave, we as followers of God are called to “share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16). When we find it difficult to share, or when we crave for things that aren’t ours, let’s look to God, who gave His best to us—His beloved Son, Jesus. How can we follow in His footsteps today? —RW

tion Reflec ? What is crave for that isn’t yours What is one thing you ask God with others? Pray and one thing you can share today. ting and to start sharing ve co p sto to u yo lp he to   13


Owning Up ay Verse of the D r sins

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ls thei Whoever concea r, but the pe does not pros s and one who confesse finds mercy. renounces them —Proverbs 28:13

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Proverbs 28:13–

“J

on, come here,” Mom said solemnly. “Did you take my phone without permission?” she asked. When Jon stayed silent, Mom continued, “And, did you buy tokens for this game without my permission?” Mom showed Jon his favorite game on the phone. Jon pressed his lips together. “Jon, do you remember when the pipe in the kitchen got choked?” Mom asked. “The one next to the washing machine and sink?” Jon perked up, feeling glad that the topic had changed. “I remember! Dirty, smelly water flowed out of the pipe and flooded the kitchen floor. Thank goodness the plumber came to unchoke the pipe.” “Well, what if I just took some cloth and covered the dirty water on the floor? Then, I took some tape and covered the pipe?” Mom asked.

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Pra yer Jon looked incredulous: “Covering dirty water doesn’t make the floor clean. And, covering a choked pipe doesn’t solve the real problem. You have to unchoke the pipe, not cover things up!” “You’re right, Jon,” Mom said. “In the same way, we can’t just

Lord , I wa nt to conf ess a n d ren my s ins ou respo . Help m nce et n wron sibility fo ake gdoi r my ng “sorr y”. Th s and sa y ank Y You ou th forgi v a e me t I do so. when

conceal our sins and pretend everything is fine. Proverbs 28:13 says that whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces his sins finds mercy. When we sin, we need to own up to it and turn away from it. It may seem difficult to take responsibility for our wrongdoings and say ‘sorry’, but God forgives us when we do so.” Mom looked at Jon. “Do you have anything you wish to tell me?” Tears flowed from Jon’s eyes as he opened his mouth to begin. —RW

tion Reflec y ssing and renouncing an Spend some time confe ur yo to lk Ta . ek done this we wrongdoings you have ss and nfe co we en d forgives wh Go m. the t ou ab ts ren pa turn away from sin. 15


ol r t n o C e t o m e Not a R ay Verse of the Ds a

iple Jesus told his disc em that th parable to show s pray and they should alway ke 18:1 not give up. —Lu

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Luke 18:1–8

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ing was watching TV when he suddenly blurted out: “God is deaf.” Dad, who was watching the show with Ming, asked, “Why do you say that, son?” “He doesn’t answer my prayers,” Ming replied. “Either God is deaf, or He doesn’t care!” Dad took the remote control and started switching channels. “Dad, stop that! Go back to the channel we were watching,” Ming said.

“We sometimes treat prayer like a remote control in our hands,” Dad said. “We press buttons, thinking we can get God to give us what we want. But that’s not how prayer works. Prayer is essentially about our relationship with Him. And sometimes, it takes a long time to get an answer.” 16

“That’s discouraging, Dad,” Ming moaned.


Pra yer Lord “Remember the parable of the ,w silen hen You persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8? If s t, hel p me eem reme the widow could get justice from t mbe o rt care the hardened, crusty, uncaring old for m hat You e an keep dt on p judge, then surely, the loving, rayin o not l g ose h and tender, gracious Heavenly Father eart. will hear and answer His own children when they cry out to Him. God wants us to talk to Him persistently over a heartfelt need, because He wants to build a relationship with us. He wants us to learn to trust Him.” “Does this mean that if we keep asking for something over and over again that God will always give it to us?” Ming asked. “No, but He loves us and wants what is best for us,” Dad replied. “He will answer ‘yes’ if it’s for our good, according to His timetable, not ours. So, do you know what you ought to do? ” Ming nodded, “Always pray and not give up.” —CPF

tion Reflec to bring ms that you would like Make a list of prayer ite may ep a look out for how He to God persistently. Ke He does it. answer you and when

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a in g A t s r i h T r e v Ne ay Verse of the Dater I give

the w Whoever drinks e thirst. Indeed, th r them will neve in e will becom water I give them water welling them a spring of —John 4:14 up to eternal life.

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John 4:4–30

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an you recall some of your favorite toys from the last few years? I used to have a stuffed teddy bear I carried with me everywhere. Eventually, one of my teddy bear’s eyes fell out and his fur coat became stiff. Can you recall some of your favorite friends? My son had a best friend in kindergarten. But when they entered different primary schools, they eventually lost touch. Toys spoil and friendships fade. But Jesus wants to give us something that will never spoil or fade. What is it? In John 4:4–30, Jesus talks to a Samaritan woman who is drawing water from a well. He tells her that water from the well will quench her thirst, but eventually, she’ll get thirsty again. “. . . but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst” (John 4:14).

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Pra yer Lord What does this verse mean? Jesus , I wa nt Your is offering “living water” (v. 10), “livin to drink g my L something that will satisfy us ord a water”. B e nd S avior every day, for all of our days. We . drink this water by asking Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. When we do that, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us as our guide and guard, and we have eternal life to look forward to—a life in heaven with God. We will never be “thirsty” again—we are completely satisfied by life with Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Can you imagine having something so precious, powerful and permanent that you’ll never desire or need anything more? That’s the “living water” Jesus offers. Will you accept His offer? —RW

tion Reflec and at does it mean to trust Who is Jesus to you? Wh s ng Savior? Name three thi obey Him as Lord and ur Lord yo as m Hi th wi your day you’ll do dif ferently in and Savior.

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d Lost and Foun ay Verse of the Dve I ha Rejoice with me; p. ee sh found my lost —Luke 15:6

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Luke 15:1–7

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fter dinner, Adrian found Dad ransacking his study table. “Dad, did you lose something?” Adrian asked. Dad replied, “I’m searching for my passport. I need it as I’m going on a business trip to London tomorrow morning.” “I’ll help you look for it in your wardrobe, Dad,” Adrian said. Adrian quickly pulled out the clothes drawers in Dad’s wardrobe and emptied the contents onto the bed. Five minutes later, full of excitement, he shouted, “Dad! I found your passport! It was at the bottom of your clothes drawer!” Relieved, Dad exclaimed, “I’m so happy you found my passport!” Just then, Mom entered the bedroom and reminded everyone, “It’s time for family devotions. Shall we discuss a Bible passage in here today?” Dad nodded. “I lost my passport, and Adrian found it. This reminds me of a story Jesus told about someone who had 100 sheep 20


Pra yer Lord and one of his sheep was lost.” , th for Je ank You Dad opened up the family Bible sus t he g shep that Mom had been holding. “In Luke ood he seek rd who c 15, the man searched for his lost ame an to like m d save t h e sheep because he loves his sheep. e wh o n es o are lost. And when he found the lost sheep, he was so happy, just like I was when my passport was found!” After reading the Bible story, Dad added: “Did you know

that this story is about you and me? The Bible says that ‘all of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own’ (Isaiah 53:6, NLT). Jesus is the good shepherd who ‘came to seek and to save the lost’ (Luke 19:10). He found us and carries us home.” —SKT

tion Reflec ed away e sheep who have stray lik we are ys wa at wh In Jesus w can we stay close to from our shepherd? Ho this week?

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1) Scared (Part ay Verse of the Dings; l th Lord, you know al ve you. lo I you know that —John 21:17

READ

Luke 22:54–62

“M

om! You’re home!” Edward ran towards Mom and gave her a big hug. “Hello, my dear!” Mom said. “What seems to be the

matter?” “Nothing,” Edward replied. “Why do you ask?” Mom smiled and rubbed his shoulders. “Well, whenever I get a big hug from you, it’s because something’s bothering you or you did something wrong.” Mom winked at Edward, “So, tell me, which one is it?” Edward looked bashful. “It’s both.” He told Mom what happened: In the school canteen that morning, he had bowed his head to pray before eating his food. After praying, he noticed an older student laughing at him. “Are you a Christian? Were you praying or sleeping?” the bully had teased.

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Pra yer Lord When Edward didn’t reply, the bully , I do not w to m continued, “I asked you: Are you a a ake t he m nt of de Christian or not?” i s nyin g You take Lord “Mom, I was so scared,” Edward a and Savio s my when r , e confessed. “I lied. I shook my head I fee l sca ven Forg r i e ve m and told him I’m not a Christian. e if I d. done h a s o ve . Then he left me alone.” Mom said, “Did you know Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, experienced something similar? After Jesus was arrested and Peter was asked whether he knew Him, he denied it three times.” Mom opened the Bible app on her smartphone and read Luke 22:54–62 and John 21:15–19 with Edward.

“When we are scared, we may make the mistake of denying our Lord and Savior. But God forgives us if we repent. Are you sorry for lying, Edward?”

Edward nodded profusely. Mom said, “Let’s pray together and ask for forgiveness.” —RW

tion Reflec use or made fun of you beca Has anyone bullied you to your w did you respond? Talk you are a Christian? Ho to deal God for wisdom on how parents about this. Ask with bullies.   23


2) Scared (Part ay Verse of the D to give an

ed Always be prepar who asks you ne yo answer to ever for the hope to give the reason t do this with that you have. Bu 15 spect. —1 Peter 3: re d an ss ne le nt ge

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1 Peter 3:9–17

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dward sat down on the canteen bench and put his food on the table. Lord, help me now, Edward thought. He bowed his head and thanked God for the food. When he opened his eyes, the bully was standing in front of him, for the second day in a row. “Praying again?” the bully sneered. “I should have taken your food since your eyes were shut!” Edward’s hands trembled. Lord, help me, help me, help me. “What’s going on here?” Edward and the bully both looked up, surprised. Mrs Chew, Edward’s form teacher, had been walking past and she had overheard everything. “Is this boy bothering you, Edward?” Mrs Chew asked. God has answered my prayer for help by bringing Mrs Chew over. Relieved, he replied, “No, Mrs Chew, I’m alright.” Then, he added, “I

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Pra yer Lord was just going to tell my friend why I , help me to re pray before I eat.” spon d wit gent It was a bold thing to say and Mrs h len when ess and Chew looked impressed. respe my f ct a ques tione ith is “Really?” she said. “Why don’t d. you tell both of us?” Mrs Chew sat down and made the bully sit next to her. Edward recalled the points he and Mom had rehearsed yesterday on what to say if the bully returned. I believe God created

this food and provided it for me to eat. I pray to give thanks to Him, and to remind myself that He is a good God who blesses His children. Edward looked up at Mrs Chew who was smiling brightly and the bully who was turning bright red in the face. Now, Lord, help me to speak with gentleness and respect. —RW

tion Reflec who tease you can say to people What are some things you do th? How can you ensure you or question your fai respect? so with gentleness and

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us! s e J , g n i n r o Good M ay Verse of the Ds his

rate But God demonst this: in own love for us ill sinners, While we were st . Christ died for us —Romans 5:8

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Romans 5:6–8

“A

unt Maureen, why are you always smiling?” Dorothy asked her favorite aunt. Aunt Maureen laughed, her eyes twinkling. “It’s because Jesus loves me! Every morning, after I wake up, the first person I greet is Jesus! I say, ‘Good morning, God, this is your beloved daughter, Maureen!’ I start my day by reminding myself that God loves me so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins!” She continued, “I also remind myself I am a Princess of the Most High God, for the Bible says, ‘Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God’ (John 1:12).” “But, Aunt Maureen,” Dorothy interrupted, “some days I don’t feel loved, and I certainly don’t feel like a princess! Especially when my brother squabbles with me and my mom scolds me, or when Natalie

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Pra yer says she doesn’t want to be my BFF anymore! Does God still love me when others don’t?” “Well, let’s put it this way,” Aunt Maureen said. “God’s love is not

Lord , than k You I am th Your princ at princ e es o what s. Becaus r e of Jesus me, I h can b as done for e fill joy a e nd I want d with You to p mo every re and m lease ore, day.

based on how good you are or whether your friends like you. In fact, God knows we are all sinners, meaning we have all disobeyed Him in word, thought and deed. Romans 5:8 says that ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ That kind of amazing love fills me with joy. It also motivates me to want to

please my Savior and Lord Jesus more and more, every day!” Dorothy nodded and took out two tiaras from her wardrobe. “Let’s wear them together, Aunt Maureen! We are, after all, Princess Maureen and Princess Dorothy!” —LJC

tion Reflec ng, ke up, say, “Good morni Tomorrow, when you wa your ed son/daughter, [insert God! This is Your belov us, who Jes for d an m for the day Hi nk tha , en Th ]!” me na died for your sins.

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ngue o T r u o Y h c t Wa ay Verse of the Dth

mou Out of the same cursing. d come praise an sisters, this My brothers and James 3:10 should not be. —

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James 3:3–12

A

mos, Jane and Gary were playing a card game together at Amos’ house. When Amos picked the wrong card and lost the game, he let out a few swear words. His friends laughed out loud. “Amos, come over here, please,” Dad called. Dad asked, “Amos, did you just say some vulgar words?” “Dad, I wasn’t scolding anyone. Jane and Gary know that. They were laughing. It was all in good fun, and besides, everyone in school speaks like that,” Amos defended himself. Dad took out his phone and opened the Bible app. “Our tongue

is a small part of our body but James 3:6 tells us it is ‘a fire’ that can corrupt us. This means that what you say with your tongue is not to be taken lightly. Let me ask you this: who do you want to impress when you use such words?” Dad asked. 28


Pra yer Lord Amos thought about it but kept , help m watc silent. Then he muttered, h my e to tong not t “My friends . . .” ue an o tre d at th I say e “While your friends may think word light l s y. I a of Go ma d swearing is cool or funny, we need child prais and I ch o e You ose t to remember that pleasing our o w my m outh ith friends is not as important as . pleasing God. On Sunday, you praise God with your lips, but on other days, you curse. Would God be pleased that praise and curse come from the same mouth?” Amos shook his head, knowing that Dad was very serious. “A child of God chooses to praise God. Let’s talk more about this after your friends leave, okay?” Dad said, giving Amos a hug. —EE

tion Reflec God. use your mouth to praise Name one way you can yo y u out today. Name one wa Make sure you carry it d. Ask a way that displeases Go can use your mouth in to do that. God to remind you not

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The Foreigner ay Verse of the Didow or ew Do not oppress th foreigner e th , the fatherless t plot evil or the poor. Do no r. against each othe 10 7: —Zechariah

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Zechariah 7:1–10

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yra was singing her favorite praise song loudly when she entered the living room. “Argh! Aunty Domi! Why did you pack my Lego? I spent the whole morning building a whole neighborhood!” Kyra burst into tears and continued yelling at Aunty Domi, the domestic helper who had just arrived to live with the family. Mom rushed into the room to find Kyra’s fists raised, about to hit Aunty Domi who stood next to her helplessly. Mom motioned for Kyra to follow her to her room. “Why were you about to hit Aunty Domi?” Mom asked sternly. Kyra said, “Mommy, ever since Aunty Domi came to live with us, she keeps messing up my things. I don’t like her! I wish she would go away!” Mom was silent for a while. “You know, Kyra, it’s not easy for Aunty Domi to be here. She has

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Pra yer a baby boy back home in Indonesia, but she came here to work to earn money for him. She may make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we should hit her, yell at her, or treat her badly. In Zechariah 7:10, God reminded His people: ‘Do not oppress the

Lord , help me t peop reat le fa irl kind ly, es y and pe fami ly’s d cially the o mest and othe ic he r wo are f rkers lper oreig wh ners here o .

widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’ God wants us to treat all kinds of people fairly, especially those who are weak. Did you know that He would rather you act fairly and kindly towards others than sing praise songs to Him?” Kyra nodded slowly. “But . . . what about my Lego?” “Let’s build it again together. And this time, I’ll make sure Aunty Domi doesn’t keep it until your playtime is over. But first, go and apologize to her.” —SQ

tion Reflec n show kindness to Think of one way you ca rry it out! today. Remember to ca

a foreigner

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s e n k a e W n i h t Streng

s

ay Verse of the Dfor

cient My grace is suffi is made er w you, for my po ess. perfect in weakn :9 —2 Corinthians 12

READ

:9–10

2 Corinthians 12

G

rowing up was tough for Daniel Dias. Born in Brazil with malformed arms and legs, he was called names and mocked in school. Daniel often asked God, “Why did You make me this way?” When he was 16 years old, Daniel watched the Paralympic Games, which is the Olympic Games for disabled athletes, on television. One of them, a Brazilian, won six gold medals in swimming and did Brazil proud. “Maybe,” thought Daniel, “I could represent my country one day too.” So he started to swim—a lot. Within two years, Daniel started winning competitions, and two years later, he took part in his first Paralympic Games. It was a great success—he won more medals than anyone else. Today, Daniel has stopped asking God, “Why?” In fact, he believes that his disability has given him a unique way to show

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Pra yer Lord how strong and loving God is. In , te more ach me t depending completely on Jesus, o o reme n You, an rely Daniel has shown others how Jesus’ d to m weak ber that love has never failed him. “The in m ness y , You is ma r pow de p love of Christ never goes away,” he e er r depe nd o fect whe tells others. nI n You . In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the apostle Paul had also asked God to save him from something that weakened him. But God replied: “My grace

is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God’s words reminded Paul that if he were strong and capable, he would probably become arrogant. But because he remained weak, he learnt to rely fully on God’s grace, and could give glory to God for everything that happened. Do you sometimes feel weak? Take heart, because God’s power is made perfect in you when you are weak. —LK

tion Reflec mean to you have. What does it Name a weakness that s itself ? er that weakness show depend on God whenev  

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t! Join the Feas ay Verse of the D d eat

e, an Listen, listen to m you will d an what is good, st of fare. he delight in the ric —Isaiah 55:2

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Isaiah 55:1–6

“M

om! I’m hungry! Can I eat potato chips?” Joash asked. “No! We are going for Aunt Ann’s 80th birthday party. Don’t spoil your appetite!” said Mom. “But, I’m starrrr-ving!” insisted Joash. “Don’t eat junk food,” said Mom. “We are leaving soon. Go, get ready!” Joash sulked all the way to the bath, to the car and to the party. “Welcome! Come and eat!” said Aunt Ann when they arrived. Joash’s face lit up. It was a buffet dinner! There was roast beef, oysters, lobsters, salads of every color, freshly baked bread, and his favorite—chocolate fondue and ice cream. “Buuuuurp!” he belched after devouring three plates full of meat, seafood, and desserts. Then it was time for the birthday speech, where Aunt Ann shared her story: “I used to live for success and money. When I was 50, I had

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Pra yer Lord everything I wanted but still, I wanted , th for o ank You more. I met a pastor who shared with fferin g me the r me Isaiah 55:2: ‘Why spend money on ich throu est trea sur what is not bread, and your labor on g life. T h Jesus— e etern each what does not satisfy? Listen, listen a me t You o see l alon to me, and eat what is good, and e, be k only caus Yo you will delight in the richest of me t u can sa e tisfy he m fare.’ I realized that only God ost.

can truly satisfy. He satisfies our deepest need to be loved and forgiven of our sin. He sent His Son, Jesus, who

took away our sin so that we could enjoy eternal life. To ‘drink’ and ‘eat’ from God means not to chase after worldly things, but to accept the richest treasure He offers.” Joash whispered to Mom, “Just like not eating potato chips but enjoying tonight’s buffet?” Mom smiled, “Yes, apart from God, everything else is junk!” —SH

tion Reflec d. t make you feel satisfie Name three things tha most. the u yo fy tis God can sa Whatever they are, only e” for ek to “save your appetit What can you do this we rld? wo the of d on the junk foo God, instead of feeding 35


s e r a C r u o Y t s Ca ay Verse of the De LORD th Cast your cares on you; n and he will sustai the he will never let en. ak sh righteous be —Psalm 55:22

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Psalm 55:12–23

“H

i, dear,” Dad greeted Charmaine at the school gate. “Ready to walk home for lunch?” “Sure,” Charmaine mumbled. “How was your day? Did anything happen?” Dad asked gently. He had received a call from Charmaine’s teacher, Mrs Nathan, that morning. Charmaine had told her best friend, Naomi, that she had a crush on Mr Lim, their English teacher. She had told Naomi to keep it a secret but Naomi blurted it out in front of the whole class. Charmaine was so embarrassed that she burst into tears and wouldn’t stop crying until Mrs Nathan took her aside and found out what happened. Charmaine wasn’t sure how to answer Dad’s questions. Dad continued, “Would you like me to carry your bag for you?” Charmaine’s face brightened. “Of course!”

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Pra yer Lord Dad lifted the heavy bag off , I wa nt to my c Charmaine’s shoulders. “How ca ares on Yo st know does that feel?” u .I Y susta ou will Charmaine giggled. “It feels great in m e. to have that burden lifted away!” Dad smiled. “Charmaine, did you know that we have someone who can lift

away the burdens we carry in our hearts? In Psalm 55, David writes about being hurt by someone who’s close to him, perhaps a good friend or relative. Instead of keeping it hidden in his heart, David chose to talk about it to God. He said in Psalm 55:22: ‘Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you.’” Dad asked, “Are there any burdens you want God to lift away from you?” Charmaine looked at Dad. She longed for God to lift the burden in her heart and began to tell Dad what happened that morning. Dad wiped away Charmaine’s tears and when they got home, the pair bowed their heads to surrender everything to God. —RW

tion Reflec your u want God to lif t from What are some cares yo g you. ts about what’s botherin heart? Talk to your paren n as king God to lif t the burde Then, pray together, as you cast it upon Him.   37


t n a c i f i n g i S t u Small b ay Verse of the Dour

set On him we have continue ill w hope that he you help to deliver us, as s. us by your prayer 10–11 1: ns —2 Corinthia

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2 Corinthians 1:8–

T

he day started out like any other, but it ended as a nightmare. Esther (not her real name) and several hundred women were kidnapped from their boarding school by a religious militant group. A month later, all were released—except for Esther who refused to deny Christ. As my friend and I read about her and others being persecuted for their faith, our hearts were moved. We wanted to do something. But what? When writing to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul shared about the trouble he experienced in the province of Asia. The persecution was so severe that he and his companions thought they were going to die (2 Corinthians 1:8). However, they were rescued, and Paul said it was because believers prayed for them (v.11). Though the Corinthian church was

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Pra yer Lord many miles away from the apostle, their , I pr ay f who prayers mattered—God heard them. are s or those uffer their Today we can continue to ing f fa or them ith. Com fort remember our brothers and sisters with Your prese n in Christ who are suffering for their the s ce and gi v treng faith. There’s something we can do. th to e them e ndur We can pray for those who are e.

persecuted, oppressed, beaten, tortured, and sometimes even killed for their belief in Christ. Let’s pray for them to experience God’s comfort and encouragement and to be strengthened with hope as they stand firmly with Jesus. Our efforts may feel

small, but they are significant. God hears our prayer and He can save us mightily. —adapted from Our Daily Bread 5 May 2019 article, by Chia Poh Fang

tion Reflec ts how you can pray for Explore with your paren sts and receive prayer reque the persecuted church from them.

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That Ad ay Verse of the D be u will Be careful, or yo ay and aw enticed to turn and ds worship other go . bow down to them :16 11 y m —Deuterono

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:13–18

Deuteronomy 11

“M

om! Look, it’s that ad again!” Sheralyn exclaimed. Sheralyn and Mom were walking downtown. An enormous screen mounted on a tall building was showing the latest ad for a clothing company that sold denim jeans. The ad featured excited young girls dancing to catchy music. Towards the end, a voiceover announced the tagline: “It’s a better life.” “Mom, can you buy those denim jeans for me?” Sheralyn asked. “Sheralyn, do you remember the sweet your friend gave you last week to try?” Mom asked. Sheralyn cringed just thinking about it. “How could I forget? It looked yummy. But when I tasted it, it was so sour, I had to spit it out! Later on, my friend told me it was a Super Lemon sweet.” “Well,” Mom said, “sometimes, ads are like Super Lemon sweets. This ad seems attractive; it promises you a better life if you wear these jeans. But, is that true?”

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Pra yer Mom continued, “At church last weekend, we studied Deuteronomy 11:16 which says: ‘Be careful, or

Lord , help me n be e ntice ot to d may b prom y ads th at is that are n e things ot tr ue.

you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.’ God was reminding His people not to believe in the idols around them. Similarly, we need to be careful not to blindly believe ads that may lead us astray. Instead, we need to ask: What’s this ad’s message? What’s it telling me to desire? And, are those things desirable in God’s eyes?”

Sheralyn nodded. “You’re right, Mom. Almost every ad I see tells me I’ll be happier if I buy something. But that sort of happiness only lasts a short while. Isn’t there a Bible verse about not storing up treasures on earth?” Mom whipped out her phone. “Let’s look it up together.” —RW

tion Reflec ad and figure out what Try this activity: pick an This ad u. Fill in this sentence: messages it’s telling yo I can be t tha so [fill in the blank] is telling me I need to cuss Dis e? Is this message tru more [fill in the blank]. with your parents. what you’ve discovered 41


d! r o L e h t e s i a Pr ay Verse of the Dining u sh Praise him, all yo 3 8: 14 stars. —Psalm

ZOO

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Psalm 148

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hat do the Hubble Space Telescope, a zoo, and singing children have in common? According to the teaching of Psalm 148, they all point to God’s magnificent creation. Let’s take a moment to praise our heavenly Father for His magnificent handiwork! The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into space in 1990. The size of a school bus, it circles the Earth and takes pictures from deep space. In fact, it has sent back to scientists on earth images of galaxies that are deeper into space than we have ever seen. Every one of those brilliant photos points to stars that focus attention on God’s creative majesty. “Praise him, all you shining stars,” says verse 3. A visit to a zoo points us to the great diversity of wildlife God created. Let’s look at verses 7 and 10 and say thank You to God for sea creatures, wild animals, insects, and birds. “Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths . . . wild

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Pra yer Lord animals and all cattle, small creatures , than k You Your and flying birds” (vv.7,10). f mag nifice or hand And, a few minutes of watching n iwor t kf Your little children singing uninhibited creat ound in ion. praises to God reminds us of the truth that all the people of the earth should lift their voices in honor of our Creator. Let us “praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens” (v.13). Stars, animals, and children: Let’s join in, saying thanks for His creation. “Praise the Lord!” —adapted from Our Daily Bread 1 October 2013 article, by Dave Branon

tion Reflec Write down some words for His creation.  

of praise, thanking God

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nual a M n o i t c u r t In s ay Verse of the D es

leav That is why a man r and is he ot m his father and , and they united to his wife . become one flesh 24 —Genesis 2:

n

t io uc r t In s ua l n Ma

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Genesis 2:18–25

“G

uess what, Mommy?” Talia exclaimed as she hopped off the school bus and gave Mom a hug. “Margie proposed to me at school today! She said that in her home country, the Netherlands, girls are allowed to marry girls!” “I see,” Mom said, raising an eyebrow. “I’m not sure that’s allowed where we live, Talia. Plus, don’t you think six-year-olds are a bit young to get married?” Mom opened the front door. As Talia put her school bag down, she noticed a large box in the living room. “What’s that?” Talia asked. “It’s our new vacuum cleaner,” Mom replied. She lifted it out of the box and Talia spotted a book lying inside. “What’s this book for?” Talia asked. “It’s the vacuum cleaner’s instruction manual,” Mom replied. “The manual was written by the company that made the vacuum cleaner.

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Pra yer It contains a description of the vacuum cleaner, and instructions on how to use it properly.” Mom continued: “You know, Talia, marriage has an instruction

Lord , th creat ank You for ing m a maki ng it rriage an d betw man e and wom en an.

manual too—God’s Word! Marriage was made by God and He says in Genesis 2:24 that a man will leave his father and mother to be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. God made marriage to be between a man and a woman. We should listen carefully to God’s description of marriage. He is the Creator of marriage, after all, and the Creator knows best!” Talia nodded. “That makes sense, Mom. The Creator knows best!” Mom smiled. “Let’s find out what else God says about marriage, shall we?” —RW

tion Reflec To find marriage you’ve heard? What are some views of ’s Bible for marriage, read today out more of God’s plan 5:21-33. ws 13:4 and Ephesians verses, as well as Hebre

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Di scipline ay Verse of the Dpleasant at the

ems No discipline se , it Later on, however time, but painful. ss ne t of righteous produces a harves en ose who have be and peace for th 1 :1 ebrews 12 trained by it. —H

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Hebrews 12:9–11

“K

ai Ling? Is everything all right?” Dad asked gently, as he entered his daughter’s room. “Mom told me you did something wrong. What happened?” Kai Ling replied in a sad voice, “Mom told me to stop playing games on the tablet, but I didn’t want to . . . I got so angry, I . . . I yelled at Mom, threw the tablet on the ground, and the screen cracked. Mom said as punishment, I can’t attend my friend Shona’s birthday party tomorrow and I have to use my allowance money to contribute to buying a new tablet.” Kai Ling began to weep. She felt ashamed of what she had done. Dad gave her a big hug. “I know what you’re going to say, Dad,” Kai Ling said as she blew her nose. “I know what I did was wrong. I should have obeyed Mom as the Bible says we should obey our parents; I should not have yelled at her as it’s disrespectful; and I should not have thrown the tablet. Mom

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Pra yer already explained this to me.” Dad couldn’t help but smile. “Kai Ling, you are a sensible girl when you are calm. Remember

Lord , help me t acce o pt th e my p disci pline aren ts gi want ve m to le a my m rn fro e. I is m plea takes an se Yo d u mo re.

Hebrews 12:11 says: ‘No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.’ Mom and Dad hope you can learn from your mistakes and please God more. That’s why we are disciplining you. Shall we pray and ask God to help you?”

Kai Ling nodded bashfully and bowed her head. —RW

tion Reflec u. ur parents disciplined yo Think of the last time yo has you feel about it? How What was it for? How did d after ing disciplined change your attitude towards be ? reading Hebrews 12:11

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U-turn ay Verse of the Der

scov When [people] di ng road, ro w they’re on the ck? don’t they turn ba LT) —Jeremiah 8:4 (N

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Jeremiah 8:4–7

D

ad was driving Joshua to visit Grandma. As Grandma had just moved into a new apartment, and Dad was not familiar with the way to her place, Joshua glued his eyes on the GPS and gave Dad instructions to make sure they wouldn’t get lost. But, Dad was not paying attention and he did not hear Joshua tell him to take a right turn. “Oops,” Dad said. “Sorry, Joshua. I ignored your instructions and now we’re lost. Let me make a U-turn and get back on the right road once again.” The people of God during Jeremiah’s time had also lost their way. They had rejected God and ignored His instructions. God patiently and lovingly pleaded with His people to repent, to do a U-turn and “get back on the right road”, before it was too late: “When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?” (Jeremiah 8:4 NLT).

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Pra yer Sadly, the people rejected God’s pleas. They continued to sin, which means disobeying God. No one said “I’m sorry” for doing wrong. Because they refused to do a U-turn, they found themselves moving further and further away from God. How about us? Have we

Lord , whe n You, help I disobey me t “I’m o sa sor peop ry”. When y le wron point ou tt g I’ve me t done he o list , en to help do n them ot w ant t the p o be . I eopl like eo Jerem iah’s f God du ring time .

done something wrong, but refused to say “I’m sorry”? Are we continuing down “the wrong road”, hoping that no one will find out? Have our parents, teachers or siblings tried to point out what we’ve done wrong, but we’ve been upset with them, instead of listening to them? How can we “get back on the right road” with God again? —SKT

tion Reflec ed God which you have disobey What are some ways in ding u do about it, after rea this week? What will yo today’s devotion?

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Bear ay Verse of the D4:16 hn

God is love. —1 Jo

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1 John 4:15–19

H

ave you ever received a giant stuffed toy? I gave one to my grandchild, Baby D. Do you know how he responded? First, he stared at the giant stuffed animal frame with wonder. Next, he touched it with amazement. Then, he began to explore it curiously. He poked his pudgy finger at “Bear’s” nose, and when “Bear” tumbled forward into his arms, Baby D. responded with joy, joy, JOY! Baby D. lay his toddler head down on “Bear’s” fluffy chest and hugged him tightly. A dimpled smile spread across his cheeks as he burrowed deeply into Bear’s cushiony softness. Innocently, he felt love from “Bear” and returned it with all his heart. In his first of three letters to early Christians, the apostle John boldly states that God Himself is love. “We know and rely on the love God has for us,” he writes. “God is love” (1 John 4:16).

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God loves the most. Not in the pillow of a pretend animal


Pra yer but rather, with the outstretched arms of a real human body. That body was Jesus Christ, who died for our sins so that we could be made right with God. John 3:16 tells us the reason Jesus died for us—it’s because God loves us.

Lord , th for lo ank You vi send ng me an ing J d esus for m to di y sin e s so could that be m I with ade r You. ight

John also tells us, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). God’s real love makes it possible for us to love God and others—with all our hearts. —adapted from Our Daily Bread 16 May 2019 article, by Elisa Morgan

tion Reflec nking God for His love Write down a prayer, tha ing . Tell God how you’re go expressed through Jesus the at l, oo sch ers this week, at to show His love to oth . playground and at home

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ir Putting God F

st

ay Verse of the Dat

d th So Abraham calle ill Provide. W place The LORD —Genesis 22:14

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Genesis 22:2–14

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ow much would you give up for God? How about a chance to represent your country in the next Olympics? For Eric Liddell, a British sprinter, this was exactly what he gave up. In 1924, Eric refused to run in several races because they took place on Sundays. A faithful Christian, he believed that Sundays were reserved for worshipping God. As a result, he withdrew from the 100 meters finals, even though he had a good chance of winning. Instead, Eric decided to compete in the 400 meters race, which was held on another day. It was not his best event, but he won it, and even broke the Olympic record. To Eric, it must have felt like God was rewarding him for his sacrifice! The Bible tells us of a similar story. God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on an altar. Imagine being asked to give up something that is most precious to you! Abraham was willing to obey, even though he must have felt really sad. At the last moment,

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Pra yer however, God stopped him and said, “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Genesis 22:12). Then Abraham saw a ram he could use as a sacrifice. And he called that place The LORD Will Provide (Genesis 22:14).

Lord , I kn ow I alwa can ys tr u s prov ide f t You to or m be re e. M ady t o giv ay I up e e ver for Y ything I ou. have

Abraham was ready to give up everything—including his own son—because he knew he could trust God to provide whatever he needed. He didn’t hold back anything because he knew that everything came from God. What might God be asking you to give up for Him today? —LK

tion Reflec to you? What wo What is most precious it up? God asked you to give  

uld you say if

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Sincere Love ay Verse of the Dlove d to Don’t just preten them. ve lo others. Really ) LT —Romans 12:9 (N

READ

Romans 12:9–10

“D

ad, look at what Asher did! He took a bite of a cookie, and gave me the rest with his teeth marks on it!” complained Roxy. “Dad said to share, so I shared!” Asher insisted. “I followed Dad’s instructions!” Dad looked at his two squabbling children. Both of them had chocolate cookie stains around their mouths. He asked, “Do you remember the Cat Woman toy I bought you, Asher?” Asher replied, “Yes, how could I forget? I like Spiderman but because you couldn’t find a Spiderman toy, you bought me Cat Woman because it was on discount.” “How did you feel when you received that present from me?” Dad asked. Asher sighed. “You know how I felt, Dad. I was upset because, because . . .”

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Pra yer “ . . . because I did not really think about you when I chose the gift,” Dad finished Asher’s sentence. He continued gently, “I chose what worked best for me. Later on,

Lord , help me n to pr ot eten d othe t rs, bu o love tr them . I wa eally lov e nt to my f amil show y and since frien re lo ds a ve.

Mom helped me to see that I was not showing you real love by buying you that gift. She read Romans 12:9 (NLT) to me, which says, ‘Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.’ Real love is when we sincerely do what’s best for the person we love. After I realized I was being insincere, I apologized to you, remember?” Asher nodded; he felt the warmth of his father’s sincere words. Silently, he pushed a big cookie over to Roxy. Dad smiled, “Now you are showing sincere love to your sister, Asher!” “Thanks, Dad! And, would you like some sincere love too?” Asher giggled, offering Dad a big cookie. Dad laughed and tickled his children. —EE

tion Reflec , but we pretend to be loving Think of examples when can at l love in our hearts. Wh actually do not have rea sincere in our love? we change to be more 55


le b i s s o P n o i s s Mi ay Verse of the D e disciples d mak Therefore go an ptizing them of all nations, ba e Father and in the name of th the Holy of the Son and of 28:19 Spirit. —Matthew

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Matthew 28:16–

“U

ncle Paul is staying over for the week, and he’s staying in your room,” said Mom. “Noooooo,” groaned Sidney. “Do I really have to share my room?” “It’s a privilege,” said Mom. “Uncle Paul is a missionary.” “What is that?” asked Sidney. “Why don’t you ask him?” replied Mom. Uncle Paul arrived in a plain shirt and jeans, with a small luggage bag. “Thanks for letting me stay in your room, Sidney,” he smiled. He gave Sidney a wooden flute as a present. “This is made by the people group I reach out to,” said Uncle Paul. He showed Sidney photographs of his travels to mountainous tribes. The people looked different, their clothes and food were different, and they spoke another language.

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Pra yer Lord “Uncle Paul, what is a missionary?” , sh can s ow me h asked Sidney. hare o the l w I Jesus “It’s someone who tells people o ve of with t arou who don’t know Jesus about Him,” nd m he peop le e. H know said Uncle Paul. what elp me t o to do and “Why did you go there? Are say. there fast food restaurants or cinemas?” asked Sidney. “No, there aren’t. Jesus asked His followers to make

disciples of all nations, and God called me to go and preach to this tribe, so I obeyed. But Sidney, you can be a missionary at home too! Are there people around you who do not know Jesus, and perhaps from another country?” asked Uncle Paul. “Yes, I have classmates from China and India, our neighbors are from Japan and our helper Aunty Francine is from Indonesia,” said Sidney. Uncle Paul nodded, “That is your mission field! Jesus wants to save people everywhere. We just need to tell them about Him.” —SH

tion c e l f e R heard you know who has not Can you think of anyone Jesus t bu u yo be dif ferent from the gospel? They may . wants to save them too

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Lost Ticket s ay Verse of the Dd; knock fin Seek and you will opened be ill w and the door 7:7 to you. —Matthew

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Matthew 13:44–

R

ecently, my husband misplaced complimentary tickets to the S.E.A. Aquarium in Sentosa. His office had given him free entry to this world-famous attraction for the whole family, but the tickets were nowhere to be found! We turned the whole house upside down, room by room, as we searched every drawer, every trouser pocket, every bag, and every rubbish bin. But we couldn’t find the tickets. The kids were disappointed, and my husband gave up. Not me. I kept searching. And I still remember the triumphant moment when I fished the tickets out of the recycling bin. Holding them straight up towards the sky, I bolted towards my family, yelling, “I found them!” Needless to say, that day’s visit to the S.E.A. Aquarium felt particularly rewarding and fun. Persistence pays off. And this is especially true when it comes to seeking God. Throughout the Bible, God promises that those

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Pra yer Lord who seek Him will find Him. Yet, , help m persi sometimes, it is not clear what His stent e to be i and will is in a situation; we may wonder seek n praying ing Y Your ou fo how to obey God, for example, when he r know lp and g uida ing t we witness something unloving nce, hat I from will You. happening to our friends. Or, hear sometimes, we don’t know how to trust God. This can happen when we are afraid of the future or when things seem to be out of control. But take heart. Matthew 7:7 says: “Seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” The Bible reminds us to take our thoughts, worries, fears, and questions to God in prayer. When

we persistently pray and seek God, His help, and His guidance, He will reveal Himself to us, walk with us, and guide us.

Are you seeking Him today? —RW

tion Reflec about it st you have today. Pray Name one prayer reque persistently this week.

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d Joy in the Lor ay Verse of the Dways. rd al Rejoice in the Lo Rejoice! n: ai I will say it ag —Philippians 4:4

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Philippians 4:4–

“I

’m visiting Uncle Sunny tomorrow to give his children some clothes and toys,” Mom announced to the children over dinner. “Mommy, why are we always giving them stuff?” asked Weijie. “Uncle Sunny hasn’t been working for the past year as he has had to take care of his ageing parents who are ill, so it’s loving to bless his family,” Mom replied. “Really? But Uncle Sunny always looks so joyful. He walks with a spring in his step, and is so friendly!” exclaimed Weili. “That’s because his joy comes from the Lord! Uncle Sunny knows that no matter what happens, God is in charge and will take care of him and his family,” Dad pointed out. “But, Daddy,” Weili frowned, “can you still be so happy when bad things happen, like when I fall down from my bicycle, or when my friend disturbs me by snatching my book?”

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Pra yer “That’s a very good question,” Dad said thoughtfully. “In Philippians 4:4, Paul encourages his readers to rejoice always in the Lord. He was in prison at that time. It must have been painful and unfair for him to be in prison for preaching the gospel, yet Paul remained joyful. Joy is not

Lord , I ca nb even when e joyful unfa pain ir t fu beca hings ha l or use Y ppen o char ge an u are in dIc You an tr fully ust .

some happy feeling that comes and goes. Joy is knowing that God is in charge of our lives and we can trust Him fully. When we commit our circumstances to Him in prayer, we will experience God’s peace. Now, that’s real joy!” “I want to be joyful and walk with a spring in my step, like Uncle Sunny! Boing! Boing! Boing!” Weili pranced around and everyone broke out in peals of laughter. —LJC

tion Reflec ppens, ng painful or unfair ha The next time somethi devotion? ’s ay tod urself of from what can you remind yo

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Not Giving Up ay Verse of the Dw no is no Therefore, there r those fo n condemnatio t Jesus. who are in Chris —Romans 8:1

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–17

Romans 8:1–2, 15

“J

osh, could you help Audrey with her piano practice?” Mom asked. Audrey, Joshua’s younger sister, was stuck at one part of her piece. “This is so hard! I’ll never get this right!” she wailed. “Don’t give up, Audrey,” Joshua said. He played the piece for her, giving her some tips. Soon, Audrey was making progress. “Thanks, Josh,” Mom said. “Actually, “ Josh said, “there was nothing stopping Audrey from getting that part right. She just needed to keep working at it.” Suddenly, Josh’s phone beeped. As he read the message from a friend, he let loose a curse word. “Joshua Tan!” Mom bellowed. “Do not use foul language!” Joshua slapped his forehead. Recently, he had decided to stop swearing. His youth pastor had preached about how Christians should not allow unwholesome talk to come out of their mouths, but

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Pra yer Lord only what is helpful for building others , help m be d up (Ephesians 4:29). But Joshua found iscou e not to rage in m d by this bad habit hard to break. yl sin my s ife. As I c “Mom, I want to stop swearing. ins, r onfe ss emi Jesus But it’s so hard! I’ll never get this has f nd me th orgiv and a He en m t right . . .” Joshua mumbled. e, to ch will ena bl ange Mom saw Joshua’s look of my w e me slow ly bu ays, defeat. “Learning something, t sur ely.

like a piano piece, is hard. Unlearning something is hard too. But don’t give up. There’s nothing stopping

you from breaking a bad habit; Jesus delivered us from sin when we placed our faith in Him. Satan can make us feel trapped or discouraged when our bad habits don’t disappear immediately. But through Bible reading, prayer, and the Holy Spirit, God will enable us to change our ways, slowly but surely.” Joshua gave Mom a hug. “I’m going to keep asking God to help me break this bad habit,” he said. “I’m not going to give up!” —RW

tion Reflec rson d wholesome, both in pe Is your speech loving an e or s you send on your phon and online (in message is d Go t tha s me bad habit computer)? What are so s week? asking you to change thi   63


Because ay Verse of the Dly good

on Should we accept nd of God ha e things from th ng bad? and never anythi —Job 2:10 (NLT)

READ

Job 2:7–10

O

ne day, my toddler exclaimed, “I love you, Mom!” I was curious, so I asked him why he loved me. He answered, “Because you play cars with me.” When I asked if there was any other reason, he said, “Nope. That’s it.” My toddler’s response made me smile. But it also made me think about the way I relate to God. Do I love and trust Him just because of what He does for me? What about when the blessings disappear? Job had to answer these questions when all his children died and his entire estate was destroyed suddenly. His wife advised him: “Curse God and die” (2:9). Instead, Job asked, “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” (v.10 NLT). Yes, Job struggled after his tragedy—he became angry with his friends and questioned God. Still, he vowed, “God might kill me, but I

64


Pra yer have no other hope” (13:15 NLT). Job’s trust in his heavenly Father

didn’t depend on God providing a happy solution to all his problems. Rather, he loved God because of all that He is. Job said, “God is so

Lord , help me t acce o pt ev ery that come thing s I tha nk Yo from You . u give me b when Yo u lessi You ngs. be I trus are, e cause of t who ve You thing n when bad s hap pen.

wise and so mighty” (9:4 NLT). Our love for God must not be based solely on His blessings but because of who He is. —adapted from Our Daily Bread 24 June 2011 article, by Jennifer Benson Schuldt

tion Reflec blessings thanking Him for Your Write a prayer to God, . when bad things happen and trusting Him even

65


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