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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: Stephen Chan (SC), Ames Chen (AC), Chia Poh Fang (CPF), Esther Eio (EE), Jasmine Goh (JG), Karen Kwek (KK), Emily Lim-Leh (EL), Kimberly Quek (KQ), Alina Teo (AT), Ruth Wan-Lau (RW), Charmaine Weng (CW), Betsy Whittaker (BW) EDITORIAL: Asia Pacific Content Development Team DESIGNER S: Grace Goh, 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. 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 © 2021 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 


hing t y r e v E e v a G He ay Verse of the D ing by

noth He made himself ture of a taking the very na ade in human servant, being m ians 2:7 likeness. —Philipp

READ

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Philippians 2:6–

T

eddy and his little sister Tabitha wanted to play with the same toy. “I’ll play with it for five minutes, then you can have it for five minutes,” Teddy said. Tabitha nodded. Later on, Teddy and Tabitha wanted to watch TV. “I’ll choose the TV program today, then you can choose it tomorrow,” Teddy said. Tabitha nodded again. Mom observed all this, and praised Teddy, “You are getting better at sharing and taking turns. Well done!” Teddy beamed. Ms Huang, his kindergarten teacher, had been teaching him about give and take. “My teacher said if we keep demanding our way, that means we’re taking without giving. And that’s not a real loving friendship.” Mom thought for a moment. “Ms Huang is right. Friends give and take. They meet each other halfway. But I know of a friend who gave

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Pra yer without taking. He went all the way, not just halfway.” “Who’s that?” Teddy asked. Mom answered: “Jesus. He didn’t sit in heaven and demand that we go to Him. Nor did He just come

Lord , th Jesus ank You that is my frien r e a l dw lo the w ho cam ving e all ay fr om h earth ea to re move ven to my s in.

Jesus came all the way from heaven to earth to reach out to us. And there’s more: Jesus met God's standards for us by living a perfect life and dying on the cross for our sins. Jesus gave, gave, and gave! Philippians 2:6–8 says that He

halfway.

was ‘in very nature God’ yet ‘humbled himself’ by becoming human and being ‘obedient to death—even death on a cross!’” “Wow! That makes Jesus the most giving friend in the world!” Teddy exclaimed. Mom nodded. “Yes! Jesus is our real loving friend! Shall we talk about what this means for us and how we live?” Teddy nodded. —RW

tion Reflec o laid ve a friend in Jesus, wh Read John 15:13. We ha pond to our sin. How can we res down His life to remove s week? show Jesus to others thi Jesus’ love? How can we

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d r o W s i H d e e N We ay Verse of the Dstruction

of In Study this Book itate on it . . . so ed M . continually ng to obey everythi you will be sure shua 1:8 NLT written in it. —Jo

READ

Joshua 1:7–9

“D

on’t forget to read God’s Word before bed,” Dad reminded Ian. The family was reading through the Gospel of Mark. There was a daily set reading, and discussion would take place at the weekly family dinner on Fridays. Ian groaned. “Must I read the Bible?” He was almost done with his Science worksheet, and couldn’t wait to sleep. Dad came closer. “Ian, why is this plant growing tilted toward the hole?” Dad asked, pointing at a diagram printed on Ian’s Science worksheet. It showed a potted plant in a cardboard box. There was a hole in one of the box’s sides, and the plant was not growing upright, but was growing tilted toward the hole. “Oh, that’s easy,” Ian replied. “Plants need sunlight to make food. Sunlight is entering the box through that hole. So, the plant is growing toward the sunlight.”

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Pra yer

Dad nodded and said: “Without

sunlight, plants can’t live and grow. And, just as plants need sunlight, we need God’s Word. God told Joshua in Joshua

Lord , I wa nt refle ct on to read, , and Your obey W plan ord. Just tn as need eeds sun a l Your i Word ght, I .

1:8, ‘Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it . . . obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do’ (NLT).

God was saying that Joshua needed to read, reflect on, and obey God’s Word in order to carry out God’s plan for him. And, so do we.” Ian looked sheepish, so Dad added: “I know you’re feeling tired, but God’s Word refreshes us as we read it. Shall I keep you company while you do your Bible reading tonight? To encourage you?” “And . . . to make sure I don’t fall asleep?” Ian winked. “Sure, Dad!” —RW

tion Reflec from nt growing tilted away Have you ever seen a pla nts pla ver happen, because sunlight? That would ne when . Remember this image need sunlight to thrive time rd. When can you find you think about God’s Wo rd? and reflect on God’s Wo during the day to read 7


I ’m the Best? ay Verse of the Dgrace. ore But he gives us m re says: tu rip That is why Sc e proud “God opposes th to the but shows favor 4:6 humble.” —James

READ

Proverbs 3:34–35

“W

oah! Did you see that fantastic goal I scored?” Aaron exclaimed. “Good goal, Bro!” Moses replied. “Good? I scored the best goal in the game,” Aaron huffed. “You wouldn’t have scored it if I didn’t pass the ball to you,” Moses said. “We won as a team.” “Well, I’m the top-scorer. I’m sure I can also dribble the ball across the field by myself!” Aaron said. “I’m the best footballer in the team!” “Aaron,” Coach interrupted. “Can I speak with you for a moment?” Aaron strutted toward Coach, expecting praise. When they were away from the team, Coach said, “I overheard your conversation with your teammates. Football is a team sport—you are strongest when you work together for team glory, not self-glory.” Aaron’s face turned red as he muttered: “Oh . . .”

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Pra yer Lord 4:6 , I wa nt to hum b ble a says: ‘God opposes the proud bout e achie m veme y but shows favor to the humble.’ n me t o rem ts. Help e You When we are proud, we focus are t mber tha h t e s treng sour only on ourselves and think ce of ths a m nd ta lents y that we are the center of the . universe. But when we are humble, we put God at the center of our universe. We recognize that it is God who has blessed

Coach continued, “ James

us with our strengths and talents.” “Sorry, Coach,” Aaron said. “You are a good footballer,” Coach said. “But you can be a great footballer when you are humble about your achievements and be a team player.” Aaron walked back to his team and said: “Sorry, guys. I couldn’t have scored without you. You guys are the best!” “And together, we will work to become the best team!” Coach said. “Yeah!” Everyone cried in one voice. —EL

tion Reflec ank God t yourself to others? Th ou ab ed gg bra u yo ve Ha k God has blessed you with. As for all the things that He for a humble heart. 9


ide r P y M n w o D Lay ay Verse of the Den , th When pride comes t with bu , ce comes disgra dom. is w humility comes —Proverbs 11:2

READ

Proverbs 11:1–4

“I

can do it on my own! I’m good at this. I don’t need any help,” Clara declared indignantly as she fiddled with opening the tight screw-on cap of a paint jar. “Are you sure? Shall I help you loosen it a little so you won’t spill the paint?” Mom gently asked for the second time. “No! Leave me alone!” cried Clara. Moments later, red splotches of paint covered the floor, making it look like the floor was suffering from measles. Refusing to look at Mom, Clara burst into silent sobs and sat on the floor looking at the mess she had created. Mom took a clean cloth, bent down and wiped up the gooey mess. Then, she approached Clara and wiped away the tears from her flushed face. “You know, Clara,” Mom calmly explained, “Proverbs 11:12 tells us that ‘when pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility

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Pra yer comes wisdom.’ It is okay to ask for help when you need some. Don’t let your pride stand in the way.” “I was sure I could do it on my own,” Clara mumbled, twiddling her thumbs.

Mom replied, "Pride makes

Lord , I wa nt to be h umb l e in thou my gh actio ts, words ns ,a down . Teach m nd e to my p lay willi r ng to ide, and be recei ve he lp.

us think that we are better than we actually are, and reject the help that God has sent our way. But God wants us to lay down our puffed-up selves and be willing to receive help. There are two benefits to doing so. First, we are spared

embarrassment, and second, we gain wisdom. Would you like to try living out this verse?” With a smile, Clara nodded and asked, “Mom, could you help me loosen the cap of the yellow paint jar?” —AT

tion Reflec prideful ently that came from a What have you done rec ways ee thr to change. Think of heart? Ask God for help s, ht humble in your thoug to remind yourself to be week. words, and actions this

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er w o T g n i n a e L The ay Verse of the Dthese words ars Everyone who he them into of mine and puts wise man who practice is like a the rock. built his house on —Matthew 7:24

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Matthew 7:24–27

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ou’ve probably heard of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy which doesn’t stand straight and tall, but leans to one side. But, did you know there’s a leaning tower in San Francisco? It’s called the Millennium Tower. Built in 2008, this 58-story skyscraper stands proudly—but slightly crookedly. The problem? The foundation wasn’t dug deep enough. So now, it has to be repaired and this may cost more than the entire tower did when it was originally built. The painful lesson here? Foundations matter. When your foundation isn’t solid, disaster could happen. Jesus taught something similar in Matthew 7:24–27. He contrasted two builders, one who built on a rock, another on sand. When a storm came, only the house built on the rock was left standing. Jesus said: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on 12


Pra yer the rock” (Matthew 7:24). This means we must build our lives through obedience and trust in Him.

To obey Him, we need to

read His Word regularly so that we know what He

Lord , I wa nt my li fe on to build the fi foun da rm Teac tion of Y ou. h me to ob and e trust in Yo y You u.

wants us to do.

To trust Him, we need to rest

in His character and promises, even when life gets uncertain, stressful, or painful. When we rest in Him, our lives will be on the solid ground of God's power and unending grace. Christ doesn’t promise that we’ll never face storms. But He does say that when He’s our rock, we will be able to stand firm through life’s storms. —adapted from Our Daily Bread 9 January 2020 article by Adam Holz

tion c e l f e R God’s m the habit of reading What can you do to for y get ma me ways in which life Word daily? Imagine so at Wh painful for you this year. uncertain, stressful, or co s me? rest in God when storm will you do to trust and   13


e) n O t r a P ( y r a Dear Di ay Verse of the Dve them

t ha Whoever does no d blind, an is nearsighted ey have been forgetting that th eir past sins. cleansed from th —2 Peter 1:9

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2 Peter 1:3–9

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ear Diary, Today was interesting. When we were getting ready for church, I realized that I had No Clothes To Wear. #sotragic I told Mom and she showed me all the stuff in my closet. I told her: “I don’t wear pink anymore!” and “Eeks! This blouse has frills!” But Mom said she’s not buying me new clothes. That’s when I lost it. I was so angry, I kicked, screamed, yelled . . . Mom yelled too! Somehow, we all made it to church and that’s where it got . . . interesting. Pastor Roger started his sermon with this: “Do you remember a time you were so drenched in sweat, you couldn’t wait to take a shower?” Oh, I can relate to that! Whenever we do sports in school, I feel so grimy! #totallyembarrassing Pastor Roger continued: "Would any of us take a shower, get nice

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Pra yer and clean, and then, put on the same stinky, dirty clothes as before?”

A clean person putting back on his dirty clothes? How silly! But here’s what Pastor Roger said next: “In some ways, all of us do that when we return to sin after we’ve been saved by Jesus.”

Lord ,w ange hen I fee l r rise in m me t e or ,h have emembe elp r tha been tI clean You. I do s e d not by on th e sam want to p cloth e stin ut es as k befo y, dirty to ge re t rid of m . Help m y ang e er.

Those words really struck me. I had been fuming at Mom, even while in church! But I felt as if Pastor Roger was speaking directly to me when he read 2 Peter 1:5–9: “Make every effort to add to your faith . . . self-control . . . and . . . love. . . . these qualities . . . will keep you from being ineffective . . . But whoever does not have them is . . . blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sin.” What was God saying to me? —RW

tion Reflec y, ask us. When you feel angr Many things can anger rrender su y? What do I need to yourself: Why am I angr a clean Remember the image of to God and pray about? thes. d, putting on his dir ty clo person, who’s just bathe Don’t be that person. 15


o) w T t r a P ( y r a Dear Di ay Verse of the Dgiven us

has His divine power for a godly ed everything we ne knowledge of life through our us by his own him who called ss. —2 Peter 1:3 glory and goodne

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2 Peter 1:3–9

D

ear Diary, I’m back! Had to stop writing just now because Mom came into my room. Guess what? She said “sorry” for yelling at me this morning! She said Pastor Roger’s sermon reminded her that anger is a sin, and she has been cleansed from sin (2 Peter 1:9) and needs to add selfcontrol to her faith (2 Peter 1:6). I told Mom I’m sorry too. Before church, all I could think about was me, me, me. But after Pastor Roger described a clean person putting back on his dirty clothes, and after reading 2 Peter 1:3–9, all I could think about was oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I’ve forgotten that I am clean! God loved me enough to send His only Son Jesus to die for my sin on the cross. He’s cleansed me. So, why would I want to “put dirty clothes back on”? #argh

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Pra yer Lord Actually, I dislike being angry. It’s , Yo powe ur divin so tiring and pointless. I’m going to e r every has given ask God to help me have “goodness thing me a go dly l I need fo . . . knowledge . . . self-control . . . ife r say “ sorry . Help me perseverance . . . godliness . . . ” wh to done some en I hav mutual affection . . . love” (2 Peter e and thing en wron 1:5–8). #prayerispowerful every able me g, t o effor Pastor Roger ended his t to l make ive f or Yo sermon by focusing on 2 Peter u. 1:3: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him.” He said that while we have to “make every effort” (1 Peter 1:5) to live for God, it is God’s power that will enable us. OK, God, please give me something to wear for church next week! More seriously, I pray that You will guard me against anger and help me be flexible with what I wear. Amen! —RW

tion Reflec u too rry” to someone? Are yo Do you need to say “so on ing us foc p ? When we sto proud or angr y to do so us on for ne do s r what Jesus ha ourselves, and remembe ht? rig is at wh t enable us to do the cross, how does tha

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d r o W g n i h s e r The Ref ay Verse of the Dis perfect,

RD The law of the LO . The statutes ul so refreshing the trustworthy, of the LORD are simple. making wise the —Psalm 19:7

READ

Psalm 19:7–11

“I

ce water, please!” Sam requested after a run under the hot sun. Handing him a cup of water, Mom watched as Sam gulped it down. “Aaahhh . . . refreshing! I can’t imagine living without water,” Sam commented, a satisfied grin plastered on his face.

Word is like water. It quenches our thirst and refreshes us when we drink it. It is essential to our lives. In Psalm 19:7, we read that God’s Word ‘is perfect, refreshing the soul.’ We should read it every day.” “What’ll happen if we don’t read God’s Word?” Sam asked, a

Smiling, Mom agreed, “You know, God’s

frown lacing his brow. “Well, we’ll miss out on the refreshment that His Word brings,” Mom explained. “Imagine if you didn’t have any water to drink after 18


Pra yer Lord your run just now. How would you feel?” , gi thirs ve me th “Gosh! I’d feel terrible,” Sam t to k e now more exclaimed. Y ou e enco ach day. “Yup! Just last week, I Let m unte rY e new ways ou in fre remembered feeling rather stressed sh as I r Your ead Word about the many things I had . to complete. I felt like things were not going as planned. I’m glad I chose to go to God’s Word. Through 1 Corinthians 1:9, God reassured me of His faithfulness, reminding me that I can trust in Him,” Mom shared. Looking at Mom with a glimmer in his eyes, Sam said, “I want God’s Word to refresh me every day. I will commit to reading His Word daily.” Giving Sam a big hug, Mom assured, “That’s wonderful. Even if you fail at times, don’t lose heart! God is always waiting for you with outstretched arms, ready to welcome you into His presence.” —AT

tion Reflec y to 5 to 15 minutes each da Commit to setting aside day to do of the best time in your read God’s Word. Think to spur a friend or your parent, so. Read the Bible with one another on!

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er p l e H g n o r t S Our ay Verse of the Dmountains— the I lift up my eyes to come from? lp he y where does m om the LORD, the My help comes fr and earth. Maker of heaven —Psalm 121:1–2

READ

Psalm 121

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ad passed Jenn’s bedroom and spotted her sitting on the floor, staring at her softball glove. Pausing at the doorway, he asked, “Thinking about your game tomorrow?” Jenn gave him a worried look. “It’s the first match of the season and the team we’re playing against is really strong. They were the champions last year.” Dad smiled encouragingly as he said: “You are always ready for a challenge, aren’t you? It’s the reason you accepted the role of team captain.” “But that’s why it’s even worse now . . .” Jenn’s voice trailed off. “Because?” Dad probed gently. Jenn sighed in reply: “All my teammates are discouraged. As the captain, I know I should be the one to encourage them, but I’m discouraged too.” She looked back down at her softball glove. Dad sat on the floor beside Jenn and said: “You know, when I’m

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Pra yer fearful and discouraged, I remember Psalm 121:1–2. It says: ‘I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.’”

Dad continued, “The

Lord ,w fearf hen I am ul or di help me r scourage eme that mbe d, You r a re m and y hel You pe a re th heav e Ma r en a k nd e arth. er of

Israelites would sing this psalm as they travelled up to Jerusalem and it reminded them that the Lord was with them every step of the way. Regardless of the challenges they faced on the journey, the Lord would be their helper. Isn’t

it comforting to know that our helper is the Maker of heaven and earth? He will help you lead your team, no matter how difficult. Shall we pray about this together?” Jenn nodded with a smile. —JG

tion Reflec you your life that’s making Is there any situation in g that rin be em How would rem fearful or discouraged? e you giv r d earth is your helpe the Maker of heaven an uation? courage to face the sit

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e The Big Pictur ay Verse of the Dis now

ace God’s dwelling pl le, and he will among the peop . They will be dwell with them d himself his people, and Go and be their will be with them n 21:3 God. —Revelatio

READ

7 Revelation 21:1–

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nnie was frustrated. She was in the midst of doing a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle when her younger sister misplaced the cover of the puzzle box. Without the cover, Annie didn’t have a picture of the completed puzzle to refer to. “Where does this piece belong?” Annie wondered, as she tried to match the pieces one by one. If Annie had the complete picture to refer to, she would be able to fit the different pieces together more easily! It’s the same with reading the Bible. When we don’t have the big picture, the different parts of the Bible may seem confusing. In order to understand each piece that we read, we need to know the big picture—the full story.

Well, fret not, for all the 66 books in the Bible fit

into one main storyline, that is: God’s people in God’s place, under God’s rule and blessing. That’s how it began 22


Pra yer Lord in the book of Genesis in the Garden , th maki ank You of Eden, and that’s how it will end, as for ng Yo ur st know foretold in the book of Revelation. o ry n the B to me th roug From Genesis 3 to Revelation 20, ible, h w me Y our p hich sho we read about how God’s people ws la worl d thr n to sav failed Him, and yet God repeatedly e o u th Jesus g Chris h Your S e redeems a group of people that on t. belongs to Him, obeys Him, and enjoys His blessings—and He does this ultimately through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us in Revelation 21:6 that He is the “Beginning and the End.” He will “dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (v.3). As we read the different parts of the Bible, let’s remember that the Bible’s supreme subject is Jesus Christ, and He enables us to live as God’s people under God’s rule and blessing. —JG

tion Reflec rase: “God’s people in Make a poster of this ph ur rule and blessing.” In yo God’s place, under God’s your th wi ss cu dis next few days, devotional time in the and me the big s verses fit into thi parents how the Bible Christ. how they point to Jesus

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en v a e H n i e r u s a Tre ay Verse of the D d loved

m an Jesus looked at hi . you lack,” he said him. “One thing ng you have and “Go, sell everythi and you will give to the poor, heaven. Then have treasure in ” —Mark 10:21 come, follow me.

READ

Mark 10:17–31

“L

ook what arrived in the mail today!” said Dad excitedly. The brochure in Dad’s hands showed a group of children playing on a dirt lane outside a house with grubby walls. “What’s a char-i-ty?” asked Tim. “It’s a group set up to give money or help to those in need,” Dad explained. “How would you feel about giving a little of your savings to help these children?” Tim frowned. He was already putting part of his allowance into the offering bag at church, and saving up for his soccer league trading card collection. He didn’t want to give away any more money! “Your expression reminds me of someone who went away sad after talking to Jesus,” Dad said gently. Tim remembered reading the account in his Bible. “Wasn’t that the rich young man who asked Jesus what he had to do to go to heaven?”

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Pra yer Dad nodded. “The man followed God’s commands. But he was putting his trust in his riches and his obedience for a comfortable life on earth and a place in heaven.

Lord , I wa nt to and love trust You than m or Iv thing alue the e s You good me. H have g e good lp me us iven e tho thing se othe s rs wh to show o You that th ar treas ey, too, ca e, so ure i n ha n he ve aven .

Nothing we have or do can get us to heaven, except trusting in Jesus directly. That’s why in Mark 10:21, Jesus said, ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ Jesus was asking him to get rid of the things that had replaced trust in Him.” Tim was deep in thought for a moment. Then he said, “Tell me more about this charity, Dad.” —KK

tion Reflec or table that make you feel comf What are some things those ng nti be in danger of wa and secure? Could you e way On ? ing Jesus’ friendship things more than enjoy give to whether you can bear to tell is to ask yourself u have. away the good things yo

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Come and See ay Verse of the D e Moses

the on “We have found e Law, and th wrote about in prophets also about whom the Nazareth, the wrote—Jesus of John 1:45 son of Joseph.” —

READ

John 1:43–51

“M

om, Teacher Lily told us to invite a friend to our Easter event next month,” Jane said, holding the invitation card that had been given out during Sunday School. “That’s a great idea! Whom will you invite?” Mom asked. “I don’t know,” Jane shrugged. “Maybe Liz? But she doesn’t know Jesus. I doubt she’d be interested . . .” “Well, someone needs to tell her about Jesus!” Mom interrupted. “But, I don’t know how,” Jane replied. “You know, this reminds me of something Pastor Wilson said at church last weekend. It was recorded in John 1:45 that upon learning about Jesus, Philip couldn’t wait to tell his friend, Nathanael. Philip told him that Jesus was the one whom Moses and the prophets wrote about—‘Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph’,” Mom recounted.

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She added: “Nathanael initially doubted him. But


Pra yer Philip simply invited Nathanael to ‘Come and see’ (v.46).”

Jesus , plea s me t he b e give oldn invit ess e my frien to chur ds t ch enco so that t o unte h r You ey will to kn a ow Y nd co ou a and s the me Savio ir Lo r. rd

Mom continued: “This gave Nathanael the opportunity to encounter Jesus for himself. And that was when he was convinced, and immediately acknowledged Jesus as Son of God, and king of Israel (v.49).” “But how will Liz encounter Jesus when she won’t actually see Him?” Jane asked.

Mom explained: “The encounter will be personal and

unique for everyone, for God knows exactly what every individual needs. What we can do is simply invite our friends to church to give them an opportunity to experience Jesus for themselves!”

Jane smiled and excitedly grabbed a pen to write Liz’s name on the card. —CW

tion Reflec can you t Jesus? How and when Whom can you tell abou yer. pra in Commit them to God invite them to church?

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y k S e h t n i s d u Clo ay Verse of the Dur

ay yo I have swept aw oud, your sins cl offenses like a mist. Return like the morning redeemed you. to me, for I have —Isaiah 44:22

READ

Isaiah 44:21–23

S

mall, white puffy clouds dotted the blue sky as a gentle breeze blew across the field. The serene scene was suddenly interrupted by a shrill scream. “It’s my turn to fly the kite!” Meng shouted at his sister, Megan. Megan retorted, “You’ll get your turn soon!” Meng shoved her and reached out for the kite spool. Megan fell with a great thud. Megan’s wailing attracted Mom’s attention. “What happened?” she asked. Meng muttered, “I wanted to fly the kite but Megan refused to let me play with it.” Mom attended to Megan’s injury before saying, “When we act unkindly toward one another, we displease God for He wants us to love one another. But God invites us to return to Him and do the right thing. Look at the clouds! Pastor Sing Chyun taught us, from

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Pra yer Lord Isaiah 44:22, that God told Israel, ‘I have , th forgi ank You swept away your offenses like a cloud, ving f me b or takin your sins like the morning mist. Return y g on th my punis to me, for I have redeemed you.’” h e cro ss. H ment to lo e v l p me e oth Mom continued: “Just as God ers, i my s nclu iblin was willing to forgive Israel when ding gs plea ses Y , as this they did bad stuff, God is willing ou. to forgive us when we do wrong.” Just then, there was a strong gust of wind. “Mom, the clouds are shifting!” Meng exclaimed excitedly. “It looks like God is sweeping away the clouds!”

has indeed swept away our offenses when Jesus died for us. He took our punishment for us and offered us forgiveness. Now, what’s our response?”

“Isn’t that wonderful?” Mom said. “God

Megan passed the kite spool to Meng. “Kor . . . your turn to fly the kite.” Meng grinned, “Thanks, mei. I’m sorry for pushing you.” —CPF

tion Reflec you want in them the things that ite wr d an s ud clo aw Dr them sorry about. Then, throw to tell God that you are you. en giv for ber that God has into the bin and remem

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Fill Me Up ay Verse of the Dch

whi The peace of God, rstanding, will de un l transcends al and your minds guard your hearts Philippians 4:7 in Christ Jesus. —

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Philippians 4:6–

M

om found Ben in the corner of his room, crying. His Math worksheet was next to him, and on it, he had scrawled: “Stop it!” five times. In between hot tears, Ben stammered: “I’m always doing homework! I’m sick of studying! I keep telling myself: ‘Stop being anxious, Ben! Stop it!’ But I can’t get rid of this anxiety! It keeps coming back!” Mom accompanied Ben to the kitchen and made him his favorite snack. When he felt calmer, Mom asked him gently: “If I asked you to get rid of the air in this water jug, how would you make that happen?” She pointed at an empty jug. “I’d find some way to vacuum all the air out, then seal the jug with an airtight cover,” Ben replied. “Good answer,” Mom said. “But, if the cover was removed, air would enter the jug again, right? You see, the only way to truly

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Pra yer get rid of the air is to fill the jug with something else, like water.” As Mom said this, she poured water from the kettle into the jug. “In the same way,” Mom continued, “the only way to truly get rid of anxiety is to fill yourself with something

Lord , I fee l anxi ous a very t ti can’t get r mes. I id of anxi thi ety me w by myse s l it f. want h Your pe Fill ace. to ha I v joy a nd p e the o w over come er to anxi ety.

else: the peace of God.

Philippians 4:6–7 says when we present our prayers and requests, with thanksgiving, then the ‘peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ This means we won’t stop being anxious just by telling ourselves to stop. We need to look to Jesus in prayer and thankfulness. Let’s talk to God about this, shall we?” —RW

tion Reflec t p feeling anxious abou Do you find it hard to sto cking blo t jus by t rid of anxiety something? You can’t ge for d Go k to calm down. As it out or telling yourself u. . His peace will guard yo help, with thanksgiving

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s! r e t t a M t x e t The Con ay Verse of the D or anything world Do not love the yone loves the an If in the world. e Father is not world, love for th 2:15 in them. —1 John

READ

1 John 2:15–17

“P

apa,” Marcus asked, “is it wrong to love you and Mommy?” “Of course not. Where did you get that idea from?” Papa asked with a frown. “Well,” Marcus explained, “my classmate said that’s what the

Bible teaches in 1 John 2:15: ‘Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.’ That includes you and Mommy, doesn’t it?” Papa replied: “I think your friend might be taking that verse out of context. The Bible doesn’t say it is wrong to love our parents. In fact, honoring your father and mother is part of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1–17). To understand any verse accurately, we need to read it in context, meaning, read it together with the verses around it.” Papa took

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Pra yer Lord out his Bible and read 1 John 2:15–17 , I do not w the l out loud with Marcus. a ust o f the nt and “Oh, I get it!” Marcus exclaimed. flesh eyes , and take pri “1 John 2:15 warns us to keep away Your place de to hear t. I w i from things that might take God’s ant t n my and o wors place in our heart, like the lust of hip Y treasure than ou, m a nyth the flesh and eyes, and pride— ore ing e lse. those are listed in verse 16.” “Yes. Those could refer to pleasure, money, or fame,” Dad explained. “Such things are not evil, but they could become idols that we worship more than God. See how when you read the Bible in context, you can understand it more accurately?” Marcus nodded, then added cheekily, “But, Papa, it is possible for me to love you and Mommy so much that you become my idols, right?” Papa replied: “I guess that’s possible. But, I don’t think that’s a problem for you, right?” Papa winked and Marcus hugged him. —SC

tion Reflec re that we can build up to ensu What are some habits re are he d, e in our hearts? An God remains number on xt ne e Bible in context. Th more tips for reading the om Wh r? find out: Who’s the write time you read a verse, g rin du was his audience facing is he writing to? What that time? 33


ve o L l a i c i f i r c a AS ay Verse of the Ds own

s hi God demonstrate : While we love for us in this s, Christ died were still sinner 5:8 for us. —Romans

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Romans 5:8–10

T

he baby deer was swimming for its life. A crocodile was fast approaching it in the river, and there was no way the delicate fawn could outswim the fearsome predator. The mother deer jumped into the water. She began swimming toward her baby. There was no way she could carry off her baby in time, so she did the unthinkable—she swam into the crocodile’s jaws. The crocodile immediately clamped its jaws down onto the mother and slipped under the water. It was no longer interested in the baby deer, which swam away unscathed. “Why did the mother deer have to die?” Joash sighed as the news video ended. “She loved her baby so much. The thought of losing him was unbearable, so she didn’t think twice about giving up her life to save his,” Dad replied solemnly. Then he asked: “Do you know someone has done the same for you and me?”

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Pra yer Joash looked perplexed. He asked: “Have we been in such danger before?” “The power of sin threatened to destroy us, but Jesus died on a cross to atone for our sins,” Dad

Jesus ,t lovin hank You g me for so m that u Yo c Your u sacrific h self f ed or m the c eo ross to sa n from v e me sin.

He took the punishment that we deserved, and died in our place. Romans 5:8 tells us that God loves us so much that ‘while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ By His death, Jesus rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into God’s kingdom.” Joash thought for a moment, then exclaimed: “Like the mother deer, Jesus gave His life for me so that I would be spared the penalty of sin and be with God forever!” explained. “That means that

“That’s how much Jesus loves you!” Dad affirmed. —CW

tion Reflec His life ing that Jesus sacrificed How do you feel know Him pt ce ac d to thank Him an for you? Would you like r? as your Lord and Savio

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! Jesus i s Alive ay Verse of the Dns

r si Christ died for ou riptures, Sc according to the d, that he that he was burie e third day was raised on th Scriptures. according to the :3–4 —1 Corinthians 15

READ

:1–11

1 Corinthians 15

J

oy was very quiet during the drive home. “Are you okay, Joy?” Mom asked. “I miss Grandma,” Joy said softly. The family was driving home after attending Grandma’s funeral. “We all miss her dearly,” Mom said, “But Grandma will live again because Jesus has defeated death. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 that ‘Christ died for our sins . . . that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day.’”

“But, how do we know for sure that Jesus defeated death?” Joy asked. Mom replied: “The Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus confirmed that He died. They pierced Him with a spear just to be sure He was truly dead. Jesus was then buried in a tomb, but after three days, He rose from the dead. We know this for sure because His disciples saw

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Pra yer Lord Him alive, and so did more than five , than k defe hundred other people!” ating You for deat know Joy thought for a moment then h. I Y raise ou have said, “So Jesus’ tomb is . . .” b d fro m th een and e o d ff “Empty!” interrupted Dad, e thos er eterna ad e wh l l who had been listening to their i fe to o pu in Yo t the u. ir fai conversation while driving. “The th Roman authorities never did find His dead body, even though they must have tried very hard to disprove the resurrection. Joy, it’s okay to miss Grandma. But Jesus promised that those who put our faith in Him will have eternal life. Since Grandma believed in Jesus, we can be sure that we will see her in heaven one day.” “Thanks, Dad and Mom!” exclaimed Joy, “I feel better now. I look forward to the day when I’ll see Grandma again!” —SC

tion Reflec how believe in Jesus? If not, Do your grandparents too may y the t tha m regularly so the for y pra u yo uld wo ise God ? If yes, rejoice and pra have the hope of heaven en. av he of the shared hope for giving you and them

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nges a h C e t u n i M t Las ay Verse of the Ds plan man In their hearts hu the LORD their course, but steps. establishes their —Proverbs 16:9

READ

Proverbs 16:1–3,

“G

9

uess what, Mom and Dad!” yelled Karen when her parents got home from work. “Our Sunday School group went to a nursing home today, and an amazing thing happened!” “Tell us about it!” Mom said. Karen replied excitedly, “We arrived at the nursing home to put up a mini-concert for the seniors there, but the home had forgotten we were coming! They said we could sing for 5 minutes instead of 20. Then, we’d have to stop for a memorial service for one of the residents who had passed away. We were feeling frustrated about the last-minute changes, but here’s the amazing part . . . drum roll, please?” Mom and Dad slapped the table with their palms enthusiastically. Karen continued, “As we were singing, the son of the man who

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Pra yer had passed away heard us. He asked if we could sing at his dad’s service. Our youth leader agreed, and many people came up to us afterwards to tell us that they had been ministered to by our singing!” “That’s so wonderful, Karen!”

Lord ,w chan hen plan ge, h s elp m to be e fr n to tru ustrated ot , but st th at Yo alwa u ys in cont are rol.

Dad said. “We

ought to carefully make schedules so we can be where we think we should be. But, we always need to keep in mind the words of Solomon in Proverbs 16:9: ‘In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.’ God is in charge of our plans and can change them according to His will.” Karen smiled, “That’s exactly what our Sunday School teacher said. She shared that we often get upset when things don’t go according to plan. That’s when we need to step back, trust God, and wait to see how He is going to use the situation for His glory.” —CPF

tion Reflec ge? Do react when plans chan How do you normally ps? Why ste God to guide your you think you can trust and how?

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t? s u r T I o D m o Wh ay Verse of the Dout all his

ght When he has brou ahead of them, own, he goes on w him because and his sheep follo ice. —John 10:4 they know his vo

READ

John 10:1–6

“H

ey, Jin Wei,” called Dad as he dropped his briefcase on the table. “I’m home!” “Welcome home!” Jin Wei responded, as Bailey, their new puppy bounded after him. “Can we take Bailey out for more training?” Jin Wei asked. “Sure,” replied Dad. “Grab the leash and let’s go!” Bailey wagged his tail and started for the door while Dad quickly changed. After a good walk, Jin Wei and Dad started working on basic commands. Bailey was improving. Jin Wei watched as people and dogs passed by. Birds flew, and squirrels darted past. Yet, Bailey stayed completely focused on Dad. At home, Jin Wei commented, “That was amazing how Bailey didn’t get distracted by everything that’s going on! He’s getting to be so well trained!”

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Pra yer “He sure is,” said Dad. “That reminds me of something Jesus once said about those who follow Him. He often calls us sheep. And John 10:4–5 says, ‘When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and

Lord , than k You You love t me a hat for m n d e. c to sp Please h are end elp m tim e every day, s e with Yo u hear o tha Your t voice I will and obey .

his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.’ Bailey never ran

off after all the other people and animals because he belongs to us. He knows we love him and trusts us.” “Oh, so we should be like Bailey, right, Dad?” said Jin Wei. “There are lots of things that tempt us to run away from Jesus. But the more time we spend with Him every day, the less we want to chase other things.” “That’s right, son!” —BW

tion Reflec focus on Jesus? Do you long to How well do you know ay to tod do n one thing you ca Him every day? What is r? get to know Him bette

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f f u t S r e h t O d Fluff an ay Verse of the D

n to They did not liste of their [Moses] because and harsh discouragement 9 labor. —Exodus 6:

READ

Exodus 6:1–9

W

innie the Pooh famously said, “If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” I think Pooh is right. When I was a child, I remember asking my mom or dad questions, only to get no response from them at all. If I repeated myself patiently, then they would turn to me and respond. Once, Mom said: “I’m so sorry, dear. Mommy is always busy doing many things at the same time. If you need my attention, be patient with me, and ask again.” Now that I’m older, I can think of another reason why people do not respond: Some find it hard to listen because they’re discouraged. What does that mean? The Bible gives us some insight: In Exodus 6:9, Moses spoke to the people of Israel but they didn’t listen because of “their discouragement and harsh labor.” The Israelites had a hard life as slaves in Egypt. To be discouraged means

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Pra yer to feel downhearted, to think there is no hope, that no one cares, and no one can help you.

Have you ever tried to

comfort a sibling or friend, but he did not seem to listen? Maybe he was feeling discouraged.

When that happens,

Lord ,I k some now of one w feeli ng d ho is iscou Help rag me n ot to ed. on h im gi enco , but con ve up tinue ur to reme age and love mbe h rin im, patie nt an g that lo ve is d kin d.

remember Winnie the Pooh’s words: “Be patient”, which echo what Paul writes: “Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4); love is willing to wait. Don’t give up on your sibling or friend, continue to encourage, continue to love.

—adapted from Our Daily Bread

devotion 26 March 2019 article by David Roper

tion Reflec couraged. ow of who’s feeling dis Name a person you kn Think of rents or grandparents. pa ur yo be en ev uld co It n and do to comfor t that perso what you could say and , do it! bring hope to him. Then

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Let ’s Forgive ay Verse of the Dand forgive her Bear with each ot y of you has one another if an nst someone. a grievance agai rd forgave Forgive as the Lo 3:13 you. —Colossians

READ

14

Colossians 3:12–

K

asey began to shout the moment she heard her baby brother Kenneth trudging toward her, dragging his blanket behind him. “Mom! Get Ken out of my room! I am in the middle of building a city and he’s going to wreck it!” Mom was in the kitchen preparing dinner and couldn’t make out what Kasey was saying. A moment later, there was a loud crash. The sound of blocks tumbling to the ground could be heard throughout the house. Mom heard Kasey’s angry words: “Ken, you are such a destroyer. I do not want to play with you ever again! Go away!” Soon, it was dinner time, so Kenneth climbed into his high chair while Kasey helped Mom place the dishes on the table. In her hurry, Kasey tripped, and the grilled chicken Mom had been cooking in the oven all afternoon was now a mess on the floor. “Argh! I’m so sorry, Mom!” Kasey said as she hung her head in shame.

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Pra yer Mom surveyed the mess. Rather than get angry, she hugged Kasey and said, “I forgive you, Kasey. I know you didn’t do it on purpose. Remember

Lord , fo when rgive me I hav angr e go t y. He lp m ten forgi e to ve ot hers have a s forgi ven m You e.

the words we read from our devotion last night? Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive . . .” “. . . as the Lord forgave you,” Kasey said, recalling the last few words of the verse. At that moment, Kasey realized what she should have done when Kenneth had knocked over her building blocks. She turned and hugged Kenneth in apology too. Kasey said, “I forgive you, Kenneth. And, I’m so sorry for shouting at you just now.” —AT

tion Reflec ? How your siblings or friends Do you get angr y with d an s th more forgivenes can you treat others wi patience?

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Stay Pure ay Verse of the D on

g pers How can a youn of purity? stay on the path g to your By living accordin 9:9 word. —Psalm 11

READ

Psalm 119:9–12

J

on almost dropped his phone in shock when he saw the images his friend Jared was sending him over the instant messaging app on his phone. Jon: WHY do these manga girls have so few clothes on?????? Jared: cool right. ok bye “Jon, what are you looking at?” Dad asked. “Nothing!” Jon squealed, but Dad picked up Jon’s phone and took a look. “Dad, my friend’s just being mischievous,” Jon stammered. “He knows I read manga so he sent me these images.” Dad took a deep breath, then pointed to a poster on Jon’s wall. It had a verse printed on it: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). “That’s a well-known verse,” Dad said, “but did you know it’s written especially for young people?” Dad opened the Bible app on 46


Pra yer Lord his phone and read Psalm 119:9, “‘How , Yo youn u care a can a young person stay on the path bout g pe ople pure of purity? By living according to your s t .H aying what elp me t o gu word.’ The psalmist is telling young my e ard ye want to pl s look at people to hide God’s Word in their . ease You. I heart, in order to stay pure. Staying pure includes guarding what our eyes look at.” “Aw, Dad, Jared was just having some fun,” Jon said.

Dad replied: “It’s common to think you can have some

fun while you’re young, because it doesn’t matter. But God does not say that in His Word. He does care about what you do in your youth. God wants you to stay pure, and, pure habits, like guarding your eyes, start when you’re young. Now, what do you think you should do when you

see such images pop up on your phone?” —RW

tion Reflec the on instant messaging, There are many images pure im to d lea dia that could Internet, and social me g un yo of y about the purit thoughts, yet God cares st ain ag es to guard your ey people. What can you do seeing impure images?

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ds He Understan ay Verse of the Dpted tem [Jesus] has been as we st ju , in every way t sin. no are—yet he did —Hebrews 4:15

READ

Hebrews 2:14–18

“H

ow was Sunday School?” Mom asked. “Oh, it was great!” Nicole said chirpily. “The teacher asked the older kids if any of them could remember the monthly memory verse. When none of them could, she asked the younger kids, so I raised my hand and recited the verse!” Nicole’s older brother Nathan folded his arms. “There she goes again. What a show-off!” he said loudly. “My little sister always thinks she’s so good at everything!” “I do not!” Nicole replied. “Yes, you do!” Nathan taunted. Before long, Nicole kicked Nathan’s leg, and Nathan scratched Nicole’s arm. After Mom separated them, Nicole ran to her room. Mom found her sobbing uncontrollably on her bed. “Do you sometimes feel like nobody understands you, Mom?” Nicole blubbered.

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Pra yer Mom hugged Nicole and replied: “You did well for being able to recite the verse, and I’m sure you didn’t do it to show off. Mommy understands you. And even if I don’t, Jesus understands you. He’s

Lord , I’m so g Jesus unde lad rstan me. I ds w help ant to as k for when know I’m t e ing t hat J mpted, help e su be temp cause H s can e wa ted i s n didn ’t sin every wa . y, bu t

He came to us, became fully human, and experienced all kinds of struggles, suffering, and temptation (Hebrews 2:17–18). He’s able to help us because Hebrews 4:15 says He was tempted in every way, but didn’t sin.” not a distant God.

“Was Jesus ever misunderstood?” Nicole sniffled. Mom said: “Yes, definitely. But He continued to obey God. I’m going to talk to Nathan about what he said. But let’s discuss how you can respond in a way that pleases God the next time you feel misunderstood, okay?” —RW

tion Reflec ood you felt nobody underst Describe a time when at wh th ask Him for help wi you. Talk to Jesus and you’re facing.

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ge Awesome Jud ay Verse of the Dd fall an For all have sinned God. of y short of the glor —Romans 3:23

READ

Romans 3:23–24

E

than and Dad had just finished watching the evening news. “I’m so glad the police caught the man who strangled and robbed the taxi driver,” Ethan said. “That robber deserves jail!” “Yes, he does,” Dad agreed. “When people do wrong things, it makes sense that they are punished. Remember that the next time you do something wrong, okay?” “Aw, Dad . . .” Ethan whined. “I don’t strangle people or rob them!” Dad replied thoughtfully: “In God’s eyes, any form of disobedience against His ways is sin. Romans 3:23 says: ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ Whether it’s strangling, robbing, or disobeying your parents in small matters, all of us do not meet God’s standard. Now, let me tell you the amazing part. Imagine this: the robber is in his jail cell when suddenly, a policeman walks in and says: ‘You are now free. I’ll take your place and stay in this jail cell for you.’”

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Pra yer Ethan exclaimed: “That’ll never happen in a million years!” Dad smiled and replied: “But, Ethan, it has happened! God sent Jesus to take our place of punishment. That’s similar to a policeman taking the

Lord , th Jesus ank You fo w ultim ho paid r th at our s e penalt e y for ins w ith H on th is d e acce cross. I w eath pt Je ant t su o and Savio s as my L o r. rd

place of a criminal in jail. The next verse in Romans 3 says: ‘All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus’ (v.24). That means

Jesus took our place, for all our sins big and small, and His grace has freed us from our punishment! Now, how do you think we can respond to such amazing grace?” —RW

tion Reflec me t Jesus paid for you and Reflect on the price tha us. for life to die on the cross when He sacrificed His so sin us from the penalty of Thank Him for freeing in Him. that we have a new life

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Be Generous ay Verse of the Demselves ill th The generous w ey share th r fo be blessed, e poor. their food with th —Proverbs 22:9

READ

Proverbs 22:1–9

O

n the way home from kindergarten, Elly waved to a group of construction workers having lunch in the void deck below her apartment. “What are you having for lunch today? I’m going to have my favorite chicken macaroni,” she said cheerfully. They looked up at her and smiled. One raised his packet of curry and rice for her to have a closer look. Then, the lift came, and Elly headed home with Mom. “Are you not hungry today?” Mom asked as Elly poked at her food. She was not eating heartily, as she normally would. “Is there any more chicken, Mommy?” Elly asked. “Why do you ask, honey?” Mom replied, puzzled. “The uncles eating downstairs, they had no meat in their food. Only a few pieces of vegetables and some sauce with plain rice. Can I give them my chicken?” Elly wondered aloud.

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Pra yer Rather than give the uncles her half-eaten meal, Mom suggested they give out fruits instead. Elly chose apples since those were her favorite. That evening, Mom read Proverbs 22 to Elly before bedtime.

Lord , I wa nt to You p by sh aring lease I hav w e h don’ with thos at t hav e wh e as much o .

When she reached verse 9, Mom exclaimed: “Elly, look! This verse says: ‘The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.’ That means: it is a good, God-pleasing thing to give what we have to those who don’t have as much. That’s what you did this afternoon, when you shared fruits with the uncles.” Elly nodded shyly. She felt happy that she had done something pleasing to God, and decided to think of other ways to be generous to others. —AC

tion Reflec y not to find people who ma Look around you and try mestic do . Did you include your have as much as you do , od see in your neighborho helper, the workers you ? an How lp to keep the place cle including those who he th them? can you be generous wi

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e? r i F e h t ’s e r e Wh ay Verse of the Dme

an ca For the Son of M ve the lost. to seek and to sa —Luke 19:10

READ

Luke 19:1–10

“W

hy don’t you come for our Sunday School? Toota will get to meet new friends,” Mom said to Toota’s mother, Ava, who had just moved into the neighborhood with

her family. “Thank you! See you this Sunday!” replied Ava, waving goodbye as she and Toota left. Gabriel, who was playing with his toy fire engine, had heard the conversation. “Mommy, nobody in church will like Toota,” he said. “Even in school, no one likes him. Why did you invite Toota to church?” Mom looked surprised. Gabriel explained: “Toota always snatches other people’s things. He is a selfish boy. I don’t want to be his friend.” Mom said: “I can see why you may not like Toota. But remember the song you sang at Sunday School about Zacchaeus

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Pra yer the tax collector?” “Yes!” Gabriel replied. “Toota is like Zacchaeus—he’s small and short, and no one likes him.” Mom continued: “But when Zacchaeus met Jesus, he changed. He knew what he did was wrong

Lord , help u love thos s to e wh diffic o ar ul know t to love e , for t I You, hat they just need like w need e You.

and made it right. Jesus

came to help those who really need Him, the people who are lost and who do not know what is right. Just like your fire engine—it doesn’t go to a house that has no problems. It goes to a house that is on fire and needs help. God loves Toota, and He would want us to bring Toota to meet Him and learn from Him about what is right.” Gabriel looked at his fire engine and said: “Okay, I’ll ask Toota to go to church this Sunday.” —EE

tion Reflec Sunday n’t like in your class or Whom do you like or do you pray for them today? School? Why? How can

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Singing Stars ay Verse of the Dn whe Where were you I laid the earth’s b 38:4 foundation? —Jo

READ

Job 38:4–7

T

racy was so engrossed in reading a magazine, she didn’t realize someone was sneaking up behind her. “Boo!” shouted her sister, Beth. Tracy dropped her magazine in fright. “What are you reading?” Beth teased. “Some brainless comics?” She picked up the magazine and frowned in surprise. It was a science digest. Tracy snatched the magazine back from Beth. She said, “Did you know that stars can sing? Look what’s written here: ‘One of the oldest known clusters of stars buried within our galaxy has been caught singing by astronomers.’” “Cool!” Beth crooned. “That reminds me of a Bible passage we read at Sunday School. Wait, let me show it to you.”

Beth ran to her Bible. She flipped to Job 38:4–7 and read:

“‘Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? . . . 56


Pra yer while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?’ See? The Bible mentions singing stars!”

Lord , he the B lp me to ible take se beca use i riously, ti an o rdina s not r y boo cont ains Your k. It You w are t he C ords, and Univ r eato erse. r of t he

Tracy smiled, “This is sooo amazing!” “Yes!” Beth replied. “Our teacher said we shouldn’t be surprised because the Author of the Bible is the Creator of the Universe, God! She shared another fun fact with us. Job 26:7 (ESV) says, ‘God stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.’ Apparently, Science did not make the discovery that the earth is suspended in space until 1650, but it had been written many centuries earlier in Scripture!” “Hmm . . .” Tracy said thoughtfully. “I think we should take the Bible seriously, because God’s Word is true.” Beth chimed in, “And, we can trust what it says for it is the Creator of the Universe who says it.” —CPF

tion Reflec eo on search for a YouTube vid Ask your mom or dad to His for d Go ise together and pra singing stars. Watch it ge an ch n tio w does today’s devo wonderful creation. Ho ey God’s Word? the way you read and ob

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se o p r u P A r o F Created ay Verse of the Diwork, created hand For we are God’s do good works, in Christ Jesus to r ed in advance fo which God prepar ans 2:10 us to do. —Ephesi

READ

Ephesians 2:4–10

“W

hat’s this for, Uncle Jon?” Calvin asked, picking up a wedge-shaped object. “It’s a chisel, for shaping wood. You use it with a hammer,” Uncle Jon replied. Calvin and his family were staying with Uncle Jon in Perth during the school holidays. “And this one?” Calvin inquired. “That’s a hand plane. For smoothening rough surfaces,” Uncle Jon replied. “This one must be for making holes, right?” Calvin guessed. “That’s right, it’s a manual hand drill,” Uncle Jon said as he showed Calvin how it worked. Calvin ran his hand over the array of tools on the crowded workbench. “They’re all made to do something,” he mused out loud. “You’re right, Calvin, they are,“ replied Uncle Jon, looking up from the stool he was making. “Each tool was crafted for a unique

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Pra yer purpose, and if you look closely at each tool’s design, you’d probably be able to guess what that purpose is. That reminds me of what the Bible says in Ephesians 2:8–10——we

Lord , than k You have You that a purp ose f plan and or m that y lif Yo I foll u will lea e and ow Y d me ou. as

were made and saved by God for good works, which He has prepared in advance for us to do. God has

a unique plan for each of us to serve Him in this world. He has crafted us specifically for it. And, Jesus Christ has saved us so that we might be able to carry out that plan.” Uncle Jon continued: “Calvin, do you think the maker of the tools intended them to lie idle or to be used?” “To be used, of course!” Calvin exclaimed. There was a thoughtful silence before Calvin asked: “Uncle Jon, I wonder what good works I was created for?” “Continue to walk close to Jesus, Calvin, and He’ll show you,” came Uncle Jon’s answer. —KQ

tion Reflec ilities, interests, and What are your unique ab to how might give you a clue as personalit y traits that these ing us Him? You can start God wants you to serve to serve Him right now. 59


ow Reaping and S

ing

ay Verse of the D d cannot

ed: Go Do not be deceiv reaps what he be mocked. A man 6:7 sows. —Galatians

READ

Galatians 6:7–10

K

e Mu was planting some seeds in a pot of soil for his Science project when Ke En tottered by, holding Ke Mu’s stuffed bear. “That’s my stuffed toy!” Ke Mu shouted. “Give it back!” “Waaaaaah!” Ke En cried. Ke Mu sprayed his sister with water from the watering can, and grabbed his stuffed toy. “What have you done?” Mom asked Ke Mu when she heard Ke En wailing. After Ke Mu explained himself, Mom told him to apologize to Ke En. “Why should I say sorry?” Ke Mu replied. “God has already forgiven me. I heard someone on YouTube preach from Galatians, saying that there is freedom in Christ!” Mom raised an eyebrow. “Yes, it’s true Paul wrote Galatians to emphasize that we have freedom in Christ. The people of Galatia thought they had to earn salvation by following certain rules. But Paul told them believers are saved by Christ’s work on the cross,

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Pra yer not their own work. Freedom in Christ means: we are saved by simply trusting in Jesus.” “However,” Mom continued, “freedom in Christ doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. In the same book,

Lord , I am save trust d by ing i n Jes Lord u s an a to do d Savior s my . I wa good nt , plea ses Y because ou it it ea rns m , not bec ause e sal vatio n.

Galatians, it says: ‘God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows’ (6:7). Ke Mu, you just sowed some green bean seeds,

right? So, what kind of plants will grow?” “Green bean plants, of course!” Ke Mu replied. “That’s right. Green bean seeds lead to green bean plants. Similarly, if we do good, we will reap good things. If we do bad, we will reap bad things. God sees everything, so, let’s do good, not because it earns us salvation, but because having been saved, we want to please God.” —RW

tion Reflec we Mu do? As God’s people, What “good” should Ke we r ve freedom to do whate have not been given the e things, we must apologiz want. When we do bad u need ases God. Whom do yo because this is what ple to apologize to today? 61


New Nature ay Verse of the Dis in

ne Therefore, if anyo is a new on Christ, that pers s gone, ha creation: The old the new is here! 17 —2 Corinthians 5:

READ

–17

2 Corinthians 5:15

“M

om, look at that new shopping center!” exclaimed Emma. “Wow!” Mom looked as she and Emma drove by. “Before this shopping center was built, there used to be a small, old house on that plot of land. It’s completely gone now!” “Oh, I remember that house!” Emma replied, then changed the topic: “Hey, Mom, Rachel invited me over to play this afternoon. Can I go, please?” “You can go if you don’t have any school homework to finish. Do you have any?” Mom asked. Emma had homework but she really wanted to play with Rachel. I’ll just tell Mom I don’t have any homework, she thought. Mom saw the look on Emma’s face and decided to speak up. “You know, Emma, we are told in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that ‘if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation:

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Pra yer The old has gone, the new is here.’ For example, when we didn’t have Jesus in our lives, maybe we thought it was fine to lie. But now, we know that lying displeases Him. Following Jesus means

Lord , I ha ve a natu new re in Chris me t t. H ot spea hink, act elp , and ka my n ccording ew n ature to natu . My re is ol gone , fore d ver!

replacing old ways with new ways. It’s like how the new shopping center has totally replaced the old house. The old house is gone, forever!” Emma fidgeted. Mom looked Emma in the eye and added: “Emma, telling the truth is part of pleasing God, not just pleasing me. After you think about this, let me know if you have any homework, okay?” Emma nodded. She knew it would have been wrong to lie. I’ll tell the truth, God, Emma thought. And, thanks, Mom, for teaching me. —RW

tion Reflec nt, lie to get what you wa If you had the chance to u do it? yo one ever knew, would would you do it? If no me a t is in me and has given Say this out loud: “Chris ys as help you follow His wa new nature.” Ask God to nature k according to the new ea sp d an t, ac , nk thi u yo you have in Christ. 63


Phone Prank ay Verse of the D evil or insult with Do not repay evil contrary, repay e th n with insult. O , because to this evil with blessing so that you may you were called . —1 Peter 3:9 inherit a blessing

READ

1 Peter 3:8–14

“M

ichael, is there anything you want to pray about?” Dad asked at the start of their family’s devotion time. “Yes, I want to pray for a chance to teach a few boys a lesson,” Michael said. “What happened?” Dad asked. “Some boys pranked me,” Michael complained. “They used my phone to text rude messages to my friends on my phone list. Then they deleted the messages.” “How did you know they did that?” Mom asked. “After school, I saw many text messages from friends asking why I was so rude,” Michael said. “All I have been thinking about is how to get back at those boys who pranked me.” “Here,” Dad said. “Can you read 1 Peter 3:9 for today’s devotion?”

Michael read: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.

On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you 64


Pra yer were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” “What does this verse say to you?” Dad asked. Michael thought for some time, then he replied: “God’s

Word says that I shouldn’t take revenge on those boys. Instead I should be gracious and God will reward me for that.”

Lord , help m to fo rgive e when some on or do e insult s es so meth me mea n to ing me. G selfive cont r o l not me the insul ts to re pa insul and mea ts an nnes y s wit d me h anne ss.

Mom affirmed : “I know that will be hard because it goes against our human nature.” Michael said: “I’m so angry. Can you pray for God to give me the strength to forgive those boys and not prank them back? Can you also pray that God will guide me on how to explain to my friends about the rude messages?” “Michael, we are so proud of you,” Dad replied. “Come, let’s pray this together as a family.” —EL

tion Reflec u? How something mean to yo Has anyone said or done lfse k God to give you the have you responded? As with meanness. control not to retaliate

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