Monday, April 28, 2014

Absalom's Anger

I thought it would be helpful if I shared some of the Sunday school and vacation Bible school lessons I've put together over the years.

Absalom's Anger (2 Samuel)

Absalom, King David’s third son, was born during David’s early reign over Judah. He had a half brother named Amnon. Absalom and Amnon had different mothers.

One day, Amnon pretended to be sick and asked that Tamar, Absalom’s sister, be sent to his room to make food for him. Amnon hurt Tamar, but David did not punish him for it. So Tamar told Absalom what happened. He was angry, but he waited two years before exacting his revenge. He murdered Amnon.

Afraid of what might happen to him, Absalom fled to Geshur, where he stayed for three years. A friend of Absalom’s asked King David if he would allow Absalom to return, but he said no, and it took two years before David would allow Absalom to come back, which made Absalom very angry; so angry that he tried to overthrow his father. Absalom stirred up the people and David was forced to flee to Jerusalem. Eventually, there was a big battle that pitted King David against his own son.

When it looked like Absalom was going to lose the battle, he ran away on a mule. His mule ran under an oak tree with many spreading branches. Absalom’s head of thick hair got caught in the branches and he was shot dead by three darts. David, despite everything, still loved his son, and couldn’t celebrate his victory because he was so sad over Absalom’s death. He even wished he was the one to die instead of Absalom.

In some ways, King David and Absalom’s relationship is like our relationship with God. Sometimes we do things that make God sad: we don’t make the right choices, we hurt people, we get angry and do bad things. The good thing, though, is that unlike King David, God is always eager to welcome us back when we are ready. He wants to keep us close to Him. Absalom became so angry that his actions caused his own death. We’re in the same situation. When we sin against God, we risk eternal separation from him because we know the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). We should not to miss the opportunity to repair our relationship with God, especially when we know He is so happy when we are ready to come back.

Copyright Cheryl C. Malandrinos - All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Daily Bible Reading - 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews

I didn't intentionally fall off the face of the planet. During Holy Week, I spent more time reading the Bible than usual, which helped to focus and prepare me for Easter. Some time was also spent studying for my real estate salesperson exam, which I took--and passed--this past Tuesday. With this new direction in my life, I feel the need to be spending more free time in prayer. I've also discovered how much I enjoy reading the Bible on my Kindle. I can easily highlight passages to remember later. I read more at a time on my device than online. I'll be using this way for a while.

2 Timothy 1, 2, 3, & 4

Favorite verses:

1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2:11-13 This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
2:19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ[c] depart from iniquity.”
3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
Titus 1, 2, & 3

Favorite verses:

2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
3:2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

Hebrews 1, 2, 3, & 4

Favorite verses:
2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
2:8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Day 2 of "Our Daily Bread: The Hope of Easter" focuses on Philippians 2:8-9 and John 10:7-18.
Day 3 of "Our Daily Bread: The Hope of Easter" focuses on John 3:1-16, Ephesians 3:19, and 1 Peter 1:20.
Day 4 of "Our Daily Bread: The Hope of Easter" focuses on Luke 23:32-46 and John 15:13.
Day 5 of "Our Daily Bread: The Hope of Easter" focuses on Luke 23:53-55 and Luke 24:1-12.
Day 6 of "Our Daily Bread: The Hope of Easter" focuses on Matthew 28:11-20.
Day 7 of "Our Daily Bread: The Hope of Easter" focuses on John 20:19-31 and Colossians 2:13.
Day 8 of "Our Daily Bread: The Hope of Easter" focuses on John 14:1-6, John 14:18, and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18.
Day 9 of "Our Daily Bread: The Hope of Easter" focuses on Romans 6:14-23 and 1 John 4:4.
Day 10 of "Our Daily Bread: The Hope of Easter" focuses on 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, Romans 6:23, and John 14:2.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bible Reading - 1 Timothy

Doing my best to stick with my daily Bible reading. I also started a 10-day devotional title, "Our Daily Bread: The Hope of Easter."

1 Timothy 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6

Favorite verses:

2:8-10 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.
 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
5:1-2 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.
5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
 6:6-7 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
6:11 ...pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

Day 1 of  "Our Daily Bread: The Hope of Easter" focuses on Matthew 21:1-11.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bible Reading - 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians

I've definitely gotten away from reading as much of the Bible as I was at the beginning of the year, but I am still reading, which is what I feel is the most important. It's been tough to stick with it as spring is a busy time for the kids at school and for me in the garden. But if I am to set an example for my children that God must come first, then I need to make sure I'm practicing what I say.

1 Thessalonians 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

Favorite verses:

3:12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,

4:13-14 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

2 Thessalonians 1, 2 & 3

Favorite verse:

3:13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.