Archive for the ‘Devotionals’ Category

Awana Advent Devotional

Christmas is a loud time. A loud time when we crave quiet.

The kind of quiet that provides space and brings the sense of expectation that we’re all created to enjoy. This Christmas, center your thoughts on the Savior who was expected. But still surprises.

Sign up here  (http://advent.awana.org/)

 

 

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Jesus Uses our Ordinariness

How often do we think God only uses amazing people to do amazing things?  I was reminded today:

“You are not going to the Word for “special training.”
The purpose isn’t to become extraordinary.

 

After all, Jesus is in the business of using our ordinariness
to display His extraordinariness.

 

You are going to the Word to be with Jesus. To hang out with Him.
To get to know Him.”

(See the complete post here:  The 1 Verse…)
 

As you go to Awana this week remember that God can use you, no matter how ordinary you feel, to make a difference in someone’s life.

Each week as I drive to Awana, I contemplate Ephesians 2:10 — I was…created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  God has work for us to do as we serve our clubbers — what a privilege to work alongside Christ.

Though you may not feel you have much to offer, Jesus will take your “ordinariness” and use it to display His extraordinariness!

Blessings this week in your Awana club,

~ HCC’s Awana Mama

 

Do you want your kids to know WHO they are…or just what they should do?

Check out this website for a free resource  49 Identity Messages Your Kids Need to Know

 

Are You Taking Your Bible for Granted?

BBC News, on Aug. 14, 2009, reported the death of Kimani Nganga Maruge, age 90. Kimani held the Guinness World Record for being the oldest person, at age 84, to start elementary school. He explained that he never had the opportunity to go to school when he was younger, and that he wanted to go school to learn how to read the Bible. Wow! I imagine we sometimes take for granted our ability to read God’s Word.

Voice of the Martyrs reports that, on June 10, 2009, Shi Weihan was sentenced to three years in prison for violating “the regulations of the state in printing illegal publications”.  Shi was a Christian bookstore owner whose company printed Bibles for Chinese Christians. Police removed over 140,000 Bibles from his printing offices (www.persecution.com). The Bible has been declared illegal in many countries. Do we take our Bibles for granted?

We all have Bibles, probably more than one. Different translations, study Bibles, travel-size Bibles. Most of the boys and girls in Awana probably have Bibles, and if they don’t, the church will give them one.

Referring to the Bible, Pastor Greg Alderman, while speaking at the 2009 IFCA Youth Convention, said, “Many of you this moment hold in your hands the greatest collection of human words ever assembled.  They are more than an amazing collection of words – they are exact phrases, words, ideas, concepts, stories, poetry, history, prophecy, parables, accounts, descriptions, lists, genealogies, records and commands that the Living God of the universe wanted mankind to possess – and I ask – Is it inside you?”

We need to not only get God’s Word inside us, but also thank God for people like Kimani Nganga Maruge  and Shi Weihan who love His Word and remind us not to take it for granted.  ~Laurie P

“I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your word(Psalm 119:16).

“The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Psalm 119:72).

Souls of Children

“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”  — C.S. Lewis

Have you ever thought about that? We know that our present body is only temporary. Our soul is eternal.

 Randy Alcorn explains it this way: “Your life on earth is a dot. From that dot extends a line that goes on for all eternity” (www.epm.org).

During our short time on this earth, what does God have for us to do? What should our priorities be? Let’s narrow that down and ask: what should our priorities be in working with the boys and girls in Awana? It really boils down to thinking about what matters most for our souls and the souls of the children we work with.

How about Game time? Our bodies are designed to require exercise, and having fun can be a good thing, but that’s not the most important part of Awana. Council time? This can be a great opportunity to present truth to the kids, but the most important part of Awana has got to be studying and memorizing God’s Word.

God’s Word tells us how to receive forgiveness and eternal life. God’s Word tells us what He wants us to do now and helps prepare us for eternity. God’s Word is necessary food for our soul. 

Randy Alcorn goes on to say, “Are you living for the dot or the line? Are for living for earth or heaven? Are you living for the short today or the long tomorrow? Let’s live now in light of eternity.”

“One day we’ll be with the Person we were made for, living in the Place we were made for. Joy will be the air we breathe. … We should remind ourselves regularly that the best is yet to be. … This assurance will help us here and now live self-controlled and disciplined lives of deferred gratification, knowing that eternal rewards await us in the presence of our Lord…” (Randy Alcorn, in Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints, p. 91).

Digging into God’s Word and memorizing God’s Word are the kind of tasks that are worthwhile now as they help prepare our souls for eternity. Let’s live for the line, not just the dot.

“I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12b).

~Laurie P

God’s Word at Work

“We will hide God’s Word in our hearts”, the Sparkies sing in their theme song. How often do we stop to think about what that really means? Why do we put so much emphasis on learning about and memorizing God’s Word?

In the Sparks HangGlider book, Chloe asks her mom, “But what’s so special about the Bible? Why do we need to read it every night?” Her mom replies, “God wants to talk to us, and He wants us to listen to what He says. God talks to us through His Word, the Bible. That’s why it’s such a special book!”(p. 20-21).

Our God wanted to be able to communicate with us so He developed language and created us with the ability to use and understand it. He then inspired men to write His words in the Bible. He also gave us the ability to translate the Bible from the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic into many other languages so people all over the world can read His Words.

As it says in T&T Book 1, “God wants us to know about Him… That’s why He gave us the Bible. So we can know exactly what He wants us to know” (p. 8). John Piper says, “The great need of our time is for people to experience the living reality of God by hearing His Word personally and transformingly in Scripture”  (www.desiringGod.org).

 The Bible is important because God speaks to us through His Word. In our day of information overload, when the total amount of available knowledge grows incredibly rapidly, God has put everything He wants to tell us in one complete, always relevant, divinely-protected volume – the Bible.

God gave us His Word because He loves us.  If we love Him, we will cherish His words to us. The Bible is God’s free gift to us which points us to the ultimate gift from God — salvation.                    ~Laurie P

And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).