On Wings Of Eagles

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Monday, July 16, 2018

What Does God Say About Guidance?


Psalm 24:4-5 (ESV)
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to what is false
    and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from the Lord
    and righteousness from the God of his salvation.



Pretend you are in the following situations. How could a guide help you?

You get separated from your group during a hike through the Smokies.

You are visually impaired and you need to cross a street.

You are camping and it's your turn to build the campfire.

Who in your life shows you God's ways (vs. 4)? Write names of family members, teachers, or others who show God's guidance to you.

What can you read to teach you God's truths (vs. 5)? What favorite story in the Bible guides you to learn God's truths?

How can you hope in Jesus to be your Guide every day (vs. 5)? Think about where Jesus can guide you.

Dear Lord, we are glad You are our great Guide and we can count on You every day to help us make good choices. Please help us to hear Your voice, listen to Your guidance and to keep our eyes on You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What Does God Say About Teamwork?




Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (ESV)
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 

Bees fly about 55,000 miles to make just one pound of honey. That’s more than two times around the world! God created these amazing insects to be great at teamwork. As many as 80,000 bees live in a hive, and a hive can produce more than 80 pounds of honey each year. That’s a lot of honey.

The incredible part is that each individual bee makes only 1½ teaspoons of honey during its entire lifetime. But bees can make a lot of honey because they work together! Teamwork also allows people to do more together than they could on their own.

A wise king named Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
Think about the different kid of teams out there, for example sports teams or medical teams.

How do the members of this team work together?
Why is every member important?
What might happen if one or more members of the team were missing?
One of the most important teams is God’s team of believers, called the Body of Christ. What might happen if one or more members were missing?

God created us (and bees) to work together and support one another. When we do, the results are sweet!


Dear Lord, thank you for creating us to be part of a team. Thank You for giving us teammates in those around us. We pray that You would help us work together with others to do all You have for us to do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

What Does God Say About Creativity?


Psalm 139:14 (ESV)
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

  
Psalm 139:14 shares a beautiful truth about how creative God is. He has made us to be creative too!

The psalmist is talking about how much he loves God: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

God wants each of us to use our unique creativity to praise Him! Playing music is one way we can show God how much we love Him. This is what David did. You can learn about his life in many books of the Bible. He was the shepherd boy who killed Goliath the giant and grew up to become king of Israel.

David was also a talented musician. He played the lyre (a small harp) and wrote many songs to God. You can read them in the Psalms. Before David became king, King Saul brought David to his palace to play for him to help him relax.

How might God want to use the special creative gifts and talents He’s given you to praise Him and help others?

Even if you don’t sing or play a musical instrument, there are many other ways to praise God through your creativity. Write down or draw a few ideas on a piece of paper.

Dear Lord, thank You for making us creative! Help us think of ways to use our creativity to serve You and others. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, July 13, 2018

What Does God Say About Your Future?


Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
  

Do you remember as a kid being asked what you want to be when you grow up? Maybe you wanted to be a doctor and help people who are sick. Perhaps you wanted to be an actor and appear in movies. Or maybe you wanted to be a firefighter and protect people from harm.

The Bible says that God has plans for each of us, and He wants to give us “hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Sometimes what we think we want to be when we grow up changes. This happened to Nate Saint, a famous missionary. From the time he was a young boy, Nate wanted to be a pilot. When Nate was 14, he cut his leg while sledding and got a serious infection. He had to spend many weeks in bed. Finally the infection healed. After high school, Nate joined the Army to train to be a fighter pilot. But one day before he started pilot training, the infection in his leg returned. The Army told him he would not be able to be a fighter pilot.

At first Nate was sad. But he still wanted to fly, so he got his pilot’s license and became a missionary pilot in the country of Ecuador in the 1950s. Nate delivered food and medical supplies to missionary families and flew others into the jungle to tell people, who had never heard the gospel, about Jesus. Because of his example, Nate’s sister, Rachel, and his son, Steve, later became missionaries in Ecuador. Nate didn’t get to do exactly what he had planned, but by following God’s plan for his life, many people came to know Jesus.

Having big dreams for your future is a wonderful thing! And God’s Word says only One Person truly knows what will happen.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “In your heart you plan your life. But the LORD decides where your steps will take you.”
Take some time to commit your dreams to Him today!


Dear Lord, thank You for giving use dreams and ideas for our future. We pray that You would help use walk in the steps You have planned for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

What Does God Say About Belonging?


1 Corinthians 12:20-21 (ESV)
20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”


Have you ever felt left out, forgotten or unwanted? Maybe someone in your class or work had a get together and didn’t invite you. Or maybe your parents are divorced, and one parent doesn’t visit or call you. Or your children never reach out to you.

Sometimes it can feel like we just don’t belong. That’s when it’s important to remember this awesome truth: We all belong to God’s family, and our heavenly Father will never forget us! The Bible says that all the people in the world who love Jesus make up one big family called the Body of Christ.

Think about the many different body parts you have. Imagine what might happen if those parts didn’t work.

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:20-21: “As it is, there ­are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’”
Just like our body parts work together to make one complete body, every person works together to make one healthy family or community at home, church, work and school.

Dear Lord, we are so glad that we are part of Your family and that we can talk to You when we are feeling bad. Please show us how to make other people feel wanted and included. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What Does God Say About Caring for the Earth?


Psalm 24:1 (ESV)
The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,
    the world and those who dwell therein.


What do you think would be the coolest job? Race car driver? Singer? Zookeeper? Adam, the first man who ever lived, had a pretty cool job. We read in Genesis all about it:

“Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.”
Wow! God let Adam name the animals. God also put Adam in charge of caring for a beautiful garden called Eden.

Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”
The Earth belongs to God. All of the animals and people are also His. When God asked Adam to care for His creation, He was asking him to be a steward and take care of His property.

We are called to be stewards, or caretakers, of God’s creation too. For example, not everyone in the world has enough clean water to drink, but others waste water every day without even realizing it.

Did you know that if you turn off the tap water while brushing your teeth, you can save about 7 gallons of water each day? Small changes can make a big difference.

What is one thing you could do to care for the Earth God created?
How might you help others who don’t have the same resources you do?
Each of us have been entrusted with taking care of the things on the Earth, such as water, plants and animals, that belong to God. And that’s a pretty cool job.

Dear Lord, thank You for creating a beautiful world for us to live in. Thank You for trusting us to care for the Earth and the things You have created. Show us how to be a good steward. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

What Does God Say About Worrying?


Matthew 6:25-27 (ESV)
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?


The New Testament tells us that after Jesus was baptized, He began traveling around a region called Galilee healing sick people and preaching. He gathered many followers, including the men He called disciples — His friends who followed Him most closely. The book of Matthew tells us that Jesus sat down on a mountainside to teach them wise lessons. One thing He told them was that they shouldn’t worry:

Jesus said that worrying is pointless because God has everything taken care of. But most of us still worry.

What are some things you worry about?
How has God helped you during your times of worry?
Jesus wants you to share your worries with Him so He can help you through them.
Next time you see a bird in the air, remember that God knows what you need and will take care of it — just like He takes care of the bird.

Dear Lord, thank You for being our comfort and strength. Calm our mind and help us to dwell in Your safety. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, July 9, 2018

What Does God Say About Art?


Isaiah 64:8 (ESV)
But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
    we are the clay, and you are our potter;
    we are all the work of your hand.



God gave Moses a detailed list of how to build the tabernacle and what items must go inside. After Moses passed along the instructions to the Israelites, they served God by giving whatever they had — metals, jewelry, fabric, lamp oil — to help make the tabernacle.

But building the tabernacle would require more than just stuff — it would also take artistic skills. So God gave wisdom and skills to a man named Bezalel “to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts” (Exodus 35:32-33). God called on another skilled man, Oholiab, to help and to teach others how to embroider, design and weave.

Exodus 35 describes how God’s people began building the tabernacle — a massive tent and courtyard where the Israelites could gather to worship the Lord.
This is good news for us today who don’t need to have a lot of money or possessions. We can serve God with our skills and talents.
Did you know that you are God’s artwork? Isaiah 64:8: “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
What are some ways you can use your talents or skills to make God happy?

Dear Lord, Thank You for the creativity You give people like us. Please help us to use our gifts to serve others.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Air conditioning and neighbors


Romans 15:2 (ESV)
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.


Is it hot outside today where you live like it is here? If so, then let the sweat trickling across your forehead remind you to connect with your neighbors.

These days, Americans are so accustomed to air conditioning they rarely consider how different the world was before its invention. From the transport of fresh produce across the globe to the cool air blowing through your car vents, the benefits reach into nearly every area of life. And I must admit, I enjoy the creature comforts this technology provides as much as anyone.

Still, I feel something important has been lost. Before the introduction of home air conditioning units around the 1950s, it was often too hot to stay inside. As a result, the entire family would sit on the porch together and enjoy the evening breeze. Plus, with everyone outside, neighbors talked across porch railings and got to know one another.

But after air conditioning was made available, people retreated inside their homes, and the sense of community found in most neighborhoods began to fade. As one historian put it, walking down the street, you no longer heard the chatter “of people talking on the porch, but the whir of compressors.”

We are blessed with technology that allows us to be comfortable. But just because the summer heat forces you indoors, don’t let it make your neighborhood cold. Get to know the people around you. Say “hi” across the fence. Bring back that good ol’ fashion sense of community and show God’s love to those nearby.

Dear Lord, thank You for our neighbors. Help us to take the time to get to know them and spend time with them. Help us to be able to share Your love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Common Courtesy


Philippians 2:4 (ESV)
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.


Rub shoulders in enough malls, sports arenas, and airports – anywhere there are people, really – and you’ll discover one thing: common courtesy isn’t so common anymore. But if more of us were like Christina and Michael, we could turn that around.

Have you ever had to board an airplane with a baby in tow? It can be an awkward and uncomfortable experience. Weary passengers are a notoriously impatient bunch, and the sight of a baby can sour their attitudes in a flash. No welcoming smiles here. Just icy glares … if they’re willing to make eye contact at all.

Lots of parents, sensing that condemnation, guard against it with a cynical attitude of their own. But one couple chose a refreshing approach. They launched what could only be called a “preemptive strike of courtesy.” After boarding, Christina and Michael handed out baggies of candy to the passengers around them. Attached to each was a note on behalf of their twin fourteen-week-old boys. In part, it read: “We’ll try to be on our best behavior, but we apologize in advance in case we get scared or our ears hurt.”

It was a simple gesture that diffused what is typically a tense situation. Fellow travelers who otherwise might have been easily irritated were suddenly understanding and friendly. And these thoughtful parents showed that when you extend consideration, you’ll often get it in return. So as you go about your day today, what can you do to look to the interests of others?

Dear Lord, we pray that we look out for the interest of others today. Help us to find small ways to reach out and show Your love to those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Simple Kindness


2 Peter 1:7 (ESV)
And godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.



Something amazing happened at a Major League Baseball park not long ago. No, there weren’t any records broken. In fact, the extraordinary event didn’t even take place on the field. It happened in the stands.

The whole scene unfolded on camera. At the end of the third inning, a player from the Milwaukee Brewers threw a ball into the stands to a young fan wearing their jersey. Also standing at the railing hoping for a ball was twelve-year-old Arizona Diamondbacks fan, Ian McMillan. When the ball came down, Ian reached out and caught it in his hat. Excited, he headed back to his seat. But that’s when Ian looked back and noticed how sad the younger boy was about not getting the ball. Without prompting from adults, Ian immediately turned, walked back to the younger fan, and handed him the ball.

It was an unusual display of selflessness and maturity. In the days that followed, news stations illustrated that fact by contrasting Ian’s behavior with that of adults. One man literally wrestled a ball away from a woman a few seats away. And, in another video, two men nearly got into a fist fight.

Maybe it strikes you like it does me that selfish behavior is so common that a simple act of kindness by a youngster at a ball game is enough to capture our attention. That’s why we need more examples like Ian to remind us of what’s really important in life. May our love for Christ make an impression on everyone around us simply because we’re quick to do what’s right toward other people.

Dear Lord, help us to look for ways to show kindness today. Thank You for being a great example of on that shows love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Are you attentive to people's needs around you?


Galatians 6:2 (ESV)
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.


Are the people around you happy, or are they struggling in some area of life? Maybe the real question is: Are you attentive enough that you would recognize the difference?

Let’s face it, we have pretty shallow relationships with most of the people we cross paths with every day. Sure, we’ll nod at co-workers in the hall and grunt a robotic “How’re you doing?” But our demeanor lets the person know we’re busy and would prefer a generic, “Fine, thank you,” rather than a genuine answer. It could be that someone near to us is having a rough go of it, but we’d never notice because we’re too wrapped up in our own world.

It reminds me of a poem I read from the 1950s, called “Not Waving, But Drowning.” It serves as a metaphor for people suffering alone in their pain. The stanzas describe a dying man, thrashing about in the surf, struggling to keep his head above water. But the people walking by on shore simply nod with a smile and continue on, confusing the man’s frantic struggle for survival with a friendly wave.

How many people do we run into each day who are fighting to keep their head above water in life? Are we simply nodding with a smile when what that person really needs is help carrying their burdens? Although we may not be able to solve all their problems, a simple word of encouragement is sometimes enough to lift the weight of the world off their shoulders. But to do that we have to be tuned in to the lives of the people around us and God’s leading. Be willing to stop, listen, and care.

Dear Lord, we ask that we would be sensitive to those around us. Help us to see those in need and help them and not just wave. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy birthday America 2018


John 8:36 (ESV)
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

We live in the United States. The United States of America was started over 225 years ago. That seems very old. But the ideas it was started with are still important. Americans are free to live where they want, and say what they believe, and to worship God where they would like to do so. These are BIG Freedoms. Some other countries don’t have those freedoms. Today we are celebrating Independence Day: the day our country declared its independence (or freedom) from rule by others. It takes hard work and sacrifice to keep our country safe and free. These may include: Veterans, persons in the armed forces, first responders, statesmen, citizens, etc.)

When our county started, the people then fought a great war for America. They were victorious in that fight! and they started a new country here, the United States of America. They had a new flag for their new country. Each thing in our flag means something special. The stars represent the number of states we have now. The stripes represent the number of states America started with (13, 7 red & 6 white). Even the colors of the flag mean special things.

 RED – COURAGE

 WHITE – PURITY

 BLUE – FAITHFULNESS

As we know there was a man named Jesus, who was and is the Son of God, who came to earth many years ago, way back before America was started. Jesus came to set us all free. He came to set us free from sin and death. He was COURAGEOUS because He stood up to evil and did what was right. He was PURE because He was the Son of God and because He never did anything wrong. He was FAITHFUL to do what He came to do, even though it was very hard. And in the end He was victorious and WON over sin and death.
HE came to set people FREE, not only in this country, but in every country all over the world. He came for all people who would believe in Him, no matter where they lived or when they lived. He came for all people everywhere!

Jesus came to save us! He came to set us free!

Dear Lord,  We come to You this July 4th, grateful for our country and grateful for the men and women who gave their lives so that we might be free. We proclaim our allegiance to our country and total dedication to You. May Your name be praised and celebrated throughout our country on this our joyous national holiday. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The blessings of Interruptions


Matthew 9:18-19 (ESV)
18 While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples.


When was the last time you helped someone in need? It could be you’ve missed several chances because they were disguised as interruptions instead of opportunities.

Not long ago, a young man was running a quick errand before an important meeting he had across town. As he hustled from the store to his car, he saw a young mother struggling to corral two toddlers while muscling a grocery cart across the parking lot. She looked tired and overwhelmed. He was just backing out when it happened: She reached her car and broke into tears. Her tire was flat.

He wasn’t prepared for this situation. He was running late, and he wasn’t dressed to wrestle with a flat tire. But this young lady clearly needed help, so he rolled up my sleeves and introduced himself. It turns out she was stressed with good reason. Her husband was deployed overseas, and being new to the area, she had no family or friends nearby. She was alone with two children in a new and unfamiliar city. That day, he learned how significant a small act of kindness can be.

And he almost missed it.

Whether it’s single mothers, the elderly, a coworker, or your next-door neighbor, people in need are all around us. But the opportunity to come alongside someone doesn’t always present itself when it’s convenient. In fact, it’s usually an interruption. But that shouldn’t surprise us. Much of Jesus’ ministry took place because He welcomed interruption. The woman who touched His cloak, the paralytic lowered through the roof mid-sermon, the disciples waking Him from sleep to calm the storm. Our challenge is this – to keep ourselves open and willing because the chance to be a blessing most often surfaces in unexpected moments.

Dear Lord, help our eyes and hearts be open to those around us. Help us to not look at things as interruptions but opportunities to serve others. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Being a neighbor


Luke 6:31-33 (ESV)
31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. 32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.


Robert Frost wrote that “good fences make good neighbors.” It’s true. But so does “being neighborly.”

I read a story about a family that took a trip in the used camper they had bought the year before. Unfortunately, they were still unfamiliar with many of the camper’s hook-ups and settings, which led to a mini comedy of errors as soon as they arrived at the grounds. Right away, they popped open the side panel and wrestled to get the sewer hose connected. The problem was, they forgot the panel was open above them, and they bonked their head. When they stepped backward, they scraped their back along the bottom latch. And that’s when they stood up and hit their head again. When they looked up, they noticed several veteran campers were intently taking in the entire scene.

Given the spectacle they had created, you’d think some of the more experienced campers nearby would have offered a helping hand. Instead, they were surprised by the distance they kept from them. They seemed almost offended by their inexperience. Over the course of the week, they did get to know some of the folks around them … after they took the initiative to say hello.

That story reinforced the importance of “being neighborly” with the people God has placed in our path. Whether it’s a family moving into your neighborhood, a new co-worker learning the ropes, or just a bumbling camper next to you, we should take the first step, extend to them the love of Christ, and help them feel welcome.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would be the neighbor You would have us to be. Hep us to reach out to those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Where two or three are gathered


Matthew 18:20 (ESV)
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.


A lot had happened to the disciples who followed Jesus. They saw Jesus go through horrible pain as he was killed. But then miracle of all miracles, he rose from the dead. They saw him, talked to him, and hung out with him. And then to top off their unearthly experience, He rose up into heaven right in front of their eyes. It’s no big surprise that the first thing they did was all go to the upper room (their hangout place). They probably sat there for a few minutes just staring at each other: Did we just see what we think we saw? Next they prayed. They prayed and prayed and prayed. They’d just seen the impossible happen and now they had to wonder, what next? Instead of just rushing out and coming up with their own great ideas, they pulled together and prayed: God, help us. God, strengthen us. God, show us what to do for you.

What next? They went on to tell the world about Jesus. We know about Jesus today because of what they did then. Now it’s true that we can experience great things when we pray on our own, but something special happens when we pray together. We get to encourage each other, comfort one another, and grow deeper in our friendships — all because of prayer. Jesus said, “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them”. Maybe that’s one of the main reasons they gathered together to pray — they wanted Jesus!

Do you have some people that you can pray with? If not, look around your church, talk to your family, and ask a few trusted people to pray with you. Pray with a friend for your teachers, and pray with your siblings for your parents, pray with those you love for God to show the way.

Dear Lord, we thank You that we can come to You in prayer. Give us people this week that we can pray with. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.