I am very particular about things. Some say I have OCD, but the doctor said it is only OCD tendencies. When it comes to scents, I like to stick with vanilla and honey or like ocean mists. Typically, the flowery scents attack my nose. Today I asked my daughter to pick out two hand soaps. I did not realize what I was getting myself into by giving her control of the hand soap selection. When I saw what she picked, after we were already home, I cringed at the one bottle. It was a flowery scent.
When I asked her why she selected the flowery hand soap, she said she didn’t look at the scents for the hand soaps. She did not consider scent at all. She selected the hand soap by picking up what was “pretty.” She thought the soap she selected—which she also noted was “special edition” – looked nice. Sadly, the smell leaves more to be desired.
In life, we often make decisions by the looks of things, including our decisions on the people with which we engage. We pass judgment. We turn our noses. We engage with people who look like us. We sometimes avoid people who look a certain way, whether it be due to lack of knowledge, a fear issue, or something else. We read what happened when God’s people wanted a king. They were given a king—King Saul. This man was the one who looked like a king. We later find out that though Saul looked like a king, he certainly was not someone who would lead his people in the right way. But then comes along David. He was a man after God’s own heart. He did not look like a king, but he sure had a heart for God. King David allowed God to do awesome things through him. He continued to keep His eyes fixed on the Lord. Today, be open to how God wants to use you. Be ready to receive anyone God sends your way!
“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’” – Acts 13:22 [ESV]
This lesson is on the Parable of the Foolish Rich Man. The passage to read is Luke 12:13-21. The key verse is Luke 16:13. The front page of the activity sheet is divided into two sides. The object is to have the children list what they think both types of people would look like in their opinion. The one side would be those who are rich toward God and the other side would be those who are like the foolish rich man. On the second side, there is an activity to look through the passage and notice all of the key words that focus on the self. There are a few verses included with the lesson for the kids to reflect upon further with parents at home.
To open the class, I am going to ask some questions that would give the children options of seeing how people could put God first or put money or themselves first. From there, I am going to tell the parable and have a few students read some verses. I got some granola (honey and oats) to share with the children as I discuss this abundance of crops. Then we will discuss further using the activity sheet I created (front and back). Our craft will be something I’ve seen around in the past. We will make silos using toilet paper rolls. I am going to get the tubes of toilet paper covered with white paper before class and glued at the bottom to save time. They will decorate the silos and then instead of filling them with crops, fill them with blessings from God. Then every night they can pull out a blessing and thank God. When the blessings run out, they are encouraged to fill the silos up (or even fill up as they see more blessings).
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When reading Exodus 3-4, we find God calling Moses. Most people can remember the burning bush. Like all of us, God created Moses for a purpose. Moses was to lead God’s chosen people out of Egypt. In 3:10, after Moses answers God with “Here I am” and hears of God’s concern for His people and their suffering, and the promise of rescue and “a land flowing with milk and honey,” God tells Moses , “So now, go.” Yet, Moses does not go. There is excuse after excuse given. Who am I? What is Your name? What if they don’t believe me? I cannot speak so well. In 4:12, again God says, “Now go” and He promises to help Moses. Still, Moses says, “Please send someone else” (v. 13).
It is interesting to see the exchange between God and Moses. When we see dozens of verses later that God is still trying to get Moses to go do what He asked, it is safe to say that we all have been in that same position. We all have a pile of excuses that we have given God. It could be something like, “Well I didn’t have enough time to read my Bible today” or “I was too tired to pray last night before bed.” Maybe it sounds something like this: “You want me to go back to school but I’m making good money at the job I have now.” Perhaps it is “I have too much on my plate now. There is no way I can serve the church.” There are likely millions of excuses I could list here. We all make them.
When Moses finally moves forward as God commanded, it is easily seen that God is with him. Everything God said is true. God is faithful. Moses gave excuses to God on being used as a vessel for God’s glory to accomplish God’s plan. We give the same excuses. But remember, it is God’s plan. He is faithful. If He has given you something to do, He has given you everything you need to get it done. His plans will not be thwarted. As you go through your day today, if you feel God leading you, don’t give an excuse. Show up for duty. When you show up for duty, you find that He already has done the hard part.