Posted by: wwyeshua | January 10, 2020

PRINCIPLES OF SOWING AND REAPING – Galatians 6:7

Did you know that you plant seeds every day?  Let me explain what I mean.

Every day you plant invisible seeds with your words and actions. When you tell your mom, dad or grandma you love them, you are planting seeds.

When you push them away, make an unkind face or are disrespectful and have a tantrum, you are planting seeds.

Just like when you plant apple seeds an apple tree will grow; and when you plant love seeds, love grows! In the same way, if you plant seeds of unfriendliness and disrespect, unfriendliness and disrespect grows.

In the Bible we learn that whatever a person plants with their actions and attitude that is what ends up growing, whether it’s joy or anger! It warns us: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A person reaps what they sow.” (Galatians 6:7)

God sets rules for physical sowing as well as for spiritual sowing and a person cannot change God’s laws.

Are you sowing seeds of goodness, patience, and love or are you planting seeds of deceit, bitterness, and lies?

It matters what you are sowing and planting because one day, you will reap what you have sown.

The person who is disobedient to God and plants bad things in his life, like lying and stealing, cannot expect to grow good things and be pleasing to God!

God knows what kind of life we are living and knows what types of fruit we will harvest by the seeds we have planted and continue to plant and one day we will have to give an account of what we have done to Him.

All our choices good and bad accumulate over our lifetime and the harvest we reap from small choices made over a long period of time can produce very large harvests, and the harvest shows up in our character and how it affects people around us either in a good or bad way. 

Always remember that our choices form our character and that: 

  • If we choose to lie – we become a liar
  • If we choose to steal – we become a thief
  • If we choose to be patient – we become a patient person
  • If we choose to do loving things – we become a loving person

True Christians have the ability to understand and say NO to sin, because they know what the Bible teaches and know that the power of Christ has set us free from the power of sin. Because we were born with a sinful nature, sin is still present in our life, but we are no longer a slave to sin. When you become a Christian and Christ lives in you, then you are no longer a slave to sin, whatever kind it might be.

Once you truly understand what Jesus Christ has done for you, you will feel so grateful and joyful that you will want to thank Him every day of your life.

Obedience to the Lord starts by taking small steps. And here’s the good news of the gospel; when we fail, we have an advocate, Jesus Christ, who intercedes for us. We can confess our sin and receive forgiveness and cleansing through the blood of Christ and then get back in step with what God wants us to do; which is to sow good seeds.

As we walk through life, we leave imprints on others lives that not only can last a lifetime, but can last for eternity. If we keep in step with the Spirit and we sow to Spirit, the Spirit will use us to leave a godly influence in people’s lives that can last for eternity.

So if you keep sowing good seeds you will have a life that is much happier here on earth and one day you will reap your reward and spend all eternity with Jesus in heaven.

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Goodbye, until next time. Until then, remember to say your prayers obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week. 

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“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) 

This information is to help you and your child to understand that baptism is an act of obedience for those who know the meaning of salvation and have already been saved. The act of baptism is symbolic of salvation by faith; that is, having been buried with Him in baptism God makes us alive with Christ.

Baptism is an outward act in which we affirm our desire to follow Jesus on this inner path. This “death” that Paul mentions is a death to my old life, where I choose to stop living according to my sinful and biased human nature. I can then begin to walk in “newness of life” by obeying God’s commandments. (Colossians 2:12-14).

As taught and practiced in the New Testament, baptism is therefore an act of obedience by an individual and is a response to the renewing work of the Holy Spirit in his life.

Before a young person or anyone is baptized, he must be old enough to understand the gospel of Christ.

A candidate for baptism has repented of their sin, placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior and wants to make Him the Lord of their life. The evident desire to obey the Lord Jesus in this matter validates their conversion experience. Jesus said, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me” (John 14:21).

Baptism is an important step in anyone’s journey as a follower of Christ and an outward symbol of the work He has already done in your life. The Bible paints a beautiful picture of baptism as our identification with Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection. When you make the decision to accept Christ as your Savior, the Bible says that your old way of life is dead, and you are beginning a new life with Christ.

If your child wants to get baptized, ask questions.

Baptism comes after salvation, so start with the basic questions: 

  • Can you tell me who Jesus is?
  • What did He do for you?

Here’s one way to explain salvation in a way kids can understand:

We need to let them know that God loves us so much that He sent His son Jesus to earth. Jesus took the punishment for our sin by dying on a cross. But Jesus did not stay in the tomb! God resuscitated Jesus and He lives.

To follow Jesus, you have to believe that He died for you and that God resuscitated Jesus and He lives.

We need to understand that we are born with something called sin, which means that we all mess up at times and do wrong things. When we sin we deserve to be punished for those things, right!

So, we need to tell Jesus that we are sorry for the way we behaved and we need to repent. To repent means to change your mind; to turn away from sin and turn to God. We can then ask Jesus to forgive us and He will and His Holy Spirit will come and live inside us because Jesus knows our heart and knows that we no longer want to do anything that intentionally hurts Him.

Here are some initial questions that could provide insight if a child or a person is ready to be baptized:

  • Why would you like to be baptized? This question is asked to determine the motive or conviction to be baptized – e.g. to please their parents, friends, etc. or to obey God. 
  • Who should be baptized? This question is asked to clarify if they understood that baptism is a special act linked to salvation. 
  • What is baptism for? This question is asked to determine the level of understanding about the symbolism of baptism. 
  • Do you think that being baptized will make it easier for you to follow the Lord?  This question is asked to ensure that the child or person is not disillusioned about the Christian walk after baptism. 
  • Have you made a decision to follow Jesus Christ and make Him the Lord of your life? This is a very critical answer.

To make sure the child understands, here are additional questions that you might ask and confirm that they are aware of what is really taking place, since this is a very important commitment that they are making for life: 

  • What is baptism?Baptism means that I am telling people that I understand what Jesus did for me. It is a public profession of faith that tells people that I have decided to follow Jesus.

NOTE: Explain to your children that many are baptized without really understanding what baptism means and we can see that they did not understand because there is no change in their behavior, they continue lying, cheating and doing all kinds of bad things that the Bible tells us not do do. Jesus tells us that by their fruits you will know them. Baptism is a serious matter that needs to be understood before a commitment is made. It is important at any age to be knowledgeable of the meaning of baptism. 

  • What does baptism represent?That we are buried with Christ and shared in His death; that we are buried with Him when the pastor puts us under the water and when we come up out of the water it represents that we are going to live a new life, just as Christ was raised from death by the wonderful power of God the Father (Romans 6:4).

 

  • When we are baptized does the water wash away our sins in the same way that we wash the dirt of the body when we take a bath or a shower? (1 Peter 3:21) – NO, the water is a symbol of our sins being washed away because we believe in Jesus Christ and what He did for us, and that we now want to obey Him. 
  • Why do we get baptized?We get baptized to follow the example Jesus set for us. It is an act of obedience. Jesus said: “I tell you the truth. Unless you are born from water and the Spirit, you cannot enter God’s kingdom.” (John 3:5)

  • Who was Jesus baptized by? (Matthew 3:13-17)He was baptized by his cousin John the Baptist.
  • When was Jesus baptized? (Luke 3:21-22)At the beginning of His ministry

 

  • Why was Jesus baptized?Because He wanted to be an example for us, and God wanted everyone know that Jesus was His beloved son. When Jesus was baptized and He came out of the water a voice spoke from heaven. The voice said, “This is my Son and I love him. I am very pleased with him.” (Matthew 3:17)

Baptism is an important part of your relationship with God and it shows obedience to Jesus Christ. Baptism is not something we do because friends are doing it or because it looks kind of fun. We are baptized out of obedience and love for Jesus to tell everyone we are following Him by the way we behave, speak, live and treat others. And everyone can see that something really wonderful happened because the Holy Sprit who Jesus Christ sent is now living in us.

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Goodbye, until next time. Until then, remember to say your prayers, obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week. 

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Posted by: wwyeshua | October 27, 2019

BOAZ MARRIES RUTH – Ruth chapter 3 and 4

After Ruth had been working in Boaz’s field for many months helping her mother-in-law; one day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi spoke to her.

She said, “My daughter, I must find a home for you. It should be a place where you will be provided for. You have been working with the women who work for Boaz. He’s a relative of ours. Tonight he’ll be separating the straw from his barley on the threshing floor. So wash yourself. Put on some perfume. And put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor. But don’t let Boaz know you are there. Wait until he has finished eating and drinking. Notice where he lies down, then go over and uncover his feet and lie down there.

“I’ll do everything you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor. She did everything her mother-in-law had told her to do. 

Now after all the hard work, when Boaz had finished eating and drinking, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Then Ruth approached quietly. She uncovered his feet and lay down there. 

Around midnight Boaz suddenly woke up and turned over. He was surprised to find a woman lying at his feet!  “Who are you?” he asked.

“I am your servant Ruth,” she replied. “Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.”

Boaz was related to Noami’s dead husband Elimelek. 

Then Boaz said, “The Lord bless you! You are showing even more family loyalty now than you did before, for you have not gone after a younger man, whether rich or poor. Now don’t worry about a thing, I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are a virtuous woman.

But while it’s true that I am one of your family redeemers, there is another man who is more closely related to you than I am. Stay here tonight, and in the morning I will talk to him. If he is willing to redeem you, very well; let him marry you. But if he is not willing, then as surely as the Lord lives, I will redeem you myself! Now lie down here until morning.”

 

So Boaz went to the town gate and took a seat there. Just then the family redeemer he had mentioned came by, so Boaz called out to him, “Come over here and sit down, friend. I want to talk to you.” So they sat down together. Then Boaz called ten leaders from the town and asked them to sit as witnesses.

And Boaz said to the family redeemer, “You know Naomi, who came back from Moab. She is selling the land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. I thought I should speak to you about it so that you can redeem it if you wish. If you want the land, then buy it here in the presence of these witnesses. But if you don’t want it, let me know right away, because I am next in line to redeem it after you.”

After thinking for a little while, the family redeemer told Boaz: “I can’t redeem it because this might endanger my own estate. You redeem the land; I cannot do it.”

Boaz was very happy; and in those days it was the custom in Israel for anyone transferring a right of purchase to remove his sandal and hand it to the other party. This publicly validated the transaction. So the other family redeemer drew off his sandal as he said to Boaz, “You buy the land.”

Then Boaz said to the elders and to the crowd standing around, “You are witnesses that today I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion, and Mahlon. And with the land I have acquired Ruth, the Moabite widow of Mahlon, to be my wife. You are all witnesses today.” 

So Boaz married Ruth and the Lord blessed them with a son and they called him Obed.

Obed was the father of Jesse whose youngest son David became King of Israel. So Ruth played a very important role in Bible history because Mary the mother of Jesus was a descendant of King David. 

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Goodbye, until next time. Until then, remember to say your prayers, obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week. 

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Posted by: wwyeshua | August 16, 2019

THE STORY OF RUTH AND NAOMI – Ruth chapter 1 and 2

A long time ago there was a family that lived in Bethlehem of Judea.

Elimelec and his wife Naomi had two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. Then one day there was a great famine in the area and they decided to leave to find food.

They travelled to the nearby land of Moab and settled there. The Moabite people did not worship God but had their own idols.

Some time later Naomi’s husband Elimelec died. The two sons grew up and married Moabite women, one was Ruth and the other was Orpah.

Sadly, after they were there ten years tragedy struck again and Mahlon and Kilion both died. The Bible does not tell what happened to them, it just tells us that they died. It was very sad though because it left three widows, Naomi and her two young Moabite daughter-in-laws, Ruth and Orpah.

 

Then one day Naomi heard that the Lord had provided food for the people back in Bethlehem, so she decided to return. So they all packed up their belongings to go back to their land.

Naomi then told her two daughter-in-laws, “Go back home. Each of you go to your own mother’s house. You have been very kind to me and to my sons who are now dead. I hope the Lord will also be kind to you in the same way. I hope the Lord will give you another home and a new husband.”

Naomi kissed them both goodbye and they cried. ‘We will go back with you to your people,’ they replied. ‘No you must return home,’ Naomi insisted. ‘You can get marry again.’

Orpah and Ruth cried again. Orpah kissed Naomi goodbye and returned home to her mother’s house. Ruth however would not go and held on to Naomi.

‘Orpah has returned to her people and their gods,’ said Naomi. ‘Go back with her.’  

‘Don’t ask me to leave you,’ Ruth replied. ‘Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God. Where you die I will die.’

When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to stay with her, she did not insist any longer and they both started their trip on the road to Bethlehem.

They arrived back in Bethlehem just as the barley harvest was beginning. Their arrival caused quite a surprise. Naomi’s grief and suffering had changed her appearance so much that many did not recognize her. ‘Can this be Naomi?’ people asked.

‘Don’t call me Naomi,’ she said. ‘Call me Mara (which means bitter) because God has made my life bitter. I went away with my husband and boys but the Lord has brought me back without them.’

After Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem they needed food. So Ruth told Naomi, ‘Let me go into the barley fields to pick up the leftover grain.’ The poor were allowed to pick up grain that the harvesters had left on the ground. ‘Go ahead, my daughter,’ Naomi replied.  

So Ruth went into the fields belonging to Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s dead husband Elimelec. Later Boaz arrived and greeted the harvesters as he always did. ‘The Lord be with you,’ and they replied, ‘The Lord bless you.’  

Boaz immediately noticed Ruth collecting grain with the poor. ‘Who is that young woman?’ he asked the man in charge of the harvesting. ‘She is the Moabite, who returned with Naomi,’ he answered. ‘She asked permission to pick up grain and has been working very hard.’  

So Boaz went to talk to Ruth and said to her. “Stay here in my field to gather grain for yourself. Do not go to any other person’s field. Continue following behind my women workers. Watch to see which fields they go to and follow them. I have warned the young men not to bother you. When you are thirsty, you may go and drink. Take water from the water jugs that the servants have filled.” 

Then Ruth bowed low with her face to the ground. She said to Boaz, “I am a stranger. Why have you been so kind to notice me?”

Boaz answered her, “I know about all the help you have given to Naomi, your mother-in-law. You helped her even after your husband died. You left your father and mother and your own country. You came to this nation where you did not know anyone. The Lord will reward you for all you have done. You will be paid in full by the Lord, the God of Israel.”

Then Ruth said, “You are very kind to me, sir. You have said kind words to me, your servant. You have given me hope. And I am not even good enough to be one of your servants.”

At mealtime Boaz invited her to eat with the other harvesters. ‘Have some bread and dip it in the vinegar,’ he said. He offered her roasted grain and Ruth ate all she wanted.

When Ruth got up to continue working Boaz gave secret orders to his men. ‘Let her gather even around the bundles of grain. Don’t tell her to go away.  Even pull out some stalks from the bundles and drop them for her to gather.’ So Ruth busily gathered grain until the evening.

Then she separated the grain from the chaff and she had collected about one-half bushel of barley which equals to about 30 pounds or (13,5 kilos). She also brought Naomi the food leftover from the meal she had with Boaz and the harvesters.

Naomi asked her, “Where did you gather all this grain today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who noticed you!” Ruth told her about whose field she had worked in. She said, “The man I worked with today is named Boaz.” Naomi told her daughter-in-law, “The Lord bless him!” Then Naomi told Ruth, “Boaz is one of our close relatives, one who will take care of us.”  

Then Ruth said, “Boaz also told me to come back and continue working. He said, ‘Keep close by my servants until they have finished the harvest.’”

And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, “It is good for you to continue working with his women servants. If you work in another field, someone might hurt you.” So Ruth continued working closely with the women servants of Boaz. She gathered grain until the barley harvest was finished. She also worked there through the end of the wheat harvest. And Ruth continued to live with Naomi, her mother-in-law.          

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Goodbye, until next time; we will see what God has in store for Ruth and Naomi.

Until then, remember to say your prayers obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week. 

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Posted by: wwyeshua | April 8, 2019

ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS – Luke 24:13-49

On the third day after Jesus was crucified and put in the tomb, two of His disciples were walking along a road out of Jerusalem. One of them was Cleopas.

They were on their way to a village called Emmaus 7 miles (11 kilometers) from Jerusalem.

They were talking about the sad events that led Jesus to be crucified on a cross and die. As they talked, a man came up and walked alongside them. It was Jesus but they did not recognize Him.

The stranger asked, ‘What are you talking about?’ They stopped and stood still, looking sad. Cleopas asked, ‘Are you the only person in Jerusalem who does not know what has happened?’

 ‘What things?’ asked the stranger?

‘Jesus of Nazareth was handed over by the Chief Priests to be sentenced to death and they crucified Him,’ the disciples explained. ‘We hoped He would save us and free us from the Jews.’

‘But then, this morning when some of our women went to the tomb, it was empty. His body was missing! They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels. The angels said that Jesus was alive! Some of our friends went to the tomb to see what had happened and it was definitely empty, but they did not see Jesus.’

‘How foolish you are not to believe what the prophets said would happen many years ago. They told us the Savior (Messiah) would have to suffer before rising to glory.’

Then Jesus explained how first Moses then other prophets had written down that the Savoir of the world would die and rise from the dead.

As they approached Emmaus Jesus, who was still a stranger to them, acted as if He did not plan to stop there. But they begged Him, ‘Stay with us. It is late; and it will be getting dark pretty soon.’ So He accepted and went in to stay with them.

When they sat down to eat, Jesus took some bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to them. Immediately God allowed the two disciples to see who the stranger was. Jesus!

At that moment Jesus disappeared from their sight. Then they said to each other ‘Weren’t our hearts warmed as Jesus spoke to us and explained what is written about the Savior?’ It was so exciting when He explained the true meaning of the Scriptures.

So the two disciples got up immediately and rushed back to Jerusalem as fast as they could.

When they got there, they found the 11 apostles and other disciples together. They were saying, “It’s true! The Lord has risen! He has appeared to Simon!” Then the two of them told what had happened to them on the way. They told how they had recognized Jesus when he broke the bread. Now the room where they were meeting was locked.

All of a sudden Jesus appeared and stood among them and said: ‘Peace be with you.’ Everyone was frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost. Can you imagine Jesus walked right through a closed door! I would have been frightened also, wouldn’t you?

But Jesus asked them ‘Why are you afraid and in doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.’

The disciples were full of joy and amazement but could still not believe Jesus was really alive. ‘Do you have something I can eat?’ Jesus asked. So they gave Him some broiled fish and Jesus ate it as they watched.

Then he helped them understand the Scriptures. He told them: The Scriptures say that the Messiah must suffer, and then three days later He will rise from death. They also say that all people of every nation must be told in My name to turn to God, in order to be forgiven. So beginning in Jerusalem, you must tell everything that has happened.

But before leaving He told them listen! My Father has promised you something; I will send Him to you. But you must stay in Jerusalem until you have received that power from heaven. Then Jesus once more disappeared from their sight.

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Let’s see what happens next time. Until then, remember to say your prayers, obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week.

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The word transfiguration means “to transform, to change in appearance.”

So let’s see what happened when Jesus took Peter, James and John and led them up a high mountain to pray; and they where there all alone.

 

When they got to the top of the mountain, Jesus began praying.

But the disciples were very sleepy from the long walk up the mountain, and fell asleep.

As Jesus was praying, all of a sudden, the appearance of His face changed and became bright like the sun. And his clothes became white as light. 

 

Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor and were talking with Jesus. They talked about the things that were about to happen to Jesus to fulfill the scriptures.

Peter, James and John woke up and saw the glory of Jesus and the two men standing with Him. They were frightened and Peter blurted out, ‘Let’s make three shelters, one for Jesus, on for Moses and one for Elijah.’ (Peter was so stunned that he did not know what he was saying.) 

It is interesting that Peter wanted to build shelters for Moses, Elijah and Jesus. Maybe he wanted to make a place like the tabernacle in the Old Testament for them. Or perhaps he wanted them to stay for a while. (In the book of Luke 9:31 we read that Jesus, Moses and Elijah were talking about how He was leaving them soon and perhaps Peter wanted them to stay for a while.) Either way, Peter never forgot this event. He wrote about it later when he wrote 2 Peter 1:16-18, about being with Jesus on the sacred mountain.

Now, while Peter was saying these things, a cloud came down all around them. Peter, James, and John became afraid when the cloud covered them, but a voice came from the cloud. The voice said, “This is my Son. He is the One I have chosen. Obey him.” When the voice finished speaking, only Jesus was there, and Peter, James, and John where very quiet and said nothing.

Now, they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone about the things you saw on the mountain. Wait until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead. Then you may tell.” So they obeyed Jesus and said nothing about what they had seen; but they discussed what Jesus meant about rising from the dead.

Do you know what caused the face of Jesus to be changed and his clothes to become dazzling white? It was because they were in the presence of God!

Did you know that God wants our faces to shine also?

Jesus said: In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do. Live so that they will praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

So, if we walk with Jesus every day and obey Him, others will see that we have the love of Jesus in our heart, and they will see His reflection shining brightly in our faces!

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Goodbye, until next time. Until then, remember to say your prayers, obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week.

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Posted by: wwyeshua | February 13, 2019

JESUS WALKS ON WATER – Matthew 14:22-36, Mark 6:45-56

It was the evening of a busy day in which Jesus had taught over 5,000 people and miraculously fed them.

Jesus told his disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida and that He would join them later.

After dismissing the crowds, Jesus climbed up by himself the side of a mountain to pray. Jesus knew that He had to be close to His heavenly Father so He could have the strength to do His will each day; just like we should do also.

As it got dark Jesus, Jesus could see the disciples had rowed 3-4 miles (5-6 km). By this time, the boat was already far away and was having trouble because of the waves, and the strong wind that was blowing against it.

Shortly before dawn Jesus finished praying and started walking the quickest way back to Capernaum, which was across the sea.

When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were afraid. They said, “It’s a ghost!” and cried out in fear.

But Jesus quickly spoke to them. He said, “Have courage! It is I! Don’t be afraid.”

Peter said, “Lord, if that is really you, then tell me to come to you on the water,” and  Jesus said, “Come.”

The disciples watched as Peter carefully got out of the boat and began to walk on water towards Jesus.  Peter watched Jesus at first, but then started noticing the wind and the small waves on the water and looked around with worry.

As soon as Peter started to be scared and took his eyes off of Jesus, he started to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Then Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Jesus said, “You have such little trust for me Peter, why did you doubt me?” 

As soon as Jesus got into the boat the wind stopped and the water was calm.  Then everyone in the boat worshipped Jesus saying, “Truly you are God’s Son!” And almost immediately the boat reached the shore, which was in itself another miracle.

When they had crossed the lake, they came to shore at a place called Gennesaret. They tied the boat there. When they got out of the boat, the people saw Jesus and immediately recognized Him. They ran to tell others everywhere in that area that Jesus was there. They brought all the sick people to him and begged to touch the corner of his long coat because all who touched Him were healed.

Remember that when we obey Christ and focus on Him things go well, but when we focus only on the world things begin to go wrong.

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Goodbye, until next time. Until then, remember to say your prayers, obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week.

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Posted by: wwyeshua | January 5, 2019

SAUL’S CONVERSION – Acts 9:1-30

Saul was a very angry man who persecuted Christians. He was a Jewish Pharisee and he did not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

The Jews hated the Christians and tried to kill them every chance they had. Saul had just been present at the stoning of Stephen who loved Jesus and was preaching to the Jews about Him when they stoned him to death.

 

After the death of Stephen, Christians in Jerusalem suffered so much that many left to find new places to live. Some traveled north to the city of Damascus.

 

Saul, however, was not going to let this happen, so he went to the High Priest and asked for papers that would give him permission to go to Damascus and arrest any of those who believe in Jesus.

The papers were given to Saul and he set off to Damascus.

As he got near to the city, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him and he fell to the ground. He heard a voice saying: ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’

‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the voice replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless. They heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up, but when he opened his eyes he could not see, he was blind.

So they led Saul by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

 

In Damascus there was a disciple of Jesus Christ named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’‘Yes, Lord,’ he answered.

‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man named Saul. He is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.’

 

‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I heard that this man has harmed your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.’

 

But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! I have chosen Saul for an important work. He must tell about me to non-Jews, to kings, and to the people of Israel.  I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’

Then Ananias went to the house and placed his hands on Saul. ‘Brother Saul, Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’

 

Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see. Saul got up and was immediately baptized by Ananias.

Afterword he ate some food, and regained his strength.

After this, Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus – the very people he had come to arrest.

And he immediately began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.

 

Those listening were amazed. They said, “This is the man who was in Jerusalem. He was trying to destroy those who trust in this name! He came here to do the same thing. He came here to arrest the followers of Jesus and take them back to the leading priests.’

But Saul powerfully explained to them that Jesus is the Messiah. A few days later some Jews who were against Jesus plotted to kill Saul. They were planning to do the same thing Saul came to do in Damascus, but now it was he who they were after.

They kept watch at the city gates hoping to catch him and kill him. But Saul found out about their plans.

So, Saul’s friend took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall so he could escape.

Once Saul left Damascus he returned to Jerusalem where he tried to join the disciples. But they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe that he really was a disciple.

However, Barnabas explained that Saul was now a Christian, and how he had preached in Damascus that Jesus is the Son of God.  So the Apostles welcomed Saul, and he started speaking boldly about Jesus in Jerusalem.

But again, when he started telling about Jesus in Jerusalem they tried to kill him there also.

 

To protect Saul the believers took him to the port of Caesarea and sent him back to his home city of Tarsus. Saul was his Jewish name but as a Roman citizen he also had the Latin name which was ‘Paul’. 

The apostle Paul from then on suffered many persecutions. Instead of being the person who hurt other Christians, he became persecuted himself for Christ’s sake. 

God had a special job for Paul to do, and He may have some great work for you to do also. So be ready and always take every opportunity to learn more about Jesus Christ who is our Lord and Savior.

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Goodbye, until next time. Until then, remember to say your prayers, obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week.

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Posted by: wwyeshua | December 17, 2018

ZACCHAEUS MEETS JESUS – Luke 19:1-10

In this story we will meet a man that was not very liked in his town; and the reason was that Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector for the Romans and he was also a swindler. He got pretty rich because while he was doing his job collecting taxes, he would always cheat and would charge extra so he could accumulate riches for himself.

 

Now, Jesus and His disciples were on the way to Jerusalem and were passing through the city of Jericho where Zacchaeus lived.

 

On that day, Zacchaeus looked down the dirt road that came into Jericho and he saw a crowd of people coming his way. He did not know that Jesus was coming, but a large crowd was gathering because they all wanted to see Him.

 

When he found out what was happening, He wanted desperately to see Jesus, but the crowd was blocking his vision. Being a short man he couldn’t see over the taller people in front of him, and even standing on his tip toes, he still could not see what was happening.

So he had an idea and ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when He came by. He didn’t care if he looked silly doing that. He just wanted to see Jesus!

 

Sure enough, Jesus went right by there and when He got to the tree, He looked up and said, ‘Zacchaeus hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your home.’

“Wow! Zacchaeus thought to himself, how does He know my name?” “But He does! And He wants to come to my house!”

  

Zacchaeus was so happy he could hardly believe it, so he came down the sycamore tree as fast as he could and took Jesus to his house, and warmly welcomed Him into his home. But the people complained and wondered why Jesus had gone as a guest to the home of such a big sinner! And they were not very happy about it.

They had spent all day in the hot sun following Jesus, and now He had chosen to stay at the house of Zacchaeus a dishonest tax collector. So, they began to criticize Zacchaeus and many were saying: “This man is a very big sinner!” And someone else said: “He cheats and steals from his own people!”

Zacchaeus heard what the people were saying about him and he knew that they were right. Now that Jesus was a guest at his house; he recognized how bad and wrong he had been and had a great desire to make things right.

 

So he told Jesus, “Listen Lord! I will give half of everything I have to the poor! And if I cheated anyone, I will pay them back four times as much!”

 

Jesus said to Zacchaeus, today salvation has come to this house! What you were doing was wrong, but now you have made things right. You were lost, but now you have been saved!

We all know that Jesus came to find and save the lost!” This is why God sent His son Jesus to come to earth. 

To find those who didn’t know God and were lost and to show them who God is, so they can repent and be forgiven and one day live forever in Heaven with Him.

Jesus knows you too! Jesus knows you by name, just like he knew Zacchaeus. He wants to come and tell you how much he loves you. He wants to tell you the good news of salvation.

 

All you have to do is invite Him in!

 

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Goodbye, until next time. Until then, remember to say your prayers, obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week.

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Posted by: wwyeshua | July 29, 2018

MOSES BUILDS GOD’S TABERNACLE – Exodus 25 – 40

When Moses was on Mount Sinai God gave him instructions to build a place where He could live among them.

It was to be called a Tabernacle, made of materials that could be packed up and moved as they travelled through the wilderness.

He was told by God that it would need expensive metals, fine wood, leather, rich cloths, dyed threads, wood and precious stones would be needed to make the Tabernacle. The Egyptians had given the Hebrew slaves expensive gifts when they left Egypt but would they be prepared to give a share of these to God?

Exodus 35:4-29, When Moses came down the mountain he told everyone, ‘God wants those who are willing to bring their gifts to build a Tabernacle. We need precious metals and stones, strong acacia wood, linen and cloth. We also need skilled workers.’

Every morning people willingly came and gave their gifts to make the Tabernacle. They brought jewelry and objects made of gold, silver and bronze, ram’s skins, leather and acacia wood.

People were happy to give fine linen, goat hair and expensive threads in blue, purple and scarlet. Others gave olive oil, spices and precious stones.

Exodus 35:30-35, God had told Moses that Bezalel and Oholiab, two fine craftsmen, should be put in charge of the work. They were filled with the Spirit of God and had all the skills necessary to artistically design with metals, wood and other materials what had to be done.

Exodus 36:1-7, other skilled workers joined them to make everything that God required.

Every morning people kept coming to bring their gifts. Soon they had more than they needed and Moses told them to stop giving.

Exodus 38:9-20, In God’s plan there was to be a large courtyard (150ft x 75ft or 46m x 23m). There were 20 posts down the longer sides and ten down the shorter sides each made of wood with a bronze base, silver hooks and silver top. Finely twisted linen curtains were made to go between these posts.

The entrance of the Tabernacle was always to be set in place facing the East. Curtains of finely embroidered blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen were made for the entrance.

Inside the courtyard the Tabernacle (45ft x 15ft ,13.5m x 4.5m) would stand. A strong wood frame was built and four covers to go over it were made. First, there was fine embroidered linen, then a layer of goat’s hair, over that was a layer of ram’s skins dyed red. On top was a cover made of a bluish animal skin.

Exodus 36: The Tabernacle was to be divided into two rooms separated by a thick veil of fine linen embroidered with figures of angels in blue, purple and scarlet. Only priests would be allowed to enter the Holy Place.

No one would be allowed behind the veil into the Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies) apart from the High Priest. He would enter it once a year to bring the blood of a sacrificed animal to make peace with God for their sins.

Exodus 37:1-9, the only object made to go inside the Most Holy Place was an ark made of acacia wood covered in gold. The cover (mercy seat) was made of pure gold with two cherubim facing each other whose wings met and spread over the cover. It was over this cover that the very presence of God would be.

Golden poles and a cover were made for the priests to lift and move the ark on their travels.

Exodus 37:10-16, A table made of acacia wood covered in gold was made for the Holy Place. It too had golden poles to carry it. It had plates, dishes and bowls all made of gold. Placed on the table each week were 12 loaves of bread representing the 12 tribes of Israel.

A lamp stand with seven branches made of pure gold was made to light up the Holy Place.

Exodus 37:25-29, There was a golden alter that was also part of the Holy Place. Priests would use this to burn pure incense of sweet spices every morning and evening to make a pleasing aroma to God.

Exodus 38:8: So that the priests could wash their hands and feet before they served God in the Tabernacle a large bronze wash basin was made. It was to be placed in the courtyard in front of the Holy Place.

Exodus 38:1-7, A square altar of acacia wood covered with bronze was made to go in the courtyard. At each corner was a bronze horn and it had golden carrying handles.

The altar would be used for people to bring a male animal without defect, be it cattle, sheep, goats (or birds if they were poor). They would put their hand on the animal to show it was being offered for them to make peace with God (Leviticus 1:4).

The animal would be sacrificed and its blood sprinkled on the altar. This shed blood made it possible for God to forgive them for the wrong things they had done. The animal would then be burnt on the altar.

Exodus 39, Garments for the priests were made of white linen. A special garment was made for the High Priest, Aaron. It had a blue sleeveless tunic.

Bells of pure gold were sewn around the hem with woven pomegranates between them. When the High priest went into the Most Holy Place people who were outside could hear the bells as he moved around and know he was still alive.

Over the robe a richly embroidered ephod of gold, blue, purple and scarlet was worn. It was made in two pieces joined together at the shoulders with golden clasps. Each clasp was set with an engraved onyx stone.

On his head the High Priest wore a turban made of fine linen which was bound around the head in coils. And on the front of the turban on Aaron’s forehead, attached by a blue lace ribbon, was a golden plate engraved, ‘Holy to the Lord’.

A special breastplate was made for the High priest. It had 12 precious stones each one engraved with the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. (A list of the stones is found in Exodus 39:10-13).

Exodus 40, When everything was ready the Tabernacle was built in the middle of the camp with three tribes stationed on every side. The Tabernacle furniture was put in position.

Moses placed the two tablets of stone containing God’s laws into the Ark and put the cover over it.

When everything was finished, and Aaron and his sons had washed and put on their robes, the glory of God filled the Tabernacle.

The cloud of God was over it by day and the fire of God every night. When the cloud lifted the Israelites would dismantle the Tabernacle and travel on through the wilderness. When they stop for a while they would assemble it again and God’s presence remained with them wherever they went.

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Goodbye, until next time. Until then, remember to say your prayers, obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week.

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