Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
What if you only talked to your parents once a week or even less than that? How would you tell them what you need or want? How would they tell you what you need to do? How would you say that you love each other if you didn’t talk very often? It would be crazy to only talk to your parents that often, right? But some of us do that with God.
The way that we know about God and who He is, and also what He wants us to do, is by reading what He has to say in the Bible and by praying. We talk to Him and tell Him our needs and wants when we pray, but if we don’t take the time to do it, we can be a big mess. I know that when I don’t pray I get a bad attitude. How about you?
It’s important that we talk with God everyday, just like it’s important to talk with your parents. It might seem like prayer is hard, but it’s really not as hard as we sometimes make it seem. Practice praying by just telling God what you liked about your day, thanking Him for those things. Tell Him what you didn’t like about your day and ask Him to help you with those things. It can be as simple as that. There aren’t any magic words or special ways to talk. Just talk to God. If you still don’t know what to say, ask God to help you pray. He says that He will.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. (Romans 8:26, NLT)
Now, do this. After you’re done reading this, ask your parents to pray with you. Let them pray some, but you should also take a turn. Will you try praying every day this week?
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
How do you know what God wants you to do? Is it by doing what adults tell you God wants you to do? That’s good if the adults know for themselves what that is, but what if they don’t? What if they’re just as curious as you are what it is God wants from you?
The great thing is that God has told us all about himself and what He has done for us and wants us to do. We just need to read what He has to say in the Bible. We call the Bible God’s Word because He had people write down what He wanted all of us to know. Lots of the Bible is simple to understand, but some of it gets pretty confusing if we don’t know what to look for. That’s why it’s important that we don’t just read it, but actually study it. The difference is that we try to figure out what the Bible has to say about itself when we study.
Once we are clear on what God has said, it’s important that we obey Him. Knowing what to do and not doing it is sin (James 4:17). God doesn’t punish us when we mess up, but He does want us to follow Him and live the lives He created us for. Life is so much better when we obey Him!
Can you think of something right now that you know you’re supposed to obey because God said to do it? I’ll give you my example: I know that right now God wants me to teach you what I know about Him because He said in 2 Timothy 2:2 to pass along to other people what we’ve learned about Him. If I don’t do that, I’m not obeying. Now it’s your turn. What has God said in the Bible that you need to obey? What steps can you take right away to start doing that?
Mark 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Someone once asked Jesus what God’s most important rule was (Mark 12:28). He answered that it was to love God more than anything else. That’s a pretty big thing to ask!
Think about some things that you love. You love your family. You may have a pet that you love. Maybe there are some toys that you just really love playing with. Or there could even be things that you love to do, like sports or games. God is saying to love Him more than you love anything else. Do you think that might be hard? Think about your parents. They’re supposed to love God even more than they love you!
There was another person in the Bible that asked Jesus what He had to do to get into heaven (Matthew 19:16). Jesus answered Him that he had to give up all of the things that he loved more than he loved Jesus. The man thought that was too hard so he didn’t give up anything and he went away from Jesus very sad. What that man needed to realize was that Jesus is better than anything that he loved in his life.
We should love Jesus so much that we want what He wants. We should want to be like Him and want to do what He did. When we make Him most important in our lives, we’re starting to really live for God.
Will you pray about this with your parents? Ask God to make your heart love Him more than anything else. If you ask Him for help doing that, He’ll definitely help you because it’s what He wants most!
When I was a kid like you, I used to wonder what it was that God wanted from me. I learned about God on Sundays and heard different stories about men and women in the Bible who followed after Him, but I wasn’t quite sure what He wanted from me. I wasn’t supposed to build an ark or kill a giant with a slingshot and some stones, but there was something God wanted me to do; right?
Let me just tell you that a lot of adults still wonder about what God wants from them. There are still times I ask Him to show me again because I’ve gotten too busy or distracted to remember. I’ve learned 7 key things that God wants from everyone and I’m going to teach you those, but I’ll take time to do each one at a time. Here I’ll just take a minute to tell you what they are, then I’ll go into more about each one at a later time.
The 7 key things we all need to do in order to live for God are:
- Love Jesus more than anything else. (Mark 12:30)
- Talk to God every day. (Proverbs 8:34)
- Read the Bible and do what it says. (Psalm 1:1-3)
- Love other people. (Mark 12:31)
- Give to God. (James 1:17)
- Serve other people (Mark 10:45)
- Share the Good News about Jesus (2 Timothy 2:2)
Take some time to talk about these with your parents and next time we’ll get more into loving Jesus more than anything else.
The Bible is God’s way of talking to us. You would never get to know a friend very well if you always did all of the talking in the friendship and never let them say anything. The same is true with God. If you talk to God by praying, but never listen to Him by reading what He has to say, you won’t get much closer to Him.
The Bible says that everything we ever needed to know about God was revealed in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3), but since Jesus isn’t walking right here with us on earth now, we have to rely on the book that’s about Him – The Bible. Everything in the BIble is about Jesus.
There are rules we should follow (and these show us that we can’t be perfect but need Jesus – Galatians 3:24), history to learn (and the people and events all lead up to Jesus coming), stories about Jesus himself, and letters to churches that help us all to better understand who Jesus is and why He came.
The Bible is good for teaching us, telling us what we’re doing wrong, telling us what to change, and what we should start doing (2 Timothy 3:16). We should read it everyday to see what God wants us to know and so we can grow closer to Him.
Do you know 2 Peter 1:20 yet? “knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.”
Have you ever been listening to someone who was reading the Bible out loud, trying to follow along in your own Bible, but it seems like everything they’re saying is different? You know you’re in the right place, but nothing they’re saying is in your Bible. That’s because there are different translations of the original documents that were put together to form one Bible.
The books of the Bible were written in languages like Hebrew and Greek. Many people who study the Bible as part of their job find different meanings to words from the original languages used, so we end up with different Bibles in the English language. So who is right about the real meanings? That’s a hard question to answer.
People sometimes argue about which Bible translation is correct, but they forget two things. 1) God is the author of the Bible, it says what He intends it to say. 2) God is the interpreter of the Bible within our hearts. He can help us to understand what He wants to say to us, even if a certain translation does get the meaning wrong.
All Bibles are not the same, but God always remains the same no matter how many years pass. What He wanted the people of long ago to know, He wants us to know. Our job is to ask Him to help us understand and then read with an open heart.
Here’s a new verse to memorize: 2 Peter 1:20 “knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.”
There are a lot of books out there and many of them say different things that don’t agree with each other. It’s hard to know which one is right! The same is true in religious books. Christians rely on the Bible as our way of knowing what God is like and what He expects from us. Other religions say that the Bible isn’t true. How can we know that it is?
There are a few ways that people who study the Bible use to test if its correct. They look at the events and people from history mentioned in the Bible to make sure they actually happened and existed. We’re also able to look at the predictions in the Bible and see that most of them have already come true. God keeps all of His promises and He cannot lie!
Another way we can know that the Bible is true is because the Bible says so. Now, some think this doesn’t make sense and lots of other books would claim that they’re true too. But nothing in the Bible contradicts anything else that the Bible says. It all supports itself.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that God authored the Bible and that we can trust it. Hebrews 4:12 says that the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Bible. There are a ton of verses in God’s Word that help to understand this more, but let’s stick with these for now. Can you find any more by doing your own search?
Keep working on memorizing 1 Peter 1:25 “but the word of the Lord remains forever. And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” Do you have it yet?
So who wrote the Bible? There are 66 “books” within the book we call the Bible and they were written down by lots of different authors. The real deal, though, is that God told those people what He wanted them to write. We say that the words of the Bible are “inspired” by God or “breathed out” by God (2 Timothy 3:16). HE wrote the Bible!
The Lord used to speak to people in many different ways to reveal himself. He shows us who He is through His creation (Psalm 19:1), and He showed us everything we could ever need to know about himself through Jesus (Hebrews 1:2). Since Jesus is not walking on earth anymore, God chose to speak to us through His Word, the Bible. In it, He tells us all we need to know.
We know because of the Bible who God is, what He wants us to do, what He wants us to stop doing, what He wants us to learn, and what His plans are. If we’ll take the time to read it, the Bible will tell us a whole lot. When it gets hard, we can ask the author for His help in understanding.
Keep working on memorizing 1 Peter 1:25 “but the word of the Lord remains forever. And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”
I’m sure you’ve at least seen a Bible. You might own one, or maybe at least your parents own one. Have you ever wondered what it really is? Does it seem like a rule book, full of things you’re supposed to do and not supposed to do? Some people look at it that way, but it’s so much more.
Some say that the Bible is God’s love letter to His people, and this is also true, but again there’s more to it than that. While it is full of God’s love, there also are rules and laws, stories to give us an idea of how things happened in history, and even warnings about the future. There are predictions of the future that told of Jesus before He came to earth, stories of His life, and lots of things leading up to it. Actually, the whole Bible is about Jesus.
We’re told that God has spoken to people in many different ways and that the most important way was through coming to earth as Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3). But since Jesus isn’t just walking around where we can see Him anymore, the best thing we have is the book about Him. The Bible is God’s message to us. Everything we need to know can be found in His Word.
We’re going to look at who wrote the Bible, how we can know it’s true, and how to read it.
Here’s a new Bible verse to memorize this week: 1 Peter 1:25 “but the word of the Lord remains forever. And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”