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?
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
What do you think the most important thing is to God? What does He most want us to obey? Did you say love? Of all the things in the Bible God told us to do, He tells us that loving Him and loving other people is the most important (Matthew 22:36-40). Jesus even said the rest of the commands God gave us would all be taken care of if we’d just love God and other people.
The Apostle Paul wrote about love because it’s so important. The people in the church of Corinth (a city that he visited) were getting a lot of things wrong so Paul taught them about the importance of love. He told them that even all the good stuff they were doing was worth nothing if they didn’t also show love to people. Can you imagine? You go to church, read your Bible (and maybe even memorize verses), volunteer to help with things, and you’re told that it’s no good because you’re not loving? That had to get their attention!
This happens a lot thought. Poeple do a lot of things for God and think they’re making Him happy, but they forget to do the most important part of what He said to do – love. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. You can make loving God and loving people an important thing in your life right now. What things can you think of to do today that will show God’s love to someone around you?
Adam and Eve had a relationship with God that no one has had since their time. We’ll talk to tomorrow about why that is. Back in the Garden of Eden, God would come down to visit with the people He first created (Genesis 3:8) and talk to them as His friends .
Can you imagine that? What if God came to your house and just talked to you about stuff in your life? What would you want to talk to Him about? What do you think Adam and Eve talked to Him about? Why do you think He visited with them? He wasn’t doing that with the animals!
The Lord spent time with Adam and Eve because He loved them and cared about them. Humans were the most special of all His creation and He wanted to speak to them, teach them, and help them. He wants to speak to you too. Do you know how He does that now? He tells us what we need to know in the Bible!
So, things were perfect in the garden and Adam and Eve had a friendship with God unlike anything else. They had everything they could ever need. But something terrible happened that hurt their friendship with God and ruined what they had going…
Keep memorizing Genesis 3:20 “The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.”
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 mentioned this before, but I want to make sure you remember. The Holy Spirit isn’t just some thing or someone that God sent to help us. He IS God. The reason why He can help us is because He is God. The reason why He can comfort us is because He is God. The reason why He is powerful in our lives is because…you got it…He is God.
God is invisible, yet He showed himself when Jesus came to live on the earth (Colossians 1:15). When He went back up to heaven, we had no more way of seeing Him, but now He lives in us. If you want to read a very interesting story about the Holy Spirit, look at Acts 1:6-11 and Acts 2:1-12. The Holy Spirit did some amazing things in the lives of the disciples and He can do some amazing things in your life too!
Can you think of one thing that God is doing right now to help you, comfort you, or make you more like Him?
Do you have John 14:16 memorized yet? Let’s say it one more time, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever”
Sometime when people hear that Jesus is God, they think, “But I thought Jesus was the SON of God!” It is true that Jesus is the Son of God, but it’s not a son like parents have here on earth. Jesus wasn’t born, He has always been, even before the beginning of time. The Bible says He was in the beginning with God and He was God (John 1:1).
So how can He be both the Son of God and God himself? Well, there’s a really hard to explain part of who God is, called the Trinity. God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They’re all God, but it doesn’t mean that there are three Gods. See what I mean by hard to explain? For now, all you need to understand is that Jesus is no less than God the Father, who is usually who we think of when we say “God.”
There are lots of places in the Bible that talk about Jesus being God and even Jesus said that He is God. Look at Colossians 1:16 and 1:19 to see how it was Jesus that was used in creating the world and that He is God in a body. Now look back at the story of creation in Genesis 1:1 and think about it knowing that Jesus was creating.
Keep practicing memorization of John 1:1 today: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
You’ve probably heard some stories about Jesus. You know the things He did like heal sick people, make the blind see again, and even die on the cross. But do you really understand who Jesus is? He wasn’t just a man who lived on the earth for a while. He was much more than that!
Over the next few days, we’ll look at some things that help us to better understand Jesus, starting with the fact that Jesus is God. There are way too many things about Jesus to talk about in only one week, but we’ll focus on some of the most important ones and then at the end there will be a list for you to look at to discover even more.
Jesus is the most important person who ever lived and what you know about who He is is the most important thing about your life. Did you know that Jesus is that big a deal? What you think about Jesus really is the thing that determines your future more than anything else.
Read about when Jesus was born as a baby in Luke 2:1-7. What’s special about the way Jesus was born?
How are you doing at memorizing Bible verses? Today, take a look at John 1:1 and start trying to memorize it: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
God is good, all the time. It’s important that we know this, because just remembering that God knows everything might make us scared that He’ll punish us. Just remembering that He created everything and that He’s really powerful might make us worry about what He’ll do. But if we remember that He loves us and that He’s good, we’ll never have to worry.
Even though God has all of the power in the world, He doesn’t ever try to just hurt you for no reason. He doesn’t ever try to make you afraid or take things away from you just because He feels like it. God is good so we know if He plans for something to happen in our lives it must be for good. There are a lot of examples in the Bible of people who had to go through some rough times but found out that it was for God’s good plans. Can you name a person like that from the Bible?
Read Romans 8:28 to find out something God said about His plans for you.
Do you have John 3:16 memorized yet? Practice for one more day: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Yesterday we talked about how God is perfect and He wants us to be perfect. Since we can’t do that on our own, He sent Jesus. If you didn’t read yesterday’s topic, go back and read it by clicking here.
So why is it important that God is perfect? Well, first of all, because you’re not. I’m not either. We make mistakes, we mess up. God never makes a mistake. Not one. Ever. God not only doesn’t make mistakes, He can’t make mistakes.
That’s good news for those of us who trust in Him! When we pray, we know that we’re asking God, the one who doesn’t make any mistakes. When we think He didn’t answer our prayers the right way, we know that can’t be true because He’s perfect. He always does what He means to do and He never messes it up. We can really trust Him!
God has a plan for your life. And since He’s perfect, you know it’s a good plan! Even when things don’t seem like they’re going right, you can know that it’s going to work out the way God planned it.
Joseph was someone who had to trust God through a lot of bad stuff happening. Read about his life in Genesis 37-45. Do you think Joseph ever doubted God?
Memorize John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Get some help if you need it!
Sometimes we all do things that aren’t what God would want us to do. That’s called sin. Have you ever sinned? The bad news is, we’ve all sinned. The Bible even says so in Romans 3:23. Sometimes we don’t tell the truth, or maybe we disobey something we were told to do, whatever the sin is, we all do it.
So how can God still love us if we disobey Him? The Bible says that He wants us to be perfect (Leviticus 20:26), but we can’t be because of our sin. We’re unable to please Him if we can’t be totally sinless and we just can’t do that. But there’s good news!
God loves you. In fact, He loves all of His creation. In John 3:16, He says that He sent His Son, Jesus, to take our punishment for the bad things we’ve done. He did that because He loves us. Do you love people that treat you badly? It’s hard isn’t it? We don’t like to keep caring for people who don’t care for us, but God loves each of us even though we treat Him badly by sinning.
If you understand this one thing, you’ll know a lot about God. When He sent Jesus, it wasn’t only to pay for your sins. Jesus also gave you His perfection if you believe in Him. Remember, you need to be perfect in order to please God, but you can’t do it on your own. Jesus is perfect for you! That means if you believe in Him, you can be God’s friend! The Bible even says that means God adopts you as His own child (John 1:12)!
Read Psalm 118:1-4. How long does God’s love last?
Let’s review Genesis 1:1 one more time. Do you have it memorized yet? “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”