Obadiah

Hello again! Today we’ll be discussing the book of Obadiah.

obadiah

Obadiah was a prophet–that’s someone who talks to God and then tells the people what God wants them to know. Sometimes it’s good news, sometimes…it’s not.

The people of Israel (God’s people He chose to set apart to show as an example of His love) were made up of twelve tribes, or kind of like big families. Most of them had left and followed a different king and Israel split into two parts. Israel fought many wars and the people of most of the tribes of Israel were overtaken and had to move far away. The last family left was the family of Judah.

But even they eventually were captured by the Babylonians. The capital city of Jerusalem (where the temple was and where the king lived) were taken over too. The people who lived nearby were from a place called Edom. The people of Edom came and took all the people of Judah’s stuff–when the city got taken over they took their cows, their houses, their jewelry, their other animals, their toys and beds. The people of Judah ran away but some of the people from Edom would capture them and give them to the king of Babylon so he could put them in jail or even kill them.

This did NOT make God happy.

So Obadiah told the people God’s words. His message was short, but it has two parts. In the first part, he yells at the people of Edom for being mean to the people of Israel. He tells them they should NOT have taken the peoples’ things, they should not break and destroy their towns and that no matter how far they try to hide, God will find them and punish them for the things they did.

The second part of his message was to tell the people of Israel that even though things seemed terrible, that God still had a plan for them. God would bring them (at least some of them) back to Israel. God would restore their things and the land He promised to them. He would give that land back to them.

God is faithful. That means when He says something, He means it and He sticks by it. God promised that land to His people and He was going to make sure it stayed with them. We know if we make bad choices, that God sees those and wants us to make it right. And then sometimes we might face scary or hard times, but we can remember the promises of God: that He loves us, He has good plans for us, and He is in control.

 

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!

Lamentations

Hi all! Today will be our last lesson in the “song books” and then we’ll do a brief study on the nativity to finish out the month.

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Today’s lesson is about the book of Lamentations. The Bible doesn’t say for sure who wrote this book, but most people who study the Bible think Jeremiah the prophet is the author. (For this lesson, we will assume Jeremiah is the writer).

For most of this book, Jeremiah is writing about how sad Jerusalem (the capital city in Israel) has become. After the people disobeyed God, Babylon came in and destroyed Israel and moved most of the people away. Everything was ruined and it was very sad. People were dying, their homes were gone, there was trash and fires, no food, and sadness all around. It was very very sad. Jeremiah was also so sad because the people had disobeyed God. He wasn’t just sad about the consequences, but he was sad that the people had disobeyed.

BUT…Jeremiah remembered that God is loving and forgiving. Let’s read some of what he said…

3:19-33: I remember my suffering and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them, and my soul is sad within me. Yet this I remember and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not done for, for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
I say to myself, “The Lord is all I need; therefore I will wait for Him.”

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LordIt is good for a man to be disciplined while he is young. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust for all the wrong things he has done—there may yet be hope.

Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace.

For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not enjoy bring sadness or grief to anyone.

40-42: 40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LordLet us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven us.”

55-57: I called on Your name, Lordfrom the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”

Jeremiah said it’s important for God to teach us right from wrong. And it is important for us to be really sorry when we disobey God. But when we pray and call out to God, He is there. He forgives us, He loves us…He loves us enough to sometimes give us consequences and teach us how to be more like Him. When we are scared, He says, “Do not fear.” God does not forget us, even when we disobey Him…He listens to us because He is good…everyday He loves us and cares for us. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, He is there and we don’t ever have to be afraid, because we know WHO God is and HOW God is and that He will help us through any sad or hard thing. It is OUR job to obey Him, and when we DO disobey, to make it right with God–to take the consequences and to tell Him sorry and ask Him to forgive us and the Bible says He will. Even when we are not faithful and disobey God, He is ALWAYS faithful and stays with us and loves us.

Lamentations is a good place to end our old testament study because of the reminder that God is with us. After the Israelites came back, they were still being ruled by other people, but they were back in Israel. They continued to only half-way obey God and they let other people tell them who to worship or who to put in charge…for 400 years….but God was there. And He was about to send His son Jesus (Immanuel-which means “God with us”) to make things right once and for all. He was with His people, ready to forgive them and love them every day.

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

Job

Hello again! Before we delve into Exodus, we’re going to add in Job. (Looks like j-ah-b, pronounced like j-oh-b)

There’s an entire book of the Bible for Job, today will just be an overview. Job is about trusting God even through hardships and about God’s sovereignty and faithfulness despite our feelings.

**There is a book called “The Gospel According to Job” by Mike Mason which is a WONDERFUL commentary/devotional which really helps break down the book of Job and I personally found it especially helpful during our years battling infertility.**

Ok, onto the story…

job

 

Job was a man a long long time ago that loved God. He prayed to God, he served God. God had given Job many nice things…a loving wife, 10 children, lots of servants, a big big house, lots of money  and sooooooo many animals.

One day Satan (who used to be one God’s angels but instead became God’s enemy) said to God, “You know…the only reason Job loves you is because you give him so much stuff. If you took all those great things away…I bet he wouldn’t love you anymore.”

“Fine,” God said. “You can take away any of his things…but don’t hurt Job.”

So Satan took away Job’s servants, all his camels and sheep and donkeys and even his children.

Did Job stop loving God? No. Job said, “God gives me things and God can take them away. But I will always praise Him.”

This made Satan angry and again he went to God and said, “Well…if you let me hurt HIM, THEN he won’t love you anymore!”

“Try it, ” answered God.

So Job became sick and his skin was all yucky and very ouchy. But did he stop loving God? No. He STILL worshipped God. Even his wife said, “You should just die! This is too much!” But Job never stopped trusting God. (And even though it seemed like God didn’t care…He still loved Job very VERY much.)

Job had lost EVERYTHING…can you imagine losing all your toys and your house? And even being sick too?

Then Job’s friends came to help him feel better. But they didn’t really help. Instead they said “WOW! You must have been REALLY bad for God to do this to you! What did you do?!”

“I didn’t do anything wrong!” Job said.

“Well God MUST be mad at you. Or maybe you don’t really understand God!” said the friends. ( But THEY didn’t understand what God was doing.)

Job started to wonder if his friends were right…WAS God just mad at him? DOES God care about me?

Then God answered Job from a whirlwind (like a tornado). God said, “Who questions Me? I am God. I have made everything! Every star, every wave in the sea…I am the giver of life…I know where all the stars are…can YOU make lightning? Can YOU  know the farthest parts of space or the deepest parts of the ocean?? I AM God.”

Job stopped. He answered God…”I am nothing. How can I answer you? I will not say anything else.” Job remembered that God is in charge and that it’s ok if we don’t understand God’s plan. God knows. And if we know how much He loves us, then it is easy to trust Him. We know God has good plans for us (Jer 29:11) and that He acts in love towards us. So even if we don’t understand what God does, we can trust in WHO HE IS.

Then God yelled at the 3 friends and made them say sorry. They realized they did NOT know God well.

After that, God gave Job back everything he had lost AND MORE! Job didn’t know God would reward him and give him everything back, but he trusted God anyway. So because of his faithfulness, God gave Job even MORE sheep and camels and cows and donkeys. He had even more money and 10 more children. He lived  a long happy life after that.

 

Sometimes confusing or sad things happen and we think God has forgotten about us. Or maybe we even think God is being mean to us. Maybe we think God is being mean because we have done something bad. Maybe we did do something bad…and we can ask God to forgive us. But sometimes…we won’t know why a sad or scary thing is happening. But we can know that God loves us, wants good things for us, wants to help us be more like Him and that we can always trust Him. And sometimes what we think is good for us is NOT what God knows is good for us. We have to trust HIM. Remember, He made all things and knows all things…we can trust Him.

This song  is from the “what’s in the Bible” series.

This is the story of Job from “The Brick Testament” –a cute website that tells Bible stories using Legos.

 

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Fruit of the Spirit

Welcome again!

Today’s lesson is from Galatians 5.

(Our lesson from last year can be found HERE)

So this time Paul was writing a letter to the Galatians (people who lived in Galatia). In this letter, one of the things Paul reminds the people is to live how God wants them to live. He says before they knew God, they did whatever they wanted. And everyone sins….so what showed was their sin…they were angry, and mean and thought only about themselves. But, he says, once we know God, God’s spirit lives in our heart and we should become more like Him everyday. And that will show too! (How do we get closer to God? We pray and talk to Him! We sing praises to Him and we read the Bible: His words to us).

The things we do that show we are sinful or that show we follow God are called fruit. Just like fruit trees grow and show off fruit, people grow too and show off what’s inside their heart. Sometimes people grow more and more into their bad choices. Sometimes, they grow more and more to be like God. A yucky tree makes yucky fruit and a good healthy tree makes yummy fruit. Just like trees, people who make bad choices show off yucky things and people who make Godly choices will show good things. These are called the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit is what shows when God’s spirit lives in your heart. And the more you become like Him, the more these things will show.

So what ARE the fruits of the Spirit? Paul says they are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

We drew trees with 9 branches and then drew a picture for each fruit as we discussed them.

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Love-heart

Joy-smiley face-(being excited about God’s plans)

Peace-cloud-(not worrying, but trusting God)

Patience-clock-(waiting with a happy heart)

Kindness-flower

Goodness-halo-(obeying God)

Faithfulness-mountain-(always trusting God, not loving other things more than God)

Gentleness-lamb

Self-Control-tongue-(being able to take time to make good decisions, not just doing whatever we want right away. We drew a tongue for this one because it can be very hard to think before you use your words to make sure you are using NICE words).

 

And since these are fruits of the Spirit…that means this is what God is like! If we are like Him, we will show these things and He is love, He is joy, He is peace, He is patient, He is kind, He is good, He is faithful, He is gentle, and He has complete self-control.

Also:

We like THIS VIDEO from the “What’s in the Bible” series.

There is also THIS SONG from Steve Green’s “Hide ’em in your heart” album.

 

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!