Do you know that the MOST important thing you can do is read the BIBLE! The Bible is no ordinary book. In fact, there has never been a book like it, and there NEVER EVER will be! Because the Bible is ALIVE! Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
The Bible is the only book that “speaks to you” when you read it. It knows the thoughts hidden deep inside your heart! And when you read it, the HOLY SPIRIT Himself speaks to YOU while you are reading. Sometimes reading it makes you feel happy, and sometimes reading it makes you feel sad. It is one amazing book! The Bible has all the information you will EVER need to know to live on this Earth. Reading the Bible will: Help you overcome sin and temptation, give you peace, give you direction, and teach you how to love one another, so the enemy will try to keep you from reading it!
The Bible is a very exciting book! It has stories about miracles, healings, people coming back from the dead, food multiplying, water appearing from a rock, and many other supernatural events. It tells how God parted the sea so His people could run away from an evil Pharaoh. It also tells how a staff became a snake, how Moses commanded frogs and flies to cover the cities, and even how the water in the Nile River was turned to blood.
The Bible is a book about good versus evil. It is full of battles between God’s angels and Satan's demons. If you like superhero stories, there are plenty of them too, of men with superpower strength, men who could walk on water, and some that could run faster than a horse. Three kids were thrown into a fire and did not get burned, and one man slept with hungry lions and did not get eaten. If that’s not enough, a small shepherd boy killed a giant with his slingshot and saved a nation. If you like romance, there are some of the greatest love stories of all time in the Bible too, even the story of an orphaned girl who became a queen. The best part of all is ….ALL of these stories in the Bible are TRUE!
The Bible not only tells us exactly how the world BEGAN; it also tells us exactly how the world will END too. So, get out that Bible…and start reading!
A Note to Parents:
Are you familiar with the scripture Joel 2:28? “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions”…This scripture says that in the last days, our children will be prophesying! What does that mean? That means that the Holy Spirit Himself will fill the children with His power, and they will be speaking the words that God wants them to say. The Bible also says they will begin to do great signs and miracles with the powers of the age to come! So, when will all this happen? The Holy Spirit is already beginning to stir the hearts of the children around the world for the supernatural! You better believe the enemy knows this, and he ALREADY has a plan in place to capture these “chosen ones” to warp their minds and turn them to himself. (through witchcraft in cartoons, games, books, music, and more)
Do WE have a plan in place to “TRAIN-UP” our children? As parents, pastors, and teachers today, what are we doing to prepare our children for this GREAT “Supernatural Work” that God has promised them?
Unfortunately, there has not been material for kids concerning the supernatural. Most of our churches today don’t teach about Bible prophecy or what we should expect to happen in the last days. You can start by opening the Bible to the book of Acts and read what happened to the early church. Explain to your kids that the very same thing is going to happen again. But this time, it will be seven times greater, and they will be leading the way!
Introduce your children to God’s supernatural world that He has waiting for them and teach them how to experience it for themselves. You will be surprised how quickly the children will respond as they believe with their childlike faith. Every time I have taught children about God’s plan for the last days, supernatural things have happened. Many children have experienced visions, dreams, and their spiritual eyes being opened. Many have openly seen angels appearing and have even seen Jesus. Several have been caught up to Heaven where one child was actually healed by Jesus Himself.
Remember, the enemy has a plan for our children: to kill, steal, and destroy them! We MUST make it our priority to prepare our children for their destiny!
Most of us have heard about the Fruits of the Spirit. But can you EVER tell if any of the Fruits of the Spirit are growing in YOUR life? Yes, you can, and so can everyone around you. In fact, others may see a change in you before you even get the chance to notice it for yourself. Let’s look at the very first Fruit of the Spirit, LOVE. It is mentioned first because it is the most important fruit of all. You see, Jesus himself said this about love, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength and Love your neighbor as yourself.” That’s a lot of love! He went on to say, “THAT is the greatest commandment of all time and whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.” So how can you love like that?
The Bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not get jealous, it does not brag, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”
So, loving someone means you always want the best for THEM; even if YOU have to give up something you really want. Jesus loved us so much He gave up His very own life. That is the greatest love of all! It’s easy loving people who love you back. But what about loving those who are mean to you? Should you love them? Your enemies? Jesus said, Yes, “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you. If anyone slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other cheek, too. If someone takes your coat, do not stop him from taking your shirt. Give to everyone who asks you, and when someone takes something that is yours, don’t ask for it back. Do to others what you would want them to do to you.” Luke 6:27-32
This is how Jesus loves! I know this sounds hard. In fact, you probably can’t do it alone. That is why Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to live inside of us and give us the strength to love like He loves. It is absolutely possible!
Do you wonder if God is even listening when you pray? Do you sometimes feel like your prayers are not being answered? Maybe you’ve been praying wrong! God’s NOT a drive-up window that you place your order through. You don’t give Him a list of things that tells Him what to do! So exactly how DO we pray a prayer that we know that God will hear?
Let me start by telling you what I always tell my kids. “You don’t HAVE to pray; you GET to pray!” Did you know that prayer is actually an “Audience with the King?” Would you like to know how to meet with Him?
The first thing you need to do before you pray is humble yourself before Him. Ask Jesus to come and forgive you for any sin you may have done in the past. Don’t rush through this important step because the Bible says, “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.” Isaiah 59:2. If you will take some time to wait on Him, the Holy Spirit will begin to show you the things in your life you need to ask forgiveness for.
Next, take some time to thank the Lord for all the wonderful things He has done for you. It can be the big things and the small things. Thank Him for the things He does for you every day that you take for granted: air to breathe, food to eat, clothes to wear, a place to live, etc. We call these Prayers of Thanksgiving!
Now, tell Him how wonderful He is! How very great and powerful He is, and how much you love Him! You can even sing a little song to Him. He LOVES that! We call that Praise!
Now that you have thanked and praised Him, the gate to His presence will open for you! The Bible says we can, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4
Now you have God’s attention. He has invited you through His gate for your audience with the King!
Does God still speak to people today as He did in the Bible days? Actually, God is always speaking, and He has a lot to say! There are things He’d like to tell you each and every day. But if God is Always speaking, why can’t we hear His voice? Some think that God has somehow changed and that He doesn’t speak to people like He once did. The truth is God IS speaking, and He’s calling out to you. The problem is NOT with God; the problem is with you! So how CAN you learn how to hear the voice of God?
Most of us do not hear from God because we are just too busy! Yes, we may take the time each day to pray. But sadly, even our prayers are something we usually hurry through. The secret to hearing from God is learning how to WAIT on Him. Waiting on God opens the door to an audience with Him.
How do we learn to wait on Him? Simple, just wait! Start by finding a quiet place away from everyone and everything that may be distracting to you. Turn off the music and TV and get comfortable. I personally have a prayer closet where I go to meet with Him every day. Maybe it’s a special chair or on your bed. You may even find a quiet place outdoors you would like to go.
Once you are there, take a moment to worship Him. Tell Him how great He is and how much you love Him. Sing a song to Him! He would love that! He loves hearing from us! When you are finished with your worship, just ask Him to speak to you. Tell Him that you are here and willing to wait for Him to come! Then just wait! You will need to sit VERY still and try to clear your mind of all your thoughts. This will be difficult at first, but the more you practice, the better you will get. Remember, waiting is the secret to opening the door to an audience with the King. So, expect Him to come, and very soon He will!
When I asked the students in my Sunday school class if they could tell me what the Fruit of the Spirit was, not a single one of them knew the correct answer. Well, one thing we did find out, it's NOT a Coconut!
Actually, the Fruit of the Spirit is not a fruit at all but something that can grow in you even when you're small. This special fruit is something that you cannot grow or buy, or even make it on your own no matter how you try. So, WHAT is the Fruit of the Spirit, and HOW does it grow?
The Bible says, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." Galatians 5:22-23
Ok, so we know the names of them…. But how much do we really know about the Fruits of the Spirit? Are they really all that important? Where do they come from? Can just anyone have the Fruit of the Spirit? Let's look at what the Bible says about them.
First, FRUIT IS IMPORTANT! Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit...and so proves to be my disciples.” John 15:8
When you bear good fruit, it proves you have been Born Again. Jesus Himself said that it was ALL about the fruit. He said everyone will produce some kind of fruit in their lives. (good or bad) The ones that produce the good fruit belong to Him. The ones that produce the bad fruit do NOT belong to Him and will be cast in the fire. (hell)
SO, WHAT MAKES THE GOOD FRUIT GROW?
Good fruit begins to grow when you are Born Again. The Holy Spirit Himself comes and lives inside of your heart. He starts out like a tiny seed. Then, as you water and fertilize Him, He grows larger and larger. It won't be long before He starts to bloom and begin to grow fruit. This fruit may be small at first, but it will keep growing until it's beautiful, tasty, and ready to share with others. How do you fertilize Him, you ask? The best way to fertilize Him is to spend time talking with Him, to praise and worship Him, to learn about Him, to listen to Him, and to always obey God's Word.
WHAT IS BAD FRUIT?
Bad fruit would be the opposite of good fruit. This would include hate, sadness, worrying, a bad temper, being mean to others, doing bad things or breaking the law, lying and not keeping promises, being rough and rowdy, and having no self-control. When you see someone who acts this way all of the time, the Bible says, they are not followers of the Lord Jesus, and they are not going to Heaven.
So, if you want to know who is REALLY a follower of Jesus today, just look for their fruit, because the FRUIT NEVER LIES!
Do you know that there is a book in Heaven about you? Before you were even born, God wrote a book about every day of your life! It’s true! The Bible says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16
This book is your DESTINY! Would you like to know what it says? Would you like to know who your friends will be, where you will live, what you should study in school, and what things you will be GREAT doing? How about what you will BE when you grow up and whether you will marry and have kids of your own one day? If you want to know THESE answers, then you will have to ask the ONE who wrote your book. His name is God! How do you go about asking Him something? Good question! I can answer that! But first, there is something very important I think you need to know.
Just like God has a plan for your life, do you know that the ENEMY (the devil) has a plan for your life too? He certainly does! His plan is simply this…to kill, steal, and destroy you. Jesus said this in the Bible, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10
Now, the devil’s plan never looks dangerous at first. As a matter of fact, he is pretty tricky, and he has a way to make his plan look REALLY good on the outside. That is why you must be very careful about the friends you keep and the decisions you make. You will have to decide EVERY DAY whose plan you want to follow.
So how can you talk to God and find out what your destiny will be? Simple, it’s called PRAYER! Prayer is just talking to God. The Bible says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8 That is a promise God made to us, and God cannot lie!
Begin your prayers by thanking Him for the wonderful things He has made for you to enjoy. Make sure to tell Him how GREAT and mighty He is and how much you LOVE Him. That is called Praise! He really likes it when you praise Him. Praise “opens up” the door to an audience with the King, God Himself! Now you can start by talking to Him just like you do your best friend. Talk about your day, your friends, school, sports, and even your family. Learning to talk with God is a great start!