Read: 1 Corinthians 15:35-44
"Mom, I wish I could explain to little Lindsey about colors," said Maxwell with
a sigh. "This afternoon I mentioned that the sky was so blue, but she couldn't
understand what that meant."
"I know. Lindsey doesn't see color because she's blind," said Mom. "But her
other senses seem to be more keen than ours. For one thing, she recognizes
people by their footsteps or voice. We couldn't do that with very many people!"
Just then Brian burst into the kitchen. "Can I have a cookie, please?" he
begged, opening the cookie jar.
"Yes, but just one," agreed Mom. "What did you learn at Bible club today,
"About heaven," replied Brian, after swallowing a mouthful of cookie. "But
I don't understand it very well."
"I don't understand it, either," said Maxwell. "I can't quite picture what we'll
be doing there all the time."
Mom thought hard. "Maxwell," she said slowly, "remember how difficult-even
impossible-it is for Lindsey to understand what colors are? In the same
way, it's impossible for us to understand exactly what heaven is like. It's a
completely different world, and we can't totally know what it will be like."
"What if we don't like it?" asked Brian, only half joking.
Mom smiled. "Do you think Lindsey would hesitate if she had the chance
"Of course not," said Maxwell and Brian at the same time.
"But she doesn't understand what it's like to be able to see," Mom told them.
"No, but she knows that sight is something wonderful," said Maxwell, "even
though she doesn't quite understand it. She knows it's great because of what we
tell her about it."
"And we know that heaven is going to be wonderful because of the thingsGod tells us about it," replied Mom. "All our comparisons and descriptions fall far
short of the glorious reality of heaven." MTF
* * *
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you ever wonder and question and argue-and even worry-about heaven and how life
there will be different from your life here on earth? Although heaven will certainly be different,
be assured that it will be wonderful and far better than life on earth.
HEAVEN WILL BE
"Now we see but a poor reflection as
in a mirror; then we shall see face to
face. Now I know in part; then I shall
know fully, even as I am fully known."
1 Corinthians 13:12, NIV
Read: Joshua 24:14-16
"Want me to feed Celina today?" Miguel asked his mother.
"Sure, thanks," replied Mom, as she handed Miguel a baby spoon and jar of
"Open wide," Miguel said, dipping the spoon into the baby food jar and putting
a spoonful of the peas into Celina's mouth. Celina spit the green peas back
out. "Hey! You're supposed to eat them!" scolded Miguel. He tried to put another
spoonful of peas into her mouth, but she clamped her lips shut and turned her
Mom chuckled. "You can keep offering them to her, but if she won't accept
them, I'm afraid you can't make her eat them." She took a jar from the cupboard
and handed it to Miguel. "Here, try some carrots instead."
Miguel held out some carrots to Celina. This time Celina opened her mouth
and accepted a spoonful. After that she willingly took some more. "See. They're
good," said Miguel. "And they're good for you, too, aren't they, Mom?"
"Yes, they are," Mom agreed, "but babies don't realize that we know what's
good for them, so they don't always want to accept what we offer."
Miguel turned to look at his mom. "Our youth pastor said we're something
like that," Miguel told her. "He said God loves us and knows what's best for us,
and he wants us to believe in Jesus as Savior and to serve him. But God lets us
choose whether or not we want to accept him and serve him."
Mom nodded. "That's right. Just like Celina decided whether or not to accept
the food you offered her, we decide whether or not to accept Jesus and receive the
salvation God offers us," she said. "And after we do accept him, we have to decide
whether to faithfully live for him and serve him." GJT
* * *
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? Have you decided to serve him all of your life? Or
are you turning your head-and heart-away? God loves you and knows it's best for you to
not only have Jesus in your life, but also to spend your life serving him. Why not "open wide"?
Decide today to receive him as Savior, and then give your life in service for him.
DECIDE TO LOVE
AND SERVE JESUS
"Choose for yourselves this day whom
you will serve." Joshua 24:15, NIV
THE BEST ANSWER
Read: Romans 8:26-28
It hadn't been a good day for Michael. Nothing seemed to be any fun since his
best friend, Daniel, had moved away. "Please, dear God," prayed Michael that
night, "let Daniel come back and live here again."
"I know you miss Daniel very much," commented Dad as he tucked Michael
into bed, "but I don't think his family is going to move back here."
"Yes, they will," Michael said confidently. "I asked God to bring them back,
and he'll answer my prayer, won't he?"
"Yes," agreed Dad. "God always answers prayer, but his answer isn't always
what we want it to be." After a moment, he asked, "Do you remember the time
your puppy ran out the front gate and almost got hit by a car? Why do you
suppose he did that?"
"I remember," Michael said. "Kipper came out because he wanted to be where
"If that was what he wanted, why didn't you let him stay outside the fence
with you?" asked Dad.
"Because he wouldn't be safe there," Michael answered promptly. "Kipper
doesn't know enough to stay on the sidewalk like I do."
Dad nodded. "So even though Kipper wanted to be outside the fence,
you knew better," he said. "That's the way God is. His answer to our prayers
sometimes has to be 'no' because he knows what's best for us."
"But why wouldn't God want Daniel to come back?" Michael asked. "That
couldn't be bad for me."
"But it might not be best for Daniel's family. His father had been out of work
until he found a good job in another state," replied Dad. "Instead of praying that
Daniel will come back, perhaps you should be asking God to help him and his
family adjust to their new home."
Slowly Michael nodded. "And I'll ask God to help me find a new best friend,
too," he decided. KRA
* * *
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you think God should answer all your prayers exactly the way you want? If things don't go
your way, do you think God doesn't care? That's not true. He does care, and he knows what is
best for you. So even when God's answer to your prayer is "no," trust him and believe that his
way is best.
"And we know that God causes everything
to work together for the good
of those who love God and are called
according to his purpose for them."
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Read: 1 Timothy 5:1-44
"Hey, pass the gravy." Andrew interrupted the conversation at dinner.
Dad frowned. "Didn't you notice that your mother and I were talking?" he
asked. "You interrupted us."
"Well, sor-ree," said Andrew, stressing the second syllable of the word. "But
pass the gravy. I need some more."
Mom shook her head. "Whatever happened to saying 'please'?"
"Okay," replied Andrew. "Please may I have the gravy?" He rolled his eyes.
"It's not like we're out in a restaurant or anything," he complained.
"Would you use better manners in a restaurant?" asked Dad.
"Well, yeah," answered Andrew, "or . like . if I was at somebody's house
for dinner. You don't expect me to be all proper and everything around here at
home, do you?"
"Actually," answered Dad, "yes, I do. You seem to think you should respect
only people outside your own family-that you need to use good manners only
when you're around other people. But the Bible says you are to honor your
parents, and developing good manners is one way of showing honor and respect."
Andrew stared at his dad. "But ."
"Home is also the perfect place for you to learn to do good and make right
choices," added Mom. "Home is where you should be practicing the right way to
"A football player practices to get in shape for the Super Bowl," said Dad,
"and a figure skater practices to get in shape for the Olympics. In the same way,
here at home you should practice doing things right so that in school or in the
neighborhood or wherever you are, you'll be in shape to behave correctly." He
paused. "Do you understand what we're saying? Do you have any questions?"
Andrew looked thoughtful. After a moment, he grinned. "Yes," he said. "May
I please have some more of that delicious gravy?" BH
* * *
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Does your behavior at home show that you honor your parents? You should be polite, thoughtful,
and kind wherever you are, especially at home. That will please your parents, but best of
all, it will please God. And it will prepare you to be polite wherever you are.
"Children . should learn first of all
to put their religion into practice by
caring for their own family . for this
is pleasing to God." 1 Timothy 5:4, NIV
THE BEST COMPUTER
Read: Job 38:4-7; 41:11
Tyler stared at his dad's computer screen. "A boy in my class-Jared-says we're
smarter than God," he said. "He says if we can invent computers, we can do
anything. I told him we will always need God. Won't we, Dad?"
"Yes, but I'm afraid lots of people think the way Jared does," answered Dad.
"Tyler, do you think this computer can give us the answer to the question you
"Not unless somebody programmed it to answer that question," Tyler replied.
"And the answer would depend on who programmed it. The computer can't think
Dad rubbed his chin. "So the computer can't be any smarter than the person
who programs it?"
"Right," agreed Tyler.
"Do you know when the first computer was built?" asked Dad. Tyler shook
his head. "It happened thousands of years ago," said Dad. "That first computer
was built into Adam, and it was called a 'brain.' Who programmed it?"
"God did," answered Tyler.
"Right," said Dad. "Do you think the human brain could be smarter than the
one who programmed it?"
"No," Tyler said.
"Right again," said Dad. "You know, Tyler, when the mechanical computer
was first invented, people called it an electronic brain. They were copying God's
idea. But God made it better than humans ever will. In fact, the human brain is
still much more powerful than any electronic computer."
"Really?" asked Tyler. He sighed. "I can hardly remember my locker number,
but this computer remembers everything."
"That's because we humans only use a very small percentage of our brain
power," Dad told him.
"Why is that?" asked Tyler.
Dad looked uncertain. "I don't know. Maybe God decided we weren't
responsible enough to use it all," he suggested.
Tyler grinned. "Yeah," he said. "If we did, maybe more people would get the
idea that they were smarter than him." HMT
* * *
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Did you know that you own one of the most powerful computers in the world? Your brain is
more wonderfully designed than anything humans can create. Nothing has been done that
God hasn't thought of first. People believe they can do anything with computers, but the truth
is, they can't do anything without God. He is-and always will be-the all-powerful and all-knowing
"For apart from me you can do
nothing." John 15:5
Read: Psalm 139:1-12
Joel lay on the sofa, his bald head a circle against the white pillow. Medical
treatments had caused his hair to fall out. His mother looked over at him just
as a tear slid down his cheek. "What's wrong, honey?" she asked. "Not feeling so
"I'm scared," replied Joel in a trembling voice. "It seems like God has gone
away. Ever since I got sick, it feels as if he isn't here at all."
"It may feel like that," Mom said, "but God promises to always be with us. It's
hard sometimes to keep praying and trusting him, but we need to do that." She
sat down beside Joel. "The way you feel isn't surprising, though," added Mom. "It
reminds me of something that happened to me when I was little."
"Were you sick, too?" asked Joel.
Mom shook her head. "No. I was with my family on a train trip," she said.
"We stopped in a city, and my daddy got off the train. I remember watching for
him to come back, afraid that the train would leave without him. I was so relieved
when I saw him walk past the window. But a few minutes later, we started
moving, and he wasn't yet with us. I was terrified because I thought we had left
"So did you?" asked Joel.
"No, but it certainly felt like it," said Mom. "Even though my mother kept
saying she knew my daddy was on the train, I couldn't quite believe her. I cried
until he walked back into the car. I would have saved myself a lot of worry if I had
trusted my mom's word. And God's Word is more trustworthy than any person's.
We can believe it when God says he'll never leave us."
"Show me where it says that," said Joel. "I want to read it for myself." VEN