Tag Archives: Jesus

An Enthusiastic Follower of Jesus

The Apostle Peter was an enthusiastic follower of Jesus. When many of the disciples turned their backs on JESUS, because they weren’t willing to pay the price of discipleship, the Lord asked his intimate group of followers if they too would leave.

The impulsive and enthusiastic Peter answered for them all.

 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:68,69

“Lord, to whom shall we go?” There is no one like our precious Lord Jesus. What a privilege to know and serve Him!

Our relationship with God inspires enthusiasm. One meaning of the word is “to have God on the inside.” With God’s help we can emanate the fragrance of enthusiasm. After meeting Jesus, Andrew, Peter’s brother, runs with enthusiasm to tell the news, “We have found the Messiah!”

Let’s communicate this enthusiasm to our children and students. Let’s spread the spirit of sharing with family and friends the good news of the gospel.

Peter had some interesting experiences. Who else has walked on water? Who has retrieved from the mouth of a fish the money needed for taxes? The coin that Peter found in the fish’s mouth was exactly the amount that Jesus and Peter needed.

God knows our needs. Let’s trust Him for provision. Let’s inspire our students to follow Christ with enthusiasm, to be faithful to Him in all circumstances.

Two amazing miracles of fish-supply happened to Peter the fisherman. One, when Jesus called him to be a fisher of men (Luke 5:1-11). Second, when Jesus appeared on the beach after the resurrection and had breakfast ready for his friends (John 21:1-14).

On that occasion, Peter, who had denied his Master three times, had to declare three times his love. Jesus gave him a most precious commission, to feed his sheep and his lambs (vs. 15-19).

The Most Important Question

In this story, our little friend Albert, known as Salt, has been thinking about Fragrance and the words they have learned so far: Love, Kindness, Compassion, Generosity, Enthusiasm… When Salt wonders how he can practice that fragrance in his life, the thought occurs, “What would Jesus do?”

The verse for the week talks about doing and saying everything in the name of Jesus. It’s like asking, What would Jesus do? What would Jesus say?

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

The question of what Jesus would do has followed me since my teen years. In today’s story this question comes to life again.

In the previous story we talked about Peter’s enthusiasm. His enthusiasm made him promise Jesus that he would never leave Him, that he was willing to die for Him.

When the day came that Jesus was arrested, Peter followed Him from afar all the way to the courthouse of the high priest. That night, warming himself by the fire in the courtyard, Peter three times denied knowing Jesus. And then the rooster crowed.

From where he was in courtyard, Jesus looked at Peter. It must have been a look of pure love, a look that totally overwhelmed Peter. He went outside and wept bitterly. Peter, who so enthusiastically promised to be faithful to Jesus, had failed him. That must have been his saddest day. But Christ Jesus loved him and forgave him.

God promises in his Word that although we are unfaithful, He remains faithful. And he always keeps his promises. Praise his name!

Welcome to read the Treasure Club stories 41 & 42.

Let Your Light Shine

In October the days get shorter and darker, but even darker as Halloween celebration approaches. Death and the Prince of Darkness are celebrated with skeletons, black cats, spiders, and witches… Nothing uplifting for the soul.

We have been called to be light in the darkness. “You are the light of the world,” said Jesus, at the same time declaring that He is the light of the world.

For Halloween, my friend Anita, a retired missionary from Peru who lives in Sweden, asked me to make a candle bookmark that she could give to the children who would come knocking at her door asking for treats.

English:  Jesus loves you candle      A4 size paper:  Jesus loves you candle A4

Spanish, Jesus light:  Jesus luz del mundo vela   A4:  Jesus luz del mundo vela A4

Spanish, Jesus loves you:  Jesus te ama vela     A4:  Jesus te ama vela A4

My friend also asked for a poster to put on the door. I’ve made it in color and also for coloring. For smaller size there are two per page.

English:  Jesus light of the world poster     A4:   Jesus light of the world poster

Spanish:   Jesus luz del mundo poster     A4:  Jesus luz del mundo poster

Two per page for coloring : Jesus the light 2 x pg      A4: Jesus the light 2 x pg

Anytime, every day, all the time we should let our light shine.

 

A Boy’s Prayer for His Dad

My blessings to all the wonderful Dads on their special day! We need each one of you. Your family needs you.

Here is a story I wrote five years ago. I’m sharing it again to remind us of one of Jesus’ many promises:

“I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about something
and pray for it, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”

Matthew 18:19, NCV

Hopefully this story will inspire you and your family, to take hold of Jesus’ promise and agree in prayer. I know by personal experience how wonderful this promise is. I have practiced ir many time.

To print the story: 32 Alex’s Prayer

Alex was worried. When his father came home from work each day they usually played ball. He was always cheerful and jovial, and sometimes he told jokes as the family sat around the dinner table. But lately he came home from work in a bad mood and didn’t want to play with Alex and his sister and brothers. All he did after dinner was watch television.

“Mom, what did I do to Dad? He doesn’t want to play with me anymore,” Alex asked his mom.

“Son, you haven’t done anything,” she replied with some concern.

“Well, why is Dad not happy and cheerful like before?”

“He’s worried, Son. His boss is treating him very badly. The boss can’t fire him but he’s making life miserable for your dad. I think his boss is hoping he’ll get tired of it and look for another job.”

“I’ll pray for Dad,” said Alex.

ALEX PRAYED EVERY NIGHT

The days passed. Alex prayed every night for a solution to his father’s problem. One Sunday, in his Bible class, the teacher talked about prayer and a promise that Jesus made. Jesus said if two or more people agree about anything they ask, our Heavenly Father hears and answers.

Alex thought for several days about what the teacher had said. He decided to talk to his mom about the problem his dad had at work. He asked, “Mom, can’t you and I pray the way Jesus told us to?”

“What do you mean, Son? What is concerning you that you want to pray about?” asked his mother.

“Well, Jesus said that two or more people can agree and pray together about anything. Could we pray about Dad’s job? Marsha and John and Jamie can pray too!”

THEY ALL AGREED

And that’s just what they did. Every afternoon when Alex and Marsha arrived home from school, mom met everyone in the family room and they prayed for Dad. Jamie was small and was just learning to talk, so all he said was, “My Dada.” But he prayed with his hands together and his eyes shut. John prayed earnestly, “Dear God, help my dad to be happy in his work.” Alex and Marsha agreed with him.

Monday through Friday they all prayed together. Since Dad was home on Saturday and Sunday, each one prayed individually. Alex did not let a day pass without praying.

 A BIG SURPRISE

One day there was a big surprise at dinner time! Dad told a joke that made everyone laugh. Jamie was too young to understand the joke, but he laughed anyway because he saw the others laughing. “Ha, ha, ha!” he said.

Another day, Dad came home from work and wanted play ball with Alex. And boy did shoot some great hoops!

Gradually he returned to the cheerful and jovial father he had been before. It was a great joy for Alex and his siblings to have a happy dad again!

“Dad, you’re back to your old self. What happened?” Alex asked one day.

“Forgive me, Son, for making you sad,” Dad replied. “We have a new boss at work now. The former boss treated me very bad and made me cranky. This boss treats me well and I am happy again.”

“Dad, we have prayed for you,” said Alex. “All during the week we met with mom to pray. Jamie could only say, ‘My Dada’, but I think God understood his prayer too.”

“Thank you so much, Son. It’s a good thing my family knows how to pray!”

“We did what Jesus said. We agreed in prayer for you to be happy in your work. We wanted to have a dad who was happy at work AND at home.”

DAD ASKED FORGIVENESS

That evening, at dinner time, dad apologized to his family for making them so sad and worried. “I will take you for ice cream,” de said. You deserve that and much more for putting up with me when I was in a bad mood AND for praying for me.”

“Hurray!” they shouted.

After helping mom clean the table and wash the dishes, the family left for the ice cream shop. Marsha took Jamie’s hand so he wouldn’t run into the street. Alex and John hooked arms. Mom and Dad were happily holding hands as they all walked together.

Alex thanked God for answering their prayers. More than anything he gave God thanks for giving him such a wonderful dad, even though he had been in a bad mood for a while.

Several of Alex’s friends have no dad. Alex prayed for them to understand that God is their Heavenly Father who cares about them deeply and wants to take care of them forever.

Never forget Jesus’ promise:

“I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about something
and pray for it, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”
Matthew 18:19, NCV

Love and blessings!

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Author: kelund

My name is Kerstin Anderas-Lundquist. I was born in Sweden to Per & Brita Anderas, on March 6, 1946. In 1948 we left to begin a missionary life in Chile; in 1956 we moved on to Peru. On May 1, 1969 I married an all-Swedish guy from Karslkrona: Bengt Göran Emanuel Lundquist. God blessed us with two daughters: Eva-Marie Elizabeth and Ruth Carina. We served as missionaries in Peru and Bolivia. In 1988 we moved to the United States to work at Life Publishers in Miami, Florida. I was to assist in developing the line of Sunday School Curriculm in Spanish known as Vida Nueva. I live in Springfield, Missouri, and am retired from work at the Assemblies of God Headquarters. My husband and daughter Eva-Marie have been promoted to Heaven. Carina is married to Thom Cole and they have given me four gourgeous grandchildren, even five (teen-age John). I will be writing about my life, past and present, blended with visions for the future. My deepest desire is to spread the “seed of love”–inspiration to serve God and our neighbors with love and compassion.

Murmurings, Consequences, and Mercy

We have a gracious and merciful God. He had a merciful and humble servant. Year after year Moses endured complaining from the people of Israel. In the previous story he was upset and stroke the rock instead of talking to it.

Moses was not perfect–sometimes enough is enough! Now the people were complaining again, unhappy for the food God sent to them every morning, and once again in need of water. Water was a constant need. Men cannot live without water (women need even more!).

From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.

And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. Numbers 21:4-9

This was a foreshadow of the greatest gift to come. Jesus was lifted up on the Cross so that everyone who is bit by sin can lift up their eyes and look at Him and live. Praise the Lord, that is all of us!

The murmurings brought consequences–death in the camp! But our merciful God sent a means of salvation. “Lift up your eyes, look at the bronze serpent and live!”

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [see chapter 11], let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Welcome to read the story about the bronze serpent. Next time will be the last story of THE GREAT ESCAPE. But there is more… They need to reach the Promised Land! So we will have a series about conquering Canaan. I hope you will continue to follow us.

May the Lord bless you abundantly!

The story for the day, #14 in THE GREAT ESCAPE: The Bronze Serpent

 

 

 

Are You Thirsty? There Are Springs of Living Water

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Psalm 42:1,2

Imagine yourself in the desert with millions of people, all in search of water. The search lasts three days, when at last you reach a water source, but it’s bitter! What a disappointment! Your throat is burning with thirst… but drinking bitter water? No way! That’s worse than not drinking water at all!

That’s what the Israelites experienced in the desert. They started complaining against Moses. It was no small thing to deal with thirsty people. It has been estimated that the water supply they needed on a daily basis represents 300 train tank wagons. This was not weekly or monthly, but daily! They would have needed 30 train wagons with food, but God sent bread from heaven to supply that need. God also watched over his people to give them water.

When they reached Marah, and the waters were bitter, God showed Moses a piece of wood that would heal the waters. When he threw it in the waters, the water became sweet. After Marah they arrived at Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees. What a refreshing place in the desert heat!

Elim, a place of springs and palm trees

Today’s story is about the rock that accompanied Israel, the rock from which water gushed out. Paul writes in a letter to the church in Corinth that the spiritual rock that followed them was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:1-5). The incident that I cover in today’s story shows the faithfulness of God, even though his servant was unfaithful. Even though we are unfaithful, the Lord remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:11-13). How precious!

God wanted to show the people his glory, but Moses was overcome by anger. That can happen to anyone, especially if someone is under the pressure that Moses felt.

Once again the people were thirsty and there was no water. But there was a rock! God had already given them water from that rock, when Moses hit it. This time God told him to speak to the rock and water would gush forth. But anger overtook him, and Moses hit the rock, twice! God was faithful and gave water to his people. But Moses paid the consequences of his disobedience. He and his brother Aaron would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land.

It may seem a cruel punishment for the man who bore the burden of leading that rebellious people for forty years to the land of promise. The rock that accompanied them was Christ. On the cross Jesus was wounded and beaten to give us the water of life. We just have to “speak” to let the rivers of water flow in our hearts.

Are you thirsty? There are springs of living water. “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1,2).

May we daily thirst for God and seek more and more of Jesus.

To expand on this topic, read:
John 4:13,14; 6:35; 7:37,38; Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 5:6; Revelation 21:6; 22:17.

Texts for today’s theme: Exodus 15:22-27; 17:1-7; Numbers 20:1-13.

I have a testimony that has to do with the verse that I have chosen for today’s story. It happened in 1975, when our little family had moved to Chaclacayo, in Peru. My brother Lasse and his friend Marco (my assistant Cristina’s father) were helping us paint the rooms. There was a problem, a very short supply of water. One morning, in our devotional time, we read the passage from Exodus 23:20-25. I hadn’t noticed before the promise in those verses, but when we came to verse 25, I jumped up and cried out in excitement, because of the words that God would bless our bread and our “water.” I took it personally, and during the time we lived in that house, we had the water we needed!

Are you thirsty? Jesus is the great spring of living water. Whoever comes to him will never thirst again!

Welcome to read the Great Escape story #13:  Water from a Rock

 

I am sad to inform you that our beloved artist Absalom did not recover from the infection he had and moved from the hospital to his heavenly home. Thank you for your prayers. He will be greatly missed. Some plans will have to change but the Lord will continue to lead this ministry and provide the help I need, no doubt about that. Please pray for Absalom’s family in Costa Rica.

 

 

Celebrating Heaven

Jasper, sapphire, agate, emerald, onyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, amethyst…

Imagine a city with these precious stones as the foundation, a city of pure gold, like polished glass, a city with walls of jasper. The gates are pearls; each gate is a pearl. A river of water bright as crystal flows through the middle of the street. On either side of the river is a tree that produces twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. That is the holy city of God, the New Jerusalem.

Read Revelation 21 & 22 to prepare for this story.

This week. Let’s have a party to celebrate the wonder of heaven. You might want to decorate the classroom, prepare a snack, have some prizes… in short, do anything the children would love as a party!

In today’s story, Miss Beatrice has decorated the room where the Club meets to give an appearance of heaven, with gold and silver colors. Actually, there should be all kinds of colors.

There are people who, by God’s favor, have “visited” heaven (usually because they died in an accident and then returned to life). I have heard several such testimonies, and what these people describe about the colors is that they are so vibrant that colors on earth pale. Everything here pales in comparison with the heavenly home that awaits us.

Miss Beatrice wanted to celebrate that the children had received Jesus as Savior. Just as there is celebration in heaven when a sinner repents, she wanted to celebrate with a party and talk about heaven. She sent invitation cards to the children. Recently a friend of mine did this for her Sunday school class when she would be talking about heaven.

I did the card for her and have made copies for you, too. Maybe you would like to use this idea. There is text on the front. On the back you can print information or write something personal. I have also done a card that you can fold to write inside. A personal note shows a child that her/his teacher cares so much as to send a personal greeting.

There are cards to color, if you want the children to make cards and invite friends for a party or lesson.

I’m also including patterns for crowns.

The children can choose from different patterns.

A PowerPoint celebrates that Pepper is born again. He’s so happy to know the Lord, he imagines himself walking with Jesus in heaven. I hope this can be useful for you.

Pepper imagining about heaven.

I would love to get some feedback. Please send me a comment about how you use the stories. Pictures would be very appreciated.

Welcome to read the Salt and Pepper story #25: A Special Invitation

Next week we will add a new friend to the Club. A girl with Down syndrome will become Daisy’s friend. I believe it’s significant to show that all children are important and special in the eyes of God.

Looking ahead, this Spring we will have a series of 15 stories about a boy and a girl who cross the Red Sea and start on the Wilderness Journey. See Exodus 12 through 22, 32 and some stories from Numbers. Let’s pretend Miss Beatrice tells these stories, because after that we will pic up again with our friends in The Treasure Club.

Wishing you blessing, hoping to hear from you.

Your online friend,

Kerstin

The Joy of Salvation

Have you stopped to think about the joy of being saved? Many of us take it for granted. But knowing that our sins have been forgiven and that we have a home in heaven is the reason for greatest joy.

The title of the story today is The Joy of Salvation. Pepper, our little friend named Felix, wanted to be born again and be a child of God. Miss Beatrice explained to him and the other friends of the Club how to be saved.

The Bible character of the story is the Rich Ruler who knelt before Jesus with the most important question of all: “What must I do to have eternal life?”

Read Matthew 19:16-30.

After Jesus’ response, the man left sad.

This does not mean that to be saved you must sell whatever you have; but you need to give up everything and follow Jesus. What Jesus gives us is much more valuable than anything we leave behind to receive salvation.

“So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33

Jesus “loved” this young man. Surely it pained Him that this man was tied to his riches. The Rich Ruler went away sad. He left sad, because he loved his riches more than Jesus.

It’s not riches that prevent us from following Jesus, but the love of riches. What is the most important thing in your life? There are many things we can love more than Jesus. But the price of following Jesus, of putting Him first in everything, is worth it!

We have seen how Jesus transformed Zacchaeus and the joy that the Samaritan woman felt when she received the living water Jesus offered her. Nicodemus learned that to be saved he needed to be born again.

Jesus’ answer to the question: “What must I do to have eternal life?” is the same today: “Come, follow me.” The Rich Ruler went away sad, because he loved his riches more than Jesus.

Today we focus on Pepper, who had the joy of experiencing what Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about. In our story, he is born again. The joy of salvation makes him want to jump for joy. He runs home from the Club with double happiness–the joy of salvation and the happiness of receiving a Bible.

How I wish that the children you teach, the children in your neighborhood, your own children if you are a parent —any child that God puts in your way!— will feel the same joy as Zacchaeus, the Samaritan woman, Nicodemus and our little imaginary friend Pepper.

We don’t want anyone to “leave sad.” Let’s pray that no one will rejects Jesus.

To go with today’s story, we have prepared material to teach the steps of salvation. These steps are nothing new, maybe you know them. It’s a good idea to use the hand for the steps of salvation.

We also have a PowerPoint with the steps and a file to print to make a mini-book with the steps.

Find all this in Salt and Pepper Stories #24: The Joy of Salvation

God bless you, and anyone reading the story, to have the joy of salvation.

“Come, follow me,” said Jesus to the Rich Ruler.

He went away sad, because he had many riches.