Explore the Bible one book at a time! The Explore the Bible Devotional takes kids on a journey through each book of the Bible, uncovering the Where? and Why? at every stop. Each of the sixty-six devotions offers images of relevant people, places, and artifacts of the time period as well as text truths that point back to Christ. This adventure will help kids connect with the Bible as never before! Other features include:
- Bible book summaries
- Family talking points via a Parent Connection
- Bible skills activities
- Archeological photos
- Map of the Holy Land with QR codes linking to virtual reality videos of significant locations
Read an Excerpt
OUR CREATOR IS FAITHFUL
God is faithful to be including people today in the promise He made to Abraham.
EXAMINE THE TEXT
GENESIS 1:1; 2:15-17; 3:6; 17:1-8
It is an adventure to read the book of Genesis because it shows us so much about God and what He has done for us. This book helps us know God better by describing what He did in the past and what He promised for the future. Every chapter shows more and more about Him. Even the very first verse. Genesis 1:1, tells us a lot about God's power and supremacy.
Supremacy means that God has more authority and higher status than anyone else. He is the Creator. All things exist because of Him. And all things are under His authority. God is in charge. Everything belongs to Him. and everyone is accountable to Him.
Sadly, people do not honor God the way He deserves to be honored. We can see in Genesis 2:15-17 and 3:6 that God gave a restriction to Adam, the man He created, but Adam did not do things God's way. We are all like Adam. We are all guilty of doing things our own way instead of God's way.
What are some things you have done your own way instead of God's way? How do you feel about those decisions? Even if something is fun for a little while, when it is not what God wants, it can make us sad later. If you love God. Your sin will always bother you, because it always bothers God. Thankfully. He is patient and forgiving.
In Genesis 17:1-8, God made a promise to an imperfect man named Abram. God offered Abram a blessing and a legacy that would last for eternity, and that showed God's faithfulness and forgiveness. He promised that Abraham would be blessed as the father of many nations, but it was for more than a large biological family. God's blessing was a promise that people throughout many generations would be adopted into God's family.
The good news is that God's eternal promise to Abraham is still available today. You can be part of God's family because the promise God made to Abraham is fulfilled through Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross made a way for sinners to be adopted into God's family. Jesus paid the price for sin so we can be forgiven.
Genesis 1:1 shows us that God rules, and we are accountable to Him. Since we are all sinners like Adam, we do not deserve to be a part of God's family. That is why His promise is so loving. Instead of punishment. He offers forgiveness to those who turn away from sin and trust in Jesus.
You can talk to God about His forgiveness and ask Him to help you understand what His promise to Abraham means for your life. Remember, you can be part of God's family through Jesus, because God is faithful to keep His promises and forgive sin.CHAPTER 2
THE GOSPEL CHANGES EVERYTHING
The message of Jesus is important enough to share with others even when it is difficult.
EXAMINE THE TEXT
ACTS 7:59-8:3: 9:1-5. 20-23: 14:19-23
Have you ever been so excited about something that you could not wait to tell people? Maybe you were invited on a trip or given a pet. As you read the verses in Acts, you will notice that there was a message being shared, but it was not about pets or trips.
Today, many people live where it is not dangerous to trust Jesus, but others risk their safety to follow Him. The believers described in the book of Acts faced harsh treatment. One graphic example of that is described in Acts 7:59-8:3.
Stephen was stoned for preaching while Saul approved of his death and searched for other believers to punish. It must have been so scary for Stephen. He had a message that he was excited to share, but those who heard it attacked him. To Stephen, it did not matter how they reacted. He kept speaking because he knew it was important to tell them about Jesus.
Talking about Jesus might not seem very dangerous, but the gospel message changes everything. When someone learns about Jesus, nothing is ever the same. Every person will either trust Him or reject Him. Some people will even try to keep others from hearing about Him. That is what Saul tried to do. But nothing can destroy the truth of Jesus.
Acts 9:1-5 shows that Saul was on a destructive mission, threatening disciples and looking for people to arrest, when he met the Savior. He looked at what others were doing instead of looking at his own sin. He thought he was right to try to destroy what threatened his religion. However. God did not approve. Fortunately for Saul. Jesus opened his eyes to the truth and gave him a new mission.
Saul began to stand for Jesus rather than against Him. In the first verse of chapter 9. Saul was threatening disciples, but by verse 23 he was the target of those same kinds of threats. He approved of Stephen's being stoned for preaching about Jesus, but Acts 14:19-23 tells us that he was later stoned for the same reason. Unlike Stephen, he survived and continued to preach the message of Jesus.
Saul, who was also known as Paul, would not be discouraged from his mission for Jesus. Although he faced many obstacles, he kept preaching and helped strengthen the believers as more joined them. Stephen and Paul are good examples of what it can look like to trust Jesus. Of course, not everyone will be in danger like they were, but trusting Jesus means living for Him no matter what we face.
Paul and Stephen were just two of the men who helped spread the message of Jesus. The church grew and believers continued to tell others about Jesus for many generations, and it is still growing today. We now know about Jesus because people were willing to risk their lives to share His message. You can trust Jesus and continue to share His message with others too.CHAPTER 3
GOD REIGNS OVER ALL
We can never do anything to undo God's authority.
EXAMINE THE TEXT
1 SAMUEL 8:1-22
God is in control. It might not always seem that way, but He is. No one has more power than He does, no problem is too difficult for Him. And no one can get rid of Him. We can see in 1 Samuel 8:1-22 that even when people are arrogant and disobedient. God is still in control.
The story is very simple. The people of Israel were not happy with the priests and judges, so they asked for a king. Samuel attempted to discourage their request, but they kept demanding an earthly ruler, so God gave them what they asked for.
The idea of a king for Israel was not new. God's people had asked for a king many times. God had a plan, but the people of Israel insisted on being like the other nations. God had chosen Israel for a much greater role in His plan. Israel was never meant to be like other nations. They were selected to be set apart.
God knew the motives of the people. He knew they were rejecting Him. They did not want to be accountable to God. But what they did not understand was that their plan to appoint a king did not remove God's authority. Any king who would rule Israel would also be subject to God. No king would ever be able to take God's place. They could not get rid of God.
Even though the people of Israel were wrong to reject God, they thought they had good reasons to want things to change. The priests and judges had become corrupt. There were definitely problems that needed to be solved, but they did not want to depend on God for help. Instead, they wanted to do things their own way.
It is always better to depend on God than to depend on our own plans. Every person can probably relate to the people of Israel in some way.CHAPTER 4
It is tempting to get rid of problems on our own while also rejecting God's authority. It sometimes seems like it could make life easier to do things our own way. But it is never easier. It never solves the problems. It only replaces them with different ones.
Problems exist because people are sinners. As long as there are people in the world, there will be difficulties to face. Thankfully. God is not discouraged or distracted by people's choices. He does not lose His authority when people make bad decisions. We can learn from this example that there is no one who has more authority than God. No one can get rid of Him. And no one is more powerful. Even kings are accountable to Him. God is in control.CHAPTER 5
PRAY WITH THE RIGHT MOTIVE
Jesus tells us that our prayers should focus on honoring God, not impressing other people.
EXAMINE THE TEXT
Sometimes prayer can be very similar to talking to a friend. You probably have someone in your life who makes you feel comfortable talking about things you enjoy or things you want. Maybe you have complimented your friend. It is possible you have even asked your friend to help you understand things that do not always make sense. None of those kinds of conversations are unusual. They are all ordinary ways to communicate with friends. They are also ordinary ways to communicate with God.
Prayer is like a conversation with God. Even though prayer can be similar to a regular conversation, if you have ever talked to God before, you already know that conversations with Him are different than they are with everyone else. When we pray, instead of speaking the words out loud, we can think the words in our minds. We sometimes bow our heads and close our eyes to focus on God and show respect to Him. One of the biggest differences is that instead of hearing His voice. He talks to us through the Bible or through other people.
Jesus gives some instruction on prayer in Matthew 6:5-8. He warns about praying just to be seen by other people. Of course, praying out loud in front of others or with others can be very good. Jesus wants us to pray for the right reasons and not just to impress people or to feel important.
In the next few verses. Matthew 6:9-13. Jesus tells us some things to include in prayers. Jesus tells us to always honor God. Because God is holy. Prayer also includes an element of seeking forgiveness for sin. Even if those things are not mentioned exactly the same way in every prayer, they are important to keep in mind.
When you think about your relationship with God, ask yourself if you honor God and understand your need for forgiveness. If not, you can ask God for help. In fact, you might want to make that your next prayer. Remember, we all sin. But God is holy, which means He is perfect. God requires payment for all our sins, but the good news is that Jesus died on the cross as a gift of love to pay the price for sin. You can turn from your sin and trust Jesus as your Savior and Lord. As you spend time talking to God today, be sure to read your Bible to see what He wants to say to you.CHAPTER 6
SUFFER FOR JESUS AND WITH JESUS
We should honor Jesus when we face persecution and know we are never alone in our suffering.
EXAMINE THE TEXT
1 PETER 3:14-16
There are a lot of serious things to think about when we read the Bible. The topic in today's reading is one of those serious issues. It reminds us that being a Christian is not always easy. There are examples in the Bible of people who suffered quite a bit simply because they followed Jesus. Why do you think they were willing to suffer for Christ? Here is a hint: 1 Peter 3:14-16.
Persecution is when people are mistreated for being part of a group. Persecution is usually more dangerous than disagreements and much more serious than simply not liking someone. People are persecuted when they are targeted with intimidation or harm because of cultural, religious, or physical differences.
This is not easy to talk about. It would be nice not to have to think about such terrible things, but God wants us to know about this problem and to be ready to handle similar issues. Knowing what has happened to others will help us think of how much we care about God. It will cause us to ask ourselves if we would be willing to suffer for Him.
God does not want anyone to mistreat other people, so persecution is sin. Sadly, people do not always do things God's way.
Christians are often described as the most persecuted group in the world. We have verses like 1 Peter 3:14-16 to prepare us for times when we might be mistreated. That is something useful to know, but according to verse 14, it is not something to fear. We might never be able to fully understand why people persecute others, but we know from this passage that believers who are persecuted have hope in Jesus. Suffering is temporary, but His blessing is eternal.
We can see in verses 15 and 16 that Christ deserves to be honored as holy. He is the reason for hope. We can set our minds on Him and determine to do what is right. That way we have no guilt, and others will see a difference in us.
Also, when others need to know about Jesus, we should be prepared to tell them, no matter how they treat us.
The Bible describes many examples of persecution because God wants us to be aware of suffering and know how to respond to mistreatment. Hopefully you will never see any persecution, but you can always honor God by focusing on Jesus, being a good example, and telling others of God's love.CHAPTER 7
BE EFFECTIVE AND FRUITFUL
God has given us everything we need to live productive lives for Him.
EXAMINE THE TEXT
2 PETER 1:5-8
The Bible tells us how to keep from being ineffective and unfruitful. You can see it for yourself in 2 Peter 1:8. If you are wondering what it means to be ineffective and unfruitful, it is basically a way to describe a person whose life does not produce any good results. No one wants to be ineffective and unfruitful, so it is terrific that God tells us exactly how to live productive lives. God wants more than accomplishments and positive results. He is giving us what we need to live lives that honor Him.
To live for God, there is something extremely important to know. We are all sinners. Some people think that it is possible to do good things in the world and that doing good makes up for the bad things. But sin is not erased by good deeds. No matter how many good choices you make, they will not repair the impact of sin. That is something only Jesus can do. God will punish every sin. He will not measure bad behavior against good behavior. That is why everyone needs Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross. He took the punishment for sin. His sacrifice makes it possible for us to be acceptable to God.
We cannot behave well enough to earn forgiveness, but we can make fruitful choices — choices that honor God. Those who know God are free from sin. They are able to live for Him. Verses 5 through 7 tell us how. It might seem confusing, but it is actually very simple.
Writing down a few key words can help you see the main point of the verses. Begin with the word faith. Verse 5 tells us that there is something that should be added to or supplement your faith. Depending on the translation of the Bible you are using, that thing is goodness, virtue, or moral excellence. That is the next word or phrase you should write down. Look for other key words from these verses and write down those too. Your list will be similar to the following one: faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love. Do these words describe your life? They describe the kind of life God wants for each of us. He encourages us to rely on Him to bring forth these qualities in our lives.
You already know why we would want to have these qualities. Verse 8 clearly tells us that these traits keep us from being ineffective and unfruitful. You might want to keep these words in a place where you can look at them often to remember the guidance of these verses. They tell you what you need to live a productive life for the Lord. You can live a life that honors God.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Explore the Bible Devotional"
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Table of Contents
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE SUMMARIES, Page 5,
DEVOTIONS, Page 19,
BIBLE SKILLS, Page 218,
PARENT CONNECTION, Page 224,
1 Peter, 32,
2 Peter, 35,
1 Corinthians, 59,
2 Corinthians, 62,
2 Samuel, 65,
1 Chronicles, 68,
1 Timothy, 80,
2 Timothy, 83,
Song of Songs, 110,
1 Thessalonians, 140,
2 Thessalonians, 143,
1 Kings, 146,
2 Kings, 149,
2 Chronicles, 152,