Heroes of the Bible Devotional: 90 Devotions to Help You Become a Hero of God!

Heroes of the Bible Devotional: 90 Devotions to Help You Become a Hero of God!

by Joshua Cooley

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Overview

Heroes of the Bible Devotional: 90 Devotions to Help You Become a Hero of God! by Joshua Cooley

Ask any 12-year-old kid to describe a hero, and you will get some of the following answers: a superstar athlete, a soldier on the front lines, or a guy in a cape who can jump over buildings.

Most of our “heroes” are related to human achievement and glory, but the Bible has a very different concept. The list of people who were great in God’s eyes might shock you. This devotional book is about their stories.

The 90 devotions feature the qualities of Bible characters that made them heroic. From Moses to Esther to Jesus, kids will learn more about how these Bible people pleased God. They will know that qualities like courage, worshiping God, and being a true friend are heroic actions. The devotional features line drawings of the Bible characters to further help youth identify with and learn about the people in the Bible.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414386263
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 03/21/2014
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 844,725
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

HEROES OF THE BIBLE DEVOTIONAL

90 DEVOTIONS TO HELP YOU BECOME A HERO OF GOD!


By JOSHUA COOLEY, Sarah Rubio

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2014 Joshua Cooley
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-8626-3



CHAPTER 1

GOD: THE DIVINE, ALMIGHTY HERO


DAY 1


A TRUE HERO FOR GOD ...

BELIEVES THAT GOD CREATED AND RULES EVERYTHING


A HERO'S TALE

Let's try an experiment. First, stand up and do a few jumping jacks to limber up. Maybe some sit-ups and push-ups, too. Go ahead. Take your time.

Done? Good. Now, close your eyes, take a deep breath ... and create an ocean.

Now open your eyes. Did it work? No? Okay, maybe try something smaller, like a mountain. Ready, go!

No mountain either? Hmmm, probably still too big for starters. Better try something even smaller, like a hippo or a walrus. Come back when you're done.

What's that? You couldn't do that either? Well, let's go supersmall. Try creating an acorn or a tadpole or even a gnat. Perhaps you should wave a magic wand and say "Hocus-pocus" or "Abracadabra."

It didn't work, did it? Well, good try anyway. But it's not surprising. After all, you're only human, and humans don't possess the power to create something out of nothing.

But there is someone who can: God.


DECODING THE MESSAGE

Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." That's the Bible's way of saying that before time or life began, God existed, and he created everything. He created the sun, moon, stars, planets, and galaxies. He created the earth and everything in it—the oceans, rivers, land, mountains, trees, plants, animals, and humans.

He created everything!

Remember how you couldn't create even the tiniest creature? Now consider God's incredible power and limitless creative abilities. He created the entire universe simply by speaking. And if he created everything, that means he rules everything too. He can tell his creation what to do because nothing would exist if it weren't for him. He is an indescribably awesome and powerful God!

This is so important to believe. What we believe about the universe's beginning affects everything else in our lives. If you believe that you were created by a random act of nature and not by God, then you'll probably live as if God didn't exist, so you don't have to obey a higher authority. You'll think you can do whatever you want because there are no rules. That's a scary thought.

But if you believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator, that means you were created for a reason and you do answer to a higher authority. You understand that life isn't all about you. It's about serving the God who created you and learning more about him. It's a wonderful life with meaning and purpose.

And that's no hocus-pocus.


BATTLE PLAN

Memorize what God made on each of the six days of Creation. You can read about it in Genesis 1:1–2:3.


DAY 2


A TRUE HERO FOR GOD ...

BELIEVES THAT GOD CREATED US TO WORSHIP HIM


A HERO'S TALE

Yesterday's devotional talked about God creating everything, including you. But have you ever wondered why God created you? In other words, what's your purpose in life?

Lots of people have wrong ideas about this. Some people think life is one big party. Their purpose in life is nothing more than enjoying themselves. Other people live for money and material stuff. Others think they're supposed to work, work, work—from sunrise to sunset every day. Still others think their main purpose is to be as good as possible—go to church, show kindness to others, etc.

These things are all good, to a degree. It's important to have fun, to work, to earn money, and to do good deeds. But none of those things, by themselves, are truly why you are here.

The answer is so simple it might surprise you: God created you to worship him.


DECODING THE MESSAGE

As simple as that truth sounds, it's also pretty deep. When we truly understand our purpose in life, it will answer a lot of questions and affect everything we do. It will shift our focus from our selfish desires and put it where it's supposed to be—on God. Life is not about us. It's about God—because we wouldn't be here without him.

Just like a soldier needs to understand the mission in order to be effective in battle, we must understand that we live to worship God. Worship is simply giving God the glory he deserves as the eternal, almighty, all-knowing Creator of the universe.

Many people associate worship with singing praise music to God. That's one form of worship, but certainly not the only one. We should glorify God in everything we do, because that's why God made us, as today's verse says. Whatever you're good at—sports, music, math, science, art—you can worship God in it by giving him the glory for your success.

Need more ideas on how to worship God? Obeying your parents is worship toward God. So is praying, reading the Bible, memorizing Scripture, listening in church, helping others, and telling a friend about Jesus.

There are countless ways to worship our Creator. Time to pick some and get started!


BATTLE PLAN

Make a list of three ways you can worship God this week (ask your parents to help, if needed) and do them!


DAY 3

A TRUE HERO FOR GOD ...

UNDERSTAND HE IS A SINFUL REBEL WHO NEEDS A SAVIOR.


A HERO'S TALE

Think about the most beautiful places on earth: Maui. Tahiti. The Bahamas. The French Riviera. Now imagine a place a thousand times better, where the natural beauty was surpassed only by the fact that God himself walked there.

That was the Garden of Eden.

Adam and Eve had it made. As the Garden's only residents, humanity's first man and woman lived in a literal paradise on earth—a perfect, sinless home where God personally interacted with them (see Genesis 3:8). What a life!

But Adam and Eve chose to forfeit this amazing experience. When Satan tempted them to disobey God by eating the Garden's forbidden fruit, they decided to rebel against their Creator. They chose their way instead of God's. (You can read about this catastrophe, also known as the Fall, in Genesis 3.)

So sin and death entered the world. Man was separated from God, and God's perfect creation fell into disorder.


DECODING THE MESSAGE

Adam and Eve really blew it. But we can't be too hard on them, because we eventually would've messed up too.

Ever since Adam and Eve's original sin, we've all sinned. Sin is breaking God's laws, and the Bible says that we are all sinners (see Romans 3:23). In fact, we're born into sin (see Psalm 51:5). We've inherited a sinful nature from Adam. From the moment we come into the world, our natural tendency is to shake our fists at our Creator and say, "I don't want to follow your rules. I know best!"

That's not only foolish; it's downright wicked. Being just and holy, God could have chosen to destroy us. He could've thought, You know what? These people aren't worth my time. I made them and gave them everything they need, and now they're rebelling against me. Time to wipe them out.

But God didn't do that. Rather than react in angry justice (which he had every right to do), God chose to show us undeserved love and mercy by providing a path of salvation. He did that by sending his perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins.

We are all born as sinful rebels who desperately need a Savior. Praise God that he gave us exactly what we needed, not what we deserved!


BATTLE PLAN

Read Ephesians 2:1-10. It's a wonderful passage that shows how much we needed God and what he's done for us through Christ.


DAY 4


A TRUE HERO FOR GOD ...

OFFERS PROPER SACRIFICES TO GOD.


A HERO'S TALE

After reading that statement above, you might be thinking, Whoa, hold on. I'm supposed to offer sacrifices—like killing sheep and burning them on an altar?

Not exactly. We'll explain in a moment. But first, a little background ...

After Adam and Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden, the world became a very different place. Sin made everything difficult. Still, God lovingly watched over Adam and Eve, and he blessed them with lots of children. Their first two were Cain and Abel. You can read their story in Genesis 4.

Cain was a farmer, and Abel was a shepherd. One day, both brothers brought sacrifices to God. Cain offered his fruits and vegetables, and Abel gave the best of his flocks.

God was pleased with Abel's sacrifice but not Cain's. Filled with jealousy and rage, Cain killed Abel and then tried to hide his sin. As punishment, God forced Cain to become a wanderer for the rest of his life.


DECODING THE MESSAGE

This tragic story teaches us a lot about worshiping God, even though we don't have to sacrifice animals anymore. Why was God pleased with Abel's sacrifice and not Cain's? It seems that Abel brought his offering with a heart that wanted to please God, while Cain did not. Abel was a hero because he gave his best to God—"the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock" (Genesis 4:4).

Are you giving your best to God? Are you diligently seeking him through his Word and prayer? Do you obey your parents? Do you listen attentively in church? Are you using the gifts and abilities God has given to you (in music, sports, art, academics, etc.) for his glory?

These are sacrifices we can offer to God today. Like our verse says, God wants our hearts more than anything. He doesn't need anything from us, as if he were lacking it without us. (As almighty God, he already owns everything!) But by our sacrifices, we can show him a "broken and repentant" (humble) heart that seeks to follow him, as today's verse says. He wants our desires, thoughts, and actions to all be focused on worshiping him.


BATTLE PLAN

List 5 to 10 ways you can give your best to God, and put your list somewhere you'll see it every day.


DAY 5

A TRUE HERO FOR GOD ...

HUMBLY TURNS FROM HIS SINFUL NATURE THROUGH FAITH.


A HERO'S TALE

Quick pop quiz: Who were history's first babies? If you guessed Cain and Abel, you're correct!

God created Adam as a grown man (from the dust of the ground), and he created Eve as an adult woman (from one of Adam's ribs). But Cain and Abel—and the rest of mankind—came into being through a mother giving birth.

Even as babies, Cain and Abel had a sin problem. Because of their parents' disobedience in the Garden of Eden, Cain and Abel inherited a sinful nature. In other words, they were born with hearts that naturally opposed God. This separated them from God, just like their parents had to leave God's presence in the Garden.

Life wasn't easy for Cain and Abel. Suffering, pain, and death—all of which had never been part of God's original creation—were now a reality for them.

But God still loved Cain and Abel. As the brothers grew up, Cain struggled greatly with his sinful nature even though God lovingly warned him, "If you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master" (Genesis 4:7).

You know the rest of the story. Cain gave in to his evil desires and committed a horrible crime, killing his own brother. He never seemed to truly repent or turn to God in faith.

However, Abel seemed to get it right before his untimely death. He loved God and offered pleasing sacrifices. By God's grace, Abel overcame his sinful nature with a humble heart that wanted to obey God through faith (see Hebrews 11:4).


DECODING THE MESSAGE

Like Cain and Abel, we are all born with a sin problem. Thousands of years have passed since the Garden of Eden, but every human still starts life with a sinful nature. And if our sin is not forgiven, we'll be eternally separated from God. The Bible is very clear about this. But God loved us so much that he offered his own Son, Jesus, on the cross as a sacrifice for sins so that we could be forgiven.

We have a choice. We can choose to be like Cain, who ignored God's warning. Or we can be like Abel, who trusted in God's plan of salvation and turned from his sin.

The choice seems obvious. Which will you choose?


BATTLE PLAN

To learn more about our sinful natures and God's plan of salvation, read Romans 5. If you need help understanding it, ask one of your parents or another trusted adult.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from HEROES OF THE BIBLE DEVOTIONAL by JOSHUA COOLEY, Sarah Rubio. Copyright © 2014 Joshua Cooley. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction, ix,
God: The Divine, Almighty Hero, 1,
Abel: The Hero Whose Worship Pleased God, 9,
Noah: The Hero of the Great Flood, 17,
Abraham: The Hero Whose Faith Founded a Nation, 25,
Joseph: The Hero Who Rose from Slave to Prince, 33,
Moses: The Hero Who Led a Nation out of Slavery, 41,
Joshua: The Hero Who Captained Israel's First Army, 49,
Gideon: The Hero Who Led a Tiny Army, 57,
Ruth: The Hero Who Left Everything to Follow God, 65,
Samuel: The Hero Who Anointed Kings, 73,
Jonathan: The Hero Who Showed True Friendship, 81,
David: The Hero Who Rose from Shepherd to King, 89,
Solomon: The Rich, Wise, Temple-Building Hero, 97,
Elijah: The Prophet-Hero Who Performed Mighty Miracles, 105,
The Jewish Slave Girl: The Nameless Hero Who Forgave, 113,
Joash: The Hero Who Repaired God's Temple, 121,
Jonah: The Runaway Hero, 129,
Isaiah: The Prophet-Hero Who Had a Tough Job, Part 1, 137,
Hezekiah: The Hero Who Repelled a Mighty Foe, 145,
Josiah: The Hero Who Rediscovered God's Word, 153,
Jeremiah: The Prophet-Hero Who Had a Tough Job, Part 2, 161,
Daniel: The Hero Who Stood for God No Matter What, 169,
Esther: The Hero Who Saved Her People, 177,
Mary: The Hero Who Gave Birth to the Savior, 185,
John the Baptist: The Hero Who Shouted God's Message in the Desert, 193,
Peter: The Hero Who Got a Second Chance, 201,
The Apostle John: The Hero Who Learned how to Love, 209,
Paul: The Hero Who Went from Supervillain to Supermissionary, 217,
Jesus: The Greatest Hero of All Time, 225,
The Holy Spirit: The Hero Who Changes Hearts, 233,
About the Author, 241,

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Heroes of the Bible Devotional: 90 Devotions to Help You Become a Hero of God! 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
J4Life5 More than 1 year ago
This book holds great appeal for the target audience, kids aged 8 - 12. It has a graphic novel quality to it that would appeal to kids that love comic books, while the arrangement of the text provides structure, but also gives younger readers sections to focus on without being overwhelmed with a long bunch of words. All together, the appearance of the book is perfect for kids. As far as the content, I love it! I love devotional books or other books geared for kids that I can learn from and this one offers a lot of information in a very user friendly format. Cooley takes well-known people from the Bible and tells their story in a way that is easy for kids to understand. Readers get to know Noah, Moses, Jonathan, Daniel, Jonah, and many others. But the best part is that Cooley draws connections from the heroes to the kids. For example, he talks about how Jeremiah thought he was too young to be used by God and helps readers to see that God can use anyone. The best part of this book is that after readers learn the story about the hero from the Bible, there are encouraged to internalize the lessons learned and make their own Battle Plan, which is a short exercise to apply the lesson to their life. Most of the Plans are quite short, consisting of memorizing a verse or spending some time in prayer. I think this is a great book that is perfect for the 8-12 age bracket. Younger readers can gain experience working through a devotional independently and start to develop individual Bible study skills. If you are looking for an awesome devotional for a tween, this is a great choice!
thedeena63 More than 1 year ago
Seriously, this is a MUST READ devotional for kids of all ages! Aren't you tired of the heroes of today being sports professionals, singers, and reality television stars? How about getting back to heroes of substance, depth, and true character? I'm not saying some of the biggest and brightest of today's world aren't worthy of admiration, but let's get out kids back to the Bible for the men and women to emulate. Like the story of Cain and Abel, a true tale of sibling rivalry, and the clear definition of acceptable behavior and choices that destroy. Or how about Paul, a man who went from a super villain to one of the greatest men of Scripture...follow him as he follows Christ. And the ultimate hero of all...God Himself! This book is packed with inspiring true stories, thought provoking questions and great application. Best yet, "Heroes of the Bible Devotional" is a 90 day devo, which makes it ideal for summertime! My thanks to my friends at Tyndale Publishing for my advance copy in exchange for an honest review. Highly recommended, especially as a family devotional guide.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
Fictional heroes are bigger than life and carry special powers. Real ones have ordinary physical strength and abilities—and don’t wear capes. This book of devotions reveals wonderful, unexpected examples of heroes in the Bible, and shows us that it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, rich or poor, tall or short, we can be heroes too. Each devotion (90 days worth) includes: A TRUE HERO FOR GOD…, (identifying an affirming action, belief, or understanding from a person in the Bible.) A HERO’S TALE (an account from the Bible)  DECODING THE MESSAGE (explaining the underlying message) THE BATTLE PLAN (further Bible reading on the topic.)  The comic book-like illustrations are appealing and effective. They are well drawn, suiting both the Bible verse and devotion. Even though this unique devotional book is suited for tweens/teens, I (as an adult) appreciate its significant messages, the most important being that Jesus is the greatest hero, and we all possess the ability be heroes for God through His power!
Louisa_May More than 1 year ago
This comicbook style devotional features well-known bible heroes like God, Abel, and Jonathan, as well as some lesser known bible heroes like Joash and Gideon (which I thought was pretty cool). It also features a couple of girls (Ruth and the Jewish Slave Girl); however, I don't really think this book would appeal to most girls. It's quite masculine and I totally love it--for my little guy. My son is only 6, but I'm saving this book for him for when he's a bit older. He's going to love it! It's got a comic book, superhero kind of presentation to it and that will definitely appeal to him. This is such a unique devotional, and it's nice to see a very boyish devo for boys older than... say... 3. Not something I can recall coming across before. It's cool and it reveals an important truth: while Captain America and Wolverine are pretty awesome superheroes, there's no superhero as awesome as Jesus, and the other heroes in the bible not only did great things for God, but they were flawed people just like us. Flawed, but with a faith God could use to turn them into heroes... and He can do the same with us.