Nature Walk: Wood Ducks
Usually ducks build their nests on the ground somewhere, but wood ducks build their nests up in a tree or in a nesting box off the ground. After the baby wood ducks are only 1 day old, mommy wood duck calls them to come out of the nest. Baby wood ducks have to jump out and fall down! That seems a little scary, doesn't it?
Baby wood ducks remind me of the Bible verse, Isaiah 6:8, which says, "Then I heard the Lord’s voice. He said, “Whom can I send? Who will go for us?” So I said, “Here I am. Send me!" The little baby wood ducks jump out of the nest because they trust their mommy who called them. A long time ago, God called a man named Elisha to be prophet Elijah's helper. Elisha obeyed God's call, and soon he became the next great prophet in Israel.
If you go on a nature walk today, look for ducks and ducklings. Little ducklings are so good at following their mommies. Do you stay close to your mommy like you should? Do you come quickly when she calls?
Memory Mastery: God's Special Book
Please listen along with your Bible in hand to fun facts about God's special book, the Bible. Then, see if you can answer the questions that follow.
Mission Helper: Two Great Loves
Eleven year-old Joshua from Croatia has two great loves. He loves God, and he loves playing violin. One day, he heard about a boy who was going to die because his family didn't have the money to pay for the surgery he needed. Joshua told his mom, "We can have a concert and raise money for this boy!" Joshua went to work organizing. He and his fellow students at his music school played 15 songs. In between, his pastor gave some devotional talks. They raised a lot of money to help this family. How can you use your talents to help others for God?
Croatia has a long coastline beside the water. Using Google Maps below, can you figure out what the name of the water is?
Let's pray for Joshua, the family he tried to help, and the people of Croatia.
Bible Story: Elisha Accepts God's Call
Prophet Elijah put his mantle on a farmer named Elisha. Elisha knew that God was calling him to be prophet Elijah's helper. Elisha was excited to work for God and left his farm to go help prophet Elijah. Elisha visited the schools of the prophets where Elijah was teaching, and Elisha helped wash Elijah's hands. Elisha was happy to help in any way he could.
One day, Elijah told Elisha, "Stay here at Gilgal, while I go to Bethel." Elisha knew prophet Elijah was testing him to see if he would follow Elijah no matter what. "I will not stay here. I am going wherever you go," Elisha answered.
Then at Bethel, the student prophets said to Elisha, "Did you know that God is taking Elijah today?" Elisha also felt in his heart something was going to happen soon. Prophet Elijah said again, "Stay here, while I go to Jericho." Elisha refused, "I will not stay here. I will follow you wherever you go."
The student prophets at Jericho also said to Elisha, "Did you know that God is taking Elijah today?" Elisha was determined to stay by Elijah's side no matter what. Prophet Elijah said to him, "Stay here, while I go to the River Jordan." Elisha refused again. "I will not stay. I will follow you wherever you go," he said to prophet Elijah.
The two men went to the river Jordan. Then, Elijah took off his cloak. When he hit the water with it, the water divided, so that the two men passed over on dry ground.
On the other side, Elijah asked Elisha, "What do you want me to do for you before I go?" Elisha said, "I want a double portion of your spirit." "That's a hard thing to ask for," replied prophet Elijah, "but if you see me go to heaven, then you will have it."
Suddenly, as the two men were talking, a chariot of fire appeared in a whirlwind. The chariot went between the two men and swept up Elijah inside and took him away into the sky. Elisha saw everything.
When Elijah was gone, Elisha picked up Elijah's cloak and walked back to the river. Elisha prayed, "Father God, if you are with me like you were with Elijah, then please divide this water." Elisha hit the water with Elijah's cloak, and the water divided, so Elisha could cross on dry ground. Now, Elisha was God's great prophet!
Our prayer verse, Luke 16:10, says, "Whoever can be trusted with small things can also be trusted with large things" (ICV). God picked Elisha as Israel's next great prophet because he always did his best for God no matter if he was planting seed or washing Elijah's hands. Then, he passed Elijah's tests of determination at the end to show that he really wanted to accept God's call to be God's prophet. God is still looking for boys and girls to do great things for Him who are faithful in all their little duties. Will you be careful to do all the little things mommy and daddy need you to do?
Dear Father God, I want to do large things for You. Help me do all the small things my parents ask of me with a cheerful heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen