Posted in Ages 11 & above, Life Skills

Successful planning

Have you made any plans lately? Let’s say – It is a beautiful day with an awesome weather. What about planning a football match with friends?? Or an outing to the hills? So you make some calls and get everyone ready and everything organized… Suddenly from out of nowhere it started to drizzle and in no time heavy rains are pouring down… Your plans are now washed out by rain.

You make a plan and then plan spoilers springs up out of nowhere and ruin everything!!! Did anything like this ever happen to you? Pretty sure it has, for in life not everything turns out as we plan!!! But there is a secret to get all our plans successful and fruitful!!!

Let us open the treasure book and find out this secret!!!

OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK undefined

Clue 1: Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to PROSPER you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Our Father in heaven works according to His plans. “Salvation through Jesus” is an awesome plan of God to save people from perishing eternally. In the creation process, we see yet another impeccable plan being carried out. We too are created as a part of God’s plan. Hence there are plans and purposes associated with each of our lives. God has several plans for each phase of our life. Our goal is to stick to these plans & purposes. God loves each of us and He knows the BEST for our life. His plans for us are never to harm us but to prosper us and to give us hope and a future.

GOD has plans for us that will prosper us and give us hope and future.

Clue 2: Proverbs 19:21, Proverbs 16:3

“There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.”

Proverbs 19:21

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans”

Proverbs 16:3

We all have many plans / ideas / thoughts in our heart and there is nothing wrong with that because that’s how we are wired!!! We saw here that our Father works according to His plans. Since we are created in His likeness, we too make plans…

However, for our plans to be fruitful and successful, we should seek God’s advise in everything and commit to Him everything we do. He is an “all knowledgeable” God who knows what stays and what fails!!! So once you have an idea / thought, submit it to God in prayer for His advice. Then He will help us to form a plan in alignment with “His plans for our lives” and will guide us & direct our steps through the best possible way. When we are not connected to God, we will make our own plans and when our plans are not in alignment with God’s, they will fail miserably!!! If our plans are aligned with His plans – it becomes fruitful and successful.

Clue 3: Luke 1: 26 – 38, Matthew 1:18-26 (Example)

Mary was a young girl engaged to a man named Joseph. Like any other couple, they both were also counting the days to their marriage and dreaming about their life together. But then something extraordinary happened. An angel from heaven visited Mary and told her

You have found favor with GOD. You will conceive and give birth to a Child and you should call his name Jesus.”

She was confused!! She told him “How can this be? I am not married yet!!!” then the angel told her,

the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will conceive and bear a child and he will be called Son of God”.

In those days, women who were found to be with children before their marriage were looked down upon in the society and were punished severely. They were STONED TO DEATH, if caught!!! So for Mary, if she is found to be pregnant before her marriage, Joseph will definitely call off their engagement and her dream of a family life will shatter because in their culture no one will ever marry such a lady!!!  She will be looked down upon by her near & dear ones and her society. More importantly, if caught, she will be stoned to death by law!!! No one will believe her if she says the truth, not even Joseph… She had her reputation, her future and her life itself at stake!!!

This was a plan spoiler for her!! It would spoil all her plans for future. She could either ignore Gods plan and live a normal life or risk her life and go ahead with Gods plan.

What did she choose?

Well.., she did not have any doubt on what to choose. She immediately answered “Let it be to me as God’s plan”…  She trusted God and his plan and knew His plans for her are better than hers. She also knew, His plans for her will never harm her but will give her hope and a future!!! In fact, she found it a great honor to be chosen by God to carry out His plan – to fulfil His plan and purpose for her life.

What happened to Mary for choosing God’s plan?

We read in Mathew Chapter 1:19 that Joseph had plans to quietly leave Mary when he got to know she is pregnant!! He was a just man so he didn’t want her to be a public spectacle, but wanted to get rid of her quietly. But he had a vision from God and it was made known to him that Mary being pregnant is part of God’s divine plan. God wanted him to take Mary as his wife. He obeyed God and chose to take her as his wife and father the child.

God took care of problems that came her way. Mary did not lose anything because of following God’s plan. In fact both God’s plan and her plan were in alignment. She did not lose the family life she dreamt about nor her reputation in the society. On the contrary, her reputation grew as the mother of Jesus. It did not stay only in her generation, but all generation that came after calls her “Blessed”. She also did not lose her future or her life because of this plan, but God gave her a blessed life as mother of Jesus – the savior of all people.

When we walk in alignment with Gods plan, our steps will be directed by Him and obstacles in the path will also be taken care by Him.

Treasures uncovered

God has plans for our life, plans that prosper us and give us hope & future

Our plans that are in alignment with Gods plans will be successful and fruitful

To make plans that align with God’s plans, stay connected to God, trust him, seek his advice in everything and commit all your ways to him

God loves us soo much. God’s plan for our life are not plan spoilers as we might think, but is packed with goodness and blessings. We should always walk in alignment with God’s plans and purposes for our life and then our plans will become successful and fruitful. God knows the BEST and HE IS THE BEST!!!

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for the plans you have for our lives – plans that will prosper us and gives us hope and future. Help us to walk in alignment with your plans and fulfill the purposes for our lives. Help us to always stay connected to you and commit all our ways to you. Help us to seek your advise in everything we do. Thank you, in Jesus name, Amen!


Posted in Ages 11 & above, Life Skills

Speaking right

We use words to express ourselves – our needs, our thoughts, our feelings, our imaginations etc. Every day, from morning till night we speak a lot of words. We talk different things to different people. In the morning while getting ready for school and college, we might ask our mother about breakfast or about our cloths, then talk to our father about our pocket money or allowances or to drop us on his way, in between we might shout at our siblings for taking our belongings, at school /college we might gossip with our friends or talk to them about latest fashion trends, ask doubts to teachers and so on. Can you imagine a life without being able to talk? Without being able to express yourself? That is really hard!!! It is indeed a blessing from God that we are able to talk and express ourselves!!!

We talk about anything & everything and whatever comes into our mind and that is not always right. What does the treasure book say about speaking right?

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Clue 1: Why speak right?

James 3:4-5, Genesis 1, Proverbs 18:21

Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.

James 3:4-5

Tongue is very small in size compared to other organs of our body, however like the rudder of a ship that turns the whole course of a huge ship, the tongue is powerful enough to turn the whole course of our life. Our speech can either bring good or bad based on how it is used.

God created the earth, the skies and everything else in it with his words. He said “Let there be light” and the light was created. God said, “Let the sky be formed” and the sky was formed. God said “Let grass and trees be formed” and all kinds of grass, herbs and trees sprang out from the earth. Thus, the seas, skies, sun, moon, stars, plants, animals and everything else were created by His words. His words are packed with so much power that when he uttered words, the respective creation took place. We know that He made us in his own image and likeness. Hence there is power in the words that we speak too.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of tongue. We can either use it and make the best out of it or bring the worst out of it. We can either use words for bringing life to our situations or bring about death to our situations. We see Jesus exercising the power of words in his ministry. He cursed a fig tree and it withered away from its roots, He calmed the winds by His words, healed many people by His words, brought dead people to life by His words and so many other instances. His words were packed with power too. If we always declare in faith, fruitfulness and prosperity for areas in our life, we will bring it to life and will enjoy its outcome. However, if we always curse and talk negatively about areas in our life we bring about death to those areas.

Our words have power and if we use it right, we will eat and enjoy its fruit.

Clue 2: Why speak right?

Proverbs 10:19, Proverbs 21:23

In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.

Proverbs 10:19

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles

Proverbs 21:23

We should be watchful of what we speak. We should not be quick in giving our opinion or replies without thinking. It could hurt others feelings. Once spoken, the words cannot be taken back. There are times when we should keep mum even if people are provoking us. We should be on guard against speaking evil. With words we can hurt others, we can lie, we can gossip, we can bring discord, we can curse, we can make fun of others, we can talk bad about others and so on… All these evil talking is sin. If we guard our mouth from speaking all these, then we guard our soul from trouble.

Guarding our tongue and using it right keeps our soul from trouble.

Clue 3: How to speak right?

Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 12:18, Philippians 4:8

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29

There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.

Proverbs 12:18

Words can be used to speak good or bad. It can be used to encourage or uplift people and also demotivate or discourage them. The words that some people spoke has made a huge void in us draining our energy, affecting our way of thinking and confidence. And there have been some others who by their speech encouraged and uplifted us so very much. Hence it is a big deal to speak right in all situations. We should watch what we speak. As followers of Christ, let us make sure not to speak anything corrupt which is not right in the eyes of God, but should make sure our words will encourage, uplift and build the people who hear us. Words when used wisely promotes health.

Speaking right in all occasions is not an easy task, but with God’s help we will get there. To speak right, our heart should be filled with the right content because out of the abundance of heart, the mouth speaks. So if we fill our hearts with right content, speaking right will be easy!!! How to fill our heart with right content?

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 

Philippians 4:8

Think about only these things and fill your hearts with word of God, love, goodness, truth, purity, gratitude,etc. Once heart is filled with these, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth will only speak right!!!

Treasures uncovered

SPEAK RIGHT

Speak RIGHT & Speak LIFE to bring to LIFE & enjoy LIFE!

There is power in the words that we speak and if we speak right, we will eat & enjoy its fruit.

Speak right and guard our soul from trouble

To speak right we have to fill our HEARTS with the right content because the mouth speaks out of abundance of heart.

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for teaching us that there is power in the words that we speak. Help us to use it fruitfully to bring life to our dead situations. Father, help us to keep our tongue from evil and our lips from speaking deceit. Help us to fill our heart with the right content and speak right to enjoy its fruit. We love you Jesus, in Jesus name Amen!!!


Posted in Ages 11 & above, God & Me

The Armor of GOD

Have you seen a soldier who is ready for battle? Maybe not real time but definitely in movies right? They will be dressed in a special outfit – a uniform with a belt on their waist, helmet on their head, a bulletproof shield held in their hand, a bullet proof vest, shoes or boots on their feet and weapons like gun to fight. Back in the olden days too, soldiers who went for battle wore a special outfit. It is called the “Armor” and had almost similar components as a modern day battle outfit.

An Armor consists of a belt, a breastplate, a helmet, a pair of shoes, a shield and weapons – mainly a sword. Why do soldiers wear this special outfit – the armor, for battle? Battle is not a time of leisure. A soldier would be completely focused on fighting putting his life at stake. There are big chances that the weapon of the enemy could injure his body and major internal organs. So the armor is worn to shield / protect their body from the weapons of enemy. All components of the armor except weapon are for shielding and protecting while weapon is the only component used to fight back.

The bible also talks about an armor – The Armor of God. What is this all about? Let us open the treasure book to learn more about it.

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Ephesians 6:10-17 – click this video to read this bible portion

Clue 1: Ephesians 6:10-13

The Battle

The Word of God says, we have to put on the complete armor of God. We now know that an armor is worn only during battles. So this means we are in a battle. So we should be wearing an armor to protect ourselves from being hurt. Being in a battle means there is an enemy to fight.

Our enemy

The word of God says “put on the whole armor of God to stand against the tricks of the devil”. Also it is written, our fight is not against flesh and blood – meaning other humans. So the enemy in this battle are not people but the devil and dark evil powers – domains, powers and rulers of darkness. The devil and his gang of evil spirits are our enemy and we know they are not in flesh but spirit. So the battle is not physical but in the spiritual realm.

The battleground

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:3

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 4:4

Both these verses states that the devil tries to corrupt and blind our minds from the actual truth. So our enemy – the serpent / the god of this world / the devil tries to manipulate our minds. That is where he tries to play his tricks. So our mind is the battlefield!!

Now we know that we are in a battle, we know where the battle takes place and who our enemy is!!!

So how do we get prepared for the battle and fight our enemy?

Clue 2: Ephesians 6:14-17

Like in a physical battle where soldiers wear the armor to protect themselves from the weapons of the enemy, in this spiritual battle against the devil, we too should wear an armor –The Armor of God, to protect ourselves from his weapons!

The armor of God also consists of shielding components – Belt, Breastplate, Shoes, Shield, Helmet and a weapon to fight – the Sword

The Belt of Truth

We normally use a belt to gird our loose pants tight onto our waist so that we can walk confidently without being afraid that our pants would come down. Imagine yourself in a battle and your belt isn’t proper. Would you be able to focus completely on the battle or will you be partly bothered about the pants coming down? Definitely the pants will bother you and this could take your life!!! In the armor of God, our belt is “TRUTH”. We should always speak the truth and be truthful to God, ourselves and others. If we are truthful in everything then we can walk confidently and we will be able to rightly focus on our battle without giving the devil a loophole to pull us down!!

Breastplate of righteousness

A breastplate is worn to guard the chest area, specially the heart. In the armor of God, our breastplate is “RIGHTEOUSNESS“. Righteousness means “right standing with GOD” or being right with God. Sin separates us from God but we are made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. When we believe in Jesus, his blood makes us right before God. This is our breast plate that will guard our heart from the weapons of the enemy.

The shoes of gospel of peace

We wear shoes to protect our feet from sharp and hard objects that lie in our path. In the armor of God, “PEACE” is the shoes that we should wear to guard our walk. Always walk in peace and be peacemakers. Let the peace of God rule our hearts and minds. Worry is one object that the devil places in our path to hurt our feet, but if the peace of God rules our mind, it guards us from getting hurt.

Shield of faith

A shield protects us from the flaming arrows and other weapons of the enemy. In the armor of God, our shield is “FAITH”. When the enemy sends flaming arrows to attack our mind, we should use faith to shield our mind. The enemy might send arrows of disbelief, doubt, despair, depression, fear, loneliness, un-forgiveness, lust, etc., and we should shield it from entering our minds and hearts by proclaiming our faith.

Helmet of salvation

A Helmet is used to guard our head in battle. If head is not protected, we will definitely lose our life in the battle!!! In the armor of God “SALVATION” is our helmet. Salvation protects our head. Without salvation you will lose your life – the eternal life. If you have not known Jesus as your savior, invite him to your heart today. To be saved, confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. Put on the helmet of salvation and secure your eternal life!!!

Sword  – The Word of God

In the Armor, the weapon to fight is the sword and in the armor of God, the sword is WORD OF GOD.

We know that our mind is the battle ground and this is where the enemy attacks. The enemy sends his flaming arrows of all kinds of negativity to our mind. When we use our shield (Faith) we protect our mind from these arrows. It will definitely protect us from getting injured, but it doesn’t stop the enemy from fighting us. As we see in all fights, an enemy will stop fighting only if we get stronger and he gets weaker. How does that happen? We should fight back then he will slowly lose his strength. We fight back with our weapon, the WORD OF GOD… Fight all negative thoughts the devil is trying to plant in our hearts, with the word of God.. Declare the word of God in all areas of his attack and keep on declaring!!! The word of God says that the enemy will eventually flee – Resist the devil and he will flee from you!!!

In Luke chapter 4 we see, Jesus when tempted by the devil fought back with the Word of God and the devil left him. Jesus took victory over the devil by fighting back with Word of God!

Treasures uncovered

We are in a constant battle and hence we should be always alert! The battleground is our mind and the devil is our enemy .

Put on the full ARMOR of GOD –

Protect yourselves from the weapons of the enemy by wearing the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of Peace, the Shield of Faith and the Helmet of Salvation.

Fight the enemy with Word of God and he will flee from us.

We have to put on the full armor of God to protect ourselves. If any element of protection is missing we can get hurt. So wearing all the components of armor is vital for our existence. Also fight your battle with the Word of God and victory is guaranteed!!!

Prayer:

Father, Thank you for making us aware about the armor of God. Lord Jesus, we thank you for the helmet of salvation that secures our eternal life. We also thank you for making us righteous. Thank you for the Word you have given us to fight the enemy. Thank you for making us victorious, in Jesus name, Amen!!!


Posted in Ages 11 & above, God & Me

No Gain without Pain?

Have you ever gained anything in your life without paying a price for it or without working hard for it?

In the world that we live in, achieving or gaining is not an easy task. There is “No Gain without Pain”. We should definitely go through a process of learning, hard-work, training, trials & errors, failures, struggles, etc, before we reap any kind of benefit. It is not easy even for those who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Is there anything at all that we gain without pain?

Let us open the treasure book to find clues.

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Clue 1: Genesis 2, 3

ENTRY of SIN

God created the first humans – ADAM & EVE and placed them in the Garden of Eden to take care of it. God used to come down to the garden and spend time with them. Everything was moving on very well until they disobeyed God by eating the fruit that God asked them not to eat. When God came as usual to spend time with them, they hid from Him as they disobeyed Him. Because of their disobedience, they were put out of the garden and were cursed to work hard for their livelihood… This is where the world changed its course of existence. Everything turned upside down.

Disobedience to God is SIN. Because of this disobedience, human race came under the “Power of Sin”. Death, pain, sorrow, enmity, curse and all other mess entered the world because of sin. More than anything else, humans were separated from their fellowship with God.

But God loves us sooo very much that He did not want us to live separated from Him and be destroyed eternally…

Clue 2: ATONEMENT of SIN

The atonement (action of making amends for a wrong) of sin is only by blood.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.

Leviticus 17:11

And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

Hebrews 9:22

Plan 1: God gave a plan – the atonement of sin by sacrificing animals and offering their blood to God. People had to spend for this sacrifice. But, this did not help them overcome the “power of sin”. They still lived in the clutches of sin.

God loves us sooo much that He did not want us to live in the power of sin and be destroyed eternally….

Plan 2: God sent His only son, Jesus Christ – to die for our sins “once and for all”!!!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world

1 John 2:2

Sin brings us punishment. God loved us very much that He sent Jesus to take our punishment. Jesus laid down His life for us and His blood was offered as atonement for our sins so that whoever BELIEVES in Him will not perish but will have ETERNAL LIFE. We don’t have to spend anything to be saved, but only believe in Jesus. Jesus freed us from the power of sin and also restored our relationship with God. As Romans 5:19 says “For as by one man’s (Adam) disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s (Jesus) obedience many will be made righteous.” By His blood we are made righteous before God. Without loosing anything or paying any price or struggling, we gained SALVATION!

Treasures uncovered

Our Gain without Pain

SALVATION!!!

IS A FREE GIFT TO ALL THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST

IS FREE, BUT EXPENSIVE. JESUS PAID THE PRICE – HIS OWN LIFE & BLOOD

Salvation is a very expensive gift that God has given freely to those who believe in Jesus Christ. Our part is to accept Jesus as our savior and believe He is the Son of God who died for our sins.

To accept Jesus as your savior you need to confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. If you have not known Jesus as your savior, invite him to your heart today and live a life free from the power of sin and save yourselves from the eternal punishment – the lake of fire!!!

Prayer:

Thank you father for the free and expensive gift of salvation. Thank you Jesus for laying down your life for our sins and freeing us from the power and punishment of sin. Thank you for loving us so much… Help us to bring our families and our friends to this joy of salvation. We love you Lord, in Jesus name Amen!!