Category Archives: Streams in the Desert

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Bible Gateway

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Tools of the Shepherd

 

Psalm 23:4

The rod and staff are tools of the shepherd. The rod is a club that the shepherd has carved from the root of a tree and fitted to his hand. The shepherd keeps the rod with him at all times and uses it as a weapon. When wild animals or snakes threaten the sheep, the shepherd takes aim and uses the rod to kill or drive off the intruder.

The staff is a useful and essential tool for the shepherd. Many staffs had hooks at the end for catching sheep that were wandering off, for lifting a lamb and putting it back beside its mother, and for pulling away thorny bushes the sheep might wander into and get caught in. Sheep fall over cliffs and have to be rescued. They get into weeds that will make them sick if they eat them. They must have a shepherd with them at all times to care for them and guide them. The shepherd uses his staff to assist the sheep. Sometimes he uses it to pull a sheep close to himself so he can inspect it for cuts and bruises.

So how are God’s rod and staff a comfort to us? They comfort us because God is our shepherd, guiding us day by day. Some days we may feel the hook of the staff around our necks guiding us back to the right way. Sometimes we hear the rod as it flies past our head to chase away something that would have hurt us. And sometimes we feel the staff of God’s love pulling us close to him.

Dear Lord, You are my Good Shepherd. Thank you for watching over me even when I am stubborn and foolish. Thank you for pulling me back in line and closer to you. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Take a Deep Breath

 

Matthew 14:13

Musicians know that a song isn’t merely a series of notes. Deliberate beats of silence, called rests, make up the melody as well. Blending notes with rests, the musician creates a unique composition of harmony, melody, and depth.

As we go through our unique life, sometimes we are actively “playing notes” and sometimes we are obligated to take rests. Consider the times when we don’t get to do what we want, but instead have to take a break. God is still with us. Even unexpected disappointments are part of his plan. Just like rests in a song, they have a purpose. If we’re sidelined by a coach, we can accept the rest with the attitude that we will be ready when we’re called on again. If we miss a field trip because of the flu, we can still appreciate the quiet time that our body requires to get healthy again. If you are forced to rest, don’t let a bad attitude get in the way of the future notes you are to play.

Dear Lord, Even though I know you measure out the rests and the notes, I am still disappointed when I can’t participate where I want. Please help me get through it so that I will be ready when I can. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Determined

 

Luke 18:1

David Livingstone was one of the greatest missionary doctors who ever lived. But when he was struggling on his expeditions, he didn’t look so great. His exploration of the River Zambezi was a failure—the river could not be navigated. He kept trying to find a way until the British government ordered him home. After that, no one wanted to give him more money to return for more explorations.

After a while, he somehow found the money to return to Africa. Once he got there, no one heard from him for six years. Many thought he was dead, but he was not. Although he was seriously ill, he was determined to stay in Africa until his mission was complete. He stubbornly continued to explore. Finally, he died and his friends carried his body a thousand miles to the coast so that he could be returned to England and honored with a proper burial.

At the time he died, many people thought Livingstone’s whole life was a failure. But now, many years later, we know he traveled 29,000 miles in Africa, and that he made important geographical discoveries for Great Britain, such as Victoria Falls and four important lakes. He explored Central Africa so missionaries could go there. He was honored by African chiefs. He spoke out against slavery. And others who knew him were inspired to build schools to educate African children. Much good has come of his life.

One of the things Livingstone said was, “I determined never to stop until I had come to the end and achieved my purpose.” That means he decided he would never give up, and it explains a lot about who he was. It also helps us understand that we must not give up praying for whatever it is we want and need from God.

Dear Lord, First help me know what I should pray for, and then make me determined never to stop praying and talking with you. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids -When Life Gets Tough—Hang On!

 

Mark 4:37

Storms are scary. They are destructive and they can threaten life. When a huge hurricane named Katrina swept ashore in New Orleans, it just about ruined the city. Jesus’ disciples knew all about storms, so when they got caught in a furious squall on the Sea of Galilee, they were sure they were about to die. They expected their boat to be demolished by the storm. Jesus was asleep in their boat, so they woke him up and asked him to save them. And that’s what Jesus did. He spoke to the storm and told it to be quiet.

Tough times come to everyone. Sometimes someone we love gets sick. Sometimes a friend betrays us. Sometimes there are real storms like hurricane Katrina. There are lots of scary things that can happen, but just like the disciples, we have Jesus in the boat of our life. We just have to call out to him. He will help us find a way through the worst problems we could ever have.

Dear Lord, Thank you for being there through the good times as well as the bad. I know that with your help I can overcome anything that comes into my life. Help me trust you more. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Winning with God

Romans 8:37

There were some ancient people known as Phrygians who lived in what is now the country of Turkey. They believed that when you conquered an enemy, some of the enemy’s physical strength passed into you. That’s just a myth, of course. But when we Christians struggle against sin and win, we grow stronger. We grow more powerful not from the enemy, but from Christ’s strength. Then we can face the next battle stronger. We become more than conquerors because we have Jesus fighting with us against the enemy.

God knows that every day that we try to live for him, we are fighting a war with an enemy. Satan doesn’t want us serving God. He’d rather hurt us than see us become conquerors with Christ. But through the mighty powers of God’s Son, we can defeat the enemy and become great warriors in God’s kingdom.

Dear Lord, I know that with you all things are possible. Please give me your strength to help me beat the enemy. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Happy Just to Be … Myself

 

Philippians 4:11

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to compare yourself to others? Even if we know better, we look at someone else and think he or she has it better. How many times have you thought: If only I had the right hair or clothes or shape … If only I were taller or faster or bolder or funnier …

There’s an old story of a king who went to his garden and found everything withered and dying. He asked the oak tree what was wrong. The oak tree said it was sick of living because it was not as tall and beautiful as the pine tree. The pine was dropping needles because it couldn’t grow grapes like the grapevine. And the grapevine let itself shrivel up because it couldn’t stand straight and tall like the peach tree. Every plant in the garden was discontented and wanted to be something different, except the violet. There it stood with its happy face turned toward the sun. The king asked the little flower why it was so happy and content when every other plant in the garden was so miserable. “Well,” said the flower, “I figured that if you had wanted a big oak tree or a pine tree or a peach tree in my spot, you would have planted one; but you planted me—a violet. Since I knew you wanted a violet, I’ve made up my mind to be the best little violet I can be.”

You were made by the almighty Creator with a purpose in mind. Wishing to be anything other than who you are does nothing more than steal your time, energy, and joy. But when you see yourself how God does, you realize how great you really are. So you can stop concentrating on other people and instead focus on your own blessings. Only then will you find you are ready for all the plans and adventures God has for you.

Dear Lord, Help me stop comparing myself to other people and worrying about the things I think I lack. Thank you for all of the gifts you have given me. Show me how I can best use them for your glory. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids -No Money, No Worry

 

Romans 4:18–19

More than a hundred years ago in England, there were many orphans with no one to care for them. A man named George Müller and his wife began helping orphans by inviting the children into their own home. Soon he had five orphanages where more than 2,000 children lived. George was a man of great faith and he never asked anyone for money to support his ministry or the orphanage. He never went into debt either. He believed God would give him what he needed, so he decided not to take a salary when he became the pastor of a small church. He trusted God to care for him and his family. God always provided for George’s needs and more, and that made his faith grow. Many times, there was no food at the orphanage, but George went right on believing God would provide. Food always showed up just in time to feed the children.

By the time he died, Müller had cared for and educated thousands of children. He had given away thousands of Bibles, even more New Testaments, and millions of other religious books. He also supported 150 missionaries. You see, he believed that God could meet all his needs even when there was nothing. He was like Abraham who hoped even when he couldn’t see how God would help him.

If God took care of George Müller and his orphans, he can take care of you. Is there something your family needs? Pray and believe God will meet your need. You will be surprised at the awesome things God will do for you too.

Dear Lord, Thank you for giving us what we need as we do your work in the world. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids -The Choir to End All Choirs

 

Revelation 14:3

Once in a while a writer in the Bible pulls the curtain back and we get to look into heaven. That’s what happens in Revelation 14. Wow! What a sight!

Picture this: There are 144,000 believers standing on top of a mountain. Soon there is the sound of harps being played before the throne of God and before the thrones of the twenty-four elders who are nearby. There are four creatures near the throne that are covered with eyes—even under their six wings. All these creatures constantly give glory, honor, and thanks to God. (See Revelation 4:4–11.) Then the 144,000 begin to sing a song about how they had been redeemed (saved) from the earth.

It is a song that only they can sing. It is a song of redemption. The angels cannot sing it. Only those who have experienced God’s grace and transforming power can sing this kind of song. What a choir!

Our life on earth, including the hardships, is part of our “training” to sing songs of redemption in heaven. When we accept salvation, we become part of the future choir. God’s Spirit says, “Let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17). That’s all we have to do to join in the celebration around the throne of God at the end of time.

Dear Lord, I want to be a part of the great choir that sings around your throne in heaven. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Full to the Top

 

Matthew 14:17-18

God is not stingy. When he gives, he gives a lot. Think about places where flowers cover a hillside. Are that many flowers really necessary? Think about water spilling over a waterfall. More water than we can use.

There’s a wonderful story of God’s abundant giving in the New Testament. It happened when Jesus was teaching many people out in the countryside away from any town. He and the people had been out there all day, and the people had grown hungry. The disciples wanted to send them away. But Jesus told the disciples to feed the crowd. They had no food to share except a little boy’s lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish. That was enough for God to work with. Jesus took the loaves and fish and broke them up in pieces. Soon they had enough food to feed 5,000 men along with women and children. And here’s God’s abundance part of the story: twelve baskets of leftovers fed the disciples and their families. God gives abundantly. So whatever you need from him, be sure that he will give it to you, sometimes beyond what you need.

Dear Lord, I know you have enough to meet my needs. I want to trust you to give me what I need and more. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – In God’s Time

 

Genesis 21:2

Did you ever notice that God doesn’t seem to be in a hurry? Often it seems as if he waits until the last moment to answer our prayers. God had promised Abraham that he would make a great nation out of him, but Abraham had no children. How was he to become a great nation if he had no son? It was thirty years from the time God first promised Abraham a son until he held his little boy, Isaac. Later, Isaac’s son Jacob had twelve sons, and the children started multiplying. After many years they formed a nation—the nation of Israel.

What is your family praying about? Is there something you’ve waited and waited for? Don’t give up. Keep praying, and God will answer in his time, which is always perfect.

When Isaac was finally born, there was much happiness in Abraham and Sarah’s house. God’s promise was worth the wait. And it will be for you too. When Jesus finally answers your prayer, you’ll be smiling.

Dear Lord, I’m looking forward to that happy day when you answer my prayer. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Night Songs

 

Psalm 77:6

Animals that are active at night rather than during the day are called nocturnal. For example, nightingales are birds that sing at night. That’s how they got their name. People aren’t like that: we’re awake and working while the sun shines, and we go to bed and sleep during the night.

Do you ever have trouble sleeping at night because you are worried about something? David, the man who wrote the psalm above, sometimes couldn’t sleep. While he was awake at night, he used the time to pray, sing, and think about God. In another place David says, “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises” (Psalm 119:148). Instead of worrying about his problems, David took the time to think about God’s promises.

The next time you are lying awake, try singing a song from church. Or ask Mom or Dad to pray with you. Perhaps it would help just to remember that God said he would never leave you alone.

Dear Lord, Your promises are just as good in the night as they are in the daytime. Thank you for your love. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – No Stress

 

2 Corinthians 1:8–9

Today we call pressure stress. You hear many people talking about stress. Stress can be bad if all we do is worry. It can be good if it pushes us toward the only One who has answers for our stress—God our Father.

Once a stressful situation has passed, you come out of it with the ability to help other people. Think about the last time you had to study for a hard test. You probably felt pressure until you finished the test. But now when a friend talks about being stressed out about an exam, you know exactly how he or she feels.

Or do you remember a time when your mom got really sick or your dad traveled away for several weeks? Was it stressful for the rest of your family? But when the sickness or travel was over, you were relieved. Now, you can be understanding when others face a similar situation.

The most important thing to remember is that any time you face pressure, turn to God first. If you learn to rely on him, you will experience his peace and the stress won’t be as overwhelming. Then you will have a truly helpful answer to offer others—God’s strength.

Dear Lord, Everybody talks about being “stressed out.” I’m so glad you are the answer to all stressful situations. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Above the Clouds

Job 37:21

When you read a verse like the one above from Job, you may begin to wonder what was going on with Job and his friends to bring up such a conversation.

These guys said to Job, “Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised?… Can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?… Now no one can look at the sun, bright as it is in the skies after the wind has swept them clean.” In other words, “Job, you don’t know enough to understand God’s ways.”

Then God answered Job (chapters 38–41; read it sometime—it’s beautiful). God said that he is the one who has created everything the way it is. God sees the sun even when to us it is covered by clouds. Now Job knows he can hear from God. He can understand what God is doing in the world when he learns to consider that God’s perspective is so different from ours.

Do you want to hear from God and see his bigger perspective? You can if you will pray with all your heart and ask God to show you his plan and his way.

Dear Lord, I know you made everything, understand everything, yet you want to talk with me. You give me understanding. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Every Single Thing

Mark 9:23

Everything? Wow! That’s some promise, Jesus! The promise was given when a man brought his son to Jesus. The boy had an evil spirit living inside him. It made the boy do strange and sometimes dangerous things. The father said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” That’s when Jesus answered with a question, “‘If you can’?” and then said, “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

So what do you want from Jesus? Would it be good to pray for something then add, “If it is your will”? That’s the hard part of knowing how to pray—are we praying the way God wants us to pray?

Understanding that Jesus can do everything is easy because God’s Word says it is true. But that doesn’t mean God will automatically do everything you ask. Even though he can, he may delay an answer—or do something else—to develop your faith. For example, God told Joseph that Joseph would rule in Egypt one day. But many years passed before God put Joseph on a throne. During that time, God tried Joseph’s soul but developed his faith.

The challenge for us is to believe God’s Word that says he can do anything, but then trust that if he doesn’t do what we ask, he is up to something else for our good.

Dear Lord, I believe it. You are the one who can do everything. I trust you and whatever answers you give me. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – I Trust You

Psalm 37:5

“Stop struggling,” the lifeguard yelled at the drowning victim. “I can’t help you if you try to save yourself. Relax!” The young boy finally relaxed, and in a minute the lifeguard had him ashore and to safety. There are some situations where struggling and trying to fix things ourselves only gets us in deeper trouble. God knows that, so he says, “Give me your troubles and your struggles.” That means that when we tell Jesus about our problems, we can relax and let him carry them. We don’t have to worry about them anymore. Most struggles we have in life will pass after a while, so there’s no point worrying about them. We might just as well give them to Jesus.

It might take a while to see God doing anything about what we’ve given to him. He takes time to answer our prayers in just the right way. And even when we can’t see God doing anything, he is. So if you feel like you are drowning in trouble and questions and sadness, call for the lifeguard—Jesus—to see how he comes to your rescue.

Dear Lord, Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in problems and sorrows. Come rescue me, and I will let you carry me and my troubles to a safe place. Amen.

 

 

Streams in the Desert for Kids – I Know You

 

Psalm 119:42

Have you ever met someone who you are sure you’ve met before, but you can’t remember when or where? Then all of a sudden, it comes to you and you say, “I know you!” You recognize the person. You remember where you met. That’s a little bit like it is with God. You go along living your life day after day, then something happens that seems familiar. All at once you know. This is God at work. God has come to help.

What do you know about God? Where have you learned what you know? God’s Word is the best place to learn about God. When we know God’s Word, we get to know him too. We learn he is a good, kind, loving God who expects certain things from us. His Word also builds our faith and strength in him. It’s not hard to trust and believe in him when we know him. So get acquainted with God in the pages of his Book today.

Dear Lord, I want to know more about you. I want to recognize you when you speak to me. I want my faith in you to grow stronger. I want to love you more. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – High and Low

Luke 4:1–2

Have you ever noticed that after you’ve had a “high” day like a birthday or passing a test or a vacation, sometimes you have a “low” day? On high days everything seems to be going great and you are happy. On low days nothing seems to go right. You are grumpy and sad and you may not even know why.

Everyone has high days and low days. Jesus had a wonderful day when he was baptized by his cousin John in the Jordan River. The Bible says he was full of the Holy Spirit, and being full of the Holy Spirit makes you feel great. But immediately, the same Holy Spirit led him out into the desert, and there the Devil came to visit him and to tempt him. It was an awful time for Jesus. So how did he get through it? He responded to every temptation by quoting God’s Word, and the Devil finally gave up and left him.

So when a high day comes your way, don’t be surprised if a low day follows. And when the low day comes, believe that it will go away in time. Hide God’s Word in your heart for those low days, and use it to help you resist the temptations that you face.

Dear Lord, I love high days, and I wish they could stay all the time. I hate low days, but help me to realize they won’t last forever. Help me to hide your Word in my heart for those low days. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – It’s All Good

 

Romans 8:28

If ever there was a story of how God can take the worst stuff that happens to us and turn it to good, it is the biblical story of Joseph. Joseph was the second youngest son of Jacob. Jacob had twelve sons and when Joseph, the little guy, said that one day he would rule over his brothers, they got angry. They threw him in a pit then sold him to the first caravan of traders that came along.

Those rotten brothers told their father that Joseph had been eaten by wild animals. It broke Jacob’s heart. But Joseph was not dead. He was beginning a new life in Egypt. First, he was a lead servant in the household of Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife told lies about him, and he wound up in prison. Then through an amazing series of divine events, Joseph was taken from prison and made the ruler of the land. And it all happened just in time to save Egypt from a seven-year famine.

Oh, and those brothers who threw him in a pit? They came begging for food in Egypt. Joseph gave it to them twice before he told them that he was their little brother. They were really scared that he was going to have them all killed for what they had done to him. Instead, Joseph said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). Everything worked out for the best because God was watching over them.

Dear Lord, Help me to trust you. Everything bad that happened to Joseph turned out to be for the best. I know I belong to you and that everything that happens is part of your plan for me. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Watch Out!

Habbakuk 2:1

In Bible times, one of the main defenses of the cities was a wall that extended around the perimeter of the town. Along the wall were watchtowers where watchmen stood guard. It was their duty to “watch” everything that went on both inside and outside the city. They were vital to the city because they were the first to spot messengers, visitors, good news, and approaching danger. When a watchman saw danger, he blew a horn to sound an alarm. The gates could be closed to keep out the enemy. If an important visitor was coming to the city, then the watchman would quickly alert the right people.

Ezekiel, one of the great prophets of the Bible, had quite a bit to say about the responsibility of a watchman. He said, “But if the watchman sees war coming and doesn’t blow the trumpet, warning the people, and war comes and takes anyone off, I’ll hold the watchman responsible for the bloodshed of any unwarned sinner” (Ezekiel 33:6, The Message).

We are watchmen too. It is our job as Christians to watch for God’s happenings and to tell people there is an enemy who wants to destroy our souls. The Bible says Satan roams around looking for someone to destroy. So we need to always be on the lookout for the good and the bad. When you tell others about what God is doing or to beware of approaching danger, then pray that they will listen.

Dear Lord, Help me to be a faithful watchman for my friends. There is so much bad stuff we can get into—stuff that can destroy us. I know the Devil would like us to go that direction, but I also know you are stronger than he is. Please help me to see the things you are doing and share those as well. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Shout for Joy

Isaiah 24:15, The Message

When your favorite team wins a huge victory, you just can’t help shouting for joy. When you are given an important award, you jump up and down in happiness. When you get a gift you have been wanting for a long time, you want to tell all your friends about it. You want to broadcast the good news.

When we take the time to think about all God has done for us, there is so much good stuff that we could certainly shout for joy about it. What has God done for you that could make you jump for joy? Has he healed a grandparent from a scary illness? Has he given your mom or dad a job or a better job? Has he helped you improve your grades or your basketball game when you prayed and asked him?

Even if he hasn’t done any of those things for you, he has made a way for you to go to heaven with him. Also remember that in tough situations, God is doing good things. He loves you even when you act ugly. When you are sick, he may use it to help you rest or to encourage someone else who is ill. Maybe you don’t feel like yelling out loud to God in all situations, but look for reasons to praise him. Something about giving thanks and praise to God out loud makes us feel better.

Dear Lord, As the writer of Isaiah said, “All praise to the Righteous One!” You are my God, and you are mighty. Thank you for loving me. Amen.