Tag Archives: Streams in the Desert for Kids

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Diamonds in the Making

 

2 Corinthians 7:5

Carbon is a soft natural material, but it is also the raw material from which diamonds—the hardest substance on earth—are made. How does that happen? Diamonds are formed 75 to 120 miles below the earth’s surface. When carbon buried deep in the earth is put under extreme pressure, and when the temperature is at least 192 degrees Fahrenheit, the carbon changes into diamonds. Scientists discovered that there have been only three times during Earth’s history when diamonds were made, and the planet no longer makes diamonds as it once did. Diamonds are highly valued as jewelry. Maybe your mother or father has a diamond ring. Diamonds are also valued in industry. A diamond saw blade will cut through almost anything.

In the Scripture verse for today, the Apostle Paul describes being harassed, or troubled, on every side. He was under extreme pressure, but God used that pressure to change Paul from an ordinary person into an extraordinary man of God. And God can do the same thing for us. When we feel like everything is pushing on us so hard we cannot stand it, it could be that God is changing us from soft material into a beautiful diamond that he can use.

Dear Lord, I hate to be under pressure. Help me to understand, though, that you can use my troubles to create something new and beautiful in my heart. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids   A-Mazed

 

Ecclesiastes 7:13

Have you ever been in a maze—the real kind that’s made out of hedges and paths? There’s one at a palace in England called Chatsworth House. It is a very complicated maze. Every hedge is the same height so there are no identifying features to help you even go back the way you went in.

It could be frightening to get into a maze and not be able to find your way out. Life is like that sometimes. We find ourselves in situations where we don’t know where to turn, and when we do make a choice of which way to go, it ends up being the wrong way. It’s scary when our situation gets worse and worse. But there is someone who knows every turn, every path of our life. Jesus is that someone, and he came to guide us through life. When you are confused and don’t know which way to turn or which decision is best, you can rely on Jesus to lead you. Isn’t a relief to know you don’t have to make decisions on your own? Ask for his guidance and wait patiently for him to show you the way out of your problems.

Dear Lord, Sometimes I really get mixed up when I’m trying to make decisions about my life. Please guide me and help me to listen for your voice telling me the right way to go. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Be Patient!

 

Psalm 37:7

When we read the Bible, it seems like miracles happened every day, but it wasn’t really that way. In the Old Testament, for example, God performed amazing miracles when he freed his people from slavery in Egypt. First there were ten plagues to convince Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Then, when Pharaoh sent his army after the slaves, God parted the Red Sea so his people could escape from the Egyptian soldiers. And if that weren’t miracle enough, God closed the sea at just the right time so the entire army drowned!

That’s a lot of miracles one right after the other, but God’s people had waited four hundred years for these miracles to begin. For four hundred years they were slaves and held onto God’s promise that they would one day be free to go to their Promised Land. Four hundred years is nearly twice as long as the United States has existed as a country. It’s a long, long time.

Not many people like to wait; and they especially don’t like to wait a long time for something they really want. How about you? Do you get impatient when the Internet connection isn’t fast enough or when the microwave seems to take too long? It can be even harder when God is the one we’re waiting for, hoping he will do something.

What do you wish God would do for you? Are you praying about it? Are you waiting for an answer? God knows what you need better than you do. He cares about you. Patience helps us wait quietly knowing God is going to give us exactly what we need.

Dear Lord, I have a hard time waiting. I know you have plans that are much bigger than anything I can think of. Help me to wait patiently for you to answer my prayer. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Help Me!

 

Matthew 15:22–23

A man once had a dream about Jesus who came upon three young men. As he came to the first of the three, he bent down to talk with him and smiled. He even gave a quick hug. Then he came to the second. He only put his hand on the young man’s head and gave him a quick look. Then he came to the third young man. This time he just walked right past and didn’t do or say anything.

Those who were watching wondered what that third young man had done to cause Jesus to ignore him. So they asked Jesus why he treated each young man so differently. Jesus said, “The first young man is a new Christian and he needs all the help I can give him. I wanted to encourage him, so I spent time with him. The second young man is a little stronger and loves me a little more. I can trust him and so I didn’t spend as much time with him. I was not ignoring the third young man. I love him very much and I’m training him for a very important role in life. I want him to be able to trust me even when it seems I’m not paying attention. It’s important for what I want him to do.”

When you pray and it seems like your prayers are being ignored, know that God hears you. God’s silence isn’t anger or disapproval. In fact, he loves you very much and it could be that he is training you to trust him even when it feels like he’s not paying attention. Perhaps he is preparing you for a greater role than you ever imagined.

Dear Lord, I still have a lot to learn about trusting you. Help me to believe you are at work no matter what I see. Amen.

 

 

 

Streams in the Desert for Kids – They Didn’t Even Get Their Feet Wet!

 

Psalm 66:1-2, 6

The Bible is full of stories about how God helped his people when they faced impossible obstacles. When God parted both the Jordan River and the Red Sea so his people could cross over, the pathway through was completely dry. They didn’t even get their sandals wet. When Jonah was thrown overboard, God sent the big fish to save him from drowning and get him to dry land. When Naaman faced a debilitating disease, God told his prophet Elisha how Naaman could be miraculously healed in the Jordan River.

Our God is one of miracles and grand gestures of love. Because he loved us first, we are privileged to love him back, even when facing big problems—especially when facing big problems. In the Bible, Job faced exceptional pain and tragedy when he lost his home, his possessions, his health, and, worst of all, his family. And yet in his grief, he demonstrated love for the Lord who loved him first. “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said … ‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’” (Job 1:20–21). The same God who chose to save his people with miracles didn’t spare Job from his pain. But God still delighted in Job. And Job still rejoiced in God. Their relationship was deep and it helped Job face his tragedy.

Dear Lord, I don’t know when I’ll have to face something really hard. What I do know is that you go ahead of me and make it possible for me to pass through hardship. Thank you for loving me that much, Father. Amen

Streams in the Desert for Kids – We Win!

 

Mark 1:12

It happens to everyone—being tempted. It even happened to Jesus. No sooner had Jesus been baptized by his cousin John in the Jordan River than God’s Spirit led him into the desert. There the Devil came to him and tormented him, tempting him to use his power for his own glory instead of good. It was so bad that when it was over, angels had to come and take care of him.

If Jesus was tempted, you can be sure that you will be too. But here’s the good news. God made a promise about how he will help us. Here it is: “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, The Message).

There’s more good news. Being tempted is not sin. As long as we don’t give in to the temptation we have not sinned. And one more piece of good news is that if we “submit [ourselves], then, to God [and] resist the devil … he will flee from [us]” (James 4:7). We will always win because God is with us.

Dear Lord, Thank you for making a way for us to escape sin when we are tempted. Help me when I am tempted to remember that Jesus was tempted too and he came through it without sinning. I know Jesus can help me when I am tempted. Amen

Streams in the Desert for Kids – We Could Make Beautiful Music

 

2 Corinthians 11:2

A young man carefully held his kora harp in his hands. “If I were marooned on a desert island, the one thing I’d want with me is this harp,” he said.

The kora harp is a West African instrument and has twenty-one strings. Each string is attached to a tuning peg on a long neck of the harp. The young man held the instrument between his knees and, with his hands on two handholds on either side of the neck, plucked the strings to make a beautiful sound. As he plucked the strings, he often stopped to tighten or loosen one of those twenty-one tuning pegs. He knew exactly which string was out of tune. Most who listened had no idea there was anything wrong with the string, but the young man who knows his instrument well, and who is a master at playing this instrument, knew the sound it made could be better than it was. He loved his harp. He understood it and he wanted its music to be perfect.

That’s the way God is with us. He loves us so much, just like the kora harpist loves his instrument. He knows all about us. He knows when we are living a true life and when we are faking it. He knows what our lives can be if we let him correct us and tune us so we make music that is harmonious with his will for our lives. And he will never leave us. He’ll be close by to help us, always.

Dear Lord, Help me to let you change me into who you want me to be. I want to make beautiful music with my life. Let my life be like a love song to you. Tune me up so no ugly or unkind words come from my mouth. Thank you, Father, for loving me so much. 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 – Finding God’s Help

 

Mark 11:24

Have you ever wanted something so much that you kept begging and begging your parents to get it for you? Perhaps they think you are not quite ready for whatever it is. But you want it so much you keep on bugging them for it. Finally, after a long while, you give up and figure you are never going to get it. You have lost hope. You have lost faith that what you want will ever be yours.

Sometimes the same thing happens when we pray to God. We want something so much that we beg him for it. When God doesn’t grant us our request, we think he’s not listening. We think he doesn’t care. We pray so long and so hard that we pray ourselves right out of faith. But the Bible teaches that God always hears our prayers. Like your parents, he may not think you’re ready for whatever you are asking. Or maybe he knows it would not be best for you. Or maybe he fully intends to answer your prayer, but it just isn’t the right time.

Now is the time to simply trust God and believe he knows what he’s doing. We have to let our prayer rest with him until he is ready to make it happen.

Dear Lord, I believe that you will answer my prayers in your way and your time. Help me to learn what it means to let my prayer rest in your hands. 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 – God’s Friend

 

Genesis 18:22

Can you imagine what it would be like to be so close to God you were called “God’s friend”? That’s what Abraham was called. When God said to Abraham, “Take your family and leave the land of Ur,” Abraham gathered everybody up and started off to … well, he didn’t really know where. When he got to the land we now call Israel, he stopped and built an altar (which was often just a pile of rocks) to his Friend, God. God spoke to him and said, “I’m going to give you this land.” Then Abraham went on to other places and built more altars to his Friend.

Sometimes Abraham had a hard time trusting God, such as when God told him he’d become a dad at 100 years old. But Abraham’s faith grew until he trusted God completely. By the time God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac—the one God had promised him for such a long time—Abraham did not doubt God. He prepared to sacrifice his only son. Of course, God was only testing Abraham. The angel of God stopped Abraham from hurting his son.

Abraham was God’s friend. Would you like to be God’s friend? Friends of God can do mighty things for him. Friends of God can pray for others and see their lives changed. Friends of God trust him completely. Are you a friend of God?

Dear Lord, I’d like to be your friend. I know I will never be perfect, but I’d like to know you a lot better and I want my faith to grow. Teach me how. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – God’s Secrets

 

Psalm 25:14

Paleontologists study prehistoric life—that is, life that came before recorded history. They labor under harsh conditions, digging up ancient bones and fossils that help scientists understand more about God’s amazing diversity of creatures. This work isn’t easy: paleontologists work in the dust and the heat, digging slowly and carefully so they won’t damage any specimens. Because of this painstaking work, we have learned a great deal about life that came before us.

There are wonders and mysteries about God that we only get to know by being determined to learn about him. Those who fear God, dig deep into study about him, and pray and listen for his voice are the ones who get to know those secret mysteries and wonders. It’s like uncovering ancient bones or fossils that we didn’t even know existed until we started searching for them. Often people learn the most about God in hard times. What would you like to know about God and his great love?

Dear Lord, As I grow up, I want to know more about you. Please share your secrets, mysteries, and wonders with me. Amen