<![CDATA[Building Godly character by studying the "characters" of God. - Home]]>Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:03:21 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Genesis PDF]]>Tue, 20 Mar 2018 20:52:45 GMThttp://charactersoffaithdevotions.com/home/genesis-pdfFor those of you who follow this page on Facebook, you know that the new posts have ended.  If you do not follow on Facebook, then let me take a moment to explain.  I feel that God is calling me to move on to other things.  I have enjoyed creating these devotions, but my work is complete for now.  I am now putting all of the posts into PDF groups that you can download and use or share.  You are free to use them in any way you like that does not profit you and acknowledges their authorship.  This is the first group of devotions, those in Genesis.  I will be posting them as I get them compiled, but this website will be taken down in a few months.  If you think you want them, download them now.

Blessings on the journey!

File Size: 2055 kb
File Type: pdf
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<![CDATA[Elijah Goes to See Ahab]]>Wed, 14 Mar 2018 16:00:00 GMThttp://charactersoffaithdevotions.com/home/elijah-goes-to-see-ahabTopic: God’s Timing
1 Kings 18:1-19

After 3 years of drought (no rain), God tells Elijah it is time to go see Ahab; God is going to make it rain.  So Elijah sets out for Ahab’s capital of Samaria.  Meanwhile, the drought has gotten so bad that King Ahab and the head of his household, Obadiah, have set out to find areas with natural springs of water in hopes of finding grass for their livestock.  So Elijah encounters Obadiah in route to the palace.

Now, even though he worked for an evil king, Obadiah was a godly man.  When Queen Jezebel had all the prophets of God killed, he personally saved, hid and feed 150 prophets.  So Elijah asks him to go tell the king he is coming.  Obadiah doesn’t want to do this.  All through the drought King Ahab has been searching for Elijah with no success.  Obadiah is afraid he will go tell the king and then God will hide Elijah away again and the king will be so mad he will kill Obadiah.  But Elijah assures Obadiah that he will appear before the king.  So Obadiah returns and tells King Ahab that Elijah is coming.

When Elijah arrives King Ahab blames Elijah for the drought.  However Elijah reminds him that his sins and the sins of his predecessors are why God brought the drought.  Then Elijah tells him to gather 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah and meet him on Mt. Carmel.  It is time to see who is truly worthy of worship; Baal and Asherah or the God of Abraham.

God has a perfect plan and perfect timing for everything.  When God sent Elijah to tell King Ahab about the drought, God knew when He would send Elijah back to end it.  Elijah didn’t know, Ahab didn’t know, but God did.  God waited until they were getting desperate to feed their animals, until they would know that it wasn’t just a dry time, but something supernatural.  With our human eyes, it often looks like God is late, but His timing is always perfect.

Discussion Starter:
Would God’s message have been as powerful after a year of drought?
<![CDATA[Elijah and the Widow’s Son]]>Sun, 11 Mar 2018 16:00:00 GMThttp://charactersoffaithdevotions.com/home/elijah-and-the-widows-sonTopic: Prayer
1 Kings 17:17-24

While Elijah was staying with the widow at Zarephath, her son became sick and died.  The woman was understandably upset and Elijah took the boy and laid him on his own bed.  He then cried out to God and basically asked “why?”  Then he laid himself on top of the boy 3 times and asked God to let the boy’s soul come back to his body.

Then verse 22 says that the Lord heard Elijah and the boy returned to life.  The Lord heard Elijah.  That tells me that God does hear us when we pray and He does care about our prayers!  God heard what Elijah wanted and did it.  God can do anything and raising the boy from the dead showed that not only to Elijah and the widow, but to everyone they knew.  God heard Elijah, and He hears us.  What are you praying for?

Act out Elijah praying for the boy and laying on him 3 times.  Explain that this is not a magic formula, (Jesus didn’t lay on Lazarus!)  but a special way God used this time.  God hears us when we pray, we just need to believe.
<![CDATA[The Widow Shares]]>Wed, 07 Mar 2018 17:00:00 GMThttp://charactersoffaithdevotions.com/home/the-widow-sharesTopics: God’s Provision, Tithing
1 Kings 17:7-16

After a while, the Cherith, where Elijah was living, began to dry up in the drought.  So God told him to go to the city of Zarephath in the country of Sidon.  God said there was a widow there who would care for Elijah.  So Elijah went to Zarephath and saw a widow gathering sticks.  He asked her to bring him some water.  When she did, he asked her to bring him some bread.  The widow replied that she was almost out of flour and oil to make bread.  That was why she was gathering sticks; to cook the last of her supplies for her and her son and then they would starve.

Now we see the first miracle God did through Elijah.  He told the woman that if she would share her supplies with him that they would not run out during the drought.  Now she had a choice to make.  Share the tiny bit she had and trust that God would provide.  Or feed her family what she knew she was guaranteed to have.  It is very tempting to not share when we barely have enough ourselves.  No one would blame her for putting her family over this stranger.  But God blesses us when we are willing to give.  The widow chose to share with Elijah and the three of them had bread throughout the drought.

The Bible tells us to give a portion of everything we have back to God, even when it doesn’t seem like enough to start with.  The thing we have to remember is God can do anything, we just need to trust and obey His word.  He will never let us down!

Discussion Starter:
Discuss tithing with your child.  If they receive an allowance help them figure out how much they should be giving to God.  Then follow through and have them give it.
<![CDATA[Ahab and Elijah]]>Sun, 04 Mar 2018 17:00:00 GMThttp://charactersoffaithdevotions.com/home/ahab-and-elijah​Topic: God’s Provision
1 Kings 16:29-17:6

After the death of King Omri, his son, Ahab became King of Israel.  One would hope that Israel would finally get a godly king, but that was not the case.  1 Kings tells us that Ahab was worse than all the kings before him.  Imagine that!  After all the sin and craziness, Ahab was the worst!!  He married a woman named Jezebel, who was the daughter of the King of the Sidonians.  And they worshipped Baal instead of God.

So what did God do?  Did he just give up on His people and move on?  I have to admit, I probably would have!  But God sent a prophet, Elijah, to speak to His people and try to draw them back.  His first act was to go tell King Ahab that God said it would not rain until Elijah informed them it would. (Elijah was not the one who would decide when it would rain again, he would be the messenger.)

Then Elijah left the king and went to a stream called Cherith that flowed into the Jordan.  God gave Elijah water from the stream and God sent ravens with meat and bread every morning and every evening.

God provides what His people need. His children in Israel had not had a godly leader in a long time, so He sent them Elijah to remind them about God. He sent a drought to remind them of His power.  But He also provided food and water for His servant while the others suffered.  God loves us and makes sure we have what we truly need; not necessarily all we want, but what we need.

List all the things that you need that God has provided for your family.  Then list things that you have that are just wants.  Do you have more than you need?  Most of us do.  Take time to thank God for all you have, both needs and wants.]]>
<![CDATA[Kings of Israel]]>Wed, 28 Feb 2018 17:00:00 GMThttp://charactersoffaithdevotions.com/home/kings-of-israelTopic: Consequences
1 Kings 15:16-16:28

Unfortunately for Israel, they did not get a king like Asa.  When sinful King Jeroboam died, his son, Nadab became king.  Nadab was just as evil as his father.  So after 2 years he was assassinated by Baasha from the tribe of Issachar.  Baasha not only killed Nadab, but he had everyone related to Jeroboam killed.

Now one would hope that Baasha would have taken over so he could be a good king, but that wasn’t the case.  He was just as evil as Jeroboam and Nadab.  He was king for 24 years and all during that time he fought against King Asa.  Asa made a treaty with Ben-Hadad, the King of Syria, and they defeated Baasha, but Baasha never really made peace with Judah.

Because of Baasha’s sins, the prophet Jehu predicted that all of Baasha’s descendants would be destroyed.  So when Baasha died and his son, Elah, became king, Zimir rose up after 2 years and killed him and all his family.  But when Zimir had only been king for 7 days, the people rose up and made the commander of the army, Omir, king.  So he set out after Zimir, but Zimir was afraid so he set fire to the palace and died. However, the people weren’t united behind Omir; half of them followed Tibni.  But Omir and his followers prevailed and he became King of Israel for 12 years. 

What chaos!  All this time, Judah had one king, Asa.  But because of sin and greed, Israel had constant turnover.  Following God’s law may be hard sometimes but all that sin and greed doesn’t sound much fun either!

Look back through 1 Kings and make a list of the Kings of Israel and Judah.  Talk about who would have been king if they had all followed God. (The Kings of Judah would have been the kings of one united kingdom)
<![CDATA[Asa is Faithful]]>Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:00:00 GMThttp://charactersoffaithdevotions.com/home/asa-is-faithfulTopic: Choices
1 Kings 15:9-15

Now not all of David’s grandsons were bad kings.  After Abijam died, his son, Asa, became king.  Verse 11 tells us that Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.  It even says he was like David.  He made all of the people who didn’t worship God leave Judah and he destroyed all the idols his father had made.  Asa even removed his grandmother from her position of power because she worshiped false gods.  Asa also returned many of the treasures to the temple and dedicated new ones.

Asa had to make a choice.  He could do what his father had done, or he could do what he knew was right.  Making the choice to make big changes in Judah could not have been easy, but it was the right thing to do.  Going along with the crowd is easier in the moment but can have consequences we don’t like in the end.  We need to be brave like Asa and do what is right even when it is hard.

Discussion Starter:
Do you think it was hard for Asa to take away his grandmother’s power? Would it be hard for you to do something you knew would hurt your grandparent’s feelings, even though it was the right thing to do?
<![CDATA[Abijam]]>Sun, 18 Feb 2018 20:00:00 GMThttp://charactersoffaithdevotions.com/home/abijamTopic: Faithfulness
1 Kings 15:1-8

When Rehoboam died, his son, Abijam, became king.  He was only king for 3 years, but he continued to rule and follow the practices of his father Rehoboam.  So why did God let him and his descendants continue to reign?

Because God is faithful, even when we are not!  God had promised David the rule of the kingdom and because of this God remained faithful to His promise, even though the kings were breaking their part of the deal.  God continues to be faithful even when we are not.  God keeps His promises.  Unlike men, God can always be depended on to keep His word!

Find a promise of God in the Bible.  Discuss how it applies to you and thank God you can depend on Him to keep it!
<![CDATA[Rehoboam’s Reign]]>Sun, 11 Feb 2018 17:00:00 GMThttp://charactersoffaithdevotions.com/home/rehoboams-reignTopic: Discipline
1 Kings 14:21-31

Rehoboam started his reign foolishly and didn’t learn much.  Verse 22 tells us that the people did evil in God’s sight.  That they worshipped idols and built places to worship false gods.

When Rehoboam had been king for 5 years, the King of Egypt came to Jerusalem and defeated them.  He took away all the treasures in the temple and in the king’s palace.  All of the worldly blessings of Kings David and Solomon were gone.

Why did God let this happen to His people?  They had begun to sin.  Sometimes God allows bad things in our lives in hopes that we will learn from them and turn to Him for help.  God wants us to depend on Him and become more like Him.  He allows circumstances that encourage us to that end.  Sometimes those circumstances are nice and sometimes they are not, but God’s goal is always for us to become better.  How we respond is our choice.

Discussion Starter:
Can you think of a time you were punished for something?  Can you now see how the punishment was to try to encourage you to be better?
<![CDATA[Punishment of Jeroboam]]>Sun, 04 Feb 2018 23:12:56 GMThttp://charactersoffaithdevotions.com/home/punishment-of-jeroboamTopic: God’s Will
1 Kings 13:33-14:18

Because Jeroboam continued to sin, God made his son sick.  Jeroboam asked his wife to disguise herself and go to Shiloh to see Ahijah, the Prophet that had told Jeroboam he would be King of Israel.  He told her to take an offering and Ahijah would tell her what would happen to the child.

Now Ahijah had lost his eyesight in his old age and could not see Jeroboam’s wife, but God had told him she was coming.  So, as soon as she arrived, he asked her why she was disguised.  Ahijah then proceeded to tell her that God had given Jeroboam an opportunity to serve Him as king.  God had even taken the people from David’s descendants but Jeroboam blew it!!  Because Jeroboam had sinned by introducing idols, the kingdom would be taken from his descendants as well and his son would die.  Actually the Bible says by letting the son die now, God was recognizing some good in the son and sparing him from the horrible things that were going to come later.  Ahijah went on to prophecy that the people of Israel would be taken from their land and punished for the idolatry that Jeroboam started. 

When Jeroboam’s wife returned home, the son died.  He was buried and all Israel mourned.

Have you ever though something bad might be a blessing in disguise?  Well this passage tells us that, while Jeroboam’s son was going to die, this was a better fate than everyone else.  We don’t always understand what happens in our lives, but God’s word promises He has good for us.  So the next time something that seems bad happens, stop and think about what God could be protecting you from.  God sees a much bigger picture than we do and He really can be trusted!

Have one person come up with an occurrence that sounds bad (flat tire).  Then brainstorm things it could save you from (bad accident, dog running in front of you, etc.).]]>