Words of Love
“God’s holy people must be patient. They must obey God’s commands and keep their faith in Jesus” (Revelation 14:12, ICB).*
The Loud Voice
I was very tired, and the airport waiting room was so cool and comforting. For weeks I’d been traveling around the Caribbean taking pictures and making a movie about the many activities of church members there. Now it was time to go home.
I closed my eyes as I felt the pressure of my busy schedule slip away. I became aware that I couldn’t hear anyone talking near me. The waiting room, moments before filled with passengers, children, and ticket agents, was empty.
That’s when I heard a loud voice.“Your attention, please. Your attention, please. This is the final boarding call of Flight 982 to Miami. All passengers should be on board the aircraft at this time.” I probably created a record for the fastest sprint to the boarding gate.
Did you know there is a “loud voice” calling out to you right now? It’s God’s voice echoing from the lips of three high-flying angels who’ve been sent from heaven to do two things: (1) to warn of coming dangers; and (2) to share what we need to do in order to go home with Jesus. Let’s all be sure to stay awake and listen for it.
If you were God, what would you say to this world to invite everyone to go to heaven with you? Write that message down and e-mail it to everyone you know.
Words of Love
“The angel had the eternal Good News to preach to those who live on earth—to every nation, tribe, language, and people” (Revelation 14:6, ICB).
Good News School
“I don’t want to go to church.” Justin said.
“Why?” his father asked. “I thought you liked church!”
“I’d rather do other things, like play baseball or watch a movie on the Internet. Sometimes church is boring.”
Justin’s dad nodded slowly. “Well, you’re right. Compared to an exciting baseball game or a movie about battling dinosaurs, church can be kind of boring.”
The boy blinked. “You agree with me?”
“Sure, and we’re going to a place where you learn how to be an angel.”
The two sat in silence for a long moment. “Who’s going to teach me this?” the boy asked.
“God,” Dad said. “Do you think God wants us to head out into the world without learning how to do that? That takes practice and knowledge. Learning, too.”
“That takes church,” Justin said.
“People in Bible times had their sanctuaries and temples. Today we have churches. But the goal of these places is all the same: to learn how to spread the good news of God’s love. Do you understand?”
Justin nodded. “Yes. And you know what, Dad? I’m glad we have this little church to go to. I want to be an angel for God. I want to spread His love to everyone.”
If you were a pastor, what would you do to make sure everyone had a fun learning experience there? Make a list and share it with your pastor. Then get ready to help him or her in any way you can.
Words of Love
“What will happen to show us that it is time for you to come again and for the world to end?” (Matthew 24:3, ICB).
Lisa was so excited. “Do you see her yet?” her mother called from the doorway, holding a sizzling raspberry pie fresh from the oven. “Raspberry pie is her favorite, you know.”
Mother placed the hot pie on a cooling shelf by the window and sat down on the porch swing.
“You’ve missed your big sister, haven’t you?” she said.
Lisa nodded. “Sarah’s ship has been to so many interesting places,” she said excitedly. “Each time she’s deployed [sent out], the Navy sends her someplace really exotic. That means ‘strange, mysterious, and out of the ordinary.’ I looked it up.”
Mother sighed. “I wish people worked this hard for Someone else who’s coming back soon.”
The girl frowned. “Who’s coming back?”
“Jesus,” Mother stated. “He’s coming back to this earth.”
Lisa gasped. “When?”
“Soon,” her mother responded. “Jesus told His disciples that before He returned, the world would be a dangerous place.
“That’s why Sarah joined the Navy. She’s trying to keep the world peaceful.”
“You knew Sarah was coming back, so you cleaned your room, scrubbed the floors, picked beautiful flowers, washed your clothes—you wanted everything to be special for Sarah. Why did we do all those things?”
Lisa grinned broadly. “Because we love Sarah and want her to feel welcome.”
“You know what? I would like to think it’s the job of every Christian to show signs of loving service to the world, so everyone will know that something special and wonderful is about to happen.”
Just then a car appeared. Mom and Lisa waved and smiled at the approaching vehicle. They knew everything was ready to welcome Sarah home—someone they’d missed and was now coming home again. How fun it was to get things ready for her coming!
List five ways you can show joy to your friends and neighbors that Jesus is coming soon. Then write a song about your joy.
Words of Love
“It is important for you to understand what will happen in the last days” (2 Peter 3:3, ICB).
“You don’t look so good,” Kim’s dad said as his son stumbled into the kitchen.
Dad shook his head slowly from side to side. “I know exactly what’s wrong with you.”
Kim blinked. “Well, Dr. Dad, what’s your diagnosis?”
The man pointed a finger at him. “You’ve got a bad case of a twisted ankle.”
Kim studied his father for a moment. “Twisted ankle?”
“What do you think you have?” Dad asked.
“Dad,” the teenager said, “I have a cold.”
“So, you have a cold based on evidence, right?”
Kim nodded. “Right.”
“And,” Dad continued, “we should make decisions based on evidence, right?”
The boy hesitated. “Right.”
“Then why is it so hard for you to believe that Jesus is coming soon?”
Kim gasped. “What does Jesus’ coming have to do with my cold?”
“Last night you said that you didn’t think Jesus was coming soon. So what about the evidence?”
“Evidence?” Kim asked.
“Jesus told His disciples that near the end of time there would be famines and pestilence and that people would be so afraid.
“That’s all evidence, Kim. That’s evidence that Jesus is coming soon and we have to tell people about it.”
Kim nodded slowly. “OK. You’re right,” he said between coughs. “I guess I should take the Second Coming more seriously. I guess I should tell others about it too.”
Draw a picture of three activities you can do in your home, your community, or your church to remind people that Jesus is coming back. Include this text with your drawings: “Listen! I am coming soon!” (Revelation 22:12, ICB).
Words of Love
“Those who have died and were in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, ICB).
Waiting for the Harvest
Terry stood and stared at the freshly turned soil. It had been three hours since he’d watched his father carefully plant seeds in the dirt, and yet nothing was happening.
Dad walked up beside his young son and smiled down at him. “Are you talking to my garden?” he asked.
Terry pointed. “I’m talking to the seeds. You put them in the garden this morning, and I want corn on the cob for supper. What are they waiting for?”
“They’re waiting for the days to become longer, the sun to become brighter, the air to become warmer, and summer rains to bring moisture. Then something amazing will happen.”
“What?” Terry asked, bending low for a closer look.
“Then they’ll take energy from the sun and form stalks and leaves and finally ears of corn ready for hungry 5-year-old boys to enjoy with mashed potatoes and string beans. All that takes time, but it will be worth the wait.”
Terry frowned. “Why does it take so long?”
“Well,” Dad said. “Everything has to happen in a special order for things to grow.”
The man paused. “It’s the same with people who die. But someday soon Jesus will come and call them from the earth. They’ll be alive once more, and we’ll be so happy to see them.
“Waiting isn’t always fun, but it will be worth it. You’ll see.”
Has someone in your family died? If so, draw a picture of some beautiful tombstones with their names on them. Include the sun overhead to help you remember what Jesus will do someday soon.
Words of Love
“Blessed and holy are those who share in the first raising of the dead. The second death has no power over them” (Revelation 20:6, ICB).
A Safe Place
Elsa looked at the falling leaves and dying grasses. “I don’t like autumn,” she said. “It makes me worried.”
“Worried?” Mother repeated. “Why?”
“Because of the animals,” the girl stated, pointing at the trees and meadows surrounding them. “What’s going to happen to them when the snows come?”
Mother thought for a moment. “They have God. When He created this world, He made sure that everyone had a home. As a matter of fact, the earth was one great big happy home for everyone.
“But after sin came along, Adam and Eve built their own home. Soon people were building houses and cities and living a life very different from what God had in mind. The animals continued to do many things as God intended. Sin created cold winters and brought many dangers into their lives—especially dangers from humans. But the animals dug into the ground or burrowed into trees, or flew south to faraway, warmer places.
“Animals are living in the arms of nature, doing what God taught them to do—survive.”
The woman paused. “The same God who made us promised to protect us if we’d let Him.”
Put up some bird and animal feeders in your backyard this coming winter. You’ll make a lot of critters—and the God who made them—very happy. Invite your friends to do the same.
Words of Love
“Worship God. He made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water” (Revelation 14:7, ICB).
Worship the Creator
One day I was taking a Sabbath afternoon walk with my wife.
I stopped to take a picture of a flower as my wife continued walking, admiring the butterflies and blossoms. Soon she was some distance from me.
Suddenly a large dog burst from the yard of a nearby house and headed straight for my wife at full speed.
I had three choices.
One, I could call out to the dog in a friendly manner. Or two, I could have tried to reason with him. Or three, I could do what I did.
I shouted: “HEY! HEY! STOP! BAD DOG! BAD DOG! GET OUT OF HERE! GO HOME! GO HOME!”
That third solution worked like a charm. The dog hurried back toward his own yard.
In the fascinating book of Revelation the Bible reports that God sent three angels to warn everyone in the world that sin is destroying them.
And one of those angels, the very first one, while using a very definite outdoor voice, said something strange. He shouted: “Worship God. He made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water.”
Why would an angel have to remind everyone that they were created by God?
So many people have forgotten that fact. They think we came from monkeys, or just evolved from pond scum. These people worship science or technology; they bow to human leaders, or use worldly ways of thinking and reasoning.
I’m not suggesting that you go to your friend’s house, knock on the door, and, when they come to answer, say in a loud voice,
“HEY! GOD LOVES YOU. HE WANTS TO SAVE YOU FROM SIN. WANT TO PLAY SOCCER?”
Instead, you can say with an indoor voice, “Hey, how about some soccer?” And then you enjoy an honest, fair game, showing your friends exactly how Jesus would play and treat others.
And our kind testimony should work like the angels’.
Ask your pastor to preach a sermon about how God created this world and everything in it. Then invite a few of your friends to come and listen with you.
* Scriptures credited to ICB are quoted from the International Children’s Bible, New Century Version, copyright © 1986, 1988, 1999 by Tommy Nelson, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee 37214. Used by permission.
Copyright © 2017, Adventist Review. All rights reserved worldwide.