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How fifth graders got so smart

By John A Carroll

Week 35 in the Word—August 27-September 2, 2021

When I was in fifth grade, the Gideons came to our school and distributed a maroon-colored New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs to every student in our class.

Admittedly, this was not the whole Bible. Thirty-seven books of the Old Testament were omitted. But the small book was compact and a very good start for young Bible readers.

The New Testament introduces us to Jesus Christ and the gospel that went to the ends of the earth. Psalms reveal a God who is all powerful and holy. Psalms teach us that God rescues His people who cry out to Him. In the Psalms we see the examples of the saints calling out to the Lord in helpless agony but finding Him near. Proverbs exhorts us to seek wisdom which comes when we fear the Lord, trust Him and give up leaning on our own understanding. Certainly, we should read all the Bible, but great priority should be given to the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.

I suspect that Bibles are no longer distributed to fifth graders in public schools. No, but many do have smart phones and we should pray that those who do will go to a Bible app and find the glorious truth of the gospel.

Thank you for making the Word a priority in your life this week. May your heart rejoice in God’s truth so easily available whether from a tattered Gideons New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs or online from one of the many sources that offer free access to the Scriptures. May we all be as smart as a fifth grader with a Gideon New Testament including Psalms and Proverbs.


Week of August 20-26, 2021

August 27/Day 239 The Care and Feeding of Recovering Idolaters

(Psalms 132-135; 1 Corinthians 8) August 28/Day 240 Being and Doing the Lord’s Work (Psalms 136-138; I Corinthians 9) August 29/Day 241 To Whom Do You Trust Your Life? (Psalms 139-141; I Corinthians 10:1-13) August 30/Day 242 Guidance for Complex Decisions (Psalms 142-144; I Corinthians 10:14-33) August 31/Day 243 To My Dying Breath (Psalms 145-147; I Corinthians 11:1-15) September 1/Day 244 The Grand Finale of Victory (Psalms 148-150; I Corinthians 11:16-34) September 2/Day 245 The Importance of Seeking Wisdom (Proverbs 1-2; I Corinthians 12) Have a great week in the Word.

This schedule and devotionals are taken from my book Concealed and Revealed: a year in the old and new testaments. Available here.

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