Matthew Leaves Everything to Follow Jesus

Listen in to today’s episode as we explore the life of Matthew and learn how we can effectively share the Gospel message with those around us.Considered among the worst of sinners, hated by his fellow Jews, let’s find out how this greedy, unscrupulous tax collector left that life behind to become a follower of Jesus Christ.

His Greek name, Matthew, means “gift of God.” His father’s name was Alphaeus, as we read in Mark 2:14, where he is also called by his Hebrew name, Levi. It was not unusual for first-century Jews to have both a Semitic and Greco-Roman name; it is likely this apostle’s full name was Levi Matthew. The name, Levi, indicated his priestly lineage in the line of Levi, who was one of the sons of Jacob, the father of the 12 tribes of Israel

Matthew’s occupation was that of a publican or tax collector in Capernaum, collecting tariffs on goods that passed on the road between Damascus and the Mediterranean Sea. Publicans or tax collectors are historically despised in every culture. During this time, they were especially hated by the Jews and the Pharisees considered tax collectors the worst of sinners. However, when Matthew had a life-changing encounter with Jesus, he left behind the source of his riches, his position of power, security, comfort for traveling, hardship, and eventual martyrdom; Matthew left his old life for a new life with Jesus.

Listen in to today’s episode as we explore the life of Matthew and learn how we can effectively share the Gospel message with those around us.

On the next episode:

Be sure to join us next time on the History for Christian Teens podcast when we discover the lasting impact of second chances for the nephew of a New Testament missionary.

Resources referenced or recommended for further study:

Scripture references:

  • Matthew 9:9-13
  • Matthew 10:3
  • Mark 2:14-17
  • Luke 5:17-32
  • 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 17
  • Matthew 5:13-16

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Episode #27- John the Baptist Boldly Prepares the Way

You’ve probably heard of him, but who was John the Baptist, and what was his mission?You’ve probably heard of him, but who was John the Baptist, and what was his mission? For this episode, let’s explore the life and ministry of the man who prepared the way for Christ’s earthly ministry.

 

John’s birth was miraculous. His parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, were elderly and had no children when the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to tell him that he would finally have a son. But, Zechariah questioned the angel of the Lord, wondering how they could possibly become parents in their old age. As a result, Zechariah was rendered unable to speak for the duration of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.

 

While the couple were awaiting their son’s birth, Elizabeth had a special visitor, her cousin Mary, who was also with child. But the child within Mary’s womb was like no other and Elizabeth’s child leaped for joy within her womb. A beautiful reminder that even before birth, we are very much alive and able to sense the Spirit of the Lord. It’s also a foreshadowing of the special ministry that the baby would grow up to have as he called people to repent and follow Christ.

 

At the baby’s circumcision, when Zechariah confirmed that the chosen name for their son was John, his voice returned to him, and he was able to speak. Upon this, Zechariah prophesied about his son, saying, “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (Luke 1: 76-79).

 

John the Baptist, as he became known, lived a life of boldness for the Lord right up until his untimely death. Listen in to learn more about this incredible man and what we can learn from his life and ministry to apply to our own lives as believers.

On the next episode:

Be sure to join us next time on the History for Christian Teens podcast when we find out how a greedy tax collector became a Christ-follower.

 

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Resources referenced or recommended for further study:

 

Scripture references:

  • Luke 1:5-20
  • Luke 1:42-45, 66
  • Luke 1: 68-79
  • Matthew 3: 1-3, 5-6
  • Romans 6:3-11
  • Matthew 3:11, 14-17, 26-30
  • Luke 7:21-23
  • Proverbs 28:1
  • Acts 4:31
  • John 3:30

 

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If you have questions, comments, or are in need of prayer, you can reach us by email at HistoryForChristianTeens@gmail.com.


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Joseph: Fatherhood Isn’t Only About Biology

Joseph Fatherhood Isn’t Only About BiologyEpisode #26- Joseph: Fatherhood Isn’t Only About Biology

On this episode of History for Christian Teens, we take a look at a humble, God-fearing adoptive father who made an eternal impact.

Joseph was engaged to be married to a young Jewish maiden named Mary. However, Mary becomes pregnant, and it’s not Joseph’s child. Rather than disgrace her, Joseph planned to divorce her quietly. But, that night, an angel of the Lord visited Joseph and explained to him that the child Mary was carrying was from the Holy Spirit, instructing him to take Mary as his wife and give the child the name Jesus. The decision to obey the Lord wouldn’t be without consequences for Joseph. His reputation, as well as his wife’s, would always be tarnished by the suspicion that they had sinned before marriage. Regardless, Joseph trusted the Lord and obeyed Him without question.

Throughout the account of Joseph’s brief story in the Bible, we see that he was a man of godly character who provided for and protected Jesus and his mother. When Jesus was an adult, people often referred to Him as the “son of Joseph,” although the Gospel writers were careful to maintain that Jesus’ true Father was God, with Joseph being more of a step-father or adoptive father. Joseph isn’t mentioned in any of the accounts of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The absence of Joseph in the stories of Jesus’ earthly ministry has led many to believe that Joseph died sometime between the last Biblical account of Joseph, when Jesus was 12, and when Jesus launched His earthly ministry as an adult. The fact that Jesus, as He was dying on the cross, committed the care of His mother to John gives us an indication that Joseph had indeed passed away by that time.

Listen in to learn how Jewish betrothal was different from engagements in today’s culture and, most importantly, what we can learn from the man who stepped up and stepped into the role of earthly father to Jesus Christ.

On the next episode- Be sure to join us next time on the History for Christian Teens podcast when we’ll explore the life of the man who prepared the way for Christ’s earthly ministry.

 

Resources referenced or recommended for further study:

 

Scripture references:

  • Mathew 1-2
  • Luke 1:31-38
  • Luke 2: 22-40
  • Luke 3
  • 1 Timothy 5:8
  • Genesis 18:19
  • Deuteronomy 6:6-9

 

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If you have questions, comments, or are in need of prayer, you can reach us by email at HistoryForChristianTeens@gmail.com.

 

Mary the Mother of Jesus: A Life Fully Surrendered to God

A Life Fully Surrendered to GodEpisode #25- Mary the Mother of Jesus: A Life Fully Surrendered to God

We begin our study of historical figures in the New Testament with one of the most famous women in world history, whose child grew up to change the course of history! Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, is an extraordinary example of a life fully surrendered to God.

It’s unknown when Mary was born. Though we know that it was close to the period in history when the calendar changed from B.C., meaning “Before Christ,” to A.D., Latin for Anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord.” In fact, it was Mary’s first-born son, Jesus Christ, that ushered in this time change!

Mary was a Jewish girl who lived in the obscure northern town of Nazareth. From the tribe of Judah and the royal line of David. That’s all that seems to be known about this young lady until she enters the Bible’s pages. However, there must be a reason why Mary, of all the virtuous Jewish girls, was chosen for this wondrous yet difficult task she was about to be asked to undertake. The Bible tells us that God judges not on the outward appearance but that He looks upon the heart. Therefore, one can assume that Mary must have had a pure and faithful heart for the Lord to be called to be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Just as Mary was at the beginning of Jesus’ life on earth, she was also present at his first miracle that marked the start of His earthly ministry. Later, she would witness his crucifixion, Christ’s ascension to Heaven, and she was among the 120 baptized in the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.

Listen in to discover more about this remarkable woman, chosen by God to care for and nurture our Lord and Savior, and what important lessons we can draw from her incredible example.

On the next episode- Be sure to join us next time on the History for Christian Teens podcast when we take a look at an extraordinary adoptive father who made an eternal impact.

Resources referenced or recommended for further study:

 

Scripture references:

  • Luke 1
  • Matthew 1:18-25
  • 1 Timothy 1:3
  • Romans 3:23
  • Ephesians 2:8–9
  • Acts 4:12
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9–10
  • 2 Timothy 2:11

 

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If you have questions, comments, or are in need of prayer, you can reach us by email at HistoryForChristianTeens@gmail.com.

 

Esther: For Such a Time As This

Esther: For Such a Time As ThisEpisode #24- Esther: For Such a Time As This

This week we learn about Esther, a woman who overcame her fear in order to save her people from certain destruction.

Our heroine lived between 538 BC and 473 BC and was raised by her cousin, Mordecai, who treated her as his very own daughter. Hebrew by birth, Jewish by faith, she and her cousin resided in a Jewish community in Susa, the capital of Persia. It is now 100 years after the Babylonian exile, which we discussed in our previous episode about Daniel. Although some Jews ended up returning to Jerusalem, many did not.

After King Xerxes banished Queen Vashti for failing to obey him, a nationwide search for the next queen began. It’s thought that as many as 400 young ladies were brought into the king’s harem for a beauty pageant of sorts; Esther the Jew was among them. Soon, Esther won the favor of those around her, and eventually, she won the heart of the king.

Adding to the drama, there was an ongoing feud between the king’s right-hand man, Haman, who was an evil man, and Mordecai, the cousin who raised Esther. When Mordecai continued to refuse to bow to Haman, Haman plotted to annihilate not only Mordecai but all the Jewish people and manipulated the king to issue an edict to carry it out.

Now crowned Queen Esther, she still had not revealed her nationality and faced a dilemma upon learning of Haman’s plans to kill her people. If she goes before the king to plead for their lives, she risks her own life. However, if she remains silent, she also risks losing her life. Bravely, Esther hatched a plan, and through her courage and faith in God, her people were spared.

Listen to this week’s podcast to learn the inside scoop on how this amazing feat was accomplished and what lessons we can learn from Esther’s example.

On the next episode- On the next episode of History for Christian Teens, we begin our study of historical figures in the New Testament with a very special young mother whose child grew up to change the course of history!

 

Resources referenced or recommended for further study:

Scripture references:

  • The Book of Esther
  • Romans 8:28

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Daniel- A Man of Integrity, No Lion!

Daniel- A Man of Integrity, No Lion!Episode #23: Daniel- A Man of Integrity, No Lion!

This podcast explores the life of a man of such integrity that even a den full of hungry lions couldn’t devour him! Daniel’s integrity would serve him well as he dutifully served three kings during his time in Babylon. However, his strong convictions would land him in a precarious situation; the miraculous outcome is so well-known that it’s still discussed in children’s books and sermons.

Daniel lived from around 620 BC- 535 BC. It’s estimated that he lived to be at least 85 years old, maybe more! Daniel’s name means “God is my judge,” and he is the author of the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. After being forcibly taken to Babylon, Daniel, along with three of his friends, Shadrach; Meshach; and Abednego, were sent to train to serve in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar.

The Lord bestowed upon Daniel the ability to interpret dreams and visions, which he would put into practice many times with the kings he served. Daniel also grew in favor with the kings, Darius in particular. But, the king’s favor would not save him when he continued to pray to his God after a decree was issued for everyone to pray to King Darius alone. Jealous leaders discovered Daniel, seeking to frame him, and the king had no choice but to throw him into the lion’s den.

The next morning, King Darius was thrilled to find that the Living God had saved Daniel from the lions. As a result, Darius declared that everyone in the kingdom should worship the one true God only.

Listen in to find out what we can learn from the remarkable life of faith that Daniel led that we can apply to our own lives as Christians.

Next week- Please join us next week when we invite you to join us next week when we learn about a woman who overcame her fear in order to save her people from certain destruction.

Resources referenced or recommended for further study:

Scripture references:

  • The Book of Daniel
  • Proverbs 21:3
  • Psalm 41:12
  • Psalm 34:1
  • 1 John 5:14

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We are now on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and more! You can also find us on your favorite podcast listening app. Please be sure to like and subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

If you have questions, comments, or are in need of prayer, you can reach us by email at HistoryForChristianTeens@gmail.com.

 

 

Isaiah Boldly Answers, Here I am! Send me

Meet Isaiah, a man who was so bold that when called into service by God, he eagerly responded by saying, “Here I am! Send me.”Episode #22- Isaiah Boldly Answers, Here I am! Send me

On this podcast, we will learn about a man who was so bold that when called into service by God, he eagerly responded by saying, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah was a prophet of the Living God, ministering to the people in and around Jerusalem in the southern kingdom of Judah. His prophetic ministry spans 53 years, from 739 BC to 686 BC. Over the years, he was a chief advisor to several kings, although they rarely listened to him. He often rebuked the wealthy and powerful for dodging their responsibilities, but he also called the common people to be obedient to God’s commandments.

His name means “The Lord is salvation.” Isaiah was born around the year 710 BC. He wrote an entire book of the Old Testament bearing his name. You can also read about him in 2 Kings 19-20 and in many verses throughout the New Testament. As was common back in those days, Isaiah told the people how he received his calling from the Lord, which you can read in Isaiah chapter 6. He is told that few would respond to his preaching; however, Isaiah was not dissuaded and served the Lord wholeheartedly anyway. Isaiah understood that the outcome is God’s responsibility. His responsibility was to do as the Lord instructs and leave the results up to Him.

Listen in to find out what we can learn from this great yet humble prophet of God that we can apply to our lives as believers.

Next week- Please join us next week when we explore the life of a man of such integrity that even a den full of hungry lions couldn’t devour him.

Resources referenced or recommended for further study:

Scripture references:

  • The Book of Isaiah
  • 2 Kings 19-20
  • Revelation 4:6–9
  • Philippians 2:12
  • Matthew 6:1-4
  • Exodus 20:7
  • Leviticus 19:12
  • 2 Corinthians 3:9-12
  • Acts 28:31

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

We are now on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and more! You can also find us on your favorite podcast listening app. Please be sure to like and subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

If you have questions, comments, or are in need of prayer, you can reach us by email at HistoryForChristianTeens@gmail.com

Jonah and His Whale of a Tale!

Ready for a whale of a tale? In this true Biblical account of a man named Jonah, he runs from what the Lord has called him to do.Episode #21- Jonah and His Whale of a Tale!

Ready for a whale of a tale? In this true Biblical account of a man named Jonah, we follow him as he runs from what the Lord has called him to do.

Given a message from God to warn the wicked people of Nineveh of coming destruction, instead, Jonah takes off on a boat to get as far away from the city of Nineveh, and from God, as possible. After purchasing a ticket to sail to a faraway land, a terrible storm arises, and the ship’s crew realize they have no choice but to throw Jonah overboard to save themselves.

Sinking into the sea, a great fish swallows Jonah, where he sits in its belly for three days. While there, Jonah repents, asking the Lord to forgive him. The fish eventually spits him up onto dry land, and the Lord once again sends him with His message for the Ninevites. This time, Jonah obediently goes to declare God’s warning of coming destruction for their wicked ways. But, rather than be grateful when the people of Nineveh repent and cry out to the Lord, Jonah becomes angry and sulks. God, then, lovingly reminds Jonah that ALL people are important to Him, and there is no one He will not forgive if they will just call upon His name.

Next week- Please be sure to join us next week when we learn about the man who boldly volunteered for service, saying, “Here I am! Send me.”

Resources referenced or recommended for further study:

Scripture references:

  • The Book of Jonah
  • Psalm 139:7-10
  • Hebrews 4:13
  • 2 Peter 3:9
  • Romans 2:11
  • John 3:16
  • Romans 10:13

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We are now on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and more! You can also find us on your favorite podcast listening app. Please be sure to like and subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

If you have questions, comments, or are in need of prayer, you can reach us by email at HistoryForChristianTeens@gmail.com.

Elijah: Bold Prophet Who Vanished in a Whirlwind

On this podcast, Kevin and Crystal take a closer look at a man of boldness for the Lord and extraordinary faithfulness.Episode #20- Elijah: Bold Prophet Who Vanished in a Whirlwind

On this podcast, Kevin and Crystal take a closer look at a man of boldness for the Lord and extraordinary faithfulness. A man who, one day, was caught up to heaven in a whirlwind, never tasting death as a reward for his obedient service to God. You can find his story in 1 Kings 17-19 and 2 Kings 2. We are talking about Elijah. His name means, “The Lord is my God,” and he was a prophet who lived around 900 BC. Back in those days, being a prophet wasn’t easy and his main task was to give King Ahab bad news. His life was often in peril because of this, but the Lord always protected and cared for Elijah.

With very little introduction, Elijah comes on the scene to prophesy a coming drought upon the land of Israel due to the people’s idol worship and their wicked ruler. Ahab was an evil king who ruled the northern kingdom from 874 to 853 BC. Because the people had turned from worshiping the one true God to bowing down to idols, God sent Elijah to declare His judgment upon them. They would endure 3 1/2 years of drought to show them that their idol Baal, the god of rain and fertility, had no power over the Living God who could control all things, including the weather.

After challenging King Ahab, Elijah was warned by God to hide for a time, and while there, the Lord used ravens to supply him with food. As the drought and famine worsened across the land, Elijah met a widow living nearby. Because of her sacrificial giving to Elijah, she, her son, and Elijah were provided for. Miraculously, the widow’s barrel of flour and jar of oil never run out.

Sadly, the severe drought did not move King Ahab to repent from his wicked ways. As the drought years came to an end, God sent Elijah to Ahab to propose a power challenge between God Himself, the 450 priests of Baal, and the 400 priests of Asherah. In front of the whole nation, the one true God shows His power over the false gods. Still, despite God’s powerful display, Elijah became fearful and ran for his life from Ahab and Jezabel, falling into a deep depression. However, rather than be angry, the Lord lovingly ministers to Elijah and speaks to him there.

Listen in to hear the full story and find out what we can learn from this great, though very human, prophet of God that we can apply to our lives as believers.

Next week- Please be sure to tune in next week when we’ll get the inside scoop about a man who has a whale of a tale to tell!

Resources referenced or recommended for further study:

Scripture references:

  • 1 Kings 17-19
  • 2 Kings 2
  • Luke 1:17
  • Malachi 4:5–6
  • James 5:17–18
  • 1 Corinthians 16:13
  • 2 Corinthians 3:12
  • 2 Timothy 1:7-8
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

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We are now on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and more! You can also find us on your favorite podcast listening app. Please be sure to like and subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

If you have questions, comments, or are in need of prayer, you can reach us by email at HistoryForChristianTeens@gmail.com.

Solomon was a Wise and Foolish King

Explore the reign of Solomon - a man who was both a wise and a foolish king; the wisest man who ever lived, yet lacked discernment.Episode #19- Solomon was a Wise and Foolish King

This episode explores the reign of a man who was both a wise and a foolish king. Proclaimed, in fact, as the wisest man who ever lived. But, despite his vast, God-given wisdom, he lacked discernment and disobeyed the Lord. Who was this king?

Solomon, his name meaning, “peace,” the third and final king of Israel; son of David and Bathsheba. King David appointed Solomon as his successor just before his death even though he was not the eldest of his sons. Solomon inherited a kingdom that was well managed and stable with none of the countries that surrounded them strong enough to cause concern. His 40 year reign was marked by peace in the region with only a few occasions of unrest, and he expanded his control from Egypt to the Euphrates River. During his lifetime, Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Songs, and the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Though he was just a youth, Solomon still realized the enormous task that lay ahead of him as a new king. When the Lord gave him the chance to ask Him for anything he wanted, King Solomon asked for wisdom. God gave that to him and wealth and honor besides. Crystal and Kevin then share two examples of ways he proved his wisdom and love for the Lord during his long reign.

However, as great and wise as Solomon was, he had a major flaw. During the course of his reign, Solomon married many foreign women for personal gratification and likely as a political move to secure his power and ensure stability in the region. Of Solomon, we read this Nehemiah 13:46, “. . . He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women.” Even the wisest man had weaknesses, as we all do, and it was at those unguarded points that the devil was able to trip him up and entice him into sin.

Be sure to listen in to the podcast to find out what we can learn from Solomon and apply to our own lives as believers.

Next week- Please join Crystal and Kevin next week for the story of a man who disappeared in a whirlwind!.

Resources referenced or recommended for further study:

Scripture references:

  • 1 Kings 3:5-14
  • 1 Kings 11: 1-6
  • I Chronicles 28:3
  • Nehemiah 13:46
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14
  • Proverbs 12:26
  • Proverbs 13:20
  • 1 Corinthians 15:33

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We are now on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and more! You can also find us on your favorite podcast listening app. Please be sure to like and subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

 

If you have questions, comments, or are in need of prayer, you can reach us by email at HistoryForChristianTeens@gmail.com.