Trail Guide Devotional

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This ran recently on the Reston Bible Church blog.

TRAIL GUIDE: God’s Word is Our Strength

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.


“It’s an open-book test.”  Those words can indeed be beautiful to hear in the face of a difficult exam.  I remember clearly the first time I heard them in a high school chemistry class.  At once, my heart jumped because I had not studied well for the test.  In fact, I hadn’t studied well for the whole year in that class.  I thought, “This is a gift!”  Sadly, my joy turned to nervous sweat as I frantically thumbed pages and scoured the index of a book I had barely cracked all semester.  I quickly learned that, without a good working knowledge of the book, an open-book test isn’t much easier at all.  I needed the answers now and there just wasn’t time to find them because I didn’t know where to look.

The temptations or tests that we face in our spiritual lives are “open-book” tests too.  “Your Word is like a lamp that shows me the way. It is like a light that guides me.”  “How can a young person keep his life pure? By living in keeping with your Word.”    The psalmist says that the one who meditates on the Word day and night is “blessed.”  When Jesus was tempted in the desert after forty days without food, his weapon of choice against the Devil was the Word.  “It is written…” Jesus answered three times and Satan retreated.  When Satan distorted the words of God, Jesus knew how to answer him.  What if Jesus had, like Adam and Eve, simply listened to Satan’s lies and had no response?  Rather than being hyper-vigilant and sheltering our children, we must exhort them to be prepared for what WILL come.  And when they are tempted they will be able to say, “I have hidden your Word in my heart so that I won’t sin against you.”  It’s an open book test.  Know the book.

“How can a young person keep his life pure? By living in keeping with your word.” 
“I have hidden your word in my heart so that I won’t sin against you.” (Psalm 119:9,11)

“So obey God. Stand up to the devil. He will run away from you.”  -James 4:7

Psalm 119:9,11
1 John 5:4-5
Matthew 6:9,13
James 4:7

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