Monday 1/21 ~ You cannot have victory unless you have something to be victorious over

The scripture for today, January 21 (1/21), is Job 1:21 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

07-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonThmbnail“ ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ “

Wow!  Is he for real? Job had every reason to turn against God. In one day his entire wealth was stolen from him, nearly all his employees were killed by an invading army, and all his children died in a storm. Why hadn’t God protected him if he loved him so much?

Amidst tragedy, do you sometimes forget that Satan exists also? Job understood that whatever Satan does, God can undo.

Satan is the accuser (Revelation 12:10), but God is the forgiver. Satan can cause you to get sick, but God can heal. Satan can cause you to die, but God can bring you back to life. Satan can make you miserable in this world, but God can take you to a better world.

Shall you leave God to fight Satan alone? You were made in his image.  And how do you fight Satan? The same way Job did. Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” There’s more….

  • In all these things we are more than conquerors
  • through him who loved us.
    For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
    Neither angels nor demons,
    Neither the present nor the future,
    Nor any powers,
    Neither height nor depth,
    Nor anything else in all creation
    Will be able to separate us from the
    Love of God
    That is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (Romans 8:37-39)

Listen up!  How can you be “more than a conqueror” unless you have something to conquer? How can you have “victory in Jesus” unless you have something to be victorious over?

You have periodic assignments from God. What bad thing has happened in your life lately? That is your assignment.

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Sunday, 1/20 ~ Prophecy is what?

The scripture for today, January 20 (1/20), is 2nd Peter 1:20f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Golden Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Isn’t this interesting? It’s a definition of prophecy. Prophecy is Scripture. It isn’t just telling the future. It’s telling the mind of God. Sometimes in the Old Testament God warned his people that if they did so-and-so, this would happen, but if they did such-and-such, that would happen.

Still, ultimately all prophecy was telling people how much God loved them and wanted them, in the long run, to be happy. The Old Testament has much of that in it, and all the New Testament does. It is your Creator’s Words.

1st Corinthians 13:8 says prophecies were going to cease and they did when we got the entire Word of God, the entire Bible.  If someone prophesied today, it would be unfair to the rest of the world, for prophecy is scripture. The rest of the world would be cheated out of knowing the complete Word of God.

You are so blessed that you do not have to guess what is on God’s mind. Many other religions have to guess ~ Hinduism, Buddhism, animism, and so on. But you have God’s very own words in black and white to read over and over whenever you like ~ prophecy which is Scripture.

 Read it. Absorb it. Love it. It was written by the Lover of your Soul.

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Saturday 1/19 ~ How’s your hearing?

The scripture for today, January 19, is James 1:19a as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

There was a book published a few years ago entitled, Hurt People Hurt People.

Has anyone ever tried to console you by saying, “I know how you feel”?  Did you lash back at them saying something like, “How dare you think you know how bad I feel” or “How dare you think you understand the ordeal I went through!” or “How dare you treat me like that”?

Those are accusing words. And what do they accomplish? It’s almost like bragging. “My hurt is so far above your hurt, you could never come up to my superior level.”

You may feel justified in explaining how badly you were treated by someone. But, in reality, it makes the hurt keep going and going and going…. Perhaps this is an accusing cycle you’ve been in for a long time with someone.

Which one of you is going to stop the cycle?

Satan is the accuser (Revelation 12:10).  God is the forgiver.  Even Jesus forgave his killers. When you have been hurt, be ready to listen to the other person’s hurt instead of accuse. And in the process, “bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

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Friday 1/18 ~ Whiter than the snow outside your window

The scripture for today, January 18 (1/18), is Isaiah 1:18 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail” ‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’ “

When did this become possible? Revelation in the New Testament explains in 7:14 we make our robes white by washing them in the blood of the Lamb.

What lamb? John the Baptist introduced the world to the Lamb. When he saw Jesus walking toward him in front of a crowd, he announced, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

How did Jesus become the Lamb of God? Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death, the wages being paid by Satan. In the Old Testament era, God pacified Satan temporarily by allowing us to kill an animal in our place whenever we sinned. So, for centuries, we would sin and sacrifice an animal, sin and sacrifice an animal and on and on, for we never could stop sinning.

Finally, God offered one last sacrifice for all times. This is what Satan wanted.  In order to redeem us from our soul death,  Satan wanted God to die. When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper (Communion), he did so during the Jewish Passover feast where they ate their meal of lamb. There is no mention that Jesus and his apostles ate the usual lamb. Instead, he passed around the usual wine and said from now on it represented his blood as the sacrificial Lamb. And he passed around the usual bread and said from now on it represented his body as the sacrificial Lamb. (Mark 14:12 22-25).

Then Jesus ~ God on earth ~ went out and paid our ransom by dying. Then he tricked Satan and came back to life on Sunday, overcoming death forever.

Sunday is the most special day of the week for Christians. Why? The early Christians under guidance of Jesus’ apostles “broke bread” for the communion every first day of the week (Acts 20:7). May we always make this the central part of our worship on this special day.

It is snowing where some of you live.  Look out your window or find a picture of snow.  So white and pure and sparkling.  So soft and quiet and peaceful. Oh, my Savior. You can make my soul this white?  Whiter? I fall at Your feet and worship You.

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Thursday 1/17 ~ We get the good ones

The scripture for today, January 17  (1/17), is James 1:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Do you sometimes feel slighted because other people get more gifts on special occasions (or even between special occasions) than you do? No need to feel that way. Christians get the goods ones. Christians get the perfect ones. We get them all! And our heavenly Father will never stop showering us with those “good gifts,” those “perfect gifts.”

God’s gifts are good and perfect because they are forever gifts. And what can be better than that?

Ah, Lord God, my creator, my life, lover of my soul. With you, I am never hungry, I am never cold, I am never in want. With you I have all that I need for my soul is filled with your love, I am warm in your embrace, and everything is good within my being. You, who died in my place, are even now waiting for me at your door.  I will be there soon.  Then we will be together for eternity.

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Wednesday 1/16 ~ Don’t urge me to leave you

The scripture for today, January 16 (1/16), is Ruth 1:16ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

Although Ruth was talking to her mother-in-law after the death of her husband (Naomi’s son), this can be and sometimes is quoted by the bride and groom at their wedding. If only it were quoted more often. Not only at weddings, but at anniversaries. At birthdays of children and parents. During arguments, and low times and hard times and discouraging times.

Even deeper, it could be said when Satan attacks us.  Just change you to him.  Don’t urge me to leave him or to turn back from him.  Where he goes, I will go, and where he stays, I will stay.  His people will be my people and God will always be my God.

These are the words of love ~ deep genuine, unselfish love. Let us so love one another that deeply. Let us love our God that deeply.

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Tuesday 1/15 ~ Never underestimate what God can do through you

The scripture for today, January 15 (1/15), is Galatians 1:15f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

03-Naaman'sMaid-ThumbnailCover“But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles….”

Isn’t this amazing? God knew before you are born what you can be doing for him later in life. He sets aside work for you to do, but he does not force you to do it. You may set aside a certain amount of money to spend on food but you end up spending it on clothing.  Being set aside does not mean something will end up doing what it was set aside for.

God has given you certain talents and set you aside to use them for Him.  Do you? Is your thinking even oriented on things that can endure through eternity? Or do you think only of the next day, or the next year?

You do not have to guess what God has set you aside to do.  Read the scriptures. He has messages for you all through them.  Find someone in the Bible with your personality and use that person as an example.  Find advice in the proverbs. Find advice in Jesus’ teachings, and in his apostles’ teachings.  It’s all there.  Pick one and do it.

If you are willing to follow God’s advice and not man’s, then decide today to accept the work God has set aside for you to do. Or maybe you’re already doing it and don’t realize it.

You may not think your life has been very exciting. You may be waiting for God to give you a big important job to do for him. But the truth is, you ~ in your seemingly mundane life ~ may already be doing what God set aside for you to do.

Never under-estimate yourself and what God can accomplish through you.

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