Thursday 9/13 ~ You cannot have “victory in Jesus” unless you have a problem to be victorious over

The scripture for today, September 13 (9/13), is Psalm 9:13f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“O Lord, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, that I may declare your praises…and there rejoice in your salvation.”

We all experience difficult things in our life ~ some minor, some major. Do you let them define your entire life? Or do you cling to them, never getting over them, never letting them go, and reliving them over and over in your mind?

 You cannot be “more than conqueror” (Romans 8:37) unless you have something to conquer. You cannot have “victory in Jesus” unless you have something to be victorious over.

God said that he can make “all things work together for good” to those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28).

Today, with the courage of God in your heart, the love of God in your soul, and the might of God in your very being, rise up! Rejoice! Thank God for your problems.  It is only when you have problems that you can experience victories.

 

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Tuesday 9/4 ~ Shhh. Listen. Do you hear him?

The scripture for today, September 4 (9/4), is Daniel 9:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands….’ “

A lot of people in the world think God should feel obligated to take them to heaven. After all, they are fairly good, and better than some. God couldn’t possibly in all good conscience turn them away.

Yet, their entire life they resent God. They don’t like his few commands; they don’t want anyone telling them what to do or not do. Or they claim to love God but create their own commands that just aren’t in the Bible, making themselves God. What confusion!

Ultimately, heaven is God’s home, not ours. He is not obligated to invite anyone into His home. Besides, only perfection can live with God who is perfect. It only takes one sin to make us an imperfect sinner.

So how do we become perfect? That’s where God’s awesomeness is demonstrated. By following Jesus who was perfect and never sinned, and obeying Jesus’ few commands, God considers us perfect by proxy.

But it’s like a boomerang.  God treats us the way we treat him. If we don’t take time for God, he doesn’t take time for us. If we don’t like to spend time praising him, he doesn’t spend time praising us. Actually, if we don’t really like anything about God, we would be miserable in heaven.

God never forces himself on anyone. But he keeps on calling. Shhh.  Listen. Do you hear him?

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Sunday 9/2 ~ Trying to figure out God?

The scripture for today, September 2 (9/2), is Job 9:2 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

365 Dat by Date-Front-Thumbnail“Though one wishes to dispute with Him [God], he could not answer Him one time out of a thousand.”

There are so-called sophisticated intellectuals in the world who want to come up with all the answers about God. Many even make God in their image instead of we being made in God’s image. They try to reduce God to complete human understanding.

That cannot be! If we could understand everything about God, He would not be God! Let us rejoice that there are things about God we do not understand. Let us rejoice that there are events in our life that we do not understand ~ the good, the bad, the ugly. Let us rejoice that such a God loves us in our finiteness.

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Saturday 9/1 ~ Do You Ever Wonder?

The scripture for today, September 1 (9/1), is Psalm 9:1 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

07-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonThmbnail“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.”

I knew a lady many years ago who talked to God all day as though he was sitting or standing beside her, whether she was cleaning floors, washing dishes, going shopping, or just received a telephone call. She talked to God about everything she was doing. God was her constant companion.

What opportunities you miss to talk to God during the day. Every time you do, you are praising Him. How? By acknowledging His concern with everything you do, and in the process acknowledging His omnipresence. And what a wonder His omnipresence is!

Does this include times when everything in your life is going wrong? You bet! On some days, the wonders of God are about the only positive things you can find in our life.

Praising God for his wonders amidst your frustrations, tears, fears, and helplessness can lift you out of the mire. It can remind you that you are not alone; for God sees what is happening to you, and in his own way he will perform a wonder for you.

 

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Tuesday 8/21 ~ Fasting. Me?

The scripture for today, August 21 (8/21), is Ezra 8:21a as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“There, by the Ahava Canal [from the Euphrates R.], I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God.”

In our modern society, does anyone fast anymore? Not drinking our food (juice) for a day and calling that a fast, but a true fast where we drink only water to stay hydrated, but that’s all. And we turn off all computers, phones, radios, and televisions for the day.

Jesus said in his sermon on the mount, “When you fast….” (Matthew 6:16). He didn’t say, “If you fast….” No, he assumed his followers would fast. Do we?

If we do, do we do it as a group? Does anyone else know about it? They shouldn’t know unless they are the reason for our fast. Fasting is an act of self-restraint. It belongs to the sphere of humble self-discipline. It is strictly a personal and private matter.

All moral and bodily restraint, all humbleness of body and spirit are represented by fasting, and it is a complete failure of self-restraint to want to show the world our self-restraint. An unknown author wrote this:

Let us keep our fast within,

Till heaven and we are quite alone;

Then let the grief, the shame, the sin,

Before the mercy-seat be thrown.

Fasting is a way of starving ourselves temporarily, a way of saying, “God, I would do this and more for you; I would die for you.” Or, “God, I would trade lives with this person I am fasting for to give them rest if it were possible. I would even die for this person.” It is a deep expression to God that goes beyond words.

Also, when we fast, our minds are freed from trying to digest food so we can think clearer and deeper. And we can face ourselves more honestly. Just what are we deep down? Do we truly love God as much as we claim? Do we truly love our families as much as we claim? Our neighbors? Our fellow Christians? Our enemies?

It is a time of self-reflection and self-honesty. When we humble ourselves this much, we can grow closer to God.

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