Sunday 7/21 ~ Teaching the teachers

Our scripture for today, July 21 (7/21), is Matthew 7:21ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

NF-WorshipChanges-WorshipFirst“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ “

There are hundreds of denominations/sects out there all contradicting each other. It’s impossible for them all to be right. They cannot all be on different roads going to the same place. They cannot all be pleasing God if we decide opposing things please him.

You can never rely on what someone else says just because they look and act holy and say all the right holy words and phrases and pray such holy-sounding prayers. You must never rely on your religious leaders to tell you what to believe. Shall you take their opinion or God’s opinion?

Romans 10:1 in the Bible mentions some people who had a lot of zeal for God, but were lost because it was not according to the proper knowledge.

Well, how do you get God’s opinion? Read the Bible for yourself! Use a concordance (lists every word in the Bible and every scripture with that word ~ Bible Hub has one on the internet) and look up your chosen subject.  Then, having found the truth, why not go back to your religious leaders in love and try to teach your teachers? Some just might listen to you.

 

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Friday 7/19 ~ How often do you want God to forgive you?

The scripture for today, July 19 (7/19), is found in Romans 7:19 as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do ~ this I keep on doing.”

Doesn’t this pretty much describe you and me in some area of our life?  It may be eating too much, breaking the law by going over the speed limit, laughing at dirty jokes, habitual lying, stealing “little things” at work, cheating on tests, jealousy, impatience, temper ~ any number of things.

Sins of habit and attitude are hard to break. So you go to God over and over asking him to forgive that which, deep down, you know you’re going to do again.

Perhaps this emphasizes the importance of you forgiving others who habitually do wrong to you. You do not know their deep inner struggles any more than they know your struggles.

Jesus said, “IF you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14).

Satan wants you to quit trying to do better. And he wants you to quit forgiving other people. Don’t give in to Satan.  Give in to God. God’s way leads you to ultimate forgiveness of your sins ~ ultimate and complete.

 

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Wednesday 7/17 ~ It’s your assignment

The scripture for today, July 17 (7/17), is 1st Corinthians 7:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.”

In some situations in life, this scripture is hard to accept. Sometimes life gets very, very hard. Sometimes it is difficult to keep smiling, even to keep breathing. When will it end? Will it ever end?

But can it be that this is where God wants you? Can it be that the difficulties in your life right now are your assignments from God? God fights Evil from heaven and it is our place to fight Evil from earth. It is an ongoing battle. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

For some reason that cannot be understood right now, you are where God wants you to be. This is your assignment from God. Remember, we are “ambassadors for Christ” (II Corinthians 5:20). You must show the world that “all things work together for good to those who love the Lord” (Romans 8:28).

As a soldier for Christ, be brave. Think with a clear head. Hold fast, stand firm of faith, strong in spirit, pure of heart.

 

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Monday 7/15 ~ Challenging and liberating

The scripture for today, July 15 (7/15), is Matthew 7:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

Jesus said this. Maybe sometimes the “false prophet” is within yourself. You have a pet theory you want very much for God to agree with you on. So you read through the Scriptures trying to prove your point correct. Of course, taking a verse here and a verse there, you can “prove” anything you want.

So how do you find out if you are being your own “false prophet”? If you see a verse that contradicts your pet theory, look for other scriptures similar to this one. Use a concordance ~ a book that lists alphabetically every word in the Bible and every verse it appears in. There is one on the internet here:  https://biblehub.com/concordance/

Or, if you believe in a different holy book of a different world religion, you can read it, then honestly search for built-in proofs it is truly from a mind that knows things humans do not such as prophecies of the future that came true.

Or perhaps your pet belief is based on deep emotional longings or excitements or desires that want to show themselves in outward ways  “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:1, 14).  So God in flesh was Jesus, therefore God was and is word, logic. Therefore, try to find explanations of your deep emotional expressions in the Bible.  If you do not find them, perhaps your emotional expressions came from a tradition instead of God.

Yes, there are ways to determine if you’ve been listening to a “false prophet”. Yes, it is humiliating to believe you just might have been wrong, and then actually admit you were wrong. But it is also liberating. Many people have already gone through this challenge and can testify that changing from their viewpoint to God’s viewpoint is not only liberating, but ultimately brings peace.

 

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Saturday 7/13 ~ When misery ends with gladness

The scripture for today, July 13 (7/13), is in Job 7:13ff in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.thumbnail-new“When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint, even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine. I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.”

Job was extremely depressed. It happens to everyone sometimes. His depression was certainly valid ~ he had lost all his income and all his children in a recent storm. Now he had what the Bible translated as “boils” but the symptoms indicate he had a form of leprosy called Elephantiasis.

This particular form leads to nightmares in addition to the physical problems. Job had every right to be depressed. So depressed was he, that he no longer wanted to live, for his life no longer had meaning.

But, as miserable as Job was, he hung on. Patiently he hung on during the bad times. Sometimes during your bad times, the greatest thing you can do is “hang on” ~ be patient.

Romans 8:28 says all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. Job loved the Lord. Even in his misery and desire to die,  he continued to love God and trust Him.

And, although at such times you may believe your misery will never end and you will never even smile again, it will happen. The misery comes to an end. It did for Job. He got his health and wealth back and more children to comfort him. God will see you through too.

 

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