Sunday 9/22 ~ What do you do on Sunday mornings?

The scripture for today, September 22 (9/22) is Luke 9:22 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Supper-Front Cover-Thumbnail“And he [Jesus] said, ‘The Son of Man[kind] must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

Jesus did not look forward to his death. Hebrews 5:7 says, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death….” Loud cries!

Yet, in today’s scripture, shortly after he announced to his apostles that he would be killed in Jerusalem, over in verse 51 it says, “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”

Jesus had to use every bit of self-determination he could muster up to face that terrible death he had to suffer for us. What kept him to his goal? He knew only he could save us from hell by taking the death wages from Satan (Romans 6:23). Then his work would be done ~ all would be finished ~ and he could return to heaven.

Is it difficult for you to get up on Sunday morning to go to church? Is it difficult for you to read the Bible every day? Is it difficult for you to invite a friend to church with you? Do you love Jesus as resolutely as he loves you? Are you as determined to go to heaven and avoid hell as he was for you? Do you love your soul as much as Jesus does?

 

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Wednesday 9/18 ~ All 600?

The scripture for today, September 18 (9/18), is Leviticus 9:18ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. But the fat portions of the ox and the ram ~ the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver ~ these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.”

The Law of Moses did not have just Ten Commandments. It had over 600! They were intricate commands that had to be kept exactly. The above is just a small portion of what they were supposed to do for a particular sacrifice.

Thank God, Jesus nailed the Old Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Yet some religious leaders continue to dip back into the Old Law to copy showy types of worship ~ robes, candles, choirs, harps, incense ~ many things, and all commanded. But if they do that, they must keep ALLof the Law of Moses ~ stoning for adultery, giving 1/3 of their income (not just 1/10), not working on Saturday (even cooking), going to Jerusalem three times a year.

They can’t just pick and choose which ones they like. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:17 “Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised [just one command in the Old Law of Moses] that he is obligated to obey the whole law.”

James said in 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Old Testament worship was showy, elaborate, and demanding to the nth degree. New Testament worship is just the opposite.

Mark 14:26 says that after Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper/Communion, “When they had sung a [single] hymn, they went out…”

Acts 2:41-42 says, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Acts 20:7 says, “On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people…”

I Timothy 4:13 says, “Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”

Nothing complicated about it. Just simple worship. Worship the way Jesus and his apostles worshiped. Worship the way God likes it. He said so himself.

 

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Wednesday 9/11 ~ You will be delighted; they will be fascinated

The scripture for today, September 11 (9/11), is Matthew 9:11 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Applied Christianity“When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and “sinners”? ‘ “

Jesus did not make friends with people who could lift him up. He made friends with people who he could lift up. You are not divine, so we need both. It is true that your closest friends should be Christians. However, many brag those are their only friends. That isolates and insulates them.

You must make some friends among the lost in order to show them God’s love, and try to lift them up. They can be people at work, in a club, in your neighborhood, someone you sit next to waiting for a bus, or even someone you meet by accident while waiting in line at a store.

You must always be on the watch. Always prepared to become more than just casual acquaintances. Always be prepared to get “up close and personal” with some of your friends. Most people have questions about the Bible. So, ask them if they do. If you don’t know the answer, look it up in a Bible Concordance and pass it on to them. You will be delighted and they will be fascinated.

Jesus did it. He was our example.

 

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Sunday 8/25 ~ But it doesn’t mean what it says

The scripture for today, August 25 (8/25), is John 8:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

5&5-Strip-BibleKids-Medium” ‘Who are you?’ they asked. ‘Just what I have been claiming all along,’ Jesus replied.”

They knew who Jesus was.  He had made people’s arms and legs grow back, he had fed multiple-thousands on a plate of food, stopped storms and brought lifeless people back to life.  They knew! 

Besides this, they knew the prophecies. They told King Herod he was supposed to be born in Bethlehem and that he was to be a descendant of King David. They knew babies were slaughtered after his birth. They knew he would live in Galilee and teach in parables. They knew all this.

But they kept asking Jesus who he was because they wanted a different answer than the obvious one.

 Jesus and his apostles tell you certain things in the Bible. Sometimes, you read them over and over, and still don’t get the point. Perhaps you have been blinded by well-meaning religious leaders or family or friends who tell you over and over, “It doesn’t mean what it says.” Are you wanting a different answer than the obvious one?

Dare to read the teachings of Jesus and his apostles in the New Testament with open eyes and open heart. When you read something, just accept it. Your soul is at stake. These are the words of the God of the universe, your Creator, the Lover of your soul, and the only one who can let you into his home ~ heaven. 

Do you prefer that God fit your mold, or you fit God’s ~ that of his child? Dare to follow what God has been telling you all along.

 

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Thursday 8/22 ~ Our sad songs

The scripture for today, August 22 (8/22), is Jeremiah 8:22 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?”

Jeremiah laments that his people have not returned to God for healing. Today, we weep over the hundreds of conflicting denominations and our nation that do not return to God. We pray, we weep, we sing our sad songs.

This beautiful African-American spiritual of unknown origin is one of those sad songs. You may be able to hear it sung a cappella here: http://bit.ly/1PfHxrI Here are the words to that spiritual:

There is a balm in Gilead
 To make the wounded whole;
 There is a balm in Gilead
 To heal the sin-sick soul.

 Sometimes I feel discouraged,
 And think my work’s in vain,
 But then the Holy Spirit
 Revives my soul again.

 If you can’t preach like Peter,
 If you can’t pray like Paul,
 Just tell the love of Jesus,
 And say He died for all.

Keep praying and sharing and singing.

 

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