Tuesday 11/6 ~ True Grit

The scripture for today, November 6 (11/6), is Nehemiah 11:6 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“The descendants of Perez who lived in Jerusalem totaled 468 able men.”

Just who was Perez, and why was this even mentioned in the Bible? Perez was a descendant of Judah, and an ancestor of Jesus (Matthew 1:3).

Why was living in Jerusalem a big deal at that time? Because Jerusalem had been attacked and destroyed. It was nothing but rubble and ashes. Earlier, other Jews had returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple. Now it was time to rebuild the walls.

These 468 brave people had to agree to move into a burned-out city and rebuild on the ashes of previous homes. In the process of moving building stones out of the way to reuse in the city wall, they surely found skeletons of those who had been slaughtered in the attack decades before.

At first, the Jews had blamed the Babylonians for destroying their city and temple. But eventually, they began re-reading the prophets who had warned them about their own sins. Finally, they turned inward and placed the blame where it really belonged: Themselves. Their own pride had destroyed their temple and their city.

Following repentance, they acted. Was it easy rebuilding a broken city? Not any easier than rebuilding a broken home, a broken congregation, a broken life. You must look at your own part in your own destruction and begin building anew.

It took grit.  What is yours like? Have you rebuilt anything important lately?

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Wednesday 10/24 ~ Jesus was king of the world but laid aside his ego

The scripture for today, October 25 (10/25), is 1st Corinthians 10:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”

The context of this verse is that some of the members of the church in Corinth were expressing opinions or doing things that were offensive to some of the other members. They hurt the consciences of some of the weaker members.

Today, do you do anything during the public worship that is offensive to some people? Do you do them as an example of how “holy” you are? Do you even try to get God on your side and say that any Christian could do those things if they had as much faith as you do? Can you control your ego in this?

What about committee meetings? Do you suggest something that the others just aren’t excited about? Do you allow your ego to eventually seep in and begin to feel slighted or challenged because your idea wasn’t accepted? Do you even try to get God on your side and say he will be more glorified if the other committee members accept your plan? Can you control your ego in this?

One way to look at things objectively is to ask yourself, “Would my congregation survive without me?” What if I were killed in an auto accident and suddenly taken from them tomorrow? Would they continue to worship? Would they continue to do good works? Would they continue to meet as a congregation? Ninety-nine percent of the time your congregation would survive without you.

So, try (struggle with tears if necessary) to lay aside your ego that gets hurt or feels challenged, and seek the comfort, welfare, and good of your fellow members.

Jesus was King of the world, but he laid aside his ego. And he triumphed!

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Friday 10/12 ~ Keep your eyes on Jesus

The scripture for today, October 12 (10/12), is 2nd Corinthians 10:12 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”

But that is how most of the Christian world is run. You go to a church and do what they do to get their approval. Or you go one step above what the others do to get a little more approval. Or you go one step below what the others do and say you’re “not so bad” because, at least, you go to church all the time.

What you do must be compared with what Jesus (God materialized on earth) did. Jesus went everywhere doing whatever was necessary to spread the Good News. Instead of saying, “Well, our congregation never did such-and-such before, so it must be wrong,” you must say, “Jesus did it, so I will too.” Instead of saying, “Well, brother or sister so-and-so in our congregation is worse than me, so why object to me?” you must say, “Jesus did not do those things, so I will not either.”

Who are you comparing yourself with?  Your works, your fancy doctrine, your faith?  Dear, dear friend. Jesus gave up heaven and daily associating with angels to become one of us on an earth full of grime and selfish. He gave up being able to be everywhere at once to being confined in a body. Why? For us.

To show us how it is done ~ constantly on the go to find people who need God’s love and attention. He was so busy and so holy.

Never compare with others; always compare with Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus, God the Word in Flesh.

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Thursday 10/11 ~ Playing Peek-a-boo

The scripture for today, October 11 (10/11), is Psalm 10:11 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“He says to himself, ‘God has forgotten; he covers his face and never sees.’ “

You believe in God in some form. And you believe that God knows what you do. But do you sometimes bury your beliefs in your subconscious mind so you can go around doing things you know are wrong? Do you believe you won’t get caught, and you can slide into heaven doing whatever you want?

In other words, do you justify your favorite sins? Do you justify your sins of attitude such as jealousy, impatience, pride, short temper under the guise of an unhappy childhood or getting what you deserve?  Do you justify your sins of omission ~ good things you should be doing, but are not ~ under the excuse that you don’t have time to do them? Do you justify questionable things you do by saying they’re “not so bad” or God is so good, he will forgive anything you do as long as you say you’re sorry every time you do it?

Do you do as children do who cover their eyes so they cannot see anyone and think that, therefore, no one ~ including God ~ can 17see them?

God loves you more than you can ever imagine. He never forgets you. He sees and hears everything you do. The only things he does not approve of are things that will ultimately hurt you and which he calls sin.

Here is a marvelous jewel for you. Take it, shine it up, and put it on display:  Pleasing God is the ultimate form of pleasing yourself.

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Friday 10/5 ~ Come to me. Please come.

The scripture for today, October 5 (10/5), is 2nd Corinthians 10:5f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now, these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.”

01-Miriam-ThumbnailCoverThis is about the 40 years the Jews wandered in the wilderness between leaving their slavery in Egypt and beginning a nation for themselves. They had the mindsets of slaves. They did not know how to make decisions for themselves. One of those decisions was to leave the gods of Egypt and worship only the one true God.

It was easier to fall in line with what they were raised to believe. They took the easy way out rather than follow the God who had proved the Egyptian gods were not gods at all. They would rather die than change. So they did. They died.

Do you take the easy way out? Do you stick with things you were raised to believe even though you have learned more of the Bible and see those old beliefs are not what God said?

The early Jews did not listen to God, so God did not listen to them. He is calling out to you even now. “Come to me. I want to save you. Please come.”

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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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