Thursday 1/4 ~ Finding our joy

The scripture for today, January 4, is Philippians 1:4 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Medium“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.”

Do your prayers consist mostly of give me this, help me with that? Begin today to keep an on-going list of your prayer requests for the year, and another one of thanksgiving for when those prayers are answered. Begin today to tell God “Thank you.”

Also begin today to look around at your circumstances ~ whatever they may be ~ with joy. There can be some kind of joy in every circumstance if you look at it through eyes of joy.

The above quotation is from a letter to Philippi in northern Greece bordering today’s Bulgaria.  Here, a majority of the citizens were barbarian-looking warrior Thracians. But these rough semi-professional warriors also brought the world joy with their beautiful sculptures.

Philippians is a book about peace and joy. This is the book that says, “And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:7)

This is also the book that says, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (4:13).

From now on, tell God, ”thank you,” and in the process find your joy.

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Sunday 12/24 ~ Consider the Ravens

The scripture for today, December 24 (12/24), is Luke 12:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 4-FolkHero-Cover-Kindle-medium-new“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”

In many nations right now, things are financially strained. Luxuries? No. To be able to live until tomorrow? Yes.

Which is more valuable? To impress men or impress God? A life dedicated to things impresses men. A life dedicated to doing good things impresses God.

I knew of a group of believers recently fleeing soldiers who were after Christians. They had to run immediately upon sight of the soldiers. No time to pack anything. Just run.  Escape. Run. Escape.  

To get to true safety, they had to walk a hundred miles. What did they eat?  Grass. Leaves from bushes. But they made it. They made it to safety and the loving, protective arms of other Christians.

Today, instead of a luxury, can you send the money to people in parts of the world who are struggling to stay alive? Struggling to stay safe because they are Christians?

Consider the ravens.

P.S.

Those of you with children, and you cannot get them much for Christmas: Write IOU’s to them and put each one in a box. Wrap each with typing paper if you don’t have Christmas paper. And with a red or green crayon, draw a ribbon on top. What’s on the IOU’s? “One hour of coloring with you.” “One hour of playing ball with you.” “Three hours of hiking with you.” “Two hours of baking cookies with you.” Give yourself for Christmas!

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Scripture for Friday 12/22 ~ My soul is overwhelmed with joy

The scripture for today, December 22 (12/22), is 1st Samuel 12:22 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

03-Abraham-MediumCover“For the sake of his great name, the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.”

Among all the pretend gods that people have worshipped, there has never been one who wants us to be his children. Islam teaches Allah made man to have someone to worship him. Islam teaches we are Allah’s servants. So sad.

          Oh, how much mankind misses by not opening up to the one and only true God.  He wants us to be his children. He wants to lavish us with his love.

          God made us because God is Love.  Love must have someone to love. That’s us, dear friends. That’s us!

Amazing love of God. It pleases him to make us his own. It pleases him! We the lowly. We the weak. We the inconsistent. We the sinners.

Let us reply, “My soul is overwhelmed with joy.”

Scripture for Friday, November 3 (11/3)

The scripture for today, November 3 (11/3), is Luke 11:3 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Bible Puzzles for Young And Old-Cover“Give us each day our daily bread.”

This is part of the ideal prayer that Jesus taught his followers to say. We claim to agree with it. But do we completely?

Do we feel like it is our hard-earned money that bought that bread? Do we claim it is our ability to cook that created that bread? Do we claim it was the hard work of the farmers and their equipment that brought us the grain from whence the bread is made? Or the mills that ground it into flour? Or the stores that brought the flour to the consumers?

Ultimately we must look past all of this to that which is beyond our control. It is God who makes the sun to shine down upon the seed. It is God who makes the rain to come down to water it. It is God who places life in the buried wheat germ for it to reproduce with a flourish.

Many activities of man bring us our daily bread. But ultimately it is God the Creator who makes it all possible. He not only makes it possible for good people, he brings bread also to the bad.

He loves everyone so.

Scripture for Saturday, October 28 (10/28)

The scripture for today, October 28 (10/28), is Matthew 10:28f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Medium“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.”

This scripture indicates that sometimes God’s allows us to “fall to the ground” ~ our bodies suffer, or we are killed. How can that be? After all, God is so loving. Surely a good God would not allow any harm to come to someone if he truly loves them.

But we all have our assignment from God in this war between Good and Evil. Just as Job in the Old Testament lost his entire family and entire wealth and then his health, he refused to blame God. He even said, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” (Job 2:10).

Satan causes bad to happen to us. Why? In order to get us to blame God for it. Our assignment is to refuse to deny God. That way, Satan loses one more battle, and God wins one more.

There is an old Christian song called “Victory in Jesus.” How can we have victory in Jesus if we do not have something to be victorious over? Romans 8:37 says we are more than conquerors. How can we be conquerors if we have nothing to conquer?

Let us say with James (1:2) that we consider it pure joy whenever we face trials. Hard to say? Of course, it is. But it could turn your life around.

 

Scripture for Thursday, October 26 (10/26)

The scripture for today, October 26 (10/26), is 1st Corinthians 10:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-COVER-KINDLE“For ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.’ “

The beautiful part is that God left a lot of his creation undone for us to finish. After all, we are created in his likeness.

He left the stones and clay in the ground so that we could dig it up and build cities. He left the wool on the sheep so we could shear it and make warm garments. He left the trees growing tall so we could hew them and build barns and houses. He left the gravel in the ground so we could harvest it and build roads.

He left the ore in the ground so we could mine it and make skyscrapers, airplanes, ships, trains, automobiles. He left the water in the lakes and seas so we could capture it and create power and transportation ways. He left the beautiful stones unseen so we could dig them up, shape them, polish them, and make beautiful decorations.

Yes, we were created in the likeness of our Creator. He loved to create. So, do we. So, whenever we make something good from his creation, we honor him.

 

Scripture for Saturday, October 21 (10/21)

The scripture for today, October 21 (10/21), is Proverbs 10:21 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Medium“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.”

What do you talk about during the day? Do you use proper judgment? Do you nourish others by what you say to them?

Are you a complainer or complimenter? Are you rude or patient? Do you glare or smile? Do you criticize the wrong a person does, or praise the right that person does? Do you sing of your love of God on Sunday and use swear words the rest of the week? What is in your heart passes through your lips.

Today, go out of your way to nourish everyone you talk to. Start a new habit. They will see God in you.

 

Scripture for Friday, October 13 (10/13)

The Scripture for today, October 13, is 1st Corinthians 10:13 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BOOK 7-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonMedium“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

What are you tempted to do or not do on a regular basis in your everyday life? Let us look at the source of our everyday temptations ~ Satan. Do you really want to be Satan’s slave?

Romans 6:16 explains it this way: “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey ~ whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

Perhaps if we look at our everyday temptations and remind ourselves of the source, we will have the courage to stand up and say, “No more! I am not your slave, Satan. I will win over you. God told me so.”

Choose the one temptation you hate the most and work on it first.  How?  Stop thinking about it. If you spend your time thinking, “I’m never going to do such-and-such again,” you will just be bringing it back to your mind. Stop thinking about it. Your way out is your substitute. Think of the most fulfilling thing possible and be busy doing that during the times you are normally most tempted.

Keep doing that something else every day for a couple weeks, and it will become a natural part of you. It is liberating, refreshing, and glorious.

Scripture for Thursday, October 5 (10/5)

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

Life-Changing-Scriptures-Cover-medium“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.”

This is about the 40 years the Jews wandered in the wilderness between leaving their slavery in Egypt and beginning a nation for themselves in their Promised Land.

It took Moses 40 years to get the Jews out of Egypt. But it took 400 years to get Egypt out of the Jews. They believed their way was better than God’s way. They wanted God to protect them and provide for their needs, but they kept God at a distance as far as their ethics and way of life.

Events in the Old Testament are there as examples to us. This is one reason why we need to read the Old Testament.  The early Jews did not want to listen to God, so God did not listen to them. Do we keep God at a distance?  In that case, God keeps us at a distance.

Do we want God to treat us the way we treat him? This can be a frightening thought. It can also be a blissful thought.