Thursday 12/6 ~ To God, you are mighty!

The scripture for today, December 6 (12/6), is 1st Corinthians 12:6 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-KINDLE-Thumbnail-New“There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”

Later in this chapter, Paul explains, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you.’  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (12:21f). He further explains, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body….” (12:13).

For ambitious people in the church who “fight” for position, this is hard to take. Standing in front with a microphone are the most sought-after positions in the church.  Such positions have the potential of making you famous. Sorry, folks. Not to God. To God you are dispensable. The church could easily survive without you. God could easily get along without you. So, get control of your ego. Huh?

Do you really and truly believe this? Those who do the seemingly menial works (the “weaker”) are indispensable to God ~ you who take food to the bereaved, who read the Bible to the sick, who clean the bathrooms, who daily pray for members and the lost, who give a tract to a friend, who share a bulletin with a neighbor, who send a thinking-of-you card to a lonely person, who mow the church building lawn, who pray with someone who has just told you of a problem, who watch the nursery, who periodically quote a Bible verse to a friend in distress ~ such works that are in the background ~ the ones that don’t make it into the “schedule of worship,” the bulletin, the newspaper, the church periodicals, the billboards, are the ones who are indispensable.

To you who are jealous of people who get to have a more public position in the church and stand in front of the congregation and” lead” don’t be. Take heart. God is working more in you than them. Further, public approval by people is their reward. Your reward is from God himself.

You may seem weaker to the others. You are nearly invisible and weak to most people. But to God you are strong.  You are mighty.  You are God’s pride and joy.

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Wednesday 11/21 ~ Who Knows?

The scripture for today, November 21 (11/21), is Acts 11:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”

What had just happened? Some Christians in Phoenecia (today’s Lebanon), Cyprus (the Mediterranean Island) and Cyrene (in today’s North Africa), went to Antioch, a city in Northern Syria near the southern border of today’s Turkey. There they established a congregation.

This little congregation ended up being the home congregation of Paul and Barnabas for many years. It started small; we don’t know the size it grew to. Regardless of the size, it had foresight and eventually did great things.

Perhaps you live in a town full of churches, but you’ve compared them with the New Testament, and none of them follows that pattern. Perhaps you have even given up going to church because of this problem. What is stopping you from beginning a little congregation after the New Testament pattern in your home?  

New Testament churches were simple ~ not elaborate like those mega-churches out there. And those simple churches have always been dynamic in their simplicity. Who knows but that your new little congregation will someday produce a Paul or a Barnabas….

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Thursday 11/15 ~ Dual citizenship

The Scripture for today, November 15 (11/15), is Revelation 11:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever!’ “

 You belong to a kingdom/nation in this world. It is not perfect. Its leaders can sometimes do very bad things. And you wonder how you can stand some of the terrible things that sometimes happen within a government.

But your worldly kingdom/nation is not the only one you can live in. Colossians 1:13 says Jesus “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Rescued! Brought you! Past tense! The kingdom isn’t something in the future. It is here now. And it goes by yet another name. Verse 18 says, “And he [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church.”

So, when you sometimes become discouraged about your kingdom/nation in this world that you live in, take hope. You can have dual citizenship! For there is another kingdom here, a spiritual one. The king of that kingdom will love you. Forever love you.

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Thursday 10/25 ~ Bored in heaven

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

06-PROMISE KEEPER-ChildsCartoonThumbnail“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another ~ and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Do you declare, “I can walk through nature ~ the temple of God ~ and feel God is closer there than in a church building”? Well, do you really do it? How often? The purpose of the church meeting is not so much to encourage yourself as to encourage your fellow Christian and visitors along with worshiping God.

Look at the context. Verse 23 says “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess” and verse 24 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” How do you do these things? A lot of it is done during your congregation’s worship and encouragement service.

And what comes after our verse for today? Verse 26 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.” Meeting together with other congregational members is one of the major experiences that keeps you and your friends from falling and missing heaven. Or does worshipping all the time in heaven sound boring too?

Should you meet once a week? This scripture says to meet “all the more as you see the Day [of Judgment] approaching.’ Do you say, “But that’s too inconvenient”?

It was inconvenient for Jesus to leave a perfect heaven for an imperfect earth. It was inconvenient for him to leave the company of angels for the company of sinners. It was inconvenient for him to do this for 33 long years. Inconvenient to take the blame for your sins, and then take your punishment. Inconvenient to experience agonizing spiritual death when God left him alone on the cross in your place, and then that agonizing physical death in your place.

Do you really know inconvenience? Do you love Jesus or not? Do you love your fellow Christian or not?

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Tuesday 10/16 ~ Just who are we trying to please?

The scripture for today, October 16 (1-16). is Acts 10:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

365 Dat by Date-Front-Thumbnail“This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.”

This is about a vision where God let down a sheet full of animals that were “unclean” or not allowed to be eaten according to the Law of Moses. (See Leviticus 11:1-8.) God told Peter he could now eat them.

Peter already knew that Jesus nailed the Old Law of Moses to the Cross (Colossians 2:14). But it just hadn’t sunk in yet. As many times as Jesus told his apostles about his Sonship of God and proved it with astounding miracles, it wasn’t until just before his death that Jesus told them, “You believe at last!” (John 16:31).

Similarly, sometimes you read the same scripture over and over and it goes right over your head. You are not seeing what God wants you to see. You assume that what you’ve always been doing will always be right. You assume that others in church do things a certain way, so it has to be right.

Do this: Search everything in the scriptures on topics that you assume you know all about, and get everything God has to say about it. Then compare scripture to practice.

It IS possible to get God’s opinion on things, and that is who, in the end, you are trying to please.  He will judge you, not your friends. He alone can save you.

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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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Saturday 6/16 ~ The confusion of denominationalism

The scripture for today, June 16 (6/16), is Jeremiah 6:16 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

We need history, not only for an appreciation of what our forefathers did for us but also to learn which mistakes not to make all over again. This is true with religion also. There are hundreds of denominations and religions out there. This divisiveness hurts us. It seems the more denominations and religions we have, the fewer people are interested in spiritual things. They call it “organized religion”.

Within Christianity, think about creeds for a moment. If a creed is less than the Bible, it isn’t enough. If it is more than the Bible, it is too much. If it is the same as the Bible, why have it? Let us change our loyalties away from denominationalism and toward the Bible. All this confusion is exhausting!

Human nature has always been the same, and the Bible written long ago applies just as much to human nature today as it did then. Proverbs! The life and speeches of Jesus! The many mistakes made by people in the Old Testament! The advice to Christians in the New Testament!

It’s not confusing. And maybe then, we will find rest for our souls.

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