Wednesday 5/29 ~ Everlasting Arms

The scripture for today, May 29 (5/29), is Acts 5:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“Peter and the other apostles replied, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’ “

There are many countries in the world today where a person is tortured, imprisoned and/or killed for believing in Jesus Christ or owning a Bible. These believers must stay in the background and try to remain relatively unnoticed in order to survive. But their faith continues unabated, even amidst their fears. Because of brave Christians like these, the church has survived persecution for 2000 years.

Even if they’re not killed, they are by-passed for promotion at work or fired, they are harassed when out shopping, they are threatened in public transportation, they are turned down for a good education, and they must tolerate derision just walking down the street or waiting at a bus stop. But their faith continues unabated, even amidst their fears and tears.

Such events are usually covered up by their governments and news media, and the good people of those countries never know it is happening.

How grateful we must be to those who live life being rejected by others. Let us daily hold up these brave souls in our prayers ~ those who obey God rather than men.

In eternity, God will deal with the persecutors.  In eternity, it will be to God the persecuted will turn to, not men. And there, God will hold them in his everlasting arms.

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail

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Saturday 5/4 ~ “Organized Religion”

The scripture for today, May 4 (5/4), is 1st Peter 5:4 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-ThumbnailAnd when the Chief Shepherd [Jesus] appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”

The world is frustrated with and has left “organized religion” and it is our fault.  We brought it on ourselves. We have organized our denominations to death, and the spiritually minded have said, “Enough is enough. I want none of it. I just want Jesus.”

Look at all the denominations that appoint someone to be the head of their religion at their world headquarters. He goes by different titles ~ bishop, high priest, father, pope, president. Their headquarters may be a small office or a multi-story building, or an entire complex of buildings.

From here the head meets regularly with his immediate underlings (who are still much higher than us ordinary people) to make decisions for their denomination. They pass regulations on who can hold office, what percent of income must be given to their denomination, where their contributions must be spent, amendments to their particular creed, and on and on. (By the way, shepherd is translated in modern English to pastor.)

Here is a unique thought: Let us set this system aside and replace everything with Jesus as the only head, and let the world headquarters be in heaven! We do not have to rely on the decisions of men but on the decisions of God the Son who loved us so much that he became human for a while so he could die for us. Maybe we need to sell our big buildings, give the money to mission work and the poor, and return to meeting in unorganized homes or fields.

We don’t even need a creed, because, if it is less than the Bible it isn’t enough, if it is more than the Bible it is too much, and if it is the same as the Bible why have it?

No more “organized religion.” No more divisiveness. No more denominationalism. Just one united church of Christ with its divine Founder as our sole leader, and His divine words as our sole creed. This will never fade away.

Jesus is the crown giver. Return Him to His throne and watch the world return to Him.

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Sunday 4/28 ~ God is still on his throne and all is well

The scripture for today, April 28 (4/28), is Mark 4:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“All by itself, the soil produces grain ~ first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.”

Jesus was explaining that the kingdom of heaven is like a seed planted in the ground. It grows almost miraculously. The church is, indeed, like this. Planted some 2000 years ago, it has survived through every adversity and attack contrived by man. Sometimes the attacks were even from within. But at such times, just when it looked as though it was going to die, just like a seed dying in the earth, it would begin to sprout anew and grow up stronger than ever.

A little seed turning into a stalk is miraculous and amazing. The survival of the church for 2000 years in a hostile world is even more miraculous and amazing.

God is still on his throne, and all is well.

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Friday 4/26 ~ Just imagine when…

The scripture for today, April 26 (4/26), is Galatians 4:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Love Letters of Jesus & his Bride, Eccelsia-THUMBNAIL“But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.”

There is more confusion over the “new Jerusalem” than you might think.  Well, let’s ask God.

What is “the Jerusalem that is above”? Revelation 21:2 says, “I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”

Aha! We learn two things.  The New Jerusalem already exists.  And the New Jerusalem is sometimes called our mother and sometimes the Bride of Christ!

 So, what is the Bride of Christ? Ephesians 5:25,27 says, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy…and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”  How exciting! The New Jerusalem which is the Bride of Christ is the Church – all of us.

What else can we learn about the New Jerusalem?  Well, the foundation of the New Jerusalem is the apostles. Revelation says it and Ephesians 2:20 says it.

Hmmm.  This is getting more interesting all the time.  Okay, let’s look at the 12 gates leading into the church. They are the 12 tribes of Israel, Judaism where all the prophecies of Jesus are found. 

Always check out the symbolism in the Bible. It deepens your spiritual understanding. Like the Walls of Salvation around the New Jerusalem insurmountably high (Isaiah 26:1 & 60:18). The River of Life and Tree of Life are there in the New Jerusalem.  Just imagine on the final day when the church arrives in heaven and we are all arrayed in sinless white and are rushing into the arms of our groom, our Jesus.

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Saturday 4/6 ~ Your heart will soar

The scripture for today, April 6 (4/6), is 1st Corinthians 4:6 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“…learn from us the meaning of the saying, ‘Do not go beyond what is written.’ Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.”

Periodically through the Bible there appears this same warning for us to not “go beyond what is written.” 2nd Peter 1:20 says prophecy is scripture. Prophecy was needed before the New Testament was written, but no more after that, for by then, the prophecy of the apostles had been written down and were being passed around.

It is important to find out if what we are being taught is “beyond what is written.” It can be done. How? Simple. Use a concordance. A concordance is the size of an unabridged dictionary and includes every word in the Bible alphabetically, and every scripture that contains each word. Many libraries have one. Or you can order one from your local bookstore. There are some concordances on the internet too. Here is one:  http://bibletab.com

You are an intelligent person. Don’t take for granted what others tell you, no matter how holy they look and act and how much they smile at you or threaten you.  Check things for yourself. Read the Bible for yourself. Decide for yourself whether any of your church leaders have gone “beyond what is written.” You can do it: Find out for sure.

It is liberating. Your heart will soar and your soul will embrace God in a whole new way.

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