Tuesday 1/1 ~ Once again, God is walking with you

The scripture for today, January 1 (1/1), is John 1:1f, 14a as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning….The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

Genesis 3:8 says God walked on earth in the Garden of Eden. When Jesus came, God once again walked with us. But when Jesus left, did he leave us with no one to walk with?

Jesus said in John 14:17 that he was going to send another Comforter ~ the Spirit of Truth. And in John 17:17 he said God’s Word is Truth. So, just as Jesus was the Word that people could watch, the Spirit is the Word that people can read.

We do not have to guess what God is wanting us to do. We have it written down to read, and consider, and contemplate, and re-read as many times as we want.

If you have a Bible in your home, why not read it through in a year beginning today? There are suggested schedules on the internet. Or you could even divide up the number of pages in your Bible by 365 to know how many pages to read each day. After each reading, spend time in prayer praising God, confessing to God, thanking God. And when you ask for anything, ask a whole lot for others and a little bit for you and yours.

Just remember, every time you get out your Bible and read it then respond in prayer, once again God is walking with you.

 

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Monday 12/31 ~ Pushing my way through the door

The scripture for today, December 31 (12/31), is Luke 12:31 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“But seek his kingdom [family] and these things will be given to you as well.”

The kingdom is already here (Luke 9:27; Colossians 1:13), but heaven is not. That is the final destination of the kingdom. Do you actively seek God’s kingdom? Or do you drift and think God should feel obligated to take you into his heaven? Do you feel like you’re “not so bad”, so God would be bad to not take you into his heaven?

Heaven is God’s home, not yours. God has a door into his home, just like you have a door into your home. God is not required to open his door to just anyone, just like you are not required to open your door to just anyone.  You cannot just show up at the door and smile and assume he will let you in, any more than people who knock on your door and smile can assume you will let them in.

You let people into your home who you have gotten to know and whose motives you trust. Have you given God a chance to get to know you and trust your motives? Are your daily motives to enter heaven, God’s home? Do you even like God?

This life you live on earth is not your permanent life or residence. This is the testing place to see how you handle problems and to see how much your spiritual muscles will grow or atrophy. God has plans for Christians in heaven we do not know about. What we do know is that he is not a God of idleness. Do you live like the earth is all there is? Do you fear hell?  Do you prefer heaven where people will worship all the time? Does that sound boring to you?

You are about to enter a brand-new year. Today, decide to start over fresh and set your new goal: To enter God’s kingdom (his family) and thus, enter his home his way to live with him.  Forever.  There, all your soul desires will be given to you.

 

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Sunday 12/30 ~ Are you a gatherer?

The Scripture for today, December 30 (12/30), is Matthew 12:30, as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”

What? You can’t just drift along just showing up at church services and that is all? You must gather people to him?. Are you sure? Oh, I don’ know enough; besides, I’m too busy.

Deep down inside, do you fear that, if you bring Jesus into a conversation, people will do you great harm and become dangerous enemies? Although in some countries of the world this is true, in most it is not. Still, do you quake at the thought of bringing up Jesus to your friends, and even to strangers?

That is Satan’s lie. He has gotten into your head and you are believing him. Most people will appreciate a little discussion about Jesus because most people do not attend worship anywhere and know little about the Bible.

Instead of listening to Satan, perhaps you should quake that some of your friends are headed to hell.  Satan puts fear in your heart. Do not give in to Satan. “Perfect love casts out fear” (1st John 4:18).  Do as Jesus did: “Seek and save the lost” (Luke 9:10).

Help your friends who do not know they need help. Overcome your fear for yourself and give in to the fear for their souls. It can be done. Stop watching so much television or playing endless games. Give it a try. If it were your soul, would you want someone to at least try to save you? Rise up! Defy Satan! Dare to be a gatherer of souls staring today.

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Sunday 12/23 ~ God loves to answer prayer

The scripture for today, December 23 (12/23), is 1st Samuel 12:23 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-KINDLE-Thumbnail-New“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.”

It’s a sin not to pray for others!

Do your prayers get bogged down in the mire of me and mine? Do you wonder why you can’t pray for more than a couple minutes ~ five on a good day? Satan gets you to do this; he is the enemy of prayer because he knows how powerful it is.

Who is on your prayer list? Pray for people by name. Your neighbors. People you work with. Your government officials ~ both good and bad. People in nursing homes. People in your congregation. People in the military. People being persecuted, imprisoned and even killed because they are Christians. Missionaries. Children in an orphan home. Salespeople at the store. Local school teachers. People in your newspaper.

Pray for 15 minutes a day. Half an hour each day. An hour every day. It’s oh so easy when you stop praying only for you and yours and pray for others.

Pray for people by name. God doesn’t need to hear their names but you do. And tell those you pray for. Some people have never been told, “I am praying for you”. God loves to answer prayer.

Do not sin by praying only for yourself and your family.  Take the time to take others soaring with you when you pray. Then stand back and watch God respond to your prayers with power that will astound you. 

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Thursday 12/12 ~ He has set eternity in our hearts

The scripture for today, December 13 (12/13), is Ecclesiastes 12:13 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-lg-thumbnail“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

When the King James Version was published in the early 1600s, they italicized all words that were not in the original language of the Bible. The word “duty” above was not in the original. Translators inserted it to help us understand the original. But perhaps, in this case, it did not help. Fearing God is the whole of man ~ not our duty, but our essence.

Fearing the Lord is a gift. Isaiah 11:2 predicted regarding Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him ~

  • “…the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,”
  • “…the Spirit of counsel and of power,”
  • “…the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”

Solomon had tried everything to find happiness, as he explained in his book of Ecclesiastes ~ Pleasure (ch. 2), hard work (ch. 3), advancement (ch. 4), riches (ch. 5). None brought him true happiness.  Eventually, he concluded that only one thing can bring that happiness deep down inside where no one and no situation in life can touch it ~ God. God is the whole of man ~ if we let Him be.

Why? Ecclesiastes 3:11 explains it richly: “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” Another way to view this is “There is a God-shaped emptiness in everyone’s heart.” Fill your mind with the Word of God. Then God will fill your heart and being, and make you feel complete.

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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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Saturday 10/13 ~ No more, Satan. You are going to lose. Get used to it.

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

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“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? Then look at the source of your 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?”

Take a long hard look at your everyday temptations and remind yourself of the source. Then, with courage in your soul and boldness in your heart, stand up and say, “No more! I am not your slave, Satan. I will win over you. God and I are stronger than you. Satan, get used to it: You will lose.

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