Thursday 3/14 ~ Are you throwing away your prize?

The scripture for today, March 14 (3/14), is Philippians 3:14, as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus knew that, out of jealousy, the religious leaders were trying to kill him. So, for a while, he stayed out of Jerusalem where the religious headquarters was. But eventually, the time came for him to put himself in their hands. Was it easy for him to do? Definitely not! For he knew his death would be by physical and spiritual torture.

“They were on their way up to Jerusalem with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished while those who followed were afraid” (Mark 10:32).

Jesus pressed on. He did not want to go through the crucifixion. Hebrews 5:7 says that “during the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.”

As difficult as it was for him, Jesus pressed on toward the goal to win the prize. But the prize was not for himself; it was for you and me ~ eternity in heaven instead of hell!

You do not have to go through what he did for your salvation and avoidance of hell. Your little bit of sacrifice is nothing by comparison. Or do you turn away from the prize Jesus sacrificed so much for so you can have a little more fun, accumulate a few more things, watch a few more tv shows, play a few more computer games, be a little more important to your friends?

Are you throwing away your prize?

Image result for "Buy the book" buttonSHADOW OF DEATH begins with Pilate trying everything he can think of to change the minds of the bribed mob. It ends with the unbearable sorrow of his followers who think all is lost forever.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2TSBrt2

  • Chap. 1 ~ Pilate:  Soaring to Nothingness
  • Chap. 2 ~ Simon the Libyan:  The Gauntlet
  • Chap. 3 ~ Crucifixion I:  The Substitute
  • Chap. 4 ~ Crucifixion II:  Victorious Dying
  • Chap. 5 ~ Two Thieves:  Stranger in Paradise
  • Chap. 6 ~ Joseph of Arimathea:  Sleeping Giant
  • Chap. 7 ~ Graveyard Sentries:  Dawn Eyes
  • Chap. 8 ~ Five Wealth Women II:  Breath of God
  • Chap. 9 ~ Peter:  Torch Flight
  • Chap. 10 ~ Big Little James & Alphaeus:  Desert of Sighs

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Wednesday 3/6 ~ Where’s your grace?

The Scripture for today, March 7 (3/7), is Titus 3:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“So that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

God wanted you to live in his home so much, he was willing to overlook your sins and pretend you are correct, law-abiding, perfect, just. When mankind sinned, we belonged to Satan. So, God materialized, came and ransomed you and me from Satan with his blood.  Then, he said, “Follow me. Obey my few commands. Then, in my eyes, you never sinned, you become just.

Not only just, but God put you in his last will and testament, what we call the New Testament. It contains his guidelines and what you will inherit. Your inheritance is explained in large part in Revelation ~ God’s heaven. And what an inheritance!

Now, how about you?  Do you ever justify other people who do wrong against you, are mean to you? Yes, even if they do the same wrong against you over and over?  Remember, you commit the same sins over and over and expect God to forgive you, to justify you over and over.  God will give you as much grace as you give others.  Where’s your grace?

Image result for "Buy the book" signWAS JESUS GOD?   Just as you have a body, a spirit in you that keeps your body alive, and a mind. Your mind tells your words what to say and your body what to do.  In the same way, the Father is the mind, the will.  The Holy Spirit is his life-giving force. The Son is his body and words and they must obey what his mind (Father) tells him to say and do.  Learn more in this book. To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2IUzckE

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Tuesday 3/5 ~ Renewal & rebirth

The scripture for today, March 5 (3/5), is Titus 3:5 in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

God is perfectly good and cannot dwell with imperfection. How, then, could we ever live with him in his heaven?  After all, as hard as we tried, we could not be perfect. Mankind was held hostage by Satan.

God loved us so much that he solved our dilemma. He sent his Son to live that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. Then, his perfect “Lamb of God” took our punishment for our sins by paying the ransom to get us out of the clutches of Satan.

Romans 3:23 says the earnings of sin is death ~ physical death (separation from this world) and spiritual death (separation from God). Jesus took it all for us. And that included being completely separated from God. At the worst of it, Jesus cried out to God, “Why have your FORSAKEN me?” That’s when Jesus died spiritually for a moment.  It was we who deserved to be forsaken by God.

Sin and its power now destroyed, God said if we go “through the washing of rebirth” we will be renewed by the Holy Spirit.

God does not leave us guessing. But how?   In Acts 22:16 Jesus said to Paul, “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins” and in Romans 6:4 he said through Paul, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism in order that…we too may live a new life [rebirth].”  Then we could start over pure and washed.

Washing of rebirth is no more “water salvation” than the cross was “wood salvation.”  Both were physical things that accomplished spiritual outcomes. God took care of the hard part. He gave us the easy part. And so we worship him with unspeakable gratitude that soars to the heavens and fills God’s throne room.

Image result for "Buy the book"Each chapter in WORSHIP THE 1ST-CENTURY WAY begins with quotes of famous theologians such as WESLEY, LUTHER, CALVIN, etc.  It ends with quotes from second-century Christians.  Each chapter is a different form of worship. There is even one on the announcements (good works)!  Full of good things for you to consider. To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2ISNthC

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Sunday 2/24 ~ War of the Worlds

The scripture for today, February 24 (2/24), is 1st Peter 2:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

Many people do not understand what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with rescuing us from hell and leading us to heaven. After all, if we don’t murder, steal, abuse others and only lie a little, Satan has no claim on us and God has no choice but to take us into heaven.  As far as Satan is concerned, one sin is all it takes to be a sinner. Further, God is perfect, so cannot co-exist with imperfection ~ even one tiny sin.

Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. So, all through the Old Testament era, whenever we sinned, God told us to kill/sacrifice a perfect animal and spill its blood to collect the death wages in our place. Notice, the animal had to be perfect. This was a temporary fix; Satan could be held off only so long.

Eventually, God materialized in a body and put his words in that body to be tempted in every way that we are (see Hebrews 4:15). Satan gave it all he got. But Jesus resisted all temptations and lived his entire life sinless. He was perfect morally, just as the sacrificial animals were perfect physically.

Then as the perfect Lamb of God (John 1:29), Jesus became the final sacrifice. Now, with a human body, he died in our place. He took the terrible wages of death from Satan for our sins. On the cross, he died spiritually (forsaken by God) and physically with blood dripping from the wounds in his hands and feet. Then the Father basically told the world, “I will consider you perfect too; all you have to do is believe in and follow my Son, my Words who was with you in your form and died for you.” But how?

It is explained further in Romans 6:3-4. Just as Jesus died bearing our sins, we die to our sinful nature ~ the part of us that sins and doesn’t care. Then just as Jesus was buried in his tomb, we are buried in the watery tomb of baptism. And finally, just as Jesus rose up out of his tomb the Savior, we rise up out of our watery tomb the saved ~ born again to a new life.

Indeed, by Jesus’ wounds we can be healed. We fall at his feet and say, “I am a sinner and so unworthy. How can I thank you enough for rescuing me from Satan?”

Image result for "Buy the book"WAS JESUS GOD? researches why God’s Word had to materialize and enter our world, the world that Satan controls ~ or at least thinks he does. Much discussion about Satan and his “unholy jihad” against mankind. To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2Tbk31Z

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Saturday 2/23 ~ How can the Father and Son be the same?

The scripture for today, February 23 (2/23), is 1st John 2:23 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

This verse tells us the Son and Father are one. Isaiah 9:6 calls the child to be born both the Son and the Father and Mighty God. The Son gives birth to the Father; the Father gives birth to the Son. In other words, God is self-existent and one.

When you speak into a tape recorder and your voice then comes out of that machine for other people to hear, that doesn’t make you two.  You are still one; you have just chosen to put your voice in something where you can be heard by people away from you.  That tape recording is just another form of you. You can also put your voice and body in a movie. That doesn’t make two of you ~ one on the screen and one in your physical body. You are still one.

God is One, and yet he revealed a part of himself in a burning bush to Moses just like you revealed a part of yourself in the tape recorder or movie.  Does that mean there were two Gods ~ one in heaven and one in the bush?  No.  God can and has sometimes revealed himself in different ways. Remember how he walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?

Some say, “If Jesus was God on earth, when he died, God was dead.”  No. That temporary body was dead, but God’s Spirit, God’s Soul, God’s being continued to live. Jesus, the Word of God, did not depend on a body to be alive.

Why would Jesus be called the Son of God, since he was not a son created in the literal way we have sons?  You have thoughts and those thoughts have existed as long as you have.  But you still created those thoughts.  When your thoughts become hearable or seeable, people call that your “brain child”.  In that same sense, Jesus was God’s “brainchild” ~ God’s thoughts in hearable and seeable form. 

How was he the only begotten Son? God has only one Word ~ the Bible.  “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God…All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3).  When God spoke the world into existence, that was Jesus. Every time God spoke, that was Jesus.

Image result for "Buy the book"WAS JESUS GOD? is something more people are thinking about these days, especially with Muslims accusing us of believing in three Gods.  Walk with me step by step as we look at the logic of God being one. As I tell my Muslim students, we have to have a spiritual mind to understand it. To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2Tbk31Z

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