Monday 7/1 ~ Take the time

The scripture for today, July 1 (7/1), is Leviticus 7:1f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“These are the regulations for the guilt offering, which is most holy. The guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood is to be sprinkled against the altar on all sides.”

Romans 3:23 says the wages of sin is death. The earnings are paid by Satan, the author of death.  God told everyone to appease Satan by killing substitute perfect animals during the Old Testament era. The earnings for your sins were collected by these perfect animals over and over in the Old Testament. But one day Jesus nailed the Old Law to the cross (Colossians 2:14), and with his one sacrifice made it so that no more bloody deaths of substitute animals were necessary (Hebrews 8-9).

In a sense, Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, laid down on the altar of the world where his blood flowed from all sides of the cross to all sides of the earth. Why would anyone want to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and nullify that horror Jesus went through in our place?

Jesus collected your wages from Satan for your sins to save you from facing both body and soul death. You can never, ever thank him enough.  But, instead of temple ceremonies, he asked you to commemorate his death with the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Communion each week.  Do you?  On Sundays, the day he came back to life, do you care? Take time to remember his death. He took time to die in your place.

 

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Saturday 6/29 ~ Invincible Faith

The scripture for today, June 29 (6/29), is John 6:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: To believe in the one he has sent.’ “

Yes, it is true that the gift of salvation is just that ~ a gift, a free gift. That’s because God was the only one powerful enough to overcome Satan.  Satan wanted God’s death as a ransom in order to free you from your bondage to him. God gave Satan what he wanted, then tricked Satan and came back to life. You could have never freed yourself.

And it is true that you cannot be good enough to earn salvation from Satan because you don’t know how to be sinless, and heaven can only be occupied by the perfectly sinless. Satan is always lurking in the shadows to lure you back. It only takes one sin to be a sinner.

But at the same time, James 2:18 says “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” In other words, there are things you need to do to obtain salvation. You have to believe there is a gift for you somewhere, walk over to it, reach out, and grasp it.

Believing is a work because you have to find and spend time listening to or reading the Word before you can believe. And Jesus himself said believing (faith) is a work.

How do you go about obtaining faith? By believing what other people tell you to believe? Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing/reading the Word of God ~ the Bible. It is going directly to God’s Words to find out for yourself. It takes a little bit of work to read through it. But then, you can know that what you believe is really what God said.

What a marvelous, delightful, magnificent thing it is to find out what this invisible God did for you and to bask in the glory of such knowledge through invincible faith.

 

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Friday 6/21 ~ Slave Trading

The scripture for today, June 21 (6/21), is Romans 6:21ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Sometimes you do things you are ashamed of and decide God would be too ashamed of you to accept you as his child. But God can get rid of the shame, for he can forgive so completely, it is as though you never did those things.

Do you bristle at the phrase “slaves to God” or “slaves to Christianity” or even slavery at all? But we’re all slaves to something ~ a big car, high position, beauty, a hobby, chasing after the opposite gender, reading, eating, music, sports, etc.  What are you a slave to?

From the beginning of time, anyone giving up their perfection by sinning always belonged to Satan who rewarded anyone following him with death. Death means “separation”, and in the case of sin, it means separation from God and belonging to Satan instead. God appeased Satan and held him off in Old Testament times whenever a sinner (everyone) killed a perfect animal in their place. But they had to keep doing it throughout life. Then Jesus came as our perfect Lamb of God and allowed himself to collect the wages for all of everyone’s sins and be killed in our place.

The reward of death was collected from Satan by Jesus.  Yes, Satan paid mankind’s wages to Jesus. He set us free from Satan. Now we voluntarily make ourselves slaves to the one who freed us.

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Friday 6/14 ~ The gratitude day

The scripture for today, June 14 (6/14), is Numbers 6:14 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“There he is to present his offerings to the Lord…a year-old ewe lamb without defect for a sin offering…. “

A lot of people don’t understand what Jesus dying on a cross has to do with going to heaven. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.” ~ both physical and soul death. It is Satan who pays us our wages. In Old Testament times, God intervened and arranged for people to kill a perfect animal in their place whenever they sinned to satisfy Satan’s bloodthirst.  But it was only a temporary fix because it is impossible for us to be sinless ~ without defect.

Finally, God the Word came to earth as a human, and John the Baptist called him the Lamb of God (John 1:29). Jesus was perfect and without defect; that is, he never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Then he took the wages of sin from Satan and died as the perfect Lamb of God in our place ~ both physically (separation from people on earth) and spiritually (separation from God the Father). After Satan released his hold on mankind, Jesus even went a step further and miraculously came back to life!

Then God said, “If you’ll believe and imitate Jesus, I will consider your debt paid in full and consider you perfect too (Romans 6). Then I’ll bring you back to life in heaven.” How amazing!

And, by the way, since he came back to life on Sunday, that’s what makes Sunday so special. It’s an I’m-sorry-you-had-to-die-for-my-sins Day. It’s the “Do-this-in-remembrance-of-me” Lord’s Supper Day.  It’s the Gratitude Day.

 

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Saturday 6/8 ~ Have I died with Christ?

The scripture for today, June 8 (6/8), is Romans 6:8 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Acts of the Apostles-Cover-Thumbnail“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”

We all want to live with Christ, but how do we die with him? Earlier in this same chapter, God inspired the writer to say this: “We died to sin….don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead…we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:2-4).

So, just as Christ did a physical action to die for you, you do a physical action to die with him. And just as Christ’s physical death overcame spiritual death, so your physical action overcomes your spiritual death. Then you are born again, or as this verse says, you “live a new life”

Some say this is water salvation. But it is no more water salvation than the cross was wood salvation. You live in a physical world and God has us sometimes do physical things in order to obtain a spiritual outcome. Your singing praise songs is a physical thing, but it is no less spiritual in its outcome. Your eating the Lord’s Supper is a physical thing, but it is no less spiritual in its outcome.

Have you died with Christ?

 

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