Monday 4/9 ~ I want to do this. Help me.

The scripture for today, April 9, is 1st John 4:9f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: Not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

How perplexing. We are stymied. There is no solution. We humans do not have the will to live perfect lives. We give in to sin. We can never get it right. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. In the Old Testament era, God let people kill an animal in their place whenever they sinned, but it had to be done over and over. But still, every time we sinned, our souls died a little more.

Then came our answer, our rescue our solution. But the cost.  It was so high.  God sent his Son to us for a while with a body so his Son’s body could be killed (collecting our wages, the cost of our sins) in our place.

Finally, God invited mankind to bring our souls back to life through him ~ that is, become Christ-ians. How do we become alive through Jesus? Of course, we know about believing Jesus was the Son of God and repenting of our sins. Also Romans 6:4 says when we are baptized and come forth out of the Spirit’s watery womb, our souls are born again and we now have a new life.

But it does not stop there. We must try the best we can to live as Jesus lived, speak as Jesus spoke, love as Jesus loved. With Jesus living in us, we are his mouth, his hands, his feet. It is then that we offer our own bodies as daily sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

Oh, Lord God.  I want to do this. Help me.  Help me.

Sunday 4/1 ~ Is the cost too high?

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

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”

Paul, a prisoner for spreading the word about Jesus? Now he wants others to follow his example, even if they end up in prison like him?  Did Paul’s incarceration stop the Christians he was writing to?  More, did Jesus’ crucifixion stop them for fear they would be crucified too?

Did early Christians decide it was too dangerous to tell people the way to escape hell and go to heaven? Never. They loved people so much, they were willing to take insults and persecution and imprisonment and even death in the hopes that their persistent love would eventually lead to people becoming Christians and being saved from eternal hell. They knew their calling as Christians.

How about today? Do you live a life worthy of your calling as a Christian? Do you stand up for Jesus and reach out to the lost, regardless of the cost? Or do you cower and use the excuse, “Once people see my godly life, they will ask me how to be saved”?  How many times do the lost really do that?

Rise up!  Stand tall as a brave soldier of the Lord. Dare to march into enemy territory and do everything you can to snatch the lost out of the claws of Satan.

No matter what they do to you.

Wednesday 3/21 ~ The Cheerful Conscience

The scripture for today, March 21 (3/21), is 1st Peter 3:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“This water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also ~ not the removal of dirt from the body but the answer of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Jesus’ part in saving us was to pay the wages of our sins to Satan through his terrible death. Our part is to believe he did. Then to confess it to others. Then to repent of the sins that he died for. Some people call this process (and it is a process) giving their heart to the Lord.

But many people go through life wondering if they were sincere enough when they gave their heart to the Lord. What is in one’s mind long ago sometimes becomes a fuzzy memory. So they re-give their heart to the Lord all over again periodically throughout their life.

Thank God, he has given us something we can do, an action to prove we were sincere enough, more than a long-ago state of mind. He gave us an action to reassure our conscience toward God ~ “baptism that now saves you”, the same baptism wherein you are reborn to live a new life (Romans 6: 4)

Friday 3/16 ~ Then God played a trick on Satan

The scripture for today, March 16 (3/16), is John 3:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Guess what? Many people have heard there is such a scripture as John 3:16, but they do not know what it says. And among those who do know what it says, many have no idea what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with going to heaven.

It is important for us to read the entire Bible so we can understand the isolated scriptures we hear or read. There was a song written several years ago called, No Man Is An Island. No scripture is an island either. Just as every person influences other people in some way, every scripture influences other scriptures.

The meaning of John 3:16? 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 [spiritual] death.”

There are certain truths that cannot be broken. For example, it is impossible for God to lie.  Another truth is that both good and evil exist.  It is obvious both are in a battle to win.  Satan is the seat of evil.  God is the seat of good.  God is stronger than Satan.  How do we know? Whatever Satan does, God can undo. When Satan causes someone to be sick, God can heal them. When Satan causes someone to sin, God can forgive them. When Satan causes someone to die, God can bring them back to life.

Satan held mankind hostage because we all sin.  The ransom to free mankind was the death of someone who had never sinned. Only one being had never sinned ~ God.  But God was smarter than Satan. God sent his Word down to us in flesh (John 1:1f, 14) ~ Jesus ~ who lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live.  Then, the fleshly-part of God paid the terrible ransom: He died physically and spiritually on the cross. 

The ransom was now paid (Matthew 20:28 and I Peter 1:18-21). Then God played a trick on Satan. Only the flesh part of Jesus died. And even then, that body came back to life.

Today, we have a choice: Become a Christian or tell God the way we live is none of his business. Think.  Think about this.  Deeply.  “God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son.”  Understanding the price he paid to keep y out of hell, how can anyone walk away from him?

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