Saturday 11/16 ~ Falsely Accused No More

The scripture for today, November 16 (11/16), is John 11:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

EASTER Strip-MetJesus“Then Thomas…said to the rest of the disciples, ‘Let us also go that we may die with him.’ “

Have you ever been falsely accused?  This apostle is most often and wrongly called “Doubting Thomas.” We’ve all heard the story about Thomas being absent when Jesus appeared to the other apostles, then later said he wouldn’t believe Jesus was alive again unless he could touch him. Well, the other apostles hadn’t believed until they saw him either.

After returning to life, Jesus first appeared to the women. Then, “when they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others…But they did not believe the women because their words seemed to them like nonsense” (Luke 24:9-11).

Now let’s look at our scripture for today. In the months before Jesus’ death, he had been traveling everywhere except to Judea where Jerusalem and the religious leaders were. Those leaders had plans to kill Jesus, and everyone knew it. Then Lazarus got sick just six miles from Jerusalem and his sisters begged Jesus to come heal him. It was dangerous for Jesus to go there. He didn’t go and Lazarus died.

John 11:7-8 says, “Then he [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘Let us go back to Judea.’ ‘But Rabbi,’ they said, ‘a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?’ “

After explaining that he needed to get to Lazarus, it was Thomas who bravely spoke up and said, “Let us also go that we may die with him!”

Later, when Thomas did finally see Jesus, he was the first to call him “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

Doubting Thomas? Far from it! Brave Thomas. Devoted Thomas. Thomas who was willing to follow his Lord to the death. Thomas who was the first to call him God. That was the real Thomas.

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EASTER Strip-MetJesus

PROMISE KEEPER, SHADOW OF DEATH, COME FLY WITH ME are the complete Easter Story.  In these, Thomas plays a major role as he encourages the other apostles to not be afraid but follow Jesus to the death.  And meet his twin sister who shares his faith.  To BUY NOW click the book covers or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2OKZLLL

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Thursday 11/14 ~ What treasures we miss

The scripture for today, November 14 (11/14), is Job 11:14f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Road to Heaven-COVER-KINDLE-THUMBNAIL“If you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.”

Job’s misguided friend, Zophar, was advising Job that, if he would become perfect (“allow no evil”), he would stand firm before God.

Oh, Zophar! Hadn’t he caught on yet? Hadn’t he yet realized no one can be perfect? At the end of this ancient book, God told Zophar and his friends to repent of their accusations toward Job and misinterpreting God.

Throughout the Old Testament, the Jews tried unsuccessfully to be perfect with the help of the Law of Moses, but they couldn’t do it. In the meantime, the nations that had not received the Law were left to try with their own methods to be perfect, and they couldn’t do it either. (Job was an Edomite.)

The only thing that ever has allowed mankind to be perfect has been the blood of Jesus. He was the perfect Lamb of God.

It has been eons since Zophar insisted that, if Job became perfect, he wouldn’t be sick anymore. As of 2000 years ago, everyone who follows Jesus is able to stand firm, because Jesus made them perfect when they washed away their sins (John 1:29; Acts 22:16).

 

Road to Heaven-COVER-KINDLE-THUMBNAILTHE ROAD TO HEAVEN begins in the Garden of Eden and the first son and Satan putting mankind up for a ransom. It progressed through the payment of that terrible ransom, and finally to our glorious bodies and heaven in the presence of God who is larger than the two trillion galaxies out there. Good for personal reflection or to someone who takes heaven for granted and does not understand the real threat of hell and what it took to ransom us. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/353HL2I

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Sunday ~ Appreciation Day for the Impossible

The scripture for today, October 27 (10/27), is Mark 10:27 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Supper-Front Cover-Thumbnail“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man, this is impossible, but not with God: All things are possible with God.’ “

Can you be perfect? God let mankind try for many centuries to be perfect.

To one group of people he gave over 600 laws and said, “If you keep these, you will be perfect.” But, as hard as the Jews tried, no one could keep the Law of Moses perfectly.

To the rest of the world, he basically said, “Try to figure out for yourselves how to be perfect.” So, they tried all kinds of religions, but with all of them, they could not be perfect.

Finally, mankind was ready for Jesus. He came to earth and lived that perfect life that is impossible for you to live. He became the perfect Lamb of God, and became your sacrifice for your sins, for Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin [that you earn]  is death.” He collected your wage of death from Satan for you.

So now, according to Romans 6:3-4, just as Jesus died on the cross, you too can die to your sinful nature ~ the part of you that sins and doesn’t care. Then, just as Jesus was buried in his tomb, you too can be buried in a watery tomb of baptism. And finally, just as Jesus was raised up out of his tomb the Savior, you rise up out of our watery tomb the saved.

Then God considers you perfect too. God cannot associate with sinners in his heaven. He can only have perfect people in his heavenly home; otherwise, it would not be heaven. Impossible for you to live there with him someday? Yes. But, God sent Jesus to fix that problem for you. With God, nothing is impossible.

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Supper-Front Cover-ThumbnailTHE LORD’S SUPPER:  52 READINGS WITH PRAYERS includes a Bible reading for partaking of the bread with a prayer, and a Bible reading for partaking of the wine with a prayer. One set for each Sunday of the year.  Useful for those leading the communion as well as worshippers in the pews for your meditation.  To BUY NOW, click a book or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2Nf542d

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Friday 10/25 ~ Inconvenience

The scripture for today, October 25 (10/25), is Hebrews 10:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Road to Heaven-COVER-KINDLE-THUMBNAIL“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another ~ and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Do you declare, “I can walk through nature ~ the temple of God ~ and feel God is closer there than in a church building”? Well, do you really do it? How often? The purpose of the church meeting is not so much to encourage yourself as to encourage your fellow Christians and visitors along with worshiping God.  

Look at the context. Verse 23 says “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess” and verse 24 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” How do you do these things? A lot of it is done during your congregation’s worship and encouragement service. Each one you assemble with has an unspoken burden. They need you ~ your smile, your song, your prayer. Where are you when the others meet together?

And what comes after our verse for today? Verse 26 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.” Meeting together with other congregational members is one of the major experiences that keep you and your friends from falling and missing heaven. Or does worshipping all the time in heaven sound boring too?

Should you meet once a week? This scripture says to meet “all the more as you see the Day [of Judgment] approaching.’ Do you say, “But that’s too inconvenient”?

It was inconvenient for Jesus to leave a perfect heaven for an imperfect earth. It was inconvenient for him to leave the company of angels for the company of sinners. It was inconvenient for him to do this for 33 long years. Inconvenient to take the blame for your sins, and then take your punishment. Inconvenient to experience agonizing spiritual death when God left him alone on the cross in your place, and then that agonizing physical death in your place.

Do you really know inconvenience? Do you take heaven for granted?

 

Road to Heaven-COVER-KINDLE-THUMBNAILTHE ROAD TO HEAVEN.  Securing our ransom from Satan was no easy feat. How dare we take it for granted! We blithely say, “I’m saved” as though we’re talking about eating our next meal, going for a walk, or chatting with friends.  Each time we sin, Satan gets us.  God went through heaven, earth, and hell so to speak to free us. Once he did, oh the glories of heaven. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2p1M8fn

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Tuesday 10/22 ~ God thinks of everything

The scripture for today, October 22 (10/22), is Hebrews 10:22 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

02-DreamMakerChildsCartoonSmall“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

The previous verse said that Jesus is the great (high) priest over the house of God (the church). Therefore, the sprinkling refers to the sprinkling of blood the high priests did on the Day of Atonement once a year. (See Leviticus 16 in the Old Testament.) Today your heart (which we cannot see or touch) is sprinkled with the blood of Jesus.

And how are you to be cleansed from that guilty conscience with our body (which we can see and touch) being washed? I Peter 3:21 says, “Even so does baptism now save us, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh but the answer of a good conscience toward God.”

You do not have to guess whether you were sincere enough when you gave your heart to the Lord. Your conscience never has to wonder if you did it right. For God gave you something you can actually do to give you a good and clear conscience toward him.

From henceforth, you can draw near to God in full assurance. Full! Not partial. Not wondering. Not with ups and downs of faith. But full! God thinks of everything!

 

02-DreamMakerChildsCartoonSmallA CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST: DREAM MAKER is storybook 2.  Jesus is now grown. He is baptized, defies Satan, then reveals just who he is at a wedding ~ a new beginning for a couple in love and a new beginning for the kingdom of God that Jesus loves. THINK AND DO at the end of each chapter for child readers.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/3434snh

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