Tuesday 11/13 ~ Amazing proofs

The scripture for today, November 13 (11/13), is Zechariah 11:13 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’ ~ the handsome price at which they paid me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord to the potter.”

The book of Zechariah is full of prophecies about Jesus, especially circumstances surrounding his death. Compare the above scripture with this written five centuries later when Jesus was betrayed and crucified:

“Then one of the Twelve ~ the one called Judas Iscariot ~ went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand him [Jesus] over to you?’ So they counted out for him thirty silver coins” (Matthew 26:15).

and….

“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests….So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself….So they [chief priests] decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners” (Matthew 27:3, 6-7).

The prophet Zechariah wrote this prophecy some five centuries before Jesus. The prophet had been long dead before it was fulfilled. This could not possibly have been contrived to fit such a distant future ~ the exact sum Judas was paid, the money being thrown into the temple and then given to the potters.

This is only one of many proofs. The Bible is the only religious book in the world with built-in undeniable and amazing proofs it is of divine origin.

Why not keep a collection of these prophecies so you will be prepared when a friend says “The Bible is full of myths”?

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Saturday 10/27 ~ God sent Jesus and he fixed the problem

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

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

Can we 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 us to live. He became the perfect Lamb of God, and became our sacrifice for our sins, for Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.” He collected the wage of death from Satan for us.

So now, according to Romans 6:3-4, just as Jesus died on the cross, we too can 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 too can be buried in a watery tomb of baptism. And finally, just as Jesus was raised up out of his tomb the Savior, we rise up out of our watery tomb the saved.

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

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Thursday 10/25 ~ Bored in heaven

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

06-PROMISE KEEPER-ChildsCartoonThumbnail“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 Christian 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.

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 keeps 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 love Jesus or not? Do you love your fellow Christian or not?

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Thursday 10/4 ~ A new and beautiful law

The scripture for today, October 4, is Romans 10:4 as found in the New Testament of the Bible: 

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Thumbnail-New“Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

When Jesus nailed the Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14) it came to an end. Thank God. There were over 600 commandments in the Law of Moses, not just the “ten commandments.” They were tedious. Try reading Leviticus and see if you can keep every commandment in it.

Jesus was the only one who ever kept the Law perfectly (Hebrews 4:15). Once that occurred, he could be the Perfect Lamb of God without blemish, and he could be sacrificed on the altar of the world (the cross) in our place ~ take the blame and punishment for our sins.

And with his death came the introduction of a New Law covered in the New Testament. (The book of Hebrews explains it all.). Read the New Testament in its entirety. It is not tedious. It is beautiful. Let us not try to dip back into the Old Law and bring back showy worship practices done back them. He put it to death and gave us a new and wonderful and simple law of grace and love.

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Sunday 9/30 ~ Oh, the things he went through for us

The scripture for today, September 30, (9/30) is Luke 9:30f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 6-PromiseKeeper-Cover-thumbnail-new-kindleTwo men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.”

Hebrews 5:7 says something very startling to most people. “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.”

Jesus did not look forward to going to the cross, even though many thousands of others had died that way. Why was it different for him? Because he had to take on all our sins as though he had committed them himself ~ every lie we’ve told, every gain from cheating, every insult, every slander campaign against another, every adultery, every murder ~ everything ~ all our sins! How could he bear it?

Not only that, but he had to experience both physical and spiritual death. Spiritual death means being separated from, being forsaken by God. What a terror to experience!

And so, a few weeks before his crucifixion, as he prayed on the mountain, Moses and Elijah appeared to him and they spoke about his death. They surely gave him courage to do what had to be done to save you and me who deserve hell.

The crowning glory of this conversation with Moses and Elijah is that the Father reassured him by announcing, “THIS IS MY SON! WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN! LISTEN TO HIM!”

Jesus was to nail the Old Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14). He had promised people, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets: I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17).

On the cross, he said, “It is fulfilled.”  Indeed, by the time Jesus returned to heaven, he had lived the Old Law introduced by Moses perfectly ~ something no man had ever been able to do. And by the time he returned to heaven, he had fulfilled every prophecy about his birth, life, and death, the first such full-time prophet being Elijah.

Oh, the things Jesus went through for us. We fall at his feet and worship him.

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Wednesday 9/26 ~ Soaring to the clouds

The scripture for today, September 26 (9/26), is Hebrews 9:26f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face the judgment.”

According to the Old Law of Moses, sacrifices of perfect animals had to be made to temporarily pay the ransom of death for people’s sins. But it wasn’t enough because what Satan really wanted was the death of God so he could take over.

Finally, Jesus became the perfect Lamb of God and gave Satan what he wanted (Matthew 20:28). In a sense, he laid down on the altar of the world. He paid the ransom Satan demanded to release our sinful souls from his clutches.

Then Jesus fooled Satan.  Satan thought he got what he wanted ~ God in the body of Jesus died.  But three days later he played a trick on Satan: He came back to life! The ransom had been paid and our souls released both in one fell swoop.

And so, just as Jesus died once, we too die once. Then our judgment. No second chances. No reincarnations. No going back and trying to be perfect again and failing again.  No trying for another 1000 years because supposedly Jesus didn’t get it right the first time.  

Jesus released us from all of our failures at being perfect. Thank God, he was perfect for us. And now, after dying once, when he returns, his followers will meet him in the air among the clouds (I Thessalonians 4:17). The rest will face judgment.

How amazing God’s plan for us!

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Monday 9/24 ~ Read, study, mull, and be Amazed

The scripture for today, September 24 (9/24), is Luke 9:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Letters-of-Apostles1-Cover-Thumbnail“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

Romans 6 explains this phenomenon best. We are to put our old self to death ~ to crucify that part of us that sins and doesn’t care, that part of us that puts ourselves first (verse 7) ~ in imitation of Jesus dying. Once we decide to put that part of ourselves to death, we are buried, just like Jesus was buried (verse 3 & 4a).

And then, “just as Christ was raised from the dead as the savior, we rise from the dead as the saved. Why? “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection” (verse 5). Having been “brought from death to life” (verse 13) through baptism, we have been born again!

This is a spiritual death, of course. There is another spiritual death called the second death in Revelation 21:8. If we go through the first spiritual death at baptism, we will not have to go through the second spiritual death in hell. We will have lost our life of sin and in the process saved our souls.

It’s all there. Study it. Absorb it. Mull it. And be amazed.

 

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