Sunday 9/22 ~ What do you do on Sunday mornings?

The scripture for today, September 22 (9/22) is Luke 9:22 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Supper-Front Cover-Thumbnail“And he [Jesus] said, ‘The Son of Man[kind] must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

Jesus did not look forward to his death. Hebrews 5:7 says, “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….” Loud cries!

Yet, in today’s scripture, shortly after he announced to his apostles that he would be killed in Jerusalem, over in verse 51 it says, “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”

Jesus had to use every bit of self-determination he could muster up to face that terrible death he had to suffer for us. What kept him to his goal? He knew only he could save us from hell by taking the death wages from Satan (Romans 6:23). Then his work would be done ~ all would be finished ~ and he could return to heaven.

Is it difficult for you to get up on Sunday morning to go to church? Is it difficult for you to read the Bible every day? Is it difficult for you to invite a friend to church with you? Do you love Jesus as resolutely as he loves you? Are you as determined to go to heaven and avoid hell as he was for you? Do you love your soul as much as Jesus does?

 

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Saturday 9/21 ~ God’s blood

The scripture for today, September 21 (9/21), is Hebrews 9:21f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“In the same way, he [Moses] sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”

Long ago in the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve, the day they sinned they would die.  And it happened. The day they sinned their souls died. Death means separation. In a physical sense, we are separated from people living on earth. In a spiritual sense, we are separated from God in heaven. God is life, and cannot dwell with death. It is not in his nature. Neither can he dwell with sin. That, too, is not in his nature.

Death is Satan’s nature, so the souls of mankind began to dwell with Satan. He lured us into his trap and we gave in to his temptations. He held us ransom.  It was a blood ransom. God was able to temporarily appease Satan by commanding people to spill the blood of animals.  But animal blood was not enough for Satan. He demanded God’s blood. 

God loves us so very, very much, he sent his Words to earth, taking on flesh and blood (John 1:1,14). Then he bought us from Satan with his own blood (Acts 20:28).

What a God we have! What incomprehensible love! Let us fall at his feet in the awe of silence and worship.

 

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Sunday 9/15 ~ Can you spare a few more minutes?

The scripture for today, September 15 (9/15), is 2nd Corinthians 9:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Supper-Front Cover-Thumbnail“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

Can you imagine dying in the place of someone else?  We occasionally hear stories from the battlefield of a man falling on a grenade so he is the only one killed, thus saving his buddies.

But closer to home, if you saw a child in the path of a car, would you run out and throw the child out of the way knowing there will be no time for you to escape death?

What if you were hiking or sailing with a friend and got lost? Would you split the food and water evenly, or would you give it all to your weaker friend? What would you do if you were lost with someone who hated everyone? Would you give them all the food and water knowing you would die and the hateful person live on?

What if you were with a friend and were arrested for a crime the friend did? Would you take the blame and the punishment of twenty years in prison so your friend could go free?  What if that person was a habitual criminal, you happened to cross paths at the wrong time, and you were both arrested for his heinous crime? Would you take the blame and his punishment (execution) for him?

Now try to imagine making your child die in the place of your enemy ~ your sinless, innocent child.

It is indescribable.

It is unimaginable.

It is unthinkable.

But God did exactly that.

How can we thank Him for his indescribable gift of Jesus redeeming us from Satan? We fall silently at His feet and worship.

Today is Sunday, the day the apostles and those they taught kept the Lord’s Supper remembering Jesus’ body that was tortured and died in our place and his blood that was drained from his body in our place. When you worship today, will you have time to remember his death with all the singing and praying and speechifying going on? Will you squeeze out the reason for Sunday, the day he came back to life and the day he returned home to heaven? Can you take a little more time?

This is the day he ransomed you from Satan and hell! So, I ask again, do you have time?

 

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Saturday 9/14 ~ Have a day of gratitude

The scripture for today, September 14 (9/14), is Hebrews 9:14f as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

0-BK 6-PromiseKeeper-Cover-thumbnail-new-kindleHow much more then will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts [sins] that lead to death so that we may serve the living God! For this reason, Christ is the mediator of a new covenant [testament] that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance ~ now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant [testament].”

This is a very interesting passage. Just previous to this, the author was talking about the blood of bulls and goats being sacrificed for sins under the old Law of Moses [Testament]. But now that the Son of God, the Lamb of God, had been sacrificed for our sins, we no longer need any more blood sacrifices.

Further, Jesus’ sacrifice was retroactive! It reached back to the faithful who lived under the first/old covenant [Testament] and set them free from punishment for their sins too.

Aren’t you glad God did away with the old Law of Moses with all its 600+ rules and regulations, and its requirement for animal blood sacrifices? Aren’t you overjoyed that he brought us a law of grace? What a God! What a Savior! Jesus did all this to save us from hell.

Have a day of deep gratitude.

 

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Wednesday 9/4 ~ Shhh. Listen. Do you hear?

The scripture for today, September 4 (9/4), is Daniel 9:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands….’ “

A lot of people in the world think God should feel obligated to take them to his heaven. After all, they are fairly good, and better than some. God couldn’t possibly in all good conscience turn them away.

Yet, their entire life they resent God. They don’t like his few commands; they don’t want anyone telling them what to do or not do. Or they claim to love God, but create their own commands that just aren’t in the Bible, making themselves God. What confusion!

Ultimately, heaven is God’s home, not yours. He is not obligated to invite anyone into His home. Besides, only perfection can live with God who is perfect. It only takes one sin to make us an imperfect sinner.

So how do you become perfect? That’s where God’s awesomeness is demonstrated. By following Jesus who was perfect and never sinned, and obeying Jesus’ few commands, God considers you perfect by proxy.

But it’s like a boomerang. God treats you the way you treat him. If you don’t take time for God, he doesn’t take time for you. If you don’t like to spend time praising him, he doesn’t spend time praising you. Actually, if you don’t really like anything about God, you would be miserable in heaven.

God never forces himself on anyone. He loves you even when you do not love Him.  So, he keeps on calling, “Come back!  Come back to me!  I can keep you safe.”  Shhh. Listen.  Do you hear Him?

 

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