Friday 11/30 ~ Satan is still beautiful & still lying his way into people’s lives

The scripture for today, November 30 (10/30), is Proverbs 11:30 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-lg-thumbnail“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”

Remember back in the Garden of Eden? Going by the age of their three sons, Adam and Eve were in the Garden close to one hundred years.  Instead of centering on what they did wrong, look at what they did right.  They were sinless for nearly a century! Hardly any of us can accomplish it in 100 minutes.

Just think. Walking through a garden lush with the beauty of holiness.  Walking through a garden with the water of life to drink. Walking through a garden with God (materialized) himself.

How many times did Satan, upright like a king’s scepter and perhaps with a crown of gold and ruby on his head, make his way gracefully through the garden, laughing and enjoying the company of newly made humans? How many times did he coil up his tail like a maelstrom spiraling through heavens full of light and beauty as he watched the couple enjoy the fruit of the garden? How many times did this magnificent creature sway back and forth, back and forth as cobras as he spoke hypnotic words to make them feel like gods?

“Oh, look at the fruit on that tree over there? God told you never to touch it, but God is wrong.  Go ahead. Touch it. That’s right. Did anything bad happen to you? Of course not, because God is wrong.  How about touching it with your lips? That’s right. You’re not really eating it. You’re just touching it. Smell it too. Have you ever smelled anything so wonderful? God doesn’t want you to have it. He knows you will learn what evil is and then be as smart at him. God is jealous of you. Go ahead. Take a tiny bite. It won’t hurt you.  See there? Are you dead like he said you would be? No. You are still alive. God is a liar. I am the only one who tells you the truth. I am on your side. God hates you. Sure, go ahead and take another bite, and Adam might like some too.  It’s harmless. Do not believe anything God says. He hates you. I am the only one who loves you.”

That was a long time ago. Now the Tree of Life, which God withheld from Adam and Eve, is in heaven. Today, our assignment is to warn the world of the wiles of Satan and save their souls from him. But be careful, he is still out there, still beautiful, still successful, and still lying his way into people’s lives.

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Monday 11/26 — Never die?

The scripture for today, November 26 (11/26) is John 11:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-lg-thumbnail” ‘ And whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ “

Jesus was talking to the sister of his close friend, Lazarus, who had just died. Of course, we understand he was talking about spiritual death ~ the death of our souls. And death in the original Greek means separation; so in the case of our souls, it would be separation from God.

Revelation 20:6 & 14 refer to the second death which is the lake of fire. So what is the first death of our souls?

In John 3:3 Jesus said we must be born again of water and the spirit. Romans 6:4 says “we were therefore buried with him through baptism into death [of that sinful life] in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a NEW LIFE.”

Someone has said “Born once [physically], die twice. Born twice [physically & spiritually], die once.” If we emerge from the waters of our mother’s womb, that is the first birth of our souls. If we emerge from the waters of baptism, that is our second birth.”

Ah, the thought of living on inside the walls of salvation in heaven where Satan can never touch us again. The thought of walking and talking with God and never growing tired of it. The thought of singing with God with pleasure unending.

How reassuring to us when Jesus said believers’ souls would never die. Oh, glorious thought.

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Sunday 11/25 ~ Afraid of dying?

The scripture for today, November 25 (11/25), is John 11:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.’ “

This has always been puzzling to me: People who have been Christians all their lives find out from their doctor that they are going to die, and they weep and beg God to keep them alive. Why? Heaven is your final destination, not earth. You claim you want to go to heaven, but you do not want to do what is necessary to get there. Death is the door to heaven. Death is not the end, but the beginning! Why would anyone want to cling to this life in this world with all its problems? Why would anyone who claims to be a Christian wail and cry? Is it because living here is like living in a dark cave and we cannot imagine life with light and color and warmth? Where is all that faith you claimed to have?

Be willing to look death in the eye and say, “Jesus has conquered you! I will close my eyes here and open them again to behold my Creator and my Savior!”

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Thursday 11/8 ~ Rescued

The scripture for today, November 8 (11/8), is Proverbs 11:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead.”

We know that God does not always rescue us from trouble here on this temporary earth. He certainly didn’t rescue Jesus from all his troubles.

Sometimes God has an assignment for you just as he did for Jesus.  He may want you to be in the midst of trouble ~ war, an enemy at work, an obnoxious neighbor, death of a loved one caused by a reckless driver, a government worker demanding a bribe ~ so you can demonstrate to the world the contrast: God’s ways vs. Satan’s ways.

Eventually, the boomerang effect will take place on those following Satan. What they inflict on you will be inflicted on them.

And eventually, if you have followed God’s ways even in times of trouble, he will indeed rescue you. He will welcome you into his home ~ heaven ~ safe for all eternity.

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Sunday 10/28 ~ God gave each of us an assignment

The scripture for today, October 28 (10/28), is Matthew 10:28f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.”

This scripture indicates that sometimes God’s allows you to “fall to the ground” ~ your body suffers, or you are killed. How can that be? After all, God is so loving. Surely a good God would not allow any harm to come to someone if he truly loves them.

But we all have our assignment from God in this war between Good and Evil. Just as Job in the Old Testament lost his entire family and entire wealth and then his health, he refused to blame God. He even said, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” (Job 2:10).

Satan causes bad to happen to you. Why? In order to get you to blame God for it. Your assignment is to refuse to deny God. That way, Satan loses one more battle, and God wins one more.

There is an old Christian song called “Victory in Jesus.” How can you have victory in Jesus if you do not have something to be victorious over? Romans 8:37 says we are more than conquerors. How can you be a conqueror if you have nothing to conquer?

Stand strong and say with James (1:2) that you consider it pure joy whenever you face trials. Hard to say? Of course, it is. But it could turn your life around.

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Wednesday 10/3 ~ Preaching unbelievers into heaven

The scripture for today, October 3 (10/3), is John 10:3ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out….I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.”

First of all, we use the term saved/salvation so loosely, we tend to think we are saved to heaven. But we are not saved to something; we are saved from something.  We even tend to forget what we are being saved from. We are being saved from hell! This is not a minuscule matter.

Second, how do we avoid hell? Through Jesus! This is the only way.

How many of us have been to funerals where the deceased was preached into heaven? So many people believe they are “good enough” or “not too bad” and so God would be horrible to not let them into heaven. Such people will climb in through windows so to speak into heaven as the “thieves and robbers” Jesus referred to.

But heaven is God’s home, not ours. He has a gate into it, just like we have doors on our house. Just like we are not obligated to open the gate or door into our home to just anyone, God is not obligated to open his gate to just anyone. Our door and God’s gate are there for a reason.  Let us enter heaven through the gate ~ Jesus. Then God will smile and say, “Welcome home.”

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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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