Persecuted? Yes.  Frightened? Yes. Cowering? Never.

The scripture for today, February 16 (2/16), is 2nd Thessalonians 2:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Medium“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

Who were these people the apostle Paul was writing? They were suffering people. 

Physically they were suffering.  Some in their group had even been killed for their faith. Mentally they were suffering.  Would they be next? Would it be worth everything they were going through?

Spiritually they were struggling. The apostle Paul, who wrote this, had been through such struggles many times himself. He wanted to make sure their faith would not waver.

How? By praying that their persecution would stop? At no time in the Bible do we have an account of Christians pray that the persecution stop. What did they pray for? Boldness.

They could be bold if they knew Jesus Christ loved them personally. They could be bold if they knew God the Father loved them personally. They could be bold with eternal encouragement, strength.

“Just keep doing what you’ve been doing,” he told them.  “With the strength God gives you, keep doing good deeds and spreading the Word.”

Persecuted? Yes.  Frightened? Yes. Cowering? Never.

How about your life?

God’s encouragement never ceases. It is always there. There when you feel alone, when you feel forsaken, when you are frightened, when you feel helpless, when you feel hopeless.

God gives good hope. Sometimes things in your life may be going so badly you have trouble having faith in God. But you can still hope. The candle of your faith may be flickering, but your hope can still be a flaming hope, a large hope, a good hope.

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00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailSTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR ran for his life when his best friend was crucified because of their prank against the city’s goddess. No matter where he lived and what he tried to get people to believe in the one true God, things seemed to backfire. His university turned against him. The Olympic Games turned against him.  His fellow craftsmen turned against him.  Then he met Jesus. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/2XBFXvJ

https://inspirationsbykatheryn.com/books-more-biblical-historical-novels/book-7-stephen-unlikely-martyr/

Sacred Delight

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-MediumAh, Lord God, you are complete goodness, complete logic and truth, complete love and sacrifice, complete light and life.  You make yourself known in every way, sometimes in ways unexpected to the sacred delight of my soul. I look up and am filled with both laughter and awe. I look inward and am filled with your Spirit and your Life. I close my eyes and am filled with the heart of my Maker. I adore you.

Thank you for the honor you have given all Christians to be priests, serving before your throne. I give you the sacrifices of my lips, my hands, my feet.  I give you the wonder of my heart. I offer you my blood if Satan ever causes that day and hour to come, just as you offered your blood. And, when I at last walk through the gate of safety, I will serve you with blissful delight and worship you, for eternity.

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00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailINTREPID MEN OF GOD.  STEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR.  He was young with a wife and young children.  He had everything to live for.  What caused him to walked into the rulers’ chambers, knowing he would never go home again?  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/2XBFXvJ

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I lift up the eyes of my heart and see you afar off

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-MediumI praise you, my Lord and God, full to overflowing with power and might and glory. No one has power except what you give. No one has truth except what you grant. No one has life except what you provide. Without you there is no light and life, no love or truth. I lift up the eyes of my heart and see you afar off.  I lift up the eyes of my soul and feel you next to me. I am in awe of you. You deserve all worship.

Thank you, Jesus, for coming to show me how to live and how to die. You were stubborn in your love. You insisted on never denying the truth. You insisted on standing when everyone wanted you to fall. Someday if times come to that, grant me the privilege of dying for you just as you did for me. With you, death is but a door to real, true life. I fall at your feet unworthy of your undying love.

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00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailSTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR tells of a 17-year-old who runs away when his best friend is crucified for what they had done together.  By the end of the book he is a 28-year-old deacon in the church with wife, children, miraculous powers and everything to live for. What makes him walk into the Sanhedrin’s chambers knowing he will never leave them alive?  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://bit.ly/2XBFXvJ

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Come back! Come back to Me!

The scripture for today, January 13 (1/13), is Habakkuk 1:13 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong.”

This pretty much explains why no one deserves heaven. Going to heaven has little to do with doing so many good works God will feel obligated to admit you. 

It’s all about sin.  Only sinless people can be in heaven, for God cannot coexist with sin and still be God. Of course, you cannot be sinless. If nothing else, you have sins of attitude and neglect.

For thousands of years, God let mankind try any way they could to be perfect. Some people he gave the Law of Moses to, and some people he continued to let try on their own. Neither worked. No matter how hard we tried, no one could get it right.

The wages you earn for sinning is death (Romans 6:23). Remember in the Garden of Eden God warned, “The moment you sin, you die.” He was talking about souls dying, and eventually, bodies dying. Satan was now holding mankind hostage. Satan causes death, so sinners collect the wages Satan pays for following him.

But mankind was still being held hostage and Satan wasn’t about to let us go.  So God set up a trap.  The death of God. Satan wanted to be God and this was the only way he could carry out his plan. He did not realize it would end up being the destruction of his power of death.

Galatians 4:4 says, “When the time was come, God sent his son.” Finally, when mankind understood everyone needed outside help, God sent Jesus. Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus lived the perfect life that was impossible for anyone to live; he was completely free of sin.

Then God was ready to crush Satan’s head.  God offered his son ~ God in the form of mankind. So, Satan freed mankind from his prison of soul death. But Satan was in for a shock.  He is not as smart as God. His gloating came to an abrupt stop.  God tricked Satan. You cannot kill Life.  God returned to that human body and came back to life.

It was too late. Satan had already freed mankind. 

That done, God ~ who is too pure to dwell with sin ~ is now able to allow obedient, faithful believers in Jesus into his home, heaven. For, through Jesus, we become sinless and pure. Glory of glories!

But something terrible happened after that. People began selling themselves back into slavery to Satan (Romans 6:15-23).  No!  No! This cannot be! Not after all God went through to save mankind from Satan.

So God, through Christians, continually calls out to those who no longer want to worship Him or encourage his Family, “Come back!  Come back to your Father!! Come back.  Your brothers and sisters miss you. I miss you….”

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0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-ThumbnailSHADOW OF DEATH takes the reader through the last hours of Jesus before the Great Sacrifice.  Two chapters are completely on his six agonizing hours on the cross ~ the first three in the scorching sun; the second three in cold, cold darkness.  Satan, the Romans, the priests, the Sadducees ~ all thought they had won.  They had only dug their own spiritual graves.  Jesus re-entered his body and walked the earth again.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….  https://bit.ly/2UcggRE

https://inspirationsbykatheryn.com/historical-novel-about-jesus/book-7-shadow-of-death-adults-childs-versions/

 

Shhh. Listen. God is calling you.

The scripture for today, January 11 (1/11), is 2nd Peter 1:11 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“And you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-NewHow often do you forget that earth is not your home? As an old gospel song says, “We’re just passing through.” Do you really believe that?

If someone told you tomorrow you were going to die, would you go into a panic? Would you beg God to let you live another ten or twenty years? Would you feel this was the beginning of the end?

To a true Christian, your dying is the end of the beginning. You have a whole “life” ahead of you in heaven. A never-ending life. Do you live like you believe it? Will you die looking forward to it?

Are you even a Christian yet? What is your life like? Do you even know what is in the Bible, God’s messages to you? Does the thought of heaven sound boring to you?  Do you even like God?

Stop and listen to the empty place in your heart (Ec. 3:11).  Do you hear it?  Shhh.  Listen…  God is calling you.

 

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-NewCOME FLY WITH ME is the last novel in the series THEY MET JESUS.  Jesus has been buried. His apostles have mourned in confusion. Suddenly he is back!  Alive again!  He appears to them out of nowhere every Sunday until it is time to go. Training is over.  Now left alone, the apostles figure out their strategy.  Be bold.  They are, and they are beaten and imprisoned.  They cannot let their savior down.  They go back and preach again, and again the beatings and imprisonment.  Thousands become Christians anyway!  Eventually, they part ways to go into all the world.  Five decades pass. John is the only one left.  Then his old Friend from days of his youth returns.  What a reunion.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:    https://bit.ly/2OzEnXc

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