Thursday 10/3 ~ The Beautiful Gate

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, do you use the term saved/salvation so loosely, you tend to think you’ve been saved to heaven? No one is saved to something; you are saved from something.  Do you tend to forget what you are being saved from? You are being saved from hell! This is not a minuscule matter.

Second, how do you avoid hell? Through Jesus, the only one ever strong enough to meet Satan face to face and defeat him. He is the only way.

Have you ever been to a funeral where the deceased was preached into heaven? Do you perhaps believe you are “good enough” or “not too bad” and so God would be horrible to not let you into heaven.? Are you trying to climb into heaven through windows, so to speak, like the “thieves and robbers” Jesus referred to?

But heaven is God’s home, not yours. He has a gate into it, just like you have a door into your home. You are not obligated to open the gate or door into your home to just anyone and God is not obligated to open his gate to just anyone. Your door and God’s gate are there for a reason.

Why not enter heaven through the gate ~ Jesus? Then, the angels will shout with joy and God will open his arms, smile and say, “Welcome home.”

 

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Saturday 9/28 ~ Just keep walking and walking and…

The scripture for today, September 28 (9/28), is Hebrews 9:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Medium-New“So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

Waiting is hard to do. We wait for relatives to arrive at our house for a visit. We wait for our next promotion. We wait for babies to be born. We wait for enough money to buy new clothes.

But what about waiting for something that we have never seen? Waiting for something we believe in by faith? Waiting an entire lifetime?

All the more reason to keep your eyes on the Word, your activities in good works, and your heart on your Creator and Savior.

It’s a long spiritual walk. But just keep walking, and keep walking, and keep walking until someday in the distant future you walk right through the gates of heaven.

Then, when you look back from eternity, you will say, “The wait wasn’t so long after all.”

 

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Thursday 9/26 ~ How amazing God’s plan for us

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

07-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonThmbnail“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 lambs 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 had died.  The ransom was paid and our souls released in one fell swoop. Then three days later he played a trick on Satan: He came back to life!

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 yet 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, he will not set foot on earth.  Instead, 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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Tuesday 9/24 ~Mull over it. Absorb it. Be amazed

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

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-lg-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 he 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. Mull over it. Absorb it. Be amazed.

 

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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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