Sunday 11/11 ~ You can never fall beyond hope

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

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-thumbnail“Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery?  Not at all!”

Though everyone is a weak human, you may decide to live for God. But you are still a weak human. Satan has lost you and wants you back. He will try hard to make that happen. Often, the new Christian is the one he attacks the hardest.

Satan never lets up and periodically causes bad things to happen to you so you’ll blame God, just as he tried to do with Job.  He will tempt you with more things than before you became a Christian in his attempts to get you back. So sometimes you may stumble and fall.

God knows what is happening.  He stands with you. He is so proud of you when you stand up to Satan and say, “Never!  I will not blame or forsake my Lord!” He sees how your spiritual muscles are growing when you do.

But, if you sometimes fall, you are not beyond hope. Never, never believe you are beyond hope. That is a lie! God never leaves you.  He continues to stand next to you, holding out his hands and saying, “Take them. I will lift you back up. You will be okay again.”

So, you do. And so, he does.

He is amazingly patient with us. He loves you so very much.

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Monday 10/15 ~ Trying hard to be perfect

The scripture for today, October 15 (10/15), is Deuteronomy 10:15 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Thumbnail-New“Yet the Lord set his affection on your forefathers [Abraham, Isaac, Jacob] and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants [Jews], above all the nations, as it is today.”

Mankind has spent millenniums trying to figure out how to be perfect so we can deserve heaven.

God gave us that opportunity the first several thousand years of mankind. Some people of the world he left alone to figure out on their own how to be perfect. They created many kinds of religions. But to the Jews, he sent the Law of Moses containing over 600 intricate laws which, if kept perfectly, would make them perfect. In both cases, no one could be perfect.

Then, when mankind was willing to admit we cannot be perfect, the Word of God materialized and came to us to live that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. Now, all you have to do is follow Jesus and be IN Jesus (Galatians 3:27) for the forgiveness of your sins, and God will consider you perfect too.

God sets his affections on you. He will not force you, but he runs after you begging you to come to him for safety. Oh, how he loves you.

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Saturday 10/13 ~ No more, Satan. You are going to lose. Get used to it.

The Scripture for today, October 13 (10/13), is 1st Corinthians 10:13 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

What are you tempted to do or not do on a regular basis in your everyday life? Then look at the source of your everyday temptations ~ Satan. Do you really want to be Satan’s slave?

Romans 6:16 explains it this way: “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey ~ whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

Take a long hard look at your everyday temptations and remind yourself of the source. Then, with courage in your soul and boldness in your heart, stand up and say, “No more! I am not your slave, Satan. I will win over you. God and I are stronger than you. Satan, get used to it: You will lose.

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Sunday 9/23 ~ Are you a coward?

The scripture for today, September 23 (9/23), is Luke 9:23 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail” Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me’ “

There is another verse similar to this: II Timothy 3:12 ~ “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Have you been playing it safe? Have you been associating only with other Christians and thereby sheltering yourself from persecution? Have you been withholding the gospel from people who might be persecuted if they believe, even if they will be saved by following it?

I know a Christian convert in Afghanistan who keeps telling his Muslim friends about Jesus and his life has been threatened three times now over a period of six years. He says, “I will not stop until they kill me.”  I know a Christian convert in Iraq whose wife’s relatives beat up because he became a Christian. I know a Christian convert in another part of Iraq whose mother-in-law locked her in a room and beat her every day, trying to get her to return to Islam.

Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). To do that, you must seek out the lost and try to save them, even when they do not think they are lost. It will end in persecution sometimes ~ you, them, or both. That’s a fact.

Dare to not play it safe all the time. Or are you a coward?

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Thursday 9/13 ~ You cannot have “victory in Jesus” unless you have a problem to be victorious over

The scripture for today, September 13 (9/13), is Psalm 9:13f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“O Lord, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, that I may declare your praises…and there rejoice in your salvation.”

We all experience difficult things in our life ~ some minor, some major. Do you let them define your entire life? Or do you cling to them, never getting over them, never letting them go, and reliving them over and over in your mind?

 You cannot be “more than conqueror” (Romans 8:37) unless you have something to conquer. You cannot have “victory in Jesus” unless you have something to be victorious over.

God said that he can make “all things work together for good” to those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28).

Today, with the courage of God in your heart, the love of God in your soul, and the might of God in your very being, rise up! Rejoice! Thank God for your problems.  It is only when you have problems that you can experience victories.

 

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Monday 9/10 ~ In comfort or pain

The scripture for today, September 10 (9/10), is Psalm 9:10 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Inside-COVER-lg thumbnail“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

What if we had a friend who we never called by name? It was always “Hey, you”. Our friendship wouldn’t last long because the other person would feel like we weren’t friends after all. Makes sense.

So, what does “Lord” mean in the original Hebrew language of the Old Testament? It is Yahweh, translated into Greek as Adonai.

In Exodus 3:15b God told Moses what his name was: ” ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers…This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.’ ”

And what does Yahweh mean? Exodus 3:14 explained, “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites; ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” God is the great I AM.

Today’s verse does not say the Great I Am will keep you from all harm. What it says is that he will go with you into that harm and stay with you the whole way, giving you strength and courage.

And so, in peace or war, in comfort or pain, in well-being or devastation, he will be right there with you. He will never forsake you. Therefore, never forsake him.  Keep on worshipping ~ the Lord our God, the Great I AM.

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Saturday 9/8 ~ Governments and Martyrdoms

The scripture for today, September 8, is Daniel 9:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“O Lord, we and our kings, our princes, and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.”

Daniel was what some might call the prime minister of Babylon.  He was part of the government. Before that, he was of the royal house of the Jews in Jerusalem. He was part of the government there too.  Both governments needed prayer. Have you prayed for your government lately?  I Timothy 2:1 & 2 says “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone ~ for kings and all those in authority.”

At the time of this writing, Nero Caesar. The first-century historian Tacitus said this about Nero in his Annals 15:44: “But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called “Christians” by the populace.

“Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular.

“Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.”

If the Apostle Paul could pray for such a government leader, can’t you follow his instructions? Why don’t you stop and pray for your own government right now?

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