Friday 6/7 ~ May the hardened see God in me

The scripture for today, June 7 (6/7), is Ephesians 6:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Serve whole-heartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.”

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-ThumbnailGod had just previously said that you were to obey your earthly master (boss). But, as hard as you try, sometimes what you may be told to do is very hard to do, especially if your boss is rude, or someone was promoted ahead of you, or you feel like s/he is being a “slave driver.”

At times like those, do what is asked of you anyway, knowing you are really doing it for God. The next verse says, “because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.”

What you do as an employee in a difficult situation does not go unnoticed. God sees and God will reward you.

Thank you, God enthroned above the earth. You have given me the privilege of showing to the world the superiority of your way in breaking down barriers and building up lives. Your way enters the curious minds of even the most hardened hearts and makes them wonder if you are right after all. Your way rises up from my heart and soars to hills, the mountains, the moon, the stars, the very cosmos. May the hardened see you in me.

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-ThumbnailLUKE: SLAVE AND PHYSICIAN is treated like a son by Theopholis, Tribune in Caesar’s army. When Luke is grown, Theopholis sends him on missions far away, but he always returned “home”.  A bond of love is formed between them and Theopholis adopts Luke. Then, when Paul converts Luke and later his master, Theopholis set Luke free. And that is when he writes two of the most dynamic parts of the Bible. A unique FATHER’S DAY GIFT.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2IrYT8z

 

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Wednesday 6/5 ~ “I just want to keep you safe.”

The scripture for today, June 5 (6/5), is Deuteronomy 6:5 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Jesus said this is the greatest of all the commandments (Mark 12:29). He didn’t say that any of the Ten Commandments were. He chose one of the over 600 commandments God gave to Moses in the Old Testament. It might have been lost in the crowd, but Jesus called it out and gave it special attention.

Although we no longer keep the Old Testament Law of Moses, we do have the New Testament Law of Jesus. There aren’t as many commandments, but there are some. Sometimes Jesus’ law repeats something in the Old Law such as the one above. But it was his choice what to carry over, not ours.

Some people don’t even know they’re obeying any of the Laws of Moses. That’s easy to solve. All you have to do is read that Law and see you if we recognize anything you’re doing. It is full of hundreds of rituals and commands how to worship the way God wanted.

On the other hand, do you love the Lord your God enough to keep all of the commandments of Jesus or do you say the church is too modern now and Jesus’ commands are old fashioned.? Or perhaps do you say Jesus had no commands ~ he just wants me to love him?  We do not tell our parents, “I love you, but you have no right to command me to do anything.” We do not tell our government, “I’m going to drive on any side of the road I want because I’m not going to obey any of your commands”?

Be not like the clay telling the potter what to do (Isaiah 64:8). Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands” (John 14:15). Commands do not mean someone is trying to hold you down; commands means, “I love you and want to keep you safe from Satan.” Give it a try. Life just might get a little better.

 

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE ThumbnailMEFIBOSET: CRIPPLED PRINCE married and became a father. He had his royal enemies, but never became bitter.  His son often became angry because his father was always forgiving his enemies.  Years later after Mefiboset had died, the son told his own sons about his father ~ “The greatest man I have ever known.”  PERFECT FOR FATHER’S DAY.  Still time to receive on time.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2HVKRNs

 

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Monday 6/3 ~ Do you say no to what God says yes to?

The scripture for today, June 3 (6/3), is Romans 6:3f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life….because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”

Oh! Baptism does all that? Some people say no. God says yes. Some people hate this topic because their church leaders have rejected it as unimportant and even call people who quote such verses in God’s Word as dangerous.  Why?

Look at the list in that verse that baptism does for us.  In baptism, we obtain a new life ~ are born again. And in baptism, we are freed from sin ~ forgiven. Look at it this way: Just as Jesus died carrying our sins on himself, we die to our sinful nature ~ the part of us that sins and doesn’t care. Then just as Jesus was buried in his tomb, we are buried in our watery tomb. And just as Jesus came up out of his tomb the Savior, we come up out of our tomb the saved ~ with a “new life” and “freed from sin.”

Everything works together beautifully ~ hearing, believing, confessing, dying to sin, being baptized. What an honor and privilege we have been given to imitate what he did for us! 1st Peter 3:21 says it is an answer of a good conscience toward God.

Just as the crucifixion was a physical thing to obtain a spiritual outcome, baptism is a physical thing to obtain a spiritual outcome.  How beautiful. How amazing.

 

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JOSEPH: THE OTHER FATHER had the greatest challenge in the history of the world ~ to raise God’s child in a violent world. A year before Jesus died, he visited his hometown of Nazareth. The people there said, “ISN’T this the son of the carpenter?” not “WASN’T”. Read the story of Joseph and all he may have gone through to keep Jesus protected until he was grown. To BUY NOW, click a book title or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2HTIcE6

 

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Saturday 7/1 ~ Without the tantrum

The scripture for today, June 1 (6/1) , is Psalm 6:1 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Applied Christianity“O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.”

This is not only a good request to God, but it is a good request to each other ~ family and friends alike. When you disagree with someone, do you “back it up” with loud yelling or throwing or hitting things? Do you believe that your point cannot be understood and will not be accepted without a “tantrum”?

This scripture indicates that it is indeed possible to rebuke someone without the tantrum. In fact, it is more effective. When you calmly tell someone you disagree with them, it does not raise their blood pressure and put them on the defensive. With tantrums, they may react like you want on the outside, but you drive them farther from you on the inside.

Calm rebuke does not mean you don’t mean it; it means you are convinced enough, your point of view does not need reinforcement. In that case, the other person is likely to be convinced too.

Today, practice saying calmly what you normally back up with a tantrum. Practice in front of the mirror.  Practice when driving. Practice when cooking or mowing the lawn or combing your hair.  Then, next time you disagree with someone close to you, you will ready. Ready to not rebuke in your anger.

 

Applied ChristianityBe friendly at VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL. Instead of a general craft,  end each class time with something from the APPLIED CHRISTIANITY: A HANDBOOK OF 500 GOOD WORKS ~ A drawing for a sick person, money for diapers for a new baby, a song to the baby class, etc.  Something for all ages.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2Mmvzpm

 

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Tuesday 5/28 ~ Just like him

The scripture for today, May 28 (5/28), is Luke 5:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Titus-Cover-Lg Thumb“And Levi got up, left everything and followed him [Jesus].”

This Matthew Levi was a tax collector, who, in those days, was allowed to set his own tax rates so he could pay the Romans their share and pocket the rest of it for himself. Why would such a man follow Jesus, a man who apparently didn’t have much money? He had to trust Jesus and believe that he was truly a friend.

And why would Jesus ask him? Jesus was certainly taking a chance since the uppity leaders of society and their religion openly declared Jesus a bad person for associating with “sinners and tax collectors”. Jesus, in turn, had to trust and believe in Levi.

A lot of Christians brag that their only friends are those who worship with them. They don’t really trust anyone else, so don’t really want to be anyone else’s friend. That is good, but how are they supposed to bring anyone to Jesus? Jesus went out to “seek and save the lost.”

And sometimes there is a visitor at worship who isn’t dressed right ~ perhaps with uncombed hair, or smell from no shower, or makeup put on too heavy, or clothes not in style, or maybe even dressed too richly. Are we ashamed to be seen with them? Jesus wouldn’t have been. He was color blind, style blind, class blind.

Today, reach out and make friends with someone you have been staying away from. Jesus did. And thereby, you will be like him.

 

0-Titus-Cover-Lg ThumbTITUS: THE ARISTOCRAT was given the best of everything. His father was the supreme judge of the city of Antioch.  He became a successful lawyer. One day he met the apostle, Paul, and his life changed. Eventually, he gave up everything to travel into “barbarian” lands to tell people about Jesus. TO BUY NOW, click the book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2NsVRSL

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