Tuesday 1/15 ~ Never underestimate what God can do through you

The scripture for today, January 15 (1/15), is Galatians 1:15f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

03-Naaman'sMaid-ThumbnailCover“But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles….”

Isn’t this amazing? God knew before you are born what you can be doing for him later in life. He sets aside work for you to do, but he does not force you to do it. You may set aside a certain amount of money to spend on food but you end up spending it on clothing.  Being set aside does not mean something will end up doing what it was set aside for.

God has given you certain talents and set you aside to use them for Him.  Do you? Is your thinking even oriented on things that can endure through eternity? Or do you think only of the next day, or the next year?

You do not have to guess what God has set you aside to do.  Read the scriptures. He has messages for you all through them.  Find someone in the Bible with your personality and use that person as an example.  Find advice in the proverbs. Find advice in Jesus’ teachings, and in his apostles’ teachings.  It’s all there.  Pick one and do it.

If you are willing to follow God’s advice and not man’s, then decide today to accept the work God has set aside for you to do. Or maybe you’re already doing it and don’t realize it.

You may not think your life has been very exciting. You may be waiting for God to give you a big important job to do for him. But the truth is, you ~ in your seemingly mundane life ~ may already be doing what God set aside for you to do.

Never under-estimate yourself and what God can accomplish through you.

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Thursday 1/10 ~ Shhhh.  Do you hear? He’s calling you.

The scripture for today, January 10 (1/10), is Colossians 1:10 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Golden Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: Bearing fruit in every good work; Growing in the knowledge of God.”

What is life all about?  The one who has the most fun wins? The one enjoying defying decency the most wins? The one with the most stuff wins? Life isn’t about the here and now. You are here preparing for what you will be doing when you leave this life and enter the next one.

What is life all about? Is God soft and will do whatever you want? Will God have no choice but to take you into heaven when you die? Would you even like heaven? If you mock God now, it’s doubtful you’d like being around him. If you detest people who worship him, you certainly would not like heaven because that’s what people do all the time there ~ worship.

What is life all about? There are only two supreme beings that determine your next life. Two. That’s all.  No in-between. You can either please God or please Satan. Do you call good evil and evil good like Jeremiah said? When you say it, you are mocking God. Is it fun? Do you think God is laughing when you do? 

Look up!  Look up!  God did not leave you guessing. He left his Book for you. Have you ever read it, especially the New Testament that begins with the birth and teachings of Jesus, the God-Man? 

The God of the universe who is larger than the cosmos with some two trillion galaxies poured out his heart to you in his Book. The God of the universe looks down on you and knows everything you are saying and doing right now. And, no matter what you do ~ whether good or bad ~ he loves you. When you do bad, he runs after you and calls out to you, “Come back. Come back to me! I can keep you safe from Satan. Come back! Come back!”  But he will not force you.

Shhhh.  Do you hear him? He’s calling you.

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Saturday 1/5 ~ Someday you will heal

The scripture for today, January 5, is Colossians 1:5 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 4-FolkHero-Cover-Kindle-thumbnail-new“…the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the Word of Truth, the gospel.”

Does your faith have its ups and downs? Is it strong sometimes and weak sometimes? When things sometimes go so wrong you have trouble having faith in God, you can still hope. Do you grow angry at God sometimes?  You can still hope. During such low times when faith does not come easy, you can still hope. Hope is the springboard of faith.

And stay close to the Word of Truth, for John 14:17 says the Comforter is the Spirit of Truth, and John 17:17 says Truth is the Word of God. Read when you don’t feel like it. Ephesians is what I go to. David tells of his own faith problems in Psalm 42.

When your emotions are pulling you down and you feel only the darkness of confusion inside, rely for a little while on your logic, your intellect, until your emotions heal. Read things proving God exists. Read things about other people’s love for God. Do not drop out of the church; you need your Christian friends. It may be hard for you to believe right now but someday you will heal.

So, keep on hoping ~ the springboard. Eventually, along the way, your hope will return to faith.

 

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Thursday 12/12 ~ He has set eternity in our hearts

The scripture for today, December 13 (12/13), is Ecclesiastes 12:13 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-lg-thumbnail“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

When the King James Version was published in the early 1600s, they italicized all words that were not in the original language of the Bible. The word “duty” above was not in the original. Translators inserted it to help us understand the original. But perhaps, in this case, it did not help. Fearing God is the whole of man ~ not our duty, but our essence.

Fearing the Lord is a gift. Isaiah 11:2 predicted regarding Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him ~

  • “…the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,”
  • “…the Spirit of counsel and of power,”
  • “…the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”

Solomon had tried everything to find happiness, as he explained in his book of Ecclesiastes ~ Pleasure (ch. 2), hard work (ch. 3), advancement (ch. 4), riches (ch. 5). None brought him true happiness.  Eventually, he concluded that only one thing can bring that happiness deep down inside where no one and no situation in life can touch it ~ God. God is the whole of man ~ if we let Him be.

Why? Ecclesiastes 3:11 explains it richly: “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” Another way to view this is “There is a God-shaped emptiness in everyone’s heart.” Fill your mind with the Word of God. Then God will fill your heart and being, and make you feel complete.

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Saturday 12/8 ~ Is it truly all meaningless?

The scripture for today, December 8 (12/8), is Ecclesiastes 12:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-lg-thumbnail” ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the teacher. ‘Everything is meaningless!’ “

About thirty-five years ago some Christians in England did a sidewalk survey in the downtown of a major city. One of their inquiries was: “What question about your life do you ask the most?”. The answer almost always was, “Why am I here? What is life all about?”.

The entire book of Ecclesiastes is about all the things that the richest and most powerful man in the world did in order to have an enjoyable and fulfilling life: He built palaces and grand temples, he cultivated great gardens, he imported tons of gold and precious stones and fabrics from around the globe, he had numerous wives and mistresses, he built the largest army and navy in the world, he studied every possible subject. At the end of this little book, he said it was all meaningless.

The meaning of our life is that we were born to die. This life is temporary. It is our proving ground. This life is the foyer of the life we will have eternally ~ a life in heaven or hell. We were not put here just to have fun, but rather to save as many people as possible from the clutches of Satan, and take as many people with us to the home of God, our Maker, the Lover of our soul. That is the meaning of life.

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Thursday 11/29 ~ Let’s trade

The scripture for today, November 29 (11/29), is Matthew 11:29f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.thumbnail-new“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Ah, Lord Jesus. I am so weary worn.  It seems everything that could ever go wrong in my life is happening right now. Just when I think I have one problem at least partly under control, another raises its ugly head. Or should I say Satan raises his ugly head?  Satan, why are you doing this to me? It is you who is causing all the diseases and problems at work, and the car wreck and progressive blindness.  Was it you who set me up in that posh job which you knew was never popular in the company and would only cause me grief? Was this new house I bought with my pay raise worth it after all?

I am so tired. Help me, God?  I don’t know which way is up anymore. God?  I’m calling for you. God? Don’t you even care?

“Let’s trade, my child. I’ll take your burdens and you take mine.”

But, Lord, I do not understand. What could your burdens possibly be? You’re all comfortable in heaven.

“My child, my burden is to reach out to everyone and tell them how much I love them. My burden is to take their burdens on my shoulders. You can do it too. You can write encouraging notes or emails to them every day. You can open up the newspaper and pray for everyone in it by name. You can call someone who is depressed like you and sing them a sweet song.”

But when, Lord? When would I find time?

“Use your brooding time, your crying time, your anger time. Let loose of them so I can brood, cry, and be angry for you. Remember, it’s a trade.”

Friends, will you continue to carry your burdens and let them weigh you down so you cannot move? Or will you let go of them and smile as Jesus smiled, reach out to others as Jesus reached out, teach God’s love as Jesus did?

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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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