Wednesday 2/13 ~ Just one of those purposes

The scripture for February 13 (2/13), is Philippians 2:13 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

Here is another related verse: “The Lord opened her heart to respond” (Acts 16:14). God the Father moved people’s hearts throughout the Bible ~ Old Testament and New Testament. But he never moved hearts to do what they were not already inclined to do. He does not go against someone’s will, for he gave everyone free will.

If you are struggling to know the will of your religious leaders and friends, you struggle alone. If you are sincerely struggling to know God’s will and do it, the Father will help you.

If you are struggling to act according to the purpose of your religious leaders and friends, you struggle alone. If you are sincerely struggling to act according to God’s good purpose, the Father will help you.

If you have a sincerely open heart, God can move you closer to himself so that he can work in you and through you on earth.

He will always tell you what to do through his Word ~ the Bible. You do not have to guess. It covers every possible situation you could ever face and shows you his good purposes.

Choose one of those purposes and do it. God the Father will work in you if you are willing. Are you?

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Monday 2/11 ~ How’s your heart today?

The scripture for today, February 11 (2/11), is Ecclesiastes 2:11 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Pearls Cover-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind, nothing was gained under the sun.”

King Solomon wrote this. He tried everything to bring deep happiness and satisfaction into his life. He had both the money and power to do it. He tried writing books and songs. He tried having a thousand women. He tried working hard with his hands. He tried building big fancy buildings with grand gardens to surround them. He tried investing his money and becoming the richest man in the world. Nothing worked. He wandered through all his luxury feeling empty. He still couldn’t achieve the deep happiness he longed for.

There was a book published a few years ago entitled, How to Want What You Have. Is the deep contented happiness you crave always just around the corner? If you could just get that promotion, if you could just get married, if you could just get a pay raise, if you could just be on the winning team, if you could just have children, if you could just get that next house or car or….

Always IF. Is the problem that, once you attain what you believe will bring you happiness, you just want the next promotion, the next pay raise, a different marriage partner, the next house, no children, the next car?

What was Solomon’s conclusion? He suspected what it is in 3:11: “God set eternity in the hearts of man.” In other words, there is a God-shaped emptiness in man’s heart. Then, after he had tried everything his own way, he had only one choice left. He spelled it out in the final few verses of his writing: True happiness comes from a heartfelt relationship with God.

How’s your heart today?

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Thursday 2/7 ~ Look up!

Yesterday I shared my thoughts for today. So today, I will share my thoughts for yesterday.

 

The scripture for today, February 6 (2/6) is Jonah 2:6f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God. When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.”

This is what was going through Jonah’s mind as he was swallowed by the great fish and on his way to certain death.

It is never too late.

As long as the breath of life is in you, it is never too late to cry out to God. You may be in the pits of your life. You may feel you cannot sink any lower than where you are now.

But look up! God is watching you with tears. You are not only breaking your own heart, but you are breaking the heart of your Maker who loves you so. God wants to lift you up out of your pit.

Still, he cannot do it without your help. What is your part? You must lift up your hands so God can grab hold of them.

Look up! God is right there within your grasp.

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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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