Wednesday 7/18 ~ Does God really answer prayers?

The scripture for today, July 18 (7/18), is Acts 7:18 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Inside-COVER-lg thumbnail“Then another king, who knew nothing about Joseph, became ruler of Egypt.”

Does God really answer prayers? When the Jews first arrived in Egypt, they received “royal treatment” because they were relatives of “Prime Minister” Joseph. Then he died, but his Jewish relatives stayed. Eventually, they were resented, then feared, then made slaves of the Egyptians.

For the following 400 years, the Jews prayed for God to release them from their slavery. Generation after generation died believing that God does not answer prayers.

But God saw the big picture. He saw that the 70 relatives of Joseph who originally went to Egypt would become more than three million over the next four centuries. Then and only then would they be large enough to begin a new nation ~ the Jewish nation. In Egypt during those centuries, they were in a form of “protective custody”.

Are you frustrated and confused because God is seemingly not answering some very important prayers? Perhaps you are part of a bigger picture that only God knows about. Perhaps your job is to stay where you are and just keep hanging on. Are you up to the task God has assigned to you?

 

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Wednesday 6/6 ~ My boss is unfair, but I need the job

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

03-Naaman'sMaid-ThumbnailCover“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.”

God had just previously said that we were to obey our earthly masters (bosses). 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 that 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.

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Friday 6/1 ~ How to make an argument stick

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

04-Isaac&Jacob-KindleThumbnail.jpg“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 be ready ~ ready to not rebuke in your anger.

~~~BUYLINK to eBOOK & discount PAPER:  http://bit.ly/2LacnWf

 

Tuesday 5/29 ~ Are you being persecuted?

The scripture for today, May 29 (5/29), is Acts 5:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-LgThumbnail“Peter and the other apostles replied, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’ “

There are many countries in the world today where a person is beaten, imprisoned and/or killed for believing in Jesus Christ or owning a Bible. They must stay in the background and try to remain relatively unnoticed in order to survive. But their faith continues unabated, even amidst their fears. The church has survived persecution for 2000 years.

Even if they’re not killed, they are by-passed for promotion at work or fired, they are harassed when out shopping, they are threatened in public transportation, they are turned down for a good education, and they must tolerate derision just walking down the street or waiting at a bus stop. But their faith continues unabated, even amidst their fears.

Such events are usually covered up by their governments and news media, and the good people of those countries never know it is happening. There are various newsletters on the internet about the persecuted that you can sign up for. One is at

www.persecution.org that sends news as soon as it happens. Let us daily hold up these brave souls in our prayers ~ those who obey God rather than men.

In eternity, God will deal with the persecutors.  In eternity, it will be to God the persecuted will turn to, not men.

 

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Saturday 5/26 ~ A 100-person prayer list for you

The scripture for today, May 26 (5/26), is 1st Thessalonians 5:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-LgThumbnail“Brothers, pray for us.”

Do you have a prayer list? There are many people we can pray for besides ourselves. Often prayers get bogged down and short because the only person we “remember” in prayer is ourselves. Well, and maybe a relative or two.

There are many people who need your prayers: Your family is obvious. How about your neighbors? If you don’t know their names, pray for them by house or apartment number. What about the newspaper? Every one of those bad-news stories is crying out for prayer. The school near you needs your prayers ~ students, teachers, administrators, janitors. It doesn’t matter whether you have a child in that school; pray for them anyway. Who are your local government officials? Not liking them doesn’t make any difference, for Jesus said we are to pray for our enemies too. And that leads to the list of your enemies; do you have any at your workplace? Include them too. It’s pretty hard to resent someone you pray for.

One other thing you might try doing in addition to having a prayer list: Have an answered-prayer list. Write down when you pray for someone, then when it is answered. Keep it as a reminder when you are down and don’t think He’s ever going to answer your requests. God does care after all.

Speaking of requests, by the time you’re done praying for all the other people on your prayer list, you won’t have a lot of time to pray for yourself. And that is okay too, for others are praying for you!

~~BUYLINK for E-BOOK & discount PAPER:  http://bit.ly/HeroesAlone

 

Friday 5/25 ~ How in the world am I going to love my enemies?

The scripture for today, May 25 (5/25), is Galatians 5:25f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

05-Joseph-KindleThumbnail“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

When someone is better than you in doing something, do you pick fights with them as punishment, or spread gossip about them in order to get others to quit respecting them?

Perhaps you don’t do this all the time. But what about times when there is something you feel you are really good at, but another person not as talented gets the honor? That’s when it’s hard to “keep in step with the Spirit.”

Whenever you envy someone, deep down you consider that person your enemy. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45a).

To many, loving our enemy is the most difficult command in the Bible. Perhaps one way to love your “enemy” is to realize that Jesus loved his enemies. Every time you sin, you become one of his enemies. But Jesus keeps right on loving you, even when you don’t want to stop doing whatever you shouldn’t.

Jesus demonstrates the love of the Son of God. And here he says, if you love your enemies, you are demonstrating what the children of God do. And that is far more important than honor that goes to those you envy. Leaving behind conceit makes it much easier to love everyone.

~~~BUYLINK for EBOOK or discount PAPER:  http://bit.ly/JosephInEgypt

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Wednesday 5/16 ~ Smile. The world will wonder why

The scripture for today, May 16 (5/16), is 1st Thessalonians 5:16 (KJV) as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Rejoice evermore.”

But how can we rejoice when something terrible has happened?

The Apostle Paul who wrote this knew that the Thessalonians were being terribly persecuted (2nd Thessalonians 1:4), but he still said, “Rejoice evermore.” How could he say such a calloused thing amidst their suffering?  Had he no feeling, no empathy?

Sometimes we have to suffer so the true nature of bad people pretending to be good can be revealed to the world. Sometimes we have to suffer so we can build our spiritual muscles.  Sometimes we have to suffer so we can understand others going through the same thing.

Just remember that, just as God was grieved when his Son suffered on the cross, he is grieved when you suffer. And just as God was able to bring something wonderful out of his Son’s suffering, he can bring something wonderful out of yours too.

In the meantime, chin up, shoulders back, stand straight, be brave, and smile. The world will wonder why.

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Wednesday 5/10 ~ Are you a peacemaker?

The scripture for today, May 9 (5/9), is Matthew 5:9 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.”

Jesus, the only begotten Son of God (Christians are adopted sons) was a peacemaker. He came to earth to help us make peace with God. After all, “all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It only takes one sin to be a sinner. And God cannot dwell with sin. What was the solution?

Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. In Old Testament times, God let people kill a perfect animal in their place and collect their death wage. But they kept having to do it. Finally, Jesus came to earth and lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live as the perfect Lamb of God. Then he allowed himself to take our punishment for our (not his) sins and collect the death wage in our place.

His was the final sacrifice. Now, by following Jesus, God adopts us and makes us his children. Jesus was a peacemaker between God and man.

You, too, can be a peacemaker. You can help people be at peace with themselves. You can help them be at peace with each other. And you can help them be at peace with God. Thereby, you can share in what God’s begotten Son was ~ a peacemaker.

Tuesday 5/8 ~ Deadends blocking heaven

The scripture for today, May 8 (5/8), is Psalm 5:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Titus-Cover-Lg Thumb“Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness, because of my enemies ~ make straight your way before me.”

An enemy would like nothing more than to get into a good fight with someone. Do not let that happen. You have better things to do than argue with people.

Set your eyes, not on your enemy, but on the Lord. The path of enemies will take you on all sorts of side trips that lead to dead ends. The path of God rises up before you ~ straight and direct. Never let your attention stray from that path.
Keep on walking on the path of God.

And keep on walking,

and keep walking,

and walking, and walking….

….Until at last, you walk right through the gates of heaven.