Sunday 12/9 ~ God is so proud of you!

The scripture for today, December  (12/9), is 2nd Corinthians 12:9 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

04-FOLK HERO-Child'sCartoon-Thumbnail“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Oh how much we need to be reminded of this scripture. We all have weaknesses. Do you lament the hand you were dealt? Do you lament the country you were born in, the family you were born into, the physical limitations you were born with, the mental, emotional or physical deficiencies you ended up with?

This is your chance! Those weaknesses! Go around others with the same weakness you have with joy in your heart, gladness on your lips and a continual gleam in your eyes!  Let God’s strength shine in your weakness!

When people begin to sympathize with you, interrupt them and tell them how much God loves you, and how much God loves them! Encourage your “encouragers.” Let them go away from you with a new understanding of the blessings of weakness! And perhaps be a little more thankful for their own weaknesses.

Lucky you! You are one of the chosen!  He is so proud of you!

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Wednesday 12/5 ~ Then God will arise

The scripture for today, December 5 (12/5), is Psalm 12:5 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

01-Miriam-ThumbnailCover” ‘Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,’ says the Lord. ‘I will protect them from those who malign them.’ “

Notice, in this scripture the Lord says, “I will now arise.” Sometimes God needs you to endure difficulties so bad people who cause such problems can be exposed for what they are, and ultimately so Satan can be exposed for what he is. Sometimes that difficulty will last months or years ~ sometimes even a lifetime.

First Corinthians 3:9 in the New Testament says you are a worker together with God. Ephesians 6:12 says “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly [spiritual] realms.”

You are where God wants you to be. This is your assignment. Are you up to it? Sometimes your job is just to hang on and not give up on God. That’s what Satan is always trying to get you to do, just as he did Job in the Old Testament. God won’t leave you in a situation that is impossible for you to endure. I Corinthians 10:13 says, “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”

So, go ahead and groan in your weakness, beg in your frustration, and cry in your frailty, but hang on. Never let go of God. That’s your part.

As soon as the evil around you is exposed for what it is, you have proven good cannot be conquered by evil, and you have grown spiritually as a result of your experience, Then God will arise.  That’s God’s part.

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Thursday 11/8 ~ Rescued

The scripture for today, November 8 (11/8), is Proverbs 11:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead.”

We know that God does not always rescue us from trouble here on this temporary earth. He certainly didn’t rescue Jesus from all his troubles.

Sometimes God has an assignment for you just as he did for Jesus.  He may want you to be in the midst of trouble ~ war, an enemy at work, an obnoxious neighbor, death of a loved one caused by a reckless driver, a government worker demanding a bribe ~ so you can demonstrate to the world the contrast: God’s ways vs. Satan’s ways.

Eventually, the boomerang effect will take place on those following Satan. What they inflict on you will be inflicted on them.

And eventually, if you have followed God’s ways even in times of trouble, he will indeed rescue you. He will welcome you into his home ~ heaven ~ safe for all eternity.

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Tuesday 10/30 ~ What is forgiveness?

The scripture for today, October 30 (10/30), is Hebrews 10:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

05-Joseph-KindleThumbnail“For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ “

In the Law of Moses, people were expected to avenge those who did not follow the law. The vengeance was to be carried out by the person who had been hurt. Some things were even punishable by death.

But Jesus told you to forgive people so that God, in turn, will forgive you (Matthew 6:14).

What is forgiveness? It is not condoning the bad someone did. Forgiveness is letting go and letting God do any punishing that may be required. Forgiveness is wishing the other person well. You may not trust the other person to not do the bad thing again, and you may forever fear that person. But you can always hope and pray that their lives and hearts will change for the better someday. No one is so bad that you cannot wish them well and pray for them. That’s forgiveness.

Vengeance only prolongs the pain; vengeance is hard on you. So, as the old saying goes, “Let go, and let God.” God will do his part ~ the hard part. He has left the easy part for you.

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Sunday 10/28 ~ God gave each of us an assignment

The scripture for today, October 28 (10/28), is Matthew 10:28f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.”

This scripture indicates that sometimes God’s allows you to “fall to the ground” ~ your body suffers, or you are killed. How can that be? After all, God is so loving. Surely a good God would not allow any harm to come to someone if he truly loves them.

But we all have our assignment from God in this war between Good and Evil. Just as Job in the Old Testament lost his entire family and entire wealth and then his health, he refused to blame God. He even said, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” (Job 2:10).

Satan causes bad to happen to you. Why? In order to get you to blame God for it. Your assignment is to refuse to deny God. That way, Satan loses one more battle, and God wins one more.

There is an old Christian song called “Victory in Jesus.” How can you have victory in Jesus if you do not have something to be victorious over? Romans 8:37 says we are more than conquerors. How can you be a conqueror if you have nothing to conquer?

Stand strong and say with James (1:2) that you consider it pure joy whenever you face trials. Hard to say? Of course, it is. But it could turn your life around.

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Sunday 10/7 ~ Why would a good God condone violence?

The scripture for today, October 7 (10/7), is Joshua 10:7f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.’ “

We today cannot imagine a good God condoning violence, let alone promoting it. But think back. Mankind was quite barbaric in the centuries and millenniums before Christ. For example, when Alexander the Great got offended at what a friend said to him, he cut off his nose and ears and put him in a cage for the rest of his life.

God never runs very far ahead of mankind, or else mankind would not understand, and not even try to follow God. By the time Jesus came, God was saying, “No more violence.”

In this scripture for today, God was telling Joshua to attack people in the Promised Land ~ Canaan. This brings up another question: Why would a good God allow one group of people to kill off another group of people? God told Abraham centuries earlier, “In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure” (Genesis 15:16). By this time they were sacrificing children to their gods.

In Leviticus 18:24, 28, God warned the Jews through Moses, “Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled…And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” So God warned the Jews that, if they got as bad as the previous people in Canaan, he would drive them out too. (Eventually they did, so God did.)

Further, in Old Testament times, God often punished people immediately. Why punish them? Partly to get them away from the good people. And God used armies of believers to do the punishing for him.

Today God does not expect us to do the punishing. Romans 12:19 says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ says the Lord. On the contrary, If your enemy is hungry feed him…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Thank God, he has taken the terrible task of vengeance away from us. We can just forgive our enemies and hand things over to God to take whatever steps need to be taken. In the meantime, we can read the Old Testament and learn that God takes notice when people are doing bad things to us. God does take care of us. God does love his children.

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Thursday 9/27 ~ Oppression is a good thing?

The scripture for today, September 27 (9/27), is Nehemiah 9:27 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Michel-COVER-Kindle-Thumbnail“So you handed them over to their enemies who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed, they cried out to you. From heaven, you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.”

What was going on here?  The Jews had started worshipping false gods, putting some of their altars in the temple of God, and even offering their children as sacrifices to the fire god. Jehovah God let their enemies take them captive until they stopped their horrible practices and started praying only to the one true God. Then he rescued them those enemies.

Do you know anyone who could care less about God? The only exception is when they feel oppressed by something or someone in their life? More than likely, they blame God because Satan has convinced them he does not exist and therefore did not cause their problems.  

Wait!  Don’t be so hard on your friends. That can be a good thing. Perhaps they hadn’t given God a second thought since their last calamity. But now they’re thinking about him. They may be angry at God, but at least they’re thinking about him. Now is your chance to approach a broken, desperate, but softened spirit.

Let us thank God for times of oppression. Sometimes that is what it takes for God to get their attention. Then perhaps God can show them he wants to be their friend.

 

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