Saturday 9/22 ~ What kept Jesus with his goal?

The scripture for today, September 22 (9/22) is Luke 9:22 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 6-PromiseKeeper-Cover-thumbnail-new-kindle“And he [Jesus] said, ‘The Son of Man[kind] must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

Jesus did not look forward to his death. Hebrews 5:7 says, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death….” Loud cries!

Yet, in today’s scripture, shortly after he announced to his apostles that he would be killed in Jerusalem, over in verse 51 it says, “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”

Jesus had to use every bit of self-determination he could muster up to face that terrible death he had to suffer for us. What kept him to his goal? He knew only he could save us from hell by taking the death wages from Satan (Romans 6:23). Then his work would be done ~ all would be fulfilled ~ and he could return to heaven.

Is it just too hard for you to get up on Sunday morning to go to church? Is it just too hard for you to read the Bible every day? Is it just too hard for you to invite a friend to church with you? Do you love Jesus as resolutely as he loves you?

 

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Friday 9/21~ Jesus, I didn’t understand.

The scripture for today, September 21 (9/21), is Hebrews 9:21f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“In the same way, he [Moses] sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”

Jesus ended that with one final sacrifice ~ himself.

Oh, Jesus, I didn’t understand.  Your flesh.  It was torn for me.  I was the one who should have received the lashing that turned Your back into meat.  And the thorny slivers on the cross.  The slivers that went into Your already shredded back to create gangrene.  The lashing and thorns were supposed to be for me, not You. And the nails too, Jesus.  The nails too.  How could You go through that in my place

Oh, Jesus, I didn’t understand.  Your nakedness.  They stripped You instead of me.  I was the one who’s nakedness should have been exposed, and put on display for the whole world to gawk at and ridicule.  I was the one who was supposed to have been subjected to exposure, enduring both the heat of the day and the cold of that strange noon-time darkness.  How could you have endured this for me?

Oh, Jesus, I didn’t understand.  Your blood.  It was shed for me.  If I had been the only sinner in the world, You still would have had to die to free me from hell.  That was my blood that was supposed to be falling off the cross that day, not Yours.  How could You love me that much?   

 Oh, Jesus, I didn’t understand.  Your every breath.  Taken away from You a gasp at a time as You hung there by merciless nails tearing away at Your life, rendering Your lungs almost paralyzed, piercing Your soul.  Each time You chose to ignore the screaming blood vessels in Your back and the unbearable spasms in Your arms and legs just so You could get just one more taste of air, that should have been me.  How could You volunteer Your own body to be tortured like that in my place?

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Thursday 9/20 ~ Stand and be counted

The scripture for today, September 20 (9/20), is Luke 9:20 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Clouds in blue sky

” ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ “

Jesus is still asking that question today. Who do you say Jesus is? Some people in the world say Jesus was the savior of the Christians, the same person as Moses to the Jews, and Mohammed to the Moslems, and Buddha to the Buddhists. In the name of being fair to everyone, they claim these are all saviors of different religions going by different names but of the same God.

Let us not be caught in the web of the New Age Movement that claims all saviors are the same savior and all gods are the same God.

This is an impossibility. These religions contradict each other. Read their holy books and you will discover this. So, which one is right?

The Bible is the only religious book in the world that can be proven to be divine with fulfilled prophecies of entire kingdoms. It says regarding our Jesus, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Investigate. Read. Compare. Then stand up for Jesus, THE Savior! Stand up and be counted!

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Monday 9/10 ~ In comfort or pain

The scripture for today, September 10 (9/10), is Psalm 9:10 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Inside-COVER-lg thumbnail“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

What if we had a friend who we never called by name? It was always “Hey, you”. Our friendship wouldn’t last long because the other person would feel like we weren’t friends after all. Makes sense.

So, what does “Lord” mean in the original Hebrew language of the Old Testament? It is Yahweh, translated into Greek as Adonai.

In Exodus 3:15b God told Moses what his name was: ” ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers…This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.’ ”

And what does Yahweh mean? Exodus 3:14 explained, “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites; ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” God is the great I AM.

Today’s verse does not say the Great I Am will keep you from all harm. What it says is that he will go with you into that harm and stay with you the whole way, giving you strength and courage.

And so, in peace or war, in comfort or pain, in well-being or devastation, he will be right there with you. He will never forsake you. Therefore, never forsake him.  Keep on worshipping ~ the Lord our God, the Great I AM.

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Tuesday 9/4 ~ Shhh. Listen. Do you hear him?

The scripture for today, September 4 (9/4), is Daniel 9:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands….’ “

A lot of people in the world think God should feel obligated to take them to heaven. After all, they are fairly good, and better than some. God couldn’t possibly in all good conscience turn them away.

Yet, their entire life they resent God. They don’t like his few commands; they don’t want anyone telling them what to do or not do. Or they claim to love God but create their own commands that just aren’t in the Bible, making themselves God. What confusion!

Ultimately, heaven is God’s home, not ours. He is not obligated to invite anyone into His home. Besides, only perfection can live with God who is perfect. It only takes one sin to make us an imperfect sinner.

So how do we become perfect? That’s where God’s awesomeness is demonstrated. By following Jesus who was perfect and never sinned, and obeying Jesus’ few commands, God considers us perfect by proxy.

But it’s like a boomerang.  God treats us the way we treat him. If we don’t take time for God, he doesn’t take time for us. If we don’t like to spend time praising him, he doesn’t spend time praising us. Actually, if we don’t really like anything about God, we would be miserable in heaven.

God never forces himself on anyone. But he keeps on calling. Shhh.  Listen. Do you hear him?

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