Sunday 9/22 ~ What do you do on Sunday mornings?

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

Supper-Front Cover-Thumbnail“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 finished ~ and he could return to heaven.

Is it difficult for you to get up on Sunday morning to go to church? Is it difficult for you to read the Bible every day? Is it difficult for you to invite a friend to church with you? Do you love Jesus as resolutely as he loves you? Are you as determined to go to heaven and avoid hell as he was for you? Do you love your soul as much as Jesus does?

 

Supper-Front Cover-ThumbnailTHE LORD’S SUPPER: 52 READINGS WITH PRAYERS can be used by those leading the ritual or by participants in the pews for your meditation.  A must for every church library and great gifts.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2V8uH8f

 

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Wednesday 9/18 ~ All 600?

The scripture for today, September 18 (9/18), is Leviticus 9:18ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. But the fat portions of the ox and the ram ~ the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver ~ these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.”

The Law of Moses did not have just Ten Commandments. It had over 600! They were intricate commands that had to be kept exactly. The above is just a small portion of what they were supposed to do for a particular sacrifice.

Thank God, Jesus nailed the Old Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Yet some religious leaders continue to dip back into the Old Law to copy showy types of worship ~ robes, candles, choirs, harps, incense ~ many things, and all commanded. But if they do that, they must keep ALLof the Law of Moses ~ stoning for adultery, giving 1/3 of their income (not just 1/10), not working on Saturday (even cooking), going to Jerusalem three times a year.

They can’t just pick and choose which ones they like. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:17 “Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised [just one command in the Old Law of Moses] that he is obligated to obey the whole law.”

James said in 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Old Testament worship was showy, elaborate, and demanding to the nth degree. New Testament worship is just the opposite.

Mark 14:26 says that after Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper/Communion, “When they had sung a [single] hymn, they went out…”

Acts 2:41-42 says, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Acts 20:7 says, “On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people…”

I Timothy 4:13 says, “Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”

Nothing complicated about it. Just simple worship. Worship the way Jesus and his apostles worshiped. Worship the way God likes it. He said so himself.

 

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Tuesday 9/17 ~ Come back! Come back to me!

The scripture for today, September 17 (9/17), is Nehemiah 9:17 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Love Letters of Jesus & his Bride, Eccelsia-THUMBNAIL“They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore, you did not desert them.”

Such love! Do you rebel against God (who is only trying to save you) over and over because you don’t want anyone telling you what to do? Or because he’s too much bother? Or because you don’t have time for him? Or maybe you just outright hate God? Stop. Turn around. He is only trying to help you.   

God has faith in you when you do not have faith in him. God forgives you over and over. First Peter 3:9 says “The Lord…is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

God could turn you into a robot and force you to love and obey him. But that wouldn’t be real love. God is Love, and he cannot go against his own nature.

And so God follows you around and pleads over and over, “Come back! You’re in danger. Come back. Follow me to safety!”

How he hurts when you do not; how he smiles when you do.

 

Love Letters of Jesus & his Bride, Eccelsia-THUMBNAILLOVE LETTERS OF JESUS & HIS ECCLESIA:  Isn’t the name “Ecclesia” beautiful? It is Greek for the church.  You are beautiful to Jesus.  But, as happens in the Song of Solomon, sometimes she cannot find the lover of her soul, so he runs after her and brings her back to him.  This book is a paraphrase of S of S; each chapter is a love letter.  Beautiful and inspiration. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2V1Bqkg

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Monday 9/16 ~ I cannot hold it in

The scripture for today, September 16 (9/16), is 1st Corinthians 9:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”

The Apostle Paul said this. An Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah, said almost the same thing in 20:9: “If I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in! Indeed, I cannot!”

Are you so full of the Word of God that you have to share it? Do you work it into your daily conversations? Do you write to people about it? Do you call people about it? Do you journal about it?

I knew a lady once who took several church bulletins home with her every Sunday. Then during the week, if she heard a conversation at a bus stop, she’d interrupt them and say, “I couldn’t help but hear what you were saying. Perhaps God in your life would help.” Then she’d hand them a bulletin. She’d do the same thing at fast-food places or in the waiting room of a doctor. She could not hold it in. She had to share, even if it was with strangers.

There is a man in Afghanistan who is a partially secret Christian. When he thinks he can trust someone, he tells them the gospel. He knows he could be arrested and imprisoned or killed, but I cannot hold it in. He has run for his life three times in the last eight years. He tells me, “I will not stop until they kill me.”

What about you? Is the Word of God overflowing in you so much you cannot keep it in? Tell someone today that God loves them. Watch them smile with a gleam in their eye that says, “I’d like to know more”.

 

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Thursday 9/12 ~ Out of disaster came beauty

The scripture for today, September 12 (9/12), is found in Genesis 9:12f in the Old Testament of the Bible:

02-Noah-KindleThumbnail“And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come. I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

 On the technical side, how can it be that there was never a rainbow before Noah’s time? Genesis 2:5b-6 explains, “The Lord God had not sent rain on the earth, and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.”

Up until the time of Noah, people lived to be several hundred years old. Christian scientists have said that, before the flood, the earth had a constant cloud covering with a thick ozone layer that created the greenhouse effect of vapors and protected man from the aging process. It was much like Venus.

So rainbows were not possible when the sun could never break through the ever-present clouds. It was because of a terrible worldwide cataclysm that the beauty of the rainbow was made possible.

On the faith side of this story, we see a man who had such faith in God that, although he probably had never seen rain, believed it would happen. Such amazing faith! Later, through the pain of losing his stubborn father and probably other extended family in the flood, he was blessed with the lives of his direct family members. Then God gave him one more reward ~ the rainbow ~ that he could not only enjoy in his generation but for generations even today.

Out of disaster came beauty.

 

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