Saturday 12/1 ~ So, who’s right?

The scripture for today, December 1, is Jeremiah 12:1ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Lord, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you to decide. Now let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil men so happy? You plant them. They take root and their business grows. Their profits multiply, and they are rich. They say, ‘Thank God!’ But in their hearts, they give no credit to you. But as for me ~ Lord, you know my heart ~ you know how much it longs for you. And I am poor, O Lord!”

Now compare this with Job 15:20-24:

“All his days the wicked man suffers torment, the ruthless through all the years stored up for him. Terrifying sounds fill his ears…He despairs of escaping the darkness; he is marked for the sword. He wanders about ~ food for vultures; he knows the day of darkness is at hand. Distress and anguish fill him with terror.”

These two passages contradict each other. So what is the problem? The words spoken in Job were by Eliphaz, one of Job’s well-meaning friends who took it upon himself to help Job figure out why he had lost all his wealth, all his children, and all his health. Was Eliphaz right?

At the end of the book of Job, is this: “The Lord…said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends because you have not spoken of me what is right.” Then God ordered Eliphaz and his friends to sacrifice seven bulls and rams (not small sacrifices), then ask Job to pray for them so God “will not deal with you according to your folly.”

When we read scripture, let us be careful to investigate its context and ALL other scriptures on the same subject. Only then can we have the whole picture. Only then can we avoid religious folly.

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Thursday 11/29 ~ Let’s trade

The scripture for today, November 29 (11/29), is Matthew 11:29f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.thumbnail-new“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Ah, Lord Jesus. I am so weary worn.  It seems everything that could ever go wrong in my life is happening right now. Just when I think I have one problem at least partly under control, another raises its ugly head. Or should I say Satan raises his ugly head?  Satan, why are you doing this to me? It is you who is causing all the diseases and problems at work, and the car wreck and progressive blindness.  Was it you who set me up in that posh job which you knew was never popular in the company and would only cause me grief? Was this new house I bought with my pay raise worth it after all?

I am so tired. Help me, God?  I don’t know which way is up anymore. God?  I’m calling for you. God? Don’t you even care?

“Let’s trade, my child. I’ll take your burdens and you take mine.”

But, Lord, I do not understand. What could your burdens possibly be? You’re all comfortable in heaven.

“My child, my burden is to reach out to everyone and tell them how much I love them. My burden is to take their burdens on my shoulders. You can do it too. You can write encouraging notes or emails to them every day. You can open up the newspaper and pray for everyone in it by name. You can call someone who is depressed like you and sing them a sweet song.”

But when, Lord? When would I find time?

“Use your brooding time, your crying time, your anger time. Let loose of them so I can brood, cry, and be angry for you. Remember, it’s a trade.”

Friends, will you continue to carry your burdens and let them weigh you down so you cannot move? Or will you let go of them and smile as Jesus smiled, reach out to others as Jesus reached out, teach God’s love as Jesus did?

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Monday 11/26 — Never die?

The scripture for today, November 26 (11/26) is John 11:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-lg-thumbnail” ‘ And whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ “

Jesus was talking to the sister of his close friend, Lazarus, who had just died. Of course, we understand he was talking about spiritual death ~ the death of our souls. And death in the original Greek means separation; so in the case of our souls, it would be separation from God.

Revelation 20:6 & 14 refer to the second death which is the lake of fire. So what is the first death of our souls?

In John 3:3 Jesus said we must be born again of water and the spirit. Romans 6:4 says “we were therefore buried with him through baptism into death [of that sinful life] in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a NEW LIFE.”

Someone has said “Born once [physically], die twice. Born twice [physically & spiritually], die once.” If we emerge from the waters of our mother’s womb, that is the first birth of our souls. If we emerge from the waters of baptism, that is our second birth.”

Ah, the thought of living on inside the walls of salvation in heaven where Satan can never touch us again. The thought of walking and talking with God and never growing tired of it. The thought of singing with God with pleasure unending.

How reassuring to us when Jesus said believers’ souls would never die. Oh, glorious thought.

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Wednesday 11/21 ~ Who Knows?

The scripture for today, November 21 (11/21), is Acts 11:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”

What had just happened? Some Christians in Phoenecia (today’s Lebanon), Cyprus (the Mediterranean Island) and Cyrene (in today’s North Africa), went to Antioch, a city in Northern Syria near the southern border of today’s Turkey. There they established a congregation.

This little congregation ended up being the home congregation of Paul and Barnabas for many years. It started small; we don’t know the size it grew to. Regardless of the size, it had foresight and eventually did great things.

Perhaps you live in a town full of churches, but you’ve compared them with the New Testament, and none of them follows that pattern. Perhaps you have even given up going to church because of this problem. What is stopping you from beginning a little congregation after the New Testament pattern in your home?  

New Testament churches were simple ~ not elaborate like those mega-churches out there. And those simple churches have always been dynamic in their simplicity. Who knows but that your new little congregation will someday produce a Paul or a Barnabas….

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Tuesday 11/20 ~ Never give up on them

The scripture for today, November 20 (11/20), is Hebrews 11:20ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

08-Come Fly-ChildsCartoonThumbnailCover“By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. By faith Jacob when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons….By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.”

Do you have children that were loving and good when they were young, but when they became older, they changed? Do you sometimes wonder, “How could I have gone so wrong with my children?” True, they have free will. But do you feel like a failure because your children did not turn out the way you had hoped and prayed?

Have faith ~ the faith of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Isaac blessed his sons with his land, even though he did not yet own the land. Jacob blessed his sons with power, even though they did yet not have power. Joseph blessed his sons and his brothers’ sons with the land, yet they no longer lived there.

Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph all blessed their children with something they believed would happen someday, even though the evidence was not there. Why? Because they had faith in their children? Actually, it was mostly because they had faith in God. They had faith in what God would do for their children.

Don’t give up. Keep trusting God. Never stop having faith in what God (even after we die) will (not can, but will) do for your children.

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Wednesday 11/14 ~ No one is perfect

The scripture for today, November 14 (11/14), is Job 11:14f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“If you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.”

Job’s misguided friend, Zophar, was advising Job that, if he would become perfect (“allow no evil”), he would stand firm before God.

Oh, Zophar! Hadn’t he caught on yet? Hadn’t he yet realized that no one can be perfect? At the end of this ancient book, God told Zophar and his friends to repent of their accusations toward Job.

Throughout the Old Testament, the Jews tried unsuccessfully to be perfect with the help of the Law of Moses, but they couldn’t do it. In the meantime, the nations that had not received the Law were left to try with their own methods to be perfect, and they couldn’t do it either.

The only thing that ever has allowed mankind to be perfect has been the blood of Jesus. He was the perfect Lamb of God offered as our ransom to Satan. It has been eons since Zophar insisted that, if Job became perfect, he wouldn’t be sick anymore. As of 2000 years ago, everyone who follows Jesus is able to stand firm, because Jesus can make you perfect, washing away your sins (John 1:29; Acts 22:16).

What treasures we miss when we misinterpret God.

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Unique way of proving the existence of God and the afterlife

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I just had to share this from Facebook.  Katheryn

Rick Rambo

 

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?”The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”

“Nonsense,” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”

The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”

The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”

The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”

The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover, if there is life, then why has no one ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery, there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”

“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”

The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”

The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her, this world would not and could not exist.”

Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”

To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”

Maybe this was one of the best explanations of the concept of GOD.