Wednesday 1/16 ~ Don’t urge me to leave you

The scripture for today, January 16 (1/16), is Ruth 1:16ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

Although Ruth was talking to her mother-in-law after the death of her husband (Naomi’s son), this can be and sometimes is quoted by the bride and groom at their wedding. If only it were quoted more often. Not only at weddings, but at anniversaries. At birthdays of children and parents. During arguments, and low times and hard times and discouraging times.

Even deeper, it could be said when Satan attacks us.  Just change you to him.  Don’t urge me to leave him or to turn back from him.  Where he goes, I will go, and where he stays, I will stay.  His people will be my people and God will always be my God.

These are the words of love ~ deep genuine, unselfish love. Let us so love one another that deeply. Let us love our God that deeply.

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Sunday 12/30 ~ Are you a gatherer?

The Scripture for today, December 30 (12/30), is Matthew 12:30, as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”

What? You can’t just drift along just showing up at church services and that is all? You must gather people to him?. Are you sure? Oh, I don’ know enough; besides, I’m too busy.

Deep down inside, do you fear that, if you bring Jesus into a conversation, people will do you great harm and become dangerous enemies? Although in some countries of the world this is true, in most it is not. Still, do you quake at the thought of bringing up Jesus to your friends, and even to strangers?

That is Satan’s lie. He has gotten into your head and you are believing him. Most people will appreciate a little discussion about Jesus because most people do not attend worship anywhere and know little about the Bible.

Instead of listening to Satan, perhaps you should quake that some of your friends are headed to hell.  Satan puts fear in your heart. Do not give in to Satan. “Perfect love casts out fear” (1st John 4:18).  Do as Jesus did: “Seek and save the lost” (Luke 9:10).

Help your friends who do not know they need help. Overcome your fear for yourself and give in to the fear for their souls. It can be done. Stop watching so much television or playing endless games. Give it a try. If it were your soul, would you want someone to at least try to save you? Rise up! Defy Satan! Dare to be a gatherer of souls staring today.

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Monday 12/24 ~Remember the ravens

The scripture for today, December 24 (12/24), is Luke 12:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”

In many nations right now, things are financially strained. Luxuries? No. To be able to live until tomorrow? Yes.

Which is more valuable? To impress men or impress God? A life dedicated to things impresses men. A life dedicated to doing good things impresses God.

I know of a group of believers in Jesus recently in an African country who had to flee soldiers who were after Christians. They had to run immediately upon sight of the soldiers. No time to pack anything. Just run.  Escape. Run. Escape. 

To get to true safety, they had to walk a hundred miles. What did they eat?  Grass. Leaves from bushes. Tree roots. But they made it. They made it to safety and the loving, protective arms of other Christians.

Today, instead of a luxury, can you send the money to people in parts of the world who are struggling to stay alive because of their faith? Struggling to stay safe because they are Christians?

Consider the ravens.

PS ~ Those of you with children, and you cannot get them much for Christmas: Write IOU’s to them and put each one in a box. Wrap each with typing paper if you don’t have Christmas paper. Or even black-and-white newspapers. And with a red or green crayon, draw a ribbon on top. What’s on the IOU’s? “One hour of coloring with you.” “One hour of playing ball with you.” “Three hours of hiking with you.” “Two hours of baking cookies with you.” Give yourself for Christmas!

 

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Monday 12/10 ~ And God is older than all of us!

The scripture for today, December 10 (12/10), is Job 12:10 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-Thumbnail“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?”

Let’s talk a moment about teenagers. Many adults joke that their teen is 16 going on 60. What know-it-alls they’ve become! Let’s look at the situation this way. They may have bodies that have grown to that of an adult. But minds grow much slower, and they must give their minds a chance to catch up.

As adults, it is our responsibility to help their minds catch up. Know enough about the Bible that you can apply scriptures to their activities and interests and friends. You may wish to make a list of your teenager’s activities, interests and friends, and then list a scripture next to each. Proverbs is an excellent book to start with. Then when the occasion arises, be ready (even if you have to sneak into the other room a minute to consult your list) to instill some wisdom.

This way, it is not you speaking, but God speaking. God said, “My word will not return to me void” (Isaiah 55:11). And God is older and wiser than all of us.

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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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Saturday 8/18 ~ Suffering for the right reason

(I seem to have sent you today’s yesterday.  So, today’s will be yesterday’s.)

The scripture for today, August 17 (8/17), is Romans 8:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“Now if we are children, then we are heirs ~ heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (see also Galatians 3:16)

I Peter 4:12-14 says we should not be surprised when persecution happens, “as though something strange was happening to you.” If we are insulted because of Jesus, we are blessed.

Notice, we are co-heirs with Christ IF we share in his suffering. Have you shared in Jesus’ sufferings lately? Have you ever in your entire life shared in Jesus’ sufferings? If not, you haven’t told very many people about Jesus loving them or stood up for Jesus when people around you were making fun of him or using his name as a swear word.

Are you sinning by omission? Do you huddle with your church friends all the time and brag that all the friends you have are Christians? Jesus didn’t. Jesus went out to “seek and save the lost.” Are you seeking?

Sometime today, say something to someone about Jesus ~ someone in a store, at work, a neighbor, a fellow passenger on a bus. They probably won’t insult you. This may be exactly what they’ve been looking for. But if they do insult you, accept it graciously. Then go on your way feeling honored to be a “co-heir with Christ” by “sharing in his suffering.”

Try it. You will be glad you did.

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Thursday 8/16 ~ A child of the Creator?

The scripture for today, August 16 (8/16), is Romans 8:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

365 Dat by Date-Front-Thumbnail

This is so similar to the scripture of a few days ago on how to know if the Spirit is living in you.  You can use the same approach to determine how the Spirit teaches you that you are God’s child.”

Once again, John 14:17 says the Comforter Jesus sent us was the Spirit of Truth. And Jesus said in John 17:17, God’s Word is Truth. So it is through God’s Word that you are taught how to become God’s child. You do not have to guess!

This is what is so wonderful about Christianity. The Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, Shamanist and many other religions leave the followers to guess because their “god” has given them no instructions. Ninety-nine percent of them believe they are not children of God. They also believe there are not saved because they can’t be perfect, so have to be reincarnated thousands of times to try to be perfect. The Muslim religion says followers are slaves, and they won’t know until the Day of Judgment if their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds.

In all other world religions, followers never know if they are children of God and saved. As hard as you try, you cannot be perfect.  But Jesus came and was perfect for you.  All the good works in the world will not get a sinner into God’s home ~ heaven~ because we are still sinners. Jesus collected the wages for your sin, thus making Satan’s threats of hell ineffective.  If you believe this and follow what he says in the Bible, you can become God’s child and live with Him forever after you go through the happy door of death.

 Praise God! He has given you The Map, the Way ~ the Holy Bible, God’s Word in written form. Such solace. Such comfort. Such reassurance.

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