Monday 12/30 ~ A daring new year’s resolution

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

Acts of the Apostles-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 about the Bible. 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. Those of you in free countries, do you quake at the thought of bringing up Jesus to your friends, and even to strangers? What will they do to you? Kick you? Slug you? Poison your food? What is it you fear?

Those are Satan’s lies. 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! For your new year’s resolution, dare to be a gatherer of souls.

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Acts of the Apostles-Cover-ThumbnailEASY BIBLE WORKBOOKS:  ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.  All workbooks are surveys of a book.  Here is a simple fill-in-the blank workbook for Acts.  It gives the exact verse so there’s no hunting.  Caution: It is in the NIV version.  It was set up for weekly group studies where the student does one part of a lesson each day so s/he is ready when the group gets together.  However, it can be used in weekly classes or by homeschoolers, or just lone in private study.  (Note:  I am going through another edit in January.) To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/2F8BDep

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Sunday 12/29 ~ The True Promised Land

The scripture for today, December 29 (12/29), is Deuteronomy 12:29 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

07-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonSmall“The Lord your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess.”

Why would a good God drive people (the Amorite nations) from their own land so that other people (the Jews) could live there? Way back in Genesis 15, God promised Abraham that his descendants would possess the land he lived in as a wanderer; but first, they would be enslaved in a foreign country some 400 years. During that time, they would multiply. Indeed, they did grow from 70 of Abraham’s grandchildren to over three million.

Then it would be time for his descendants to possess the land. Why so long in the future?  Verse 16 explains it: “For the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” God always gives people plenty of time to repent and change.  But the Amorites continued to do horrible things including child sacrifices to appease their gods.

The Jews did finally possess the Promised Land, but God warned them, “If you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you” (Leviticus 18:28). Indeed, they did eventually defile the land with horrible things including child sacrifice to appease the gods they traded the real God for. So, God kept his promise and sent them into exile in Assyria and Babylon.

Today, just as Abraham searched for a country and city not made with hands, join him.  Regardless of the condition of the nation you live in on earth, look ahead to that same country and city not made with hands.  Look ahead to the true Promised Land, the spiritual Promised Land ~ heaven. And it will be forever good.

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07-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonThmbnailA CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST: SHADOW OF DEATH gently tells of Jesus hurting on the cross, then dying, then coming back to life to live forever.  For the Christian, Death is gentle. Death is a glow of sunshine in the valley and a shining door into heaven.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/37iVMdW

 

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Friday 12/27 ~ True separation of church and state

The scripture for today, December 27 (12/27), is 1st Kings 12:27 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem [not some other capital city], they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah.”

For centuries and millenniums, kings selected a patron god for their nation, a god they most revered to protect them. Nations were always ruled by either a high priest or king. Some nations even had priest-kings.

So, when Constantine conquered much of Europe and set up his empire, he needed a patron god. One day during a battle, he looked up and saw a cloud formation that reminded him of things he’d heard about Jesus. So he made Jesus his patron God, and Christianity his empire’s required religion. He even rode his army through rivers, then declared them baptized. He ordered conquered peoples to be baptized or killed.  Headquarters was Rome.

Luther was friends of the Duke [king] of Germany, so when he broke off from Rome, the official state religion became Lutheranism. John Calvin was in the government of Switzerland, so when it broke off from Rome, the official state religion became Calvinism. When the king of England broke off from Rome, he became head of the Church of England (and Prince Charles is head of the Church there today). John Knox was influential with the parliament of Scotland, so his Presbyterianism became the official religion of Scotland.

In each instance, the king or parliament could force its citizens to follow the chosen religion of that nation. If people didn’t, they could legally put them in prison, torture them, and execute them at will. Up to a hundred years ago, it was illegal to not be a Shinto. Today, Islam is the required religion of most Middle-Eastern and some African countries. Anyone leaving Islam suffers.

Eventually, the idea of separating religion from the state government became popular in the Western World. And that is where many nations are today. But it does not mean people in government cannot express religion. It just means they cannot force citizens to be a particular government-selected religion or be in danger of punishment. That is true “separation of church and state”.

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00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnailWORSHIP CHANGES SINCE THE FIRST CENTURY is a year-by-year account of governments and religious hierarchy who changed “church law” and what they did to those who protested ~ things you always took for granted were always that way. Intermingled are the hymns of some of the martyrs during this time, hymns you have sung a hundred times and never knew.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/2SwgtyY

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Thursday 12/19 ~ Sweet revenge. Or not.

The Scripture for today, December 19 (12/19), is Romans 12:19 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Old Testament Survey-Cover-thumbnail“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.”

Thank God, he took away the old Law of Moses and gave you the new Law of Jesus instead. Under the Law of Moses, you had to take revenge yourself. You had to stone adulterers and children who were disrespectful to you as their parent. If someone killed a relative, you were obligated to go out and kill the killer. If someone knocked out the eye or tooth of a relative, you were required to go out and take that person’s eye or tooth.

Now God says to forgive and do good to your enemy (verse 20-21). That’s what God did for you who once was his enemy as a sinner. As you are merciful to others, he is merciful to you.

Forgiveness is not condoning evil, but wishing a better life for whoever did something bad to you. You may forever be afraid of that person, but you must forgive. Hard to do? Indeed! But, with God, anything is possible. So, let go of it. Let go of them. Let God take care of it. He has released you of that burden. Released you to “overcome evil with good”.

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Old Testament Survey-Cover-thumbnailOLD TESTAMENT SURVEY AND HOW IT RELATES TO THE NEW TESTAMENT is an easy fill-in-the-blank workbook to help you see the contrast in the Old Testament laws and the New Testament “laws”. O.T. leaders were taking revenge everywhere, and so God took revenge on them. The prophets warned them and gave them promises of good to come ~ the Savior.  This is part of the EASY BIBLE WORKBOOKS series.  Great for homeschoolers, private study, small groups.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/2tt58Fc

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Saturday 12/14 ~ Hold fast. Stand firm.

The scripture for today, December 14 (12/14), is 1st Samuel 12:14 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

02-samuel-thumbnailcover“If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God ~ good!”

The Jews had just insisted on having a king rule over them instead of a supreme judge. Samuel, their last supreme judge, replied and said two IFs. IF they serve and obey the Lord, and IF they both (people and king) follow the Lord, then it is good.

Today as then, some people live in a nation where the king/government does not follow the Lord. What to do? Galatians 5:22 tells us to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled, for “against such things there is no law”.

Is it hard to do this when crooked officials are getting all the advantages and you are being cheated and even threatened if you do not cooperate? Indeed, it is. It may seem they are living the good life. In reality (eternal reality, not earthly reality). They have lost everything. This life is fleeting. Keep your eyes on the eternal. Keep your eyes on God!

Hold fast!

       Stand firm!

             Do the right thing!

In the end, they lose. You and God win. And that is good!

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02-samuel-thumbnailcoverA CHILD’S BIBLE KIDS:  SAMUEL.  How did Samuel’s mother prepare him to live in someone else’s house when he was a toddler? How did Eli settle little Samuel’s confused mind when Eli suddenly became his “grandfather” while he grew up?  But grow up, Samuel did. And he became one of the strongest supreme judges Israel ever had.  But he was also the last.  He had to resign his position when the people wanted a king instead of him.  But, he never stopped being loyal to God.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….  https://amzn.to/2YPmlVe

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