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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Friday 11/23 ~ When they wept

The scripture for today, November 23 (11/23), is 1st Corinthians 11:23ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ “

How the hearts of Jesus and his closest friends must have been breaking that night. How the apostles must have struggled to hold back the tears. They all knew the religious leaders in Jerusalem were plotting to execute Jesus. They knew he was taking his life in his hands to be in the city ~ their lives too. How could they part with the one they now knew was the Son of God but also the Son of Mankind ~ their dearest friend?

When we take the communion every Sunday, where are our thoughts? What we’re going to do after church? What someone sitting near us is wearing? How the person in front of us is blocking our view?

How many of us during the communion weep as Jesus’ apostles must have wept ~ and probably even as Jesus himself wept?

Oh, Jesus, it was my sins that caused you to go through that horrible death!  My punishment! How could you love me that much? I fall at your feet. I am so sorry. 

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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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Sunday 11/11 ~ You can never fall beyond hope

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

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-thumbnail“Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery?  Not at all!”

Though everyone is a weak human, you may decide to live for God. But you are still a weak human. Satan has lost you and wants you back. He will try hard to make that happen. Often, the new Christian is the one he attacks the hardest.

Satan never lets up and periodically causes bad things to happen to you so you’ll blame God, just as he tried to do with Job.  He will tempt you with more things than before you became a Christian in his attempts to get you back. So sometimes you may stumble and fall.

God knows what is happening.  He stands with you. He is so proud of you when you stand up to Satan and say, “Never!  I will not blame or forsake my Lord!” He sees how your spiritual muscles are growing when you do.

But, if you sometimes fall, you are not beyond hope. Never, never believe you are beyond hope. That is a lie! God never leaves you.  He continues to stand next to you, holding out his hands and saying, “Take them. I will lift you back up. You will be okay again.”

So, you do. And so, he does.

He is amazingly patient with us. He loves you so very much.

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Tuesday 10/30 ~ What is forgiveness?

The scripture for today, October 30 (10/30), is Hebrews 10:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

05-Joseph-KindleThumbnail“For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ “

In the Law of Moses, people were expected to avenge those who did not follow the law. The vengeance was to be carried out by the person who had been hurt. Some things were even punishable by death.

But Jesus told you to forgive people so that God, in turn, will forgive you (Matthew 6:14).

What is forgiveness? It is not condoning the bad someone did. Forgiveness is letting go and letting God do any punishing that may be required. Forgiveness is wishing the other person well. You may not trust the other person to not do the bad thing again, and you may forever fear that person. But you can always hope and pray that their lives and hearts will change for the better someday. No one is so bad that you cannot wish them well and pray for them. That’s forgiveness.

Vengeance only prolongs the pain; vengeance is hard on you. So, as the old saying goes, “Let go, and let God.” God will do his part ~ the hard part. He has left the easy part for you.

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Monday 10/22 ~ Guilty Conscience?

The scripture for today, October 22 (10/22),  is Hebrews 10:22 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Love Letters of Jesus & his Bride, Eccelsia-THUMBNAIL“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

The previous verse said that Jesus is the great (high) priest over the house of God (the church). Therefore the sprinkling refers to the sprinkling of blood the high priests did on the Day of Atonement once a year. (See Leviticus 16 in the Old Testament.) Today your heart (which we cannot see or touch) is sprinkled with the blood of Jesus.

And how are you to be cleansed from that guilty conscience with our body (which we can see and touch) being washed? I Peter 3:21 says, “Even so does baptism now save us, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh but the answer of a good conscience toward God.”

You do not have to guess whether you were sincere enough when you gave your heart to the Lord. Your conscience never has to wonder if you did it right. For God gave you something you can actually do to give you a good and clear conscience toward him.

From henceforth, you can draw near to God in full assurance. Full! Not partial. Not wondering. Not with ups and downs of faith. But full!

God thinks of everything!

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Sunday 10/21 ~ Dying or nourishing?

The scripture for today, October 21 (10/21), is Proverbs 10:21 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.”

What do you talk about during the day? What kind of judgment do you use? Do you nourish others by what you say to them?

Are you a complainer or complementor? Are you rude or patient? Do you glare or smile? Do you criticize the wrong a person does, or praise the right that person does? Do you sing of your love of God on Sunday and use swear words the rest of the week?

If you are a foolish talker, you are killing yourself.

Today, go out of your way to nourish everyone you talk to. Start a new habit. They will see God in you.

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