Thursday 10/25 ~ Bored in heaven

The scripture for today, October 25 (10/25), is Hebrews 10:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

06-PROMISE KEEPER-ChildsCartoonThumbnail“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another ~ and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Do you declare, “I can walk through nature ~ the temple of God ~ and feel God is closer there than in a church building”? Well, do you really do it? How often? The purpose of the church meeting is not so much to encourage yourself as to encourage your fellow Christian and visitors along with worshiping God.

Look at the context. Verse 23 says “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess” and verse 24 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” How do you do these things? A lot of it is done during your congregation’s worship and encouragement service.

And what comes after our verse for today? Verse 26 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.” Meeting together with other congregational members is one of the major experiences that keeps you and your friends from falling and missing heaven. Or does worshipping all the time in heaven sound boring too?

Should you meet once a week? This scripture says to meet “all the more as you see the Day [of Judgment] approaching.’ Do you say, “But that’s too inconvenient”?

It was inconvenient for Jesus to leave a perfect heaven for an imperfect earth. It was inconvenient for him to leave the company of angels for the company of sinners. It was inconvenient for him to do this for 33 long years. Inconvenient to take the blame for your sins, and then take your punishment. Inconvenient to experience agonizing spiritual death when God left him alone on the cross in your place, and then that agonizing physical death in your place.

Do you really know inconvenience? Do you love Jesus or not? Do you love your fellow Christian or not?

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Wednesday 10/24 ~ Jesus was king of the world but laid aside his ego

The scripture for today, October 25 (10/25), is 1st Corinthians 10:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”

The context of this verse is that some of the members of the church in Corinth were expressing opinions or doing things that were offensive to some of the other members. They hurt the consciences of some of the weaker members.

Today, do you do anything during the public worship that is offensive to some people? Do you do them as an example of how “holy” you are? Do you even try to get God on your side and say that any Christian could do those things if they had as much faith as you do? Can you control your ego in this?

What about committee meetings? Do you suggest something that the others just aren’t excited about? Do you allow your ego to eventually seep in and begin to feel slighted or challenged because your idea wasn’t accepted? Do you even try to get God on your side and say he will be more glorified if the other committee members accept your plan? Can you control your ego in this?

One way to look at things objectively is to ask yourself, “Would my congregation survive without me?” What if I were killed in an auto accident and suddenly taken from them tomorrow? Would they continue to worship? Would they continue to do good works? Would they continue to meet as a congregation? Ninety-nine percent of the time your congregation would survive without you.

So, try (struggle with tears if necessary) to lay aside your ego that gets hurt or feels challenged, and seek the comfort, welfare, and good of your fellow members.

Jesus was King of the world, but he laid aside his ego. And he triumphed!

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Thursday 10/18 ~ Who Knows? It may be you.

The scripture for today, October 18 (10/18), is 2nd Corinthians 10:18 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-KINDLE-Thumbnail-New“For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”

Do you look at your life and decide some of your bad habits are not so bad, considering what some other people you know are doing? Do you look at your life and decide your lukewarmness in good works and spreading the gospel is not so bad, considering what most others around you are doing? 

Jesus said you will receive only one reward, and we must choose it: (1) Being commended by each other, or (2) being commended by God. You can’t have both (Matthew 6:5; 18).

And that brings up how you judge other people. You may decide certain Christians you know are not pulling their share of the load in your congregation, not doing their part. That may be a wrong judgment.

A lot of Christians you know may be doing good works you will never learn about. “”Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward [them]” (Matthew 6:18a). Who knows? That time someone mowed your lawn while you were in the hospital may have been one of those “do-nothings”. I wonder how many stars are in their crown….

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Thursday 10/11 ~ Playing Peek-a-boo

The scripture for today, October 11 (10/11), is Psalm 10:11 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“He says to himself, ‘God has forgotten; he covers his face and never sees.’ “

You believe in God in some form. And you believe that God knows what you do. But do you sometimes bury your beliefs in your subconscious mind so you can go around doing things you know are wrong? Do you believe you won’t get caught, and you can slide into heaven doing whatever you want?

In other words, do you justify your favorite sins? Do you justify your sins of attitude such as jealousy, impatience, pride, short temper under the guise of an unhappy childhood or getting what you deserve?  Do you justify your sins of omission ~ good things you should be doing, but are not ~ under the excuse that you don’t have time to do them? Do you justify questionable things you do by saying they’re “not so bad” or God is so good, he will forgive anything you do as long as you say you’re sorry every time you do it?

Do you do as children do who cover their eyes so they cannot see anyone and think that, therefore, no one ~ including God ~ can 17see them?

God loves you more than you can ever imagine. He never forgets you. He sees and hears everything you do. The only things he does not approve of are things that will ultimately hurt you and which he calls sin.

Here is a marvelous jewel for you. Take it, shine it up, and put it on display:  Pleasing God is the ultimate form of pleasing yourself.

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Tuesday 9/25 ~ How’s your race going?

The scripture for today, September 25 (9/25), is 1st Corinthians 9:25f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly….”

Every few years there are world-wide Olympic Games with many races. The racers must eat properly, rest sufficiently, and exercise daily.

The Bible has been called the Bread of Life. As a Christian, you need to eat your spiritual meal every day to stay fit. You cannot keep up your strength without it. Your time of rest is prayer. You enter a room alone and talk to God every day. You need your rest. You cannot keep up your strength without it.

I Timothy 4:8 says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” You exercise your godliness by being out in the world and being a good example in the face of temptation. You exercise your spiritual muscles daily.

The race is your Christian life. You run every day. How is your race going?

 

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Thursday 8/23 ~ What will be in your Book in heaven?

The scripture for today, August 23 (8/23), is 2nd Kings 8:23 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“As for the other events of Jehoram’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?”

All the years of this great king’s life were reduced to a few pages in a book. When you die, what will there be to write about? Will people list only the date and place of your birth, marriage, and death ~ your statistics? What will you be remembered for? What will be in your obituary?

Better still, what is God writing about you in his books? “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne and books were opened. Another book was opened which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books” (Revelation 12).

Will your book be thin with not a lot worth writing about? Will it be thick and full of all you’ve accomplished for good and God in this life? What will be in your book?

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Friday 8/17 ~ Remember your proof

The scripture for today, August 18 (8/18), is Mark 8:18f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember when I broke [in pieces] the five loaves for the five thousand [hungry people]? How many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

Economic and political times are uncertain and unstable right now for a lot of people. How much do you worry about it? Planning is good. But worrying?

Instead of spending your time worrying and tearing down your mental and physical health, do what you can, then look around. Is there someone else you can help? Visit someone who is sick and clean up their kitchen for them? Tell a story to a little child? Sing a song to an elderly person and invite them to sing along with you? Write a letter to your parents or a ground child? Read to someone with poor eyesight?

While you’re busy helping others, take Jesus’ advice and remember your past. Ask yourself, “Has God forsaken me in the past?

Sit down and make a list of every time you made it through a bad period of time in your life. How did God get you through it then? This is your proof.

Remember your proof.

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