Monday 1/15 ~ You may already be doing it

The scripture for today, January 15 (1/15), is Galatians 1:15f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-KINDLE-Thumbnail-New.jpg“But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles….”

Isn’t this amazing! God knows before you are born what you can be doing for him later in life. He sets aside work for you to do, but he does not force you to do it. You may set aside a certain amount of money to spend on food but you end up spending it on clothing.  Being set aside does not mean something will end up doing what it was set aside for.

 God has given you certain talents and set you aside to use them for Him.  Do you? Is your thinking even oriented on things that can endure through eternity? Or do you think only of the next day, or the next year?

You do not have to guess what God has set you aside to do.  Read the scriptures. He has messages for you all through it.  Find someone in the Bible with your personality and use that person as an example.  Find advice in the proverbs. Find advice in Jesus’ teachings, and in his apostles’ teachings.  It’s all there.  Pick one and do it.

If you are willing to follow God’s advice and not man’s, then God has work set aside for you to do.

You may not think your life has been very exciting. You may be waiting for God to give you a big important job to do for him. But the truth is, you ~ in your seemingly mundane life ~ may already be doing what God set aside for you to do.

Never underestimate yourself and what God can accomplish through you.

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Link to ebook and discount paperback:  http://bit.ly/500GoodWorks

Wednesday 1/10 ~ Are you balanced?

The scripture for today, January 10 (1/10), is Colossians 1:10 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-COVER-KINDLE“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: Bearing fruit in every good work; Growing in the knowledge of God.”

Are you always doing some good work for other people? Does it fill your thoughts and life?  Or are you always delving into the Bible to gain more knowledge of God? Does it fill your thoughts and life? Good for you.

But we see here, we must have a balance. James 2:17 says faith without works is dead. On the other hand, Romans 10:2 says certain people were zealous for God, but their zeal was not based on knowledge.

We have to add to our Bible-based faith, good works. We have to add to our zealous good works, the knowledge of God from the Bible.

It’s hard to get out of a rut, no matter how good it is.  Maybe it’s time to examine yourself.  Maybe it’s time to add the other requirement to your life.  Don’t you want to be spiritually balanced?

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link to ebook & discount paperback:  http://bit.ly/LazarusSamaritan

#goodworks, #bibleknowledge

Monday 12/25 ~ Dare to be a star shining in someone’s darkness

The scripture for today, December 25 (12/25) is Proverbs 12:25 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0000-BK 1-StarSong-Cover-new-Medium“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

Yesterday, did you see anyone sitting alone looking downcast? Go back there today. S/he may not be there, but someone else may be. It may be a gathering place for the lonely, the discouraged. Smile at them and whisper, “Jesus loves you.” Have a lengthy conversation with them and show them they are worthy of your time.  Listen to them. Share with them.

Do you periodically see “beggars” at a certain location? They may squander donations or use them to buy food. Either way, being a beggar isn’t people’s life’s goal. You do not know their story. Everyone has a story. Their hearts are anxious about something.

Give them a little change, maybe wrap it in a verse from the Bible.  Ask them if they have family and if their family would accept them back. If so, encourage them to “go home.” Perhaps pay for a bus ticket back home. If they say they can’t go home, try anyway. Tell them you will pray for them. Smile at them, and whisper, “Jesus loves you.”

Today, do you know of a place where travelers usually stay or gather? Sometimes at truck stops, there are drivers who could not get home. Go to one of these places prepared to give each of them something special, or even invite them to your home for a Christmas feast.

Jesus encouraged and helped the downhearted. Is it uncomfortable being in their world? Yes.  Dare to disturb your happiness to enter their world and show Jesus to the downhearted.  Dare to be a star shining on them in their darkness.

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For discount paperback & ebook…..http://bit.ly/TheyMetJesus

Sunday 12/24 ~ Consider the Ravens

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

0-BK 4-FolkHero-Cover-Kindle-medium-new“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 knew of a group of believers recently fleeing 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. 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? Struggling to stay safe because they are Christians?

Consider the ravens.

P.S.

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. 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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ebook & discount paperback……..http://bit.ly/TheyMetJesus

Scripture for Wednesday 12/20 ~ Follow Your Heart

The scripture for today, December 20, is 2nd Corinthians 12:20b as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-cover-kindle-medium-new“….I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.”

It can happen among well-meaning people trying to accomplish the same good work but from a different angle. Do we insist our way is the best way, and people will be lost if the committee/congregation doesn’t do things our way? Do we then get hurt and think (or say) everyone else doesn’t love the lost like we do? Then are we tempted to just drop out?

A good test when personalities clash is to ask ourselves, “Would this congregation survive without me?” Of course it would. It did before we came and would after.

A good solution: If our heart is set on a certain good work, but no one else’s heart is, do what we can alone. We don’t need a committee to follow our heart.

Let us prefer one another, honor one another, and love one another. We are family ~ God’s family.

Scripture for 12/6 ~ You are stronger than you think

The scripture for today, December 6 (12/6), is 1st Corinthians 12:6 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-cover-kindle-medium-new“There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”

Later in this letter, Paul explains, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you.’  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (12:21f). He further explains, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body….” (12:13).

For ambitious people in the church who “fight for position,” this may be hard to take. The visible workers noticed by everyone are dispensable, BUT those who do the seemingly menial works (the “weaker”) are indispensable ~ those who take food to the bereaved, who read the Bible to the sick, who clean the bathrooms, who daily pray for members and the lost, who give a tract to a friend, who share a bulletin with a neighbor, who send a thinking-of-you card to a lonely person, who mow the church building lawn, who watch the nursery, who periodically quote a Bible verse to a friend in distress ~ such works that are in the background are the ones that are indispensable.

To you who are jealous of people who get to have a more public position in the church and stand in front of the congregation and act like a leader, take heart. God is working just as much or more in you than them.

You may seem weaker to the others, but to God you are strong. God sees things that we do not. And rewards us accordingly.

So, stay the course. You are stronger than you think.

Scripture for Monday 12/4 ~ Sharing & Caring

The scripture for today, December 4 (12/4), is Isaiah 12:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

03-Naaman'sMaid-MediumCover“In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.’ “

Do you make known to your part of your nation what God has done for you? When a friend tells you of a difficulty, do you share what you went through that was similar, and that God helped get you through it? Are you ready with an easy-to-remember scripture to prove God cares and God helps? When someone is sick or bereaved, do you let them know that God hurts just as much when they suffer as when he watched his own Son suffer on the cross?

Look back over your life. Make a list of some difficult times you and God made it through. Find an applicable verse and memorize it. Find out what is going on in the lives of your friends, co-workers, neighbors. Then be ready to share your story and what God has done for you. It’s up to each one of us to do this.

Thereby God’s name will be exalted.

Scripture for Sunday, 12/3 ~ Ego

The scripture for today, December 3 (12/3), is Romans 12:3 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

07-Samson-KindleMedium“For by the race given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

The context of this verse is members of a congregation getting along with each other. He explains that each person is given certain gifts such as serving, teaching, encouraging, contributing and so on (12:6-8).

Many disagreements come about because one person has an idea about a good work, and someone else has a different idea about it, and still, someone else says some other good work should be done ~ and they all believe their way is the best way.

Perhaps the best way to judge whether we are thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought, is to ask ourselves this: If I moved away or if I died, would this congregation survive without me? Of course, it would.  

And if our hearts are set on a certain good work, we can always do it alone; we do not need a committee of people to do it with us.

May our prayer be, “Lord, help me see myself as others do.”

 

Scripture for Tuesday, October 31 (10/31)

The scripture for today, October 31 (10/31), is 1st Corinthians 10:31 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Titus-Cover-Medium“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

How is your everyday life while around other people? What kind of employment do you have? Secretary, engineer, manual labor, going to school, teaching school, keeping your home, watching your children?

Some jobs are exciting, some are boring. Some require decisions, some require strict obedience. Some can involve a little bit of misrepresenting the truth. Some may be under a boss who is mean. Some may be among fellow-employees who shirk their duties and try to get by with doing as little as possible. Some may be among people who steal from the company.

Always remember that, wherever you are, that is God’s assignment for you in this universal battle between Good and Bad. You must do whatever you do in your daily life as good and honestly as possible. Will others notice? You bet they will!  Will they resent you? Maybe. Will they blame God because you are making them look bad? Deep down the resenters probably will. But at least it will make them think about God.

Then someday when they have a problem they are desperate to work through but cannot, who will they turn to? You. And God.

Be courageous. Stand firm. Do the right thing. And ultimately God will be glorified.

 

Scripture for Thursday, October 26 (10/26)

The scripture for today, October 26 (10/26), is 1st Corinthians 10:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-COVER-KINDLE“For ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.’ “

The beautiful part is that God left a lot of his creation undone for us to finish. After all, we are created in his likeness.

He left the stones and clay in the ground so that we could dig it up and build cities. He left the wool on the sheep so we could shear it and make warm garments. He left the trees growing tall so we could hew them and build barns and houses. He left the gravel in the ground so we could harvest it and build roads.

He left the ore in the ground so we could mine it and make skyscrapers, airplanes, ships, trains, automobiles. He left the water in the lakes and seas so we could capture it and create power and transportation ways. He left the beautiful stones unseen so we could dig them up, shape them, polish them, and make beautiful decorations.

Yes, we were created in the likeness of our Creator. He loved to create. So, do we. So, whenever we make something good from his creation, we honor him.