Friday 12/14 ~ The two IFs

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

10-Daniel-KindleThumnail“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 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 on top of everything. In reality, they are at the bottom. Never ever let others drag you down to their level. It is not worth it.  Keep your eyes on God!

Hold fast!

       Stand firm!

             Do the right thing!

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

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Sunday 12/9 ~ God is so proud of you!

The scripture for today, December  (12/9), is 2nd Corinthians 12:9 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

04-FOLK HERO-Child'sCartoon-Thumbnail“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Oh how much we need to be reminded of this scripture. We all have weaknesses. Do you lament the hand you were dealt? Do you lament the country you were born in, the family you were born into, the physical limitations you were born with, the mental, emotional or physical deficiencies you ended up with?

This is your chance! Those weaknesses! Go around others with the same weakness you have with joy in your heart, gladness on your lips and a continual gleam in your eyes!  Let God’s strength shine in your weakness!

When people begin to sympathize with you, interrupt them and tell them how much God loves you, and how much God loves them! Encourage your “encouragers.” Let them go away from you with a new understanding of the blessings of weakness! And perhaps be a little more thankful for their own weaknesses.

Lucky you! You are one of the chosen!  He is so proud of you!

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Wednesday 12/5 ~ Then God will arise

The scripture for today, December 5 (12/5), is Psalm 12:5 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

01-Miriam-ThumbnailCover” ‘Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,’ says the Lord. ‘I will protect them from those who malign them.’ “

Notice, in this scripture the Lord says, “I will now arise.” Sometimes God needs you to endure difficulties so bad people who cause such problems can be exposed for what they are, and ultimately so Satan can be exposed for what he is. Sometimes that difficulty will last months or years ~ sometimes even a lifetime.

First Corinthians 3:9 in the New Testament says you are a worker together with God. Ephesians 6:12 says “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly [spiritual] realms.”

You are where God wants you to be. This is your assignment. Are you up to it? Sometimes your job is just to hang on and not give up on God. That’s what Satan is always trying to get you to do, just as he did Job in the Old Testament. God won’t leave you in a situation that is impossible for you to endure. I Corinthians 10:13 says, “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”

So, go ahead and groan in your weakness, beg in your frustration, and cry in your frailty, but hang on. Never let go of God. That’s your part.

As soon as the evil around you is exposed for what it is, you have proven good cannot be conquered by evil, and you have grown spiritually as a result of your experience, Then God will arise.  That’s God’s part.

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Thursday 11/15 ~ Dual citizenship

The Scripture for today, November 15 (11/15), is Revelation 11:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever!’ “

 You belong to a kingdom/nation in this world. It is not perfect. Its leaders can sometimes do very bad things. And you wonder how you can stand some of the terrible things that sometimes happen within a government.

But your worldly kingdom/nation is not the only one you can live in. Colossians 1:13 says Jesus “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Rescued! Brought you! Past tense! The kingdom isn’t something in the future. It is here now. And it goes by yet another name. Verse 18 says, “And he [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church.”

So, when you sometimes become discouraged about your kingdom/nation in this world that you live in, take hope. You can have dual citizenship! For there is another kingdom here, a spiritual one. The king of that kingdom will love you. Forever love you.

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Thursday 11/8 ~ Rescued

The scripture for today, November 8 (11/8), is Proverbs 11:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead.”

We know that God does not always rescue us from trouble here on this temporary earth. He certainly didn’t rescue Jesus from all his troubles.

Sometimes God has an assignment for you just as he did for Jesus.  He may want you to be in the midst of trouble ~ war, an enemy at work, an obnoxious neighbor, death of a loved one caused by a reckless driver, a government worker demanding a bribe ~ so you can demonstrate to the world the contrast: God’s ways vs. Satan’s ways.

Eventually, the boomerang effect will take place on those following Satan. What they inflict on you will be inflicted on them.

And eventually, if you have followed God’s ways even in times of trouble, he will indeed rescue you. He will welcome you into his home ~ heaven ~ safe for all eternity.

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Saturday 9/8 ~ Governments and Martyrdoms

The scripture for today, September 8, is Daniel 9:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“O Lord, we and our kings, our princes, and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.”

Daniel was what some might call the prime minister of Babylon.  He was part of the government. Before that, he was of the royal house of the Jews in Jerusalem. He was part of the government there too.  Both governments needed prayer. Have you prayed for your government lately?  I Timothy 2:1 & 2 says “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone ~ for kings and all those in authority.”

At the time of this writing, Nero Caesar. The first-century historian Tacitus said this about Nero in his Annals 15:44: “But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called “Christians” by the populace.

“Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular.

“Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.”

If the Apostle Paul could pray for such a government leader, can’t you follow his instructions? Why don’t you stop and pray for your own government right now?

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Wednesday 7/18 ~ Does God really answer prayers?

The scripture for today, July 18 (7/18), is Acts 7:18 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Inside-COVER-lg thumbnail“Then another king, who knew nothing about Joseph, became ruler of Egypt.”

Does God really answer prayers? When the Jews first arrived in Egypt, they received “royal treatment” because they were relatives of “Prime Minister” Joseph. Then he died, but his Jewish relatives stayed. Eventually, they were resented, then feared, then made slaves of the Egyptians.

For the following 400 years, the Jews prayed for God to release them from their slavery. Generation after generation died believing that God does not answer prayers.

But God saw the big picture. He saw that the 70 relatives of Joseph who originally went to Egypt would become more than three million over the next four centuries. Then and only then would they be large enough to begin a new nation ~ the Jewish nation. In Egypt during those centuries, they were in a form of “protective custody”.

Are you frustrated and confused because God is seemingly not answering some very important prayers? Perhaps you are part of a bigger picture that only God knows about. Perhaps your job is to stay where you are and just keep hanging on. Are you up to the task God has assigned to you?

 

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