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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Saturday 7/14 ~ Do you pray for your nation?

The scripture for today, July 14 (7/14), is 2nd Chronicles 7:14 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Michel-COVER-Kindle-Thumbnail“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

There is always a little bit of turmoil in all nations of the world. Of course, there is more in some. The average person cannot make their own nation call on God. But the average person can do this: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone ~ for kings and all those in authority” (I Timothy 2:1-2). Further, we should pray for them by name.

Even if you think some people in authority in your nation are against you, you must pray for them anyway. Then wait quietly for God to work things out. It may take Him a year, a decade or a lifetime to bring about your heart’s desire for your nation. But keep praying.

Your job, in the meantime, is to follow God’s ways yourself. Romans 13:1,3-4 says, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established…For rulers hold no terror for those who do right…For he is God’s servant to do you good.”

God is aware of the suffering going on around you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

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Thursday 5/24 ~ Will your nation roll on like a river?

The scripture for today, May 24 (5/24), is Amos 5:24 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.”

When individuals of a nation begin taking advantage of each other, the nation loses its standard of justice. Eventually, nations fall because of it ~ maybe not right away, but eventually.

Although acting justly may decrease someone’s income or status or power, it will increase their nation’s power and that nation will roll on and on like a river.

Injustice is not impersonal. Injustice begins with you. One person at a time, then eventually an entire nation falls. On the other hand, justice also begins with you. One person at a time and the nation rolls on and on like a river.

What are you doing for your nation?

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Thursday 4/5 ~ It cannot control your heart, your spirit, your soul

The scripture for today, April 5 (4/5), is Micah 4:5 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.”

Nations rise and fall. Nations come and go. Nations are founded upon terror and aggression, or peace and democracy. Some nations follow religions which declare that peasants are peasants as punishment for previous lives, so must remain peasants. Some nations follow religions chosen by their national governments and which must be followed upon pain of death. Some nations deny religion completely and destroy anyone who believes anyway.

What kind of nation do you live in? As strong as your nation is, it cannot control your heart, your spirit, your soul. As strong as your nation seems to be, as much power as your government uses to control its citizens, it will not and cannot last forever.

Always remember, there is a forever nation ~ the nation of God, the kingdom of God. No matter what nation you live in, you can have “dual citizenship”. And by being a citizen of God’s forever kingdom, you will walk in it forever and ever and…