Saturday 1/19 ~ How’s your hearing?

The scripture for today, January 19, is James 1:19a as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

There was a book published a few years ago entitled, Hurt People Hurt People.

Has anyone ever tried to console you by saying, “I know how you feel”?  Did you lash back at them saying something like, “How dare you think you know how bad I feel” or “How dare you think you understand the ordeal I went through!” or “How dare you treat me like that”?

Those are accusing words. And what do they accomplish? It’s almost like bragging. “My hurt is so far above your hurt, you could never come up to my superior level.”

You may feel justified in explaining how badly you were treated by someone. But, in reality, it makes the hurt keep going and going and going…. Perhaps this is an accusing cycle you’ve been in for a long time with someone.

Which one of you is going to stop the cycle?

Satan is the accuser (Revelation 12:10).  God is the forgiver.  Even Jesus forgave his killers. When you have been hurt, be ready to listen to the other person’s hurt instead of accuse. And in the process, “bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

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Saturday 1/5 ~ Someday you will heal

The scripture for today, January 5, is Colossians 1:5 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 4-FolkHero-Cover-Kindle-thumbnail-new“…the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the Word of Truth, the gospel.”

Does your faith have its ups and downs? Is it strong sometimes and weak sometimes? When things sometimes go so wrong you have trouble having faith in God, you can still hope. Do you grow angry at God sometimes?  You can still hope. During such low times when faith does not come easy, you can still hope. Hope is the springboard of faith.

And stay close to the Word of Truth, for John 14:17 says the Comforter is the Spirit of Truth, and John 17:17 says Truth is the Word of God. Read when you don’t feel like it. Ephesians is what I go to. David tells of his own faith problems in Psalm 42.

When your emotions are pulling you down and you feel only the darkness of confusion inside, rely for a little while on your logic, your intellect, until your emotions heal. Read things proving God exists. Read things about other people’s love for God. Do not drop out of the church; you need your Christian friends. It may be hard for you to believe right now but someday you will heal.

So, keep on hoping ~ the springboard. Eventually, along the way, your hope will return to faith.

 

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Friday 12/21 ~ Hope of the Nations

The scripture for today, December 21 (12/21), is Matthew 12:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0000-BK 1-StarSong-Cover-new-Thumbnail“In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Ah, this is the stuff dreams are made of ~ the dreams of Christians, that is. Revelation 21:2, 9, & 26 says regarding the New Jerusalem which is the Bride of Christ which is the Church: “The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.”

The nation you live in may not be in good hands right now, or it may be thriving with high morals, or it may be diving into poverty. But your nation can hope ~ hope in Jesus.

Never lose hope. You are just one person, but there is great power in one. Jesus came to provide that hope. In your own way, in your own life, use your power of one. Show your nation how it can hope, how it can have glory and how it can have honor.

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12/19 ~ Vengeance or Forgiveness?

The Scripture for today, December 19 (12/19), is Romans 12:19 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Thank God, he took away the old Law of Moses and gave you the new Law of Jesus instead. Under the Law of Moses, you had to take revenge yourself. You had to stone adulterers and children who were disrespectful to you as their parent. If someone killed a relative, you were obligated to go out and kill the killer. If someone knocked out the eye or tooth of a relative, you were required to go out and take that person’s eye or tooth.

Now God says to forgive and do good to your enemy (verse 20-21). That’s what God did for you who once was his enemy as a sinner. As you are merciful to others, he is merciful to you.

Forgiveness is not condoning evil, but wishing a better life for whoever did something bad to you. You may forever be afraid of that person, but you must forgive. Hard to do? Indeed! But, with God, anything is possible. So, let go of it. Let go of them. Let God take care of it. He has released you of that burden. Released you to “overcome evil with good”.

 

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Monday 12/10 ~ And God is older than all of us!

The scripture for today, December 10 (12/10), is Job 12:10 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-Thumbnail“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?”

Let’s talk a moment about teenagers. Many adults joke that their teen is 16 going on 60. What know-it-alls they’ve become! Let’s look at the situation this way. They may have bodies that have grown to that of an adult. But minds grow much slower, and they must give their minds a chance to catch up.

As adults, it is our responsibility to help their minds catch up. Know enough about the Bible that you can apply scriptures to their activities and interests and friends. You may wish to make a list of your teenager’s activities, interests and friends, and then list a scripture next to each. Proverbs is an excellent book to start with. Then when the occasion arises, be ready (even if you have to sneak into the other room a minute to consult your list) to instill some wisdom.

This way, it is not you speaking, but God speaking. God said, “My word will not return to me void” (Isaiah 55:11). And God is older and wiser than all of us.

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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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Tuesday 11/6 ~ True Grit

The scripture for today, November 6 (11/6), is Nehemiah 11:6 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“The descendants of Perez who lived in Jerusalem totaled 468 able men.”

Just who was Perez, and why was this even mentioned in the Bible? Perez was a descendant of Judah, and an ancestor of Jesus (Matthew 1:3).

Why was living in Jerusalem a big deal at that time? Because Jerusalem had been attacked and destroyed. It was nothing but rubble and ashes. Earlier, other Jews had returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple. Now it was time to rebuild the walls.

These 468 brave people had to agree to move into a burned-out city and rebuild on the ashes of previous homes. In the process of moving building stones out of the way to reuse in the city wall, they surely found skeletons of those who had been slaughtered in the attack decades before.

At first, the Jews had blamed the Babylonians for destroying their city and temple. But eventually, they began re-reading the prophets who had warned them about their own sins. Finally, they turned inward and placed the blame where it really belonged: Themselves. Their own pride had destroyed their temple and their city.

Following repentance, they acted. Was it easy rebuilding a broken city? Not any easier than rebuilding a broken home, a broken congregation, a broken life. You must look at your own part in your own destruction and begin building anew.

It took grit.  What is yours like? Have you rebuilt anything important lately?

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