Monday 8/27 ~ Someday you will smile again

The scripture for today, August 28 (8/28), is Romans 8:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

This is a favorite verse of many people. Notice, God can make all things work together for good. ALL things. That means bad things, disappointing things, unfulfilled things. But, it doesn’t say God will make them all work together for the best. What is says is that he will bring some kind of good out of them, no matter how terrible they are.

What has been your most recent disappointment, tragedy, heartbreak ~ something that just did not go the way it should have? At such times, it is easy to blame God instead of Satan. You’re playing into Satan’s hands when you blame God and forsake him. Try to remember that, with every disappointment and tragedy, God gives you a promise:  Someday you will smile again.

Are you are living according to his purpose? The promise is only to those who are. If, indeed, you are, believe God will take your heartbreak and turn it in to some kind of good especially for you. Will you let him?

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Tuesday 8/21 ~ Fasting. Me?

The scripture for today, August 21 (8/21), is Ezra 8:21a as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“There, by the Ahava Canal [from the Euphrates R.], I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God.”

In our modern society, does anyone fast anymore? Not drinking our food (juice) for a day and calling that a fast, but a true fast where we drink only water to stay hydrated, but that’s all. And we turn off all computers, phones, radios, and televisions for the day.

Jesus said in his sermon on the mount, “When you fast….” (Matthew 6:16). He didn’t say, “If you fast….” No, he assumed his followers would fast. Do we?

If we do, do we do it as a group? Does anyone else know about it? They shouldn’t know unless they are the reason for our fast. Fasting is an act of self-restraint. It belongs to the sphere of humble self-discipline. It is strictly a personal and private matter.

All moral and bodily restraint, all humbleness of body and spirit are represented by fasting, and it is a complete failure of self-restraint to want to show the world our self-restraint. An unknown author wrote this:

Let us keep our fast within,

Till heaven and we are quite alone;

Then let the grief, the shame, the sin,

Before the mercy-seat be thrown.

Fasting is a way of starving ourselves temporarily, a way of saying, “God, I would do this and more for you; I would die for you.” Or, “God, I would trade lives with this person I am fasting for to give them rest if it were possible. I would even die for this person.” It is a deep expression to God that goes beyond words.

Also, when we fast, our minds are freed from trying to digest food so we can think clearer and deeper. And we can face ourselves more honestly. Just what are we deep down? Do we truly love God as much as we claim? Do we truly love our families as much as we claim? Our neighbors? Our fellow Christians? Our enemies?

It is a time of self-reflection and self-honesty. When we humble ourselves this much, we can grow closer to God.

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Thursday 8/2 ~ And he touched him

The scripture for today, August 2 (8/2), is Matthew 8:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.’ “

People in Jesus’ day who had leprosy had to live outside of town in what we would call a leper colony. And if someone without leprosy started getting close to them, they were required to call out, “Unclean! Unclean!”

But here was a man who apparently pushed his way through a crowd where he didn’t belong. He didn’t ask Jesus if he could heal him; he asked if he was willing to. After all, he was “unclean”. Remarkably, Jesus said yes.

Then Jesus did another remarkable thing: He touched the man. He touched the leprosy. Not only was he willing to be seen with an unclean man, he was willing to touch him.

Jesus still does this today. When we come to him with a diseased heart wondering if we are good enough, Jesus reaches out across the centuries and touches us. And his voice echoes across the centuries and says, “I am willing.”

No matter how much sin mars your life, Jesus still today wants to say, “Be clean.”

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Thursday 7/19 ~ Bad habits ‘n stuff

The scripture for today, July 19 (7/19), is found in Romans 7:19 as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.thumbnail-new“For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do ~ this I keep on doing.”

Doesn’t this pretty much describe all of us in some area of our life?  It may be eating too much, breaking the law by going over the speed limit, laughing at dirty jokes, habitual lying, stealing “little things” at work, cheating on tests, jealousy, impatience, temper ~ any number of things.

Sins of habit and attitude are hard to break. So we go to God over and over asking him to forgive that which, deep down, we know we’re going to do again.

Perhaps this emphasizes the importance of us forgiving others who habitually do wrong to us. We do not know their struggles any more than they know our struggles.

Jesus said, “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14).

Satan wants us to quit trying to do better. And he wants us to quit forgiving each other. Let us not give in to Satan. Let us give in to God. God’s way leads to ultimate forgiveness by him.

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Thursday 7/5 ~ Oh, how we need eachother

The scripture for today, July 5 (7/5) is 2nd Corinthians 7:5ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

00-Cover-KINDLE-Thumbnail-New“For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn ~ conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me so that my joy was greater than ever.”

Oh how much we need each other.

Sometimes in life, we go into our own Macedonia where we have no rest and are full of fear. Our Macedonia may be religious or political or medical; or it may be at work, out on the street, or at home.

At such times we need a Titus to help us, to encourage us. Our Titus may be a relative, a neighbor, a friend, or even a stranger.

Have you been a Titus to anyone lately? Look around. Be a Titus to someone today. You are so very needed.

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