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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Tuesday 10/30 ~ What is forgiveness?

The scripture for today, October 30 (10/30), is Hebrews 10:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

05-Joseph-KindleThumbnail“For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ “

In the Law of Moses, people were expected to avenge those who did not follow the law. The vengeance was to be carried out by the person who had been hurt. Some things were even punishable by death.

But Jesus told you to forgive people so that God, in turn, will forgive you (Matthew 6:14).

What is forgiveness? It is not condoning the bad someone did. Forgiveness is letting go and letting God do any punishing that may be required. Forgiveness is wishing the other person well. You may not trust the other person to not do the bad thing again, and you may forever fear that person. But you can always hope and pray that their lives and hearts will change for the better someday. No one is so bad that you cannot wish them well and pray for them. That’s forgiveness.

Vengeance only prolongs the pain; vengeance is hard on you. So, as the old saying goes, “Let go, and let God.” God will do his part ~ the hard part. He has left the easy part for you.

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Sunday 10/21 ~ Dying or nourishing?

The scripture for today, October 21 (10/21), is Proverbs 10:21 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.”

What do you talk about during the day? What kind of judgment do you use? Do you nourish others by what you say to them?

Are you a complainer or complementor? Are you rude or patient? Do you glare or smile? Do you criticize the wrong a person does, or praise the right that person does? Do you sing of your love of God on Sunday and use swear words the rest of the week?

If you are a foolish talker, you are killing yourself.

Today, go out of your way to nourish everyone you talk to. Start a new habit. They will see God in you.

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Saturday 9/29 ~ He is the God of Hope

The scripture for today, September 29 (9/29), is Matthew 9:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.thumbnail-new“Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith will it be done to you.’ “

This was true in this instance but wasn’t always the case.  Sometimes when we pray for healing during sickness, a well-meaning friend will say, “Well, you haven’t been healed because you didn’t have enough faith.” But Jesus did not heal everyone according to their faith.

The boy in Nain he brought back to life (Luke 7:14-15) did not have any faith at all. The girl in Capernaum he brought back to life (Luke 8:51-56) did not have any faith at all. When Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1-9) the hosts did not have any faith at all.

This is encouraging because often we pray for the healing of non-religious friends. It would be futile to ask God to bring them back to health if it depended on their faith all the time.

He is not a God of futility. He is a God of hope.

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Thursday 9/27 ~ Oppression is a good thing?

The scripture for today, September 27 (9/27), is Nehemiah 9:27 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Michel-COVER-Kindle-Thumbnail“So you handed them over to their enemies who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed, they cried out to you. From heaven, you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.”

What was going on here?  The Jews had started worshipping false gods, putting some of their altars in the temple of God, and even offering their children as sacrifices to the fire god. Jehovah God let their enemies take them captive until they stopped their horrible practices and started praying only to the one true God. Then he rescued them those enemies.

Do you know anyone who could care less about God? The only exception is when they feel oppressed by something or someone in their life? More than likely, they blame God because Satan has convinced them he does not exist and therefore did not cause their problems.  

Wait!  Don’t be so hard on your friends. That can be a good thing. Perhaps they hadn’t given God a second thought since their last calamity. But now they’re thinking about him. They may be angry at God, but at least they’re thinking about him. Now is your chance to approach a broken, desperate, but softened spirit.

Let us thank God for times of oppression. Sometimes that is what it takes for God to get their attention. Then perhaps God can show them he wants to be their friend.

 

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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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