Saturday 7/6 ~ It IS possible to know!

The scripture for today, July 6 (7/6), is Mark 7:6f as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

“He [Jesus] replied, ‘Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ ”

It is the trend today to say that all religions ~ even those who teach opposing things ~ are right and all are good. It is the trend today to say all gods are the same God, and we are all going to the same heaven if we’re pretty good. It’s not that simple.  Jesus did not say this. Well, then, how do we know which religious things we are taught and do today are from God and which from men?

You are smart. Don’t be lazy.  Read the holy books of all major world religions for yourself. Who knows? What you have been told all your life may be wrong.  Do the other holy books have built-in proofs they really originated from God?  Perhaps scientific, archaeological, ancient inscriptions, prophecies fulfilled? Here is a website with those holy books on it:  https://www.sacred-texts.com  Here is a website with nearly 400 proofs the Bible is from God:

https://casagrandechurchofchrist.com/bible-proofs/

If you conclude the Bible is true, use a concordance and do a study of everything the Bible says about any topic. That way you will have God’s opinion, not men’s.

Here is a website with an online Bible concordance and it’s easy to use:  http://bibletab.com

You can find out for yourself,~ you can KNOW ~ whether what you were told to believe by family, friends, and leaders is what God told you to believe. Your eternity depends on it.

 

CHRISTIANITY OR ISLAM: THE CONTRAST quotes from both the Qur’an and New Testament of the Bible on the same subjects without comment. It can be given in a Muslim without offending them. Things they have been told about Christianity which is not true are explained. It ends with statements of over 100 Muslims I have studied with who decided Jesus really was the Son of God and not just a prophet.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2NyJHMH

 

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Wednesday 7/3 ~ Gear up and take that leap

The scripture for today, July 3 (7/3), is Acts 7:3 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-” ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’ “

This is part of a speech by Christian Stephen soon after the church began. He was reminding the Jewish leaders how God told their ancestor Abraham to leave his religion, home and family, and move to where God had something special for him ~ to begin the Jewish nation and a new religion.

But when Stephen got to the part where now God wanted his audience to leave the Jewish religion and move on to a still better one ~ the Christian religion ~ they were outraged. They were not like Abraham; they did not want to change. So, not liking the message, they killed the messenger. These religious leaders stoned Stephen to death.

Have you learned “new” things in the Bible that your religion is against? It is hard to change. You could lose your friends and family like Abraham did; you could even lose your home as Abraham did. It takes a great big “leap of faith” to follow that “new” truth you have discovered in the Bible. But when God does the recommending, you can know he has something special in mind for you. So, gear up and take that leap!

 

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-PAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE did everything possible to not change from Judaism to Christianity. He hauled people to prison and even killed them if they refused to stop talking about changing. It was only when he changed sides that he saw what he had been missing out on. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this: https://amzn.to/328ta59

 

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Monday 7/1 ~ Take the time

The scripture for today, July 1 (7/1), is Leviticus 7:1f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“These are the regulations for the guilt offering, which is most holy. The guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood is to be sprinkled against the altar on all sides.”

Romans 3:23 says the wages of sin is death. The earnings are paid by Satan, the author of death.  God told everyone to appease Satan by killing substitute perfect animals during the Old Testament era. The earnings for your sins were collected by these perfect animals over and over in the Old Testament. But one day Jesus nailed the Old Law to the cross (Colossians 2:14), and with his one sacrifice made it so that no more bloody deaths of substitute animals were necessary (Hebrews 8-9).

In a sense, Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, laid down on the altar of the world where his blood flowed from all sides of the cross to all sides of the earth. Why would anyone want to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and nullify that horror Jesus went through in our place?

Jesus collected your wages from Satan for your sins to save you from facing both body and soul death. You can never, ever thank him enough.  But, instead of temple ceremonies, he asked you to commemorate his death with the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Communion each week.  Do you?  On Sundays, the day he came back to life, do you care? Take time to remember his death. He took time to die in your place.

 

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Wednesday 6/26 ~ I can tell you love me

The scripture for today, June 26 (6/26), is 1st Chronicles 6:26ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

OldOldTunes-medium“Elkanah his son, Zophai his son, Nahath his son, Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son and SAMUEL his son. The sons of Samuel: JOEL the firstborn and Abijah the second son.”

This is a little long, but I think you will enjoy it.

The prophet Samuel came from a musical family who descended from Levi’s son Kohath. Samuel’s son listed in this scripture was Joel. Verse 33 called the son of Joel and grandson of Samuel “Heman the musician”. Just what did Heman the musician do?

David told the Levites to appoint “singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals“. Heman was the first one they appointed (I Chronicles 15:16f) and he had two assistants ~ Asaph and Merari (I Chronicles. 6:39, 44). David put them in charge of the music in the house of the Lord and they performed their duties according to the regulations (verses 31f).

So what David appointed was a choir and orchestra.  When David first appointed them, Heman had 120 relatives in his clan, and his assistants had 220 and 130 in their clans (I Chronicles. 15:5-7; 19-22; 27-28) so they had a total of 470 musicians. Wow! And these musicians had a full-time job!

They were to minister before the Lord “according to each day’s requirements” of sacrifices as written in the Law of Moses. Heman and the others were responsible for sounding the trumpets and cymbals and playing the other instruments ~ lyres, harps and cymbals (15:19-21) ~ for sacred song (16:37-42). In addition to playing the prescribed lyres, harps and cymbals, trumpets were to be sounded to announce sacrifices, etc. (16:4-6).

By the time David was old, there were “four thousand…to praise the Lord with the musical instruments” (I Chronicles 23:5)! What an amazing choir and orchestra they had by this time! Remember, they were all male Levites, and were to help Aaron’s descendants, the priests, in the temple every day and at special feasts (verse 28, 30f). And what instruments were they still playing? Cymbals, lyres and harps “for the ministry at the house of God” (I Chronicles. 25:1 & 6).

Years later after David died and his son Solomon had completed the grand Temple in Jerusalem (II Chronicles. 5:1), “all the Levites who were musicians…stood on the east side of the altar dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres, accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. The trumpeters and singers joined in unison as with one voice to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and the other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the Lord” (verses 12-13).

Can you imagine such an orchestra and choir? The tinkling of the harps and lyres, with cymbals keeping the tempo, and trumpets calling attention to it all? And all those singers! Was God pleased? Indeed he was, for in the form of a cloud “the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God” (verse 14).

All this occurred around 1000 BC. Three centuries later when Hezekiah was king, the same instruments were being played ~ cymbals, harps and lyres (II Chronicles. 29:25f). Why? Because they were prescribed by David, Gad the seer and Nathan the prophet as commanded by God through his prophets. (Acts 2:29-30 says David was a prophet too.)

So we see that during Old Testament times, God commanded that they have full-time musicians to sing and play during daily sacrifices and special feasts and they had to be male Levites and they had to play cymbals, harps and lyres, sometimes accompanied by trumpets.

What a family Samuel had! And I’ll bet he was musical himself. How proud he would have been of his descendants.

Interestingly, although God specified every detail of the instruments that had to be played in the Old Testament, nothing like that was specified in the New Testament. Did God forget? Perhaps God took us to a higher plain in the New Testament era. We do know that in I Corinthians 14:15, we are told to both pray and sing with mind and spirit.

And in Ephesians 5:19 we are told to “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” The term “make music” in the original Greek language of the New Testament is to play on strings. Since we are to make music in our hearts, then it looks like we are to play on the instrument of our heart. How beautiful!

About 40 years ago when my father died, the funeral was in a little country church. The music consisted of a small group from the congregation who sang hymns without the accompaniment of an instrument. They were not good performers ~ they twanged a lot and sometimes were a bit off key. But it was some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard. Why? Because their singing was accompanied by their heart. They were telling my family, “We love you,” and I really felt that they did.

God looks down at our singing ~ no matter how good or feeble ~ and says, “I can tell you love me.” And that’s all that matters.

 

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Tuesday 6/18 ~ Incredible, amazing, mind-boggling

The scripture for today, June 18 (6/18), is 2nd Chronicles 6:18a as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you.”

Did you ever want to see God, to talk to him face to face? Perhaps something bad had just happened in your life and you had this urge to bawl him out, then let him explain why.  Or did you ever want to touch God? Perhaps you were so very lonely that you desperately needed his arms around you, and feel his touch as he brushed away your tears.

But, if you could see him and touch him, it would mean that he could not be with others in the world at that time and could not hear anyone else’s prayers at that time except yours. Try to be grateful that you cannot see and touch him for now. He is always available to you, regardless of where you are in this vast world and regardless of how many others are praying to him at that moment.

How he can sort out all our prayers at once is mind-boggling. How he can be everywhere at once is amazing. How he can love each one of us as though we were the only person alive is miraculous and incredible.

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