Monday 9/17 ~ “Follow my son to safety.”

The scripture for today, September 17 (9/17), is Nehemiah 9:17 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore, you did not desert them.”

Such love! Do you rebel against God (who is only trying to save you) over and over because you don’t want anyone telling you what to do? God forgives you over and over. First Peter 3:9 says “The Lord…is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

God could turn you into a robot and force you to love and obey him. But that wouldn’t be real love. God is Love, and he cannot go against his own nature.

And so God follows you around and pleads over and over, “Follow my Son to safety!”

How he hurts when you do not; how he smiles when you do.

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Sunday 9/16 ~ “I will not stop until they kill me.”

The scripture for today, September 16 (9/16), is 1st Corinthians 9:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”

The Apostle Paul said this. An Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah, said almost the same thing in 20:9: “If I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in! Indeed, I cannot!”

Are you so full of the Word of God that you have to share it? Do you work it into your daily conversations?

I knew a lady once who took several church bulletins with her every Sunday. Then during the week, if she heard a conversation at a bus stop, she’d interrupt them and say, “I couldn’t help but hear what you were saying. Perhaps God in your life would help.” Then she’d hand them a bulletin. She’d do the same thing at a fast-food place like McDonald’s, or in the waiting room of a doctor. She could not hold it in. She had to share, even if it was with strangers.

There is a man in Afghanistan who is a partially secret Christian. When he thinks he can trust someone, he teaches them the gospel. He has run for his freedom and his life three times in the last eight years. He tells me, “I will not stop until they kill me.”

What about you? Is the Word of God overflowing in you so much you cannot keep it in? Tell someone today that God loves them. Watch them smile with a gleam in their eye that says, “I’d like to know more”.

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Tuesday 9/4 ~ Shhh. Listen. Do you hear him?

The scripture for today, September 4 (9/4), is Daniel 9:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands….’ “

A lot of people in the world think God should feel obligated to take them to heaven. After all, they are fairly good, and better than some. God couldn’t possibly in all good conscience turn them away.

Yet, their entire life they resent God. They don’t like his few commands; they don’t want anyone telling them what to do or not do. Or they claim to love God but create their own commands that just aren’t in the Bible, making themselves God. What confusion!

Ultimately, heaven is God’s home, not ours. He is not obligated to invite anyone into His home. Besides, only perfection can live with God who is perfect. It only takes one sin to make us an imperfect sinner.

So how do we become perfect? That’s where God’s awesomeness is demonstrated. By following Jesus who was perfect and never sinned, and obeying Jesus’ few commands, God considers us perfect by proxy.

But it’s like a boomerang.  God treats us the way we treat him. If we don’t take time for God, he doesn’t take time for us. If we don’t like to spend time praising him, he doesn’t spend time praising us. Actually, if we don’t really like anything about God, we would be miserable in heaven.

God never forces himself on anyone. But he keeps on calling. Shhh.  Listen. Do you hear him?

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Saturday 9/1 ~ Do You Ever Wonder?

The scripture for today, September 1 (9/1), is Psalm 9:1 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

07-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonThmbnail“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.”

I knew a lady many years ago who talked to God all day as though he was sitting or standing beside her, whether she was cleaning floors, washing dishes, going shopping, or just received a telephone call. She talked to God about everything she was doing. God was her constant companion.

What opportunities you miss to talk to God during the day. Every time you do, you are praising Him. How? By acknowledging His concern with everything you do, and in the process acknowledging His omnipresence. And what a wonder His omnipresence is!

Does this include times when everything in your life is going wrong? You bet! On some days, the wonders of God are about the only positive things you can find in our life.

Praising God for his wonders amidst your frustrations, tears, fears, and helplessness can lift you out of the mire. It can remind you that you are not alone; for God sees what is happening to you, and in his own way he will perform a wonder for you.

 

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Tuesday 8/27 ~ Watch them become awed

(Sorry, I did today’s yesterday. So yesterday’s will be today.  All in a dither with many exciting irons in the fire. Can there ever be too many?)

 

0-Titus-Cover-Lg ThumbThe scripture for today, August 27 (8/27), is Mark 8:27 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, ‘Who do people say I am?’ “

Do we ask our family, our neighbors, our friends how they feel about God? Who do people say God us? We don’t know unless we ask. A lot of people are just waiting for someone to ask. Otherwise, they don’t know how or when to bring it up.

Whenever I meet someone who has gone through a tragedy, I ask them “How’s your faith?”. Now this person may not have darkened the door of a church building for 20 years, but s/he always knows what I mean. Since I am sympathizing with them at the time, they are always honest and reply, “Not very good,” usually meaning their faith is nearly gone if not all the way gone.

Then I tell them, “You know, Satan causes bad to happen to people, not Jesus.” They always stare at me a moment, and then breathe a sigh of relief. They hadn’t wanted to blame God for their tragedy, but they had a need to blame someone. They’d forgotten Satan exists, and were grateful they could now put the blame where it belonged.

There are many other people today who believe in a “Higher Power” but have no idea who that “Higher Power” is.  Many, even in America today, have never read the Bible and are curious about it.  Ask people you know, “Who is the High Power”, and listen to them. Then offer to show them how the Bible is divided up and how to read it (especially Genesis, then the New Testament).

We must continually be on the watch for people who need help in understanding their relationship with God. Be brave. Go ahead and ask. You’ll be surprised at how many WANT to talk about it. Be delighted as you open up a whole new world to them and watch them become awed.

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Titus grew up in a gentile home. What gods did they believe in? How did Paul change him? What did he do then?

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