Sunday 3/10 ~ A part of you

The scripture for today, March 10 (3/10), is Colossians 3:10 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-Thumbnail“And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Did you ever make something with your hands and it was your pride and joy?  Were you so proud of it that you would stop at nothing to take care of it and make sure it lasted forever? Yes, you had a few rules about its care. You had a few rules about who could touch it and who couldn’t. You had a few rules about whether it should be kept at high or low temperature and should or shouldn’t be exposed to water. You were its creator and it was, in a sense, a part of you.

Do you resist knowing the Bible because you think of it as being full of rules from a God who doesn’t really like you and is just giving you a hard time so you can’t have any fun?

Think again. He made you. You are his pride and joy. He will stop at nothing to make sure you will last forever. He made a few rules for your daily maintenance.

He is your Creator. He loved you enough to make you, and you are a part of him. Now he wants to take care of you so you can last forever. Can you love him back ~ your Maker and the Lover of your soul?

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Friday, 3/8 ~ With no regrets?

The scripture for today, March 8 (3/8), is Philippians 3:8 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.”

Wow! Paul, who wrote this, apparently came from a well-to-do family since he was born in today’s Turkey but went to school in Jerusalem. He also apparently held a position in the Jewish ruling body, the Sanhedrin, since he could vote on whether to execute someone. So, he probably owned a lot of things and had an honored position.

But now, he considered everything he had previously owned and every position he had ever held as rubbish ~ garbage ~ compared with belonging to his Lord.  The King James Version of the Bible says he considered it all as dung ~ manure.

Where are your priorities? What do you spend most of your time on? The stuff you just have to own, exciting things you just have to do, the power you just have to claim? All to enhance the little inch of your life on earth?

What if a storm destroyed your house, your car, and all your stuff tomorrow?  What if you were banned from a sport you love tomorrow? What if a rumor destroyed your career with all its power tomorrow?  Then what?

Do you think you would consider suicide as so many of the wealthy did during the Great Depression?  Or could you consider the deep and unconquerable love of Christ Jesus your Lord the most valuable thing in your life?  Could you accept your loss, take advantage of it, and unleash a different kind of life for Jesus with no regrets? 

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Wednesday 3/6 ~ Where’s your grace?

The Scripture for today, March 7 (3/7), is Titus 3:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“So that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

God wanted you to live in his home so much, he was willing to overlook your sins and pretend you are correct, law-abiding, perfect, just. When mankind sinned, we belonged to Satan. So, God materialized, came and ransomed you and me from Satan with his blood.  Then, he said, “Follow me. Obey my few commands. Then, in my eyes, you never sinned, you become just.

Not only just, but God put you in his last will and testament, what we call the New Testament. It contains his guidelines and what you will inherit. Your inheritance is explained in large part in Revelation ~ God’s heaven. And what an inheritance!

Now, how about you?  Do you ever justify other people who do wrong against you, are mean to you? Yes, even if they do the same wrong against you over and over?  Remember, you commit the same sins over and over and expect God to forgive you, to justify you over and over.  God will give you as much grace as you give others.  Where’s your grace?

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Tuesday 3/5 ~ Renewal & rebirth

The scripture for today, March 5 (3/5), is Titus 3:5 in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

God is perfectly good and cannot dwell with imperfection. How, then, could we ever live with him in his heaven?  After all, as hard as we tried, we could not be perfect. Mankind was held hostage by Satan.

God loved us so much that he solved our dilemma. He sent his Son to live that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. Then, his perfect “Lamb of God” took our punishment for our sins by paying the ransom to get us out of the clutches of Satan.

Romans 3:23 says the earnings of sin is death ~ physical death (separation from this world) and spiritual death (separation from God). Jesus took it all for us. And that included being completely separated from God. At the worst of it, Jesus cried out to God, “Why have your FORSAKEN me?” That’s when Jesus died spiritually for a moment.  It was we who deserved to be forsaken by God.

Sin and its power now destroyed, God said if we go “through the washing of rebirth” we will be renewed by the Holy Spirit.

God does not leave us guessing. But how?   In Acts 22:16 Jesus said to Paul, “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins” and in Romans 6:4 he said through Paul, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism in order that…we too may live a new life [rebirth].”  Then we could start over pure and washed.

Washing of rebirth is no more “water salvation” than the cross was “wood salvation.”  Both were physical things that accomplished spiritual outcomes. God took care of the hard part. He gave us the easy part. And so we worship him with unspeakable gratitude that soars to the heavens and fills God’s throne room.

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Sunday 3/3 ~ What are you missing?

The scripture for today, March 3 (3/3), is Genesis 3:3 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail” ‘But God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden and you must not touch it or you will die.’

This is a conversation Eve is having with Satan in the Garden of Eden. She was a little put out by God that he would withhold even one item from her. So, she misrepresented God. What God actually said was….

“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Eve had added to what God had said: “You must not touch it.”

Do you do that? When you get put out by someone, do you embellish a little and add a few little things to an event in order to make the other person look worse than they really are? Are you in the habit of making yourself a victim so you can get other people’s sympathy and maybe get other people to act on your behalf? Or perhaps you do it to “brag” how much worse your problem is far above all others’ problems, thus making yourself king or queen of all burden bearers?

1st Corinthians 13:5 says love does not keep a record of wrongs. If you have a feud going with someone, try breaking the cycle. 1st Corinthians 13:7 says love protects, always trusts, always hopes. Had Satan convinced Eve to stop loving God? 

It’s easy to do when God is made “the bad guy”.  It’s easy to stop loving others if they are always the “bad guy”.  What are you missing by not extending love even to those who are not nice to you? Who knows? Are you giving up paradise?

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