Sunday 4/8 ~ Oh, that we could all say this at the end of our life

The scripture for today, April 8 (4/8), is 2nd Timothy 4:8 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day ~ and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

The Apostle Paul was somewhere around his seventies at this writing. He’d been converted probably in his thirties. He’d spent the past forty years telling people how to escape a place they didn’t believe they were going to and disrupting the religion they already had.

Forty years of tolerating persecution, sometimes hungry and cold and beaten and hated. Forty years of seldom staying in a city longer than a few months, always on the go.  Forty years of never being satisfied with the number of people he had reached with the Good News of their escape from Satan, the Good News of a God who actually loved them, Good News of heaven.

Now he was in prison.

“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Oh, that we all could say this at the end of our life.

Thursday 4/5 ~ It cannot control your heart, your spirit, your soul

The scripture for today, April 5 (4/5), is Micah 4:5 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.”

Nations rise and fall. Nations come and go. Nations are founded upon terror and aggression, or peace and democracy. Some nations follow religions which declare that peasants are peasants as punishment for previous lives, so must remain peasants. Some nations follow religions chosen by their national governments and which must be followed upon pain of death. Some nations deny religion completely and destroy anyone who believes anyway.

What kind of nation do you live in? As strong as your nation is, it cannot control your heart, your spirit, your soul. As strong as your nation seems to be, as much power as your government uses to control its citizens, it will not and cannot last forever.

Always remember, there is a forever nation ~ the nation of God, the kingdom of God. No matter what nation you live in, you can have “dual citizenship”. And by being a citizen of God’s forever kingdom, you will walk in it forever and ever and…

Monday 3/26 ~ And then the Creator of the Universe wants to bring you home with him

The scripture for today, March 26 (3/26), is Galatians 3:26f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ because all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

The Muslim religion teaches that God is too far above humans to have such a relationship ~ you know, the parent-child kind, a family relationship. They are taught God created humans to have someone to worship him and be his slaves. Oh, how much they are missing.  And the rest of the world too.

Our Bible says God created humans to have someone to love. He wants to be more than a distant God; he wants to be our heavenly Father. So, when we come out of the waters of baptism, it is like coming out of a watery womb; Romans 6:4-5 says we are then born into a new spiritual life.

Everyone in the Christian world knows that baptism is in the Bible. Today’s scripture explains “…because you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” and therefore we have become sons with Christ ~ adopted sons. (See also Ephesians 1:5).

No need to be spiritually blind and poor and naked (Revelation 3:17).  You can gain spiritual insight, be rich in grace, and be clothed with Christ.

No need to be spiritually orphaned ~ you can become a child of God. He holds out holy arms to you. He wants to embrace you and hold you close as you finish this life on earth. And then, wonder of wonders, the Creator of the universe wants to bring you home with him.

Wednesday 3/14 ~ Are you throwing away your prize?

The scripture for today, March 14 (3/14), is Philippians 3:14, as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has   called me heavenward   in Christ Jesus.”

Toward the end of Jesus’ sojourn on earth, he knew that, out of jealousy, the religious leaders were trying to kill him. So for a while, he stayed out of Jerusalem where the religious headquarters was. Eventually, the time came for him to put himself in their hands. Was it easy for him to do? Definitely not! For he knew his death would be by torture. But he pressed on.

“They were on their way up to Jerusalem with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished while those who followed were afraid” (Mark 10:32).

Jesus pressed on. He did not want to go through the crucifixion. Hebrews 5:7 says that “during the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.”

As difficult as it was for him, Jesus pressed on toward the goal to win the prize. But the prize was not for himself; it was for us ~ eternity in heaven instead of hell!

None of us has to go through what he did for our salvation and avoidance of hell. Our little bit of sacrifice is nothing by comparison. Shall we throw away the prize Jesus sacrificed so much for so we can have a little more fun, accumulate a few more things, be a little more important to our friends?

Can you press on? Or are you throwing away your prize?