Thursday 1/17 ~ We get the good ones

The scripture for today, January 17  (1/17), is James 1:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Do you sometimes feel slighted because other people get more gifts on special occasions (or even between special occasions) than you do? No need to feel that way. Christians get the goods ones. Christians get the perfect ones. We get them all! And our heavenly Father will never stop showering us with those “good gifts,” those “perfect gifts.”

God’s gifts are good and perfect because they are forever gifts. And what can be better than that?

Ah, Lord God, my creator, my life, lover of my soul. With you, I am never hungry, I am never cold, I am never in want. With you I have all that I need for my soul is filled with your love, I am warm in your embrace, and everything is good within my being. You, who died in my place, are even now waiting for me at your door.  I will be there soon.  Then we will be together for eternity.

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Monday 1/14 ~ Guardian Angels

The scripture for today, January 14 (1/14), is Hebrews 1:14 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

07-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonSmall“Are not all angels ministering spirits, sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

Have you ever wondered if the Bible really mentions guardian angels? Well, here it is. How wonderful! How reassuring! But the angels do not minister to everyone ~ just to the saved who will inherit salvation.

As much as they minister to us, however, we are not to worship them and we are not to pray to them. For a while ~ and still some today ~ it was popular to collect pictures and statues of angels. Some people were saying there is no God, but there are guardian angels. Some people who do believe in God bypass Him and ask angels to help them, kind of like going to the peasant instead of the king. 

Where do they think angels come from? God created them to be the servant class.  We are not to adore, worship or pray to angels (Revelation 19:10; 22:9).

So, yes, we do have guardian angels. Let us be grateful God loves us enough to send the angels to minister to us until we reach his home, heaven. Then, we and the angels will bow down together to the God of the universe and Him will we worship.

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Sunday 1/13 ~ Come back! Come back! I miss you!

The scripture for today, January 13 (1/13), is Habakkuk 1:13 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong.”

This pretty much explains why no one deserves heaven. Going to heaven has little to do with doing so many good works God will feel obligated to admit you. 

It’s all about sin.  Only sinless people can be in heaven, for God cannot coexist with sin and still be God. Of course, you cannot be sinless. If nothing else, you have sins of attitude and neglect.

For thousands of years, God let mankind try any way they could to be perfect. Some people he gave the Law of Moses to, and some people he continued to let try on their own. Neither worked. No matter how hard we tried, no one could get it right.

The wages you earn for sinning is death (Romans 6:23). Remember in the Garden of Eden God warned, “The moment you sin, you die.” He was talking about souls dying and eventually bodies dying. Satan was now holding mankind hostage. Satan causes death, so sinners collect the wages Satan pays for following him.

But mankind was still being held hostage. He demanded the highest ransom imaginable: The death of God. Satan wanted to e God and this was the only way he could carry out his plan.

God held Satan off temporarily: He told them to kill an animal to die in their place. Even collecting the wages of sin, Satan still held mankind hostage. Mankind had to have all the chances possible to be perfect. But after millenniums, mankind still could not.

Galatians 4:4 says, “When the time was come, God sent his son.” Finally, when mankind understood everyone needed outside help, God sent Jesus. Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus lived the perfect life that was impossible for anyone to live; he was completely free of sin.

Then God seemingly gave in to Satan’s ransom demand to free mankind.  God offered his son ~ God in the form of mankind. Finally, Satan got his wish ~ the ransom he had demanded: The death of God.

So, Satan freed mankind from his prison of soul death. But Satan was in for a surprise.  His gloating came to an abrupt stop.  God tricked Satan. You cannot kill Life.  God returned to that human body and came back to life.

It was too late. Satan had already freed mankind. 

That done, God ~ who can only dwell with sinlessness ~ was now able to allow obedient, faithful believers in Jesus into his home, heaven. For, through Jesus, we become sinless. Glory of glories!

But something terrible happened after that. People began selling themselves back into slavery to Satan (Romans 6:15-23).  No!  No! This cannot be! So God, through people who have resisted Satan’s lures of fun and riches, power and beauty, continually call out, “Come back!  Come back to God! Come back.  I miss you. God misses you….”

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Monday 12/31 ~ Pushing my way through the door

The scripture for today, December 31 (12/31), is Luke 12:31 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“But seek his kingdom [family] and these things will be given to you as well.”

The kingdom is already here (Luke 9:27; Colossians 1:13), but heaven is not. That is the final destination of the kingdom. Do you actively seek God’s kingdom? Or do you drift and think God should feel obligated to take you into his heaven? Do you feel like you’re “not so bad”, so God would be bad to not take you into his heaven?

Heaven is God’s home, not yours. God has a door into his home, just like you have a door into your home. God is not required to open his door to just anyone, just like you are not required to open your door to just anyone.  You cannot just show up at the door and smile and assume he will let you in, any more than people who knock on your door and smile can assume you will let them in.

You let people into your home who you have gotten to know and whose motives you trust. Have you given God a chance to get to know you and trust your motives? Are your daily motives to enter heaven, God’s home? Do you even like God?

This life you live on earth is not your permanent life or residence. This is the testing place to see how you handle problems and to see how much your spiritual muscles will grow or atrophy. God has plans for Christians in heaven we do not know about. What we do know is that he is not a God of idleness. Do you live like the earth is all there is? Do you fear hell?  Do you prefer heaven where people will worship all the time? Does that sound boring to you?

You are about to enter a brand-new year. Today, decide to start over fresh and set your new goal: To enter God’s kingdom (his family) and thus, enter his home his way to live with him.  Forever.  There, all your soul desires will be given to you.

 

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Saturday 12/30 ~ The Heavenly Promised Land

The scripture for today, December 29 (12/29), is Deuteronomy 12:29 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Old Testament Survey-Cover-thumbnail“The Lord your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess.”

Why would a good God drive people (the Amorite nations) from their own land so that other people (the Jews) could live there? Way back in Genesis 15, God promised Abraham that his descendants would possess the land he lived in as a wanderer, but first they would be enslaved in a foreign country some 400 years. During that time, they would multiply. Indeed, they did grow from 70 of Abraham’s grandchildren to over three million.

Then it would be time for his descendants to possess the land. Why so long in the future?  Verse 16 explains it: “For the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” God always gives people plenty of time to repent and change.

The Jews did finally possess the Promised Land, but God warned them, “If you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you” (Leviticus 18:28). Indeed, they did eventually defile the land with their own sins, so several centuries later, they were dispossessed and forced to go to Assyria and Babylon by their conquerors and their land was possessed by the Assyrians (today’s northern Iraq) and Babylonians (today’s southern Iraq). Yes, God keeps his promises ~ to both good and bad.

Today, regardless of the condition of the nation you live in on earth, look ahead to that even better promise of an even better land ~ that spiritual Promised Land ~ heaven. And it will be forever good.

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Friday 12/28 ~ The Kingdom Now and Forever

The scripture for today, December 28 (12/28), is Hebrews 12:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-lg-thumbnail“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

Notice this is in present tense. The kingdom is not something in the future but is now.

Jesus said in Luke 9:27 that some listening to him would still be alive when the kingdom came. Colossians 1:13 says God HAS (not will) rescued us from the dominion of darkness and BROUGHT (not will) us into the kingdom.

In fact, at the end, Jesus will not come back to earth to set up a kingdom. Instead, he will at that time hand the already-existing kingdom over to the Father (I Corinthians 15:24).

So what does this mean to us? Revelation 1:5-6 says that all who have been freed from our sins by the blood of Jesus have become a kingdom of priests. As such, we daily offer our bodies as living sacrifices in the service to our king (Romans 12:1).

Christians have dual citizenship. Christians are citizens of the earthly nation they live in, and citizens of the Kingdom of God. What glory God has already bestowed upon us.

So let us be thankful every day, and worship Him with reverence and awe forever.

 

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Saturday 12/22 ~ Let your spirit be touched with eternity

The scripture for today, December 22 (12/22), is 1st Samuel 12:22 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Love Letters of Jesus & his Bride, Eccelsia-THUMBNAIL“For the sake of his great name, the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.”

Among all the pretend gods that people have worshiped, there has never been one who made people because he wanted people to love and wanted them to be his children. Islam, for example, teaches Allah made man to have someone to worship him. Allah has 99 names, but none of them is Love. It is the same with other purported gods. So sad.

            Oh, how much mankind misses by not opening up to the one and only true God.  He wants you to be his child! He wants to lavish you with his love.

            God made you because God is Love.  Love must have someone to love. That’s you, dear friend. That’s you!

            Amazing love of God. It pleases him to make you his own. It pleases him! You the lowly. You the weak. You the inconsistent. You the sinner.

            Let your soul be elevated by the God of Love. Let your heart be warmed, let your spirit be touched with eternity. Then lift up your voice and shout, “My soul is overwhelmed with joy!”

 

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