Sunday 8/4 ~ They lost everything

The scripture for today, August 4 (8/4), is Acts 8:4 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”

Sometimes your plans get scattered, your dreams shattered. You lose your home, your job, your chance at an education, your savings, your family.

Satan loves to discourage you. He’s good at it. But Romans 8:28 says God can make something good come out of all things, even the bad.

Do you use your circumstance in life as an excuse to not share the Good News of how to be saved from hell and go to heaven instead? 

If you use the excuse you don’t have time, then lose your job, would you share the gospel then? If you use the excuse your upper-class neighbors are all agnostics, then lose your home, would you share the gospel with middle-class neighbors?

Your circumstance may change, but you would be the same person you were before. What is the likelihood you would be any different if your life was “scattered”?  If your old excuses were no longer valid, would you then share the Good News?  

The people in Jerusalem who feared martyrdom ran for their lives and lost everything.  Their concern for the souls of others never wavered. 

Today, consciously look around for someone to share the gospel with.  Afraid your friends will reject you? Then go to a fast-food place or a park or a bus stop, find someone sitting alone, and tell a stranger. No matter where your dreams and ambitions scatter to, you can still “Seek and save the lost.”

 

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-PAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE was just that. They beat him, stoned him, lashed him, told lies about him, imprisoned him, turned entire cities against him. He was stubborn. He was loyal. He was determined to save people’s souls.  They would have to kill him to stop him. They finally did, but not before he had saved countless thousands from hell.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2OzFMQ3

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Friday 8/2 ~ He still reaches across the centuries

The scripture for today, August 2 (8/2), is Matthew 8:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Road to Heaven-COVER-KINDLE-THUMBNAIL“A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.’ “

People in Jesus’ day who had leprosy had to live outside of town in what we would call a leper colony. They were incurable. And if someone without leprosy started getting close to them, they were required to call out, “Unclean! Unclean!” 

But here was a man who apparently sneaked into town where he didn’t belong, went up and down streets where he didn’t belong looking for Jesus, pushed his way through a crowd where he didn’t belong.

Once he found Jesus, he didn’t ask him if he could heal him; he asked if he would. After all, he was “unclean”. Remarkably, Jesus said yes.

Then Jesus did another remarkable thing: He touched the man. He touched the leprosy. Not only was he willing to be seen with an unclean man, and have a conversation with an unclean man, he was willing to touch the unclean man.

Jesus still does this today. When you come to him with a diseased heart wondering if you are good enough, Jesus reaches out across the centuries and touches you. And his voice echoes across those centuries ~ “I am willing.”

No matter how much sin mars your life, Jesus still today wants to touch your incurable heart and say, “Be clean.”

 

Road to Heaven-COVER-KINDLE-THUMBNAILTHE ROAD TO HEAVEN begins with the problem of sin and evil and works its way step by step from the Garden of Eden to Golgatha and on to heaven. Thought-provoking and reassuring.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2KdVOuT

 

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Thursday 8/1 ~ Your longing, your hope, your reason for being

The scripture for today, August 1 (8/1), is Romans 8:1 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

There are a lot of religious groups out there in the world who control their people with fear. If you don’t do such and such, it proves you aren’t spiritual enough. If you do such and such one second before you die, you’re going to hell.

They put burdens on you that just are not in the New Testament. By making you feel guilty, they make you depend on them for your salvation and that boosts their ego. The Apostle Paul wrote to the congregations in Galatia (today’s Turkey) and warned them with tears:

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel ~ which is really no gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached [past tense] to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again:

“If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God? Or am I trying to please men? ” (Galatians 1:6-10).

Are you sure you are IN Christ Jesus? Do your church leaders dance around scriptures they wish weren’t in the Bible and tell you they don’t really mean what they say? Or add things that the scriptures say nothing about? Are you sure they aren’t people pleasers instead of God pleasers? What do they do with Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:3-4, Galatians 3:27, I Peter 3:21? Look them up. Do your church leaders try to explain them away?

Ah, to be sure you are indeed IN Christ Jesus and can someday live in his world. This is your longing. Your hope. Your reason for being.

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-ThumbnailWORSHIP THE FIRST-CENTURY WAY is book two of the series WANDERING SOUL, ENTITLED HEART, AND THE SIDETRACKED CHURCH.  Each chapter is about one form of worship. It begins with quotes from famous theologians, ends with quotes from second-century theologians, and all in between is scriptures and prayers for understanding. WRITTEN FOR UNBELIEVERS.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2GECkNW

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Wednesday 7/31 ~ That Great Gettin’-Up Morning

The scripture for today, July 31 (7/31), is 1st Corinthians 7:31b as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“For this world in its present form is passing away.”

How easily that which you have slaved for over a period of years can pass away. It can happen as a result of fire, flood, storm, war, economic crisis. Every day something in this world “is passing away.”

Life plods on and on. It seems so slow and so long ~ Year after year, month after month, minute after minute.  If you live to be 90 (not uncommon these days), that means nearly 33,000 times you get up in the morning, 100,000 times you eat a meal, some 25,000 times you may leave your house and go to work to earn a living. On and on.   

You were put here on earth for a reason:  To prepare yourself for the other world.  That is our real home. That world will never end for good or for bad. It will never pass away. It’s hard to stay focused on the other world when there are so many things that need to be done to survive in this world.

The other world seems so far away. But you will be there before you know it. 

What are you working for day after day? Are you making time to prepare for “That Great Gettin’-Up Morning” when you say goodbye to this world forever?   What are your plans for today? How about this week?  How often do you worship?  

Here is a link to hear singing of “That Great Gettin’-Up Morning”  http://bit.ly/2Mxfqf1

 

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-NewTHEY MET JESUS:  COME FLY WITH ME is the last of 8 novels on the life of Christ. In this last novel, Jesus is alive again and spends 40 days appearing to people. The apostles begin the church, spend nineteen years in Jerusalem, then scatter. It ends with old crippled John’s visit to heaven and view of hell. And Jesus’ invitation: “Come to me…I will give you rest.” To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2ZxCYE4

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Tuesday 7/30 ~ Big plans for you

The scripture for today, July 30 (7/30), is John 7:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“At this, they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.”

Even though during the last two years of his life, many people wanted to kill Jesus out of jealousy or fear or pure meanness, he was never afraid to keep teaching. Why? Because he knew his life was ultimately in the hands of the heavenly Father.

Do we feel fear sometimes because of things going on around us? Do we fear failure, or ruin, or false rumors, or even imprisonment or our life? Remember, each life is in the heavenly Father’s hands.

So do not fear. Keep on keeping on. Hold fast. Stand firm. Do the right thing. Stand up for Jesus. And, when someday, your time does come, know that God has everything under control.  He had big plans for Jesus at his death and he has big plans for you.  Plans you can only imagine.

 

0-Joseph-Cover-ThumbnailJOSEPH: THE OTHER FATHER raised Jesus in a violent world.  What an assignment God gives him ~ to keep the boy protected all those years of his growing up. Sometimes Joseph cries out in an impossible situation, “God! Help me protect our son!”  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2LYlfC7

 

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