Monday 4/29 ~ Shhh. Hear the silence? It’s your turn.

The scripture for today, April 29 (4/29), is Deuteronomy 4:29 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Ah, to find God.  Who are you, God?  What do you do all through my day?  What do you have to say to me?  Or do you not say anything?  Do you even see me, God?  Where are you?  I cannot find you.

Open your eyes, friend. God is always nearby.  There is an old expression, “To know him is to love him.” So true.  To find God, get to know him.  He is talking to you right now in his Bible, explaining what he is like and how he reacts to every possible situation in life. Open your Bible.  Look through the mini-books within.  God not only gives you examples of right and wrong ways to seek Him, but he gives you beautiful psalms and proverbs for your everyday life.  And, wonder of wonders, He tells how He came down to us and walked among us as Jesus.  Seek him there. He is talking to you.

Then take the next step.  When he asks questions to people in his Bible, take them as your questions and answer them. When he tells someone to stop doing wrong, take them as yours and admit to him the things you do or say that are wrong. When he blesses people in the Bible, take them as your blessings and thank him for them.    

Yes, seek and you will find. This mutual conversation with God is the with-all-your-heart-and-soul kind. You can do it. He’s waiting for you.  Shhhh.  Do you hear the silence? It’s your turn. Talk to God.

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Saturday 4/6 ~ Your heart will soar

The scripture for today, April 6 (4/6), is 1st Corinthians 4:6 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“…learn from us the meaning of the saying, ‘Do not go beyond what is written.’ Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.”

Periodically through the Bible there appears this same warning for us to not “go beyond what is written.” 2nd Peter 1:20 says prophecy is scripture. Prophecy was needed before the New Testament was written, but no more after that, for by then, the prophecy of the apostles had been written down and were being passed around.

It is important to find out if what we are being taught is “beyond what is written.” It can be done. How? Simple. Use a concordance. A concordance is the size of an unabridged dictionary and includes every word in the Bible alphabetically, and every scripture that contains each word. Many libraries have one. Or you can order one from your local bookstore. There are some concordances on the internet too. Here is one:  http://bibletab.com

You are an intelligent person. Don’t take for granted what others tell you, no matter how holy they look and act and how much they smile at you or threaten you.  Check things for yourself. Read the Bible for yourself. Decide for yourself whether any of your church leaders have gone “beyond what is written.” You can do it: Find out for sure.

It is liberating. Your heart will soar and your soul will embrace God in a whole new way.

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Sunday 3/24 ~ Never, ever take it for granted

The scripture for today March 24 (3/24), is 1st John 3:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-ThumbnailThose who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

Some people think we can tell that we are obeying God and he is therefore in us by how we feel by our emotions. But emotions are fickle. We can feel great one day and sad the next and frustrated after that, then great again. It can be confusing to rely on how we feel as to whether or not God’s Spirit lives in us.

Jesus said in John 14:17 that he was going to send us the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth. And in John 17:17 Jesus said God’s Word is Truth.

Now that makes more sense! Even in the days before the New Testament was assembled into one book, Christians were given the gift of prophecy by the Spirit of Truth, and sometimes they wrote it and circulated it.

In the meantime, the apostles went everywhere teaching, and they wrote letters that were circulated (even those we don’t know about today). Those letters that were preserved were copied and circulated everywhere.

Finally, their letters were assembled into what we call the New Testament. So, today we can still know God’s Spirit lives in us by reading the Bible ~ God’s Word ~ and putting it in our mind and heart and following it. God thought of everything. His word is clear, and that is how we know we have obeyed him and he lives in us.

How grateful we are today for his Bible. No guessing. So, do not take it for granted. Never take it for granted.

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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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Wednesday 1/30 ~ I am awed into silence

The scripture for today, January 30 (1/30), is 1st Corinthians 1:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us “wisdom” from God ~ that is, our…

…righteousness,

          …holiness and,

                    …redemption.”

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-ThumbnailMe? Sinful me? Considered right and holy?  But I’m not right and holy. How can that be?

Let’s look at these words of reassurance backward. When we are redeemed (bought back from Satan, our accuser and punisher), we gain God’s holiness and God’s rightness. But I am not holy and right.  God, don’t you understand this?

“Yes, my child,” God answers. “But My Son knew how, and so became sinless for you.”

I cannot let what He did for me drift by. Jesus traded.  He took my sinfulness and gave me his sinlessness.  He took my punishment and gave me redemption. Now, at least in the eyes of God, I am holy.

I think on this and the more I do, the more amazed I become.  Me, Lord? Unworthy, sinful me? I am awed into silence and worship.

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