Thursday 9/19 ~ And God will make it great

The scripture for today, September 19 (9/19), is Acts 9:19f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food he regained his strength.”

This is the story of Saul, as he was known to the Jews and to us as Paul, who became an apostle. Notice the order he did this: He was hungry, but that wasn’t important. He had to do what was important first. He was baptized.

Why was Paul baptized? In Acts 22:16 Paul recalls that day when he was told, “Get up: be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.”

Further, notice who baptized him. Was he part of the clergy, someone with an ordained title in the church? Acts 9:10 says, “In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him…Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul.” What title did Ananias have? None. He was just another disciple. Disciple simply meaning follower.

Little did this otherwise unknown disciple realize that day, that the person he baptized would end up writing much of the New Testament.

Do you feel ordinary like you are an “unknown disciple” to followers of Jesus around you? Find something to do, and God will make it great.

 

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-PAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE is about a man born in obscurity and born again in obscurity with the help of a man known only by his name and belief.  At the end of his life, he dies while in the obscurity of a dark prison and the axe of Nero. What happens between that turns the world upside down.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/30iM9rH

 

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Wednesday 9/18 ~ All 600?

The scripture for today, September 18 (9/18), is Leviticus 9:18ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. But the fat portions of the ox and the ram ~ the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver ~ these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.”

The Law of Moses did not have just Ten Commandments. It had over 600! They were intricate commands that had to be kept exactly. The above is just a small portion of what they were supposed to do for a particular sacrifice.

Thank God, Jesus nailed the Old Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Yet some religious leaders continue to dip back into the Old Law to copy showy types of worship ~ robes, candles, choirs, harps, incense ~ many things, and all commanded. But if they do that, they must keep ALLof the Law of Moses ~ stoning for adultery, giving 1/3 of their income (not just 1/10), not working on Saturday (even cooking), going to Jerusalem three times a year.

They can’t just pick and choose which ones they like. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:17 “Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised [just one command in the Old Law of Moses] that he is obligated to obey the whole law.”

James said in 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Old Testament worship was showy, elaborate, and demanding to the nth degree. New Testament worship is just the opposite.

Mark 14:26 says that after Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper/Communion, “When they had sung a [single] hymn, they went out…”

Acts 2:41-42 says, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Acts 20:7 says, “On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people…”

I Timothy 4:13 says, “Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”

Nothing complicated about it. Just simple worship. Worship the way Jesus and his apostles worshiped. Worship the way God likes it. He said so himself.

 

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Wednesday 9/4 ~ Shhh. Listen. Do you hear?

The scripture for today, September 4 (9/4), is Daniel 9:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands….’ “

A lot of people in the world think God should feel obligated to take them to his heaven. After all, they are fairly good, and better than some. God couldn’t possibly in all good conscience turn them away.

Yet, their entire life they resent God. They don’t like his few commands; they don’t want anyone telling them what to do or not do. Or they claim to love God, but create their own commands that just aren’t in the Bible, making themselves God. What confusion!

Ultimately, heaven is God’s home, not yours. He is not obligated to invite anyone into His home. Besides, only perfection can live with God who is perfect. It only takes one sin to make us an imperfect sinner.

So how do you become perfect? That’s where God’s awesomeness is demonstrated. By following Jesus who was perfect and never sinned, and obeying Jesus’ few commands, God considers you perfect by proxy.

But it’s like a boomerang. God treats you the way you treat him. If you don’t take time for God, he doesn’t take time for you. If you don’t like to spend time praising him, he doesn’t spend time praising you. Actually, if you don’t really like anything about God, you would be miserable in heaven.

God never forces himself on anyone. He loves you even when you do not love Him.  So, he keeps on calling, “Come back!  Come back to me!  I can keep you safe.”  Shhh. Listen.  Do you hear Him?

 

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Monday 8/26 ~ I don’t know what to ask for

The scripture for today, August 26 (8/26), is Romans 8:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

The Holy Spirit in the New Testament is always linked with communication between God and Man. Even the miracles, made possible by the Holy Spirit, were a guarantee that the words and teachings accompanying the miracles were from God. This was needed before the New Testament was written. But the Holy Spirit does more than this.

God speaks to you in his Word, the Bible. Then you speak to him in return in prayer. But sometimes all you can do is bow your head in silence and know that God understands ~ His Spirit communes with your spirit.  Further, you do not know the future, so do not know what will be best for your situation.

Yes, there are some things we know for sure are God’s will such as someone becoming a Christian and saving their soul from hell.  Most things, however, we do not know if it is God’s will.  You may pray to get that new car because you have the money for it. But God knows there will be a storm that will destroy your house or apartment, or a family member will be hospitalized and insurance will not cover all the bills, or your company will go out of business and you will lose your job. 

Life is so uncertain. No matter how hard you pray for something, may you always end each prayer or even each “groaning” with “Your will be done”.

 

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Sunday 8/25 ~ But it doesn’t mean what it says

The scripture for today, August 25 (8/25), is John 8:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

5&5-Strip-BibleKids-Medium” ‘Who are you?’ they asked. ‘Just what I have been claiming all along,’ Jesus replied.”

They knew who Jesus was.  He had made people’s arms and legs grow back, he had fed multiple-thousands on a plate of food, stopped storms and brought lifeless people back to life.  They knew! 

Besides this, they knew the prophecies. They told King Herod he was supposed to be born in Bethlehem and that he was to be a descendant of King David. They knew babies were slaughtered after his birth. They knew he would live in Galilee and teach in parables. They knew all this.

But they kept asking Jesus who he was because they wanted a different answer than the obvious one.

 Jesus and his apostles tell you certain things in the Bible. Sometimes, you read them over and over, and still don’t get the point. Perhaps you have been blinded by well-meaning religious leaders or family or friends who tell you over and over, “It doesn’t mean what it says.” Are you wanting a different answer than the obvious one?

Dare to read the teachings of Jesus and his apostles in the New Testament with open eyes and open heart. When you read something, just accept it. Your soul is at stake. These are the words of the God of the universe, your Creator, the Lover of your soul, and the only one who can let you into his home ~ heaven. 

Do you prefer that God fit your mold, or you fit God’s ~ that of his child? Dare to follow what God has been telling you all along.

 

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