Tuesday 4/16 ~ Mercy when you need it

The scripture for today, April 16 (4/16), is Hebrews 4:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Anyone who has lived very long has committed some sin they hope no one ever finds out about. Some people have committed many such sins. Because of that one “big” sin or the constant repetition of a particular sin, do you punish yourself by putting words in God’s mouth? Do you say, “God could never forgive me for that”? Perhaps you can never forgive yourself, but God is greater than you.

Jesus told Peter we must forgive our brothers 70 times 7. If kept literally, that would mean we’d have to forgive the same sin 490 times. It is figurative for forgiving all the time. 1st Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of the Bible, says, “Love…keeps no record of wrongs.” Do you hold grudges?

Alexander Pope said, “To err is human, to forgive is divine.” In addition to forgiving yourself and others, can you reach out to help people who cannot forgive themselves? Are you strong enough to imitate God? Are you strong enough to find enough mercy and grace in your heart to forgive? There, indeed, is divinity in forgiveness.

Image result for "Buy the book" button redIn the midst of excruciating torture, Jesus uttered, “I forgive you.” THEY MET JESUS: SHADOW OF DEATH tells the story of ultimate forgiveness of his enemies (that includes us).  Read about all the people involved in his death and the beholders of his coming back to life in this historical novel.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this: https://amzn.to/2GcZcmy

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Saturday 3/30 ~ Think. Think long and hard.

The scripture for today, March 30 (3/30), is John 3:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

04-Isaac&Jacob-KindleMedium“He must become greater; I must become less.”

This is John the Baptist speaking. He had a great following. People “were constantly coming to be baptized” by John (3:23). He had it made! But at the height of his popularity, he said, “I will be stepping down soon.”

Can you do this? Are you at the height of your popularity, perhaps at a club, an organization, church? Could you step down if someone more qualified than you came along? Or will you say, “I started this _______, and I was here first, so this is my project!”?

Look inside. Deep inside. What are your motives for doing good? Selfish ambition or love for others? 1st Corinthians 13:1 says that, even if I offer my body to be burned and do not have love, it benefits me nothing.

Jesus warned, “Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

Think. Think long and hard. Do you have some repenting to do? Father in heaven, help me see myself the way You do.

Image result for "Buy the book" button redA CHILD’S BIBLE HEROES: ISAAC & JACOB is about Jacob who just had to be ahead of everyone else, so he lied and cheated in order to be first. He never saw the big picture and what it was doing to others. He had to be broken. It took 20 years in exile before he understood how to be honest and good.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2FIkHvr

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Sunday 2/10 ~ Worship and the devil

The scripture for today, February 10 (2/10), is James 2:10 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.”

Do we pray on Sunday and curse on Monday? Do we sing on Sunday and lie on Monday? Do we recite a scripture on Sunday and mock someone on Monday?

On the other hand, do we use this as an excuse not to go to church and worship? Do we refuse to attend because there are hypocrites in the church?

Do we refuse to go to work because there are hypocrites there who talk behind the boss’s back? Do we refuse to go to school because there are hypocrites there who would skip school if they could? Do we refuse to sit for two hours in a boring airport because there are hypocrites there smuggling things in their suitcases? Do we refuse to go to sporting events because there are hypocrites there who would literally “kill the umpire” if they could?

Even Jesus had a hypocrite among his 12 Apostles ~ Judas. That didn’t stop him from doing what was needed to save us from hell.

In a sense we are all hypocrites because we go to church and sing songs about giving everything for Jesus, then we go home and don’t. Or we sing songs about going into all the world and teaching the gospel, then we go home and don’t. Or we talk about the importance of praying for everyone around us and their loved ones, then we go home and don’t.

Perhaps Jesus was the biggest hypocrite of them all because he, who never, ever sinned, took the blame for your sins and went through excruciating body and soul death in your place. Oh, my Lord Jesus, how can I worship you enough? How can I thank you enough? How can my spirit touch your holiness? Get Satan away from me, for I am weak and need you.

Image result for "Buy the book"PAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE was a great hypocrite, but he did not even realize it. He tortured and killed Christians in the name of God. It took complete blindness to get him to wake up to his own hypocrisy and do what God really told him to do. Then he became unstoppable.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2SHeQPg

 

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Tuesday 2/5 ~ Amazing Grace

The scripture for today, February 5 (2/5), is Ephesians 2:5 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Thumbnail-New

“[God] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions ~ it is by grace you have been saved.”

Every time you sin, your spirit ~ your soul ~ dies a little more. Every time you steal, cheat, torture, murder. You say you don’t do such things. Well, how about every time you stretch the truth (lie), go over the speed limit (disobey the laws of the land), close your eyes to someone you know is in need (selfishness), lose your temper, indulge in coarse talk, call someone names, refuse to forgive (sins of attitude)?

It is true that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and your wage you collect from Satan every time you sin is death (Romans 6:23). That is what you earn. That is what you deserve. You certainly do not deserve to live with a sinless God. Nor can you. But by his grace, he made a way possible to consider you sinless.

In Old Testament times, people killed a perfect animal to die in their place, but it was only a temporary fix. Then God sent his perfect Son who never sinned ~ the Lamb of God ~ to lie down on the altar of the world at the cross. There he died spiritually and physically in your place for the things you in the world did wrong, all while the world raged at him.

Yes, while we were still enemies of God by sinning, Jesus died for you and me. That was his amazing part.  His amazing grace part. He can also make you spiritually alive. If you will actively seek him. That is your part.

Image result for "Buy the book"THEY MET JESUS: FOLK HERO tells stories of Jesus’ mercy on people’s illnesses and handicaps. It was a physical way of showing his mercy on people’s spiritual illnesses and handicaps. A touching retelling of Jesus on earth.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2SiDVA6

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Sunday 2/3 ~ So, the Son of God did it

The scripture for today, February 3 (2/3), is Philippians 2:3 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

This is probably among the top ten hardest-to-keep commands in the Bible. It’s right up there near loving our enemies.

Do we consider people who stand and speak in front of an audience superior to the listeners? Even though the one up front may be all talk and no show? Even though someone in the audience prays for others more than the “leader”? Even though someone in the audience is often awake all night caring for someone who needs him? Even though someone in the audience goes down to the seedy part of town wearing rags and tells about the love of Christ to people in the cellar of life?

But we give in to it. We praise the one standing before an audience and envy all their attention and their title.  Oh, my friend, who is the true leader ~ the audience or someone standing up front? Can we judge ourselves and each other as God does? Can we act as God does?

Jesus was always a server, helping others to be better. The last time he ate with his apostles before his death, he put on an apron and went around washing their feet. Apparently, none of them felt they should stoop so low as to do it. So, the Son of God did it.

Image result for "Buy the book"STEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR had everything going for him. A wife, children, a position as a deacon in the mighty church in Jerusalem who everyone admired.  He willingly gave it all up so Simon of Cyrene, who carried Jesus cross, could escape and live to tell of his experience with Jesus. To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2Bowxf8

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