Friday 11/23 ~ When they wept

The scripture for today, November 23 (11/23), is 1st Corinthians 11:23ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ “

How the hearts of Jesus and his closest friends must have been breaking that night. How the apostles must have struggled to hold back the tears. They all knew the religious leaders in Jerusalem were plotting to execute Jesus. They knew he was taking his life in his hands to be in the city ~ their lives too. How could they part with the one they now knew was the Son of God but also the Son of Mankind ~ their dearest friend?

When we take the communion every Sunday, where are our thoughts? What we’re going to do after church? What someone sitting near us is wearing? How the person in front of us is blocking our view?

How many of us during the communion weep as Jesus’ apostles must have wept ~ and probably even as Jesus himself wept?

Oh, Jesus, it was my sins that caused you to go through that horrible death!  My punishment! How could you love me that much? I fall at your feet. I am so sorry. 

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Monday 11/19 ~ Surely, not me!

The scripture for today, November 19 (11/19), is Ezekiel 11:19 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Titus-Cover-Lg Thumb“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”

Although the 600+ commandments in the Old Testament/Covenant Law of Moses were nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 8:10-13), God has always had laws to keep us safe. In the New Testament/Covenant era, he does not have a lot of laws, but he still has them.

What is our worship like? Is it full of things God never asked us to do? Does our worship elevate God or ourselves? When we’re done worshiping, do we say, “We were so great!” or “God is so great!”?

We add all kinds of things to our worship that were commanded only under the Old Testament/Covenant Law of Moses, or things we think would “add to the effectiveness” of our worship. If, for example, it’s okay to add things to our singing and praying because then they would sound better, then it is okay to add lemon pie to the Lord’s Supper because then it would taste better.

Again, the question: Who are we worshiping and trying to please? God or ourselves? Do we deep down have a heart of stone, but put on our halo and say, “Surely not me”?

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Saturday 11/17 ~ Putting myself in danger

The scripture for today, November 17 (11/17), is 1st Chronicles 11:17f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“David longed for water and said, ‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem.’ So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David.”

The people who followed David admired him because he knew how to be a good leader. So, many were willing to do anything to make “Captain David” happy. David had been born and raised in Bethlehem. Now he was grown and had a following of those evading power-hungry King Saul, many of whom were brave soldiers. They had traveled throughout the country either evading or defending themselves against this and other enemies.

Their travels took them back to David’s hometown which was being held by enemy Philistines. For old-time’s sake, he longed for a drink from the well he had drunk from many times in his youth. Three of his strongest men risked their lives to bring their captain, David, that drink of water.

How much do you admire the Captain of your Salvation, Jesus? How much are you willing to sacrifice for him? Do you say, “I’m too busy to do anything for Jesus and his kingdom today”? Do you say, “I’m afraid if I say something about Jesus to so-and-so, s/he will insult me”? Do you say, “Someone at church offended me, so I’m not going to worship Jesus anymore?” Do you admire Jesus enough to put yourself in the slightest danger just to do the smallest thing for him?

Ah, Lord Jesus, you put yourself in danger for me. Help me have that same kind of love for you.

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Sunday 10/21 ~ Dying or nourishing?

The scripture for today, October 21 (10/21), is Proverbs 10:21 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.”

What do you talk about during the day? What kind of judgment do you use? Do you nourish others by what you say to them?

Are you a complainer or complementor? Are you rude or patient? Do you glare or smile? Do you criticize the wrong a person does, or praise the right that person does? Do you sing of your love of God on Sunday and use swear words the rest of the week?

If you are a foolish talker, you are killing yourself.

Today, go out of your way to nourish everyone you talk to. Start a new habit. They will see God in you.

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Saturday 10/20 ~ Lord God, you are crowned with the sun

The scripture for today, October 20 (10/20), is Deuteronomy 10:20 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him.”

I praise you, Jehovah, Creator of everything I observe and more.  You are too large to see but a speck of you. You are too small to perceive, too much to fathom, too wise to comprehend. You are my monarch, my sovereign, my emperor, my king.  You reign over my heart, my mind, my spirit, my soul. 

Lord God, you are crowned with the sun. Your scepter is tipped with the moon. Your robe spreads across the Milky Way.  Your throne is the dome of the cosmos encircled with a thousand rainbows. Your eyes sparkle like stars, your laughter is like the thunder, your tears like raindrops, your touch like billowy clouds gliding across the sky. Oh, my Lord. I love you, adore you, worship you. 

In the Hebrew, “fear” is yirah. It means to revere. Psalm 111:9 (KJV) says, “Holy and reverend is His name,” not somebody else’s name. Some preachers say, “Well, I’m honoring God when I add ‘Reverend’ to my name.” Really?

We are told to hold fast to God. Hold fast to Reverend God, and he will hold fast to you.

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Thursday 10/18 ~ Who Knows? It may be you.

The scripture for today, October 18 (10/18), is 2nd Corinthians 10:18 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-KINDLE-Thumbnail-New“For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”

Do you look at your life and decide some of your bad habits are not so bad, considering what some other people you know are doing? Do you look at your life and decide your lukewarmness in good works and spreading the gospel is not so bad, considering what most others around you are doing? 

Jesus said you will receive only one reward, and we must choose it: (1) Being commended by each other, or (2) being commended by God. You can’t have both (Matthew 6:5; 18).

And that brings up how you judge other people. You may decide certain Christians you know are not pulling their share of the load in your congregation, not doing their part. That may be a wrong judgment.

A lot of Christians you know may be doing good works you will never learn about. “”Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward [them]” (Matthew 6:18a). Who knows? That time someone mowed your lawn while you were in the hospital may have been one of those “do-nothings”. I wonder how many stars are in their crown….

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Thursday 10/11 ~ Playing Peek-a-boo

The scripture for today, October 11 (10/11), is Psalm 10:11 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“He says to himself, ‘God has forgotten; he covers his face and never sees.’ “

You believe in God in some form. And you believe that God knows what you do. But do you sometimes bury your beliefs in your subconscious mind so you can go around doing things you know are wrong? Do you believe you won’t get caught, and you can slide into heaven doing whatever you want?

In other words, do you justify your favorite sins? Do you justify your sins of attitude such as jealousy, impatience, pride, short temper under the guise of an unhappy childhood or getting what you deserve?  Do you justify your sins of omission ~ good things you should be doing, but are not ~ under the excuse that you don’t have time to do them? Do you justify questionable things you do by saying they’re “not so bad” or God is so good, he will forgive anything you do as long as you say you’re sorry every time you do it?

Do you do as children do who cover their eyes so they cannot see anyone and think that, therefore, no one ~ including God ~ can 17see them?

God loves you more than you can ever imagine. He never forgets you. He sees and hears everything you do. The only things he does not approve of are things that will ultimately hurt you and which he calls sin.

Here is a marvelous jewel for you. Take it, shine it up, and put it on display:  Pleasing God is the ultimate form of pleasing yourself.

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