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

 

sign click here for all my books

#hypocrites, #worship, #arrogance, #ego, #crucifixion, #blog, #inspiration, #devotional, #worship, #vespers, #meditation,. #godliness, #Christianity, #JesusChrist, #church, #Bible, #Scripture, #HolyBook, #religion, #love, #truth

 

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

sign click here for all my books

#sin, #guilt, #crucifixion, #LambOfGod, #ransom, #grace, #blog, #inspiration, #devotional, #worship, #vespers, #meditation,. #godliness, #Christianity, #JesusChrist, #church, #Bible, #Scripture, #HolyBook, #religion, #love, #truth

 

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

sign click here for all my books

#martyrdom, #ego, #importance, #showoff, #leader, #performer, #blog, #inspiration, #devotional, #worship, #vespers, #meditation,. #godliness, #Christianity, #JesusChrist, #church, #Bible, #Scripture, #HolyBook, #religion, #love, #truth

 

 

Sunday 1/6 ~ Well, which one is our leader?

The scripture for today, January 6, is Titus 1:6f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Titus-Cover-Lg Thumb“An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless ~ not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, nor pursuing dishonest gain.”

This is quite interesting. God does not leave us to guess the qualifications of a church leader. We don’t have to hold conferences or synods to decide on qualifications for this office, because God has already given them.

Something surprising here is that the word elder is used interchangeably with the word overseer (sometimes also translated bishop). The word elder comes from the Greek word presbyter. The word overseer/bishop is from the Greek word episcopos. Elder and overseer and bishop all are the same in this passage referring to the same office!

Here’s something else interesting about the elder/overseer/bishop: The word pastor comes from the Greek word for shepherd, poiman. In Acts 20:17, Paul sent for the elders of the church in Ephesus to talk to them. When they arrived, he said, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds [pastors] of the church of God which he bought with his own blood.” He called them by three titles.

Do you see the overlapping of the same office being called by different names? It’s kind of like father and papa being the same.

Titus 1:6f uses elder and overseer for the same office. Overseer is the same in Greek as bishop. Acts 20:17 uses elder, overseer, shepherd (pastor) for the same office.

In our daily lives, we have different words meaning the same person; such as father, parent, dad, papa ~ all names for the same position in the family.

So, too, for the family of God ~ the church ~ all these words overlap as names for the same office! And the qualifications for this office are found in our scripture for today, Titus 1:6f. Indeed, how interesting!

 

Related imageTITUS: THE ARISTOCRAT is a successful lawyer and arbitrator. Apostle Paul sends him to arbitrate hopeless quarreling churches.  Full of surprises.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2FaRgUD

sign click here for all my books

#elders, #pastors, #bishops, #presbyters, #overseers, #shepherds, #church, #congregation, #leaders

 

Wednesday 12/26 ~ Is Jesus there with you?

The scripture for today, December 26 (12/26), is John 12:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Ah, Lord Jesus. We claim we understand how humble you were, then build great cathedrals which we claim are to your glory but which are really to our glory. We organize great musical performances which we claim are to your glory but which are really to our glory.

Just where was Jesus when he was on earth saying this?  In a posh hotel in Jerusalem? Did he have great musicians performing in the background? Did he stand on a podium and declare this to multitudes?

 Who or what are you really a servant to? Power in a workplace, club, congregation, neighborhood? Prestige in a community, an occupation, an organization? Self-indulgence of money, music, entertainment?

While you are pursuing things in life, is Jesus there with you? Are you doing what he would be busy doing?  Are you where he was when he said this?

Dare to be a servant to the power of Jesus’ love, prestige in the eyes of God, self-indulgence in the joy of worshiping Him. In this only is there true and enduring honor.

Related imageLAZARUS: THE SAMARITAN was unpopular and when he married a Jewish girl, they had a lot to overcome.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2ELJtfS

SIGN-NARROW Click Here for All My Books

#power, #prestige, #glory, #cathedrals, #servants, #money, #entertainment, #blog, #inspiration, #devotional, #worship, #vespers, #meditation,. #godliness, #Christianity, #JesusChrist, #church, #Bible, #Scripture, #HolyBook, #religion, #love, #truth