Thursday 7/11 ~ Overwhelmed

The scripture for today, July 11 (7/11), is Matthew 7:11 as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“If you, then, though you are ‘evil’, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Yes, we are evil.  Evil and sin mean the same thing.  Let’s face it:  If we are sinful, then we are evil.  Hard to think of ourselves that way.  Could we do nice things to someone who did bad things to us every day?  God can. God does. He is the God of the impossible. The God who absorbs the black hole of sin and brings light into it, not to reveal it but to forgive it.

The Creator of the Universe our Father? The master-mind behind the intricacies of our bodies our Father? The Creator of over two trillion galaxies (not stars, but galaxies of stars) our Father?  The one who occupies the tiniest atom our Father? The One who can be everywhere at once our Father?

How unworthy we are. All we can do is fall at his feet and whisper, “You are so great. I am so small. I am overwhelmed by your love.”

 

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-PAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE called himself a violent man, and that he was.  He imprisoned, tortured, and executed people for believing in Jesus.  Then he switched sides. So overwhelmed was he for God’s ability to forgive him, he endured beatings, slashings, storms, floods, hunger, shipwrecks, and each time he cried out, “Jesus! This is for you!” To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2SHeQPg

 

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Sunday 6/30 ~ The heavenly temple

The scripture for today, June 30 (6/30), is 1st Kings 6:30 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.”

About 40 years ago it was figured that Solomon put $3 trillion worth of gold in the temple to line the ceiling, walls, and floor. And that figure would probably be around $12 trillion today. Talk about streets of gold in heaven!

There are some people today asking for money to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Even if they accomplished it, what would it do for Christians? The book of Hebrews in the New Testament explains to the Hebrew (Jewish) Christians that they no longer need or want the temple. Why? Hebrews 8:13 says, “By calling this covenant (Testament) ‘new’ he has made the first one [Old Testament] obsolete.”

Let’s look at the temple in a spiritual sense through the eyes of a Christian ~ and of Jesus himself in Hebrews 9:1. “Now the FIRST  COVENANT  [TESTAMENT] had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 7 Only the High Priest entered the inner room [Most Holy Place]…and never without blood.…. 11When Christ came as High Priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle [temple] that is not man-made. 12. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood [He being the Lamb of God ~ John 1], having obtained eternal redemption. 24. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered HEAVEN  ITSELF. For this reason, Christ is the mediator of a NEW  COVENANT  [TESTAMENT].’

Why in the world would anyone want an imitation temple and holy of holies made with hands back in Jerusalem again, along with all the animal sacrifices on the altar, and priests who would have to be of the Tribe of Levi, and tithing and all the other over 600 laws of Moses? 

Thank God, we live in a more spiritual age ~ the age of Christ and the temple of heaven itself.

 

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Wednesday 6/26 ~ I can tell you love me

The scripture for today, June 26 (6/26), is 1st Chronicles 6:26ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

OldOldTunes-medium“Elkanah his son, Zophai his son, Nahath his son, Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son and SAMUEL his son. The sons of Samuel: JOEL the firstborn and Abijah the second son.”

This is a little long, but I think you will enjoy it.

The prophet Samuel came from a musical family who descended from Levi’s son Kohath. Samuel’s son listed in this scripture was Joel. Verse 33 called the son of Joel and grandson of Samuel “Heman the musician”. Just what did Heman the musician do?

David told the Levites to appoint “singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals“. Heman was the first one they appointed (I Chronicles 15:16f) and he had two assistants ~ Asaph and Merari (I Chronicles. 6:39, 44). David put them in charge of the music in the house of the Lord and they performed their duties according to the regulations (verses 31f).

So what David appointed was a choir and orchestra.  When David first appointed them, Heman had 120 relatives in his clan, and his assistants had 220 and 130 in their clans (I Chronicles. 15:5-7; 19-22; 27-28) so they had a total of 470 musicians. Wow! And these musicians had a full-time job!

They were to minister before the Lord “according to each day’s requirements” of sacrifices as written in the Law of Moses. Heman and the others were responsible for sounding the trumpets and cymbals and playing the other instruments ~ lyres, harps and cymbals (15:19-21) ~ for sacred song (16:37-42). In addition to playing the prescribed lyres, harps and cymbals, trumpets were to be sounded to announce sacrifices, etc. (16:4-6).

By the time David was old, there were “four thousand…to praise the Lord with the musical instruments” (I Chronicles 23:5)! What an amazing choir and orchestra they had by this time! Remember, they were all male Levites, and were to help Aaron’s descendants, the priests, in the temple every day and at special feasts (verse 28, 30f). And what instruments were they still playing? Cymbals, lyres and harps “for the ministry at the house of God” (I Chronicles. 25:1 & 6).

Years later after David died and his son Solomon had completed the grand Temple in Jerusalem (II Chronicles. 5:1), “all the Levites who were musicians…stood on the east side of the altar dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres, accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. The trumpeters and singers joined in unison as with one voice to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and the other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the Lord” (verses 12-13).

Can you imagine such an orchestra and choir? The tinkling of the harps and lyres, with cymbals keeping the tempo, and trumpets calling attention to it all? And all those singers! Was God pleased? Indeed he was, for in the form of a cloud “the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God” (verse 14).

All this occurred around 1000 BC. Three centuries later when Hezekiah was king, the same instruments were being played ~ cymbals, harps and lyres (II Chronicles. 29:25f). Why? Because they were prescribed by David, Gad the seer and Nathan the prophet as commanded by God through his prophets. (Acts 2:29-30 says David was a prophet too.)

So we see that during Old Testament times, God commanded that they have full-time musicians to sing and play during daily sacrifices and special feasts and they had to be male Levites and they had to play cymbals, harps and lyres, sometimes accompanied by trumpets.

What a family Samuel had! And I’ll bet he was musical himself. How proud he would have been of his descendants.

Interestingly, although God specified every detail of the instruments that had to be played in the Old Testament, nothing like that was specified in the New Testament. Did God forget? Perhaps God took us to a higher plain in the New Testament era. We do know that in I Corinthians 14:15, we are told to both pray and sing with mind and spirit.

And in Ephesians 5:19 we are told to “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” The term “make music” in the original Greek language of the New Testament is to play on strings. Since we are to make music in our hearts, then it looks like we are to play on the instrument of our heart. How beautiful!

About 40 years ago when my father died, the funeral was in a little country church. The music consisted of a small group from the congregation who sang hymns without the accompaniment of an instrument. They were not good performers ~ they twanged a lot and sometimes were a bit off key. But it was some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard. Why? Because their singing was accompanied by their heart. They were telling my family, “We love you,” and I really felt that they did.

God looks down at our singing ~ no matter how good or feeble ~ and says, “I can tell you love me.” And that’s all that matters.

 

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Monday 6/24 ~ The Lord bless & keep you

The scripture for today, June 24 (6/24), is Numbers 6:24f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Love Letters of Jesus & his Bride, Eccelsia-THUMBNAIL“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

This beautiful blessing from the Bible has been set to music and turned into a spiritual song. Enter this on the internet, and you should be able to hear it sung: http://bit.ly/1HAztLI

Sit back, close your eyes and imagine you singing or saying this to someone who does not understand God.

 

LOVE LETTERS OF JESUS & HIS BRIDE, ECCLESIA is an adaptation of Song of Solomon with each chapter a love letter to or from the church, Jesus’ bride.  A great gift.  A great reminder of who we are. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2IEkSdE

 

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Thursday 6/6 ~ Are you satisfied?

The scripture for today, June 6 (6/6), is 1st Timothy 6:6f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Titus-Cover-Lg Thumb“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”

Still, don’t we all do it? Compare what we own with what our neighbor owns? Work and strive to gain more and more stuff?

A long time ago, a man wrote a book called, How to Want What You Have. He emphasized that, to people who are never content with what they have, happiness is always right around the corner. If we could just buy that object, or get that house, obtain that promotion. But once we get it, we are only satisfied briefly before happiness slips away again, and we decide we would truly be happy if we could buy yet another object, or get yet another house, obtain yet another promotion. And so we live our lives.

Dare to look around today and tell yourself, “I have all I need.”

 

0-Titus-Cover-Lg ThumbTITUS: THE ARISTOCRAT was raised in the finest palacia in Antioch a city of elitists who only spoke Latin, not the common Greek.  But his father would hardly speak to him. He vowed when he had children someday, he would give them all the attention they desired.  It happened as he had hoped. Now he had everything. He became a Christian and Paul sent him to help new congregations. Then one day, he gave up all his wealth. Paul sent him to the barbarian lands of Albania. Perfect FATHER’S DAY gift.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2Im8xts

 

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