Wednesday 4/17 ~ How deep are your roots?

The scripture for today, April 17 (4/17), is Mark 4:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the Word, they quickly fall away.”

We may be mentally prepared for persecution out in the world. But what about persecution among our friends who we attend worship with all the time? They can turn on us too.

Perhaps you have discovered a “new” truth and are trying to get members of your congregation to believe it. If members get the feeling you are trying to prove them wrong and make them look bad, they will turn on you, much like people do a “whistleblower” in the business world.

On whose side will you stand? Your friends’ so you can continue to be friends with them, or God’s? It’s easy to let things slide and pretend that “new” truth no longer exists so you can keep your friends. How deep are your roots? Who shall you worship? Your friends or your God? What is more important? Your comfort in this life or your eternity?

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Saturday 4/6 ~ Your heart will soar

The scripture for today, April 6 (4/6), is 1st Corinthians 4:6 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“…learn from us the meaning of the saying, ‘Do not go beyond what is written.’ Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.”

Periodically through the Bible there appears this same warning for us to not “go beyond what is written.” 2nd Peter 1:20 says prophecy is scripture. Prophecy was needed before the New Testament was written, but no more after that, for by then, the prophecy of the apostles had been written down and were being passed around.

It is important to find out if what we are being taught is “beyond what is written.” It can be done. How? Simple. Use a concordance. A concordance is the size of an unabridged dictionary and includes every word in the Bible alphabetically, and every scripture that contains each word. Many libraries have one. Or you can order one from your local bookstore. There are some concordances on the internet too. Here is one:  http://bibletab.com

You are an intelligent person. Don’t take for granted what others tell you, no matter how holy they look and act and how much they smile at you or threaten you.  Check things for yourself. Read the Bible for yourself. Decide for yourself whether any of your church leaders have gone “beyond what is written.” You can do it: Find out for sure.

It is liberating. Your heart will soar and your soul will embrace God in a whole new way.

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Thursday 4/4 ~ A sinless anger?

The scripture for today, April 4 (4/4), is Psalm 4:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-Thumbnail“In your anger do not sin.”

You’ve gotta be kidding!  That’s impossible! When you get angry, it’s time to lash out at everyone. And yell and call them names. And show our temper? Maybe even throw a few things? After all, that’s the only way to get across to the other person that you are really angry.

Hold on. If, for instance, you told your child not to do something for their own safety but your child did it anyway, of course you would become angry. Why? Your child put himself in danger because of his action.

You can choose to lash out at your child wildly so that your emotions mask your words. Or you can choose to talk calmly and explain the dangers your child was put in because of that action. Maybe punishment is in order. You can calmly but firmly tell them what their punishment is. You can calmly punish your child without losing your temper.

It is the same way with adults. If you lose your temper and shoot daggers with your eyes and rant and rave, all your actions distract people from your words. Aren’t your words of explanation more important than the emotionalism and yelling? If you were hurt, just say so. If they hurt themselves, just say so.

 And with other adults, tell them how you feel, not how they feel; you don’t really know. Tell them what you want, not what they want; you don’t really know.

While we’re at it, not all words help. Name calling does not help. Name calling is done when you choose not to explain how you feel. Name calling such as, “You’re irresponsible,” locks the other person in and sets them up for future failures between you and them. Losing your temper during anger gets you off the issue and into sin.

If I’m angry because it rained, I do not lash out at the rain. I calmly deal with it and go on with my life.

Next time you are angry at a person, try to remain calm and then explain the problem in tones that they can truly listen to and learn from. If you have trouble doing this, practice when you’re alone. It will come to you in the right way. It will teach you to remain calm when you’re angry.

Anger is not the same thing as sin. What you do with it can be. Choose a calm anger.  Thereby, you will have a peace that passes understanding.

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Wednesday 4/3 ~ Discovering real truth

The scripture for today, April 3 (4/3), is 1st Timothy 4:3 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“They [false teachers] forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.”

It is hard for you to think that smiling, humble, Bible-quoting, holy-looking church leaders could be false teachers and condemned by the God they claim to represent.  We want to think well of everyone. Isn’t that the way Christians are to think? But sometimes thinking well of someone and thinking well of the truth can clash.  Now you have a choice to make ~ a hard choice.

The Apostle Paul, warned of false teachers in the church that would come in the future. Indeed, it did happen. A time came when certain Christians were ordered not to marry, and not to eat certain foods (for instance, on Friday. They claim it is a sin to disobey them and don’t show you the scriptures they refuse to obey.

Remember, your church leaders are going to be judged by God just like everyone else. Always, as the Apostle Peter once warned, “We ought to obey God and not men” (Acts 4:19). Besides, do you think this is one reason people have turned against “organized religion”?

This is why it is important to read the Bible for yourself. Use a concordance to look up all scriptures in the Bible with any keyword and you will learn what is true and not true. Isn’t it time for you to sort through everything you have been told?  Isn’t it time for you to discover pure truth?

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Sunday 3/31 ~ Family

The scripture for today, March 31 (3/31), is Mark 3:31ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him and they told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.’ ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’ “

Do you need a mediator between Jesus and yourself? Jesus said his followers are his brothers, sisters, and mother. You do not need anyone to intercede and beg Jesus to give you special attention (I Timothy 2:5). He already gives us special attention. After all, we are his family.

Oh, how comforting. No one has a perfect family here on earth. You love your family anyway.  It is the same with Jesus’ family ~ the church.  We are not perfect. But we forgive each other just as Jesus forgives us.  Do not refuse to be with Jesus’ family because of someone’s imperfections of offenses.  Ephesians 5:23 and elsewhere say Jesus is the head and we are his body. To break away from Jesus’ body is to break away from Jesus ~ our Brother, our Savior, the Lover of Your Soul.

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No matter how dangerous the world was in Jesus’ time, JOSEPH: THE OTHER FATHER protected his step-son. 

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