Friday 5/31 ~ When perfection finally came

The scripture for today, May 31 (5/31), is Deuteronomy 5:31 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Cover-Medium“But you [Moses] may stay here [on the mountain] with me [God] so that I may give you all the commands, decrees, and laws you are to teach them to follow in the land I am giving them to possess.”

Many people believe that the “Law of Moses” consisted only of the Ten Commandments. But there was much more. It took Moses 40 days to write them all down. How many? Over 600 “commands, decrees and laws.”

Some people today want to dip back into the Law of Moses to get showy types of worship ~ candles, incense, stoning for adultery, instruments of music, choirs, animal sacrifices, separate priesthood, special clothing for priests, and tithing to pay for it all. Jesus nailed the old law to the cross (Colossians 2:14) and created a much simpler New Testament/Covenant!

Other people want to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.  Why? So they can revert to animal sacrifices and thus nullify the sacrifice Jesus made of himself?  James said that, if we keep part of the Law, we are obligated to keep it all (James 2:10).

By calling this covenant [testament] ‘new’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear’ “ (Hebrews 8:13). Not part of it. All of it. Hebrews goes on to say that the Holy of Holies is now in heaven, the curtain in the temple is now Jesus, etc.  Rebuilding the temple would mean going backward from grace to legalism.

Thank God we do not have to keep all those 600+ commandments in the Law of Moses. They were controlling and tedious, and some were impossible to keep. Why would God give a law impossible to keep? To help us understand that it is impossible for us to be perfect. Finally, when we understood that, he was ready to send his Son to earth to be perfect for us.

 

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Tuesday 5/28 ~ Just like him

The scripture for today, May 28 (5/28), is Luke 5:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Titus-Cover-Lg Thumb“And Levi got up, left everything and followed him [Jesus].”

This Matthew Levi was a tax collector, who, in those days, was allowed to set his own tax rates so he could pay the Romans their share and pocket the rest of it for himself. Why would such a man follow Jesus, a man who apparently didn’t have much money? He had to trust Jesus and believe that he was truly a friend.

And why would Jesus ask him? Jesus was certainly taking a chance since the uppity leaders of society and their religion openly declared Jesus a bad person for associating with “sinners and tax collectors”. Jesus, in turn, had to trust and believe in Levi.

A lot of Christians brag that their only friends are those who worship with them. They don’t really trust anyone else, so don’t really want to be anyone else’s friend. That is good, but how are they supposed to bring anyone to Jesus? Jesus went out to “seek and save the lost.”

And sometimes there is a visitor at worship who isn’t dressed right ~ perhaps with uncombed hair, or smell from no shower, or makeup put on too heavy, or clothes not in style, or maybe even dressed too richly. Are we ashamed to be seen with them? Jesus wouldn’t have been. He was color blind, style blind, class blind.

Today, reach out and make friends with someone you have been staying away from. Jesus did. And thereby, you will be like him.

 

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Monday, 5/27 ~ Which is true?

The scripture for today, May 27 (5/27), is Job 5:27 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself.”

How many times have you gone to worship or listened on TV to a minister/priest/rabbi/imam and believed everything he said because the speaker looked so holy and convincing? Isn’t that confusing when so many different holy-looking religious leaders teach different things and conflict with each other?

What is the answer to this dilemma? Examine the Bible for yourself! You’re smart! You can do it!

The best way is to get a concordance. It lists every word in the Bible alphabetically, and every scripture that contains that word. If you want to know God’s opinion instead of man’s, use your concordance and look up every passage your chosen topic appears in. You can buy one (it is the size of an unabridged dictionary but not expensive) or use one on the internet.

Then examine everything God ~ not man ~ has to say about anything. Then there are no doubts. You have examined the facts. Now you know the truth.  Now you are ready to apply it to yourself. The truth will set you free.

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Saturday 5/25 ~ Love everybody? What an intriguing thought!

The scripture for today, May 25 (5/25), is Galatians 5:25f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

When someone is better than you in doing something, do you pick fights with them as punishment, or spread gossip about them in order to get others to quit respecting them?

Perhaps you don’t do this all the time. But what about times when there is something you feel you are really good at, but another person not as talented gets the honor? That’s when it’s hard to “keep in step with the Spirit.”

Whenever you envy someone, deep down you consider that person your enemy. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45a).

To many, loving our enemy is the most difficult command in the Bible. Perhaps one way to love your “enemy” is to realize that Jesus loved his enemies. Every time you sin, you become one of his enemies. But Jesus keeps right on loving you, even when you don’t want to stop doing whatever you shouldn’t.

Jesus demonstrates the love of the Son of God. And here he says, if you love your enemies, you are demonstrating what the children of God do. And that is far more important than honor that goes to those you envy. Leaving behind conceit makes it much easier to love everyone.  Love everyone?  What an intriguing thought.

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Monday 5/13 ~Just for you

The scripture for today, May 13 (5/13), is 1st John 5:13f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: That if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

Ah, to know you have eternal life.  It’s easy to say. “I’m so happy because I have eternal life.”  Easy to say. But do you really believe it?

I hear Christians everywhere lament their death.  “Whew, I could have died in that car crash” “Oh, no, I just took the wrong medicine and it will kill me.”  “Hurry, get me to the hospital before I die!”

Yes, life here is precious. But it is only the bud of the flower, the spark of the fire, the whisper of the song. Our life here is like living in a dark cave.

Why would a truly believing Christian fear walking through that marvelous door where Jesus himself awaits their arrival?

True, part of looking forward to heaven is knowing what it looks like. Revelation gives you a hint but it is symbolic. Cling to what you know and believe. Rush to the door out of the cave in anticipation for the world you were always meant to live in.

Some people say, “But I want to be here to watch my children or grandchildren grow up.” What then? To watch them graduate and get a job and start having babies? When does it end?

Stop right now.   Take a deep breath. Ask God to forgive your doubts and selfishness and putting things and people before him. Then look up. Look up! He is there waiting for you. His hands are reaching out to you. Those hands that were nailed to the cross for you. His hands that are now full of healing and tenderness and glory just for you.

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