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 there are in their crown….

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Tuesday 10/16 ~ Just who are we trying to please?

The scripture for today, October 16 (1-16). is Acts 10:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

365 Dat by Date-Front-Thumbnail“This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.”

This is about a vision where God let down a sheet full of animals that were “unclean” or not allowed to be eaten according to the Law of Moses. (See Leviticus 11:1-8.) God told Peter he could now eat them.

Peter already knew that Jesus nailed the Old Law of Moses to the Cross (Colossians 2:14). But it just hadn’t sunk in yet. As many times as Jesus told his apostles about his Sonship of God and proved it with astounding miracles, it wasn’t until just before his death that Jesus told them, “You believe at last!” (John 16:31).

Similarly, sometimes you read the same scripture over and over and it goes right over your head. You are not seeing what God wants you to see. You assume that what you’ve always been doing will always be right. You assume that others in church do things a certain way, so it has to be right.

Do this: Search everything in the scriptures on topics that you assume you know all about, and get everything God has to say about it. Then compare scripture to practice.

It IS possible to get God’s opinion on things, and that is who, in the end, you are trying to please.  He will judge you, not your friends. He alone can save you.

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Sunday 10/7 ~ Why would a good God condone violence?

The scripture for today, October 7 (10/7), is Joshua 10:7f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.’ “

We today cannot imagine a good God condoning violence, let alone promoting it. But think back. Mankind was quite barbaric in the centuries and millenniums before Christ. For example, when Alexander the Great got offended at what a friend said to him, he cut off his nose and ears and put him in a cage for the rest of his life.

God never runs very far ahead of mankind, or else mankind would not understand, and not even try to follow God. By the time Jesus came, God was saying, “No more violence.”

In this scripture for today, God was telling Joshua to attack people in the Promised Land ~ Canaan. This brings up another question: Why would a good God allow one group of people to kill off another group of people? God told Abraham centuries earlier, “In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure” (Genesis 15:16). By this time they were sacrificing children to their gods.

In Leviticus 18:24, 28, God warned the Jews through Moses, “Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled…And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” So God warned the Jews that, if they got as bad as the previous people in Canaan, he would drive them out too. (Eventually they did, so God did.)

Further, in Old Testament times, God often punished people immediately. Why punish them? Partly to get them away from the good people. And God used armies of believers to do the punishing for him.

Today God does not expect us to do the punishing. Romans 12:19 says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ says the Lord. On the contrary, If your enemy is hungry feed him…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Thank God, he has taken the terrible task of vengeance away from us. We can just forgive our enemies and hand things over to God to take whatever steps need to be taken. In the meantime, we can read the Old Testament and learn that God takes notice when people are doing bad things to us. God does take care of us. God does love his children.

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Friday 10/5 ~ Come to me. Please come.

The scripture for today, October 5 (10/5), is 2nd Corinthians 10:5f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now, these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.”

01-Miriam-ThumbnailCoverThis is about the 40 years the Jews wandered in the wilderness between leaving their slavery in Egypt and beginning a nation for themselves. They had the mindsets of slaves. They did not know how to make decisions for themselves. One of those decisions was to leave the gods of Egypt and worship only the one true God.

It was easier to fall in line with what they were raised to believe. They took the easy way out rather than follow the God who had proved the Egyptian gods were not gods at all. They would rather die than change. So they did. They died.

Do you take the easy way out? Do you stick with things you were raised to believe even though you have learned more of the Bible and see those old beliefs are not what God said?

The early Jews did not listen to God, so God did not listen to them. He is calling out to you even now. “Come to me. I want to save you. Please come.”

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Tuesday 9/25 ~ How’s your race going?

The scripture for today, September 25 (9/25), is 1st Corinthians 9:25f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly….”

Every few years there are world-wide Olympic Games with many races. The racers must eat properly, rest sufficiently, and exercise daily.

The Bible has been called the Bread of Life. As a Christian, you need to eat your spiritual meal every day to stay fit. You cannot keep up your strength without it. Your time of rest is prayer. You enter a room alone and talk to God every day. You need your rest. You cannot keep up your strength without it.

I Timothy 4:8 says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” You exercise your godliness by being out in the world and being a good example in the face of temptation. You exercise your spiritual muscles daily.

The race is your Christian life. You run every day. How is your race going?

 

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