Saturday 3/2 ~ What is written on your heart?

The scripture for today, March 2 (3/2), is 2nd Corinthians 3:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Love Letters of Jesus & his Bride, Eccelsia-THUMBNAIL“You yourselves are our letter written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.”

As important as it is to read the Bible for yourself and determine for yourself what you will follow, it is equally important to put those things into your heart at the ready for practical life application on a moment’s notice. But isn’t knowledge of truth enough?  Just giving our heart to Jesus as Lord isn’t enough?

James 2:19 says that even demons believe, but they are still demons and still bound for hell. It takes more than faith. There are things to do.

Are you a letter from God to people around you? Or do you have a double standard, acting one way around worshipers and another way around non-worshipers? People read our hearts by our words and actions. What do people read in your heart?

Do you absolutely and completely believe people will end up in hell without Jesus? Do you absolutely and completely believe people have to rise above demons who believe but who are still going to hell? Do you absolutely and completely believe you could be the only one in your family’s and friends’ lives who cares enough for their soul that you will actually say something ~ put your heart letter into words?

Do you love them more than yourself? Do you love them enough? Is your heart available enough for their hungry souls to read?

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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

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Saturday 2/2 ~ Christmas carols

The scripture for today, February 2 (2/2), is Matthew 2:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Matthew's Life of Christ-Cover-thumbnail“[the Magi/Wisemen] asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

There are people who believe the “star of Bethlehem” was in the east. But the star wasn’t in the east; the wise men (Magi) were.

The Christmas carol says the star led the wise men the whole way. But Matthew 2:9 & 10 says, “After they had heard the king [Herod], they went on their way, and the star they HAD seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.”

They rejoiced when they saw the star again, not because it had been with them the whole time, but because it had reappeared.

The Christmas carol also speaks of them as “We Three Kings.” First, there were three gifts but could have been an entourage of ten or twenty or more. Second, they were not kings.  It wasn’t until 600 AD that someone named them as the King of Arabia, King of India and King of Persia. The original language calls them Magi which is a tribe of astrologers and priests in Babylon and Parthia, not kings.

By the way, the manger scenes show the wise men there with the shepherds on the night Jesus was born.  Jesus was around two years old by the time the wise men figured out the meaning of the star and traveled over 1000 miles to get there, following which boy babies age two and under were killed. Then there are the carols that say the angels sang are wrong. Angels do not sing. Christians do, but angels do not. Check it out.

There are so many things about the Bible that we have heard all our lives and just assume are true. Here’s an idea: Investigate things for yourself! Why take a teaching about the Bible for granted? You’re smart. You can do it. Will you?

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Friday 1/25 ~ Give up your freedom?

The scripture for today, January 25 (1/25), is James 1:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Titus-Cover-Lg Thumb“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it ~ he will be blessed in what he does.”

A lot of people do not understand that there was the Law of Moses with over 600 commands in the Old Testament, and the Law of Jesus with very few commands in the New Testament. Religious leaders use the Law of Moses to justify adding fancy or fun things to worship or a separate priesthood or tithing, or whatever they like. 

But they leave out stoning for adultery or disobeying your parents, killing someone who killed your relative, knocking the eye out of someone who knocked your eye out, giving a third of your income (not just a tenth), killing animals to sacrifice, etc.  It’s all part of the same Law!

Romans 7:4-7 says Christians have been released from the Law. Hebrews 8:13 & all of chapter 9 say the first covenant (testament/law) of Moses had regulations for worship but is obsolete in favor of the new covenant (testament/law). James 2:10 says if you try to live by the old Law but fail in just one point, you are guilty of all of it.

But how are you to know what was in the Old Law of Moses besides the fancy or fun things today’s religious leaders like?  There is only one possible answer:  Read it.  Plow through Leviticus and all those minute codes. Then you will understand.

Let us truly let loose of the old Law of Moses and cling to the “perfect Law that gives freedom” in Christ.

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Sunday 1/13 ~ Come back! Come back! I miss you!

The scripture for today, January 13 (1/13), is Habakkuk 1:13 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong.”

This pretty much explains why no one deserves heaven. Going to heaven has little to do with doing so many good works God will feel obligated to admit you. 

It’s all about sin.  Only sinless people can be in heaven, for God cannot coexist with sin and still be God. Of course, you cannot be sinless. If nothing else, you have sins of attitude and neglect.

For thousands of years, God let mankind try any way they could to be perfect. Some people he gave the Law of Moses to, and some people he continued to let try on their own. Neither worked. No matter how hard we tried, no one could get it right.

The wages you earn for sinning is death (Romans 6:23). Remember in the Garden of Eden God warned, “The moment you sin, you die.” He was talking about souls dying and eventually bodies dying. Satan was now holding mankind hostage. Satan causes death, so sinners collect the wages Satan pays for following him.

But mankind was still being held hostage. He demanded the highest ransom imaginable: The death of God. Satan wanted to e God and this was the only way he could carry out his plan.

God held Satan off temporarily: He told them to kill an animal to die in their place. Even collecting the wages of sin, Satan still held mankind hostage. Mankind had to have all the chances possible to be perfect. But after millenniums, mankind still could not.

Galatians 4:4 says, “When the time was come, God sent his son.” Finally, when mankind understood everyone needed outside help, God sent Jesus. Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus lived the perfect life that was impossible for anyone to live; he was completely free of sin.

Then God seemingly gave in to Satan’s ransom demand to free mankind.  God offered his son ~ God in the form of mankind. Finally, Satan got his wish ~ the ransom he had demanded: The death of God.

So, Satan freed mankind from his prison of soul death. But Satan was in for a surprise.  His gloating came to an abrupt stop.  God tricked Satan. You cannot kill Life.  God returned to that human body and came back to life.

It was too late. Satan had already freed mankind. 

That done, God ~ who can only dwell with sinlessness ~ was now able to allow obedient, faithful believers in Jesus into his home, heaven. For, through Jesus, we become sinless. Glory of glories!

But something terrible happened after that. People began selling themselves back into slavery to Satan (Romans 6:15-23).  No!  No! This cannot be! So God, through people who have resisted Satan’s lures of fun and riches, power and beauty, continually call out, “Come back!  Come back to God! Come back.  I miss you. God misses you….”

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