Friday 12/13 ~ Our God-Shaped Emptiness

The scripture for today, December 13 (12/13), is Ecclesiastes 12:13 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-Thumbnail“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

When the King James Version was published in the early 1600s, they italicized all words that were not in the old documents of the Bible. The word “duty” above was not in the original. Translators inserted it to help us understand the original. But perhaps, in this case, it did not help. Fearing God is the whole of man ~ not our duty, but our essence.

Fearing the Lord is a gift. Isaiah 11:2 predicted regarding Jesus:

“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him ~

     “…the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,”

          “…the Spirit of counsel and of power,”

               “…the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”

Solomon had tried everything to find happiness, as he explained in his book of Ecclesiastes ~ Pleasure (ch. 2), hard work (ch. 3), advancement (ch. 4), riches (ch. 5). None brought him true happiness.  Eventually, he concluded that only one thing can bring that happiness deep down inside where no one and no situation in life can touch it ~ God. God is the whole of man ~ if we let Him be.

Why? Ecclesiastes 3:11 explains it richly: “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” Another way to view this is “There is a God-shaped emptiness in everyone’s heart.” Fill your mind with the Word of God. Then God will fill your heart and being, and make you feel complete.

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Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-Thumbnail365 PEARLS OF WISDOM: GOD’S SOUL TO YOURS.  Start your day with one Proverb and one passage from Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, or Song of Solomon. Keep them on your heart to help guide your day. These are the wisdom of God. This is book two in the TOUCHING GOD trilogy on inspirational thoughts, wisdom, and prayers. Beautiful original artwork on the cover and artistic font on the inside.  A perfect gift for all occasions.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/34h4Zl1

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Wednesday 12/11 ~ God be with our teenagers

(Oops.  We did today’s yesterday.  So, today we will do yesterday’s.)

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailThe scripture for today, December 10 (12/10), is Job 12:10 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?”

Let’s talk a moment about teenagers. Many adults joke that their teen is 16 going on 60. What know-it-alls they’ve become! Let’s look at the situation this way. They may have bodies that have grown to that of an adult. But minds grow much slower, and they must give their minds a chance to catch up.

As adults, it is our responsibility to help their minds catch up. Know enough about the Bible that you can apply scriptures to their activities and interests and friends. You may wish to make a list of your teenager’s activities, interests, and friends, and then list a scripture next to each. Proverbs is an excellent book to start with. Then when the occasion arises, be ready (even if you have to sneak into the other room a minute to consult your list) to instill some wisdom.

This way, it is not you speaking, but God speaking. God said, “My word will not return to me void” (Isaiah 55:11). And God is older and wiser than all of us.

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00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailSTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR begins with Stephen as a wreckless 17-year-old coward. He is idealistic but always goes about proving his point in the wrong way ~ speaking when he should not, trying when he should give up, frustrated, brazen.  Go along with Stephen as he gradually matures until, at the age of 28 with a wife and two children, he walks into the death chamber (Sanhedrin council chambers) and keeps them busy with his accusations until his friend can escape.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or PASTE THIS………https://amzn.to/2t3I53z

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Wednesday 11/27 ~ Teach the teachers?

The scripture for today, November 27 (11/27), is Mark 11:27f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Titus-Cover-Lg Thumb“…the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him [Jesus]. ‘By what authority are you doing those things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave you authority to do this?’ “

Of course, the answer to their question is that no one needs authority to teach God’s Word. You do not have to be “ordained” by someone else who is a teacher. Actually, you do not have to be “ordained” by another preacher to preach although elderships sometimes laid their hands on people to send them out as missionaries. But that is all. Now, what about you as a teacher?

As you learn more of the Bible, consider teaching your community’s Bible leaders and teachers. Have the courage to speak up and quote something in the Bible which that church may not be following? Then, when your religious teachers and leaders go to you wanting to know by what authority you teach something new, be ready for them with the scriptures.

Periodically tell them about this newly-discovered truth in private ~ gently and respectfully ~ again and again.

Just remember leaders often take longer to accept a new teaching. It may take them months or years to accept it. Keep on keeping on. And be patient with them.

Pray for your community’s religious teachers and leaders.  Ask God to touch their hearts. He will not go against their natural nature, but if they have honest hearts, it will work. Plant the seed, and God will give the increase (1st Corinthians 3:16). God said, “My Word will not return to me void” (Isaiah 55:11).

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0-Titus-Cover-Lg ThumbTITUS: THE ARISTOCRAT was born in a city of privilege, Antioch in the province of Pisidia in today’s Turkey.  He was educated.  When he became a Christian, Paul turned him into an arbitrator and sent him to “teach the teachers” in CORINTH of Greece, then the island of CRETE, and finally up in today’s area of Albania. Timothy brilliantly figured out who was lying to him, how to persuade those fake apostles to leave, how to keep under control imitating the Roman empire with its vestal virgins (nuns) and head bishops. All the while, he endures his own personal tragedies and eventually rises above them.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://amzn.to/2MRwnmn

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Sunday 11/24 ~ Let your soul soar with thanksgiving

The scripture for today, November 24 (11/24), is Ezekiel 11:24 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

OldOldTunes-Thumbnail“The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia in the vision given by the Spirit of God.”

Symbolism in the Bible is God’ is God’s way of getting deeper into the meaning of something for our human understanding.

For example, how did the Holy Spirit move people? Not by making them fall down, but by lifting them up. Ezekiel was the prophet who experienced this most often, and the Spirit never made Ezekiel swoon and fall down. It always lifted him up. Literally.

Jesus said in John 14:17 that he would send the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. And in John 17:17 he said, “Your [God’s] Word is Truth.”

The Word of God does throw some people off symbolically but not physically, and that’s because they don’t like everything it says. So, they, in turn, throw the Bible down in a symbolic sense.

Even today, the Word of God lifts up the soft-hearted and receptive. If we let it, the Word of God can turn our lives around (in a symbolic sense ~ we don’t physically turn around) and our souls can soar to the throne of God (in a symbolic sense, not literally).

Be careful when reading something in the Bible that is symbolic to not turn it into something literal. Symbolism is there to convey a greater understanding of God that cannot be put into human words.   Keep on reading the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit continue to lift you up.

These are God’s parables in phrase form instead of story form.  What would we do without the Walls of Salvation, the Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God?  So, let God lift you up. Let your soul soar with gladness.

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OldOldTunes-ThumbnailTHE OLD OLD STORY SET TO OLD OLD TUNES contains 80 Bible songs set to folk tunes ~ 40 on the Old Testament and 40 on the New Testament.  Easy and fun to sing.  Remember “The Old Grey Mare, She Aint What She Used to be”?  That’s the tune for “Abraham, Sarah, they ain’t what they used to be.”  Then there’s “Farmer in the Dell” which becomes “Jonah got burped up”.  Give one to each teacher of children in your congregation. Also great for parties, homeschoolers, grandparents entertaining the little one on visits, for long trips in the car with children.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/35FhiJd

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Friday 11/15 ~ Kingdom of Hope

The Scripture for today, November 15 (11/15), is Revelation 11:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever!’ “

 You belong to a kingdom/nation in this world. It is not perfect. Its leaders can sometimes do very bad things. And you wonder how you can stand some of the terrible things that sometimes happen within a government.

But your worldly kingdom/nation is not the only one you can live in. Colossians 1:13 says Jesus “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Rescued! Brought you! Past tense! The kingdom isn’t something in the future. It is here now. And it goes by yet another name. Verse 18 says, “And he [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church.”

So, when you sometimes become discouraged about your kingdom/nation in this world that you live in, take hope. You can have dual citizenship! For there is another kingdom here, a spiritual one. The king of that kingdom will love you. Forever love you.

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00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnailWORSHIP CHANGES SINCE THE 1ST CENTURY is half of a series, “Wandering Soul, Entitled Heart, and the Sidetracked Church.”  Many of the ways people worship today and think are so sweet are the result of governments stepping in and mandating the change. They imprisoned or executed anyone objecting to the change.  Changes in worship came about amidst agony.  Investigate your habitual ways of worshipping. How did they come about?  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2NTsJHb

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