Monday 2/4 ~ Choices

The scripture for today, February 4 (2/4), is 1st Timothy 2:4 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“[God]…wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Some people say, “You don’t choose God; God chooses only certain ones to be saved and keeps out all the other people of the world.” But God wants to choose us all. He wants everyone to be saved. So, in what sense does he choose us?

He is like an employer who is looking for people to fill certain positions. He chooses those who qualify. He doesn’t have to choose anyone. By the employer’s grace, he chooses to hire help and give them part of his money. But we must qualify to be chosen.

I Timothy 6:11 says we were called to eternal life but have to take hold of it.  II Peter 1:10 says we are to make sure his calling and choosing us.  Hebrews 6:4-6 says those who fall away crucify Jesus anew.

So how do we qualify for God’s grace? Certainly, atheists do not qualify, for they would not love God. People who worship another so-called god or nature do not qualify, for they would not love God. People who do not want to be looked upon as a goody-goody would not qualify, for they would not love God.

So, again, the question: How do we qualify? First, we never deserve it. We can never do enough good works to qualify because we still sin. We can qualify to be selected for heaven only if we are sinless. Impossible! Yes, for us it is. But, because God loves us, he has given us a few things to do to qualify and be sinless in his eyes.

Believing is just the first step to qualifying. Admitting we sin and repenting is another step to qualifying. Read Romans 6 and Acts 2. Explaining what baptism is for. Not many things, but they are necessary. Look them up. Check them out.

And remember 2nd Peter 3:9 ~ “He [God] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but EVERYONE to come to repentance.”

When we make ourselves God and say the Bible doesn’t mean what it says so we can sneak into heaven our own way, how our Lord’s heart must ache.

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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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Wednesday 1/23 ~ Why can’t I see God?

The scripture for today, January 23 (1/23), is Romans 1:23 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“….and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”

Well, the opposite has happened in our millennium.  Instead of worshipping many gods, people are worshiping nothing.  They declare God does not exist. They declare the existence of the universe just happened for no reason and that their minds have reason for no reason. One of their arguments is that they cannot see God.

Do you ever wish you could see God, touch God, look God in the eye? Everyone has. And we may wonder why we can’t.

If this were the case, then God wouldn’t be God. He wouldn’t be omnipresent (present everywhere). He would only be able to listen to one prayer at a time, and the rest of the world’s prayers would go unheard.

Besides, God is too big to see.  It is like facing a building half an inch away.  We have no way to know what the building looks like because it is so big. There are over two trillion galaxies out there, and God is larger than them all because he made them all. It is impossible to see God he fills the universe and beyond.

Let us be grateful our God is so great He cannot be limited. He is so great, he cannot be pictured or imagined.  He is so great He fills our hearts and our souls.

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Tuesday 1/15 ~ Never underestimate what God can do through you

The scripture for today, January 15 (1/15), is Galatians 1:15f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

03-Naaman'sMaid-ThumbnailCover“But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles….”

Isn’t this amazing? God knew before you are born what you can be doing for him later in life. He sets aside work for you to do, but he does not force you to do it. You may set aside a certain amount of money to spend on food but you end up spending it on clothing.  Being set aside does not mean something will end up doing what it was set aside for.

God has given you certain talents and set you aside to use them for Him.  Do you? Is your thinking even oriented on things that can endure through eternity? Or do you think only of the next day, or the next year?

You do not have to guess what God has set you aside to do.  Read the scriptures. He has messages for you all through them.  Find someone in the Bible with your personality and use that person as an example.  Find advice in the proverbs. Find advice in Jesus’ teachings, and in his apostles’ teachings.  It’s all there.  Pick one and do it.

If you are willing to follow God’s advice and not man’s, then decide today to accept the work God has set aside for you to do. Or maybe you’re already doing it and don’t realize it.

You may not think your life has been very exciting. You may be waiting for God to give you a big important job to do for him. But the truth is, you ~ in your seemingly mundane life ~ may already be doing what God set aside for you to do.

Never under-estimate yourself and what God can accomplish through you.

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Monday 1/7 ~ Freedom and joy

The scripture for today, January 7 (1/7), is 2nd Timothy 1:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”

Have you discovered some “new-to-you-truth” in the Bible? Perhaps you have read it a hundred times but never noticed it before.

People fear the unknown. Do not fear it. Embrace it. Then share with others this new-found truth. The word “timidity” is sometimes translated “fear.” Remind your friends of that “new truth” you discovered enough times that it is no longer an unknown and no longer something to be feared.

Do you fear reprisal among your church friends or leaders if you stand up for some “new truth” no one noticed before? God can help you. God can give you the courage to speak out with power, with love, and with self-discipline as you explain that new-found truth. 

Then be patient. God said, “My word will not return to me void” (Isaiah 55:11). Who knows? You may be adding great freedom and joy to a lot of people.

 

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