Monday 12/25 ~ Dare to be a star shining in someone’s darkness

The scripture for today, December 25 (12/25) is Proverbs 12:25 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0000-BK 1-StarSong-Cover-new-Medium“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

Yesterday, did you see anyone sitting alone looking downcast? Go back there today. S/he may not be there, but someone else may be. It may be a gathering place for the lonely, the discouraged. Smile at them and whisper, “Jesus loves you.” Have a lengthy conversation with them and show them they are worthy of your time.  Listen to them. Share with them.

Do you periodically see “beggars” at a certain location? They may squander donations or use them to buy food. Either way, being a beggar isn’t people’s life’s goal. You do not know their story. Everyone has a story. Their hearts are anxious about something.

Give them a little change, maybe wrap it in a verse from the Bible.  Ask them if they have family and if their family would accept them back. If so, encourage them to “go home.” Perhaps pay for a bus ticket back home. If they say they can’t go home, try anyway. Tell them you will pray for them. Smile at them, and whisper, “Jesus loves you.”

Today, do you know of a place where travelers usually stay or gather? Sometimes at truck stops, there are drivers who could not get home. Go to one of these places prepared to give each of them something special, or even invite them to your home for a Christmas feast.

Jesus encouraged and helped the downhearted. Is it uncomfortable being in their world? Yes.  Dare to disturb your happiness to enter their world and show Jesus to the downhearted.  Dare to be a star shining on them in their darkness.

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Scripture for Sunday, November 12 (11/12)

The scripture for today, November 12 (11/12), is Leviticus 11:12 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Medium-New“Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be detestable to you.”

This is just one of the over 600 laws in the Law of Moses. They were intricate laws governing both their worship and their everyday life. This one chapter in Leviticus says in part they could not eat camels or coneys or rabbits or pigs. They could not eat eagles, vultures, kites, ravens, owls, gulls, hawks, osprey, storks, herons, hoopoes or bats. But they could eat locusts, katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers. And this is just part of chapter 11!

Why did God give so many intricate laws to the Jews? To give them a chance to keep them all perfectly so they could be perfect. In the meantime, God did not give any laws to the Gentiles; He let them try whatever means they could on their own to become perfect. But during the same time period, both the Jews and Gentiles proved to themselves that it was impossible to keep their religions perfectly and thus be perfect themselves.

Now Jesus was ready to come. He lived the Jewish law perfectly, then nailed it to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Now we live under a law of grace, and his commandments revolve around loving God and loving each other.

Aren’t we fortunate Jesus nailed the Law of Moses to the cross and we live in the Christian era?

 

Scripture for Friday, October 27 (10/27)

The scripture for today, October 27 (10/27), is Mark 10:27 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

worship-the-first-century-way-cover-kindle“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God: All things are possible with God.’ “

Can we be perfect? God let mankind try for many centuries to be perfect.

To one group of people he gave over 600 laws and said, “If you keep these, you will be perfect.” But, as hard as the Jews tried, no one could keep the Law of Moses perfectly.

To the rest of the world, he basically said, “Try to figure out for yourselves how to be perfect.” So, they tried all kinds of religions, but with all of them, they could not be perfect.

Finally, mankind was ready for Jesus. He came to earth and lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. He became the perfect Lamb of God, and sacrificed his life for us, for Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.” He collected the wage for us.

So now, according to Romans 6:3-4, just as Jesus died on the cross, we too can die to our sinful nature ~ the part of us that sins and doesn’t care. Then, just as Jesus was buried in his tomb, we too can be buried in a watery tomb of baptism. And finally, just as Jesus was raised up out of his tomb the Savior, we rise up out of our watery tomb the saved.

Then God considers us perfect too. God cannot associate with sinners in his heaven. He can only have perfect people in his heavenly home. Impossible for us to live there with him someday? Yes. But, God sent Jesus to fix that problem. With God, nothing is impossible.

 

 

 

Scripture for Wednesday, October 4 (10/4)

The scripture for today, October 4 (10/4), is Romans 10:4 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Medium-New“Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

When Jesus replaced the old Law of Moses Testament, it came to an end (Hebrews 8:13; 9:1f; 9:15-18). Thank God. There were over 600 commandments in the Law of Moses, not just the “Ten Commandments.” They were tedious. Try reading Leviticus and see if you can keep every commandment in it.

Jesus was the only one who ever kept the Law perfectly (Hebrews 4:15). Once that occurred, he could be the Perfect Lamb of God without blemish, and he could be sacrificed on the altar of the world (the cross) in our place ~ take the punishment for our sins. He had said the Law of Moses would last until it was fulfilled.  On the cross, one of the last things he said was, “It is fulfilled.”

And with his death came the introduction of a New Law covered in the New Testament. Read the New Testament in its entirety. It is not tedious. It is beautiful. Let us not try to dip back into the Old Law and bring back showy worship practices done back them. He put it to death and gave us a new and wonderful and simple law of grace and love.

 

Scripture for Saturday, September 30 (9/30)

The scripture for today, September 30, is Luke 9:30f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.”

Hebrews 5:7 says something very startling to most people. “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.”

Jesus did not look forward to going to the cross, even though many thousands of others had died that way. Why was it different for him? Because he had to take on all our sins as though he had committed them himself ~ every lie we’ve told, every time we cheated, every insult, every slander campaign against another, every adultery, every murder ~ everything ~ all our sins! The sins of the whole world! How could he bear it?

Not only that, but he had to experience both physical and spiritual death. Spiritual death means being separated from, being forsaken by God. What a terror to experience!

And so, a few weeks before his crucifixion, as he prayed on the mountain, Moses and Elijah appeared to him and they spoke about his death. They surely gave him the courage to do what had to be done to save you and me who deserve hell.

The crowning glory of this conversation with Moses and Elijah is that God reassured him by announcing, “THIS IS MY SON! WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN! LISTEN TO HIM!”

Jesus was to fulfill the Law and Prophets all the way to the cross. He had promised people, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets: I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). He was determined to keep that promise.

Indeed, on the cross, he said, “It is fulfilled.”  By the time Jesus returned to heaven, he had fulfilled the Old Law introduced by Moses by living it perfectly ~ something no man had ever been able to do. And by the time he returned to heaven, he had fulfilled every prophecy about his birth, life, and death, the first such prophet being represented by Elijah.

Oh, the things Jesus went through to try to save us from hell. Do we do yard work or go shopping or a picnic or a club gathering on his day ~ Sunday?  Let us instead fall at his wounded feet and worship him.

 

Scripture for Tuesday, September 26 (9/26)

The scripture for today, September 26 (9/26), is Hebrews 9:26f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face the judgment.”

According to the Old Law of Moses, sacrificing the body of perfect animals had to be done to temporarily collect the wage of death for people’s sins. (Remember, the wages of sin is death ~ Romans 6:23.) But it had to be done on a regular basis. Then Jesus became the perfect Lamb of God. In a sense, he laid his body down on the altar of the world and died our body death for our sins. One of the last things he said was, “It is fulfilled”. He had fulfilled the Law of Moses ~ every jot and tittle ~ by living it perfectly and never sinning (Hebrews 4:15). Thereby, he freed us from slavery to the Law, including animal sacrifices.

Therefore, just as Jesus’ body died once, our body dies once. Then our judgment. No second chances. No being bought out of punishment. No reincarnations.  No going back and trying to be perfect again and failing again. Jesus released us from all of our failures at being perfect.

We marvel at all he did for us to save us from hell. How amazing God’s plan for us! We fall at his wounded feet and worship.

 

Scripture for Wednesday, September 20 (9/20)

The scripture for today, September 20 9/20), is Luke 9:20 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Medium-New” ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ “

Jesus is still asking that question today. Who do you say Jesus is? Some people in the world say Jesus was the savior of the Christians, the same person as Moses to the Jews, and Mohammed to the Moslems, and Buddha to the Buddhists. In the name of being fair to everyone, they claim these are all saviors of different religions going by different names but of the same God.

Let us not be caught in the web of the New Age Movement that does not want to offend anyone, even if they are wrong,  claiming nothing is absolutely right or absolutely wrong.  Therefore, they put truth in shadows and claim all saviors are the same savior and all gods are the same God.

The Bible ~ the only religious book in the world that can be proven to be divine ~ says regarding our Jesus, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Come out from the shadows. Stand up for Jesus, THE only Light, THE only  Savior.

 

Scripture for Monday, September 11 (9/11)

The scripture for today, September 11 (9/11), is Matthew 9:11 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-“When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and “sinners”? ‘ “

Jesus did not make friends with people who could lift him up. He made friends with people that he could lift up. We are not divine, so we need both. It is true that our closest friends should be Christians. However, many of us brag that those are our only friends and that isolates us from the lost.

We must make some friends among the lost in order to show them God’s love and try to lift them up. They can be people at work, in a club, in your neighborhood, someone we stand next to waiting for a bus, or even someone we meet by accident while waiting in line at a store.

Always be on the lookout. Always be prepared to become more than just casual acquaintances when they need you. Always be prepared to get “up close and personal” with some of your friends when they feel friendless.

Jesus did it. He was our example.

 

Scripture for Wednesday, September 6 (9/6)_

The scripture for today, September 6 (9/6), is Isaiah 9:6 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

0000-BK 1-StarSong-CHILD'SCartoonCover-Medium0000-BK 1-StarSong-Cover-new-Medium“For to us a child is born! To us a son is given! And the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!”

Notice the Godhead is represented in this one child.

Wonderful Counselor: John 14:16f says, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever ~ the Spirit of Truth” ~ God the Spirit. Jesus was the Counselor for a while. Philippians1:19 refers to the Spirit of Christ being with us.

Everlasting Father: Philippians 2:6 said Jesus was in the form of God. 1st Peter 1:2 calls Jesus “our God and Savior”.  1st Timothy 3:15-16 says God was revealed in the flesh.  2nd Corinthians 6:16 says God said he would dwell with us and walk among us. John 1:1,14 says the Words of God became flesh and dwelt among us.

Prince of Peace: Matthew 2:6 says Bethlehem will not be the least among princes, for out of it will come a prince. When Jesus was born, the angels announced there would now be peace on earth (Luke 2:14). In John 14:7 Jesus said, “my peace I give you.”

In summary, Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity [KJV says Godhead] lives in bodily form.”

They are like a coin. The top looks one way, the bottom looks different, and the edge looks still different. The coin has three looks but is one. If you try to take away one of the three, you take away the entire coin. Or, if you put your voice in the body of a tape recorder, you do not become two, you are still you and you are still one.

This is so amazing. And we have been so blest.