Friday 11/9 ~ A little bit of physical, a whole lot of spiritual

The scripture for today, November 9, is Luke 11:9 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail” ‘So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.’ “

Does this mean that, if you ask for your favorite team to win, they will win? Does this mean that, if you ask for a particular job, you will get that job? Or, if you have your eyes on a particular young man or young woman, you will marry that person?

In the context that Jesus said this, he had just taught his disciples what many call the Lord’s prayer. In that prayer, Jesus instructed us to ask for a little bit of the physical and a whole lot of the spiritual.

You might say, “Well, that doesn’t leave me much to pray for.” Oh, yes it does. Shift your focus from yourself. It leaves the rest of the world to pray for. What about their little bit of physical and their whole lot of spiritual? How many people do you pray for? Not as a group, but by name? Not occasionally, but every day?

Well then, will God give you every one of the souls you pray for? God gives everyone free will. He does not force people to follow him. God provides opportunities for people you pray for, and he even moves their hearts. But he does not force them. You must still, keep on praying, even when you feel like someone is hopeless. Maybe they are hopeless during your lifetime. But sometimes someone’s soul is saved after your death.

So, pray for others and never tire of it ~ a little bit of the physical and whole lot of the spiritual. Seek and you will find. God will answer in his own way. And that’s a promise.

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Saturday 10/27 ~ God sent Jesus and he fixed the problem

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

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail “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 became our sacrifice for our sins, for Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.” He collected the wage of death from Satan 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.

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Monday 10/15 ~ Trying hard to be perfect

The scripture for today, October 15 (10/15), is Deuteronomy 10:15 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Thumbnail-New“Yet the Lord set his affection on your forefathers [Abraham, Isaac, Jacob] and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants [Jews], above all the nations, as it is today.”

Mankind has spent millenniums trying to figure out how to be perfect so we can deserve heaven.

God gave us that opportunity the first several thousand years of mankind. Some people of the world he left alone to figure out on their own how to be perfect. They created many kinds of religions. But to the Jews, he sent the Law of Moses containing over 600 intricate laws which, if kept perfectly, would make them perfect. In both cases, no one could be perfect.

Then, when mankind was willing to admit we cannot be perfect, the Word of God materialized and came to us to live that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. Now, all you have to do is follow Jesus and be IN Jesus (Galatians 3:27) for the forgiveness of your sins, and God will consider you perfect too.

God sets his affections on you. He will not force you, but he runs after you begging you to come to him for safety. Oh, how he loves you.

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Friday 10/12 ~ Keep your eyes on Jesus

The scripture for today, October 12 (10/12), is 2nd Corinthians 10:12 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”

But that is how most of the Christian world is run. You go to a church and do what they do to get their approval. Or you go one step above what the others do to get a little more approval. Or you go one step below what the others do and say you’re “not so bad” because, at least, you go to church all the time.

What you do must be compared with what Jesus (God materialized on earth) did. Jesus went everywhere doing whatever was necessary to spread the Good News. Instead of saying, “Well, our congregation never did such-and-such before, so it must be wrong,” you must say, “Jesus did it, so I will too.” Instead of saying, “Well, brother or sister so-and-so in our congregation is worse than me, so why object to me?” you must say, “Jesus did not do those things, so I will not either.”

Who are you comparing yourself with?  Your works, your fancy doctrine, your faith?  Dear, dear friend. Jesus gave up heaven and daily associating with angels to become one of us on an earth full of grime and selfish. He gave up being able to be everywhere at once to being confined in a body. Why? For us.

To show us how it is done ~ constantly on the go to find people who need God’s love and attention. He was so busy and so holy.

Never compare with others; always compare with Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus, God the Word in Flesh.

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Thursday 10/4 ~ A new and beautiful law

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

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

When Jesus nailed the Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14) it came to an end. 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 blame and punishment for our sins.

And with his death came the introduction of a New Law covered in the New Testament. (The book of Hebrews explains it all.). 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.

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Sunday 9/30 ~ Oh, the things he went through for us

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

0-BK 6-PromiseKeeper-Cover-thumbnail-new-kindleTwo 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 gain from cheating, every insult, every slander campaign against another, every adultery, every murder ~ everything ~ all our sins! 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 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 the Father reassured him by announcing, “THIS IS MY SON! WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN! LISTEN TO HIM!”

Jesus was to nail the Old Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14). 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).

On the cross, he said, “It is fulfilled.”  Indeed, by the time Jesus returned to heaven, he had lived the Old Law introduced by Moses 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 full-time prophet being Elijah.

Oh, the things Jesus went through for us. We fall at his feet and worship him.

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Wednesday 9/26 ~ Soaring to the clouds

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

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“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, sacrifices of perfect animals had to be made to temporarily pay the ransom of death for people’s sins. But it wasn’t enough because what Satan really wanted was the death of God so he could take over.

Finally, Jesus became the perfect Lamb of God and gave Satan what he wanted (Matthew 20:28). In a sense, he laid down on the altar of the world. He paid the ransom Satan demanded to release our sinful souls from his clutches.

Then Jesus fooled Satan.  Satan thought he got what he wanted ~ God in the body of Jesus died.  But three days later he played a trick on Satan: He came back to life! The ransom had been paid and our souls released both in one fell swoop.

And so, just as Jesus died once, we too die once. Then our judgment. No second chances. No reincarnations. No going back and trying to be perfect again and failing again.  No trying for another 1000 years because supposedly Jesus didn’t get it right the first time.  

Jesus released us from all of our failures at being perfect. Thank God, he was perfect for us. And now, after dying once, when he returns, his followers will meet him in the air among the clouds (I Thessalonians 4:17). The rest will face judgment.

How amazing God’s plan for us!

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