When and How Often?

The scripture for today, November 28 (11/28), is 1st Corinthians 11:28,31 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Supper-Front Cover-Medium“A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup [of the Lord’s Supper]….If we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.”

“When they met on THE first day of the week to break bread” (Acts 20:7), these first-century Christians were meeting to keep the Lord’s Supper, for the word (“met”) in the original Greek of the New Testament means a religious meeting. Interestingly, the word “the” in the original Greek means each and every without exception perpetually.

Even if we did not know the Greek, look how the Jews (and we) interpreted “Remember THE Sabbath Day to keep it holy.”  They did not remember the Sabbath day monthly, quarterly or yearly, but weekly. Therefore, , the first-century Christians realized that “When they met on THE first day of the week to break bread” (Acts 20:7), it meant every Sunday.

We can sing, pray, teach, and read the Bible any day of the week. What makes Sunday special is that’s the day Jesus came back to life, the day Jesus ascended back to heaven, and the day the church was established. Today, on the special first day we are to meet to take the Lord’s Supper, the Communion ~ the bread representing his body dying in our place, the wine representing his blood dripped out of his body in our place.

During the Communion, we consider Jesus’ terrible sacrifice in order to save us from hell. And we consider our sins that made his sacrifice necessary to save us from hell. Today’s scripture tells us that. During our weekly partaking of the Communion, we should be examining ourselves, comparing ourselves to Jesus. It is kind of like taking weekly exams, so we will be ready for the big final exam on the Day of Judgment.

God thought of everything ~ weekly remembering the sacrifice of our Lord so that we never take him for granted, and weekly remembering our sins. And, in the process, our souls fall at his feet and whisper, “Thank you.”

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Kaleidoscope

Applied ChristianityAh, my God, you are so noble and trustworthy. If I trust in your judgment, then what is best will happen ~ one more step closer to conquering the world.  Conquering bad with good.  You are life and you work every moment to rescue me from a world of sin to deliver me to a world of sinlessness.  All this despite my self-destructive listening to Satan. You are stronger than Satan and make me stronger in the process. Such stubborn love.

Thank you, Jesus, for your example of strict living with kindness intertwined throughout.  Your teachings are a tapestry of dark and light tones that wove together into a blanket of safety. Your life was a kaleidoscope of sunny yellows and bloody reds and every color in between to show me the beauty of everything, no matter how dark it may seem. In gratitude, I worship you.

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Taking Heaven for Granted

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Medium-NewThe scripture for today, October 25 (10/25), is Hebrews 10:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another ~ and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Do you declare, “I can walk through nature ~ the temple of God ~ and feel God is closer there than in a church building”? Well, do you really do it? How often? The purpose of the church meeting is not so much to encourage yourself as to encourage your fellow Christians and visitors, along with worshiping God.

Look at the context. Verse 23 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,” and verse 24 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” How do you do these things? A lot of it is done during your congregation’s worship and encouragement service.

And what comes after our verse for today? Verse 26 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.” Meeting together with other congregational members is one of the major experiences that keeps you and your friends from falling and missing heaven. Or does worshipping all the time in heaven sound boring too?

Should you meet once a week? This scripture says to meet “all the more as you see the Day [of Judgment] approaching.’ Do you say, “But that’s too inconvenient”?

It was inconvenient for Jesus to leave a perfect heaven for an imperfect earth. It was inconvenient for him to leave the company of angels for the company of sinners. It was inconvenient for him to do this for 33 long years. Inconvenient to take the blame for your sins, and then take your punishment. Inconvenient to experience agonizing spiritual death when God left him alone on the cross in your place, and then that agonizing physical death in your place.

Do you really know inconvenience?  Do you take heaven for granted?

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COME FLY WITH ME is the last biblical historical novel in the THEY MET JESUS 8-book series on the life of Christ.  Life applications questions at the end of each chapter are accompanied by scriptures on which the chapter was based as well as external historical writings.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/FLY-WITH-ME

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You make me look good

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-MediumAh, Jehovah God, my Father and Maker, you love me so. You enchant me like a beautifully faceted diamond ~ love on this side, joy on that side, mercy on this other side.  You are my jewel, my precious pearl, my frame of gold. Silver strains of you sing forth from my heart. You are strong when I need you to be, tender when I need you to be. You are the epitome if everything good, thus making life on this earth ruled by Satan bearable.  Oh, that’s right! That’s why I am here ~ to smile when he wants me to frown, to love when he wants me to hate, to act when he wants me to sit idly by. How I delight in defying Satan and winning one more skirmish for you.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your example and staying-power while walking on earth. Never sinning, never doubting, never quitting. All for us even while sinning against you.  You knew we’d continue to sin even after we became Christians. We are so fickle, you are so faithful. We are so deceptive even to our own selves, you are so true. Thank you for your undaunting example and loving me even when I do wrong. Thank you for making me look so good. It is your reflection in me.  How I worship you.

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00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailSTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR was always sticking his foot in his mouth.  From his youth, he had wanted to make his parents proud of him, but more, he wanted people to learn about the true God.  It seemed everything he tried something to spread the word, it backfired on him.  But, as he matured…  To BUY NOW, click a good cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/StephenUnlikelyMartyr

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Dread, Daring, and Dominion

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-MediumThe scripture for today, September 30 (9/30), is Luke 9:30f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“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 ever told, every gain from cheating, every insult, every slander campaign against another, every adultery, every murder ~ everything. He had to take the blame for 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 ~ even for a moment.

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 courage to Jesus’ human side 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 himself ~ the Will of God ~ 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 bloody, pierced feet and worship.

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