Sunday 2/24 ~ War of the Worlds

The scripture for today, February 24 (2/24), is 1st Peter 2:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

Many people do not understand what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with rescuing us from hell and leading us to heaven. After all, if we don’t murder, steal, abuse others and only lie a little, Satan has no claim on us and God has no choice but to take us into heaven.  As far as Satan is concerned, one sin is all it takes to be a sinner. Further, God is perfect, so cannot co-exist with imperfection ~ even one tiny sin.

Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. So, all through the Old Testament era, whenever we sinned, God told us to kill/sacrifice a perfect animal and spill its blood to collect the death wages in our place. Notice, the animal had to be perfect. This was a temporary fix; Satan could be held off only so long.

Eventually, God materialized in a body and put his words in that body to be tempted in every way that we are (see Hebrews 4:15). Satan gave it all he got. But Jesus resisted all temptations and lived his entire life sinless. He was perfect morally, just as the sacrificial animals were perfect physically.

Then as the perfect Lamb of God (John 1:29), Jesus became the final sacrifice. Now, with a human body, he died in our place. He took the terrible wages of death from Satan for our sins. On the cross, he died spiritually (forsaken by God) and physically with blood dripping from the wounds in his hands and feet. Then the Father basically told the world, “I will consider you perfect too; all you have to do is believe in and follow my Son, my Words who was with you in your form and died for you.” But how?

It is explained further in Romans 6:3-4. Just as Jesus died bearing our sins, we 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 are buried in the watery tomb of baptism. And finally, just as Jesus rose up out of his tomb the Savior, we rise up out of our watery tomb the saved ~ born again to a new life.

Indeed, by Jesus’ wounds we can be healed. We fall at his feet and say, “I am a sinner and so unworthy. How can I thank you enough for rescuing me from Satan?”

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Saturday 2/23 ~ How can the Father and Son be the same?

The scripture for today, February 23 (2/23), is 1st John 2:23 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

This verse tells us the Son and Father are one. Isaiah 9:6 calls the child to be born both the Son and the Father and Mighty God. The Son gives birth to the Father; the Father gives birth to the Son. In other words, God is self-existent and one.

When you speak into a tape recorder and your voice then comes out of that machine for other people to hear, that doesn’t make you two.  You are still one; you have just chosen to put your voice in something where you can be heard by people away from you.  That tape recording is just another form of you. You can also put your voice and body in a movie. That doesn’t make two of you ~ one on the screen and one in your physical body. You are still one.

God is One, and yet he revealed a part of himself in a burning bush to Moses just like you revealed a part of yourself in the tape recorder or movie.  Does that mean there were two Gods ~ one in heaven and one in the bush?  No.  God can and has sometimes revealed himself in different ways. Remember how he walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?

Some say, “If Jesus was God on earth, when he died, God was dead.”  No. That temporary body was dead, but God’s Spirit, God’s Soul, God’s being continued to live. Jesus, the Word of God, did not depend on a body to be alive.

Why would Jesus be called the Son of God, since he was not a son created in the literal way we have sons?  You have thoughts and those thoughts have existed as long as you have.  But you still created those thoughts.  When your thoughts become hearable or seeable, people call that your “brain child”.  In that same sense, Jesus was God’s “brainchild” ~ God’s thoughts in hearable and seeable form. 

How was he the only begotten Son? God has only one Word ~ the Bible.  “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God…All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3).  When God spoke the world into existence, that was Jesus. Every time God spoke, that was Jesus.

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Monday 2/18 ~ Be a warrior

The scripture for today, February 18 (2/18), is Hebrews 2:18 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

06-PROMISE KEEPER-ChildsCartoonThumbnail“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Do you find yourself caught up in some kind of sin over and over? Is the temptation always there? Do you commit the sin and then curse yourself for your weakness in giving in to the temptation? Do you see no way out?

A lot of people never think of Jesus ever being tempted. He was too good. But he had a human body and was tempted in every way that we are (Hebrews 4:15).

Try to imagine Jesus with your particular haunting temptation and imagine how you think he would have resisted it. Jesus used to get angry at temptation, which of course is caused by Satan. In other words, he got angry at Satan. One time when tempted, he declared, “Get behind me, Satan!”

Temptation is not the same thing as sin. Temptation is when we want to commit a sin, but haven’t decided yet to do it. Jesus faced Satan (temptation) head on. Once when he went through over a month of harsh temptation alone in the wilderness, Satan gave him all the reasons he should do certain things and made them look so good and reasonable; then Jesus gave all the reasons he should not do those things.

Hebrews 4:15 says, “We do not have a high priest [Jesus] who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are ~ yet was without sin.”

Jesus stood up to Satan.  Jesus was a spiritual warrior.  Today, be a warrior.

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Friday 2/1 ~ When he is in your heart, is he home?

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

0-BK 4-FolkHero-Cover-Kindle-thumbnail-new“A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.”

Just think of it. Jesus coming home. The place where his family lives. The familiar places he’d seen walking around town in earlier years. The familiar faces. Hearing a voice in a crowd and recognizing it and automatically knowing s/he is a neighbor. Being able to walk through a market almost blindfolded because the same shops are in their same places selling their same goods.

Has Jesus come home to your heart? Is it familiar to him? Does he recognize you? When he hears your prayers, does he automatically know who you are? Can he walk beside you as you walk through life, knowing the places you will be visiting? Does he live with you?

When he is in your heart, is he home?

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Thursday 1/24 ~ Hang on to it!

The scripture for today, January 24 (1/24), is Jude 1:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

kindle cover-thumbnail“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy ~ “

Yes, it is possible for Christians to fall because we have free will.  But fall from what? God is perfect, and so cannot dwell with faults and imperfection. We have faults. Romans 3:23 says everyone sins. And Romans 6:23 says the wages we earn for sinning is death. Satan was holding our souls hostage in his realm of death. But God always has wanted us to live with him. What a dilemma!

God solved our problem at great expense. His Words descended to earth in a human body so he could live the faultless life for us. Then God offered Himself to die in our place, to pay the ransom to get souls out of Satan’s death existence. Amazing. 

But God wasn’t through yet. He tricked Satan and came back to life. After that, God told the world He would consider us “without fault” vicariously through Jesus. We even today have a choice. We can enslave our souls back to Satan (“fall”) or we can grab hold of our spiritual freedom, spiritual life and hang on to it.

Deep down, who have you chosen?

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