Saturday 4/21 ~ Hating God

(Sorry, I sent you Saturday’s yesterday so I will send you Friday’s today.)

Bible Puzzles-Cover-ThumbnailThe scripture for today, April 20 (4/20), is 1st John 4:20 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”

Jealousy and hatred are very much akin. Are there people you are jealous of? Do they have a position you want, and so you say and do things to undermine their character or work, so you can get their position? Do you have a position you love, and there is a new person who could perform better, so you undermine that person’s ability in order to protect your position?

God eliminates jealousy this way: What you accomplish in public isn’t as important to him as what you accomplish in private. Jesus said those who receive acclamation by people already have their reward, so will not be acclaimed by God (Matthew 6:1-5, 16-18). As much as it goes against human nature, prefer to do your good deeds in private, and God will reward you openly.

Friday 4/20 ~ Your light: Do you know where you left it?

The scripture for today, April 21 (4/21), is Mark 4:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?”

Jesus said something similar in Matthew 5:14f, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Do you spend your energy on yourself and family? That is good. Your family needs your light. But try going further. Do something for someone else. But who? It requires looking around. Looking around your neighborhood, your school, your job, your club, your community.  

Someone is in darkness and needs light to see by. Always keep looking around. Keep searching for little nooks and crannies in the lives of others where you can bring the light of a good deed to someone’s world.

Dare to spread light over them so they know where they are going. They need your light. Can you find it? Do you know where you left it?

Wednesday 4/18 ~ What if we could all see and touch God?

The scripture for today, April 18 (4/18), is 2nd Corinthians 4:18 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

In a sense, what is unseen is the true reality. We cannot see love, but we see its influence, and it is stronger than anything in the world that we can see. We cannot see God, but we can see his influence, and he is more real than anything in the world that we can see.

Sometimes we all say we wish we could see God and touch God. But if that were the case, he wouldn’t be God, for he couldn’t be everywhere at once. He would only be able to hear the prayer of one person at a time, and only able to answer the prayer of one person at a time. By being unseen by human eyes, God can be everywhere.

It’s a hidden blessing!  Every one of us among the billions of people on earth can feel we are God’s special ones. Every one of us can feel his presence, his soul, his love.

Monday 4/16 ~ Are you strong enough to forgive?

The scripture for today, April 16 (4/16), is Hebrews 4:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Anyone who has lived very long has committed some sin they hope no one ever finds out about. Some people have committed many such sins. Sometimes because of that one “big” sin or the constant repetition of a particular sin, do you punish yourself by putting words in God’s mouth? Do you say, “God could never forgive me for that”? Perhaps you can never forgive yourself, but God is greater than you.

Jesus told Peter we must forgive our brothers 70 times 7. If kept literally, that would mean we’d have to forgive the same sin 490 times. It is figurative for forgiving all the time. 1st Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of the Bible, says, “Love…keeps no record of wrongs.” That means not holding grudges.

In addition to forgiving yourself and others, can you reach out to help people who cannot forgive themselves? Are you strong enough to imitate God? Are you strong enough to find enough mercy and grace in your heart to forgive?