Saturday 11/17 ~ Putting myself in danger

The scripture for today, November 17 (11/17), is 1st Chronicles 11:17f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“David longed for water and said, ‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem.’ So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David.”

The people who followed David admired him because he knew how to be a good leader. So, many were willing to do anything to make “Captain David” happy. David had been born and raised in Bethlehem. Now he was grown and had a following of those evading power-hungry King Saul, many of whom were brave soldiers. They had traveled throughout the country either evading or defending themselves against this and other enemies.

Their travels took them back to David’s hometown which was being held by enemy Philistines. For old-time’s sake, he longed for a drink from the well he had drunk from many times in his youth. Three of his strongest men risked their lives to bring their captain, David, that drink of water.

How much do you admire the Captain of your Salvation, Jesus? How much are you willing to sacrifice for him? Do you say, “I’m too busy to do anything for Jesus and his kingdom today”? Do you say, “I’m afraid if I say something about Jesus to so-and-so, s/he will insult me”? Do you say, “Someone at church offended me, so I’m not going to worship Jesus anymore?” Do you admire Jesus enough to put yourself in the slightest danger just to do the smallest thing for him?

Ah, Lord Jesus, you put yourself in danger for me. Help me have that same kind of love for you.

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Sunday 10/14 ~ Catch Me If You Can

The scripture for today, October 14 (10/14), is John 10:14 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-thumbnail“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me ~ just as the Father knows me and I know the Father ~ and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

How amazing that Jesus is willing to follow you when you do not follow him, and bring you back to his protective fold. He died while doing just that.

Yet we continue to leave him and his instructions that would keep us safe, and we wander into thistles, near cliffs, down into pits. This requires more work for Jesus. Yet we do it anyway. Catch me if you can! We may laugh, but he weeps because he knows the danger we are headed for.

How much grief do we give our spiritual Father, our spiritual Big Brother, our spiritual family? If they are not laughing over what we’re doing, perhaps we should not be either.

God, forgive me when I wander from You.

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Thursday 10/11 ~ Playing Peek-a-boo

The scripture for today, October 11 (10/11), is Psalm 10:11 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“He says to himself, ‘God has forgotten; he covers his face and never sees.’ “

You believe in God in some form. And you believe that God knows what you do. But do you sometimes bury your beliefs in your subconscious mind so you can go around doing things you know are wrong? Do you believe you won’t get caught, and you can slide into heaven doing whatever you want?

In other words, do you justify your favorite sins? Do you justify your sins of attitude such as jealousy, impatience, pride, short temper under the guise of an unhappy childhood or getting what you deserve?  Do you justify your sins of omission ~ good things you should be doing, but are not ~ under the excuse that you don’t have time to do them? Do you justify questionable things you do by saying they’re “not so bad” or God is so good, he will forgive anything you do as long as you say you’re sorry every time you do it?

Do you do as children do who cover their eyes so they cannot see anyone and think that, therefore, no one ~ including God ~ can 17see them?

God loves you more than you can ever imagine. He never forgets you. He sees and hears everything you do. The only things he does not approve of are things that will ultimately hurt you and which he calls sin.

Here is a marvelous jewel for you. Take it, shine it up, and put it on display:  Pleasing God is the ultimate form of pleasing yourself.

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Wednesday 9/19 ~ Do you feel ordinary?

The scripture for today, September 19, is Acts 9:19f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food he regained his strength.”

This is the story of Saul, as he was known to the Jews and to us as Paul, who became an apostle. Notice the order he did this: He was hungry, but that wasn’t important. He had to do what was important first. He was baptized.

Why was Paul baptized? In Acts 22:16 Paul recalls that day when he was told, “Get up: be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.”

Further, notice who baptized him. Was he part of the clergy, someone with an ordained title in the church? No. He was ordinary and unknown. Acts 9:10 says, “In Damascus, there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him: ‘Go to…. a man from Tarsus named Saul’.” What title did Ananias have? None. He was just another disciple. Disciple simply meaning follower.

Little did this otherwise ordinary and unknown disciple realize that day that the person he baptized would end up writing much of the New Testament.

Do you feel ordinary like you are an “unknown disciple” to followers of Jesus around you? Find something to do, and God will make it great. 

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Saturday 9/15 ~ Just how far would you go?

The scripture for today, September 15 (9/15), is 2nd Corinthians 9:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

Can you imagine dying in the place of someone else?  We occasionally hear stories from the battlefield of a man falling on a grenade so he is the only one killed, thus saving his buddies.

But closer to home, if you saw a child in the path of a car, would you run out and throw the child out of the way knowing there will be no time for you to escape death?

What if you were hiking or sailing with a friend and got lost? Would you split the food and water evenly, or would you give it all to your friend? What would you do if you were lost with someone who hated everyone? Would you give them all the food and water knowing you would die and the hateful person live on?

What if you were with a friend and were arrested for a crime the friend did? Would you take the blame and the punishment of twenty years in prison so your friend could go free?  What if that person was a habitual criminal, you happened to cross paths at the wrong time, and you were both arrested for his heinous crime? Would you take the blame and his punishment (execution) for him?

Now try to imagine making your child take the blame and die in the place of every sinner in the world ~ your sinless, innocent child.

     It is indescribable.

            It is unimaginable.

                It is unthinkable.

                        But God did exactly that.

How can we thank Him for his indescribable gift of Jesus redeeming us from Satan with his blood? We fall silently at His feet and worship.

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Friday 9/7 ~ You mean I don’t have to tithe?

The scripture for today, September 7 (9/7), is 2nd Corinthians 9:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-Thumbnail “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

There are many religious leaders who insist that Christians tithe. But that was part of the Law of Moses, which we no longer keep.  If we pick one item, we have to pick them all including stoning people.  Let’s look at Law-of-Moses tithing:

Actually, the Jews were required to give more than a tenth. (1) Deuteronomy 26:12 said the Jews had to give an extra tithe every three years for their welfare program. So, if someone tithed $900 a year, s/he would have to tithe an average of $300 more per year for the welfare program, equaling $1,200 year. If the yearly income was $9000, this would take it up to 13.3% a year.

(2) Also, according to Leviticus 27, they had to pay for their vows, which in many cases were really special prayer requests. (3) They also had to buy animals for sacrifices for intentional sins, unintentional sins, and sins requiring restitution.

(4) If they wanted to thank God for anything, they had to buy grain for a sacrifice (Leviticus 1-5). If they didn’t have to buy the animals or grain, they had to take them out of their own supply, thus depleting their own “paycheck.”

(5) And every time one of their flocks or herds had a first-born, they had to sacrifice it ~ another depleting of the “paycheck.”

So the good Jew under the Law of Moses did not just tithe. He ended up giving about one-third of his income.  Galatians 5:3 says that, if we keep one part of the Law, we have to keep all of it. There were over 600 burdensome commandments in the Law of Moses!

In today’s scripture, Christians are being released from this burden. Instead, they are being told to decide in their own heart. Christians are released from serving and giving through obligation and set free to serve and give out of love.

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Sunday 8/26 ~ Unfathomable yearning, inescapable love

The scripture for today, August 26 (8/26), is Romans 8:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

The Holy Spirit in the New Testament is always linked with communication between God and Man. Even the miracles, made possible by the Holy Spirit, were a guarantee that the words and teachings accompanying the miracles were from God. This was needed before the New Testament was written. But the Holy Spirit does more than this.

God speaks to us in his Word, the Bible. Then we speak to him in return in prayer. But sometimes all we can do is bow our head in silence and know that God understands ~ His Spirit communes with our spirit.

In the Beginning, God the Mind decided to make the universe, God the Word spoke the words to make the universe, and God the Spirit made it happen and brought life to the universe. When humans die, we say their spirit left their body. Therefore, God’s Spirit brings life to our spirit, our soul, when we are born again.

So, we see God’s Spirit brings life to our spirit and keeps it alive by communing with our lowly spirit.  Unfathomable yearning. Inescapable love.

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