Sunday 12/15 ~ …takes the clouds away and brings back the sunshine

The scripture for today, December 15 (12/15), is Hebrews 12:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Really?  Bitterness can cause us to miss the grace of God? Bitterness only causes trouble for yourself and others, and defiles you. Bitterness comes from you thinking of yourself more highly than you ought (Romans 12:3), and forgetting that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Bitterness leads to either bullying or shunning, and ends in broken relationships and a cancer of the heart. It can cost us our eternal salvation.

The opposite of bitterness is forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean you condone what someone else has done. It means you let go of it and let God handle it. It means you wish the best for the offending person or situation. You can wish even the most hardened criminal will someday turn to God and turn his life around. How many times in your lifetime have you asked God to forgive you for the same things over and over?  God forgives you as you forgive others.

Forgiveness lifts weights off of you until you feel as though you could soar. Forgiveness takes the clouds away and brings back the sunshine. Forgiveness makes sure you do not miss the grace of God.

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0-Mefiboset-KINDLE ThumbnailMEFIBOSET:  CRIPPLED PRINCE spent a lifetime forgiving people who made fun of him, tried to take advantage of him, or hunted him down as the lone male survivor of King Saul. Always, the insults and threats seemed to fly over his head, for he always had a smile for everyone.  Even his son chided his father often, “Why do you let people run over you like that?”  But, after his father died, he told his own children, “I want to tell you about the greatest man I ever knew.”  To BUY NOW click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/36DQ7ik

 

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Saturday 12/14 ~ Hold fast. Stand firm.

The scripture for today, December 14 (12/14), is 1st Samuel 12:14 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

02-samuel-thumbnailcover“If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God ~ good!”

The Jews had just insisted on having a king rule over them instead of a supreme judge. Samuel, their last supreme judge, replied and said two IFs. IF they serve and obey the Lord, and IF they both (people and king) follow the Lord, then it is good.

Today as then, some people live in a nation where the king/government does not follow the Lord. What to do? Galatians 5:22 tells us to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled, for “against such things there is no law”.

Is it hard to do this when crooked officials are getting all the advantages and you are being cheated and even threatened if you do not cooperate? Indeed, it is. It may seem they are living the good life. In reality (eternal reality, not earthly reality). They have lost everything. This life is fleeting. Keep your eyes on the eternal. Keep your eyes on God!

Hold fast!

       Stand firm!

             Do the right thing!

In the end, they lose. You and God win. And that is good!

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02-samuel-thumbnailcoverA CHILD’S BIBLE KIDS:  SAMUEL.  How did Samuel’s mother prepare him to live in someone else’s house when he was a toddler? How did Eli settle little Samuel’s confused mind when Eli suddenly became his “grandfather” while he grew up?  But grow up, Samuel did. And he became one of the strongest supreme judges Israel ever had.  But he was also the last.  He had to resign his position when the people wanted a king instead of him.  But, he never stopped being loyal to God.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….  https://amzn.to/2YPmlVe

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Thursday 12/12 ~ “Marks of an Apostle”

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

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“The things that mark an Apostle ~ signs, wonders and miracles ~ were done among you with great perseverance.”

This is so interesting. These are not things that mark Christians in general, but the Apostles.

Jesus told his Apostles that, when they taught the world about Jesus and baptized them, miracles and signs would accompany the believers (Mark 16:17). The miracles and signs followed conversions of believers by the Apostles to whom he was speaking.

Acts 3:6f and 9:40f involved healing by the Apostle Peter, and Acts 20:9f involved healing by the Apostle Paul which they performed to prove their words were the Words of God.

In Acts 6:5-6, the Apostles laid their hands on seven men to serve the church in a special way. Of those men, Stephen performed miracles (6:8) and Philip performed miracles (8:5-7), both to prove their words were the Words of God.

In Romans 1:1,11, the Apostle Paul said he wanted to visit the Christians in Rome so he could impart some spiritual gift. In 1st Corinthians 1:6-7 the Apostle Paul said he imparted spiritual gifts to Christians in Corinth.

We have no examples in the New Testament of anyone other than an Apostle passing on the power to perform miracles. Even the writings of the “Apostolic Fathers” in the late 1st and early 2nd century say things like “Even down to those times there were a few miracles being performed including raising the dead.”

Yes, the reason for the miracles was to prove the words of the miracle performer were the Words of God (which had not yet been written down). Now that we have the New Testament (Jesus’ and his Apostles’ teachings in written form) we no longer need the miracles.

They were “marks of an Apostle.” The miracles including, healing, renewing the maimed (making limbs grow back), and bringing people back to life. All of them.

Interesting, isn’t it?

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00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-PAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE.  One reader declared,  “WOW!  OH, WOW!”  Paul was a stubborn man.  He said of himself, “I was a violent man.” Jesus had to strike him blind and let him stew in his confusion before letting the facts sink into his stubborn head: Jesus, whom he persecuted, was the Son of God.  He spent the rest of his life trying to convince the rest of the stubborn world. He suffered the same kind of torture he had meted onto Christians in his youth.  A stubborn and amazing man.   To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/34ktQnT

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Wednesday 12/11 ~ God be with our teenagers

(Oops.  We did today’s yesterday.  So, today we will do yesterday’s.)

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailThe scripture for today, December 10 (12/10), is Job 12:10 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?”

Let’s talk a moment about teenagers. Many adults joke that their teen is 16 going on 60. What know-it-alls they’ve become! Let’s look at the situation this way. They may have bodies that have grown to that of an adult. But minds grow much slower, and they must give their minds a chance to catch up.

As adults, it is our responsibility to help their minds catch up. Know enough about the Bible that you can apply scriptures to their activities and interests and friends. You may wish to make a list of your teenager’s activities, interests, and friends, and then list a scripture next to each. Proverbs is an excellent book to start with. Then when the occasion arises, be ready (even if you have to sneak into the other room a minute to consult your list) to instill some wisdom.

This way, it is not you speaking, but God speaking. God said, “My word will not return to me void” (Isaiah 55:11). And God is older and wiser than all of us.

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00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailSTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR begins with Stephen as a wreckless 17-year-old coward. He is idealistic but always goes about proving his point in the wrong way ~ speaking when he should not, trying when he should give up, frustrated, brazen.  Go along with Stephen as he gradually matures until, at the age of 28 with a wife and two children, he walks into the death chamber (Sanhedrin council chambers) and keeps them busy with his accusations until his friend can escape.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or PASTE THIS………https://amzn.to/2t3I53z

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Thursday 12/5 ~ Then God will arise

The scripture for today, December 5 (12/5), is Psalm 12:5 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

06-Moses Thumbnail Cover” ‘Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,’ says the Lord. ‘I will protect them from those who malign them.’ “

Notice, in this scripture the Lord says, “I will now arise.” Sometimes God needs you to endure difficulties so that bad people who cause such problems can be exposed for what they are, and ultimately so Satan can be exposed for what he is. Sometimes that difficulty will last months or years ~ sometimes even a lifetime.

First Corinthians 3:9 in the New Testament says you are a worker together with God. Ephesians 6:12 says “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly [spiritual] realms.”

You are where God wants you to be. This is your assignment. Are you up to it? Sometimes your job is just to hang on and not give up on God. That’s what Satan is always trying to get you to do, just as he did Job in the Old Testament. God won’t leave you in a situation that is impossible for you to endure. I Corinthians 10:13 says, “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”

So, go ahead and groan in your weakness, beg in your frustration, and cry in your frailty, but hang on. Never let go of God. That’s your part.

As soon as the evil around you is exposed for what it is, you have proven good cannot be conquered by evil, and you have grown spiritually as a result of your experience.  And God’s part?  Then God will arise.

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06-Moses Thumbnail CoverA CHILD’S BIBLE HEROES:  MOSES’ people had endured 400 years of terrible slavery.  Thousands died thinking God had not heard their prayers. But, when the harsh treatment of the Egyptians got unbearable, God arose. He lifted up Moses who then endured the threats of Pharaoh, outlasted Pharaoh, and led over three million of his people out of their slavery and into freedom.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/36abNlZ

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