Monday 12/17 ~ Fight

The scripture for today, December 17 (12/17), is Revelation 12:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Then the dragon [Satan] was enraged at the woman [the Church] and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring [Christians] ~ those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

Whose side are you on? Do have a hard time coming to terms with your own personality and drives? Are you one of those people who seem to be enraged all the time? You may have long ago given up on being able to change.  But you can direct your anger. If you want to be enraged at someone,  be angry at Satan. Go to war with Satan. Rage at everything he is doing. Lash out at everything he stands for.

Are you angry at the church or at God? Keep that energy and switch sides. Be a spiritual warrior, a Christian soldier of the Lord.

Have you tried and just cannot get rid of anger in your life? You may mellow in your old age, but that mellowness is a long way off. You have never experienced rage until you have understood Satan. He is enraged at you. He is enraged at anyone who loves God or good people. Go ahead. Get on God’s side, enroll in the army of the Lord, and use your anger against Satan.

Does it work? Paul said in 1st Timothy 1:13, “I was a violent man.” Yet, he converted thousands of people all over southern Europe, as he “fought the good fight”.

 

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Saturday 12/15 ~Surely not!

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

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

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-ThumbnailReally?  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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Friday 12/14 ~ The two IFs

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

10-Daniel-KindleThumnail“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 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 on top of everything. In reality, they are at the bottom. Never ever let others drag you down to their level. It is not worth it.  Keep your eyes on God!

Hold fast!

       Stand firm!

             Do the right thing!

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

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Sunday 12/9 ~ God is so proud of you!

The scripture for today, December  (12/9), is 2nd Corinthians 12:9 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

04-FOLK HERO-Child'sCartoon-Thumbnail“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Oh how much we need to be reminded of this scripture. We all have weaknesses. Do you lament the hand you were dealt? Do you lament the country you were born in, the family you were born into, the physical limitations you were born with, the mental, emotional or physical deficiencies you ended up with?

This is your chance! Those weaknesses! Go around others with the same weakness you have with joy in your heart, gladness on your lips and a continual gleam in your eyes!  Let God’s strength shine in your weakness!

When people begin to sympathize with you, interrupt them and tell them how much God loves you, and how much God loves them! Encourage your “encouragers.” Let them go away from you with a new understanding of the blessings of weakness! And perhaps be a little more thankful for their own weaknesses.

Lucky you! You are one of the chosen!  He is so proud of you!

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Wednesday 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:

01-Miriam-ThumbnailCover” ‘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 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, Then God will arise.  That’s God’s part.

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Friday 11/23 ~ When they wept

The scripture for today, November 23 (11/23), is 1st Corinthians 11:23ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ “

How the hearts of Jesus and his closest friends must have been breaking that night. How the apostles must have struggled to hold back the tears. They all knew the religious leaders in Jerusalem were plotting to execute Jesus. They knew he was taking his life in his hands to be in the city ~ their lives too. How could they part with the one they now knew was the Son of God but also the Son of Mankind ~ their dearest friend?

When we take the communion every Sunday, where are our thoughts? What we’re going to do after church? What someone sitting near us is wearing? How the person in front of us is blocking our view?

How many of us during the communion weep as Jesus’ apostles must have wept ~ and probably even as Jesus himself wept?

Oh, Jesus, it was my sins that caused you to go through that horrible death!  My punishment! How could you love me that much? I fall at your feet. I am so sorry. 

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Thursday 11/8 ~ Rescued

The scripture for today, November 8 (11/8), is Proverbs 11:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead.”

We know that God does not always rescue us from trouble here on this temporary earth. He certainly didn’t rescue Jesus from all his troubles.

Sometimes God has an assignment for you just as he did for Jesus.  He may want you to be in the midst of trouble ~ war, an enemy at work, an obnoxious neighbor, death of a loved one caused by a reckless driver, a government worker demanding a bribe ~ so you can demonstrate to the world the contrast: God’s ways vs. Satan’s ways.

Eventually, the boomerang effect will take place on those following Satan. What they inflict on you will be inflicted on them.

And eventually, if you have followed God’s ways even in times of trouble, he will indeed rescue you. He will welcome you into his home ~ heaven ~ safe for all eternity.

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