Wednesday 6/12 ~ God loves to answer prayer

The scripture for today, June 12 (6/12), is Luke 6:12 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountain side to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”

How in the world did Jesus think of enough things to say that he could pray all night? Most of us on a good day only manage a 5-minute prayer. The next verse says that the next morning he selected his twelve apostles. Aha! He had a list. He had probably spent at least half an hour each praying about them by name, as well as about others he was considering. Jesus knew what his apostles would be facing someday. Which ones would be loyal enough, stubborn enough, strong-willed enough to someday in the future endure persecution, torture, and martyrdom for him?

Who do you pray for by name? Do you have a prayer list? How about opening the newspaper and praying for all those people in the news ~ perpetrators, victims, causes, governments, situations? Or everyone you work with? Or everyone your children go to school with? Or all their teachers and administrators? Or the clerks in the stores you go to regularly? Or members of an organization you belong to? Or every member of your congregation? What about countries where people become Christians at risk of their freedom and even their lives?

There are always people in need of prayer. And one of the joys of such a prayer life is now and then telling people whom you know that they are in your prayers; or writing a note to someone who is a stranger to you telling them that you pray for them.

Some people have never heard their names in prayer. Some people have never even been told that someone prays for them.

God loves to answer prayer. Do you love prayer?

 

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Sunday 6/9 ~ Satan loses. You win.

The scripture for today, June 9 (6/9), is Job 6:9-8 found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-Thumbnail“Oh that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off!”

Job was suffering terribly. The Bible says he had sores all over his body. There were other symptoms listed elsewhere in Job that indicate he had a form of leprosy. Now he just wanted to die.

When you get into a life problem that seems hopeless, do you just give up and say, “God, I can’t go on like this. Just take my life right now. It’s too hard. I can’t do it anymore”?

God knows what you are going through. God knows that Satan is attacking you. When things are desperately low, your job is just to hang on. It often takes God time to shift around a lot of other people’s lives in order to alleviate your pain.

Remember, God hurts just as much when you suffer as when he watched his own Son suffer on the cross. His Son’s suffering accomplished something wonderful for others. So too, someday your suffering will somehow in some way accomplish something good. And ultimately, just by surviving, Satan loses and God wins.

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Wednesday 5/29 ~ Everlasting Arms

The scripture for today, May 29 (5/29), is Acts 5:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“Peter and the other apostles replied, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’ “

There are many countries in the world today where a person is tortured, imprisoned and/or killed for believing in Jesus Christ or owning a Bible. These believers must stay in the background and try to remain relatively unnoticed in order to survive. But their faith continues unabated, even amidst their fears. Because of brave Christians like these, the church has survived persecution for 2000 years.

Even if they’re not killed, they are by-passed for promotion at work or fired, they are harassed when out shopping, they are threatened in public transportation, they are turned down for a good education, and they must tolerate derision just walking down the street or waiting at a bus stop. But their faith continues unabated, even amidst their fears and tears.

Such events are usually covered up by their governments and news media, and the good people of those countries never know it is happening.

How grateful we must be to those who live life being rejected by others. Let us daily hold up these brave souls in our prayers ~ those who obey God rather than men.

In eternity, God will deal with the persecutors.  In eternity, it will be to God the persecuted will turn to, not men. And there, God will hold them in his everlasting arms.

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail

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Saturday 5/18 ~ Rejoice and keep Satan puzzled

The scripture for today, May 18 (5/18), is 1st Thessalonians 5:18 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

OldOldTunes-Thumbnail“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

This is one of the most difficult verses in the Bible to follow. How can we rejoice with the loss of a loved one, of health, of a job, of a home, of a position? The Christians at Thessalonica, in Greece, had been suffering a lot of persecution for being Christians. Some had even been killed for their faith.

Satan will do all he can to cause bad to happen in your life in order to get you to blame God and forsake him. But the real blame belongs on Satan. It may sometimes seem like the harder you try to follow God, the worse things get in your life.

Satan is afraid of you and is trying more than ever to weaken you, to break you, and get you back on his side. He doesn’t have to attack people he already has.

And sometimes God stands back and tells Satan, “Do your best. This person will grow stronger, not weaker.” Along with the Christians in Thessalonica, you can “become a model….your faith in God…known everywhere” (1st Thessalonians 1:7-8).

So, through your tears, rejoice that Satan is so afraid of you. And at the same time, keep your eyes on Jesus who never gave in when Satan caused bad to happen to him. Rejoice that you are counted worthy to be treated the same way Jesus was treated. Give thanks and keep Satan frustrated and puzzled.

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Tuesday 5/7 ~ He truly does

The scripture for today, May 7 (5/7), is 1st Peter 5:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.medium-new“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Oh, how hard life can be sometimes. We wonder why God doesn’t stop all the bad things. But, if there were no evil and bad things happening, we would have heaven on earth. Satan is the Prince of this world.  Jesus said so.

How many times in a week are you anxious about something? Your job, your home, your children, your neighbors, your government, your health? How many times in a day? Are they heavy? Sometimes almost too heavy to bear?

Name them to God. Tell him all about them. Go into as much detail as you like. Then put them all on his shoulders. That’s what he wants you to do. He will carry those burdens for you.

Yes, this is not heaven on earth. But Jesus provides a way for us to escape in a spiritual way to the other world in heaven.  Of course, you don’t have to escape; he doesn’t force you. But always he calls out to you, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).  Why? He cares for you. He truly does.

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