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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Thursday 9/13 ~ You cannot have “victory in Jesus” unless you have a problem to be victorious over

The scripture for today, September 13 (9/13), is Psalm 9:13f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“O Lord, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, that I may declare your praises…and there rejoice in your salvation.”

We all experience difficult things in our life ~ some minor, some major. Do you let them define your entire life? Or do you cling to them, never getting over them, never letting them go, and reliving them over and over in your mind?

 You cannot be “more than conqueror” (Romans 8:37) unless you have something to conquer. You cannot have “victory in Jesus” unless you have something to be victorious over.

God said that he can make “all things work together for good” to those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28).

Today, with the courage of God in your heart, the love of God in your soul, and the might of God in your very being, rise up! Rejoice! Thank God for your problems.  It is only when you have problems that you can experience victories.

 

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Saturday 9/8 ~ Governments and Martyrdoms

The scripture for today, September 8, is Daniel 9:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“O Lord, we and our kings, our princes, and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.”

Daniel was what some might call the prime minister of Babylon.  He was part of the government. Before that, he was of the royal house of the Jews in Jerusalem. He was part of the government there too.  Both governments needed prayer. Have you prayed for your government lately?  I Timothy 2:1 & 2 says “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone ~ for kings and all those in authority.”

At the time of this writing, Nero Caesar. The first-century historian Tacitus said this about Nero in his Annals 15:44: “But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called “Christians” by the populace.

“Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular.

“Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.”

If the Apostle Paul could pray for such a government leader, can’t you follow his instructions? Why don’t you stop and pray for your own government right now?

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Thursday 9/6 ~ God is One!

The scripture for today, September 6 (9/6), is Isaiah 9:6 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“For to us a child is born! To us a son is given! And the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!”

This is one of the most amazing scriptures in the entire Bible explaining how God is One and self-existent. It is as astounding as John 1:1,14 that says, “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

This child predicted to be born unto us was both Father and Son and God. He created Himself. He was self-existent.

He is the image of the invisible God. ”For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1:15, 19; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4). The men who saw Jesus Christ saw God (John 12:45, 14:9). God’s blood (God’s Word in flesh) was shed on the cross (Acts 20:28).

In America, we sometimes say about a son, “he is the spitting image of his father.”  Jesus said, “If you want to look at the Father, look at me.” God is a Spirit but created us in a material world. So, sometimes God materialized in the Old Testament. In the New Testament he materialized as Jesus.

This is so amazing. And we have been so blessed beyond full comprehension.

 

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Wednesday 8/29 ~ The movies have warped the truth about demons

The scripture for today, August 29 (8/29), is Matthew 8:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Matthew's Life of Christ-Cover-thumbnail” ‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’ “

If you are not familiar with this passage, these are the words of a demon. If you have ever studied demons in the Bible, you will find that they never tried to spook or scare people. They never made dishes rattle or lamps fall over.

All they did was cause physical problems during the lifetime of Jesus and his apostles. There is no evidence of demons doing this in the Old Testament before Jesus, nor after his apostles died, either in the Bible or in the writings of the apostolic fathers. It is as though the demons were loosed for a season so Jesus could show his power over them also ~ Ephesians 1:20-21.

Notice, demons never said bad things. If they talked at all, it was out of fear and honesty.  James 2:19 says all demons believe in Jesus. In the book of Matthew, they knew who Jesus was. They called him the Son of God.

Jesus told them to be quiet. Why? He didn’t want evil beings telling people who he was; he wanted goodness to tell people who he was. And Jesus never did incantations or any begging to lure demons out. He demanded them to leave and immediately they obeyed him.

The movies have warped our understanding of demons. Let us search the scriptures to find out their true nature. Then we no longer have to guess. We can know.

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