Friday 1/12 ~ You are where God wants you

The scripture for today, January 12, is James 1:12 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

How loyal are you to God? Is your relationship up and down, depending on how your life is going at the moment? If you pray for something and don’t get it, do you feel like God is punishing you?  If everything seems to be going wrong, do you blame God instead of Satan? Do you pray over and over for God to relieve you of a particular burden, but relief hasn’t come?

God has assignments for you. Where you are today is where he wants you. Your job is to stay loyal no matter how difficult things get.

Why? To prove that love is stronger than hatred. To prove that good is stronger than bad. To prove that God is stronger than Satan. Ephesians 6:12 says Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Determine today to thank God for whatever state you are in. And, even though you may feel helpless to do anything about it right now, in your helplessness, persevere!

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Link to ebook & discount paperback:  http://bit.ly/LukeSlave

Tuesday 1/9 ~ Fearful? Go anyway.

The scripture for today, January 9 (1/9), is Joshua 1:9 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Fear can paralyze. Just ask Joshua. He had just been given the job of conquering horrible people who practiced prostitution, self-mutilation and sacrificing their children to the fire god.  Plus, his spies said those bad people were like giants. His army was made up of the children of former slaves with no experience.

Guess what God said.  “Go anyway. Conquer anyway.”

What do you fear?  A few people fear spiders and night time and heights and such. A lot more of us fear changing a bad habit that has us in its claws and won’t let us go. Even more serious, do you fear telling a neighbor, someone in a club, or a relative about Jesus’ willingness to save them from hell and get them entrance into heaven?  To all this, God says, “Go anyway.”

Some of you reading this (check out the list of visitor flags at the bottom of my website page ~ 65 countries) live in countries where it is dangerous to be a Christian. Do you fear being arrested, tortured, killed for your faith?  God tells you, “Be strong!  Be courageous!  Do not be terrified!”  Why. Because “the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

What keeps the fear under control?  “Perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18).  Love yourself, love your neighbor, love God. And yearn to be with your Lord forever.

Today, whatever it is holding you back, “Go anyway.  Conquer anyway.”

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link to ebook & discount paperback:  http://bit.ly/PaulUnstoppable

Tuesday 12/26 ~ True & Enduring Honor

The scripture for today, December 26 (12/26), is John 12:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Just where was Jesus when he was on earth saying this?  In a posh hotel in Jerusalem? Who was the Servant of servants serving?

Who or what are we servants to? Power in a workplace, club, congregation, neighborhood? Prestige in a community, an occupation, an organization? Self-indulgence of money, music, entertainment?

While we are pursuing things in life, is Jesus there with us? Are we doing what he would do? Let us be servants to the power of Jesus’ love, prestige in the eyes of God, self-indulgence in the joy of worshiping Him. In this only is there true and enduring honor.

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ebooks & discount paper:   http://bit.ly/PaulUnstoppable

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#power, #honor

Scripture for Thursday 12/21 ~ Use Your Power of One

The scripture for today, December 21 (12/21), is Matthew 12:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Michel-COVER-Kindle-Medium“In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Revelation 21:2, 9, & 26 says something similar regarding the New Jerusalem which is the Bride of Christ, and the Bride is the Church:

“The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.”

The nation you live in may not be in good hands right now, or it may be thriving with high morals, or it may be diving into poverty. But your nation can hope ~ hope in Jesus.

Never lose hope. You are just one person, but there is great power in one. Jesus came to provide that hope. In your own way, in your own life, use your power of one.

Do not leave your nation for a “better life” in someone else’s.  All nations have their days of glory and their days of despair.  Tell about Jesus, the Prince of Peace, even if you have to tell it is secret. Stay. Show your nation how it can hope, how it can have glory, how it can have honor.

 

 

Scripture for Sunday 12/17 ~ Fighting the Good 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-Medium-“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring ~ those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

Verse 9 says the dragon is also the serpent which is also Satan.

There are some people who seem to be enraged all the time. We may never be able to change that person. But we can direct their anger. If they want to be enraged at someone, let them be angry at Satan. Let them go to war with Satan. Let them rage at everything he is doing. Let them lash out at everything he stands for.

So, think about the people you know who are extremely angry at the church or at God. Tell them that Christians must be spiritual warriors and they could become a Christian soldier of the Lord.

Some people just cannot get rid of anger in their life. They may mellow in their old age, but that mellowness is a long way off. Show them how much Satan is enraged at them and how much God loves them. Show them how to get on God’s side, enroll in the army of the Lord, and use their anger against Satan.

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

Scripture for Tuesday 12/12 ~ Miracles: Interesting discoveries

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

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-“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” (Eusebius).

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). It was this way with Jesus, and this way with his Apostles. 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?

 

 

Scripture for Saturday 12/9 ~ Strenth in Weakness

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

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Medium“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 we lament the hand we were dealt? Do we lament the country we were born in, the family we were born into, the physical limitations we were born with, the mental, emotional or physical deficiencies we 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!

Shame over weakness?  Never!

There It Stands

New Testament ParchmentEmpires rise and fall and are forgotten—There it stands.

Dynasty succeeds dynasty—There it stands.

Kings are crowned and uncrowned—There it stands.

Emperors decree its extermination—There it stands.

Despised and torn to pieces—There it stands.

Storms of hate swirl about it—There it stands.

Atheists rail against it—There it stands.

Agnostics smile cynically—There it stands.

Profane prayerless punsters caricature it—There it stands.

Unbelief abandons it—There it stands.

Higher critics deny its claim to inspiration—There it stands. Thunderbolts of wrath smite it—There it stands.

An anvil that has broken a million hammers—There it stands.

The flames are kindled about it—There it stands.

The arrows of hate are discharged against it—There it stands. Radicalism rants and raves about it—There it stands.

Fogs of sophistry conceal it temporarily—There it stands.

The tooth of time gnaws but dents it not—There it stands.

Infidels predict its abandonment—There it stands.

Modernism tries to explain it away—There it stands.

Devotees of folly denounce it—There it stands.

It is God’s highway to Paradise. It is the light on the pathway in the darkest night. It leads businessmen to integrity and uprightness. It is the great consoler in bereavement. It awakens men and women opiated by sin. It answers every great question of the soul. It solves every great problem of life. It is a fortress often attacked but never failing. Its wisdom is commanding and its logic convincing. Salvation is its watchword. Eternal life its goal. It punctures all pretense. It is forward-looking, outward-looking, and upward-looking. It outlives, outlifts, outloves, outreaches, outranks, outruns all other books. Trust it, love it, obey it, and Eternal Life is yours.

A. Z. Conrad (1855-1937)

Scripture for 12/6 ~ You are stronger than you think

The scripture for today, December 6 (12/6), is 1st Corinthians 12:6 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-cover-kindle-medium-new“There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”

Later in this letter, Paul explains, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you.’  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (12:21f). He further explains, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body….” (12:13).

For ambitious people in the church who “fight for position,” this may be hard to take. The visible workers noticed by everyone are dispensable, BUT those who do the seemingly menial works (the “weaker”) are indispensable ~ those who take food to the bereaved, who read the Bible to the sick, who clean the bathrooms, who daily pray for members and the lost, who give a tract to a friend, who share a bulletin with a neighbor, who send a thinking-of-you card to a lonely person, who mow the church building lawn, who watch the nursery, who periodically quote a Bible verse to a friend in distress ~ such works that are in the background are the ones that are indispensable.

To you who are jealous of people who get to have a more public position in the church and stand in front of the congregation and act like a leader, take heart. God is working just as much or more in you than them.

You may seem weaker to the others, but to God you are strong. God sees things that we do not. And rewards us accordingly.

So, stay the course. You are stronger than you think.

Scripture for Tuesday 12/5 ~ I will arise!

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

00-Heroes-Alone-COVER-KINDLE” ‘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 us 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 we are workers 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.”

We are where God wants us to be. This is our assignment. Are we up to it? Sometimes our job is just to hang on and not give up on God. That’s what Satan is always trying to get us to do, just like he did Job in the Old Testament. God won’t leave us in a situation that is impossible for us 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, 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, God will move in for his part.

God will then arise!