Saturday 6/8 ~ Have I died with Christ?

The scripture for today, June 8 (6/8), is Romans 6:8 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Acts of the Apostles-Cover-Thumbnail“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”

We all want to live with Christ, but how do we die with him? Earlier in this same chapter, God inspired the writer to say this: “We died to sin….don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead…we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:2-4).

So, just as Christ did a physical action to die for you, you do a physical action to die with him. And just as Christ’s physical death overcame spiritual death, so your physical action overcomes your spiritual death. Then you are born again, or as this verse says, you “live a new life”

Some say this is water salvation. But it is no more water salvation than the cross was wood salvation. You live in a physical world and God has us sometimes do physical things in order to obtain a spiritual outcome. Your singing praise songs is a physical thing, but it is no less spiritual in its outcome. Your eating the Lord’s Supper is a physical thing, but it is no less spiritual in its outcome.

Have you died with Christ?

 

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Saturday 5/25 ~ Love everybody? What an intriguing thought!

The scripture for today, May 25 (5/25), is Galatians 5:25f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

When someone is better than you in doing something, do you pick fights with them as punishment, or spread gossip about them in order to get others to quit respecting them?

Perhaps you don’t do this all the time. But what about times when there is something you feel you are really good at, but another person not as talented gets the honor? That’s when it’s hard to “keep in step with the Spirit.”

Whenever you envy someone, deep down you consider that person your enemy. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45a).

To many, loving our enemy is the most difficult command in the Bible. Perhaps one way to love your “enemy” is to realize that Jesus loved his enemies. Every time you sin, you become one of his enemies. But Jesus keeps right on loving you, even when you don’t want to stop doing whatever you shouldn’t.

Jesus demonstrates the love of the Son of God. And here he says, if you love your enemies, you are demonstrating what the children of God do. And that is far more important than honor that goes to those you envy. Leaving behind conceit makes it much easier to love everyone.  Love everyone?  What an intriguing thought.

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Sunday 5/19 ~ Sing with God

The scripture for today, May 19 (5/19), is Ephesians 5:19 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

OldOldTunes-Thumbnail“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.”

What is so interesting about this scripture is how we are to make music to the Lord. In the original Greek the New Testament of the Bible was written in, the term “make music” means to play on strings. But put with the rest of the verse, we see that it means to play on the strings of our heart.

How beautiful! In God’s ears, the strings of our heart are far superior to any musical instrument we can contrive. So, why would we want to use them as a substitute? Shall we not please the One we are worshiping? Let us be attuned, not to what we love, but to what God loves.

And so, let us sing! In the process, let our singing be accompanied by the beautiful strings of our worshipping heart. Then let the stars join in and sing with us. (Job 38:7) And finally join with the Maker of song (Zephaniah 3:17) and sing with God!

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Friday 4/12 ~ You will be astounded

(Sorry for some of my messages being delayed. I must be doing something wrong. I’ll double check from now on.)

 

The scripture for today, April 12 (4/12), is Colossians 4:12 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“He is always wrestling in prayer for you.”

Do you have fast-food prayers? Drive in, ask for something for yourself, and drive out two minutes later?

How about trying gourmet prayers ~ where you gather many ingredients, not just one? They take longer but are very special and rewarding.

Your menu is your prayer list. People on your list don’t even have to be people you know personally. They can be from the newspaper, teachers at a local school, government officials, your neighbors, your congregation. List people by name. Pray for them by name.

Then tell these people you are praying for them. You may think you’ll get some strange looks, but mostly, even from the unreligious, you will get a smile and a whispered thank you. Some will actually reply, “No one has ever told me they were praying for me.” After a while, you will begin receiving word from people you are paying for, “Guess what? Your prayer worked.”

Prayer is powerful and wonderful. God loves to answer prayer. It is most wonderful when it centers, not on what you want for yourself, but on struggling in prayer for other people.

One by one you will begin seeing amazing answers in the lives of those you pray for. Don’t believe it? Give it a try. You will be astounded.

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Friday 3/15 ~ Sing to your enemies

The scripture for today, March 15 (3/15), is Colossians 3:15f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

OldOldTunes-Thumbnail“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Paul was encouraging the Christians at Colossae to get along with each other. After all, they were all members of the one body ~ the one church. In the next verse, he gave them a way to help it along:  Sing.  

Today, let us sing. Sing to sing to each other. Sing in unison to unify your heart with others. Sing in harmony to harmonize their lives together.  Sing to show thanksgiving for your brothers and sisters.

What a wonderful way to mend a rift. Sing. Sing with the person you are not getting along with. Watch the smile on your face drift over to that person. Watch the smile on their face rise up out of a heart that really does want to love you.

Let not little things interfere with your love for others. You do not want to cause pain to your heavenly Father when his children do not get along. Let us please each other ~ and sing!

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