Wednesday 10/2 ~ Strength to angels?

The scripture for today, October 2 (10/2), is Daniel 10:2ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks…On the twenty-fourth day of the first month…I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude….Then he continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me because I was detained there with the king of Persia.’ “

The description of the speaker indicates he may have been angel Gabriel. Michael is another known angel. In Daniel 12:1 he is called “Michael, the great prince who protects your people.” Jude 9 refers to Michael as an archangel who disputed with Satan over the body of Moses.

Revelation 12:7-9 says, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down ~ that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him.”

Now, let us look back at Daniel 10. Daniel prayed for 21 days. The un-named angel (Gabriel?) appeared to him on the 24th day and said Daniel’s prayers had been heard the first day, but God’s angel could not break away to help because of fighting Satan’s angels.

Now look at Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Does our persistence in prayer give strength to the angels?  Something to think about….

 

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Wednesday 9/18 ~ All 600?

The scripture for today, September 18 (9/18), is Leviticus 9:18ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. But the fat portions of the ox and the ram ~ the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver ~ these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.”

The Law of Moses did not have just Ten Commandments. It had over 600! They were intricate commands that had to be kept exactly. The above is just a small portion of what they were supposed to do for a particular sacrifice.

Thank God, Jesus nailed the Old Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Yet some religious leaders continue to dip back into the Old Law to copy showy types of worship ~ robes, candles, choirs, harps, incense ~ many things, and all commanded. But if they do that, they must keep ALLof the Law of Moses ~ stoning for adultery, giving 1/3 of their income (not just 1/10), not working on Saturday (even cooking), going to Jerusalem three times a year.

They can’t just pick and choose which ones they like. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:17 “Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised [just one command in the Old Law of Moses] that he is obligated to obey the whole law.”

James said in 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Old Testament worship was showy, elaborate, and demanding to the nth degree. New Testament worship is just the opposite.

Mark 14:26 says that after Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper/Communion, “When they had sung a [single] hymn, they went out…”

Acts 2:41-42 says, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Acts 20:7 says, “On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people…”

I Timothy 4:13 says, “Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”

Nothing complicated about it. Just simple worship. Worship the way Jesus and his apostles worshiped. Worship the way God likes it. He said so himself.

 

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Thursday 9/5 ~ Then stand. And act.

The scripture for today, September 5 (9/5), is Nehemiah 9:5a as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Applied Christianity“And the Levites ~ Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherabiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah ~ said ‘Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.’ “

Who in the world are these eight men?  We know nothing about them before this event and nothing about them after this event. But they are forever memorialized in the Bible because, on this one day, within this one hour, in this one moment in time they “stood on the steps of the temple…and called with a loud voice” (Nehemiah 9:4) for the people to “stand up and praise the Lord”.

Can you do that? Can you stand and call out to people around you, “Stand up and praise the Lord your God”? Yes, you can. You can write letters to the editor, you can encourage other students of the Bible, you can start Bible studies in your home or even the internet for adults or children, you can take scripture tray favors to a hospital or nursing home.

In what way can you tell people around you to “stand up and praise the Lord your God”? List for yourself some ideas. Then stand. And act.

 

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Sunday 9/1 ~ My constant companion

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

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.”

I knew a lady many years ago who talked to God all day as though he was sitting or standing beside her, whether she was cleaning floors, washing dishes, going shopping, or had just received a telephone call. She talked to God about everything she was doing. God was her constant companion.

Your throne, oh God, rises above and far beyond everything I know or can comprehend.  Glory greater than the brightest star radiates from you.  The dome of the universe is your mantel of holiness. Rays more dazzling than the sun shoot out, penetrating the darkness surrounding my soul and bringing me into everlasting day. A path of mercy you make for me lighted up with love. I tread that path day by day knowing it leads to you. With all my filthiness, you allow me near. How I worship you.

Thank you, God, for a good summer. We had somewhat of a drought, but my plants were strong and most survived. How I love walking through my garden and pulling up a radish to nibble on, a strawberry to devour, a handful of peas to feast on. I did nothing to make them grow except keep the weeds away. You are the one who took my tiny seeds and turned them into delicious food for my table. That’s when I feel a little like a creator with you. Thank you, my Lord, for all this.

 

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Sunday 7/28 ~ The lover of my soul

The scripture for today, July 28 (7/28), is 2nd Samuel 7:28 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“O Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.”

What a beautiful praise. Praising God is different from thanking him. It is acknowledging him for His traits ~ not for what He does, but what He is.

Sometimes in life, you come to a point when there is no one to trust about a certain thing. What a lonely feeling.  But you have a God who hears all our prayers at once and takes each one seriously.

How can he do that? God is the Creator. That makes him larger than what he created.  Consider the fact that scientists now estimate there are over a trillion galaxies out there ~ not stars but galaxies of stars.  He is also in everything. That means he is in the smallest atom.

No wonder you cannot see him. He is impossible to see with the human eye. But you can see him with the eyes of your heart, your spirit, your soul.

Ah, yes, Lord God. You promised me everything I need. What a wondrous gift. I will spend my life praising you for what and who you are ~ the lover of my soul.

 

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