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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Sunday 8/26 ~ Unfathomable yearning, inescapable love

The scripture for today, August 26 (8/26), is Romans 8:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

The Holy Spirit in the New Testament is always linked with communication between God and Man. Even the miracles, made possible by the Holy Spirit, were a guarantee that the words and teachings accompanying the miracles were from God. This was needed before the New Testament was written. But the Holy Spirit does more than this.

God speaks to us in his Word, the Bible. Then we speak to him in return in prayer. But sometimes all we can do is bow our head in silence and know that God understands ~ His Spirit communes with our spirit.

In the Beginning, God the Mind decided to make the universe, God the Word spoke the words to make the universe, and God the Spirit made it happen and brought life to the universe. When humans die, we say their spirit left their body. Therefore, God’s Spirit brings life to our spirit, our soul, when we are born again.

So, we see God’s Spirit brings life to our spirit and keeps it alive by communing with our lowly spirit.  Unfathomable yearning. Inescapable love.

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Sunday 8/19 ~ Whisperings and mutterings? Really?

The scripture for today, August 19 (8/19), is Isaiah 8:19f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Inside-COVER-lg thumbnail“When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.”

It has always been a popular thing to do among some people to try to reach into the spirit world, the world of demons and the dead. They may be very religious people. They may pray a lot and go to worship a lot and read the Bible a lot. But God’s word is not enough for them, so they delve into the other world. God says “they have no light of dawn.”

Do you want to talk to someone in the other world? Pray. God is in the other world. Do you want someone in the other world to talk to you? Read the Bible. That is God talking to you from the other world. What more could you ask?!

Whisperings and mutterings?  Don’t need them. God has given you all you need. And we love him for it.

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Sunday 8/5 ~ Amazingly simple

The scripture for today, August 5 (8/5), is Romans 8:5 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires, but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

That makes sense to a Christian. But how are you supposed to know what the Spirit desires? Certainly, God doesn’t leave you to guessing.

Jesus said in John 14:17 that he was going to send the Comforter ~ the Spirit of Truth. And in John 17:17, talking to the same people, he said, God’s Word is Truth. Amazingly simple.

If you want to know what the Spirit desires, then find out what the Word desires. God has given you the Bible full of examples of every possible circumstance and experience of life ~ what works and what doesn’t work.

Someone says, “Well, I shall let the Spirit move my heart.” However, by researching all verses in the Bible where someone’s heart was moved, it was always by God the Father, not God the Spirit. Isn’t that interesting? Not what most of us have been told.

Some people pray and pray about a major decision believing Romans 8:28 says “all things work together for the best…”  It does not say that. It says “for good”. In other words, whatever decision you make, God will turn it into some kind of good. So, go ahead and make your decision. Whatever it is, God will make it work out for you.

You can always rely on what the Bible says, which is exactly what the Spirit says.

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Thursday 7/19 ~ Bad habits ‘n stuff

The scripture for today, July 19 (7/19), is found in Romans 7:19 as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.thumbnail-new“For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do ~ this I keep on doing.”

Doesn’t this pretty much describe all of us in some area of our life?  It may be eating too much, breaking the law by going over the speed limit, laughing at dirty jokes, habitual lying, stealing “little things” at work, cheating on tests, jealousy, impatience, temper ~ any number of things.

Sins of habit and attitude are hard to break. So we go to God over and over asking him to forgive that which, deep down, we know we’re going to do again.

Perhaps this emphasizes the importance of us forgiving others who habitually do wrong to us. We do not know their struggles any more than they know our struggles.

Jesus said, “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14).

Satan wants us to quit trying to do better. And he wants us to quit forgiving each other. Let us not give in to Satan. Let us give in to God. God’s way leads to ultimate forgiveness by him.

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