Saturday 12/23 ~ Take others along when you soar

The scripture for today, December 23 (12/23), is 1st Samuel 12:23 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Oldoldstory-COVER-KINDLE“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.”

It’s actually a sin not to pray for others!

Do your prayers get bogged down in the mire of me’s? Do you wonder why you can’t pray for more than a couple minutes ~ five on a good day? Satan gets you to do this; he is the enemy of prayer because he knows how powerful it is.

Who is on your prayer list? Pray for people by name. Your neighbors. People you work with. Your government officials ~ both good and bad. People in a nursing home. People in your congregation. People in the military. People being persecuted, imprisoned and even killed because they are Christians. Missionaries. Children in an orphan home. Salespeople at the store. Local school teachers.

Pray for 15 minutes a day. Half an hour. An hour. It’s oh so easy when we stop praying only for self and pray for others.

Pray for them by name. And tell them that you do. Some people have never been told, “I am praying for you”.

Let us not sin by praying only for “me”. Let us take others soaring with us when we pray.

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Scripture for Monday 12/11 ~ Tired? Let your soul rise up

The scripture for today, December 11 (12/11), is Romans 12:11 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Medium“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

Sometimes we get physically tired and our spiritual zeal wanes along with it. We just want to rest. Well, while we rest, we can always become prayer warriors.

When you see friends, ask them, “How was your week/day/month?” Don’t ask them how they are, for they will probably reply, “Fine.” But if you ask how their week has been, that gives them something to talk about. They’ll tell you of things they have been doing. Regardless of  what they say, reply, “May I pray for your success in….” or “I’d like to pray for your….”

What the world needs is prayer. Many people have never in their entire life heard someone tell them, “I am praying for you.” Be the first. Open up their lives to the love of God.

Prayer is powerful, especially when you are not praying for yourself all the time, but rather are praying for others. Do you have a prayer list? How many are on it besides yourself? Ten? Fifty? A hundred? Five hundred? Is that too many to cover? Not at all. How long does it take to read 500 names in earnest, sincere prayer?

You may say, “But just mentioning a name is so meaningless; it’s too simple. God expects me to explain all I know about this person’s problem and then do some begging.” No, he doesn’t; not with everyone. Prayer is so very, very powerful, that just mentioning a person’s name will bring this person before the very throne of God.

Then, even when you are tired and lack physical zeal, your soul can rise up with spiritual fervor to heaven itself.

 

Scripture for Thursday, November 9 (11/9)

The scripture for today, November 9 (11/9), is Luke 11:9 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-michel-cover-kindle-medium” ‘So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.’ “

Does this mean that, if we ask for our favorite team to win, they will win? Does this mean that, if we ask for a particular job, we will get that job? Or, if we have our eyes on a particular young man or young woman, does this mean we will marry that person?

In the context that Jesus said this, he had just taught his disciples what many call the Lord’s prayer. In that prayer, Jesus instructed us to ask for a little bit of the physical and a whole lot of the spiritual.

You might say, “Well, that doesn’t leave me much to pray for.” Oh, yes it does. Shift your focus from yourself. It leaves the rest of the world to pray for. What about their little bit of physical and their whole lot of spiritual? How many people do you pray for? Not as a group, but by name? Not occasionally, but every day?

Well then, will God give us every one of the souls we pray for? God gives everyone free will. He does not force people to follow him. God provides opportunities for people we pray for, and he even moves their hearts. But he does not force them. We must still, keep on praying, even when we feel like someone is hopeless. Maybe they are hopeless during our lifetime. But sometimes someone’s soul is saved after our death.

So let us pray for others and never tire of it ~ a little bit of the physical and whole lot of the spiritual. Seek and we will find. God will answer in his own way.

And that’s a promise.

 

Scripture for Thursday, October 5 (10/5)

The scripture for today, October 5 (10/5) is 2nd Corinthians 10:5f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Life-Changing-Scriptures-Cover-medium“Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now, these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.”

This is about the 40 years the Jews wandered in the wilderness between leaving their slavery in Egypt and beginning a nation for themselves in their Promised Land.

It took Moses 40 years to get the Jews out of Egypt. But it took 400 years to get Egypt out of the Jews. They believed their way was better than God’s way. They wanted God to protect them and provide for their needs, but they kept God at a distance as far as their ethics and way of life.

Events in the Old Testament are there as examples to us. This is one reason why we need to read the Old Testament.  The early Jews did not want to listen to God, so God did not listen to them. Do we keep God at a distance?  In that case, God keeps us at a distance.

Do we want God to treat us the way we treat him? This can be a frightening thought. It can also be a blissful thought.

 

Scripture for Monday, October 2 (10/2)

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

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-medium” ‘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 is an angel, possibly 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….

 

Scripture for Friday, September 29 (9/29)

The scripture for today, September 29, is Matthew 9:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.medium-new“Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith will it be done to you.’ “

Sometimes when we pray for healing during sickness, a well-meaning friend will say, “Well, you haven’t been healed because you didn’t have enough faith.” But Jesus did not heal everyone according to their faith.

The boy in Nain he brought back to life (Luke 7:14-15) did not have any faith at all. The girl in Capernaum he brought back to life (Luke 8:51-56) did not have any faith at all. When Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1-9) the hosts did not have any faith at all. There are other examples.

This is encouraging because often we pray for the healing of non-religious friends. It would be futile to ask God to bring them back to health if it depended on their faith all the time.

He is not a God of futility. He is a God of hope.

Scripture for Thursday, September 28 (9/28)

The scripture for today, September 28 (9/28), is Hebrews 9:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

campbell-cover-kindle-lg-medium“So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

Waiting is hard to do. We wait for relatives to arrive at our house for a visit. We wait for our next promotion. We wait for babies to be born. We wait for enough money to buy new clothes.

But what about waiting for something that we have never seen? Waiting for something we believe in by faith? Waiting an entire lifetime?

All the more reason to keep our eyes on the Word, our activities in good works, and our hearts on our Creator and Savior. It’s a long spiritual walk. But just keep walking, and keep walking, and keep walking until some day in the distant future you walk right through the gates of heaven.

Then, when you look back from eternity, you will say, “The wait wasn’t so long after all.”

Scripture for Wednesday, September 27 (9/27)

The scripture for today, September 27 (9/27), is Nehemiah 9:27 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-“So, you handed them over to their enemies who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed, they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.”

With many people, the only time we think about God is when we feel oppressed by something or someone in our life. We may even blame God.

That can be a good thing. Perhaps we hadn’t given God a second thought since our last calamity. So now, at last, we’re thinking about him. Yes, we may be angry at God, but at least we’re thinking about him.

Let us thank God for times of oppression. Sometimes that is what it takes for God to get our attention. Then perhaps God can show us that he wants to be our friend.

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Scripture for Monday, September 25 (9/25)

The scripture for today, September 25 (9/25), is 1st Corinthians 9:25f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Cover-Kindle-small“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly….”

Every few years there are world-wide Olympic Games with many races. The racers must eat properly, rest sufficiently, and exercise daily.

The Bible has been called the Bread of Life. As Christians, we need to eat our spiritual meal every day to stay fit. We cannot keep up our strength without it. Our time of rest is prayer. We enter a room alone and talk to God every day. We need our rest. We cannot keep up our strength without it.

I Timothy 4:8 says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” We exercise our godliness by being out in the world and being a good example in the face of temptation. We exercise our spiritual muscles daily.

The race is our Christian life. We run every day. How is your race going?

Scripture for Wednesday, September 13 (9/13)

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

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Medium“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 we let them define our entire life? Some of us never get over them and relive them over and over in our mind.

Think! We cannot be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37) unless we have something to conquer. We cannot have “victory in Jesus” unless we have something to be victorious over.

God said he can make “all things work together for good” to those who love and obey the Lord (Romans 8:28). He did not say they would always work together for the best, but he would make some kind of good come out of even tragedy.

Today, with the courage of God in your heart, stand up and thank God for your problems.  It is only when we have problems that we can have victories.