Thursday 3/7 ~ Lowering the mountain

Yesterday I gave you the thought for the 7th, so today I will give you the thought for the 6th.  Sorry ’bout that.

The scripture for today, March 6 (3/6), is Proverbs 3:6 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-ThumbnailIn all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Is your life full of twists and turns, short cuts that never work out, detours, mountains to climb and valleys to make your way through?  Welcome to the human race. Life on earth can be hard.  Did you know the Bible calls Satan the god of this world (2nd Corinthians 4:4) and ruler of this world (John 12:31)? 

Your path to heaven is another matter. Your path to heaven is straight. God has done everything in his power to straighten your path and make it easier for you to reach him. How? By providing you with His Word to read any time you see trouble ahead (Psalm 119:105).

Do you see a mountain ahead of you so steep that is impossible to climb or valley so full of darkness you cannot bear the thought of entering it? Do you see a curve in the road ahead of you and dread knowing where it will lead you to?

Colossians 1:13 says God can rescue you from Satan’s domain of darkness and transfer you to the kingdom of Jesus Christ. There God takes control. There God says, “Hold on a minute, Christian, while I lower that mountain, brighten that valley, straighten that curve.”

 The path to heaven ~ thanks to our merciful God ~ is straight. What path are you on?

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Friday 3/1 ~ A tender love, a strong love, a powerful love

The scripture for today, March 1 (3/1), is 1st Thessalonians 3:1,5 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“So, when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens….For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.”

In Thessalonica, there had been a riot, and the man who had given Paul and his helpers a place to live was hauled into court. Paul just couldn’t put his host through that so “when we could stand it no longer” he left the city and went off by himself so he wouldn’t jeopardize anyone else.

Still the great Apostle Paul ~ who went everywhere preaching non-stop for decades; who stood up under beatings, stonings, hunger, and shipwrecks; who explained to church leaders how to lead their congregation; whose letters were prophecy and became scripture ~ the powerful Apostle Paul still felt very tenderly toward his fellow Christians.

He worried about how they were getting along spiritually. And when he “could stand it no longer,” he wrote back to Thessalonica to find out how they were doing.

Do you feel this way about the spiritual well-being of other people? Is there someone you need to call or write to today because you want to find out how they are?  Do you have any words of encouragement for them? Any at all?

Tender love is a powerful love. A strong love. A love that will never, ever let go.

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Wednesday 2/17 ~ A good person, a great person, a mighty person

The scripture for today, February 27 (2/27), is Jeremiah 2:27 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

04-King Joash-ThumbnailCover“ ‘Why do you bring charges against me? You have all rebelled against me,’ declares the Lord.”

Do you want God to make it impossible for someone to insult or lie or cuss at you? Do you want God to make it impossible for someone to fire you? Do you want God to make it impossible to kill you?  Do you want to stop free will? If that were the case, we would all be robots with no will of our own.

More and more people are blaming God for bad things happening in their life. That is their excuse for rebelling against God and declaring he does not even exist. Their view of God is a Santa Claus or Genie in a Bottle who grants their every wish and keeps them from all harm. No one ever dies, no one ever sins, and it is heaven on earth.

What they want is for God to stop his laws of Nature whenever you want. If someone throws a knife at them, it suddenly turns to gelatin.  If someone’s car is about to slam into them and kill someone, they want that car to suddenly be made out of feathers.

Other people sometimes blame God for bad things happening in their life because blaming is one of the ways they handle their grief. They don’t really want to blame God because they want to think God loves them. But there is no one else to blame.

No one else to blame? Oh, yes, there is. There is Satan. We tend to forget Satan is out there too. It is Satan who causes bad to happen, not God.

Is that what you’ve done lately ~ blame God for bad happening, then rebel against him? Or do you know someone who is going through many problems not of their doing or choosing? Are they blaming God and rebelling against him? Help them. Remind them of Satan.

People want to blame someone. They will be relieved to be reminded that Satan exists. Now they can put the blame where it belongs. 

Let us not blame God for the bad. Instead, let us thank Him for the good. And for hard things in our life so we can build our spiritual muscles. How can we have Victory in Jesus unless we have something to be victorious over? How can we be More than Conquerors unless we have something to conquer?  Are we cowards? Do we run from hard work and exercise?

Look up! God knows what he is doing. He wants you to become a good person, a great person, a mighty person. But you must do it his way.

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Saturday 1/12 ~In your weakness, persevere

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

“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 so you’ve decided to quit the church?

Quit grumbling! God has assignments for you. What kind of soldier of the Lord are you? Do you tell the general you don’t like what he has assigned for you to do? Where you are today is where God wants you. Your job is to stay loyal no matter how difficult things get.  Be brave. Hold fast. Stand your ground.

Why? To prove that love is stronger than hatred. To prove that good is stronger than bad. To prove that right is more mighty than wrong. 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, even if you do it in tears because it goes against all your emotions. And, even though you may feel helpless to do anything about it right now, in your helplessness, persevere!

Wednesday 1/9 ~ Go anyway. Conquer anyway.

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

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“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 as a religion, self-mutilation and sacrificing their children to the fire god.  Plus, his spies said those bad people were like giants and 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 people 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, 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 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.

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

 

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