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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Saturday 1/5 ~ Someday you will heal

The scripture for today, January 5, is Colossians 1:5 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 4-FolkHero-Cover-Kindle-thumbnail-new“…the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the Word of Truth, the gospel.”

Does your faith have its ups and downs? Is it strong sometimes and weak sometimes? When things sometimes go so wrong you have trouble having faith in God, you can still hope. Do you grow angry at God sometimes?  You can still hope. During such low times when faith does not come easy, you can still hope. Hope is the springboard of faith.

And stay close to the Word of Truth, for John 14:17 says the Comforter is the Spirit of Truth, and John 17:17 says Truth is the Word of God. Read when you don’t feel like it. Ephesians is what I go to. David tells of his own faith problems in Psalm 42.

When your emotions are pulling you down and you feel only the darkness of confusion inside, rely for a little while on your logic, your intellect, until your emotions heal. Read things proving God exists. Read things about other people’s love for God. Do not drop out of the church; you need your Christian friends. It may be hard for you to believe right now but someday you will heal.

So, keep on hoping ~ the springboard. Eventually, along the way, your hope will return to faith.

 

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Wednesday 1/2 ~ Your soul is getting along well

The scripture for today, January 2 (1/2), is 3rd John 1:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

OldOldTunes-Thumbnail“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

Your health may be bad, your finances in an upheaval, your home damaged by wind or water, your job about to be lost. But, amidst your tears and frustrations, we can still smile. You can still rejoice that your “soul is getting along well.”

When problems come into your life ~ and they do ~ remember the most important thing is your soul. No one and no thing can touch your soul as long as you are safe in the arms of Jesus.

So, when problems do come, you can still with confidence rejoice that your “soul is getting along well.”

 

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Friday 12/7 ~ You are never alone

The scripture for today, December 7 (12/7), is Luke 12:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Jesus had just said that God knows every sparrow individually. Amazing! This God of ours, this Creator of ours knows everything that is going on in his world, and knows everyone in his world, regardless of where we are in the world.

Not only does He know everyone, but He knows our name, our likes, our dislikes, our struggles, our joys, if we bump into a door, how much we paid for groceries this week ~ everything. He is with us where ever we go. There is no place we can go that he is not there. We are never alone.

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Tuesday 12/4 ~ He can build great things out of ashes

The scripture for today, December 4 (12/4), is Isaiah 12:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.’ “

Do you make known to your part of your nation what God has done for you? When a friend tells you of a difficulty, do you share what you went through that was similar, and that God helped get you through it? Are you ready with an easy-to-remember scripture to prove God cares and God helps? When someone is sick or bereaved, do you let them know that God hurts just as much when they suffer as when he watched his own Son suffer on the cross?

You may live in a country where most people are living immoral and unethical lives.  You may live in a country where Christianity is illegal. You can still call on Jesus privately to help a friend in distress.  Do not under-estimate the power of “word-of-mouth”.  Jesus can build great things out of ashes.

Look back over your life. Make a list of some difficult times you and God made it through. Find an applicable verse and memorize it. Find out what is going on in the lives of your friends, co-workers, neighbors. Then be ready to share your story and what God has done for you. It’s up to each one of us to do this. Thereby God’s name can be exalted throughout the world. Even angels will notice.

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Saturday 12/1 ~ So, who’s right?

The scripture for today, December 1, is Jeremiah 12:1ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Lord, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you to decide. Now let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil men so happy? You plant them. They take root and their business grows. Their profits multiply, and they are rich. They say, ‘Thank God!’ But in their hearts, they give no credit to you. But as for me ~ Lord, you know my heart ~ you know how much it longs for you. And I am poor, O Lord!”

Now compare this with Job 15:20-24:

“All his days the wicked man suffers torment, the ruthless through all the years stored up for him. Terrifying sounds fill his ears…He despairs of escaping the darkness; he is marked for the sword. He wanders about ~ food for vultures; he knows the day of darkness is at hand. Distress and anguish fill him with terror.”

These two passages contradict each other. So what is the problem? The words spoken in Job were by Eliphaz, one of Job’s well-meaning friends who took it upon himself to help Job figure out why he had lost all his wealth, all his children, and all his health. Was Eliphaz right?

At the end of the book of Job, is this: “The Lord…said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends because you have not spoken of me what is right.” Then God ordered Eliphaz and his friends to sacrifice seven bulls and rams (not small sacrifices), then ask Job to pray for them so God “will not deal with you according to your folly.”

When we read scripture, let us be careful to investigate its context and ALL other scriptures on the same subject. Only then can we have the whole picture. Only then can we avoid religious folly.

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