Monday 6/25 ~ You may not understand but God does

The scripture for today. June 25 (6/25) is Matthew 6:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”

Do you sometimes wonder how God can allow people to starve with such a promise as this?  Try to remember the Big Picture.

Remember the Jews being in slavery in Egypt for 400 years? They must have prayed thousands of times to be freed, but most died still in slavery, believing their prayers never had been answered. God had a greater plan for them ~ a plan to give them time to multiply from the original 70 people who went to Egypt to the over 3 million who left Egypt.

So, too, God has a Master Plan for each person and each nation. It is your assignment to hang on and keep believing in Him and that which you do not understand. That means you may have to sacrifice something important to you for a future generation. It may even mean sacrificing your life for a future generation.

You may not understand, but God always does.

~~~BUYLINK to eBOOK and discount PAPER:  http://bit.ly/stephenmartyr

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#starving, #hungry, #slavery, #troubles, #tragedies, #sacrifice, #prayers, #answers, #Egypt

 

Thursday 6/14 ~ Are you willing to collect the wages?

The scripture for today, June 14 (6/14), is Numbers 6:14 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“There he is to present his offerings to the Lord…a year-old ewe-lamb without defect for a sin offering… “

A lot of people don’t understand what Jesus dying on a cross has to do with going to heaven. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death” ~ both physical and soul death. It is Satan who pays us our wages.  In Old Testament times, God intervened and allowed people to kill a perfect animal in their place whenever they sinned. But it was only a temporary fix because it is impossible for us to be perfect.

Finally, God the Word came to earth as a human, and John the Baptist called him the Lamb of God (John 1:29). Jesus was perfect; that is, he never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Then he took the wages of sin from Satan and died as the perfect Lamb of God in our place ~ both physically (separation from people on earth) and spiritually (separation from God the Father). He even went a step further and miraculously came back to life!

Then God said, If you’ll believe and imitate Jesus, I will consider your debt paid in full and consider you perfect too (Romans 6). Then I’ll bring you back to life in heaven. How amazing! 

And, by the way, since he came back to life on Sunday, that’s what makes Sunday so special. It’s an I’m-sorry-you-had-to-die-for-my-sins Day.  It’s the “Do-this-in-remembrance-of-me” Lord’s Supper Day.  It’s a Gratitude Day.

~~~BUYLINK to eBOOK and discount PAPER:   http://bit.ly/ShadowDeath

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#sin, #hell, #Satan, #Devil, #sacrifice, #substitute, #perfect, #crucifixion, #LambOfGod, #LordsSupper, #HolyCommunion, #heaven, #escape, #Christianity, #Bible, #Scriptures

Saturday 4/21 ~ Hating God

(Sorry, I sent you Saturday’s yesterday so I will send you Friday’s today.)

Bible Puzzles-Cover-ThumbnailThe scripture for today, April 20 (4/20), is 1st John 4:20 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”

Jealousy and hatred are very much akin. Are there people you are jealous of? Do they have a position you want, and so you say and do things to undermine their character or work, so you can get their position? Do you have a position you love, and there is a new person who could perform better, so you undermine that person’s ability in order to protect your position?

God eliminates jealousy this way: What you accomplish in public isn’t as important to him as what you accomplish in private. Jesus said those who receive acclamation by people already have their reward, so will not be acclaimed by God (Matthew 6:1-5, 16-18). As much as it goes against human nature, prefer to do your good deeds in private, and God will reward you openly.

Sunday 4/15 ~ Do you take it for granted?

The scripture for today, April 15, is 1st John 4:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

365 Dat by Date-Front-Thumbnail“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.”

The New Testament was written by people who walked and talked with Jesus. They saw his miracles, they heard his amazing words. They were eyewitnesses.

Several first- and second-century manuscripts still exist that were passed down from some who actually knew the eyewitnesses. A few were even written during the late life of the last living apostle, John. The Bible has more existing ancient manuscripts (over 5000) than any historical writing in the world.

Read the New Testament. It was written by inspired men with a passion that would not let them stop talking about this Jesus. He consumed their life when he was on earth, and consumed their spirit after he left.

Through the centuries, men and women have given their lives so that you today may have the writings (New Testament) of those eyewitnesses in our own language and read it for yourself. Many were ridiculed and tortured terribly and then died a long excruciating death so that the apostles’ testimony could live on.

Do not take for granted the words of Jesus’ eyewitnesses. Jesus lived and died for you. Those witnesses, in a sense, also lived and died for you. Read what they testified to. Then, if necessary, live and die for it.

Tuesday 3/27 ~ What if God…

The scripture for today, March 27 (3/27), is Proverbs 3:27f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’ ~ when you now have it with you.”

Christians generally are good people. They stay out of trouble at work and in the neighborhood. They obey the laws. They don’t use profanity, they don’t lie, they don’t cheat, they don’t steal, they don’t commit adultery, they don’t murder. These are bad things Christians don’t do ~ sins of commission.

But what about good things Christians do not do? Too busy to stop and look around you for someone needing help? Too busy to drive someone to the doctor, or watch a child when a parent is sick, or fix a meal when a family is bereaved, or send a card for someone’s birthday, or call someone who is lonely? Too shy to say something to someone in distress? Too afraid to bring up heaven and hell to a lost one? These are sins! Sins of omission and they are just as serious.

Today, look around you. Who needs you? Not needs your neighbor, or a relative, or someone else at work, or one of the other members of your congregation, but you? You! When do they need you? Not tomorrow or next month or next year, but today!

Get out of your comfort zone. Quit committing sins of omission. Make a point to do something for someone else. When? Today. Too busy?  What if God made as much time for you and you do for others?

Thursday 3/8 ~ If you lost everything tomorrow

The scripture for today, March 8 (3/8), is Philippians 3:8 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.”

Wow! Paul, who wrote this, considered everything he had previously owned and every position he had ever held as rubbish ~ garbage ~ compared with belonging to his Lord.

Paul apparently came from a well-to-do family since he was born in today’s Turkey but went to school in Jerusalem. He also apparently held a position in the Jewish ruling body, the Sanhedrin, since he could vote on whether to execute someone. So he probably owned a lot of things and had an honored position. The King James Version of the Bible says he considered it all as dung ~ manure.

Where are your priorities? What do you spend most of your time on? The stuff you just have to own, exciting things you just have to do, the power you just have to claim? All to enhance the little inch of your life on earth?

What if a storm destroyed your house, your car, and all your stuff tomorrow?  What if you were banned from a sport you love tomorrow? What if a rumor destroyed your career with all its power tomorrow?  Then what?

Where are your priorities? What do you spend most of your time on? The stuff you just have to own, exciting things you just have to do, the power you just have to claim? All to enhance the little inch of your life on earth?

Or could you consider the deep and unconquerable love of Christ Jesus your Lord the most valuable thing in your life?  Could you accept your loss, take advantage of it, and unleash a different kind of life for Jesus with no regrets?  

Saturday 2/24 ~ I don’t do big sins, so I’m going to heaven

The scripture for today, February 24 (2/24), is 1st Peter 2:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

Many people do not understand what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with us going to heaven. After all, if we don’t murder, steal, abuse others and only lie a little, God has no choice but to take us into heaven.  But God is perfect, so cannot co-exist with imperfection ~ even one tiny sin.

Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. So, all through the Old Testament era, whenever we sinned, God allowed us to kill/sacrifice a perfect animal and spill its blood to collect the death wages in our place. Notice, the animal had to be perfect and this was a temporary fix.

Eventually, God sent his own Son to come to earth and live in a human body and be tempted in every way that we are (see Hebrews 4:15). Jesus resisted all temptations and lived his entire life sinless. He was perfect morally, just as the sacrificial animals were perfect physically.

Then as the perfect Lamb of God (John 1:29), Jesus became the final sacrifice. He took the blame for all our sins and died in our place. He took the terrible wages of death for our sins. On the cross, he died spiritually (forsaken by God) and physically with blood dripping from the wounds in his hands and feet. Then God basically told the world, “I will consider you perfect too; all you have to do is believe in and follow my Son.”

It is explained further in Romans 6:3-4. Just as Jesus died bearing our sins, we die to our sinful nature ~ the part of us that sins and doesn’t care. Then just as Jesus was buried in his tomb, we are buried in the watery tomb of baptism. And finally, just as Jesus rose up out of his tomb the Savior, we rise up out of our watery tomb the saved ~ born again to a new life.

He left heaven to do all this for you and me. Indeed, by Jesus’ wounds you and I can be healed. We fall at his feet and say, “I am a sinner and so unworthy. Thank you.”

 

Thursday 2/15 ~ Never let them stop you

The scripture for today, February 15 (2/15) is 2nd Timothy 2:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

“Do your best,” Paul told a younger co-worker.  “Do your best.”

This was an apostle speaking. This was Paul who had endured multiple beatings with rods and lashings with whips. This was Paul who no one could stop.

He had endured floods and snowstorms, hunger and robbers on the road. Still, no one could stop him. He endured ship wrecks and even treading water a day and night in the sea. Nothing could stop him.

It seems with Paul, it was never enough. He was driven. When he was stoned and presumed dead, he got up and went back into the city! When he was imprisoned, he defied the magistrates who put him there and sang his sermons to the other prisoners. Nothing could stop him. Nothing could shut him up.

When he wrote this, he was now in prison. He had done his best. Now it was time for the next generation. He was handing the torch over to Timothy and the others.

“Do your best, Timothy. Don’t let them stop you. Never let them stop you. They are lost and don’t know it. Tell them, Timothy. Keep telling them, no matter how terribly they treat you. Keep telling them and keep telling them. Don’t stop, Timothy. Do your best.

“Some will stop what they are doing and listen to you. They will turn their life around. They will be there with you when it is time to be presented to God. They will be there with you, and with you they will say, “I did my best.”

Are you doing your best? Have you let anyone stop you? Don’t. Never let them stop you.

 

Wednesday 1/24 ~ Have you sacrificed anything for him lately?

The scripture for today, January 24, is Jude 1:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 6-PromiseKeeper-Cover-thumbnail-new-kindle“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy ~ ”

God is perfect, and so cannot dwell with faults and imperfection. We have faults. Romans 3:23 says everyone sins. And Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. But God always has wanted us to live with him. What a dilemma!

God solved our problem at great expense. He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth who lived the faultless life for us. Then God offered His perfect Son, His only Son, Jesus, to die in our place. Amazing.  But God wasn’t through yet.

After that, God told the world He would consider us “without fault” vicariously through Jesus. He has already collected the penalty for our sins ~ death. For our part, all we have to do is believe He did and follow everything He said and did to the best of our ability.

Jesus sacrificed everything for us. Have you sacrificed anything for Him lately?

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link to ebook & discount paperback:  http://bit.ly/TheyMetJesus

#sacrifice, #sin, #forgiveness, #death

Sunday 12/24 ~ Consider the Ravens

The scripture for today, December 24 (12/24), is Luke 12:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 4-FolkHero-Cover-Kindle-medium-new“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”

In many nations right now, things are financially strained. Luxuries? No. To be able to live until tomorrow? Yes.

Which is more valuable? To impress men or impress God? A life dedicated to things impresses men. A life dedicated to doing good things impresses God.

I knew of a group of believers recently fleeing soldiers who were after Christians. They had to run immediately upon sight of the soldiers. No time to pack anything. Just run.  Escape. Run. Escape.  

To get to true safety, they had to walk a hundred miles. What did they eat?  Grass. Leaves from bushes. But they made it. They made it to safety and the loving, protective arms of other Christians.

Today, instead of a luxury, can you send the money to people in parts of the world who are struggling to stay alive? Struggling to stay safe because they are Christians?

Consider the ravens.

P.S.

Those of you with children, and you cannot get them much for Christmas: Write IOU’s to them and put each one in a box. Wrap each with typing paper if you don’t have Christmas paper. And with a red or green crayon, draw a ribbon on top. What’s on the IOU’s? “One hour of coloring with you.” “One hour of playing ball with you.” “Three hours of hiking with you.” “Two hours of baking cookies with you.” Give yourself for Christmas!

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ebook & discount paperback……..http://bit.ly/TheyMetJesus

Scripture for Friday, November 17 (11/17)

The scripture for today, November 17 (11/17), is 1st Chronicles 11:17f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-HeartsAfire-Child'sCartoonCover-Medium“David longed for water and said, ‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem.’ So The Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David.”

The people who followed David admired him because he knew how to be a good leader. So many were willing to do anything to make “Captain David” happy. David had been born and raised in Bethlehem. Now he was grown and had a following of those evading power-hungry King Saul, many of whom were brave soldiers. They had traveled throughout the country either evading or defending themselves against this and other enemies.

Their travels took them back to David’s hometown which was being held by enemy Philistines. For old-times sake, he wanted a drink from the well he had drunk from many times in his youth. Three of his men risked their lives to bring their captain, David, that drink of water.

How much do we admire the Captain of our Salvation, Jesus? How much are we willing to sacrifice for him? Do we say, “I’m too busy to do anything for Jesus and his kingdom today”? Do we say, “I’m afraid if I say something about Jesus to so-and-so, s/he will insult me”? Do we say, “Someone at church offended me, so I’m not going to worship anymore?” Do we admire Jesus enough to put ourselves in the slightest danger just to do the smallest thing for him?