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?