Dread, Daring, and Dominion

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-MediumThe scripture for today, September 30 (9/30), is Luke 9:30f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.”

Hebrews 5:7 says something very startling to most people. “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.”

Jesus did not look forward to going to the cross, even though many thousands of others had died that way. Why was it different for him? Because he had to take on all our sins as though he had committed them himself ~ every lie we ever told, every gain from cheating, every insult, every slander campaign against another, every adultery, every murder ~ everything. He had to take the blame for ALL our sins! How could he bear it?

Not only that, but he had to experience both physical and spiritual death. Spiritual death means being separated from, being forsaken by God. What a terror to experience ~ even for a moment.

And so, a few weeks before his crucifixion, as he prayed on the mountain, Moses and Elijah appeared to him, and they spoke about his death. They surely gave courage to Jesus’ human side to do what had to be done to save you and me who deserve hell.

The crowning glory of this conversation with Moses and Elijah is that the Father himself ~ the Will of God ~ reassured him by announcing, “This is my son! Whom I have chosen! Listen to HIM!”

Jesus was to nail the Old Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14). He had promised people, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets: I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17).

On the cross, he said, “It is fulfilled.”  Indeed, by the time Jesus returned to heaven, he had lived the Old Law introduced by Moses perfectly ~ something no man had ever been able to do. And by the time he returned to heaven, he had fulfilled every prophecy about his birth, life, and death, the first such full-time prophet being Elijah.

Oh, the things Jesus went through for us. We fall at his bloody, pierced feet and worship.

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0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-ThumbnailSHADOW OF DEATH is biblical historical novel #7 in the THEY MET JESUS series.  This book has a child’s version; the chapters on the crucifixion have been toned down, but do explain what children hear about but do not understand. In the adult version, each chapter ends with Life Application discussion questions. The adult version has Think & Do at the end of each chapter.  Come along, now, and witness those days of dread, daring, and dominion.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:   http://bit.ly/Death-Resurrection

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Blood streaming through the veins of my soul

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-ThumbnailI lift up my heart to you, my God. I ache so much for the lost. But my puny efforts are nothing compared to you. You did so much more than I ever dreamed of doing and for longer than a thousand lifetimes. You paid the death ransom, then overcame Death itself.  You put up with our sins while you did everything necessary to destroy our greatest enemy ~ Satan. Satan must be destroyed and you have given mankind the privilege of working with you to that end. So, amidst my paltry efforts I praise you, my majestic King. You are so incredible. Beyond finding out.

Father, sometimes when I talk to people about your love for them and ask them to return to you, I think I come across as controlling. That is not what I want to do. Help me know when to back off and let them think. Help me be patient and calm and respect the free will that you gave them.

My Lord, thank you for not getting so angry you would give up on me.  You are a high and great mountain that cannot be moved. You are the deepest ocean that cannot be emptied.  As the river of life, you offer to give me your blood so it will stream through the veins of my soul and give me life without impurities of sin. What more could anyone ask than that? You offered to me your blood and your Spirit. The sacrifice was too great, but you made it anyway.

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0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-ThumbnailSHADOW OF DEATH takes the reader through the trials and beatings and lashings.  Nearly lifeless already, the soldiers  carry him up that dreadful hill so he can live long enough for them to kill. Two chapters cover the agony and ecstasy of the cross of torture saved only for traitors.  Then the funeral.  Two old men, some women, and his mother.  Washing his lifeless body with tears, surrounding him with spices only the rich can afford, wrapping him in the flimsy shreds of broken hearts. Then going home to agonize over what could have been and never will be.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  http://bit.ly/Death-Resurrection

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Picking and Choosing

The scripture for today, September 18 (9/18), is Leviticus 9:18ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. But the fat portions of the ox and the ram ~ the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver ~ these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.”

The Law of Moses did not have just Ten Commandments. It had over 600! They were intricate commands that had to be kept exactly. The above is just a small portion of what they were supposed to do for a particular sacrifice.
Thank God, Jesus nailed the Old Law of Moses to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Yet some religious leaders continue to dip back into the Old Law to copy showy types of worship ~ robes, candles, choirs, harps, incense ~ many things, and all commanded. But if they do that, they must keep ALL of the Law of Moses ~ stoning for adultery, giving 1/3 of their income (not just 1/10), not working on Saturday (even cooking), going to Jerusalem three times a year.

They can’t just pick and choose which ones they like. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:17 “Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised [just one command in the Old Law of Moses] that he is obligated to obey the whole law.”

James said in 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Old Testament worship was showy, elaborate, and demanding to the nth degree. New Testament worship is just the opposite.

Mark 14:26 says that after Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper/Communion, “When they had sung a [single] hymn, they went out…”

Acts 2:41-42 says, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Acts 20:7 says, “On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people…”

I Timothy 4:13 says, “Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”

Nothing complicated about it. Just simple worship. Worship the way Jesus and his apostles worshiped. Worship the way God wants it. He said so himself.

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FLOOD GATES is novel 5 in the THEY MET JESUS series.  His life has been threatened since last his first year of ministry.  Now it is the third year and his enemies are desperate to kill him.  The people are running after him, declaring their folk hero their king.  No more doctors, no more begging for food ~ he’ll supply it all free.  In the temple, he tells off the hypocrite leaders more.  Among the people, he performs miracles more.  Alone with his twelve, he speaks of his death more.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  http://bit.ly/5FloodGates

 

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Out of disaster came beauty

02-Noah-KindleMediumThe scripture for today, September 12 (9/12), is found in Genesis 9:12f in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come. I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

 On the technical side, how can it be that there was never a rainbow before Noah’s time? Genesis 2:5b-6 explains, “The Lord God had not sent rain on the earth, and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.”

Up until the time of Noah, people lived to be several hundred years old. Christian scientists have said that, before the flood, the earth had a constant cloud covering with a thick ozone layer that created the greenhouse effect of vapors and protected man from the aging process. It was much like Venus.

So rainbows were not possible when the sun could never break through the ever-present clouds. It was because of a terrible worldwide cataclysm that the beauty of the rainbow was made possible.

On the faith side of this story, we see a man who had such faith in God that, although he probably had never seen rain, believed it would happen. Such amazing faith! Later, through the pain of losing his stubborn extended family in the flood, he was blessed with the lives of his direct family members. Then God gave him one more reward ~ the rainbow ~ that he could not only enjoy in his generation but generations even today.

Out of disaster came beauty.

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02-Noah-KindleThumbnailA CHILD’S BIBLE HEROES:  NOAH.  Did you realize that Noah’s oldest son was born the year he began building the ark?  Can you imagine growing up with a father everyone laughed at?  Can you imagine how many hundreds of trees they had to chop down and haul back over over the years and how many hundreds of trips they had to make to the tar pits so they could line their ship and make it good and water tight?  Great for home schoolers, grandparents, birthdays, Christmas, just because.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  http://bit.ly/HeroNoah

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Praying for Nero

The scripture for today, September 8 (9/9), is Daniel 9:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Medium“O Lord, we and our kings, our princes, and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.”

Have you prayed for your government lately?  I Timothy 2:1 & 2 says, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone ~ for kings and all those in authority.”

At the time of this writing, Nero was Caesar. First-century historian Tacitus said this about Nero in his Annals 15:44: “But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called “Christians” by the populace.

“Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular.

“Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.”

If the Apostle Paul could pray for such a government leader, can you not follow his instructions? Why don’t you stop and pray for your own government right now?

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00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailSTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR is a novelized version of life as it may have been for Stephen who, history tells us, lived in Antioch of Syria, then Cyrene in Libya, then Jerusalem of Judea.  He was a deacon when killed, so had a wife and children, probably young. What could drive a young man to give up his whole life ahead of him?  When he went into the Sanhedrin chambers, he knew they’d never let him live.  What stirred within his young heart?  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….  http://bit.ly/stephenmartyr

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