Thursday 4/18 ~ What is unseen is most real

The scripture for today, April 18 (4/18), is 2nd Corinthians 4:18 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-thumbnail“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

In a sense, what is unseen is the true reality. We cannot see love, but we see its influence, and it is stronger than anything in the world that we can see. We cannot see God, but we can see his influence, and he is more real than anything in the world that we can see.

Sometimes we all say we wish we could see God and touch God. But if that were the case, he wouldn’t be God, for he couldn’t be everywhere at once. He would only be able to hear the prayer of one person at a time, and only able to answer the prayer of one person at a time. By being unseen by human eyes, God can be everywhere.

It’s a hidden blessing!  Every one of us among the billions of people on earth can feel we are God’s special ones. Every one of us can feel his presence, his soul, his love.

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Sunday 2/24 ~ War of the Worlds

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

Was Jesus God-COVER-kindle-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 rescuing us from hell and leading us to heaven. After all, if we don’t murder, steal, abuse others and only lie a little, Satan has no claim on us and God has no choice but to take us into heaven.  As far as Satan is concerned, one sin is all it takes to be a sinner. Further, 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 told 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. This was a temporary fix; Satan could be held off only so long.

Eventually, God materialized in a body and put his words in that body to be tempted in every way that we are (see Hebrews 4:15). Satan gave it all he got. But 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. Now, with a human body, he died in our place. He took the terrible wages of death from Satan 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 the Father basically told the world, “I will consider you perfect too; all you have to do is believe in and follow my Son, my Words who was with you in your form and died for you.” But how?

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.

Indeed, by Jesus’ wounds we can be healed. We fall at his feet and say, “I am a sinner and so unworthy. How can I thank you enough for rescuing me from Satan?”

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Friday 2/8 ~ God wants to spoil you

The scripture for today, February 8 (2/8), is Genesis 2:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Love Letters of Jesus & his Bride-medium“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.”

Just think: Mankind’s nursery was a garden. How God wanted to spoil us. And dote on us.

He even visited us sometimes. He walked with us in the cool of the evening through the beautiful home he had given us. It was the first of many times in the future he would walk with man. It was a beautiful time.

Then jealous Satan appeared out of the shadows of time and lied to us. He claimed God was our enemy. How could he say that with God providing tasty food to eat and sparkling water to drink beautiful flowers and trees and…  Well, we had everything.

Satan knew he couldn’t deny that, so he planted in the minds of Adam and Eve what they did not have.  “See that tree over there? God doesn’t like you or he would let you touch that tree.  See that fruit over there? God doesn’t like you or he would let you eat anything you want.”  Oh, and the biggie. “God doesn’t want you to be as smart as him.  Evil is fun, but he is keeping you from knowing what evil is.  It’s the most wonderful thing in the world. If God hates you that much, then hate him back.”

So, they did. And Satan laughed. They were so gullible. Too late they discovered God had been trying to protect them.

Do you believe God doesn’t want you to have any fun? That is not true. God does not hate you. God is not trying to keep you from having a good time. The real good time is in heaven and he is trying to get you there.

Do not listen to Satan. He is the one who hates you. Do not wait until it is too late. Turn around and try once more listening to God. See, he is running after you. He wants to protect you. He loves you and wants you to be his bride. And wants to spoil you. In heaven.

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Thursday 1/24 ~ Hang on to it!

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

kindle cover-thumbnail“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy ~ “

Yes, it is possible for Christians to fall because we have free will.  But fall from what? 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 we earn for sinning is death. Satan was holding our souls hostage in his realm of death. But God always has wanted us to live with him. What a dilemma!

God solved our problem at great expense. His Words descended to earth in a human body so he could live the faultless life for us. Then God offered Himself to die in our place, to pay the ransom to get souls out of Satan’s death existence. Amazing. 

But God wasn’t through yet. He tricked Satan and came back to life. After that, God told the world He would consider us “without fault” vicariously through Jesus. We even today have a choice. We can enslave our souls back to Satan (“fall”) or we can grab hold of our spiritual freedom, spiritual life and hang on to it.

Deep down, who have you chosen?

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Friday 1/18 ~ Whiter than the snow outside your window

The scripture for today, January 18 (1/18), is Isaiah 1:18 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail” ‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’ “

When did this become possible? Revelation in the New Testament explains in 7:14 we make our robes white by washing them in the blood of the Lamb.

What lamb? John the Baptist introduced the world to the Lamb. When he saw Jesus walking toward him in front of a crowd, he announced, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

How did Jesus become the Lamb of God? Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death, the wages being paid by Satan. In the Old Testament era, God pacified Satan temporarily by allowing us to kill an animal in our place whenever we sinned. So, for centuries, we would sin and sacrifice an animal, sin and sacrifice an animal and on and on, for we never could stop sinning.

Finally, God offered one last sacrifice for all times. This is what Satan wanted.  In order to redeem us from our soul death,  Satan wanted God to die. When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper (Communion), he did so during the Jewish Passover feast where they ate their meal of lamb. There is no mention that Jesus and his apostles ate the usual lamb. Instead, he passed around the usual wine and said from now on it represented his blood as the sacrificial Lamb. And he passed around the usual bread and said from now on it represented his body as the sacrificial Lamb. (Mark 14:12 22-25).

Then Jesus ~ God on earth ~ went out and paid our ransom by dying. Then he tricked Satan and came back to life on Sunday, overcoming death forever.

Sunday is the most special day of the week for Christians. Why? The early Christians under guidance of Jesus’ apostles “broke bread” for the communion every first day of the week (Acts 20:7). May we always make this the central part of our worship on this special day.

It is snowing where some of you live.  Look out your window or find a picture of snow.  So white and pure and sparkling.  So soft and quiet and peaceful. Oh, my Savior. You can make my soul this white?  Whiter? I fall at Your feet and worship You.

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