Monday 4/9 ~ I want to do this. Help me.

The scripture for today, April 9, is 1st John 4:9f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: Not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

How perplexing. We are stymied. There is no solution. We humans do not have the will to live perfect lives. We give in to sin. We can never get it right. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. In the Old Testament era, God let people kill an animal in their place whenever they sinned, but it had to be done over and over. But still, every time we sinned, our souls died a little more.

Then came our answer, our rescue our solution. But the cost.  It was so high.  God sent his Son to us for a while with a body so his Son’s body could be killed (collecting our wages, the cost of our sins) in our place.

Finally, God invited mankind to bring our souls back to life through him ~ that is, become Christ-ians. How do we become alive through Jesus? Of course, we know about believing Jesus was the Son of God and repenting of our sins. Also Romans 6:4 says when we are baptized and come forth out of the Spirit’s watery womb, our souls are born again and we now have a new life.

But it does not stop there. We must try the best we can to live as Jesus lived, speak as Jesus spoke, love as Jesus loved. With Jesus living in us, we are his mouth, his hands, his feet. It is then that we offer our own bodies as daily sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

Oh, Lord God.  I want to do this. Help me.  Help me.

Sunday 4/1 ~ Is the cost too high?

The scripture for today, April 1 (4/1), is Ephesians 4:1 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”

Paul, a prisoner for spreading the word about Jesus? Now he wants others to follow his example, even if they end up in prison like him?  Did Paul’s incarceration stop the Christians he was writing to?  More, did Jesus’ crucifixion stop them for fear they would be crucified too?

Did early Christians decide it was too dangerous to tell people the way to escape hell and go to heaven? Never. They loved people so much, they were willing to take insults and persecution and imprisonment and even death in the hopes that their persistent love would eventually lead to people becoming Christians and being saved from eternal hell. They knew their calling as Christians.

How about today? Do you live a life worthy of your calling as a Christian? Do you stand up for Jesus and reach out to the lost, regardless of the cost? Or do you cower and use the excuse, “Once people see my godly life, they will ask me how to be saved”?  How many times do the lost really do that?

Rise up!  Stand tall as a brave soldier of the Lord. Dare to march into enemy territory and do everything you can to snatch the lost out of the claws of Satan.

No matter what they do to you.

Friday 3/16 ~ Then God played a trick on Satan

The scripture for today, March 16 (3/16), is John 3:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Guess what? Many people have heard there is such a scripture as John 3:16, but they do not know what it says. And among those who do know what it says, many have no idea what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with going to heaven.

It is important for us to read the entire Bible so we can understand the isolated scriptures we hear or read. There was a song written several years ago called, No Man Is An Island. No scripture is an island either. Just as every person influences other people in some way, every scripture influences other scriptures.

The meaning of John 3:16? 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 [spiritual] death.”

There are certain truths that cannot be broken. For example, it is impossible for God to lie.  Another truth is that both good and evil exist.  It is obvious both are in a battle to win.  Satan is the seat of evil.  God is the seat of good.  God is stronger than Satan.  How do we know? Whatever Satan does, God can undo. When Satan causes someone to be sick, God can heal them. When Satan causes someone to sin, God can forgive them. When Satan causes someone to die, God can bring them back to life.

Satan held mankind hostage because we all sin.  The ransom to free mankind was the death of someone who had never sinned. Only one being had never sinned ~ God.  But God was smarter than Satan. God sent his Word down to us in flesh (John 1:1f, 14) ~ Jesus ~ who lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live.  Then, the fleshly-part of God paid the terrible ransom: He died physically and spiritually on the cross. 

The ransom was now paid (Matthew 20:28 and I Peter 1:18-21). Then God played a trick on Satan. Only the flesh part of Jesus died. And even then, that body came back to life.

Today, we have a choice: Become a Christian or tell God the way we live is none of his business. Think.  Think about this.  Deeply.  “God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son.”  Understanding the price he paid to keep y out of hell, how can anyone walk away from him?

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Friday 3/9 ~ Open the door to the mystery and step inside

The scripture for today, March 9, is Ephesians 3:9f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

07-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonSmall“To make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Ever wonder why God created the world? Here it is:  The “mystery”.  The” mystery” can be discovered by making a chart each time “mystery” appears in the Bible along with who understands it and who does not.

The “mystery” as expanded upon in this letter to the church in Ephesus, is Jesus paying the ransom for us sinners and setting us free from Satan.  It is complete and full forgiveness.

Who does God desire to explain this “mystery” to? Rulers and authorities in heavenly realms ~ angels, demons, and Satan. You see, angels don’t seem to get it, and Satan does not want anyone to be forgiven.

Satan spends a lot of time and energy convincing people good is bad and bad is good. He doesn’t want to be the only one going to hell. And he wants to prove he is stronger than God. But even when Satan is successful and we sin, God just negates it and forgives us. There is nothing that Satan can do that God cannot undo. That enrages Satan.

Oh, the grand “mystery”.  It is God’s love demonstrated by the death and resurrection of his Son so we can be set free. This “mystery” is revealed through the church who has believed it. Open the door to the “mystery” and step inside. God is there waiting for you.  And he is smiling.

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