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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Sunday 1/13 ~ Come back! Come back! I miss you!

The scripture for today, January 13 (1/13), is Habakkuk 1:13 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong.”

This pretty much explains why no one deserves heaven. Going to heaven has little to do with doing so many good works God will feel obligated to admit you. 

It’s all about sin.  Only sinless people can be in heaven, for God cannot coexist with sin and still be God. Of course, you cannot be sinless. If nothing else, you have sins of attitude and neglect.

For thousands of years, God let mankind try any way they could to be perfect. Some people he gave the Law of Moses to, and some people he continued to let try on their own. Neither worked. No matter how hard we tried, no one could get it right.

The wages you earn for sinning is death (Romans 6:23). Remember in the Garden of Eden God warned, “The moment you sin, you die.” He was talking about souls dying and eventually bodies dying. Satan was now holding mankind hostage. Satan causes death, so sinners collect the wages Satan pays for following him.

But mankind was still being held hostage. He demanded the highest ransom imaginable: The death of God. Satan wanted to e God and this was the only way he could carry out his plan.

God held Satan off temporarily: He told them to kill an animal to die in their place. Even collecting the wages of sin, Satan still held mankind hostage. Mankind had to have all the chances possible to be perfect. But after millenniums, mankind still could not.

Galatians 4:4 says, “When the time was come, God sent his son.” Finally, when mankind understood everyone needed outside help, God sent Jesus. Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus lived the perfect life that was impossible for anyone to live; he was completely free of sin.

Then God seemingly gave in to Satan’s ransom demand to free mankind.  God offered his son ~ God in the form of mankind. Finally, Satan got his wish ~ the ransom he had demanded: The death of God.

So, Satan freed mankind from his prison of soul death. But Satan was in for a surprise.  His gloating came to an abrupt stop.  God tricked Satan. You cannot kill Life.  God returned to that human body and came back to life.

It was too late. Satan had already freed mankind. 

That done, God ~ who can only dwell with sinlessness ~ was now able to allow obedient, faithful believers in Jesus into his home, heaven. For, through Jesus, we become sinless. Glory of glories!

But something terrible happened after that. People began selling themselves back into slavery to Satan (Romans 6:15-23).  No!  No! This cannot be! So God, through people who have resisted Satan’s lures of fun and riches, power and beauty, continually call out, “Come back!  Come back to God! Come back.  I miss you. God misses you….”

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Thursday 1/10 ~ Shhhh.  Do you hear? He’s calling you.

The scripture for today, January 10 (1/10), is Colossians 1:10 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Golden Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: Bearing fruit in every good work; Growing in the knowledge of God.”

What is life all about?  The one who has the most fun wins? The one enjoying defying decency the most wins? The one with the most stuff wins? Life isn’t about the here and now. You are here preparing for what you will be doing when you leave this life and enter the next one.

What is life all about? Is God soft and will do whatever you want? Will God have no choice but to take you into heaven when you die? Would you even like heaven? If you mock God now, it’s doubtful you’d like being around him. If you detest people who worship him, you certainly would not like heaven because that’s what people do all the time there ~ worship.

What is life all about? There are only two supreme beings that determine your next life. Two. That’s all.  No in-between. You can either please God or please Satan. Do you call good evil and evil good like Jeremiah said? When you say it, you are mocking God. Is it fun? Do you think God is laughing when you do? 

Look up!  Look up!  God did not leave you guessing. He left his Book for you. Have you ever read it, especially the New Testament that begins with the birth and teachings of Jesus, the God-Man? 

The God of the universe who is larger than the cosmos with some two trillion galaxies poured out his heart to you in his Book. The God of the universe looks down on you and knows everything you are saying and doing right now. And, no matter what you do ~ whether good or bad ~ he loves you. When you do bad, he runs after you and calls out to you, “Come back. Come back to me! I can keep you safe from Satan. Come back! Come back!”  But he will not force you.

Shhhh.  Do you hear him? He’s calling you.

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Wednesday 1/2 ~ Your soul is getting along well

The scripture for today, January 2 (1/2), is 3rd John 1:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

OldOldTunes-Thumbnail“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

Your health may be bad, your finances in an upheaval, your home damaged by wind or water, your job about to be lost. But, amidst your tears and frustrations, we can still smile. You can still rejoice that your “soul is getting along well.”

When problems come into your life ~ and they do ~ remember the most important thing is your soul. No one and no thing can touch your soul as long as you are safe in the arms of Jesus.

So, when problems do come, you can still with confidence rejoice that your “soul is getting along well.”

 

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Sunday 12/30 ~ Are you a gatherer?

The Scripture for today, December 30 (12/30), is Matthew 12:30, as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”

What? You can’t just drift along just showing up at church services and that is all? You must gather people to him?. Are you sure? Oh, I don’ know enough; besides, I’m too busy.

Deep down inside, do you fear that, if you bring Jesus into a conversation, people will do you great harm and become dangerous enemies? Although in some countries of the world this is true, in most it is not. Still, do you quake at the thought of bringing up Jesus to your friends, and even to strangers?

That is Satan’s lie. He has gotten into your head and you are believing him. Most people will appreciate a little discussion about Jesus because most people do not attend worship anywhere and know little about the Bible.

Instead of listening to Satan, perhaps you should quake that some of your friends are headed to hell.  Satan puts fear in your heart. Do not give in to Satan. “Perfect love casts out fear” (1st John 4:18).  Do as Jesus did: “Seek and save the lost” (Luke 9:10).

Help your friends who do not know they need help. Overcome your fear for yourself and give in to the fear for their souls. It can be done. Stop watching so much television or playing endless games. Give it a try. If it were your soul, would you want someone to at least try to save you? Rise up! Defy Satan! Dare to be a gatherer of souls staring today.

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Saturday 12/8 ~ Is it truly all meaningless?

The scripture for today, December 8 (12/8), is Ecclesiastes 12:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-lg-thumbnail” ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the teacher. ‘Everything is meaningless!’ “

About thirty-five years ago some Christians in England did a sidewalk survey in the downtown of a major city. One of their inquiries was: “What question about your life do you ask the most?”. The answer almost always was, “Why am I here? What is life all about?”.

The entire book of Ecclesiastes is about all the things that the richest and most powerful man in the world did in order to have an enjoyable and fulfilling life: He built palaces and grand temples, he cultivated great gardens, he imported tons of gold and precious stones and fabrics from around the globe, he had numerous wives and mistresses, he built the largest army and navy in the world, he studied every possible subject. At the end of this little book, he said it was all meaningless.

The meaning of our life is that we were born to die. This life is temporary. It is our proving ground. This life is the foyer of the life we will have eternally ~ a life in heaven or hell. We were not put here just to have fun, but rather to save as many people as possible from the clutches of Satan, and take as many people with us to the home of God, our Maker, the Lover of our soul. That is the meaning of life.

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Wednesday 11/28 ~ I think I’ll skip this time

The scripture for today, November 28 (11/28), is 1st Corinthians 11:28,31 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup [of the Lord’s Supper]…If we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.”

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“When they met on THE first day of the week to break bread” (Acts 20:7), these first-century Christians were meeting to keep the Lord’s Supper, for the word (“met”) in the original Greek of the New Testament means a religious meeting. Interestingly, the word “the” in the original Greek means each and every without exception perpetually.

Even if we did not know the Greek, look how the Jews (and we) interpreted “Remember THE Sabbath Day to keep it holy”. They did not remember the Sabbath day monthly, quarterly or yearly, but weekly. Therefore, the first-century Christians realized that “When they met on THE first day of the week to break bread” (Acts 20:7), it meant every Sunday.

We can sing, pray, teach and read the Bible any day of the week. What makes Sunday special is that’s the day Jesus came back to life, the day Jesus ascended back to heaven, and the day the church was established. Today, on the special first day we are to meet to take the Lord’s Supper, the Communion ~ the bread representing his body dying in our place, the wine representing his blood dripped out of his body in our place.

During the Communion, we consider Jesus’ terrible sacrifice in order to save us from hell. And we consider our sins that made his sacrifice necessary to save us from hell. Today’s scripture tells us that. During our weekly partaking of the Communion, we should be examining ourselves, comparing ourselves to Jesus. It is kind of like taking weekly exams so we will be ready for the big final exam on the Day of Judgment.

God thought of everything ~ weekly remembering the sacrifice of our Lord so that we never take him for granted, and weekly remembering our sins. And, in the process, our souls fall at his feet and whisper “Thank you.”

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