Thursday 3/14 ~ Are you throwing away your prize?

The scripture for today, March 14 (3/14), is Philippians 3:14, as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus knew that, out of jealousy, the religious leaders were trying to kill him. So, for a while, he stayed out of Jerusalem where the religious headquarters was. But eventually, the time came for him to put himself in their hands. Was it easy for him to do? Definitely not! For he knew his death would be by physical and spiritual torture.

“They were on their way up to Jerusalem with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished while those who followed were afraid” (Mark 10:32).

Jesus pressed on. He did not want to go through the crucifixion. Hebrews 5:7 says that “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.”

As difficult as it was for him, Jesus pressed on toward the goal to win the prize. But the prize was not for himself; it was for you and me ~ eternity in heaven instead of hell!

You do not have to go through what he did for your salvation and avoidance of hell. Your little bit of sacrifice is nothing by comparison. Or do you turn away from the prize Jesus sacrificed so much for so you can have a little more fun, accumulate a few more things, watch a few more tv shows, play a few more computer games, be a little more important to your friends?

Are you throwing away your prize?

Image result for "Buy the book" buttonSHADOW OF DEATH begins with Pilate trying everything he can think of to change the minds of the bribed mob. It ends with the unbearable sorrow of his followers who think all is lost forever.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2TSBrt2

  • Chap. 1 ~ Pilate:  Soaring to Nothingness
  • Chap. 2 ~ Simon the Libyan:  The Gauntlet
  • Chap. 3 ~ Crucifixion I:  The Substitute
  • Chap. 4 ~ Crucifixion II:  Victorious Dying
  • Chap. 5 ~ Two Thieves:  Stranger in Paradise
  • Chap. 6 ~ Joseph of Arimathea:  Sleeping Giant
  • Chap. 7 ~ Graveyard Sentries:  Dawn Eyes
  • Chap. 8 ~ Five Wealth Women II:  Breath of God
  • Chap. 9 ~ Peter:  Torch Flight
  • Chap. 10 ~ Big Little James & Alphaeus:  Desert of Sighs

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Friday, 3/8 ~ With no regrets?

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, 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.

But now, he considered everything he had previously owned and every position he had ever held as rubbish ~ garbage ~ compared with belonging to his Lord.  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?

Do you think you would consider suicide as so many of the wealthy did during the Great Depression?  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? 

Related imagePAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE was obsessed with Jesus and obsessed with telling as many people as possible how to not go to hell.  He gave up everything and walked thousands of miles, endured beatings of priests who were afraid he was going to destroy their religion, went without food, was in shipwrecks, and on and on, always crying out,  “Jesus! This is for you!” To READ NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2Tv5mav

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Tuesday 3/5 ~ Renewal & rebirth

The scripture for today, March 5 (3/5), is Titus 3:5 in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

God is perfectly good and cannot dwell with imperfection. How, then, could we ever live with him in his heaven?  After all, as hard as we tried, we could not be perfect. Mankind was held hostage by Satan.

God loved us so much that he solved our dilemma. He sent his Son to live that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. Then, his perfect “Lamb of God” took our punishment for our sins by paying the ransom to get us out of the clutches of Satan.

Romans 3:23 says the earnings of sin is death ~ physical death (separation from this world) and spiritual death (separation from God). Jesus took it all for us. And that included being completely separated from God. At the worst of it, Jesus cried out to God, “Why have your FORSAKEN me?” That’s when Jesus died spiritually for a moment.  It was we who deserved to be forsaken by God.

Sin and its power now destroyed, God said if we go “through the washing of rebirth” we will be renewed by the Holy Spirit.

God does not leave us guessing. But how?   In Acts 22:16 Jesus said to Paul, “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins” and in Romans 6:4 he said through Paul, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism in order that…we too may live a new life [rebirth].”  Then we could start over pure and washed.

Washing of rebirth is no more “water salvation” than the cross was “wood salvation.”  Both were physical things that accomplished spiritual outcomes. God took care of the hard part. He gave us the easy part. And so we worship him with unspeakable gratitude that soars to the heavens and fills God’s throne room.

Image result for "Buy the book"Each chapter in WORSHIP THE 1ST-CENTURY WAY begins with quotes of famous theologians such as WESLEY, LUTHER, CALVIN, etc.  It ends with quotes from second-century Christians.  Each chapter is a different form of worship. There is even one on the announcements (good works)!  Full of good things for you to consider. To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2ISNthC

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Saturday 3/2 ~ What is written on your heart?

The scripture for today, March 2 (3/2), is 2nd Corinthians 3:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Love Letters of Jesus & his Bride, Eccelsia-THUMBNAIL“You yourselves are our letter written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.”

As important as it is to read the Bible for yourself and determine for yourself what you will follow, it is equally important to put those things into your heart at the ready for practical life application on a moment’s notice. But isn’t knowledge of truth enough?  Just giving our heart to Jesus as Lord isn’t enough?

James 2:19 says that even demons believe, but they are still demons and still bound for hell. It takes more than faith. There are things to do.

Are you a letter from God to people around you? Or do you have a double standard, acting one way around worshipers and another way around non-worshipers? People read our hearts by our words and actions. What do people read in your heart?

Do you absolutely and completely believe people will end up in hell without Jesus? Do you absolutely and completely believe people have to rise above demons who believe but who are still going to hell? Do you absolutely and completely believe you could be the only one in your family’s and friends’ lives who cares enough for their soul that you will actually say something ~ put your heart letter into words?

Do you love them more than yourself? Do you love them enough? Is your heart available enough for their hungry souls to read?

Image result for "Buy the book"LOVE LETTERS OF JESUS & HIS BRIDE, ECCLESIA takes you soaring from the writings of Solomon toward his bride to the heavenly saga. Read their love letters and soar with them as they expose the love letters of their open hearts.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2IPNFy0

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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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