Saturday 1/20 ~ Read it. Love it. Absorb it.

The scripture for today, January 20 (1/20), is 2nd Peter 1:20f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

365LifeChangingScriptures-Front-Thumbnail“Above all, you must understand that no Prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Isn’t this interesting? It’s a definition of prophecy. Prophecy is Scripture. It isn’t just telling the future. It’s telling the mind of God. Sometimes in the Old Testament God warned his people that if they did so-and-so, this would happen, but if they did such-and-such, that would happen.

But ultimately all prophecy was telling people how much God loved them and wanted them, in the long run, to be happy. The Old Testament has much of that in it, and all the New Testament does. It is your Creator’s Words.

1st Corinthians 13 says prophecies will cease and they did when we got the entire Word of God, the entire Bible.  If someone prophesied today, it would be unfair to the rest of the world, for prophecy is scripture. The rest of the world would be cheated out of knowing the complete Word of God.

You are so blessed that you do not have to guess what is on God’s mind. Many other religions have to guess ~ Hinduism, Buddhism, and so on. But you have God’s very own words in black and white to read over and over whenever you like ~ prophecy which is Scripture.

 Read it.

     Absorb it.

          Love it.

               It was written by the Lover of your Soul.

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link to ebook & discount paper:  http://bit.ly/BibleLifeChanging

#scripture, #prophecy. #Bible, #Holy Spirit

Wednesday 1/10 ~ Are you balanced?

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

00-COVER-KINDLE“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.”

Are you always doing some good work for other people? Does it fill your thoughts and life?  Or are you always delving into the Bible to gain more knowledge of God? Does it fill your thoughts and life? Good for you.

But we see here, we must have a balance. James 2:17 says faith without works is dead. On the other hand, Romans 10:2 says certain people were zealous for God, but their zeal was not based on knowledge.

We have to add to our Bible-based faith, good works. We have to add to our zealous good works, the knowledge of God from the Bible.

It’s hard to get out of a rut, no matter how good it is.  Maybe it’s time to examine yourself.  Maybe it’s time to add the other requirement to your life.  Don’t you want to be spiritually balanced?

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link to ebook & discount paperback:  http://bit.ly/LazarusSamaritan

#goodworks, #bibleknowledge

Saturday 1/6 ~ Oh! I didn’t know that before

The scripture for today, January 6 (1/6), is Titus 1:6f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

changes-in-worship-cover-medium“An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless ~ not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, nor pursuing dishonest gain.”

This is quite interesting. God does not leave us to guess the qualifications of a church leader. We don’t have to hold conferences or synods to decide on qualifications for this office because God has already given them.

Something surprising here is that the word elder is used interchangeably with the word overseer (sometimes also translated bishop). The word elder comes from the Greek word presbyter. The word overseer/bishop is from the Greek word episcopos. Elder and overseer and bishop all are the same in this passage referring to the same office!

Here’s something else interesting about the elder/overseer/bishop: The word pastor comes from the Greek word for shepherd, poiman. In Acts 20:17, Paul sent for the elders of the church in Ephesus to talk to them. When they arrived, he said, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds [pastors] of the church of God which he bought with his own blood.”

Do you see the overlapping of the same office being called by different names? It’s kind of like father and papa being the same.

Titus 1:6f uses elder and overseer for the same office. Overseer is the same in Greek as bishop. Acts 20:17 uses elder, overseer, shepherd (pastor) for the same office.

In our daily lives, we have different words meaning the same person; such as father, parent, dad, papa ~ all names for the same position in the family.

So, too, for the family of God ~ the church ~ all these words overlap as names for the same office! And the qualifications for this office are found in our scripture for today, Titus 1:6f. Indeed, how interesting! 

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ebook & discount paperback link:  http://bit.ly/WorshipChanges

There It Stands

New Testament ParchmentEmpires rise and fall and are forgotten—There it stands.

Dynasty succeeds dynasty—There it stands.

Kings are crowned and uncrowned—There it stands.

Emperors decree its extermination—There it stands.

Despised and torn to pieces—There it stands.

Storms of hate swirl about it—There it stands.

Atheists rail against it—There it stands.

Agnostics smile cynically—There it stands.

Profane prayerless punsters caricature it—There it stands.

Unbelief abandons it—There it stands.

Higher critics deny its claim to inspiration—There it stands. Thunderbolts of wrath smite it—There it stands.

An anvil that has broken a million hammers—There it stands.

The flames are kindled about it—There it stands.

The arrows of hate are discharged against it—There it stands. Radicalism rants and raves about it—There it stands.

Fogs of sophistry conceal it temporarily—There it stands.

The tooth of time gnaws but dents it not—There it stands.

Infidels predict its abandonment—There it stands.

Modernism tries to explain it away—There it stands.

Devotees of folly denounce it—There it stands.

It is God’s highway to Paradise. It is the light on the pathway in the darkest night. It leads businessmen to integrity and uprightness. It is the great consoler in bereavement. It awakens men and women opiated by sin. It answers every great question of the soul. It solves every great problem of life. It is a fortress often attacked but never failing. Its wisdom is commanding and its logic convincing. Salvation is its watchword. Eternal life its goal. It punctures all pretense. It is forward-looking, outward-looking, and upward-looking. It outlives, outlifts, outloves, outreaches, outranks, outruns all other books. Trust it, love it, obey it, and Eternal Life is yours.

A. Z. Conrad (1855-1937)

Scripture for Friday, 12/1 ~ Bible Research

The scripture for today, December 1 (12/1), is Jeremiah 12:1ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Life-Changing-Scriptures-Cover-medium“Lord, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you to decide. Now let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil men so happy? You plant them. They take root and their business grows. Their profits multiply, and they are rich. They say, ‘Thank God!’ But in their hearts, they give no credit to you. But as for me ~ Lord, you know my heart ~ you know how much it longs for you. And I am poor, O Lord!”

Now compare this with Job 15:20-24:

“All his days the wicked man suffers torment, the ruthless through all the years stored up for him. Terrifying sounds fill his ears….He despairs of escaping the darkness; he is marked for the sword. He wanders about ~ food for vultures; he knows the day of darkness is at hand. Distress and anguish fill him with terror.”

These two passages contradict each other. So what is the problem? The words spoken in Job were by Eliphaz, one of Job’s well-meaning friends who took it upon himself to help Job figure out why he had lost all his wealth, all his children, and all his health. Was Eliphaz right?

At the end of the book of Job, is this: “The Lord…said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends because you have not spoken of me what is right.” Then God ordered Eliphaz and his friends to sacrifice seven bulls and rams (not small sacrifices), then ask Job to pray for them so God “will not deal with you according to your folly.”

When we read scripture, let us be careful to investigate its context and ALL other scriptures on the same subject. Only then can we have the whole picture. Only then can we avoid religious folly.

 

Scripture for Monday, 11/27 ~ Religious Leaders

The scripture for today, November 27 (11/27), is Mark 11:27f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

campbell-cover-kindle-lg-medium“…the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him [Jesus]. ‘By what authority are you doing those things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave you authority to do this?’ “

As you learn more about the Bible, consider teaching your community’s religious leaders. Have the courage to speak up and quote something in the Bible which that church may not be following. Then, when your religious leaders go to you wanting to know by what authority you teach something new, be ready for them with the scriptures. Periodically tell them in private ~ gently and respectfully ~ again and again.

Just remember that leaders often take longer to accept a new teaching. It may take them months or years to accept it. Keep on keeping on. And be patient with them.

Pray for your community religious leaders.  Ask God to touch their hearts. He will not go against their natural nature, but if they have honest hearts, it will work.

Plant the seed, and God will give the increase (1st Corinthians 3:16). God said, “My Word will not return to me void” (Isaiah 55:11).

 

Scripture for Monday, November 13 (11/13)

The scripture for today, November 13 (11/13), is Zechariah 11:13 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Life-Changing-Scriptures-Cover-medium“And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’ ~ the handsome price at which they paid me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord to the potter.”

The book of Zechariah is full of prophecies about Jesus, especially circumstances surrounding his death. Compare the above scripture with this:

“Then one of the Twelve ~ the one called Judas Iscariot ~ went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand him [Jesus] over to you?’ So they counted out for him thirty silver coins” (Matthew 26:15).           and….

“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests….So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself….So they [chief priests] decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners” (Matthew 27:3, 6-7).

The prophet Zechariah wrote this prophecy some five centuries before Jesus. The prophet had been long dead before it was fulfilled. This could not possibly have been contrived to fit such a distant future ~ the exact sum Judas was paid, the money being thrown into the temple and then to buy a potter’s field.

This is only one of many proofs. The Bible is the only religious book in the world with built-in proofs it is of divine origin.

 Religion is not a matter of likes or dislikes, or of giving them all equal chance.  There is only one God.  Which God? Go to the proofs. Examine the proofs.

 

Scripture for Wednesday, November 1 (11/1)

The scripture for today, November 1 (11/1), is Hebrews 11:1 as found in the New Testament of the Bible;

Life-Changing-Scriptures-Cover-medium“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (KJV).

Notice, faith is not based on a feeling. It is full of substance, for it is based on evidence. What evidence?

First, faith is complete confidence that the Bible is divine. We know this in large part because the prophecies about nations and empires during Bible times came true after the lifetime of the prophets. Today, most people never heard of many of those nations and empires because their destruction was so complete. But an investigation of encyclopedias shows that, in Bible times, they did exist.

Second, faith is complete confidence that Jesus on earth was divine. We know this in large part because numerous prophecies about his birth, ministry and death came true centuries after the prophecies were made. No one man could have contrived and forced all those prophecies to be fulfilled in his lifetime.

Finally, faith is complete confidence that the account of Jesus’ life was written accurately by witnesses who saw him and talked with him. These witnesses afterwards traveled the world telling people about him, suffering hardships, and often torture and death. They would not have gone through all this for a lie. Further, we have manuscripts that date back to less than a century of the actual events, something no other ancient writing can do.

Yes, faith has substance because it is based on evidence. And in the Bible, we have all we need.

Scripture for Monday, October 23 (10/23)

The scripture for today, October 23 (10/23) is Jeremiah 10:23 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

inside-cover-medium“I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.”

Just how are we supposed to know what steps God has directed us to take? Do we have to guess, rely on a feeling, depend on the movement of our heart, a vision? Actually, we have a guide, a roadmap.

Jesus said in John 14:16-17 that after he left, the Father would send another Counselor ~ the Spirit of Truth. In John 16:13 Jesus said The Spirit of Truth will guide us into all truth.” In John 17:17, Jesus said, “Your Word is truth.”

Yes, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, guides us through the Word of God, the Bible.

We don’t have to guess! We don’t have to wonder! We don’t have to get discouraged! God has given us his Word to direct our steps. All we have to do is open his Word and read the map.

 

Scripture for Friday, October 20 (10/20)

The scripture for today, October 20 (10/20), is Deuteronomy 10:20 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Medium-New“Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him.”

In the Hebrew, “fear” is yirah. It means to revere. Psalm 111:9 (KJV) says, “Holy and reverend is His name.” The Bible does not tell us that anyone else’s name is reverend or that anyone else can wear that name as a title ~ only God. Some say, “Well, I’m honoring God when I add ‘Reverend’ to my name.” Actually, no.

We are told to hold fast to God. Who do we hold fast to? Our denomination? Our religious friends? Our self-help Christian books? Our religious leaders? God says, “Hold fast to me.” How is that done? By reading his words for ourselves and obeying it, regardless of what our non-religious or religious friends tell us; by putting God on a pedestal, not a person.

Hold fast to Reverend God, and he will hold fast to you. And so, we worship him.