Saturday 10/27 ~ God sent Jesus and he fixed the problem

The scripture for today, October 27 (10/27), is Mark 10:27 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man, this is impossible, but not with God: All things are possible with God.’ “

Can we be perfect? God let mankind try for many centuries to be perfect.

To one group of people he gave over 600 laws and said, “If you keep these, you will be perfect.” But, as hard as the Jews tried, no one could keep the Law of Moses perfectly.

To the rest of the world, he basically said, “Try to figure out for yourselves how to be perfect.” So they tried all kinds of religions, but with all of them, they could not be perfect.

Finally, mankind was ready for Jesus. He came to earth and lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. He became the perfect Lamb of God, and became our sacrifice for our sins, for Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.” He collected the wage of death from Satan for us.

So now, according to Romans 6:3-4, just as Jesus died on the cross, we too can 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 too can be buried in a watery tomb of baptism. And finally, just as Jesus was raised up out of his tomb the Savior, we rise up out of our watery tomb the saved.

Then God considers us perfect too. God cannot associate with sinners in his heaven. He can only have perfect people in his heavenly home. Impossible for us to live there with him someday? Yes. But, God sent Jesus to fix that problem. With God, nothing is impossible.

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Monday 10/22 ~ Guilty Conscience?

The scripture for today, October 22 (10/22),  is Hebrews 10:22 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Love Letters of Jesus & his Bride, Eccelsia-THUMBNAIL“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

The previous verse said that Jesus is the great (high) priest over the house of God (the church). Therefore the sprinkling refers to the sprinkling of blood the high priests did on the Day of Atonement once a year. (See Leviticus 16 in the Old Testament.) Today your heart (which we cannot see or touch) is sprinkled with the blood of Jesus.

And how are you to be cleansed from that guilty conscience with our body (which we can see and touch) being washed? I Peter 3:21 says, “Even so does baptism now save us, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh but the answer of a good conscience toward God.”

You do not have to guess whether you were sincere enough when you gave your heart to the Lord. Your conscience never has to wonder if you did it right. For God gave you something you can actually do to give you a good and clear conscience toward him.

From henceforth, you can draw near to God in full assurance. Full! Not partial. Not wondering. Not with ups and downs of faith. But full!

God thinks of everything!

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Thursday 10/11 ~ Playing Peek-a-boo

The scripture for today, October 11 (10/11), is Psalm 10:11 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“He says to himself, ‘God has forgotten; he covers his face and never sees.’ “

You believe in God in some form. And you believe that God knows what you do. But do you sometimes bury your beliefs in your subconscious mind so you can go around doing things you know are wrong? Do you believe you won’t get caught, and you can slide into heaven doing whatever you want?

In other words, do you justify your favorite sins? Do you justify your sins of attitude such as jealousy, impatience, pride, short temper under the guise of an unhappy childhood or getting what you deserve?  Do you justify your sins of omission ~ good things you should be doing, but are not ~ under the excuse that you don’t have time to do them? Do you justify questionable things you do by saying they’re “not so bad” or God is so good, he will forgive anything you do as long as you say you’re sorry every time you do it?

Do you do as children do who cover their eyes so they cannot see anyone and think that, therefore, no one ~ including God ~ can 17see them?

God loves you more than you can ever imagine. He never forgets you. He sees and hears everything you do. The only things he does not approve of are things that will ultimately hurt you and which he calls sin.

Here is a marvelous jewel for you. Take it, shine it up, and put it on display:  Pleasing God is the ultimate form of pleasing yourself.

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Wednesday 10/10 ~ It’s just a wink. Or is it?

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

04-Isaac&Jacob-KindleMedium“He who winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.”

How can eye winking be malicious? Let’s look further at Proverbs 6:12-14 ~ “A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, who plans evil with deceit in his heart ~ he always stirs up dissension.”

Have you ever said something to someone, but turned to someone else in the room and winked as though to let the second person know you didn’t really mean what you just said? That made your words a lie.

You might have pre-arranged signals before a meeting, such as crossing your feet as a signal you do or don’t like what is being said. Or you may run your fingers over your hair, or tap three times on a table as a pre-arranged signal to someone else in the room. If you are saying one thing but signaling something else to your partner, then your words are lies.

Perhaps you think it is purely innocent and claim that everyone does it. But Revelation 21 says “…all liars ~ their place will be in the fiery lake.”

So, from now on, be truthful in everything you say in word and deed. It can be done. And it is liberating.

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Sunday 10/7 ~ Why would a good God condone violence?

The scripture for today, October 7 (10/7), is Joshua 10:7f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.’ “

We today cannot imagine a good God condoning violence, let alone promoting it. But think back. Mankind was quite barbaric in the centuries and millenniums before Christ. For example, when Alexander the Great got offended at what a friend said to him, he cut off his nose and ears and put him in a cage for the rest of his life.

God never runs very far ahead of mankind, or else mankind would not understand, and not even try to follow God. By the time Jesus came, God was saying, “No more violence.”

In this scripture for today, God was telling Joshua to attack people in the Promised Land ~ Canaan. This brings up another question: Why would a good God allow one group of people to kill off another group of people? God told Abraham centuries earlier, “In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure” (Genesis 15:16). By this time they were sacrificing children to their gods.

In Leviticus 18:24, 28, God warned the Jews through Moses, “Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled…And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” So God warned the Jews that, if they got as bad as the previous people in Canaan, he would drive them out too. (Eventually they did, so God did.)

Further, in Old Testament times, God often punished people immediately. Why punish them? Partly to get them away from the good people. And God used armies of believers to do the punishing for him.

Today God does not expect us to do the punishing. Romans 12:19 says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ says the Lord. On the contrary, If your enemy is hungry feed him…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Thank God, he has taken the terrible task of vengeance away from us. We can just forgive our enemies and hand things over to God to take whatever steps need to be taken. In the meantime, we can read the Old Testament and learn that God takes notice when people are doing bad things to us. God does take care of us. God does love his children.

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Wednesday 8/22 ~ Listen to the song

The scripture for today, August 22 (8/22), is Jeremiah 8:22 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

OldOldTunes-Thumbnail

 

“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?”

There is a very beautiful African-American spiritual of unknown origin that many of us have sung. You may be able to hear it sung a cappella here: http://bit.ly/1PfHxrI These are the words to that spiritual:

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

Sometimes I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.

If you can’t preach like Peter,
If you can’t pray like Paul,
Just tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.

 

Have a blessed day.

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Saturday 8/11 ~ How do we know our spirit is in us?

The scripture for today, August 11 (8/11), is Romans 8:11 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”

Death literally means separation. Physical death means separation from this body on earth. Spiritual death means separation of our soul from God who is Life. Whenever we sin, our soul dies. It happened to Adam and Eve who didn’t think God meant it when he said, “In the day you eat of the fruit, you will die.” They could no longer walk and talk with God in the garden because they were now separated from him, spiritually dead. With that eventually also came physical death.

There are certain spiritual laws that cannot be broken. For example, it is impossible for God to lie. It is also impossible for God to sin. Therefore, God cannot co-exist with sin. We sin. Another law is that sin demands death. For centuries, Satan allowed mankind to kill and sacrifice an animal in their place to take their death punishment. But it was just a temporary fix.

Finally, God sent the Son — his image — in bodily form to be sacrificed in our place and take our death punishment. Now, all we have to do is be “in Jesus” which is accomplished by baptism: Galatians 3:26 says this.

What is the role of our spirit? When we die, we say our spirit has left our body. So, as long as we are alive, it means our spirit is still in us. We are not conscious of our spirit being in us; we just know it is because we are still alive.

In the same way, when we become Christians by believing, repenting, confessing and being baptized, God’s Holy Spirit enters us; Acts 2:38 says so. This is when we become spiritually alive; Romans 6:3-4 says so. We are not overtly conscious of God’s Spirit being in us, but we know it is true because our soul is now alive.

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