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.

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What color is heaven?

The scripture for today, February 9 (2/9), is I Corinthians 2:9 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

This amazing promise applies to us today. It also applies to eternity. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of heaven. That is why so much of Revelation is symbolic. The symbols are beautiful. Why not try going one step beyond reading how Revelation describes heaven, and make a drawing of what you think it looks like. Here is a link to a drawing of an imagined heaven. www.casagrandechurchofchrist.com/what-color-is-heaven  Then colorize with all those beautiful hues.  Revelation 21:12,13,21:

Each of the 12 GATES is named after one of the Tribes of Israel and has an angel guarding it. Make the gates pearl. Make the angel over the gate white or yellow.

Revelation 21:17, 18a: Make the WALL jasper, which is a light see-through green.

Revelation 21:16, 18b: Heaven is full of many MANSIONS (John 14:2). Make them a translucent (see-through) gold.

Revelation 21:21: The STREETS of the city are like crystal and gold. Make them a translucent (see-through) gold also.

Revelation 22:1: The RIVER OF LIFE runs through heaven coming out from the throne of God. Make it blue.

Revelation 4:6a: The CHRYSTAL SEA is in front of God’s throne. Make it blue.

Revelation 22:2: The TREE OF LIFE grows on both sides of the River of Life. Make it green and brown.

Revelation 22:2: The ALTER OF INCENSE from Christians’ prayers is in front of the throne. Make it gold

Revelation 21:23: God’s THRONE is Jasper and the glory of God is so brilliant, there is no need of a sun. Make the area of the throne silver/white.

Revelation 4:5: Around the throne of God are the seven SPIRITS of God, symbolized by seven lights. Make them yellow.

Revelation 4:3a: Near the Spirits,

there is a ruby red GLOW around the throne of God. Make this inner arch red.

Revelation 4:3b: There is a RAINBOW over God’s throne. Make the arch at the very top over the throne emerald green.

Although this is all symbolic, doesn’t drawing and coloring in the symbols help understand a little bit more of how beautiful heaven will be!

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Tuesday 2/5 ~ Amazing Grace

The scripture for today, February 5 (2/5), is Ephesians 2:5 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Thumbnail-New

“[God] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions ~ it is by grace you have been saved.”

Every time you sin, your spirit ~ your soul ~ dies a little more. Every time you steal, cheat, torture, murder. You say you don’t do such things. Well, how about every time you stretch the truth (lie), go over the speed limit (disobey the laws of the land), close your eyes to someone you know is in need (selfishness), lose your temper, indulge in coarse talk, call someone names, refuse to forgive (sins of attitude)?

It is true that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and your wage you collect from Satan every time you sin is death (Romans 6:23). That is what you earn. That is what you deserve. You certainly do not deserve to live with a sinless God. Nor can you. But by his grace, he made a way possible to consider you sinless.

In Old Testament times, people killed a perfect animal to die in their place, but it was only a temporary fix. Then God sent his perfect Son who never sinned ~ the Lamb of God ~ to lie down on the altar of the world at the cross. There he died spiritually and physically in your place for the things you in the world did wrong, all while the world raged at him.

Yes, while we were still enemies of God by sinning, Jesus died for you and me. That was his amazing part.  His amazing grace part. He can also make you spiritually alive. If you will actively seek him. That is your part.

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Thursday 1/31 ~ Ah, special us

The scripture for today, January 31 (1/31), is Genesis 1:31 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-KINDLE-Thumbnail-New“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning ~ the sixth day.”

Oh, how God loves to spoil us! He didn’t create a barren earth and then order us to get to work and plant something. He got everything just right. And then….  And then….  Then his crowning glory ~ he created us! Special us!

However, as perfect as he made earth, he left some joyful things for us to create ourselves, for he made us like him ~ creative. He left the jewels unmined, the buildings unbuilt, the songs unwritten, the paintings unpainted, the ships unmade, the sculptures uncarved….

Here we are surrounded by everything we need to imitate one special part of God ~ his creative part. Today, create something!

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Thursday 1/17 ~ We get the good ones

The scripture for today, January 17  (1/17), is James 1:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Do you sometimes feel slighted because other people get more gifts on special occasions (or even between special occasions) than you do? No need to feel that way. Christians get the goods ones. Christians get the perfect ones. We get them all! And our heavenly Father will never stop showering us with those “good gifts,” those “perfect gifts.”

God’s gifts are good and perfect because they are forever gifts. And what can be better than that?

Ah, Lord God, my creator, my life, lover of my soul. With you, I am never hungry, I am never cold, I am never in want. With you I have all that I need for my soul is filled with your love, I am warm in your embrace, and everything is good within my being. You, who died in my place, are even now waiting for me at your door.  I will be there soon.  Then we will be together for eternity.

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