Sunday 1/7 ~ Timidity and a “new truth”

The scripture for today, January 7 (1/7), is 2nd Timothy 1:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

worship-the-first-century-way-cover-kindle“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”

Have you discovered some “new truth” in the Bible? Perhaps you have read it a hundred times but never noticed it before.

People fear the unknown. Do not fear it. Embrace it. Then share with others this new-found truth. The word “timidity” is sometimes translated “fear.” Remind your friends of that “new truth” you discovered enough times that it is no longer an unknown and no longer something to be feared.

Do we fear reprisal among our church friends or leaders if we stand up for some “new truth” no one noticed before? God can help you. God can give you the courage to speak out with power, with love, and with self-discipline as you explain that new-found truth.

Then be patient. God said, “My word will not return to me void” (Isaiah 55:11).

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Scripture for Wednesday, November 22 (11/22) ~ Is it a Myth?

The scripture for today, November 22 (11/22), is Genesis 11:22 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Medium“When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.”

How can it be that people could live so long in the early centuries of the world? Isn’t that stretching things a bit? Isn’t it just folklore and myth? Here’s more.

Noah had his first son at age 502 (Genesis 5:32, 11:10). Noah lived a total of 950 years (Genesis 9:29). Noah’s son, Shem, had his first son at age 100 and lived a total of 600 years (Genesis 11:10-11). Now we have Serug, the 7th-generation grandson of Noah, who had his first son at age 30 and lived a total of 230 years (see above).

Do you see the trend downward of ages after the flood? Most of Noah’s life was lived before the flood. Some of Shem’s life was lived before, but most of it was after the flood. All of Serug’s life was after the flood.

Many scientists believe that the earth originally had a constant cloud covering like the planet Venus does. Genesis 2:5-6 says it had not rained yet, but a mist rose to water everything. The King James Version of the Bible regarding the flood in Genesis 7:11 says the windows of heaven were opened. Genesis 8:2 says the windows of heaven were stopped.

Notice, it did not say the windows of heaven were closed; they were just stopped, meaning it could rain again periodically after that. If indeed, Earth did have a constant thick cloud covering before the flood, then humans would have been protected from radiation from the sun, and therefore could live longer. After the change in Earth’s atmosphere after the flood, humans being exposed to more radiation would have lived shorter lives.

Something to think about…. And, one more thought ~ rainbows wouldn’t be possible with a constant cloud covering. The flood brought us rainbows! (Genesis 9:13)

 

Scripture for Saturday, October 28 (10/28)

The scripture for today, October 28 (10/28), is Matthew 10:28f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Medium“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.”

This scripture indicates that sometimes God’s allows us to “fall to the ground” ~ our bodies suffer, or we are killed. How can that be? After all, God is so loving. Surely a good God would not allow any harm to come to someone if he truly loves them.

But we all have our assignment from God in this war between Good and Evil. Just as Job in the Old Testament lost his entire family and entire wealth and then his health, he refused to blame God. He even said, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” (Job 2:10).

Satan causes bad to happen to us. Why? In order to get us to blame God for it. Our assignment is to refuse to deny God. That way, Satan loses one more battle, and God wins one more.

There is an old Christian song called “Victory in Jesus.” How can we have victory in Jesus if we do not have something to be victorious over? Romans 8:37 says we are more than conquerors. How can we be conquerors if we have nothing to conquer?

Let us say with James (1:2) that we consider it pure joy whenever we face trials. Hard to say? Of course, it is. But it could turn your life around.

 

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 Sunday, October 22 (10/22)

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

worship-the-first-century-way-cover-kindle“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.) Now our hearts (which we cannot see or touch) are sprinkled with the blood of Jesus.

And how are we to be cleansed from that guilty conscience with our bodies (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.”

We do not have to guess whether we were sincere enough when we gave our heart to the Lord. Our conscience never has to wonder if we did it right. For God gave us something we can actually do to give us a good and clear conscience toward him.

From henceforth, we 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!

 

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.  

Scripture for Tuesday, October 10 (10/10)

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

Letters-of-Apostles1-Cover-Kindle“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 we ever said something to someone, but turned to someone else in the room and winked to let the second person know we didn’t really mean what we just said? That made our words a lie.

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

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

Oh, let us look closer at ourselves and not think we are superior to others. May we look at ourselves as God does.  It can be eye-opening and liberating.

Scripture for Friday, October 6 (10/6)

The scripture for today, October 6 (10/6), is Jeremiah 10:6 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 2-DreamMaker-cover-kindle-medium-new“No one is like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.”

The word “name” here is from the Hebrew word for “renown” ~ shem. This same word is sometimes translated fame. Sometimes we say someone “has made a name for himself” to indicate s/he has become successful and possibly even powerful. Sometimes, just the mention of a name gives us authority and power.

Just think. We do not have an impersonal God. The gods of the Bible era were made of stone. They were depicted as basically being giant humans who could throw down thunderbolts if they were angry.  Sometimes they were angry at humans and sometimes they were angry at other gods. Seldom were they ever depicted as pleased. 

Worship consisted of appeasing them so they would stop being angry at the much smaller humans on earth. Priests would claim any natural disaster was the result of their particular god’s anger, requiring even more sacrifices which lined the pocket of the priests. The priests had the real power in each country, even more than the throne.

Sometimes worship consisted in indulging in vices such as fornication, drunken orgies, and fights to the death. The priests could get even more power by catering to the baser desires of their “followers”. 

Still other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism whose god is the essence of the universe such as Nirvana or Shamanism whose gods are the life force of objects in nature. 

The prophet, Jeremiah, and all the other prophets of the Holy Bible depicted the Lord of the universe as being the greatest power in existence, but with the greatest love in existence. He was a personal God and no imitation god could come even close to that.

Think back over your life. In what way has the Lord used his power to cause amazing things to occur in your life just at the right time? That is our God. The real God full of mercy, truth, love, and yes, power.

 

Scripture for Thursday, October 5 (10/5)

The scripture for today, October 5 (10/5) is 2nd Corinthians 10:5f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Life-Changing-Scriptures-Cover-medium“Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now, these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.”

This is about the 40 years the Jews wandered in the wilderness between leaving their slavery in Egypt and beginning a nation for themselves in their Promised Land.

It took Moses 40 years to get the Jews out of Egypt. But it took 400 years to get Egypt out of the Jews. They believed their way was better than God’s way. They wanted God to protect them and provide for their needs, but they kept God at a distance as far as their ethics and way of life.

Events in the Old Testament are there as examples to us. This is one reason why we need to read the Old Testament.  The early Jews did not want to listen to God, so God did not listen to them. Do we keep God at a distance?  In that case, God keeps us at a distance.

Do we want God to treat us the way we treat him? This can be a frightening thought. It can also be a blissful thought.

 

Scripture for Wednesday, October 4 (10/4)

The scripture for today, October 4 (10/4), is Romans 10:4 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Medium-New“Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

When Jesus replaced the old Law of Moses Testament, it came to an end (Hebrews 8:13; 9:1f; 9:15-18). Thank God. There were over 600 commandments in the Law of Moses, not just the “Ten Commandments.” They were tedious. Try reading Leviticus and see if you can keep every commandment in it.

Jesus was the only one who ever kept the Law perfectly (Hebrews 4:15). Once that occurred, he could be the Perfect Lamb of God without blemish, and he could be sacrificed on the altar of the world (the cross) in our place ~ take the punishment for our sins. He had said the Law of Moses would last until it was fulfilled.  On the cross, one of the last things he said was, “It is fulfilled.”

And with his death came the introduction of a New Law covered in the New Testament. Read the New Testament in its entirety. It is not tedious. It is beautiful. Let us not try to dip back into the Old Law and bring back showy worship practices done back them. He put it to death and gave us a new and wonderful and simple law of grace and love.