Friday 3/16 ~ Then God played a trick on Satan

The scripture for today, March 16 (3/16), is John 3:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Guess what? Many people have heard there is such a scripture as John 3:16, but they do not know what it says. And among those who do know what it says, many have no idea what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with going to heaven.

It is important for us to read the entire Bible so we can understand the isolated scriptures we hear or read. There was a song written several years ago called, No Man Is An Island. No scripture is an island either. Just as every person influences other people in some way, every scripture influences other scriptures.

The meaning of John 3:16? 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 [spiritual] death.”

There are certain truths that cannot be broken. For example, it is impossible for God to lie.  Another truth is that both good and evil exist.  It is obvious both are in a battle to win.  Satan is the seat of evil.  God is the seat of good.  God is stronger than Satan.  How do we know? Whatever Satan does, God can undo. When Satan causes someone to be sick, God can heal them. When Satan causes someone to sin, God can forgive them. When Satan causes someone to die, God can bring them back to life.

Satan held mankind hostage because we all sin.  The ransom to free mankind was the death of someone who had never sinned. Only one being had never sinned ~ God.  But God was smarter than Satan. God sent his Word down to us in flesh (John 1:1f, 14) ~ Jesus ~ who lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live.  Then, the fleshly-part of God paid the terrible ransom: He died physically and spiritually on the cross. 

The ransom was now paid (Matthew 20:28 and I Peter 1:18-21). Then God played a trick on Satan. Only the flesh part of Jesus died. And even then, that body came back to life.

Today, we have a choice: Become a Christian or tell God the way we live is none of his business. Think.  Think about this.  Deeply.  “God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son.”  Understanding the price he paid to keep y out of hell, how can anyone walk away from him?


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Thursday 3/15 ~ Rise up and sing!

The scripture for today, March 15 (3/15), is Colossians 3:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Paul was encouraging the Christians at Colossae to get along with each other. After all, they were all members of the one body ~ the one church. In the next verse, he gave them a way to help it along:  Sing.   

Today, let us sing. Sing to each other. Sing in unison to unify your heart with others. Sing in harmony to harmonize their lives together.  Sing to show thanksgiving for your brothers and sisters.

What a wonderful way to mend a rift. Sing.  Sing with the person you are not getting along with. Watch the smile on your face drift over to them. Watch the smile on their face rise up out of a heart that really does want to love you.

Let not little things interfere with your love for others. You do not want to cause pain to your heavenly Father when his children do not get along. Let us join each other ~ and sing!

Wednesday 2/28 ~ Is it possible to know for sure?

The scripture for today, February 28 (2/28), is Jeremiah 2:28 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Clouds in blue sky“Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! For you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah.”

Today we think the whole thing is ridiculous. How could people believe in a multitude of gods? Further, how could people make statues of them as though anyone knew what the gods looked like? On top of that, many of them looked like dumb animals.

Apparently, it was the popular thing to do. In fact, a person discovering yet another god would be highly esteemed. And it seemed logical that the more gods one believed in, the more holy a person was. Or the bigger the statue of a god in one’s home, the more dedicated a person was.

We today call them myths ~ things that were made up out of people’s imaginations. Yet they thrived in their time. Why? Because of “mass hypnosis” in a sense. Humans are social beings and we don’t like being ostracized. We want to be accepted.

Do we do the same thing today? There are evangelists on television who draw crowds of hundreds and thousands. They seem so right and so holy. Yet they contradict each other. So it cannot be a measure of rightness and holiness that a lot of people believe something.

The measure must be the Bible. Many religious leaders in antiquity and up to today have duped peopled because they look and act so holy. Remember, no matter how many thousands upon thousands follow a religious leader, that leader will be judged by God just like everyone else.

There are a lot of religious contradictions out there.  We cannot say “all religions are right in their own way”. Is it ever possible to sort through all the contradictions and come up with what is the truth? Is it possible to know for sure?

Let us read the Bible for ourselves. Let us study the Bible for ourselves. Let us not search the scriptures for something to prove our opinion right, or a certain leader right, or our family right, or a particular religious idea right. Let us try to erase all our pre-conceived religious notions, and read with an open mind what God himself has to say to us. It is possible to know for sure.


Wednesday 2/14 ~ Thank God for the Old Testament

The scripture for today, February 14, is Colossians 2:14 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“[God] having canceled the written code with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”

It is beyond my comprehension why anyone would want the Law of Moses unless they don’t want to obey ALL 600 commands and want an excuse to justify the one they do want.

They want the part that says to tithe so they can get people’s money. (Actually, the good Jew gave one-third, not one-tenth.) Or they want a separate priesthood so they can feel important.  Or they want showy things in worship like candles, incense, musical instruments (though they were only allowed the harp, lyre, and cymbal) so they can enjoy themselves more. 

Hold on! If we obey one command we are required to keep the entire Law of Moses ~ all 600 commands. Galatians 5:3 and James 2:10 say so. Are you up to it?

Our verse for today says the Law was against us; that is, it was impossible for us to keep perfectly. Try wading through Leviticus in the Old Testament. That’s where most of the old Law (“the written code with its regulations”) is.

It’s tedious. It regulated nearly every part of everyone’s daily life. It involved what we could and couldn’t eat, having to kill animals to die in our place whenever we sinned, stoning adulterers to death, having a separate Levite priesthood, giving a third of our income, reporting to priests if we had an open sore, use of candles, having to go to the Temple in Jerusalem three times a year, spreading blood on our doorposts, and on and on.

The book of Hebrews in the New Testament was written to help us understand that God’s new Law of Grace is much more spiritual. Read especially chapters 8 & 9. We have to make a choice: Old or New.

Hebrews was written about the time the Temple in Jerusalem was permanently destroyed, thus making it impossible to obey several things in the old Law. And a little time later the Jewish genealogies were destroyed, thus making it impossible to prove who was a Levite and eligible to be a priest.

But wait!  The Old Testament of the Bible is not the same as the Law of Moses. The Law is a small part of the Old Testament. The rest of it is wonderful praise, amazing wisdom, accounts of people who did or did not try to follow God, and those astounding prophecies of Jesus all through them.

Let us not neglect the Old Testament as so many people do. Thank God for the Old Testament.