Thursday 11/21 ~ Too small to matter

The scripture for today, November 21 (11/21), is Acts 11:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”

What had just happened? A few Christians in Phoenecia (today’s Lebanon), Cyprus (the Mediterranean Island) and Cyrene (in today’s North Africa), went to Antioch, a city in Northern Syria near the southern border of today’s Turkey. There they established a congregation.

This little congregation ended up being the home congregation of Paul and Barnabas for many years. It started small; we don’t know the size it grew to. Regardless of the size, it had foresight and eventually did great things.

Perhaps you live in a town full of churches, but you’ve compared them with the New Testament, and none of them follows the original pattern. Perhaps you have even given up going to church because of this problem. What is stopping you from beginning a little congregation after the New Testament pattern in your home?  

New Testament churches were simple ~ not elaborate like those mega-churches out there. And those simple churches have always been dynamic in their simplicity. Who knows but that your new little congregation will someday produce a Paul or a Barnabas. Who knows?

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00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-PAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE had everything against him when he headed into pagan territory.  No priest was going to let a stranger come in and ruin his income, his power, his prestige.  He went anyway. He preached in this city and was beaten. He preached in that city and was stoned. He preached in other cities and was whipped, imprisoned, starved, lied about, scorned.  But in each city, he left behind a little congregation that grew and flourished.  He never let smallness matter.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/333nV6c

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Thursday 11/14 ~ What treasures we miss

The scripture for today, November 14 (11/14), is Job 11:14f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Road to Heaven-COVER-KINDLE-THUMBNAIL“If you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.”

Job’s misguided friend, Zophar, was advising Job that, if he would become perfect (“allow no evil”), he would stand firm before God.

Oh, Zophar! Hadn’t he caught on yet? Hadn’t he yet realized no one can be perfect? At the end of this ancient book, God told Zophar and his friends to repent of their accusations toward Job and misinterpreting God.

Throughout the Old Testament, the Jews tried unsuccessfully to be perfect with the help of the Law of Moses, but they couldn’t do it. In the meantime, the nations that had not received the Law were left to try with their own methods to be perfect, and they couldn’t do it either. (Job was an Edomite.)

The only thing that ever has allowed mankind to be perfect has been the blood of Jesus. He was the perfect Lamb of God.

It has been eons since Zophar insisted that, if Job became perfect, he wouldn’t be sick anymore. As of 2000 years ago, everyone who follows Jesus is able to stand firm, because Jesus made them perfect when they washed away their sins (John 1:29; Acts 22:16).

 

Road to Heaven-COVER-KINDLE-THUMBNAILTHE ROAD TO HEAVEN begins in the Garden of Eden and the first son and Satan putting mankind up for a ransom. It progressed through the payment of that terrible ransom, and finally to our glorious bodies and heaven in the presence of God who is larger than the two trillion galaxies out there. Good for personal reflection or to someone who takes heaven for granted and does not understand the real threat of hell and what it took to ransom us. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/353HL2I

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Monday 11/11 ~ I will lift you back up

 

09-Jonah-KindleThumbnail

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

“Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all!”

So you decided to live for God. But you are still a weak human. Satan has lost you and wants you back. He will try hard to make that happen. Often, the new Christian is the one he attacks the hardest.

Still, Satan never lets up and periodically causes bad things to happen to you so you’ll blame God, just as he tried to do with Job.  He will tempt you with more things than before you became a Christian in his attempts to get you back.

God knows what is happening.  He stands with you. He is so proud of you when you stand up to Satan and say, “Never!  I will not blame or forsake my Lord.” He sees how your spiritual muscles are growing.

But, if you sometimes stumble and fall, you are not beyond hope. Never, never believe you are beyond hope! That is a lie! God never leaves you.  He continues to lean low, holding out his hands and saying, “Take them. I will lift you back up. You will be safe again.”

So, you do.

And so, he does.

He is amazingly patient with us. He loves you so very much.

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09-Jonah-KindleThumbnailA CHILD’S BIBLE HEROES:  JONAH.  Most people think of Jonah as a failure. But each time he fell, he got back up. It was hard for him to do, but he did anyway.  Even when Jonah gave up on himself, God never gave up on him.  THINK & DO at the end of each chapter.  Great for homeschoolers, children’s Bible classes, grandparents, baby showers, birthdays.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2X30Izz

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Friday 11/8 ~ Safe for all eternity

The scripture for today, November 8 (11/8), is Proverbs 11:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead.”

You know that God does not always rescue you from trouble here on this temporary earth. He certainly didn’t rescue Jesus from all his troubles.

Sometimes God has an assignment for you just as he did for Jesus.  He may want you to be in the midst of trouble ~ war, an enemy at work, an obnoxious neighbor, death of a loved one caused by a reckless driver, a government worker demanding a bribe. Why?  So you can demonstrate to the world the contrast: God’s ways vs. Satan’s ways.  So you can demonstrate to the world how to fight Satan and win.

Retaliation never works.  Peace always wins over war. 

Eventually, the boomerang effect will take place on those following Satan. What they inflict on you will be inflicted on them by their Maker.

 And eventually, if you have followed God’s ways even in times of trouble, he will indeed rescue you. He will welcome you into his home ~ heaven ~ safe for all eternity.

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00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailSTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR is novel 7 in the INTREPID MEN OF GOD SERIES.  He had a wife and children (qualifications to be a deacon).  He had a position in the church. He could perform miracles. He was a dynamic speaker and won the hearts of everyone ~ well, everyone except his religious enemies who hated Jesus.  What made this young man with everything to live for give it all up?  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2NsLTDq

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Wednesday 11/6 ~ Out of the ashes

The scripture for today, November 6 (11/6), is Nehemiah 11:6 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“The descendants of Perez who lived in Jerusalem totaled 468 able men.”

Just who was Perez, and why was this even mentioned in the Bible? Perez was a son of Judah, and an ancestor of Jesus (Matthew 1:3).

Why was living in Jerusalem a big deal at that time? Because Jerusalem had been attacked and destroyed. It was nothing but rubble and ashes. Earlier, other Jews had returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple. Now it was time to rebuild the walls.

These 468 brave people had to agree to move into a burned-out city and rebuild on the ashes of previous homes. In the process of moving building stones out of the way to reuse in the city wall, they surely found skeletons of those who had been slaughtered in the attack decades before. It took grit.

At first, the Jews had blamed the Babylonians for destroying their city and temple. But eventually, they began re-reading the prophets who had warned them about their own sins. Finally, they turned inward and placed the blame where it really belonged: Themselves. Their own pride had destroyed their temple and their city, now crumbled ashes.

Following repentance, they acted. Was it easy rebuilding a broken city? Not any easier than rebuilding a broken home, a broken congregation, a broken life. You must look at your own part in your own destruction and begin building yourself anew.

Are there any skeletons or ashes in your life?  Is there anything that needs rebuilt? It takes grit.  Do you have the grit?

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00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-ThumbnailYOU CAN BE A HERO ALONE: COURAGE FOR ISOLATED CHRISTIANS tells the stories of heroic godly men in the Bible who had to stand alone when everyone was against them.  Written for isolated Christians around the world. All stories are followed by thought questions about their survival.  Perfect for missionaries and sponsoring congregations. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2NofrlJ

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