Monday 1/21 ~ You cannot have victory unless you have something to be victorious over

The scripture for today, January 21 (1/21), is Job 1:21 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

07-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonThmbnail“ ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ “

Wow!  Is he for real? Job had every reason to turn against God. In one day his entire wealth was stolen from him, nearly all his employees were killed by an invading army, and all his children died in a storm. Why hadn’t God protected him if he loved him so much?

Amidst tragedy, do you sometimes forget that Satan exists also? Job understood that whatever Satan does, God can undo.

Satan is the accuser (Revelation 12:10), but God is the forgiver. Satan can cause you to get sick, but God can heal. Satan can cause you to die, but God can bring you back to life. Satan can make you miserable in this world, but God can take you to a better world.

Shall you leave God to fight Satan alone? You were made in his image.  And how do you fight Satan? The same way Job did. Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” There’s more….

  • In all these things we are more than conquerors
  • through him who loved us.
    For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
    Neither angels nor demons,
    Neither the present nor the future,
    Nor any powers,
    Neither height nor depth,
    Nor anything else in all creation
    Will be able to separate us from the
    Love of God
    That is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (Romans 8:37-39)

Listen up!  How can you be “more than a conqueror” unless you have something to conquer? How can you have “victory in Jesus” unless you have something to be victorious over?

You have periodic assignments from God. What bad thing has happened in your life lately? That is your assignment.

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Saturday 1/12 ~In your weakness, persevere

The scripture for today, January 12 (1/12), is James 1:12 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

How loyal are you to God? Is your relationship up and down, depending on how your life is going at the moment? If you pray for something and don’t get it, do you feel like God is punishing you?  If everything seems to be going wrong, do you blame God instead of Satan? Do you pray over and over for God to relieve you of a particular burden, but relief hasn’t come so you’ve decided to quit the church?

Quit grumbling! God has assignments for you. What kind of soldier of the Lord are you? Do you tell the general you don’t like what he has assigned for you to do? Where you are today is where God wants you. Your job is to stay loyal no matter how difficult things get.  Be brave. Hold fast. Stand your ground.

Why? To prove that love is stronger than hatred. To prove that good is stronger than bad. To prove that right is more mighty than wrong. To prove that God is stronger than Satan. Ephesians 6:12 says Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Determine today to thank God for whatever state you are in, even if you do it in tears because it goes against all your emotions. And, even though you may feel helpless to do anything about it right now, in your helplessness, persevere!

Wednesday 1/9 ~ Go anyway. Conquer anyway.

The scripture for today, January 9 (1/9), is Joshua 1:9 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Fear can paralyze. Just ask Joshua. He had just been given the job of conquering horrible people who practiced prostitution as a religion, self-mutilation and sacrificing their children to the fire god.  Plus, his spies said those bad people were like giants and his army was made up of the children of former slaves with no experience.

Guess what God said.  “Go anyway. Conquer anyway.” 

What do you fear?  A few people fear spiders and night time and heights and such? A lot more of people fear changing a bad habit that has us in its claws and won’t let us go. Even more serious, do you fear telling a neighbor, someone in a club, a relative about Jesus’ willingness to save them from hell and get them entrance into heaven?  To all this, God says, “Go anyway.”

Some of you reading this live in countries where it is dangerous to be a Christian. Do you fear being arrested, tortured, killed for your faith?  God tells you, “Be strong!  Be courageous!  Do not be terrified!”  Why. Because “the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

What keeps the fear under control?  “Perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18).  Love yourself, love your neighbor, love God.

Today, whatever it is holding you back, “Go anyway, Conquer anyway.”

 

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Wednesday 1/2 ~ Your soul is getting along well

The scripture for today, January 2 (1/2), is 3rd John 1:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

OldOldTunes-Thumbnail“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

Your health may be bad, your finances in an upheaval, your home damaged by wind or water, your job about to be lost. But, amidst your tears and frustrations, we can still smile. You can still rejoice that your “soul is getting along well.”

When problems come into your life ~ and they do ~ remember the most important thing is your soul. No one and no thing can touch your soul as long as you are safe in the arms of Jesus.

So, when problems do come, you can still with confidence rejoice that your “soul is getting along well.”

 

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Monday 12/17 ~ Fight

The scripture for today, December 17 (12/17), is Revelation 12:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Then the dragon [Satan] was enraged at the woman [the Church] and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring [Christians] ~ those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

Whose side are you on? Do have a hard time coming to terms with your own personality and drives? Are you one of those people who seem to be enraged all the time? You may have long ago given up on being able to change.  But you can direct your anger. If you want to be enraged at someone,  be angry at Satan. Go to war with Satan. Rage at everything he is doing. Lash out at everything he stands for.

Are you angry at the church or at God? Keep that energy and switch sides. Be a spiritual warrior, a Christian soldier of the Lord.

Have you tried and just cannot get rid of anger in your life? You may mellow in your old age, but that mellowness is a long way off. You have never experienced rage until you have understood Satan. He is enraged at you. He is enraged at anyone who loves God or good people. Go ahead. Get on God’s side, enroll in the army of the Lord, and use your anger against Satan.

Does it work? Paul said in 1st Timothy 1:13, “I was a violent man.” Yet, he converted thousands of people all over southern Europe, as he “fought the good fight”.

 

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Saturday 12/15 ~Surely not!

The scripture for today, December 15 (12/15), is Hebrews 12:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-ThumbnailReally?  Bitterness can cause us to miss the grace of God? Bitterness only causes trouble for yourself and others and defiles you. Bitterness comes from you thinking of yourself more highly than you ought (Romans 12:3), and forgetting that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Bitterness leads to either bullying or shunning and ends in broken relationships and a cancer of the heart. It can cost us our eternal salvation.

The opposite of bitterness is forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean you condone what someone else has done. It means you let go of it and let God handle it. It means you wish the best for the offending person or situation. You can wish even the most hardened criminal will someday turn to God and turn his life around. How many times in your lifetime have you asked God to forgive you for the same things over and over?  God forgives you as you forgive others.

Forgiveness lifts weights off of you until you feel as though you could soar. Forgiveness takes the clouds away and brings back the sunshine. Forgiveness makes sure you do not miss the grace of God.

 

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Friday 12/14 ~ The two IFs

The scripture for today, December 14 (12/14), is 1st Samuel 12:14 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

10-Daniel-KindleThumnail“If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God ~ good!”

The Jews had just insisted on having a king rule over them instead of a supreme judge. Samuel replied and said two IFs. IF they serve and obey the Lord, and IF they both (people and king) follow the Lord, then it is good.

Today as then, some people live in a nation where the king/government does not follow the Lord. What to do? Galatians 5:22 tells us to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled, for “against such things there is no law”.

Is it hard to do this when crooked officials are getting all the advantages and you are being cheated and even threatened if you do not cooperate? Indeed it is. It may seem they are on top of everything. In reality, they are at the bottom. Never ever let others drag you down to their level. It is not worth it.  Keep your eyes on God!

Hold fast!

       Stand firm!

             Do the right thing!

In the end, they will lose. You and God will win. And that is good!

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