Monday 2/18 ~ Be a warrior

The scripture for today, February 18 (2/18), is Hebrews 2:18 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

06-PROMISE KEEPER-ChildsCartoonThumbnail“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Do you find yourself caught up in some kind of sin over and over? Is the temptation always there? Do you commit the sin and then curse yourself for your weakness in giving in to the temptation? Do you see no way out?

A lot of people never think of Jesus ever being tempted. He was too good. But he had a human body and was tempted in every way that we are (Hebrews 4:15).

Try to imagine Jesus with your particular haunting temptation and imagine how you think he would have resisted it. Jesus used to get angry at temptation, which of course is caused by Satan. In other words, he got angry at Satan. One time when tempted, he declared, “Get behind me, Satan!”

Temptation is not the same thing as sin. Temptation is when we want to commit a sin, but haven’t decided yet to do it. Jesus faced Satan (temptation) head on. Once when he went through over a month of harsh temptation alone in the wilderness, Satan gave him all the reasons he should do certain things and made them look so good and reasonable; then Jesus gave all the reasons he should not do those things.

Hebrews 4:15 says, “We do not have a high priest [Jesus] who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are ~ yet was without sin.”

Jesus stood up to Satan.  Jesus was a spiritual warrior.  Today, be a warrior.

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Thursday 2/7 ~ Look up!

Yesterday I shared my thoughts for today. So today, I will share my thoughts for yesterday.

 

The scripture for today, February 6 (2/6) is Jonah 2:6f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God. When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.”

This is what was going through Jonah’s mind as he was swallowed by the great fish and on his way to certain death.

It is never too late.

As long as the breath of life is in you, it is never too late to cry out to God. You may be in the pits of your life. You may feel you cannot sink any lower than where you are now.

But look up! God is watching you with tears. You are not only breaking your own heart, but you are breaking the heart of your Maker who loves you so. God wants to lift you up out of your pit.

Still, he cannot do it without your help. What is your part? You must lift up your hands so God can grab hold of them.

Look up! God is right there within your grasp.

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Wednesday 1/30 ~ I am awed into silence

The scripture for today, January 30 (1/30), is 1st Corinthians 1:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us “wisdom” from God ~ that is, our…

…righteousness,

          …holiness and,

                    …redemption.”

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-ThumbnailMe? Sinful me? Considered right and holy?  But I’m not right and holy. How can that be?

Let’s look at these words of reassurance backward. When we are redeemed (bought back from Satan, our accuser and punisher), we gain God’s holiness and God’s rightness. But I am not holy and right.  God, don’t you understand this?

“Yes, my child,” God answers. “But My Son knew how, and so became sinless for you.”

I cannot let what He did for me drift by. Jesus traded.  He took my sinfulness and gave me his sinlessness.  He took my punishment and gave me redemption. Now, at least in the eyes of God, I am holy.

I think on this and the more I do, the more amazed I become.  Me, Lord? Unworthy, sinful me? I am awed into silence and worship.

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Monday 1/14 ~ Guardian Angels

The scripture for today, January 14 (1/14), is Hebrews 1:14 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

07-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonSmall“Are not all angels ministering spirits, sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

Have you ever wondered if the Bible really mentions guardian angels? Well, here it is. How wonderful! How reassuring! But the angels do not minister to everyone ~ just to the saved who will inherit salvation.

As much as they minister to us, however, we are not to worship them and we are not to pray to them. For a while ~ and still some today ~ it was popular to collect pictures and statues of angels. Some people were saying there is no God, but there are guardian angels. Some people who do believe in God bypass Him and ask angels to help them, kind of like going to the peasant instead of the king. 

Where do they think angels come from? God created them to be the servant class.  We are not to adore, worship or pray to angels (Revelation 19:10; 22:9).

So, yes, we do have guardian angels. Let us be grateful God loves us enough to send the angels to minister to us until we reach his home, heaven. Then, we and the angels will bow down together to the God of the universe and Him will we worship.

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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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