Scripture for Friday, November 17 (11/17)

The scripture for today, November 17 (11/17), is 1st Chronicles 11:17f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-HeartsAfire-Child'sCartoonCover-Medium“David longed for water and said, ‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem.’ So The Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David.”

The people who followed David admired him because he knew how to be a good leader. So many were willing to do anything to make “Captain David” happy. David had been born and raised in Bethlehem. Now he was grown and had a following of those evading power-hungry King Saul, many of whom were brave soldiers. They had traveled throughout the country either evading or defending themselves against this and other enemies.

Their travels took them back to David’s hometown which was being held by enemy Philistines. For old-times sake, he wanted a drink from the well he had drunk from many times in his youth. Three of his men risked their lives to bring their captain, David, that drink of water.

How much do we admire the Captain of our Salvation, Jesus? How much are we willing to sacrifice for him? Do we say, “I’m too busy to do anything for Jesus and his kingdom today”? Do we say, “I’m afraid if I say something about Jesus to so-and-so, s/he will insult me”? Do we say, “Someone at church offended me, so I’m not going to worship anymore?” Do we admire Jesus enough to put ourselves in the slightest danger just to do the smallest thing for him?

 

Scripture for Thursday, November 16 (11/16)

The scripture for today, November 16 (11/16), is John 11:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

changes-in-worship-cover-medium“Then Thomas…said to the rest of the disciples, ‘Let us also go that we may die with him.’ “

This apostle is most often called “Doubting Thomas.” We’ve all heard the story about Thomas being absent when Jesus appeared to the other apostles, then later said he wouldn’t believe Jesus was alive again unless he could touch him. Well, the other apostles hadn’t believed until they saw him either.

After returning to life, Jesus first appeared to the women. Then, “when they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others…But they did not believe the women because their words seemed to them like nonsense” (Luke 24:9-11).

Now let’s look at our scripture for today. In the months before Jesus’ death, he had been traveling everywhere except to Judea where Jerusalem and the religious leaders were. Those leaders were after Jesus’ life, and everyone knew it. Then Lazarus died and was buried about six miles from Jerusalem. It was dangerous for Jesus to go there.

John 11:7-8 says, “Then he [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘Let us go back to Judea.’ ‘But Rabbi,’ they said, ‘a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?’ “

After explaining that he needed to get to Lazarus, it was Thomas who bravely spoke up and said, “Let us also go that we may die with him!”

Doubting Thomas? Far from it! Brave Thomas. Devoted Thomas. Thomas who was willing to follow his Lord to the death. That was the real Thomas.

 

Scripture for Wednesday, November 15 (11/15)

The Scripture for today, November 15 (11/15), is Revelation 11:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Heroes-Alone-COVER-KINDLE“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever!’ “

 Each of us belongs to a kingdom/nation within our world. It is not perfect. Its leaders can sometimes do very bad things. And we wonder how we can stand some of the terrible things that sometimes happen within a government.

But our worldly kingdom/nation is not the only one we can live in. Colossians 1:13 says Jesus “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Rescued! Brought us! Past tense! The kingdom isn’t something in the future. It is here now. And it goes by yet another name. Verse 18 says, “And he [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church.”

So, when we become discouraged about the kingdom/nation in our world that we live in, take hope. We can have dual citizenship! For there is another kingdom here, a spiritual one. The king of that kingdom will actually love us. Forever and ever.

 

Scripture for Tuesday, November 14 (11/14)

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

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“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 that we cannot be perfect? At the end of this book, God told Zophar and his friends to repent of their words to Job.

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.

The only thing that ever has allowed mankind to be perfect has been the blood of Jesus. He was the perfect Lamb of God. So finally, eons after Zophar said those words, we who follow Jesus are able to stand firm because Jesus can make us perfect, washing away our sins (John 1:29; Acts 22:16).