Saturday 4/28 ~ God is still on His throne

The scripture for today, April 28 (4/28), is Mark 4:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“All by itself, the soil produces grain ~ first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.”

Jesus was explaining that the kingdom of heaven is like a seed planted in the ground. It grows almost miraculously. The church (kingdom) is, indeed, like this. Planted some 2000 years ago, it has survived through every adversity and attack contrived by man. Sometimes the attacks were even from within. But at such times, just when it looked as though it was going to die, just like a seed dying in the earth, it would begin to sprout anew and grow up stronger than ever.

A little seed turning into a stalk is miraculous and amazing. The survival of the church for 2000 years in a hostile world is even more miraculous and amazing.

God is still on his throne, and all is well.

Thursday 4/26 ~ Rushing into the arms of Jesus

Image result for The Bride of Christ rushing to him

The scripture for today, April 26 (4/26), is Galatians 4:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.”

There is more confusion on the “new Jerusalem” than you might think.  Well, let’s ask God.

What is “the Jerusalem that is above”? Revelation 21:2 says, “I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”

Aha! We learn two things.  The New Jerusalem already exists.  And the New Jerusalem is sometimes called our mother and sometimes the Bride of Christ!

So, what is the Bride of Christ? Ephesians 5:25,27 says, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy…and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”  How exciting! The New Jerusalem which is the Bride of Christ is the Church – all of us.

What else can we learn about the New Jerusalem?  Well, the foundation of the New Jerusalem is the apostles. Revelation says it and Ephesians 2:20 says it.

Hmmm.  This is getting more interesting all the time.  Okay, let’s look at the 12 gates leading into the church; they are the 12 tribes of Israel, Judaism where all the prophecies of Jesus are found. 

Always check out the symbolism in the Bible. It deepens your spiritual understanding. Like the Walls of Salvation around the New Jerusalem insurmountably high. The River of Life and Tree of Life are there in the New Jerusalem, the church. 

Can you imagine on the final day when the church arrives in heaven and we are all arrayed in sinless white and are rushing into the arms of our groom, our Jesus?

Monday 2/19 ~ It’s not automatic but it’s possible

The scripture for today, February 19 (2/19), is Ephesians 2:19 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.”

Let us pretend there is a nation called Occland and we want to become a citizen of that nation. Of course, citizenship would not be automatic. And in the same way, citizenship in the Kingdom of God (being a Christian) is not automatic.

Just living in Occland would not automatically make us a citizen of Occland any more than just living in a Christian nation automatically makes us a Christian.

Owning a copy of Occland’s constitution would not automatically make us a citizen of Occland any more than owning a copy of the Bible automatically makes us a Christian.

Going to meetings of parliament or the senate every of Occland every time they met would not automatically make us a citizen of Occland any more than going to meetings with other Christians every Sunday automatically make us a Christian.

It just is not automatic. We would need to be invited into Occland, and then do things to accept Occland’s invitation. God invites us into his kingdom, but we must do things to accept his invitation.  Romans 6, Acts 2 and 1st Peter 3 in the New Testament are good places to check it out. Do so.

Oh, to be citizens in the kingdom founded by the Creator of the universe. Is it possible? Really possible?  For me too? For me too? It’s not automatic, but it is possible.

 

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 Sunday, October 29 (10/29)

The scripture for today, October 29 (10/29), is John 10:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 6-PromiseKeeper-Cover-medium-new-kindle“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

No other person can take our salvation away from us. They may badger us, belittle us, torture us, kill us, but they cannot take our salvation away from us. The only one who can do that is ourselves.

The Apostle Peter said, “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall….Be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position” (II Peter 1:10; 3:17).

Hebrews 2:1 says, “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

Jesus himself said, “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).

Can we live and worship without each other?  I Corinthians 10:12 says, “Let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.”  Let us continue to meet with other Christians to keep each other shored up. It is almost impossible alone.

Where will you be on Sunday that is more important than your soul?