Persecuted? Yes.  Frightened? Yes. Cowering? Never.

The scripture for today, February 16 (2/16), is 2nd Thessalonians 2:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Medium“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

Who were these people the apostle Paul was writing? They were suffering people. 

Physically they were suffering.  Some in their group had even been killed for their faith. Mentally they were suffering.  Would they be next? Would it be worth everything they were going through?

Spiritually they were struggling. The apostle Paul, who wrote this, had been through such struggles many times himself. He wanted to make sure their faith would not waver.

How? By praying that their persecution would stop? At no time in the Bible do we have an account of Christians pray that the persecution stop. What did they pray for? Boldness.

They could be bold if they knew Jesus Christ loved them personally. They could be bold if they knew God the Father loved them personally. They could be bold with eternal encouragement, strength.

“Just keep doing what you’ve been doing,” he told them.  “With the strength God gives you, keep doing good deeds and spreading the Word.”

Persecuted? Yes.  Frightened? Yes. Cowering? Never.

How about your life?

God’s encouragement never ceases. It is always there. There when you feel alone, when you feel forsaken, when you are frightened, when you feel helpless, when you feel hopeless.

God gives good hope. Sometimes things in your life may be going so badly you have trouble having faith in God. But you can still hope. The candle of your faith may be flickering, but your hope can still be a flaming hope, a large hope, a good hope.

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Sunday 4/1 ~ Is the cost too high?

The scripture for today, April 1 (4/1), is Ephesians 4:1 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”

Paul, a prisoner for spreading the word about Jesus? Now he wants others to follow his example, even if they end up in prison like him?  Did Paul’s incarceration stop the Christians he was writing to?  More, did Jesus’ crucifixion stop them for fear they would be crucified too?

Did early Christians decide it was too dangerous to tell people the way to escape hell and go to heaven? Never. They loved people so much, they were willing to take insults and persecution and imprisonment and even death in the hopes that their persistent love would eventually lead to people becoming Christians and being saved from eternal hell. They knew their calling as Christians.

How about today? Do you live a life worthy of your calling as a Christian? Do you stand up for Jesus and reach out to the lost, regardless of the cost? Or do you cower and use the excuse, “Once people see my godly life, they will ask me how to be saved”?  How many times do the lost really do that?

Rise up!  Stand tall as a brave soldier of the Lord. Dare to march into enemy territory and do everything you can to snatch the lost out of the claws of Satan.

No matter what they do to you.

Scripture for Thursday, October 5 (10/5)

The scripture for today, October 5 (10/5) is 2nd Corinthians 10:5f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Life-Changing-Scriptures-Cover-medium“Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now, these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.”

This is about the 40 years the Jews wandered in the wilderness between leaving their slavery in Egypt and beginning a nation for themselves in their Promised Land.

It took Moses 40 years to get the Jews out of Egypt. But it took 400 years to get Egypt out of the Jews. They believed their way was better than God’s way. They wanted God to protect them and provide for their needs, but they kept God at a distance as far as their ethics and way of life.

Events in the Old Testament are there as examples to us. This is one reason why we need to read the Old Testament.  The early Jews did not want to listen to God, so God did not listen to them. Do we keep God at a distance?  In that case, God keeps us at a distance.

Do we want God to treat us the way we treat him? This can be a frightening thought. It can also be a blissful thought.

 

Scripture for Tuesday, August 15 (8/15)

The scripture for today, August 15 (8/15), is Romans 8:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Medium“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.”

I knew someone a long time ago who went through a period of being afraid of everything, something she just could not control. Then she found this scripture and applied it to all her fears. She had read it many times before, but this time was able to apply it to her constant fear. She thought to herself, “Stop being afraid! You are a child of God! He is right there with you. Be brave now. And rest in God.”

Are there times in your life when you are a slave to fear? What do you fear right now? Perhaps it is fear of the dark or someone breaking into your house. Or fear of losing health. Or fear of strangers. Or of a certain nationality. Or of losing a job or home. Or of losing a loved one.

Stop being afraid! Children of God are not afraid. God is right there with you. Be brave.

And rest in God.

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#loss, #fear, #terror, #bravery, #courage, #ChildOfGod, #slavery, #loss

Scripture for Sunday, July 30 (7/30)

inside-cover-mediumThe scripture for today, July 30 (7/30), is John 7:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“At this, they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him because his time had not yet come.”

Even though during the last year of his life, many people wanted to kill Jesus out of jealousy or fear or pure meanness, he was never afraid to keep teaching. Why? Because he knew his life was ultimately in the hands of the heavenly Father.

Do we feel fear sometimes because of things going on around us? Do we fear failure, or ruin, or false rumors, or even imprisonment or our life? Remember, each life is in the heavenly Father’s hands.

So, do not fear. Keep on keeping on. Hold fast. Stand firm. Do the right thing. Stand up for Jesus. His Father will not let you come to any permanent harm. And, if some day, your time does come, know that God has everything under control. And God will never, ever, ever stop loving you.

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#fear, #problems, #forgotten, #dread, #control, #GodsHands, #HeavenlyFather, #forever

Scripture for Wednesday, July 5 (7/5)

The scripture for today, July 5 (7/5), is 2nd Corinthians 7:5ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-“For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn ~ conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.”

Oh, how much we need each other.

Sometimes in life, we go into our own Macedonia where we have no rest and are full of fear. Our Macedonia may be religious or political or medical; or it may be at work, out on the street, or at home.

At such times, we need a Titus to help us, to encourage us. Our Titus may be a relative, a neighbor, a friend, or even a stranger.

Have you been a Titus to anyone lately? Look around. Be a Titus to someone today. You are so very needed.

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#comforter, #encourager, #helper, #tired, #exhausted, #persecution, #fear, #discomfort, #downcast, #sorrow, #rest

Scripture for Thursday, May 18 (5/18)

The scripture for today, May 18, is 1st Thessalonians 5:18 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

This is one of the most difficult verses in the Bible to follow. How can we rejoice with the loss of a loved one, of health, of a job, of a home, of a position, of our reputation? The Christians at Thessalonica, in Greece, had been suffering a lot of persecution for being Christians.

Satan will do all he can to cause bad to happen in your life in order to get you to blame God and forsake him. But the real blame belongs on Satan. It may sometimes seem like the harder you try to follow God, the worse things get in our life. In that case, apparently Satan is afraid of your strength in the Lord, so is trying to weaken you and get you back on his side.

And sometimes God stands back and tells Satan, “Do your best. This person will grow stronger, not weaker.” Along with the Christians in Thessalonica, you can “become a model….your faith in God can become known everywhere” (1st Thessalonians 1:7-8).

So rejoice that Satan is so afraid of you. And at the same time, keep your eyes on Jesus who never gave in when Satan caused bad to happen to him.

Rejoice that you are counted worthy.

 

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Scripture for Sunday, May 14 (5/14)

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-The scripture for today, May 14(5/14), is 2nd Corinthians 5:14a as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“For Christ’s love compels us….”

Jesus died both physically and spiritually in our place! (Remember when he said God had forsaken him?) He knew we couldn’t come back from either one on our own, so he did it for us. Such terrible things he went through for us!

Love is powerful! It causes us to do things for someone we love that we never wanted to do and never dreamed we could do.

How powerful is your love for Christ? Do you share the love of Christ with others? 1st John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casts out fear.”

You must reach out to people who think Jesus will ruin their fun, or has too many rules, or could never forgive them, or wouldn’t stop a tragedy from happening to them. If not in person, tell them in a note, a phone call, email, even a song. There are ways. Reach out.

You can and you will, for Christ’s love compels you!

 

website……https://inspirationsbykatheryn.com
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Scripture for Monday, January 9 (1/9)

The scripture for today, January 9, is Joshua 1:9 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
 
0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Medium“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.”

God does not give us commands that are impossible to keep. Many require fortitude, but they are not impossible. Still, we fear we cannot keep them. Maybe we fear our co-workers because they do not keep certain commands. Maybe we fear our neighbors, our family, or even our church friends because they do not keep certain commands.

Fear can paralyze us. But God gives us strength and courage. Therefore, when challenged to keep a commandment of God, regardless of what others are saying and doing, remember the Lord your God is with you wherever you are.

Hold fast! Stand firm! Do the right thing!

#Fear, #Courage, #Strength, #KeepCommendments, #God

 

Scripture for Saturday, January 7 (1/7)

The scripture for today, January 7, is 2nd Timothy 1:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Luke-Slave&Physician KINDLE Cover“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”

Have you discovered some new truth in the Bible (new to you)? People fear the unknown. Do not fear it. Embrace it. Then share with others this new-found truth. The word “timidity” is sometimes translated “fear.” Remind your friends of that new truth enough times that it is no longer an unknown and no longer something to be feared.

Do we fear reprisal among our church friends or leaders if we stand up for some new truth we have found in the Bible? God can help you.

God can give you the courage to speak out with power, with love, and with self-discipline as you explain that new-found truth.

Then be patient. God said, “My word will not return to me void” (Isaiah 55:11).

#Bible, #Scripture, #Truth, #Courage, #Fear, #Persecution. #Power, #Love, #SelfDiscipline