The scripture for today, August 8 (8/8), isZechariah 8:8as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.”
The Jews had done terrible things against God. They had worshiped terrible idols that required ghastly things be done in their honor such as setting up brothels with so-called male and female “priestesses” and sacrificing their children on an altar of fire. They had nailed the doors of the Temple closed. They had broken every one of God’s rules. They had sworn at him, rejected him, hated him.
So God punished them with 70 years of exile in Babylon. It was the boomerang effect. They had rejected God, so God rejected them.
But it was not permanent. God is love and has no choice but to love and give people a second chance. Isn’t He amazing? The God of Second Chances?
The scripture for today, April 30 (4/30), isEphesians 4:30fas found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, andanger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
Do we think that God has no choice but to let us into heaven because we do not steal, cheat or murder? Think again.
There’s more to it than that; it’s called attitude. Are we bitter about anything? Do we have a problem with bitterness, rage or anger? Do we enjoy agood mental or physical brawl? Do we slander people who have done us wrong? Do we harbor grudges year after year?
The average person does not have trouble with bad actions. The big problem is with bad attitudes–Satan’s attitudes. Let go of them. God will take care ofthe problems. Let go of those you consider your enemies and wish for them a better life. God will deal with them. Let go of what could have been but never happened. God has something better for you.
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Do not grieve yourself. Live insweet peace. Gain heaven.
The scripture for today, August 12, is John 8:12as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ “
Jesus had only about six months left to live. He knew the religious leaders were after his life out of jealousy. Before going to Jerusalem, he told his brothers, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me” (John 7:7). Knowing people were wanting to execute him, he slipped into Jerusalem after everyone else got there (John 7:10, 14). Then suddenly he appeared in the middle of the Temple complex ~ the size of many football fields. He knew he was safe as long as there was a crowd.
Jesus answered some private questions, and then “he cried out, ‘You know me! You know where I am from!’ ” (John 7:28).
Every day of this feast, a priest would ceremonially pour out some water to represent the water that poured out of the rock when the Jews wandered in the wilderness. But on the last day, the priest did not do this, for it represented their ancestors finally arriving in the Promised Land. It was on this last day of the feast that Jesus “stood and said in a loud voice… ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him!’ ” (John 7:38f)
First thing the next morning at dawn he returned to the Temple court. Maybe it was a beautiful sunrise. When the sun was up and the crowds returned, he shouted something else to everyone, “I am the light of the world!” (John 8:12).
He had compared himself to the water ceremony of the day before, and now he was comparing himself to the new dawn. There he was. God the Son crying out to humanity. Come to me! I am doing everything I can to help you! Won’t you come? Please listen to me! Please come! I can save you!!!
Such stubborn love.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: DID YOU EVER WARN SOMEONE OF A DANGER SO MANY TIMES THEY BECAME ANGRY AT YOU?
The scripture for today, April 20, is 1st John 4:20 as found in the New Testament the Bible:
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”
Jealousy and hatred are very much akin. Are there people you are jealous of? Do they have a position you want, and so you say and do things to undermine their character or work, so you can get their position? Do you have a position you love, and there is a new person who could perform better, so you undermine that person’s ability in order to protect your position?
God eliminates jealousy this way: What you accomplish in public isn’t as important to him as what you accomplish in private.
Jesus said those who receive acclamation by people already have their reward, so will not be acclaimed by God (Matthew 6:1-5, 16-18). As much as it goes against human nature, prefer to do your good deeds in private, and God will reward you openly.