Thursday 1/11 ~ Do you hear it?  Shhh.  Listen…  God is calling you.

The scripture for today, January 11 (1/11), is 2nd Peter 1:11 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“And you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

How often do you forget that earth is not your home? As an old gospel song says, “We’re just traveling through.” Do you really believe that?

If someone told you tomorrow you were going to die, would you go into a panic? Would you beg God to let you live another ten or twenty years? Would you feel this was the beginning of the end?

To a true Christian, your dying is the end of the beginning. You have a whole “life” ahead of you in heaven. A never-ending life? Do you live like you believe it? Will you die looking forward to it?

Are you even a Christian yet? What is your life like? Do you even know what is in the Bible, God’s messages to you? Does the thought of heaven sound boring to you?  Do you even like God?

Stop and listen to the empty place in your heart (Ec. 3:11).  Do you hear it?  Shhh.  Listen…  God is calling you.

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Tuesday 1/2 ~ Your soul is getting along well

The scripture for today, January 2 (1/2), is 3rd John 1:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

inside-cover-medium“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

Our health may be bad, our finances in an upheaval, our home damaged by wind or water, our job about to be lost. But we can still smile.

We can still rejoice that our “soul is getting along well.”

When problems come into our life ~ and they do ~ remember the most important thing is your soul. No one and no thing can touch your soul as long as you are safe in the arms of Jesus. So when problems do come, you can still with confidence rejoice that your “soul is getting along well.”

Sunday 12/31 ~ Only forever

The scripture for today, December 31 (12/31), is Luke 12:31 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BOOK 7-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonMedium“But seek his kingdom and these things will be given to you as well.”

Do we actively seek God’s kingdom? Or do we drift and feel like God should feel obligated to take us into his kingdom and into his heaven? Do we feel like we’re “not so bad”, so God would be bad to not take us into his kingdom and into his heaven?

Heaven is God’s home, not ours. God has a door into his home, just like we have a door into our home. God is not required to open that door to just anyone, just like we are not required to open our door to just anyone.  We cannot just show up at the door and smile and assume he will let us in, any more than people who knock on our door and smile can assume we will let them in.

We let people into our home who we have gotten to know and whose motives we trust. Have you given God a chance to get to know you and trust your motives? Are your motives to enter heaven, God’s home? Do you even like God?

This life we live on earth is not our permanent life or residence. This is just the foyer to our eternal home. Do we live like the earth is all there is? Do you fear hell?  Do you prefer heaven?

You are about to enter a brand new year. Today, decide to start over fresh and set your new goal: To live in God’s home where there are no more years. Only forever.

Scripture for Friday 12/8 ~ Why Am I Here?

The scripture for today, December 8 (12/8), is Ecclesiastes 12:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-medium” ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the teacher. ‘Everything is meaningless!’ “

Several years ago some Christians in England did a sidewalk survey in the downtown of a major city. One of their inquiries was: “What question about your life do you ask the most?”. The answer almost always was, “Why am I here? What is life all about?”.

The entire book of Ecclesiastes is about all the things the richest and most powerful man in the world did in order to have an enjoyable and fulfilling life: He built mansions and grand temples, he cultivated great gardens, he brought in gold and precious stones and fabrics from around the globe, he had numerous wives and mistresses, he built the largest army and navy in the world, he studied every possible subject. At the end, he said it was all meaningless.

The meaning of our life is that we were born to die. This life is temporary. This life is the foyer of the life we will have eternally ~ a life in heaven or hell. We were not put here just to have fun, but rather to take as many people with us to heaven as possible.

How do we do that? By continually studying and following our manual the Bible that our Creator gave to guide us through this temporary life and into our eternal life ~ our final destination ~ and encouraging others to do the same. Then applying it to our everyday life.

That is the meaning of life.

 

Scripture for Saturday, November 25 ~ Heaven

The scripture for today, November 25 (11/25), is John 11:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BOOK 7-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonMedium“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.’ “

This has always been puzzling: People who have been Christians all their lives find out from their doctor that they are going to die, and they weep and beg God to keep them alive. Why? Heaven is our final destination, not earth. We claim we want to go to heaven, but we do not want to do what is necessary to get there. Death is the door to heaven. Death is not the end, but the beginning!

Let us be willing to look death in the eye and say, “Jesus has conquered you! I will close my eyes here and open them again to behold my Creator and my Savior!”

 

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?

 

Scripture for Sunday, October 8 (10/8)

The scripture for today, October 8 (10/8), is Romans 10:8f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-But what does it say? ‘The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,’ that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Indeed, the word is in our mouth through confession of our faith in Jesus, and in our heart for truly believing it and not just saying it.

Some say we are not saved by works, and it is true in the sense that we cannot go around doing so many good works that God will feel obligated to take us into his home. We can never be good enough because we still sin and those sins need to be washed away.

In the sense that we do not have to do anything to be saved, it is not true. Jesus took care of that impossible part. But for our part, he said faith is a work: “Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: To believe in the one he has sent’ ” (John 6:29).

To many faithful Christians, there are times in our life that faith is indeed hard work. We are beset with so many problems that we begin to wonder, “Does Jesus really care, as he claimed?”.

Let us continue to work at our faith. We will have our ups and our downs. Sometimes our faith will be strong and sometimes weak. But remember, even when we doubt God, God never doubts us.

Scripture for Tuesday, October 3 (10/3)

The scripture for today, October 3 (10/3), is John 10:3ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Medium-New“The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out….I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.”

First of all, we use the term saved/salvation so loosely, we tend to forget what we are being saved from. We are being saved from hell! This is not a minuscule matter.

Second, how do we avoid hell? Through Jesus! This is the only way.

How many of us have been to funerals where the deceased was preached into heaven? So many people believe they are “good enough” or “not too bad” and so God would be horrible to not let them into heaven. Such people will climb in through windows so to speak into heaven as the “thieves and robbers” Jesus referred to.

But heaven is God’s home, not ours. He has a gate into it, just like we have doors on our house. Just like we are not obligated to open the gate or door into our home to just anyone, God is not obligated to open his gate to just anyone. Our door and God’s gate are there for a reason.  Let us enter heaven through the gate ~ Jesus.

Then God will smile and say, “Welcome home.”

Scripture for Monday, October 2 (10/2)

The scripture for today, October 2 (10/2), is Daniel 10:2ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-medium” ‘At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks…On the twenty-fourth day of the first month…I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude….Then he continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me because I was detained there with the king of Persia.’ “

The description of the speaker indicates he is an angel, possibly Gabriel. Michael is another known angel. In Daniel 12:1 he is called “Michael, the great prince who protects your people.” Jude 9 refers to Michael as an archangel who disputed with Satan over the body of Moses.

Revelation 12:7-9 says, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down ~ that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him.”

Now, let us look back at Daniel 10. Daniel prayed for 21 days. The un-named angel (Gabriel?) appeared to him on the 24th day and said Daniel’s prayers had been heard the first day, but God’s angel could not break away to help because of fighting Satan’s angels.

Now look at Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Does our persistence in prayer give strength to the angels?  Something to think about….

 

Scripture for Thursday, September 28 (9/28)

The scripture for today, September 28 (9/28), is Hebrews 9:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

campbell-cover-kindle-lg-medium“So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

Waiting is hard to do. We wait for relatives to arrive at our house for a visit. We wait for our next promotion. We wait for babies to be born. We wait for enough money to buy new clothes.

But what about waiting for something that we have never seen? Waiting for something we believe in by faith? Waiting an entire lifetime?

All the more reason to keep our eyes on the Word, our activities in good works, and our hearts on our Creator and Savior. It’s a long spiritual walk. But just keep walking, and keep walking, and keep walking until some day in the distant future you walk right through the gates of heaven.

Then, when you look back from eternity, you will say, “The wait wasn’t so long after all.”