Scripture for Thursday, September 7 (9/7)

The scripture for today, September 7 (9/7), is 2nd Corinthians 9:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

 
0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Medium-New“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”


There are many religious leaders who insist that Christians tithe. But that was part of the Law of Moses.

Actually, the Jews were required to give more than a tenth. (1) Deuteronomy 26:12 said the Jews had to give an extra tithe every three years for their welfare program. So, if someone tithed $900 a year, s/he would have to tithe an average of $300 more per year for the welfare program, equaling $1,200 year. If the yearly income was $9000, this would take it up to 13.3% a year. (2) Also, according to Leviticus 27, they had to pay for their vows, which in many cases were really special prayer requests. (3) They also had to buy animals for sacrifices for intentional sins, unintentional sins, and sins requiring restitution. (4) If they wanted to thank God for anything, they had to buy grain for a sacrifice (Leviticus 1-5). If they didn’t have to buy the animals or grain, they had to take them out of their own supply, thus depleting their own “pay check.” (5) And every time one of their flocks or herds had a first-born, they had to sacrifice it ~ another depleting of the “pay check.”

So the good Jew under the Law of Moses did not just tithe. He ended up giving about one-third of his income.  Galatians 5:3 says that, if we keep one part of the Law, we have to keep all of it. There were over 600 burdensome commandments in the Law of Moses!

In today’s scripture, Christians are being released from this burden. Instead, they are being told to decide in their own heart. Christians are released from serving and giving through obligation and set free to serve and give through love.

Scripture for Monday, September 4 (9/4)

The scripture for today, September 4 (9/4), is Daniel 9:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Medium“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands….’ “

A lot of people in the world think that God should feel obligated to take them to heaven. After all, they are fairly good, and better than some. God couldn’t possibly in all good conscience turn them away.

Yet, their entire life they resent God. Mostly they don’t like his commands; they don’t want anyone telling them what to do or not do. Or they claim to love God but create their own commands that just aren’t in the Bible, making themselves God.

Ultimately, heaven is God’s home, not ours. He is not obligated to invite anyone into His home. Besides, only perfection can live with God who is perfect. It only takes one sin to make us an imperfect sinner.

So how do we become perfect? That’s where God’s awesomeness is demonstrated. By following Jesus who was perfect and never sinned, and obeying Jesus’ few commands, God considers us perfect by proxy.

If we don’t have time for God, he doesn’t have time for us. If we don’t heed God’s Words, he doesn’t heed our words. It’s so simple to understand. Do we believe it?

 

Scripture for Friday, July 14 (7/14)

The scripture for today, July 14 (7/14), is 2nd Chronicles 7:14 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Medium“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

There is always a little bit of turmoil in all nations of the world. Of course, there is more in some. The average person cannot make their own nation call on God. But the average person can do this: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone ~ for kings and all those in authority” (I Timothy 2:1-2). Further, we should pray for them by name.

Even if you think some people in authority in your nation are against you, you must pray for them anyway. Then wait quietly for God to work things out. It may take Him a year, a decade or a lifetime to bring about your heart’s desire for your nation. But keep praying.

Your job, in the meantime, is to follow God’s ways yourself. Romans 13:1,3-4 says, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established…For rulers hold no terror for those who do right….For he is God’s servant to do you good.”

God is aware of the suffering going on in your nation. He will not leave you or forsake you.

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Scripture for Sunday, June 5 (6/5)

The scripture for today, June 5, is Deuteronomy my 6:5 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Life-Changing-Scriptures-Cover-medium“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Jesus said this is the greatest of all the commandments (Mark 12:29). He didn’t say that any of the Ten Commandments were. He chose one of the over 600 commandments God gave to Moses in the Old Testament. It might have been lost in the crowd, but Jesus called it out and gave it special attention.

Although we no longer keep the Old Testament Law of Moses, we do have the New Testament Law of Jesus. There aren’t as any commandments, but there are some. Sometimes Jesus’ law repeats something in the Old Law such as the one above. But it was his choice what to carry over, not ours.

Some people don’t even know that they’re obeying any of the Laws of Moses. Well, then, all we have to do is read that Law and see if we recognize anything we’re doing.
Do we love the Lord our God enough to no longer keep even one of the commandments in the law of Moses, or do we say the church cannot function if it gives up certain ones? Do we love the Lord our God enough to keep all of the commandments of Jesus or do we say the church is too modern now to keep certain ones?

Let us not be like the clay telling the potter what to do. Let us love the Lord our God with ALL our heart, soul and strength.