Tuesday 1/16 ~ Do not urge me to leave you

The scripture for today, January 16 (1/16), is Ruth 1:16ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Inside-COVER-lg thumbnail“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

Although Ruth was talking to her mother-in-law after the death of her husband (Naomi’s son), this can be and sometimes is quoted by the bride and groom at their wedding. If only it were quoted more often. Not only at weddings, but at anniversaries. At birthdays of children and parents. During arguments, and low times and hard times and discouraging times.

These are the words of love ~ deep genuine, unselfish love. Let us so love one another that deeply.

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Scripture for Sunday, September 17 (9/17)

The scripture for today, September 17 (9/17), is Nehemiah 9:17 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore, you did not desert them.”

Such love! We rebel against God (who is only trying to save us from hell) over and over because we don’t want anyone telling us what to do, and God forgives over and over. First Peter 3:9 says “The Lord…is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

God could turn us all into robots and force us to obey him. But that wouldn’t be Love. God is Love, and he cannot go against his own nature. He does not desert us when our spirits become self-destructive.  Instead, he follows us around and pleads over and over, “Follow my Son, Jesus, to safety!”

Would you be willing to forgive as many times as you expect God to forgive you?  Would you run after someone who wants nothing to do with you as much as God runs after you? 

Scripture for Friday, September 15 (9/15)

The scripture for today, September 15 (9/15), is 2nd Corinthians 9:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

Can you imagine dying in the place of your enemy?  Taking your enemy’s punishment for the wrong your enemy did against you? Now try to imagine making your child die in the place of your enemy ~ your sinless, innocent child.

 It is indescribable.

     It is unimaginable.

         It is unthinkable.

             But God did exactly that.

How can we thank Him for his indescribable gift?

We fall silently at His feet and worship.

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 Sunday, September 3 (9/3)

The scripture for today, September 3(9/3), is 1st Kings 9:3 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0000-BK 1-StarSong-CHILD'SCartoonCover-Medium“The Lord said to him, ‘I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.’ “

The New Testament builds spiritual concepts on the basic material patterns of the Old Testament. For example, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1st Corinthians 3:16). This is the temple God wants now, not the old material temple of the Old Testament.

Just as there was just one material temple of God in the Old Testament, God looks upon each Christian as though we are the only temple; for he is with us constantly and hears our every word, our every song, our every prayer.

Is your heart troubled today? Is your heart joyful today? Are you at peace with everything around you? Do you see conflicts that you do not know how to solve?

God sees and watches out for you in everything you do. He knows your cares, your heart’s desires, your joys, your worries. God’s eyes and heart are always with you. Why? You are God’s temple!

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Scripture for Monday, August 21 (8/21)

The scripture for today, August 21 (8/21), is Ezra 8:21a as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Heroes-Alone-COVER-KINDLE“There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God.”

In our modern society, does anyone fast anymore? Not drinking our food (juice) for a day and calling that a fast, but a true fast where we drink only water to stay hydrated, but that’s all. And we turn off all computers, phones, radios, and televisions for the day.

Jesus said in his sermon on the mount, “When you fast….” (Matthew 6:16). He didn’t say, “If you fast….” No, he assumed his followers would fast. Do we?

If we do, do we do it as a group? Fasting is an act of self-restraint. It belongs to the sphere of humble self-discipline and deep inner understanding. It is strictly a personal and private matter. All moral and bodily restraint, all humbleness of body and spirit are represented by fasting, and it is a complete failure of self-restraint to want to show the world our self-restraint. An unknown author wrote this:

  • Let us keep our fast within,
  • Till heaven and we are quite alone;
  • Then let the grief, the shame, the sin,
  • Before the mercy-seat be thrown.

Fasting is a way of facing our true deep-down selves.  When we starve ourselves temporarily, we are saying, “God, I would sacrifice all my food and more for you; I would die for you.” Or, “God, I would trade lives with this person I am fasting for to give them rest if it were possible. I would even die for this person.” It is a deep expression to God that goes beyond words.   Take the challenge.

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#fasting, #food, #restraint, #sacrifice, #self-examination, #love, #martyrdom, #life, #death #relief

Scripture for Wednesday, August 9 (8/9)

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The scripture for today, August 9 (8/9) is 2nd Corinthians 8:9 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

Such love!

 

  • Jesus gave up streets of gold for streets full of trash.
  • Gave up a heavenly mansion for a barn.
  • Gave up the ability to be everywhere at once, to being confined to a body.
  • Gave up eternal bliss for 33 years of struggle.
  • Gave up adoring angels for crowds that hated him.
  • And finally, he gave up sinlessness to take the blame for our sins and allow himself to take our punishment.

What have you given up for him lately?

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#selfishness, #sacrifice, #love, #ambivolence, #heaven, #hell

Scripture for Wednesday, July 12 (7/12)

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Medium-NewThe scripture for today, July 12 (7/12), is Revelation 7:12 in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!”

How often do we praise God? Praise is more than thanking Him. Praise refers to God’s attributes. Let’s see what these words mean in the original Greek language of the New Testament:

 

Glory: magnificently beautiful
Wisdom: great understanding
Thanks: bestowed favor
Honor: great weight and power

God deserves all this from us. Some people think God is ugly, He doesn’t understand them, He is against them, and is for weaklings. Some even hate God and are repulsed by the idea of worshipping him. They just do not know God.

 Today, will you help someone know God?

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#angels, #singing, #praising, #psalm, #hymn, #praise, #worship, #hate, #love, #glory, #wisdom, #thanksfulness, #honor

 

 

Scripture for Thursday, June 22 (6/22)

campbell-cover-kindle-lg-mediumThe scripture for today, June 22 (6/22), is Ephesians 6:22 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“I am sending him to you for this very purpose: That you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.”

Have you sent a letter to anyone in your family lately? How about your elderly parents, your grown children, aunts or uncles, nieces or nephews? Do they love you? If they do, they are going to worry about you until they hear how you are.

I have a letter written by my great grandmother to her daughter (my grandmother) saying (besides the usual chit-chat), “You never write.”  I have another letter written a generation later by my grandmother to her daughter (my mother) saying, “You never write.” And I have a letter from my mother saying to her daughter, “You never write.”

Each generation goes through this. We grow up, go out on our own, get busy, and forget to write our loved ones. They spent somewhere around 20 years raising you, taking care of you, making sure you were clean, your clothes decent, you did your homework, you got along with your friends, your scratches were healed, you ate right. How can they devote that much daily time and energy (both physical and emotional) on someone until they are grown, and then just turn it off? Just quit caring? They cannot.

So today, sit down and write a letter to someone who helped raise you. If you think you don’t have anything to say, you really do. Tell them what you had for lunch yesterday, what song on the radio you heard, where you went, who you saw. Just chit-chat things. All they want to do is know how you are. Then they will feel a lot better. Why? Because they love you.

 

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#letter, #message, #loved one, #mother, #father, #brother, #sister, #aunt, #uncle, #niece, #nephew, #generations, #email, #love