Thursday 5/31 ~ Shall we rebuild the temple?

The scripture for today, May 31 (5/31), is Deuteronomy 5:31 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Thumbnail-New“But you [Moses] may stay here [on the mountain] with me [God] so that I may give you all the commands, decrees, and laws you are to teach them to follow in the land I am giving them to possess.”

Many people believe that the “Law of Moses” consisted only of the Ten Commandments. But there was much more. It took Moses 40 days to write them all down. How many? Over 600 “commands, decrees and laws.”

Some people today want to dip back into the Law of Moses to get showy types of worship ~ candles, incense, stoning for adultery, instruments of music, choirs, animal sacrifices, separate priesthood, special clothing for priests, and tithing to pay for it all. Jesus nailed the old law to the cross (Colossians 2:14) and created a much simpler New Testament/Covenant!

Other people want to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.  Why? So they can revert to animal sacrifices and thus nullify the sacrifice Jesus made of himself?  James said that, if we keep part of the Law, we are obligated to keep it all (James 2:10).

By calling this covenant [testament] ‘new’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear’ “ (Hebrews 8:13). Not part of it. All of it. Hebrews goes on to say that the Holy of Holies is now in heaven, the curtain in the temple is now Jesus, etc.  Rebuilding the temple would mean going backward from grace to legalism.

Thank God we do not have to keep all those 600+ commandments in the Law of Moses. They were controlling and tedious, and some were impossible to keep. Why would God give a law impossible to keep? To help us understand that it is impossible for us to be perfect. Finally, understanding that, he was ready to send his Son to earth to be perfect for us.

 

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#Temple, #Jerusalem, #LawOfMoses, #adultery, #stoning, #AnimalSacrifices, #commandments, #laws, #legalism, #mercy, #crucifixion, #Christianity, #Bible, #Scriptures

Monday 3/5 ~ God took care of the hard part

The scripture for today, March 5 (3/5), is Titus 3:5 in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

God is perfectly good and cannot dwell with imperfection. How, then, could we ever live with him in his heaven?  After all, as hard as we tried, we could not be perfect. Mankind was held hostage by Satan.

God loved us so much that he solved our dilemma. He sent his Son to live that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. Then, his perfect “Lamb of God” took our punishment for our sins by paying the ransom to get us out of the clutches of Satan.

Romans 3:23 says the earnings of sin is death ~ physical death (separation from this world) and spiritual death (separation from God). Jesus took it all for us. And that included being completely separated from God. At the worst of it, Jesus cried out to God, “Why have your FORSAKEN me?” That’s when Jesus died spiritually for a while. It was we who deserved to be forsaken by God.

Sin and its power now destroyed, God said if we go “through the washing of rebirth” we will be renewed by the Holy Spirit.  

But how? God did not leave us guessing, for in Acts 22:16 he said through Peter, “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins” and in Romans 6:4 he said through Paul, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism in order that…we too may live a new life [rebirth].”  Then we could start over pure and washed.

God took care of the hard part. He gave us the easy part. And so we worship him.

Scripture for Friday, October 6 (10/6)

The scripture for today, October 6 (10/6), is Jeremiah 10:6 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 2-DreamMaker-cover-kindle-medium-new“No one is like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.”

The word “name” here is from the Hebrew word for “renown” ~ shem. This same word is sometimes translated fame. Sometimes we say someone “has made a name for himself” to indicate s/he has become successful and possibly even powerful. Sometimes, just the mention of a name gives us authority and power.

Just think. We do not have an impersonal God. The gods of the Bible era were made of stone. They were depicted as basically being giant humans who could throw down thunderbolts if they were angry.  Sometimes they were angry at humans and sometimes they were angry at other gods. Seldom were they ever depicted as pleased. 

Worship consisted of appeasing them so they would stop being angry at the much smaller humans on earth. Priests would claim any natural disaster was the result of their particular god’s anger, requiring even more sacrifices which lined the pocket of the priests. The priests had the real power in each country, even more than the throne.

Sometimes worship consisted in indulging in vices such as fornication, drunken orgies, and fights to the death. The priests could get even more power by catering to the baser desires of their “followers”. 

Still other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism whose god is the essence of the universe such as Nirvana or Shamanism whose gods are the life force of objects in nature. 

The prophet, Jeremiah, and all the other prophets of the Holy Bible depicted the Lord of the universe as being the greatest power in existence, but with the greatest love in existence. He was a personal God and no imitation god could come even close to that.

Think back over your life. In what way has the Lord used his power to cause amazing things to occur in your life just at the right time? That is our God. The real God full of mercy, truth, love, and yes, power.

 

Scripture for Tuesday, August 8 (8/8)

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

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-“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?

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#rejection, #betrayal, #hatred, #resentment, #punishment, #SecondChance, #repentance, #forgiveness, #mercy

Scripture for Wednesday, July 19 (7/19)

The scripture for today, July 19 (7/19) is found in Romans 7:19 as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do ~ this I keep on doing.”

Doesn’t this pretty much describe all of us in some area of our life?  It may be eating too much, breaking the law by going over the speed limit, laughing at dirty jokes, habitual lying, stealing “little things” at work, cheating on tests, jealousy ~ any number of things. Sins of habit and attitude are hard to break. So, we go to God over and over asking him to forgive that which, deep down, we know we’re going to do again.

Perhaps this emphasizes the importance of us forgiving others who habitually do wrong to us. If we say, “I’m not going to forgive you anymore. You’ve done this to me too many times,” then God is likely to say the same thing to us.

Jesus said, “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14).

Satan wants us to quit trying to do better. And he wants us to quit forgiving each other. Let us not give in to Satan. Let us give in to God.

God’s way leads to ultimate forgiveness.

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#forgiveness, #grace, #mercy, #habits, #sins, #insults, #attitudes, #littlethings, #revenge, #Satan

 

Scripture for Sunday, April 16 (4/16)

The scripture for today, April 16, is Hebrews 4:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Anyone who has lived very long has committed some sin they hope no one ever finds out about. Some people have committed many such sins. Sometimes because of that one “big” sin or the constant repetition of a particular “big” sin, people punish themselves by putting words in God’s mouth. They say, “God could never forgive me for that.” Perhaps you can never forgive yourself, but God is greater than you.

Jesus told Peter we must forgive our brothers 70 times 7. If kept literally, that would mean we’d have to forgive the same sin 490 times. Actually, it is figurative for forgiving all the time. 1st Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of the Bible, says, “Love…keeps no record of wrongs.”

Let us not only forgive others; let us also help people who cannot forgive themselves. God is the God of mercy.

 

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#mercy, #forgiveness, #sin, #bigsins, #throneofgrace, #sorrow, #repentance, #new

Scripture for Sunday, October 30 (10/30)

The scripture for today, October 30, is Hebrews 10:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

inside-cover-medium“For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ “

In the Law of Moses, people were expected to avenge those who did not follow the law. Some things were even punishable by death.

But Jesus told us to forgive people so that God, in turn, will forgive us (Matthew 6:14).

What is forgiveness? It is not condoning the bad someone did. Forgiveness is letting go and letting God do any punishing that may be required. Forgiveness is wishing the other person well. You may not trust the other person to not do the bad thing again, and you may forever fear that person.

But you can always hope and pray that their lives and hearts will change for the better some day. No one is so bad that you cannot wish them well and pray for them. That’s forgiveness.

Vengeance only prolongs the pain; vengeance is hard on us. So, as the old saying goes, “Let go, and let God.” God will do his part ~ the hard part. He has left the easy part for us.

#Vengeance, #Pain, #Hurt, #Forgiveness, #Enemy, #Mercy

The scripture for today, April 16, is Hebrews 4:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Heroes-Alone-COVER-KINDLE“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Anyone who has lived very long has committed some sin they hope no one ever finds out about. Some people have committed many such sins. Sometimes because of that one “big” sin or the constant repetition of a particular “big” sin, people punish themselves by putting words in God’s mouth. They say, “God could never forgive me for that.” Perhaps you can never forgive yourself, but God is greater than you.

Jesus told Peter we must forgive our brothers 70 times 7. If kept literally, that would mean we’d have to forgive the same sin 490 times. It is figurative for forgiving all the time. 1st Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of the Bible, says, “Love…keeps no record of wrongs.” Let us not only forgive others, but let us help people who cannot forgive themselves.

God is a God of mercy.

The scripture for today, April 16, is Hebrews 4:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Header-Jesus' Hands In Clouds

Anyone who has lived very long has committed some sin they hope no one ever finds out about. Some people have committed many such sins. Sometimes because of that one “big” sin or the constant repetition of a particular “big” sin, people punish themselves by putting words in God’s mouth. They say, “God could never forgive me for that.” Perhaps you can never forgive yourself, but God is greater than you.

Jesus told Peter we must forgive our brothers 70 times 7. If kept literally, that would mean we’d have to forgive the same sin 490 times. It is figurative for forgiving all the time. 1st Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of the Bible, says, “Love…keeps no record of wrongs.” Let us not only forgive others, but let us help people who cannot forgive themselves.

God is a God of mercy.