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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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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