Easter Every Sunday. You gave me your name

Supper-Front Cover-MediumHow can I praise you enough? Tell me and I will do it. You are in my thoughts and my dreams. You are my light in dark places. You are my warrior, my comforter, my hero.  You make promises and keep them. Even when things do not seem to go right, you are still keeping your promises. Even when a thousand years have passed, still you are keeping your promises.  Even when I have forgotten them, you never do. You are truth, integrity, fidelity. You are justice tempered with mercy. You are all I need and more than I can fully understand. You are above and beyond all things. Most of all, you are in my heart.

Please forgive me when I complain. Nothing happens to me without your permission. Help me see how my problems can only make me stronger if I let them. You did not set me in a lazy world where I do not have to lift a finger. You set me in a world with work to do, places to go, people to see. When I grow lazy, make me take a second breath and get out there and get back to work. It is the only way I can become spiritually strong.

Thank you, Lord, Jehovah, materialized in Jesus, magnified in his works, glorified in his words. You did everything possible to save me from hell.  You go after me when I wander away. You shine your light when I go into dark places. You love me even when I forget you.  I am unworthy. Yet you made me and I am yours. You protect me and give me strength. You give me your perfection just by believing all this. You even gave me your name.

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Supper-Front Cover-ThumbnailTHE LORD’S SUPPER: 52 READINGS WITH PRAYERS.   This book contains 52 Bible readings about Jesus’ perfect life, the horrors of his death, and inexpressible glory of his resurrection. Two prayers accompany each reading that will touch the hearts of participants.    It will stir worshipers who have been keeping EASTER EVERY SUNDAY for decades with a fresh and deeper insight into the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. Not only the readings from scriptures but also the prayers will help worshipers touch Jesus and say thank more than ever.  To BUY NOW, click a books cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/LordsSupper52   

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I lift up the eyes of my heart and see you afar off

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-MediumI praise you, my Lord and God, full to overflowing with power and might and glory. No one has power except what you give. No one has truth except what you grant. No one has life except what you provide. Without you there is no light and life, no love or truth. I lift up the eyes of my heart and see you afar off.  I lift up the eyes of my soul and feel you next to me. I am in awe of you. You deserve all worship.

Thank you, Jesus, for coming to show me how to live and how to die. You were stubborn in your love. You insisted on never denying the truth. You insisted on standing when everyone wanted you to fall. Someday if times come to that, grant me the privilege of dying for you just as you did for me. With you, death is but a door to real, true life. I fall at your feet unworthy of your undying love.

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00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailSTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR tells of a 17-year-old who runs away when his best friend is crucified for what they had done together.  By the end of the book he is a 28-year-old deacon in the church with wife, children, miraculous powers and everything to live for. What makes him walk into the Sanhedrin’s chambers knowing he will never leave them alive?  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://bit.ly/2XBFXvJ

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Monday 5/21 ~ What if I only sin sometimes?

The scripture for today, May 21 (5/21) is 2nd Corinthians 5:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

A lot of people do not understand what Jesus’ death has to do with going to heaven. The key is in Romans 3:23 that says “The wages of sin is death.” When Adam and Eve sinned, immediately their souls died, and the bodies gradually died. That was the wages they collected for sinning.

It’s been happening to everyone since then. But, during Old Testament times, God allowed people to make a perfect animal take their wage, shed its blood and die in their place when they sinned.

This was only a temporary fix, however. Hebrews says the blood of animals cannot truly take away (take the substitute punishment for) sins; they are remembered again every year (Hebrews 10:3-4).

Finally, John the Baptist announced Jesus was “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). In order to forever stop all the sacrificial substitute dying, God prepared his own perfect Lamb ~ Jesus, who never sinned. For 33 years, God’s Word took human form in Jesus and became one of us. Then he had to shed his blood and die in our place. In so doing, he collected our wages forever.

Jesus did two things impossible for us to do: Live a perfect life without sin, and come back to life after he died ~ both physically and spiritually. Why? So we could do another thing that is impossible for us to do on our own: Enter heaven, the home of the perfect.

Heaven is not for people who do a lot of good works and only sin sometimes so that God will have no choice but to take them into his home. It only takes one sin to be a sinner.  God cannot exist with sin.

God invites us to his heaven if we will follow Jesus. We don’t even have to be perfect ~ just forgiven. Jesus was perfect for us. What amazing love.

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Monday 5/14 ~ Perfect love

The scripture for today, May 14 (5/14), is 2nd Corinthians 5:14a as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“For Christ’s love compels us….”

On a distant hill a very long time ago, something unbelievable happened.

Jesus died both physically and spiritually in our place! (Remember when he said God had forsaken him?) He knew we couldn’t come back from either kind of death on our own, so he did it for us. Such terrible things he went through for us!

Love is powerful! It causes us to do things for someone we love that we never wanted to do and never dreamed we could do.

How powerful is your love for Christ? Do you share the love of Christ with others? 1st John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casts out fear.”

You must reach out to people who think Jesus will ruin their fun, or has too many rules, or could never forgive them, or wouldn’t stop a tragedy from happening to them. If not in person, tell them in a note, a phone call, email, even a song. There are ways. Reach out. You can and you will if you let Christ’s love compel you.

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Monday 2/5 ~ …all while the world raged at him

The scripture for today, February 5 (2/5), is Ephesians 2:5 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“[God] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions ~ it is by grace you have been saved.”

Every time we sin, our spirit ~ our soul ~ dies a little more. Every time we steal, cheat, torture, murder. We say we don’t do such things. Well, how about every time we stretch the truth (lie), go over the speed limit (disobey the laws of the land), close our eyes to someone we know is in need (selfishness), lose our temper, indulge in coarse talk, call someone names, refuse to forgive?

It is true that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and our wages every time we sin is death (Romans 6:23). That is what we earn. That is what we deserve. We certainly do not deserve to live with a sinless God. Nor can we. But by his grace, he made a way possible to consider us sinless.

In Old Testament times, people killed a perfect animal to die in their place, but it was only a temporary fix. Then God sent his perfect Son who never sinned ~ the Lamb of God ~ to lie down on the altar of the world at the cross. There he died spiritually and physically in our place for the things we in the world did wrong, all while the world raged at him.

Yes, while we were still enemies of God by sinning, while we were spiritually dead, Jesus died for us. That was his amazing part.  He can also make you spiritually alive. If you will actively seek and do what he asked you to do. That is your part  ~ the easy part.

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Link to ebook & discount paper: http://bit.ly/TheyMetJesus

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#wages, #earnings, #sin, #death

Wednesday 1/24 ~ Have you sacrificed anything for him lately?

The scripture for today, January 24, is Jude 1:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 6-PromiseKeeper-Cover-thumbnail-new-kindle“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy ~ ”

God is perfect, and so cannot dwell with faults and imperfection. We have faults. Romans 3:23 says everyone sins. And Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. But God always has wanted us to live with him. What a dilemma!

God solved our problem at great expense. He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth who lived the faultless life for us. Then God offered His perfect Son, His only Son, Jesus, to die in our place. Amazing.  But God wasn’t through yet.

After that, God told the world He would consider us “without fault” vicariously through Jesus. He has already collected the penalty for our sins ~ death. For our part, all we have to do is believe He did and follow everything He said and did to the best of our ability.

Jesus sacrificed everything for us. Have you sacrificed anything for Him lately?

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link to ebook & discount paperback:  http://bit.ly/TheyMetJesus

#sacrifice, #sin, #forgiveness, #death

Scripture for Friday, November 17 (11/17)

The scripture for today, November 17 (11/17), is 1st Chronicles 11:17f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-HeartsAfire-Child'sCartoonCover-Medium“David longed for water and said, ‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem.’ So The Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David.”

The people who followed David admired him because he knew how to be a good leader. So many were willing to do anything to make “Captain David” happy. David had been born and raised in Bethlehem. Now he was grown and had a following of those evading power-hungry King Saul, many of whom were brave soldiers. They had traveled throughout the country either evading or defending themselves against this and other enemies.

Their travels took them back to David’s hometown which was being held by enemy Philistines. For old-times sake, he wanted a drink from the well he had drunk from many times in his youth. Three of his men risked their lives to bring their captain, David, that drink of water.

How much do we admire the Captain of our Salvation, Jesus? How much are we willing to sacrifice for him? Do we say, “I’m too busy to do anything for Jesus and his kingdom today”? Do we say, “I’m afraid if I say something about Jesus to so-and-so, s/he will insult me”? Do we say, “Someone at church offended me, so I’m not going to worship anymore?” Do we admire Jesus enough to put ourselves in the slightest danger just to do the smallest thing for him?

 

Scripture for Wednesday, October 25 (10/25)

The scripture for today, October 25 (10/25), is Hebrews 10:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another ~ and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Some people declare, “I can walk through nature ~ the temple of God ~ and feel God is closer there than in a church building.” Well, do they really do it? How often? The purpose of the church meeting is not so much to encourage ourselves as to encourage others along with worshiping God.

Look at the context. Verse 23 says “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess” and verse 24 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” How do we do these things? A lot of it is done during our congregation’s worship and encouragement service.

And what comes after our verse for today? Verse 26 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.” Meeting together with other congregational members is one of the major things that keeps us from falling.

Should we meet once a week? This scripture says to meet “all the more as you see the Day [of Judgment] approaching. Many say, “But that’s too inconvenient.”

It was inconvenient for Jesus to leave a perfect heaven for an imperfect earth. It was inconvenient for him to leave the company of angels for the company of sinners. It was inconvenient for him to do this for 33 long years. Inconvenient taking the blame for our sins, and then taking our punishment. Inconvenient experiencing agonizing spiritual death when God left him on the cross, and then that agonizing physical death.

Do we really know inconvenience?

 

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 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