Friday 3/30 ~ Do you have some repenting to do?

The scripture for today, March 30 (3/30), is John 3:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Thumbnail-New“He must become greater; I must become less.”

This is John the Baptist speaking. He had a great following. People “were constantly coming to be baptized” by John (3:23). He had it made! But at the height of his popularity, he said, “I will be stepping down soon.”

Can you do this? Are you at the height of your popularity, perhaps at a club, an organization, church? Could you step down if someone more qualified than you came along? Or will you say, “I started this _______, and I was here first, so this is my project!” ?

Look inside. Deep inside. What are your motives for doing good? Selfish ambition or love for others? 1st Corinthians 13:1 says that, even if I offer my body to be burned and do not have love, it benefits me nothing.

Jesus warned, “Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

Think. Think long and hard. Do you have some repenting to do? Father in heaven, help me look at myself the way You do.

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 Friday, February 10 (2/10)

The scripture for today, February 10, is James 2:10 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

changes-in-worship-cover-medium“Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.”

Do we pray on Sunday and curse on Monday? Do we sing on Sunday and lie on Monday? Do we recite a scripture on Sunday and mock someone on Monday?

On the other hand, do we use this as an excuse not to go to church? Do we refuse to attend because there are hypocrites in the church?

Do we refuse to go to work because there are hypocrites there who talk behind the boss’s back? Do we refuse to go to school because there are hypocrites there who would skip school if they could? Do we refuse to go to sporting events because there are hypocrites there that would literally “kill the umpire” if they could?

Even Jesus had a hypocrite among his 12 Apostles ~ Judas. That didn’t stop him from doing what was needed to save us from hell.

In a sense, we are all hypocrites because we go to church and sing songs about giving everything for Jesus, then we go home and don’t. Or we sing songs about going into all the world and teaching the gospel, then we go home and don’t. Or we talk about the importance of praying for everyone around us and their loved ones, then we go home and don’t.

Let us look at ourselves as others do ~ and as God does.

#hypocrites, #Judas, #mouth, #praise, #curse, #self-examination