Wednesday 4/25 ~ Have you been distracted lately?

The scripture for today, April 25 (4/25), is Proverbs 4:25 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Inside-COVER-lg thumbnail“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

There are a lot of interesting and fun distractions in life, so we have to remind ourselves over and over what is most important to us. We have only so much time in a day and in a lifetime. We can run back and forth from one sideroad to another; one fun thing to another, one power thing to another, one great–looking thing to another.

Before we know it, we have been on that side road a long time. Too long actually.  We can barely see the main road we were on before. And God? He is now so far away. How can that be?  We were always told God would always be there for us.

But God pretty much treats us the way we treat him. If we don’t like being around him, he doesn’t much like being around us. If we don’t like listening to his word (the Bible), he doesn’t much like listening to our word (prayer). If we don’t like to spend special time with him, he doesn’t much like to spend special time with us. God gives us the same courtesy we give him. God will not force himself on us, for he is a Gentleman.

So what do you have in your sights to do today? Next year? The rest of your life? What road are you on? Where is it leading you? Is that what you really want?

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Saturday 4/14 ~ Shhh. Listen. Don’t you hear them?

The scripture for today, April 14 (4/14), is Esther 4:14b as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Today’s scripture is about a reluctant young lady who won a beauty contest and was chosen to be the queen of Persia. Time has passed, and now a command has just gone out to kill all Jews. Queen Esther was a Jewess but had not told anyone at the royal court. She could continue to hide her nationality and let all her people die, or she could intervene with the king. She was the only Jew the king would have listened to. So she took the chance that she, too, would be killed, and spoke on behalf of her people. They were saved.

There are always situations in life in which you are the only one who can accomplish something very needed. Perhaps you are the only adult standing near a strange child who is about to run out into a busy road. Perhaps you are tall and a short person needs to reach something at the store. Perhaps you know a particular language and others around you need you to explain something to them. Perhaps someone called a wrong number on the telephone and reached you instead.

As we go through life, there are situations in which you are the only one who can handle them. Do you? Do you watch for those situations, or do you walk around in your own little world?

Listen! It’s the silent cries of people only you can help. Do you hear them?

 

Tuesday 3/27 ~ What if God…

The scripture for today, March 27 (3/27), is Proverbs 3:27f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’ ~ when you now have it with you.”

Christians generally are good people. They stay out of trouble at work and in the neighborhood. They obey the laws. They don’t use profanity, they don’t lie, they don’t cheat, they don’t steal, they don’t commit adultery, they don’t murder. These are bad things Christians don’t do ~ sins of commission.

But what about good things Christians do not do? Too busy to stop and look around you for someone needing help? Too busy to drive someone to the doctor, or watch a child when a parent is sick, or fix a meal when a family is bereaved, or send a card for someone’s birthday, or call someone who is lonely? Too shy to say something to someone in distress? Too afraid to bring up heaven and hell to a lost one? These are sins! Sins of omission and they are just as serious.

Today, look around you. Who needs you? Not needs your neighbor, or a relative, or someone else at work, or one of the other members of your congregation, but you? You! When do they need you? Not tomorrow or next month or next year, but today!

Get out of your comfort zone. Quit committing sins of omission. Make a point to do something for someone else. When? Today. Too busy?  What if God made as much time for you and you do for others?

Scripture for Thursday, October 5 (10/5)

The scripture for today, October 5 (10/5) is 2nd Corinthians 10:5f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Life-Changing-Scriptures-Cover-medium“Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now, these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.”

This is about the 40 years the Jews wandered in the wilderness between leaving their slavery in Egypt and beginning a nation for themselves in their Promised Land.

It took Moses 40 years to get the Jews out of Egypt. But it took 400 years to get Egypt out of the Jews. They believed their way was better than God’s way. They wanted God to protect them and provide for their needs, but they kept God at a distance as far as their ethics and way of life.

Events in the Old Testament are there as examples to us. This is one reason why we need to read the Old Testament.  The early Jews did not want to listen to God, so God did not listen to them. Do we keep God at a distance?  In that case, God keeps us at a distance.

Do we want God to treat us the way we treat him? This can be a frightening thought. It can also be a blissful thought.

 

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, August 6 (8/6)

The scripture for today, August 6 (8/6), is 1st Corinthians 8:6f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-cover-kindle-medium-new“Yet for us, there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord [Word], Jesus Christ, through whom all things came [by a Word] and through whom we live [by the Word]. But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols.”

We all believe in Jesus, so we think we’re not involved with idols. But we all sometimes idolize something when we should be idolizing Someone. With advertising of things all around us, we are tempted to trade God for things. Having once turned things into our idol, we set Jesus aside.

Oh, we may still worship at least once a week. And pray every morning. We may even read a chapter of the Bible every day. But what do we spend the rest of the day thinking about? Yes, when we’re on the job, we must think about giving our employers an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage. And we have families we must love and attend to.

But after that……..

                                 Then what?

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#idols, #things, #power, #position, #status, #GoodWorks, #time, #attention

Scripture for Monday, July 31 (7/31)

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The scripture for today, July 31(7/31) is 1st Corinthians 7:31b as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“For this world in its present form is passing away.”

How easily that which we have slaved for over a period of years can pass away. It can happen as the result of fire, flood, storm, war, economic crisis. Every day something in this world “is passing away.”

What are you working for day to day? That which can so easily pass away? Or that which is eternal and will never pass away? What are your plans for today? Think about it.

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#time, #EndOfTime, #deaath, #fire, #flood, #disaster, #storm, #war, #job, #economy, #eternity, #spiritual, #GoodWorks, #souls, #saved

Scripture for Friday, July 7 (7/7)

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

inside-cover-medium“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

How beautiful. The Creator of the universe pays attention to each and every one of us. How does he do it? How does he even sort us all out when thousands of us are praying to him at the same time?

Sometimes we may not think he is listening to our prayers. But it takes time to answer some of them. If I am praying to meet my future husband or wife, God may have to move him or her from the other side of the country, get a new job for him or her, and arrange for us to “accidentally” bump into each other. This is just one example.

Also, when Jesus said whatever we seek will be given to us, he had already explained that we must “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). So only within that context will God give us our heart’s desire.

Maybe today you can do a little bit of extra seeking and extra knocking.

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#prayer, #requests, #priorities, #answers, #time, #hearing, #listening, #patience, #Seek&Knock

 

Scripture for Thursday, June 15 (6/15)

The scripture for today, June 15 (6/15) is 1st Timothy 6:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

REV-Cover-Kindle“…which God will bring about in his own time ~ God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords!”

But it’s hard to know just when God’s time is. You may think it is when an opportunity arises, but something happens and it doesn’t turn out. So later another opportunity arises, but something happens there too and it still doesn’t turn out.

This verse can carry you from hope to hope. Your life is like a line drawn across a piece of paper, and you have to stay on that line. But God looks down and can see the entire line at once, and he can also see everything going on around you.

Rather than give up on God and decide he doesn’t really love you like he claims, amidst your tears of disappointment, stretch your spirit and praise him anyway. Acknowledge him. Then rest until his own time.

 

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#providence, #fate, #hurry, #solutions, #confidence, #time, #problems, #troubles, #confidence

Scripture for Friday, June 2 (6/2)

The scripture for today, June 2 (6/2), is Galatians 6:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-cover-kindle-medium-new“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

In case you’re thinking people should take care of their own burdens, you are right. But the term “burdens” here refers to overloads.

The main reason this is hard to do is that taking on someone else’s overloaded burdens upsets our daily routine and our peace of mind. It is inconvenient.

Just remember, it is always inconvenient for those people to have an overload of burdens. They don’t want them. Many times they didn’t ask for them. But, even if they did ask for them with foolish acts, can we not roll up our sleeves and help them out?

What if Jesus had said, “Hey, it’s not my problem! Those people on earth mess up their lives all the time. Why should I leave the comforts of heaven to live among sinners and misery?” But he didn’t say that. Thank God he didn’t say that.

Inconvenient for him to take our overloaded burdens to his cross? Yes. Did he want to do it? No. But he did what was necessary to rescue us.

Do we really and truly want to be like Him?

 

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#burdens, #problems, #responsibilities, #inconvenience, #GoodWorks, #time, #blessings, #help, #sharing, #lifting