Wednesday 3/14 ~ Are you throwing away your prize?

The scripture for today, March 14 (3/14), is Philippians 3:14, as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has   called me heavenward   in Christ Jesus.”

Toward the end of Jesus’ sojourn on earth, he knew that, out of jealousy, the religious leaders were trying to kill him. So for a while, he stayed out of Jerusalem where the religious headquarters was. Eventually, the time came for him to put himself in their hands. Was it easy for him to do? Definitely not! For he knew his death would be by torture. But he pressed on.

“They were on their way up to Jerusalem with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished while those who followed were afraid” (Mark 10:32).

Jesus pressed on. He did not want to go through the crucifixion. Hebrews 5:7 says that “during the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.”

As difficult as it was for him, Jesus pressed on toward the goal to win the prize. But the prize was not for himself; it was for us ~ eternity in heaven instead of hell!

None of us has to go through what he did for our salvation and avoidance of hell. Our little bit of sacrifice is nothing by comparison. Shall we throw away the prize Jesus sacrificed so much for so we can have a little more fun, accumulate a few more things, be a little more important to our friends?

Can you press on? Or are you throwing away your prize?

Scripture for Wednesday, September 27 (9/27)

The scripture for today, September 27 (9/27), is Nehemiah 9:27 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-“So, you handed them over to their enemies who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed, they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.”

With many people, the only time we think about God is when we feel oppressed by something or someone in our life. We may even blame God.

That can be a good thing. Perhaps we hadn’t given God a second thought since our last calamity. So now, at last, we’re thinking about him. Yes, we may be angry at God, but at least we’re thinking about him.

Let us thank God for times of oppression. Sometimes that is what it takes for God to get our attention. Then perhaps God can show us that he wants to be our friend.

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Scripture for Sunday, July 16 (7/16)

The scripture for today, July 16 (7/16), is Genesis 7:16 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-THEY MET JESUS-Medium-front cover“The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.”

Does your life sometimes feel like a downpour of unending bad events or a flood of tragedies? Whenever that happens, why not just enter an ark of safety and let God shut the door? When God shuts the door on something, try to recognize it and take advantage of its peace and quiet.

Our ark of safety is in our mind, our heart, our soul. Our ark of safety is quietness in Jesus.

“My heart is not proud, O Lord….But I have stilled and quieted my soul” (Psalm 131:1f)

“In quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15b)

 “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever” (Isaiah 32:17).

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#troubles, #problems, #tragedies, #rest, #safety, #quietness, #stillness, #trust, #peace, #confidence

Scripture for Tuesday, May 16 (5/16)

The scripture for today, May 16 (5/16), is 1st Thessalonians 5:16 (KJV) as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Medium“Rejoice evermore.”

But how can we rejoice when something terrible has happened? The Apostle Paul who wrote this knew that the Thessalonians were being persecuted (2nd Thessalonians 1:4), but he still said, “Rejoice evermore.” Sometimes we have to suffer so that the bad someone does can be revealed to others.

Just remember that, just as God was grieved when his Son suffered on the cross, he is grieved when we suffer. And just as God was able to bring something wonderful out of his Son’s suffering, he can bring something wonderful out of yours too.

In the mean time, chin up, shoulders back, stand straight, be brave, and smile. The world will ask you why.

 

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#joy, #happiness, #rejoice, #handicaps, #tragedies, #suffering, #persecution, #grief, #providence, #outcome, #courage, #smile, #thanksgiving, #blessings, #curse

 

 

Scripture for Saturday, March 25 (3/25)

The scripture for today, March 25, is Lamentations 3:25 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 2-DreamMaker-cover-kindle-medium-new“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.”

Notice, this does not say the Lord is good to those who have faith in him. All they have to do is hope he exists and hope he loves them.

Some people have been raised by atheists, or have attended a university where professors criticize theists (believers in God). Or perhaps they have had a major tragedy in their life and can’t understand how a good God could allow that bad thing to happen. Or maybe they live among people who believe all the gods in the world are the One God, so don’t pay special attention to any of them.

Life can be confusing, so confusing that we have trouble having faith in God. But we can still hope!

Keep hope alive. Let the Lord be good to you.

 

 

#hope, #faith, #tragedies, #failures, #atheists, #agnostics, #seeking, #seekers

Scripture for Monday, February 27 (2/27)

The scripture for today, February 27, is Jeremiah 2:27 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Medium“ ‘Why do you bring charges against me? You have all rebelled against me,’ declares the Lord.”

People sometimes blame God for bad things happening in their life that are no fault of their own. They don’t really want to blame God because they want to think God loves them. But there is no one else to blame. No one else to blame? Oh, yes, there is. There is Satan. We tend to forget Satan is out there too. It is Satan who causes bad to happen, not God.

Is that what you’ve done lately ~ blame God for bad happening, then rebel against him? Or do you know someone who is going through many problems not of their doing or choosing? Are they blaming God and rebelling against him? Help them. Remind them of Satan.

People want to blame someone. They will be relieved to be reminded that Satan exists. Now they can put the blame where it belongs.

Let us not blame God for the bad. Instead, let us thank Him for the good.

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#problems, #troubles, #tragedies, #blame, #accuse, #charge, #love, #Satan, #curses, #blessings

Scripture for Saturday, July 16 (7/16)

The scripture for today, July 16, is Genesis 7:16 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

HS-COVER-KINDLE-GOLD“The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.”

Does your life sometimes feel like a downpour of unending bad events or a flood of tragedies? Whenever that happens, why not just enter an ark of safety and let God shut the door? When God shuts the door on something, try to recognize it and take advantage of its peace and quiet.

Our ark of safety is in our mind, our heart, our soul. Our ark of safety is quietness in Jesus.

“My heart is not proud, O Lord….But I have stilled and quieted my soul” (Psalm 131:1f)

“In quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15b)

“The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever” (Isaiah 32:17).