Dual Citizenship

changes-in-worship-cover-mediumThe scripture for today, April 5 (4/5), is Micah 4:5 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.”

Nations rise and fall. Nations come and go. Nations are founded upon terror and aggression, or peace and democracy. Some nations follow religions which declare that peasants are peasants as punishment for previous lives, so must remain peasants. Some nations follow religions chosen by their national governments and which must be followed upon pain of death. Some nations deny religion completely and destroy anyone who believes anyway.

What kind of nation do you live in? As strong as your nation is, it cannot control your heart, your spirit, your soul. As strong as your nation seems to be, as much power as your government uses to control its citizens, it will not and cannot last forever.

Always remember, there is a forever nation ~ the nation of God, the kingdom of God. No matter what nation you live in, you can have “dual citizenship.”  And by being a citizen of God’s forever kingdom, you will walk in pure love forever and ever and…

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00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnailWORSHIP CHANGES SINCE THE FIRST CENTURY.  Trace the exact date changes were made in church worship and organization since the first century. These changes were mostly led by popes who had bought their office, led armies against people rejecting them, and had illegitimate children. Trace the protesters since the second century and the persecution they endured, often being burned at the stake.  Discover the hymns we sing still today written by the protesters, sometimes just hours before their torturous death.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/3eqMQXc 

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Look up! God knows what he’s doing.

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

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“ ‘Why do you bring charges against me? You have all rebelled against me,’ declares the Lord.”

Do you want God to make it impossible for someone to insult or lie or cuss at you? Do you want God to make it impossible for someone to fire you? Do you want God to make it impossible to kill you?  Do you want to stop free will? If that were the case, we would all be robots with no will of our own.

More and more people are blaming God for bad things happening in their life. That is their excuse for rebelling against God and declaring he does not even exist. Their view of God is a Santa Claus or Genie in a Bottle who grants their every wish and keeps them from all harm. No one ever dies, no one ever sins, and it is heaven on earth.

What they want is for God to stop his laws of Nature whenever you want. If someone throws a knife at them, it suddenly turns to gelatin.  If someone’s car is about to slam into them and kill someone, they want that car to suddenly be made out of feathers.

Other people sometimes blame God for bad things happening in their life because blaming is one of the ways they handle their grief. 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. And for hard things in our life so we can build our spiritual muscles. How can we have Victory in Jesus unless we have something to be victorious over? How can we be More than Conquerors unless we have something to conquer?  Are we cowards? Do we run from hard work and exercise?

Look up! God knows what he is doing. He wants you to become a good person, a great person, a mighty person. But you must do it his way. He’s our father and Father knows best.

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00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-ThumbnailWORSHIP THE FIRST-CENTURY WAY is book two in the series, WNDERING SOUL, ENTITLED HEART, AND THE SIDETRACKED CHURCH.  Book one is WORSHIP CHANGES SINCE THE 1ST CENTURY.  Get the set.  They work together.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/37akvlF

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Let loose, then cling

COVER-Music-medThe scripture for today, January 25 (1/25), is James 1:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it ~ he will be blessed in what he does.”

A lot of people do not understand that there was the Law of Moses with over 600 commands in the Old Testament, and the Law of Jesus with very few commands in the New Testament. Religious leaders use the Law of Moses to justify adding fancy or fun things to worship or a separate priesthood or tithing, or whatever they like. 

But they leave out stoning for adultery or disobeying your parents, killing someone who killed your relative, knocking the eye out of someone who knocked your eye out, giving a third of your income (not just a tenth), killing animals to sacrifice, etc.  It’s all part of the same Law!

Romans 7:4-7 says Christians have been released from the Law. Hebrews 8:13 & all of chapter 9 say the first covenant (testament/law) of Moses had regulations for worship but is obsolete in favor of the new covenant (testament/law). James 2:10 says if you try to live by the old Law but fail in just one point, you are guilty of all of it.

But how are you to know what was in the Old Law of Moses besides the fancy or fun things today’s religious leaders like?  There is only one possible answer:  Read it.  Plow through Leviticus and all those minute codes. Then you will understand.

Let us truly let loose of the old Law of Moses and cling to the “perfect Law that gives freedom” in Christ.

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COVER-Music-thumbINSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN THE PUBLIC WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH is volume II in the RESTORATION REPRINT LIBRARY OF NORTHERN LIGHTS PUBLISHING HOUSE.  It was written by Presbyterian theologian in the 1800s, a masterpiece.  The most thorough work on this topic out there.  A must for every church library.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or past this……….https://bit.ly/3lYBDB7

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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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Book Giveaway ~ Paperback or Ebook

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FREE TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO READ IT.

BOOK GIVEAWAY, paperback or ebook, “WORSHIP THE FIRST-CENTURY WAY”.  315 pgs. Each chapter quotes famous theologians, 2nd-century Christians, and the Bible.  Covers all phases of worship.  Go here to make your request or click the book cover:   https://1st-century-christianity.com/

WORSHIP 1st-CENTURY-KC COVER-Medium

 

Scripture for Sunday, November 19 (11/19) ~ Worship

The scripture for today, November 19 (11/19), is Ezekiel 11:19 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

changes-in-worship-cover-medium“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”

Although the 600+ commandments in the Old Testament Law of Moses were nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14), God has always had laws to keep us safe. In the New Testament era, he does not have a lot of laws, but he still has them.

What is our worship like? Is it full of things God never asked us to do? Does our worship elevate God or ourselves? When we’re done worshiping, do we say, “We were so great!” or “God is so great!”?

We add all kinds of things to our worship that were commanded only under the Law of Moses, or things we think would “add to the effectiveness” of our worship. If, for example, it’s okay to add things to our singing and praying because then they would sound better, then it is okay to add lemon pie to the Lord’s Supper because then it would taste better.

Again, the question: Who are we worshiping and trying to please? God or ourselves? Do we deep down have a heart of stone, but put on our halo and say, “Surely not me”?

 

Scripture for Sunday, October 29 (10/29)

The scripture for today, October 29 (10/29), is John 10:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 6-PromiseKeeper-Cover-medium-new-kindle“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

No other person can take our salvation away from us. They may badger us, belittle us, torture us, kill us, but they cannot take our salvation away from us. The only one who can do that is ourselves.

The Apostle Peter said, “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall….Be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position” (II Peter 1:10; 3:17).

Hebrews 2:1 says, “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

Jesus himself said, “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).

Can we live and worship without each other?  I Corinthians 10:12 says, “Let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.”  Let us continue to meet with other Christians to keep each other shored up. It is almost impossible alone.

Where will you be on Sunday that is more important than your soul?

 

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 Tuesday, October 24 (10/24)

The scripture for today, October 24 (10/24), is 1st Corinthians 10:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-cover-kindle-medium-new“Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”

The context of this verse is that some of the members of the church in Corinth were expressing opinions or doing things that were offensive to some of the other members. God did not condemn these things, but they hurt the consciences of some of the weaker members.

Today, do we do anything during the public worship that is offensive to some people? Do we do them as an example of how “holy” we are? Do we even try to get God on our side and say that any Christian could do those things if they had as much faith as we do? Can we control our ego in this?

What about committee meetings? Do we suggest something that the others just aren’t excited about? Do we allow our egos to eventually seep in and begin to feel challenged and slighted because our idea wasn’t accepted? Do we even try to get God on our side and say he will be glorified if the other committee members accept our plan? Can we control our ego in this?

One way to look at things objectively is to ask ourselves, “Would our congregation survive without me?”. What if I were killed in an auto accident and suddenly taken from them tomorrow? Would they continue to worship? Would they continue to do good works? Would they continue to meet as a congregation? Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time our congregation would survive without us.

So, let us try (struggle, if necessary) to lay aside our egos that get hurt and seek the comfort, the welfare, the good of our fellow Christians.

 

Scripture for Friday, September 22 (9/22)

The scripture for today, September 22 (9:22) is Luke 9:22 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Songs-First 140-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“And he [Jesus] said, ‘The Son of Man[kind] must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

Jesus did not look forward to his death. Hebrews 5:7 says, “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….” Loud cries!

Yet, in today’s scripture, shortly after he announced to his apostles that he would be killed in Jerusalem, over in verse 51 it says, “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”

Jesus had to use every bit of self-determination he could muster to face that terrible death he had to suffer for us. What kept him pushing forward instead of doing something else? He knew he would be saving us from hell by taking our punishment for us. Then his work would be done ~ all would be fulfilled ~ and he could return to heaven and his Father.

Is it difficult for you to get up on Sunday morning to go to church or would you rather be doing something else? Is it difficult for you to read the Bible every day or would you rather be doing something else? Is it difficult for you to invite a friend to church with you or would you rather be doing something else? Do you love Jesus as resolutely as he did and does you?