The scripture for today, July 31 is 1st Corinthians 7:31bas 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 we 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.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: WHAT ETERNAL THING CAN YOU WORK ON EVERY DAY?
The scripture for today, July 30, is John 7:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“At this, they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him because his time had not yet come.”
Even though during the last year of his life, many people wanted to kill Jesus out of jealousy or fear or pure meanness, he was never afraid to keep teaching. Why? Because he knew his life was ultimately in the hands of the heavenly Father.
Do we feel fear sometimes because of things going on around us? Do we fear failure, or ruin, or false rumors, or even imprisonment or our life? Remember, each life is in the heavenly Father’s hands.
So do not fear. Keep on keeping on. Hold fast. Stand firm. Do the right thing. Stand up for Jesus. His Father will not let you come to any harm. And, if some day, your time does come, know that God has everything under control. And God will never, ever, ever stop loving you.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: WHAT DO YOU FEAR RIGHT NOW? WHAT CAN HELP YOU CONTROL IT?
The scripture for today, July 29, is Ecclesiastes 7:29 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes.”
We begin our lives upright ~ sinless. But as we grow out of innocent childhood, we begin to want recognition, money, and to make our surroundings beautiful. And we tend to scheme to get them.
True, God does not want to deprive us if we can obtain these things. But Solomon (who wrote this), with all his worldwide fame, wealth, and beauty, still felt empty. Actually, we can even read the Bible and go to worship and still feel empty. Why? Because we need to add good works to our faith (James 2) ~ helping others with the same enthusiasm that we pursue recognition, money, and beauty.
Sometimes to fill our emptiness, we need to just return to our early childhood when we saw life through innocent eyes. Through simple eyes. Through eyes that believe so easily in God, and so easily love him.
Sometimes as we progress through life, let us return to that more innocent way of life.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: IS THERE SOMETHING IN YOUR LIFE YOU HAVE BEGUN TO BE OBSESSED ABOUT? DO YOU THINK YOU SHOULD TRY TO BACK OFF FROM IT AWHILE TO GET A FRESH PERSPECTIVE?
The scripture for today, July 27, is Luke 7:27 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ “
“The way” could also be considered “the path” or “the road”. To prepare “the way” would be to straighten out the curves temporarily leading in the wrong direction, or clear out the stumbling rocks, or fill in the jarring ruts made when it rains.
We can prepare “the way” ahead of crises for our loved ones by example, by being a true friend, by prayer, by sharing the Word of God. Life is hard. Are we always preparing “the way” for people we know?
Today think of someone for whom you can begin to prepare “the way”.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: TELL ABOUT A TIME WHEN SOMEONE PREPARED THE WAY FOR YOU TO GO THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME.
The scripture for today, July 26, is John 7:26as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“Here he [Jesus] is speaking publicly [in the temple], and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ? But we know where this man is from; when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”
These people standing around the temple refused to believe in Jesus because they chose to disregard a scripture that all Jews knew about. They said no one would know where the Christ (the Messiah) would come from. But they did know. It was in their own scriptures ~ Micah 5:2
“But you, Bethlehem…out of you will come for me the one who will be ruler over Israel.”
Are you sometimes like all those people standing around in the temple? Do you sometimes make up your mind about something religious; and even if the Bible says something different, you refuse to acknowledge it? Does your ego sometimes get in the way? Or are you afraid of pressure from your friends?
As you read the Word of God, open wide your heart and mind. Indeed, sometimes your friends and your stubborn will get in the way of walking the beautiful path that God has created for you.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: DO YOU KNOW OF A BIBLE VERSE THAT YOUR FRIENDS TELL YOU DOESN’T MEAN WHAT IT SAYS? WHICH ONE?
The scripture for today, July 25, is Hebrews 7:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him [Jesus], because he always lives to intercede for them.”
Indeed, all of mankind is invited to come to God through Jesus. There are scriptures in the Bible about being chosen by God. But when you check the original Greek, it means you are being invited by God. If a company puts out a newspaper ad inviting people to be interviewed for hiring, the company can only choose those who accepted the invitation.
And something else stands out in that verse. Jesus is our intercessor, our mediator. Why would we want anyone lower than Jesus to be our intercessor when Jesus will do so himself?
How amazing! In one sentence we see that God the Father invites all of mankind to come to him to be saved completely, and that God the Son is our ever-present intercessor.
Such love. Such divine love. It is beyond comprehension. All we can do is fall to our knees and whisper, “Thank you.”
DISCUSSION QUESTION: IS IT TRUE THAT WE DO NOT CHOOSE GOD, BUT GOD CHOOSES US? DID YOU EVER BELIEVE THAT? WHY? THE BIBLE SAYS “Choose you this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15). AFTER READING THIS, WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?
The scripture for today, July 24, is Matthew 7:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
The problem we have with putting into practice the Words of God is that we sometimes read blindly. We don’t see the significance of something. We may read it over and over for years and never see its significance.
Take, for example, the story of Jesus’ birth. We sometimes see pictures of baby Jesus in a stable with the shepherds and three wise men all gathered around him. But Matthew 2:11 says by the time the wise men arrived, Jesus and his parents were living in a house. Further, the Bible does not say how many wise men there were; it just says they gave three kinds of gifts ~ gold, incense and myrrh.
How about 1st Timothy 3:2? “Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.” This word “overseer” is sometimes translated bishop, sometimes elder, and sometimes pastor. It’s all the same office. We might think at first glance that we believe all this. But do we glaze over the fact that he must have a wife? Hmmm….
Here’s another one. At funerals we often quote Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me.” But for the Christian, there are no shadows in the valley of death. Jesus
was born “to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the path of peace” (Luke 1:79).
Oh, so many things we overlook ~ meaningful things. Let us continue to study God’s Word daily with our mind and heart open to new things we never realized before so that we can build the house of our lives “on the rock.”
The scripture for today, July 23, is 1st Corinthians 7:23 in the New Testament of the Bible.
“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.”
Who were you bought from? Satan. Romans 3:23 says everyone sins and falls short of the glory of God. God, who is perfection, cannot dwell with us. It would be like light dwelling with darkness. It cannot be done.
But God loved you so much, he figured out a way to make you sinless. He sent his son, Jesus, to live that perfect life that is impossible for you to live. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. So Jesus drew those wages in your place. He took the blame for all your sins onto himself and died spiritually and physically in your place.
Then God told the world through his Bible that, if you will believe this really happened and follow his will for you, he will consider you perfect too. Until that happens, you are a slave to what men tell you to do ~ and of Satan.
You were bought at great price ~ the blood of Jesus Christ.
The scripture for today, July 22, is 2nd Samuel 7:22 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.
“How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.”
How do we know there is no God but the God of the Bible that we read about and “hear with our own ears” (when scriptures are read aloud)?
How do we know our God is the only true God, and our Bible his only true words? Numerous built-in proofs. Prophecies fulfilled of people and entire nations as given in the Bible and verified in secular encyclopedias. Scientific facts not known in early centuries. Over 300 archaeological facts.
Therefore, Christians can KNOW what God is like, what he wants and how he views us, for we have heard with our own ears and seen with our own eyes. How lucky we are. How blessed.