The scripture for August 31 (8/31) is John 8:31f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said [warned], ‘If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know thetruth, then the truth will set you free.’ “
Myriads of people call themselves believers in or disciples of Christ; in other words, Christians. What is Jesus’ definition of a believer or disciple? He explained, IF we hold to his TEACHINGS, then we are his disciples.
It’s not automatic? So being born into a Christian family doesn’t automatically make us a Christian? Being born in a Christian nation doesn’t automatically make us a Christian? Owning a Bible doesn’t automatically make us a Christian? Believing Jesus is the Son of God doesn’t automatically make us a Christian? (Demons believe that and aren’t Christians.)
“But, Jesus,” we might say, “I really feel like I’m a Christian.” And Jesus replies, “Hold to my teachings, then you are really my disciple.”
So if we learn Jesus’ teachings and hold to them, THEN the truth will set us FREE.
Survey of letters written by the apostles, mostly Paul. Fill-in-the-blank answers. Backgrounds of the people he wrote to included. Easy Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2NBe291
The scripture for today, August 30 (8/30), is Acts 8:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked.”
Our friends, family and neighbors will continue riding their chariots and understanding little of the Bible unless someone asks, “Do you understand?”.
“Do you understand why you are here?” “Do you understand why Jesus had to die?” “Do you understand what things are sin?” “Do you understand that Satan holds mankind hostage and Jesus paid our ransom with his blood?” “Do you understand the Bible can be proven true?” “Do you understand how much God loves you?” “Do you understand how the Bible is divided up and which parts give the life of Christ?”
People are afraid to ask us questions because they think we will make fun of their ignorance. We’ll probably never know what they don’t understand unless we do the asking.
Let us go up to their chariots and offer to help them so that they, too, can understand.
Book 2 of questions non-Christians have asked me through the years. Answers are given as fill-in-the-blank Bible verses. EasyBookBuy link: https://amzn.to/2NybzMv
The scripture for today, August 29 (8/29), is Matthew 8:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
” ‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’ “
If you are not familiar with this passage, these are the words of a demon. If you have ever studied demons in the Bible, you will find that they never tried to spook or scare people. They never made dishes rattle or lamps fall over.
All they did was cause physical problems during the lifetime of Jesus and his apostles. There is no evidence of demons doing this in the Old Testament before Jesus, nor after his apostles died, either in the Bible or in the writings of the apostolic fathers. It is as though the demons were loosed for a season so Jesus could show his power over them also ~ Ephesians 1:20-21.
Notice, demons never said bad things. If they talked at all, it was out of fear and honesty. James 2:19 says all demons believe in Jesus. In the book of Matthew, they knew who Jesus was. They called him the Son of God.
Jesus told them to be quiet. Why? He didn’t want evil beings telling people who he was; he wanted goodness to tell people who he was. And Jesus never did incantations or any begging to lure demons out. He demanded them to leave and immediately they obeyed him.
The movies have warped our understanding of demons. Let us search the scriptures to find out their true nature. Then we no longer have to guess. We can know.
Easy buy link for self-teaching fill-in-the-blank-scripture workbooks. https://amzn.to/2wtIbAt
(Sorry, I did today’s yesterday. So yesterday’s will be today. All in a dither with many exciting irons in the fire. Can there ever be too many?)
The scripture for today, August 27 (8/27), is Mark 8:27 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, ‘Who do people say I am?’ “
Do we ask our family, our neighbors, our friends how they feel about God? Who do people say God us? We don’t know unless we ask. A lot of people are just waiting for someone to ask. Otherwise, they don’t know how or when to bring it up.
Whenever I meet someone who has gone through a tragedy, I ask them “How’s your faith?”. Now this person may not have darkened the door of a church building for 20 years, but s/he always knows what I mean. Since I am sympathizing with them at the time, they are always honest and reply, “Not very good,” usually meaning their faith is nearly gone if not all the way gone.
Then I tell them, “You know, Satan causes bad to happen to people, not Jesus.” They always stare at me a moment, and then breathe a sigh of relief. They hadn’t wanted to blame God for their tragedy, but they had a need to blame someone. They’d forgotten Satan exists, and were grateful they could now put the blame where it belonged.
There are many other people today who believe in a “Higher Power” but have no idea who that “Higher Power” is. Many, even in America today, have never read the Bible and are curious about it. Ask people you know, “Who is the High Power”, and listen to them. Then offer to show them how the Bible is divided up and how to read it (especially Genesis, then the New Testament).
We must continually be on the watch for people who need help in understanding their relationship with God. Be brave. Go ahead and ask. You’ll be surprised at how many WANT to talk about it. Be delighted as you open up a whole new world to them and watch them become awed.
Titus grew up in a gentile home. What gods did they believe in? How did Paul change him? What did he do then?
The scripture for today, August 28 (8/28), is Romans 8:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
This is a favorite verse of many people. Notice, God can make all things work together for good. ALL things. That means bad things, disappointing things, unfulfilled things. But, it doesn’t say God will make them all work together for the best. What is says is that he will bring some kind of good out of them, no matter how terrible they are.
What has been your most recent disappointment, tragedy, heartbreak ~ something that just did not go the way it should have? At such times, it is easy to blame God instead of Satan. You’re playing into Satan’s hands when you blame God and forsake him. Try to remember that, with every disappointment and tragedy, God gives you a promise: Someday you will smile again.
Are you are living according to his purpose? The promise is only to those who are. If, indeed, you are, believe God will take your heartbreak and turn it in to some kind of good especially for you. Will you let him?
In the first century, physicians were slaves. Little did Luke know when young that some day he would write two books of the Bible.
The scripture for today, August 26 (8/26), is Romans 8:26as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedesfor us with groans that words cannot express.”
The Holy Spirit in the New Testament is always linked with communication between God and Man. Even the miracles, made possible by the Holy Spirit, were a guarantee that the words and teachings accompanying the miracles were from God. This was needed before the New Testament was written. But the Holy Spirit does more than this.
God speaks to us in his Word, the Bible. Then we speak to him in return in prayer. But sometimes all we can do is bow our head in silence and know that God understands ~ His Spirit communes with our spirit.
In the Beginning, God the Mind decided to make the universe, God the Word spoke the words to make the universe, and God the Spirit made it happen and brought life to the universe. When humans die, we say their spirit left their body. Therefore, God’s Spirit brings life to our spirit, our soul, when we are born again.
So, we see God’s Spirit brings life to our spirit and keeps it alive by communing with our lowly spirit. Unfathomable yearning. Inescapable love.
The scripture for today, August 25 (8/25), is John 8:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
” ‘Who are you?’ they asked. ‘Just what I have been claiming all long,’ Jesus replied.”
They knew who Jesus was. He had made people’s arms and legs grow back, he had fed multiple-thousands on a plate of food, stopped storms and brought lifeless people back to life. They knew! But they kept asking because they wanted a different answer than the obvious one.
Jesus and his apostles tell you certain things in the Bible. Sometimes, you read them over and over, and still don’t get the point. Perhaps you have been blinded by well-meaning religious leaders or family or friends who tell you over and over, “It doesn’t mean what it says.” Are you wanting a different answer than the obvious one?
Dare to read the teachings of Jesus and his apostles with open eyes and open heart. When you read something, just accept it. Your soul is at stake. These are the words of the God of the universe. Do you prefer that God fit your mold, or you fit God’s amazing mold?
The scripture for today, August 24 is Romans 8:24fas found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope forwhat we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Sometimes you go through a period of your life in which it is difficult to have faith that God exists; or even if he does exist, that he cares what happens to you. During those times, you may not be able to have faith.
But you can HOPE. You can hope that God exists, you can hope he cares what happens to you. Even the weakest person can hope. Hope holds you until you are strong enough to, once again, have faith.
So the next time your faith wavers (and it happens to everyone at some time in their life), remember, you can still hope.
For a year, the wise men searched the world for the meaning of The Star. When they finally found it, it was far more than what they had HOPED for. Easy BookBuy Link: amzn.to/Michel-Wise-Man