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Northern Lights Publishing House

Month: December 2018 Page 1 of 4

A New Year Poem I wrote 45 years ago

Poem-Wings of Time

Monday 12/31 ~ Pushing my way through the door

The scripture for today, December 31 (12/31), is Luke 12:31 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“But seek his kingdom [family] and these things will be given to you as well.”

The kingdom is already here (Luke 9:27; Colossians 1:13), but heaven is not. That is the final destination of the kingdom. Do you actively seek God’s kingdom? Or do you drift and think God should feel obligated to take you into his heaven? Do you feel like you’re “not so bad”, so God would be bad to not take you into his heaven?

Heaven is God’s home, not yours. God has a door into his home, just like you have a door into your home. God is not required to open his door to just anyone, just like you are not required to open your door to just anyone.  You cannot just show up at the door and smile and assume he will let you in, any more than people who knock on your door and smile can assume you will let them in.

You let people into your home who you have gotten to know and whose motives you trust. Have you given God a chance to get to know you and trust your motives? Are your daily motives to enter heaven, God’s home? Do you even like God?

This life you live on earth is not your permanent life or residence. This is the testing place to see how you handle problems and to see how much your spiritual muscles will grow or atrophy. God has plans for Christians in heaven we do not know about. What we do know is that he is not a God of idleness. Do you live like the earth is all there is? Do you fear hell?  Do you prefer heaven where people will worship all the time? Does that sound boring to you?

You are about to enter a brand-new year. Today, decide to start over fresh and set your new goal: To enter God’s kingdom (his family) and thus, enter his home his way to live with him.  Forever.  There, all your soul desires will be given to you.

 

COME FLY WITH ME is the last book in the series on the life of Christ ~ THEY MET JESUS. It is full of extreme lows and extreme highs. A must read. To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2EZLODb

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Sunday 12/30 ~ Are you a gatherer?

The Scripture for today, December 30 (12/30), is Matthew 12:30, as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”

What? You can’t just drift along just showing up at church services and that is all? You must gather people to him?. Are you sure? Oh, I don’ know enough; besides, I’m too busy.

Deep down inside, do you fear that, if you bring Jesus into a conversation, people will do you great harm and become dangerous enemies? Although in some countries of the world this is true, in most it is not. Still, do you quake at the thought of bringing up Jesus to your friends, and even to strangers?

That is Satan’s lie. He has gotten into your head and you are believing him. Most people will appreciate a little discussion about Jesus because most people do not attend worship anywhere and know little about the Bible.

Instead of listening to Satan, perhaps you should quake that some of your friends are headed to hell.  Satan puts fear in your heart. Do not give in to Satan. “Perfect love casts out fear” (1st John 4:18).  Do as Jesus did: “Seek and save the lost” (Luke 9:10).

Help your friends who do not know they need help. Overcome your fear for yourself and give in to the fear for their souls. It can be done. Stop watching so much television or playing endless games. Give it a try. If it were your soul, would you want someone to at least try to save you? Rise up! Defy Satan! Dare to be a gatherer of souls staring today.

A former terrorist switches sides and joins the enemy. PAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE endures whip lashings, storms, stonings, imprisonments, starvation, shipwrecks ~ nothing stops him! What drives this man? To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2R0jL9w

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Saturday 12/30 ~ The Heavenly Promised Land

The scripture for today, December 29 (12/29), is Deuteronomy 12:29 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“The Lord your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess.”

Why would a good God drive people (the Amorite nations) from their own land so that other people (the Jews) could live there? Way back in Genesis 15, God promised Abraham that his descendants would possess the land he lived in as a wanderer, but first they would be enslaved in a foreign country some 400 years. During that time, they would multiply. Indeed, they did grow from 70 of Abraham’s grandchildren to over three million.

Then it would be time for his descendants to possess the land. Why so long in the future?  Verse 16 explains it: “For the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” God always gives people plenty of time to repent and change.

The Jews did finally possess the Promised Land, but God warned them, “If you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you” (Leviticus 18:28). Indeed, they did eventually defile the land with their own sins, so several centuries later, they were dispossessed and forced to go to Assyria and Babylon by their conquerors and their land was possessed by the Assyrians (today’s northern Iraq) and Babylonians (today’s southern Iraq). Yes, God keeps his promises ~ to both good and bad.

Today, regardless of the condition of the nation you live in on earth, look ahead to that even better promise of an even better land ~ that spiritual Promised Land ~ heaven. And it will be forever good.

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Friday 12/28 ~ The Kingdom Now and Forever

The scripture for today, December 28 (12/28), is Hebrews 12:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

Notice this is in present tense. The kingdom is not something in the future but is now.

Jesus said in Luke 9:27 that some listening to him would still be alive when the kingdom came. Colossians 1:13 says God HAS (not will) rescued us from the dominion of darkness and BROUGHT (not will) us into the kingdom.

In fact, at the end, Jesus will not come back to earth to set up a kingdom. Instead, he will at that time hand the already-existing kingdom over to the Father (I Corinthians 15:24).

So what does this mean to us? Revelation 1:5-6 says that all who have been freed from our sins by the blood of Jesus have become a kingdom of priests. As such, we daily offer our bodies as living sacrifices in the service to our king (Romans 12:1).

Christians have dual citizenship. Christians are citizens of the earthly nation they live in, and citizens of the Kingdom of God. What glory God has already bestowed upon us.

So let us be thankful every day, and worship Him with reverence and awe forever.

 

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Thursday 12/27 ~ Separation of Church & State ~ the real meaning

The scripture for today, December 27 (12/27), is 1st Kings 12:27 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem [not some other capital city], they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah.”

For centuries and millenniums, kings selected a patron god for their nation, a god they most revered to protect them. The patron god was selected by the king. Nations were always ruled by either a high priest or king. Some nations even had priest-kings.

So, when Constantine conquered much of Europe and set up his empire, he needed a patron god. One day during a battle, he looked up and saw a cloud formation that reminded him of things he’d heard about Jesus. So, he made Jesus his patron God, and Christianity his empire’s required religion. He even rode his army through rivers, then declared them baptized. He ordered conquered peoples to be baptized or killed.  Headquarters was Rome.

Luther was friends of the Duke [king] of Germany, so when he broke off from Rome, the official state religion became Lutheranism. John Calvin was in the government of Switzerland, so when it broke off from Rome, the official state religion became Calvinism. When the king of England broke off from Rome, he became head of the Church of England (and Prince Charles is head of the Church there today). John Knox was influential with the parliament of Scotland, so his Presbyterianism became the official religion of Scotland.

In each instance, the king or parliament could force its citizens to follow the chosen religion of that nation. If people didn’t, they could legally take their property from them, put them in prison, torture them, and execute them at will. And, in earlier centuries, they did just that.

Eventually, the idea of separating religion from the state government became popular in the Western World. And that is where many nations are today. But it does not mean people in government cannot express religion. It just means they cannot force citizens to be a particular government-selected religion or be in danger of punishment. That is true “separation of church and state”.

 

Most of the WORSHIP CHANGES SINCE THE FIRST CENTURY occurred because a civil government wanted to control everyone. It was the civil government intermingling with church affairs that caused most of the changes and martyrdoms. A fascinating read.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:   https://amzn.to/2EReY7J

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Wednesday 12/26 ~ Is Jesus there with you?

The scripture for today, December 26 (12/26), is John 12:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Ah, Lord Jesus. We claim we understand how humble you were, then build great cathedrals which we claim are to your glory but which are really to our glory. We organize great musical performances which we claim are to your glory but which are really to our glory.

Just where was Jesus when he was on earth saying this?  In a posh hotel in Jerusalem? Did he have great musicians performing in the background? Did he stand on a podium and declare this to multitudes?

 Who or what are you really a servant to? Power in a workplace, club, congregation, neighborhood? Prestige in a community, an occupation, an organization? Self-indulgence of money, music, entertainment?

While you are pursuing things in life, is Jesus there with you? Are you doing what he would be busy doing?  Are you where he was when he said this?

Dare to be a servant to the power of Jesus’ love, prestige in the eyes of God, self-indulgence in the joy of worshiping Him. In this only is there true and enduring honor.

LAZARUS: THE SAMARITAN was unpopular and when he married a Jewish girl, they had a lot to overcome.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2ELJtfS

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He was born to die

Tuesday 12/25 ~ Dare to be a star shining on their darkness

The scripture for today, December 25 (12/25) is Proverbs 12:25 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

Yesterday, did you see anyone sitting alone looking downcast? Go back there today. S/he may not be there, but someone else may be. It may be a gathering place for the lonely, the discouraged. Smile at them and whisper, “Jesus loves you.” Have a lengthy conversation with them and show them they are worthy of your time.  Listen to them. Share with them.

Do you periodically see “beggars” at a certain location? They may squander donations or use them to buy food. Either way, being a beggar isn’t people’s life’s goal. You do not know their story. Everyone has a story. Their hearts are anxious about something.

Give them a dollar or some change and maybe wrap it in a verse from the Bible.  Ask them if they have family and if their family would accept them back. If so, encourage them to “go home.” Perhaps pay for a bus ticket back home. If they say they can’t go home, try anyway. Tell them you will pray for them. Smile at them, and whisper, “Jesus loves you.”

Today, do you know of a place where travelers usually stay or gather? Sometimes at truck stops, there are drivers who could not get home. Go to one of these places prepared to give each of them something special, or even invite them to your home for a Christmas feast.

Jesus encouraged and helped the downhearted. Is it uncomfortable being in their world? Yes.  Dare to disturb your happiness to enter their world and show Jesus to the downhearted. Dare to be a star shining on them in their darkness.

 

MICHEL: THE FOURTH WISE MAN was only tolerated by the other wise men because he only believed in one God. They searched the world amid dangers for the meaning of the star, not believing Michel’s God had the answer all along. To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2ENdnjk

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Monday 12/24 ~Remember the ravens

The scripture for today, December 24 (12/24), is Luke 12:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”

In many nations right now, things are financially strained. Luxuries? No. To be able to live until tomorrow? Yes.

Which is more valuable? To impress men or impress God? A life dedicated to things impresses men. A life dedicated to doing good things impresses God.

I know of a group of believers in Jesus recently in an African country who had to flee soldiers who were after Christians. They had to run immediately upon sight of the soldiers. No time to pack anything. Just run.  Escape. Run. Escape. 

To get to true safety, they had to walk a hundred miles. What did they eat?  Grass. Leaves from bushes. Tree roots. But they made it. They made it to safety and the loving, protective arms of other Christians.

Today, instead of a luxury, can you send the money to people in parts of the world who are struggling to stay alive because of their faith? Struggling to stay safe because they are Christians?

Consider the ravens.

PS ~ Those of you with children, and you cannot get them much for Christmas: Write IOU’s to them and put each one in a box. Wrap each with typing paper if you don’t have Christmas paper. Or even black-and-white newspapers. And with a red or green crayon, draw a ribbon on top. What’s on the IOU’s? “One hour of coloring with you.” “One hour of playing ball with you.” “Three hours of hiking with you.” “Two hours of baking cookies with you.” Give yourself for Christmas!

 

Jesus was born into a violent world. God chose JOSEPH: THE OTHER FATHER to protect Jesus until he was grown. What might Joseph have gone through those years with fighting even on the highways? To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2EHNf9i

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