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 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 our 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 end up being. 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 home his way and live with him in staggering, inconceivable, absolute, profound, incredible, astounding, mind-boggling joy. FOREVER.
THE ROAD TO HEAVEN begins in the Garden of Eden and by the middle of the book, it is at the Garden of Gethsemane. From there on, it goes into our heavenly bodies and imagining just what heaven must be like. Join in the adventure as we use logic and heart to clearly understand the Road to Heaven. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/2QBK1sn
For the first time ever, I got online with my grocery store and ordered my groceries. (My mother would say, “Lazness!” in shame.) Anyway, I can go to a drive-through and they will put my groceries in the car for me while I stay in the car with the heater on. And it’s all free. (They would deliver for an extra $10.) But the earliest they will be ready is tonight at 5:00 after dark. Shiverrrr, Today’s high is only going to be 54 but it’s 3:00 in the afternoon and still 50. I don’t want to be out in that frigid weather more than I have to. I’m all hunkered down with a pot of hot coffee on a hotplate by my chair.
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 about the Bible. 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. Those of you in free countries, do you quake at the thought of bringing up Jesus to your friends, and even to strangers? What will they do to you? Kick you? Slug you? Poison your food? What is it you fear?
Those are Satan’s lies. 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! For your new year’s resolution, dare to be a gatherer of souls.
EASY BIBLE WORKBOOKS: ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. All workbooks are surveys of a book. Here is a simple fill-in-the blank workbook for Acts. It gives the exact verse so there’s no hunting. Caution: It is in the NIV version. It was set up for weekly group studies where the student does one part of a lesson each day so s/he is ready when the group gets together. However, it can be used in weekly classes or by homeschoolers, or just lone in private study. (Note: I am going through another edit in January.) To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/2F8BDep
I have been sending these daily inspirational thoughts out for ten years now. No, I’m not going anywhere. But I am thinking of changing my daily message slightly on January 1. After you see two or three of them, let me know what you think: Go back to the old way or keep the new way.
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. But the Amorites continued to do horrible things including child sacrifices to appease their gods.
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 horrible things including child sacrifice to appease the gods they traded the real God for. So, God kept his promise and sent them into exile in Assyria and Babylon.
Today, just as Abraham searched for a country and city not made with hands, join him. Regardless of the condition of the nation you live in on earth, look ahead to that same country and city not made with hands. Look ahead to the true Promised Land, the spiritual Promised Land ~ heaven. And it will be forever good.
A CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST: SHADOW OF DEATH gently tells of Jesus hurting on the cross, then dying, then coming back to life to live forever. For the Christian, Death is gentle. Death is a glow of sunshine in the valley and a shining door into heaven. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/37iVMdW
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 the present tense. The kingdom is not something in the future.
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 already become a kingdom of priests. And 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 heaven. What glory God has already bestowed upon us.
So let us be thankful, and worship Him with such reverence and awe that, when our worship service is done, we will not say, “Aren’t they great and I was so moved,” but “Isn’t God great and He was so moved.”
REVELATION: A LOVE LETTER FROM GOD is to his Kingdom on earth. It is not just about the future but more about the past and present. It is a book of comfort to the citizens of His kingdom. I punished all those who punished you in the past, I am doing it now, and I will continue to do it until that day you meet Jesus in the clouds and he takes the kingdom with him to heaven. This book is easy to understand and full of reassure and love from our King. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://amzn.to/2Q5TEAA
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. 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 put them in prison, torture them, and execute them at will. Up to a hundred years ago, it was illegal to not be a Shinto. Today, Islam is the required religion of most Middle-Eastern and some African countries. Anyone leaving Islam suffers.
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”.
WORSHIP CHANGES SINCE THE FIRST CENTURY is a year-by-year account of governments and religious hierarchy who changed “church law” and what they did to those who protested ~ things you always took for granted were always that way. Intermingled are the hymns of some of the martyrs during this time, hymns you have sung a hundred times and never knew. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://amzn.to/2SwgtyY
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 are you fooling when you declare you are his servant?
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.
THEY MET JESUS: FOLK HERO. Jesus was a hero but never had a cathedral to preach in. He never had a great choir or grand orchestra as a mood creator before his sermons. He never wore clothes that were different from other people or insisted on people bowing and kissing his ring. When he performed miracles of feeding thousands, he never had fine crystal or silver urns to distribute the food or gather up the leftovers. How we, in our misdirected zeal, shame him. We bow at his wounded feet and ask his forgiveness. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this: https://amzn.to/2EXU85s