The scripture for today, June 30 (6/30), is 1st Kings 6:30 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.”
About 50 years ago, it was figured that Solomon put $3 trillion worth of gold in the temple to line the ceiling, walls, and floor. And that figure would probably be around $12 trillion today. Talk about streets of gold in heaven!
There are some people today asking for money to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Even if they accomplished it, what would it do for Christians? The book of Hebrews in the New Testament explains to the Hebrew (Jewish) Christians that they no longer need or want the temple. Why? Hebrews 8:13 says, “By calling this covenant (Testament) ‘new’ he has made the first one [Old Testament] obsolete.”
Let’s look at the temple in a spiritual sense through the eyes of a Christian ~ and of Jesus himself in Hebrews 9. 1 “Now, the FIRST COVENANT [TESTAMENT] had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 7 Only the High Priest entered the inner room [Most Holy Place]…and never without blood.…. 11When Christ came as High Priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle [temple] that is not man-made. 12. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood [He being the Lamb of God ~ John 1], having obtained eternal redemption. 24. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered HEAVEN ITSELF. For this reason, Christ is the mediator of a NEW COVENANT [TESTAMENT].’
Why in the world would anyone want an imitation temple and holy of holies made with hands back in Jerusalem again, along with all the animal sacrifices on the altar, and priests who would have to be of the Tribe of Levi, and tithing and all the other over 600 laws of Moses? It makes no sense.
Thank God, we live in a more spiritual age ~ the age of Christ and the temple of heaven itself.
WORSHIP THE FIRST CENTURY WAY is one of a pair on worship. The other is WORSHIP CHANGES SINCE THE 1ST CENTURY. Each chapter is about a different form of worship and quotes the Bible, famous theologians, and 2nd century Christians. Written for religious leaders of all denominations. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://bit.ly/37akvlF
You, my Creator, allow me to be so close to you, it takes my breath away in awe. I am frail. I am feeble. I am made of dust. But you breathed into me the breath of life. Just think! I have the breath of God in me. Oh, miracle of miracles! I will return that breath to you in songs of praise. With that same breath I will extol you to the end of my days on earth, and then resume in your world before your throne forever. As small as I am, you take time to know me ~ the good and the bad ~ and love me still, and make me your friend. More, you have made me your child. Wonder of wonders.
Thank you, Lord God, for times of worship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of us cannot be together right now in order to protect each other. But our hearts are intertwined with love. Thank you for freedom to worship you. Thank you for your protection. Nothing can hurt me without your permission. And when sometimes I am persecuted, thank you for the privilege of standing tall, forgiving my persecutors, and declaring your majestic divinity before them. And, should I die at their hands, let it be while praising you.
ADAM & EVE is storybook #1 in the A KID’S BIBLE HEROES series. Looking at the ages of their sons, they apparently went some 100 years without sinning. They resisted Satan’s temptations a very long time. There is good and bad in everyone. “Think & Do” at the end of every chapter. Great for HOME SCHOOLING. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://bit.ly/3dOf7X8
The scripture for today, June 29 (6/29), is John 6:29 , as found in the New Testament of the Bible.
“Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: To believe in the one he has sent.’ “
Yes, it is true that the gift of salvation is just that ~ a gift, a free gift. That’s because God was the only one powerful enough to overcome Satan. Satan wanted God’s death as a ransom in order to free you from your bondage to him. God gave Satan what he thought he wanted because it resulted in Jesus destroying the power of Death.
And it is true that you cannot be good enough to earn salvation from Satan because you don’t know how to be sinless, and heaven can only be occupied by the perfectly sinless. Satan is always lurking in the shadows to lure you back. It only takes one sin to be a dinner.
But at the same time, James 2:18 says, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” In other words, there are things you need to do to obtain salvation. You have to believe there is a gift for you somewhere, walk over to it, reach out, and grasp it.
Believing is a work because you have to find and spend time listening to or reading the Word before you can believe. And Jesus himself said believing (faith) is a work.
How do you go about obtaining faith? By believing what other people tell you to believe? Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing/reading the Word of God ~ the Bible. It is going directly to God’s Words to find out for yourself. It takes a little bit of work to read through it. But then, you can know that what you believe is really what God said.
What a marvelous, delightful, magnificent thing it is to find out what this invisible God did for you and to bask in the glory of such knowledge through invincible faith.
NAAMAN’S MAID is storybook #3 in A CHILD’S BIBLE KIDS. Often it is the children who teach the grownups. This little girl has so much faith, she was sure her master could and would be healed by the prophet Elisha. Such examples the little children are for us. “Think and Do” at the end of each chapter. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://bit.ly/38dRhmK
The scripture for today, June 28 (6/28), is Luke 6:28f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
There was a book published several years ago entitled, Hurt People Hurt People. Have you been hurt? Perhaps by an insult, a neglect, an illness, losing your job? Have you turned bitter? Do you lash out at everyone, or a group of people or a particular someone?
One method of lashing out is when someone tries to console someone who has lost a loved one in death by saying, “I know how you feel.” Then the hurt person lashes out at the other person and says, “You DON’T know how I feel! How dare you pretend that you do!”
That is a hurt person trying to hurt someone else. It’s as though they are bragging, “My hurt is so amazingly great, any effort on your part to understand is puny and not worthy of the greatness of my hurt.”
How do you react to your pain? Do you run people off?
Stop letting that old hurt punish you. Stop putting your life on hold and living in the moment over and over for eternity. Stop being the victim and the aggressor both. You’re killing yourself ~ your mind, your spirit, your soul.
It is okay to smile again. Try it in private. Then in public. It is okay to let it go and hand it over to God. It is okay when you feel cursed to not curse back. It is a blessing to bless.
MEFIBOSET: CRIPPLED PRINCE was the grandson of King Saul who had many enemies. Their hatred for Saul was transferred to his grandson. Despite this and that he was crippled for life, he had his father, Jonathan’s, ability to bless when cursed. He had a rich and full life. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://bit.ly/2ywrqJi
All praises belong to you, Jehovah my Maker, Creator of my soul, the re-Creator of my life. You are astonishing in everything you do. When I call out for help, your chariot races through the storms to rescue me. You are my fortress walled about with salvation. You are my shield between me and danger. At last there is peace once again in my life. Peace that flows like a gentle stream. My every breath whispers your praise and rises to storehouses of white clouds. My every sigh soars through the heavens to your throne and rests in you.
Ah, my Lord, thank you for your everlasting love. It never fades away. It never ceases no matter how bad I may become. You run after me and say, “Come back! Come back to me.” No matter how many times I wander, you never tire of running after me. Your love is beyond comprehension. I do not deserve you. Thank you, for loving me and being willing to fling my sins off me and trample them underfoot. How amazing, and how lofty the thought. I adore you. I worship you.
LOVE LETTERS OF JESUS & HIS BRIDE ECCLESIA. Beautiful study book on how Christ loves his church based on the Song of Solomon. Each book chapter coincides with the same chapter in the Bible. Hundreds of footnotes bring this book alive in the greatest love story in the universe. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://bit.ly/2Vl3dhi
The scripture for today, June 26 (6/26), is 1st Chronicles 6:26ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.
“Elkanah his son, Zophai his son, Nahath his son, Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son and SAMUEL his son. The sons of Samuel: JOEL the firstborn and Abijah the second son.”
This is a little long, but I think you will enjoy it.
The prophet Samuel came from a musical family who descended from Levi’s son Kohath. Samuel’s son, listed in this scripture, was Joel. Verse 33 called the son of Joel and grandson of Samuel “Heman, the musician.” Just what did Heman the musician do?
David told the Levites to appoint “singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps, and cymbals.” Heman was the first one they appointed (I Chronicles 15:16f), and he had two assistants, ~ Asaph and Merari (I Chronicles. 6:39, 44). David put them in charge of the music in the house of the Lord, and they performed their duties according to the regulations (verses 31f).
So what David appointed was a choir and orchestra. When David first appointed them, Heman had 120 relatives in his clan, and his assistants had 220 and 130 in their clans (I Chronicles. 15:5-7; 19-22; 27-28), so they had a total of 470 musicians. Wow! And these musicians had a full-time job!
They were to minister before the Lord “according to each day’s requirements” of sacrifices as written in the Law of Moses. Heman and the others were responsible for sounding the trumpets and cymbals and playing the other instruments ~ lyres, harps, and cymbals (15:19-21) ~ for sacred song (16:37-42). In addition to playing the prescribed lyres, harps, and cymbals, trumpets were to be sounded to announce sacrifices, etc. (16:4-6).
By the time David was old, there were “four thousand…to praise the Lord with the musical instruments” (I Chronicles 23:5)! What an amazing choir and orchestra they had by this time! Remember, they were all male Levites, and were to help Aaron’s descendants, the priests, in the temple every day and at special feasts (verse 28, 30f). And what instruments were they still playing? Cymbals, lyres, and harps “for the ministry at the house of God” (I Chronicles. 25:1 & 6).
Years later after David died and his son Solomon had completed the grand Temple in Jerusalem (II Chronicles. 5:1), “all the Levites who were musicians…stood on the east side of the altar dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres, accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. The trumpeters and singers joined in unison as with one voice to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and the other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the Lord” (verses 12-13).
Can you imagine such an orchestra and choir? The tinkling of the harps and lyres, with cymbals keeping the tempo, and trumpets calling attention to it all? And all those singers! Was God pleased? Indeed he was, for in the form of a cloud, “the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God” (verse 14).
All this occurred around 1000 BC. Three centuries later, when Hezekiah was king, the same instruments were being played ~ cymbals, harps, and lyres (II Chronicles. 29:25f). Why? Because they were prescribed by David, Gad the seer and Nathan the prophet as commanded by God through his prophets. (Acts 2:29-30 says David was a prophet too.)
So we see that during Old Testament times, God commanded that they have full-time musicians to sing and play during daily sacrifices and special feasts, and they had to be male Levites, and they had to play cymbals, harps, and lyres, sometimes accompanied by trumpets.
What a family Samuel had! And I’ll bet he was musical himself. How proud he would have been of his descendants.
Interestingly, although God specified every detail of the instruments that had to be played in the Old Testament, nothing like that was specified in the New Testament. Did God forget? Perhaps God took us to a higher plain in the New Testament era. We do know that in I Corinthians 14:15, we are told to both pray and sing with mind and spirit.
And in Ephesians 5:19, we are told to “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” The term “make music” in the original Greek language of the New Testament is to play on strings. Since we are to make music in our hearts, then it looks like we are to play on the instrument of our heart. How beautiful!
About 50 years ago, when my father died, the funeral was in a little country church. The music consisted of a small group from the congregation who sang hymns without the accompaniment of an instrument. They were not good performers ~ they twanged a lot and sometimes were a bit off-key. But it was some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard. Why? Because their singing was accompanied by their heart. They were telling my family, “We love you,” and I really felt that they did.
God looks down at our singing ~ no matter how good or feeble ~ and says, “I can tell you love me.” And that’s all that matters.
THE OLD OLD STORY SET TO OLD OLD TUNES has 40 songs about the Old Testament and 40 about the New Testament ~ all set to common folk tunes. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://bit.ly/2YwJVHI
You are my God and the only God. You give life, you radiate love, you judge rightly, you bestow mercy. I lift up my spirit, my heart, my soul to you. I will sing my praises to you through each day of my life no matter how difficult Satan may try to make it and no matter how short or long I live. I will sing your praises on and on. I will still be singing when I close my eyes here and walk through the gate into your realm. There I will lift my voice in highest praise, then bow at your feet in delirious exultation and sacred peace.
Thank you, God, for the friends who came to see me moments ago. You hear my weakest plea. You hear me when I am down and when I am flying high in jubilation. You hear me in my sunset moments, on cloudy days, in darkness and the shadows of a late dawn. Though there are millions of souls asking for your attention at the same time, you hear us all and come to us all as though each was the only one. How do you do that? You are God; that is how. And you love me. With my mind, my heart, and my soul I thank you and worship you.
I am pleased to announce my RESTORATON REPRINT LIBRARY
Reprinted Book I – The Best of Alexander Campbhell’s Millennial Harbinger 1830-1839
Reprint Book II – Instrumental Music in the Worship of the Church, written 1888
Reprint Book III – Writings of the Church of Christ in London 1600-1699 (pending)
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The beauty of the earth and the glory of the skies declare praises to you. Each hour holds a special wonder of you, each day a throng of delights to carry me through the night. You are my courage amid fear, my expectations amid disappointment, my audacity amid timidity, my hope amid doubt. You are my light through the darkness, my path through the wilderness, my life through danger. May your name be proclaimed by children, declared to be true by atheists, lauded by the world. Arise, oh universe! Praise the God of all things and of your very existence!
Thank you for your church, your family. You set it up so perfectly. Congregations of your family here and others there all around the world. Each congregation survives because you teach us to love one another and overlook intentional and unintentional mistakes. Brothers and sisters hand in hand, praying for each other, eating glad meals with each other, worshiping you together. Always there with a smile and a sigh, always there with laughter and tears, always together. Always your children, always a part of your family. Even when we travel and meet people in other parts of the world, we instantly have an immediate love whether it be to Asia or South America, Europe, or New Zealand, the Middle East or North America, Africa or one of earth’s poles. Where ever we find each other, we are still family. You are our forever Father and I worship you.
WORSHIP THE FIRST-CENTURY WAY is a follow up to its companion book, WORSHIP CHANGES SINCE THE FIRST CENTURY. It was written for denominational leaders with prayers for wisdom throughout and quotes from famous theologians. Buy as a gift or purchase in bulk for the entire congregation. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://bit.ly/37akvlF
The scripture for today, June 23 (6/23), is 2nd Chronicles 6:23 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“Then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, repaying the guilty by bringing down on his own head what he has done. Declare the innocent not guilty and so establish his innocence.”
Did you notice here that God brings down on our head what we do to others? It includes how we treat him too. If we don’t have time for God, God doesn’t have time for us. If we put God last, he puts us last. If we refuse to forgive others, he refuses to forgive us. This is the boomerang effect. Here are several scriptures that reflect God doing to people what they do.
“The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. The Lord is known by his justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.” (Psalm 9:15-16)
“In his arrogance, the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.” (Psalm 10:2).
“The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright. But their swords will pierce their own hearts.” (Psalm 37:14-15)
“Let the heads of those who surround me be covered with the trouble their lips have caused.” (Psalm 140:9)
“He mocks proud mockers.” (Proverbs 3:34)
“Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?” (Proverbs 6:27)
“If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.” (Proverbs 26:27)
“Woe to you, O destroyer, you have not been destroyed! Woe to you, O traitor, you have not been betrayed. When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed; when you stop betraying, you will be betrayed.” (Isaiah 33:1)
“According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes.” (Isaiah 59:18)
“I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices.” (Ezekiel 7:8)
“As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.” (Obadiah 1:15)
In the meantime, we’re to leave punishment to God. And, if you are falsely accused of anything, God will declare you innocent. His is the important judgment.