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A little extra seeking and knocking

Strip of InspirationalAh, how can I praise you enough, Jehovah God? You are so good to me. You poured out your heart to the world in your Bible. How lucky I am to have a copy of it and live where anyone can have as many copies as they like. Lord God, I adore you. You are so high, I delight to follow you and try to reach up as high as you do. You’re never quite so far that I cannot sometimes touch you. To know you is to love you. You are my God and will be forever. 

Thank you, God, for freedom to study your Book of all books.  I have a copy of your very own words. How amazing. Every word is so fascinating. You pour out your heart and withhold nothing of your plans, emotions, and doings. And thank you for the exhilarating gift of mind that allows humans to know of your existence and to understand who you are. Thank you for making me so much in your image that I have your same emotions, instinctively long for wisdom, and delight in creating. Thank you for all that I am.


The scripture for today, July 7 (7/7), is Matthew 7:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.”

How beautiful. The Creator of the universe pays attention to each and every one of us. How does he do it? How does he even sort us all out when thousands of us are praying to him at the same time?

But sometimes you may think he is not listening to your prayers. It takes time to answer some of them. If I am praying to meet my future husband or wife, God may have to move him or her from the other side of the country, get a new job for him or her and arrange for the two of you to “accidentally” bump into each other. This is just one example.

At other times you may ask for something like winning a ball game. When Jesus said whatever we seek will be given to you, he had already explained that you must “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). So, within that context, God will give you your heart’s desire.

Maybe today, you can do a little bit of extra seeking and extra knocking.


TOUCHING GOD SERIES is a trilogy including (1) 365 GOLDEN BIBLE THOUGHTS: GOD’S HEART TO YOURS, (2) 365 PEARLS OF WISDOM: GOD’S SOUL TO YOURS; (3) 365 SILVER-WINGED PRAYERS: YOUR SPIRIT TO GOD’S.  A perfect way to begin or end your day. Or read one inspiration in the morning, one at noon, one in the evening.  To BUY NOW, click the book covers or paste this:  http://bit.ly/TouchingGod-Series         https://northernlightsbooks.org/touching-god-series/

 

Wisdom, understanding, & God’s opinion

The scripture for today, July 2 (7/2), is Proverbs 7:2ff , as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

“Keep my commands, and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’ and call understanding your kinsman.”

It is popular today for people to reject Christianity because they don’t like rules. That is not logical. Everything in life has rules ~ getting tired, and having to sleep is a rule, eating to stay alive is a rule, not running your car into someone else’s car is a rule.  True Christianity has the same kind of logical rules.

But it seems, everywhere we turn, we are given differing religious rules and way too many. They cannot all be true, yet people who give them seems to be so good. They all pray and do good deeds and never kill, cheat, or steal.

How can they all be right when they contradict each other? Preachers and creeds and elders and dogmas. No wonder people are turned off by “organized religion”.  When it comes down to it, only God’s opinion counts.

So how do we get God’s opinion? We look up everything in the Bible using the keyword we are concerned about. We look it up for ourselves and decide for ourselves. We do not let other people decide for us.

Well, how do we find all those verses? By using a concordance, which is like a large dictionary listing all the words in the Bible and what verses carry those words. It is the size of a large-city telephone book. You can also get it on the internet free here:  http://bibletab.com/

So today, look up something about Christianity you have always been curious about. It will open up a whole new world for you. Then you’ll have wisdom, understanding, and God’s opinion.


All praises belong to you, my Lord and my God, for your intelligence and wisdom. You put together this whole material world. What I learn about this world you created helps me understand better your spiritual world. What I learn about life in this world helps me understand true life in your world. How awesome and amazing it all is.  How awesome and amazing you are. More than I can grasp but tantalizing and testing me to try.  And you smile. It is what you planned for me to do. You wanted me to touch you.

And it rained a little bit last night. The night before the sky was so clear with no moon and the stars glistened like diamonds. Oh, the enchantments you bring with the changes in the sky, each good in their own way. Storm clouds, rainbows, funny-shaped clouds, sunsets and sunrises. Ah, my Lord, thank you.

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365 PEARLS OF WISDOM: GOD’S SOUL TO YOURS.  This second of the trilogy, TOUCHING GOD, provides a daily short saying from the ancient sheik, Job, from King David’s psalms, and from his son King Solomon’s Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. Job lived some thousand years before David and Solomon; yet we see the same wisdom of God shines forth in every millennium of mankind. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/365PearlsOfWisdom            https://northernlightsbooks.org/365-pearls-of-wisdom-gods-soul-to-yours/

 

The Divine Boomerang Effect

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.

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365 PEARLS OF WISDOM: GOD’S SOUL TO YOURS.  Most of the warnings in today’s devo come from the “Wisdom Literature” of the Bible.  This second of the trilogy, Touching God, provides a daily short saying from the ancient sheik, Job, from King David’s psalms, and from his son King Solomon’s Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. Job lived some thousand years before David and Solomon; yet we see the same wisdom of God shines forth in every millennium of mankind.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:   https://bit.ly/365PearlsOfWisdom    https://northernlightsbooks.org/365-pearls-of-wisdom-gods-soul-to-yours/

 

Delightful Serendipity. And I smile.

Heaven stirs. The song comes near. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Angel wings are heard then stilled.  Prayers rise from earth and soar to your majestic throne.  The mountains declare your glory and the ocean answers with a mighty roar.  Your love is like trees in a storm, bending but not breaking, and coming back stronger than ever. My praises break forth from my heart, dear Lord, in jubilation. The forests shiver in excitement and the tiniest creature answers with its tiny squeak.

Your love melts the hardest heart and chases away the worst sinful thoughts. Your love strengthens the weakest heart and makes it bold in the face of fear.  Your love shouts from the mountain tops in glistening white purity and spreads delight, wonder, and exultation to those willing to look up. You emerge from the depths of the oceans in face of storms, for nothing can hold you back. You reign from the heavens and are all glorious. Whatever I do, you are there. Whether I run or walk, you are there. Whether I work or rest, you are there. You are in my song and in my silence.

It is dawn. The sun is shining today. We have had a lot of rain and that made the gardens happy. Now the sun is back, gleaming in a deep blue sky while cottony white clouds bounce here and there in satisfaction. Delightful serendipity, no matter what the heavens bring day by day, I thank you for that.  And I smile.

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THE OLD OLD STORY SET TO OLD OLD TUNES.  Forty-four songs for the Old Testament and forty-four songs for the New Testament. This book may be used by teachers or given as gifts to children. Anyone who knows these common folk tunes will be able to sing the songs immediately. If you do not know any of the tunes, you can find them on the internet.   To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/OldStoryOldTunes                                                    https://northernlightsbooks.org/links-to-some-of-my-fun-bible-stuff/the-old-old-story-set-to-old-old-tunes/

The Unknown Future

The scripture for today, June 20 (6/20), is Matthew 6:20f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

In describing heaven, terms are used like pearls, diamonds, emeralds, gold, and so on. So, certainly, God is not against riches. Otherwise, he would not have described heaven with those terms.

So, what is the problem? Ask yourself, “If I lost everything tomorrow, could I face life?.”  You may say yes, but what about your friends? They may not want to associate with someone with nothing. So, it is not only a greed problem but a social problem. It is a problem of losing both your possessions and your friends.

Some have solved this problem by moving out into the country where possessions and social status don’t mean so much. Or you could stay where you are and just change your choice of friends. Your new friends may be truer friends than you ever had before and may need you more.

Lastly, if you lost your job, your car, your home ~ your identity ~ would you be so devastated that you would contemplate suicide as some have done? Or would you be able to look around and see what you can do without being paid and a job to occupy your time?

There are always things you can do for others. Is that truly where your heart is? In that case, loss of everything would not bring catastrophe. Rather, it would give opportunity to reveal what stuff you are made of deep down inside where your true treasure is ~ in your heart.

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THE ROAD TO HEAVEN.  It’s a long road.  It began in the Gaden of Eden.  What has it taken to get you forgiven?  It’s been a long battle between God and Satan, both of which are trying to get you on their side.  And the logistics God worked out:  He’s always fooling Satan.  Satan does not understand God. So, even though he thinks he is winning, he is not. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://bit.ly/Road-To-Heaven                                           https://northernlightsbooks.org/the-road-to-heaven/

Be a hero to yourself: Hang on.

The scripture for today, July 13 (7/13), is in Job 7:13ff in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint, even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine. I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.”

Job was extremely depressed. It happens to everyone sometimes. His depression was certainly valid ~ he had lost all his income and all his children in a recent storm. Now he had what the Bible translated as “boils” but the symptoms indicate he had a form of leprosy called Elephantiasis.

This particular form leads to nightmares in addition to the physical problems. Job had every right to be depressed. So depressed was he, that he no longer wanted to live, for his life no longer had meaning.

But, as miserable as Job was, he hung on. Patiently he hung on during the bad times. Sometimes during your bad times, the greatest thing you can do is “hang on” ~ be patient.

Romans 8:28 says all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. Job loved the Lord. Even in his misery and desire to die,  he continued to love God and trust Him.

And, although at such times you may believe your misery will never end and you will never even smile again, it will happen. The misery comes to an end. It did for Job. He got his health and income back and more children to comfort him. God will see you through too.

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INSIDE THE HEARTS OF BIBLE WOMEN.  What did Job’s wife endure with the loss of all her children? What did she go through as she watched her husband suffer physically and mentally. What was her own anguish?  The word “barek” translated “curse” is always translated “bless” everywhere else in the Bible.  Do you suppose she finally said, “Husband, it’s okay if you die.  I’ll be all right.  Just keep blessing God and go to him in comfort.” Read the story of Job’s wife and other women in the Bible and how they handled their own challenges.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/HeartsBibleWomen                                                                      https://northernlightsbooks.org/1107-2/my-book-inside-the-hearts-of-bible-women/

 

Have they lost hope?

The scripture for today, June 11 (6/11), is Job 6:11 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects that I should be patient?”

Many people use the expression, “patience of Job.” But he had on-and-off patience, for he was very sick. By descriptions he gave of himself ~ sores, rancid breath, low voice, partial blindness, skin turned hard and black, bloating, nightmares, extreme pain, unrecognized by his closest friends ~ some believe he had a grotesque form of elephantiasis leprosy.

What did he need from his friends? He surely didn’t get it, for they spent their time trying to prove he had sinned, and God was right to be punishing him. His reply? “I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all! Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing?” (Job 16:2f).

So how do you comfort someone who feels utterly hopeless? You certainly do not put the blame on them, nor do you tell them it’s “all in your head’ or to “snap out of it.”  You can share times when we felt hopeless. You can weep with them. You can hold their hand. You can sit with them in silence. You can pray aloud for them. (Some people have never heard their name mentioned in a prayer.)

And you need to let them talk. Sometimes they will say things they don’t mean in the long run, but at that brief moment, they do. Or sometimes, they need to talk through things they are unsure about. They may even say contradictory things.

At one time, Job said, “Surely, O God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household….God assails me and tears me in his anger and gnashes his teeth at me” (16:7f). But another time he said, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end, he will stand upon the earth….I myself will see him with my own eyes ~ I and not another. How my heart yearns within me” (19:25f).

Do you have a very sick friend? Do you have a friend who has lost hope?  Let your heart yearn with them.

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A CHILD’S BIBLE KIDS:  JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER.  She was lively Leah and very happy from the time she was born.  But, when she was 12, she got very sick. The doctor came, but could not make her better. Her father was a rabbi and decided to ask Jesus to heal her. He found Jesus and begged him to come heal his little girl. But a surprise happened.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….http://bit.ly/JairusDtr                                                       https://northernlightsbooks.org/a-childs-bible-kids-book-7-jairus-daughter/?frame-nonce=dcd871ac5b

Tears Blended with Your Blood

Lord, you never forget me. You have so much to do in the universe to keep the stars in their heavens, the planets in their orbits, and the seas in their bounds. More, you are always thinking about me. I am always on your mind. You watch me and do all that is necessary to guide me, though you leave the choice up to me. You are so boundless in knowledge and wisdom, yet you respect my decisions ~ right or wrong. Even when my decisions are wrong, you do not interfere. You give me room to think and change my mind. I lift up my hands in praise to you. You are the Great God of the universe, Ruler of heaven & earth and King of my heart. 

Your eyes were so sleepy on the day you were born. Ah, what a journey you had made. By the time the wise men found you, your eyes were big and wide and full of curiosity.  As you grew up, your eyes looked intently at what was around you and a vague memory approached of you having made it all. As a full-grown man, your eyes looked with pity on the sick, the crippled, the diseased, the handicapped and you healed them all. Then one day those eyes were filled with tears as you looked down from the cross at people bragging they were at last killing you. Those tears blended with your blood fell on the hearts of mankind. I kneel before you, my tears mingling with yours and I worship you.

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THEY MET JESUS:  SHADOW OF DEATH. The priests thought they had killed him.  The Romans thought they had killed him. Satan thought he had killed him.  Wrong. They had all been wrong.  You cannot kill God.  In holy defiance, he re-entered that mangled body, renewed it, and came back to life to live on forever.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://bit.ly/ShadowOfDeath-7 https://northernlightsbooks.org/historical-novel-about-jesus/book-7-shadow-of-death-adults-childs-versions/

 

But God is a Gentleman

The scripture for today, June 4 (6/4), is Psalm 6:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.”

Have you ever walked away from God then couldn’t figure out how to make a turnaround and get your life back on track? Are you there now?  Stop! 

Stop whatever you are thinking and feeling and considering.  Look behind you.  God is a gentleman and will never force Himself on you. When you turn away from him, he turns away from you.  But, oh, how he misses you.  He wants you back so you can feel his love again. 

All you have to do is stop everything and call for him to come get you. “Turn, O Lord! Turn! Deliver me!”

Why would God be so good to someone walking away from him? Because he loves you and is always listening for your voice calling out for him. His love is unfailing.

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A CHILD’S BIBLE HEROES:  ISAAC & JACOB.  Jacob’s grandfather was the great Abraham.  How often did he shame his grandfather and father, Isaac?  He was selfish, arrogant, a belligerent.  He fought with his twin brother so bad, his brother threatened to kill him.  He ran away from home, and learned his lesson.  His arrogance turned into strength under control. And God never left him.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/3rcRNtZ                  https://northernlightsbooks.org/a-childs-bible-heroes-book-4-isaac-jacob/?frame-nonce=1e7c6b1760

 

What if Jesus had refused to forgive you?

The scripture for today, May 25 (5/25), is Galatians 5:25f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking, and envying each other.”

When someone is better than you in doing something, do you pick fights with them as punishment, or spread gossip about them in order to get others to quit respecting them? Do you become a persecutor?

Perhaps you don’t do this all the time. But what about times when there is something you feel you are really good at, but another person not as talented gets the honor? That’s when it’s hard to “keep in step with the Spirit.”

Someone else may say, “But they just barged in and didn’t ask my permission.  I can’t get rid of that hurt.”  When you sin, do you ask God’s permission before you do it? If you didn’t, do you think God “just can’t get rid of the hurt”? God treats you the way you treat others.

Whenever you envy or resent someone, deep down, you consider that person your enemy. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45a). What are you willing to do to continue being a child of God?

To many, loving our enemy is the most difficult command in the Bible. Perhaps one way to love your “enemy” is to realize that Jesus loved his enemies. Every time you sin, you become one of his enemies. But Jesus keeps right on loving you, even when you don’t want to stop doing whatever you shouldn’t.

Jesus demonstrates the love of the Son of God. And here he says, if you love your enemies, you are demonstrating what the children of God do. And that is far more important than honor and respect that goes to those you envy or resent. Leaving behind conceit makes it much easier to love everyone.  Love everyone?  What an intriguing thought.

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THEY MET JESUS:  SHADOW OF DEATH.  In a sense, the whole world since the creation of mankind, crucified Jesus.  That’s whose sins he carried on himself.  What if Jesus had refused to forgive the world for sinning against him and crucifying him?  What if….?  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://bit.ly/ShadowOfDeath-7                https://northernlightsbooks.org/historical-novel-about-jesus/book-7-shadow-of-death-adults-childs-versions/

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