My Father, you are my king. You are crowned with the sun. Your scepter is tipped with the moon. Your robe spreads across millions of galaxies. Your throne is the dome of the cosmos encircled with a thousand rainbows. Your eyes sparkle like stars, your laughter is like the thunder, your tears like raindrops, your touch like billowy clouds gliding across the sky. Oh, my Lord. I love you, adore you, worship you. I am your bride and long for you.
My Lord, you have given me so much. I have a decent place to live with air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter. I have decent clothes to wear, nutritious food, doctors nearby. I even have the luxuries of a TV, cell phone, and computer. I take them for granted far too much. I sometimes forget others in the world who live in fear their freedom and luxuries will be taken from them. If it is your will that I become one of them, grant me strength to do it.
Ah, Lord Jesus. What a life you lived! You never sinned and that means you never passed up anyone who needed you. I think you must have been skinny. You must have skipped many a meal to get to everyone. And the awesome miracles you performed! Growing cut-off arms and legs back, returning the noses, fingers and toes to lepers, making the forever blind see, opening the ears of the deaf so they could hear your voice and the amazing words that came from your lips. Thank you, thank you for showing us who you really were ~ God materialized.
STEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR. Saul goes after both Stephen and Simon of Cyrene. They rush to save each other’s lives. Stephen distracts the Sanhedrin with a long history lesson until Simon can escape to Antioch….As Stephen takes his final steps toward the stoning pit, he can still hear his father in years past. “Take another step, Son. Now another. Hold your head high. Don’t let them see weakness. You’re doing fine. Now another step. I’m here, Son. I will never leave you. You’re almost home.” To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this: https://bit.ly/StephenUnlikelyMartyr https://northernlightsbooks.org/books-more-biblical-historical-novels/book-7-stephen-unlikely-martyr/
I praise you, Jehovah God of the universe and God of my heart. You are above all things, below all things and in all things. Yet you live in my heart and speak to me in your Word ~ Jesus, your brainchild. You have poured out your heart to mankind in your Word. You have exposed your greatest desires, greatest disappointments, and greatest glory in your Bible. You reign over the world, crowned with honor, truth, and love. How can I thank you enough for your Bible? I read and learn, read and learn, and there is no end to it So amazing it all is ~ each sentence you breathed into it. It contains examples of every type of behavior and how to keep doing it or change. It contains the answers to life’s questions. It is all I need or could ever hope for. It tells how much you love me and your patience when I walk away from you. It sings your praises and draws me back to you. I bow to you in gratitude.
Ah, my Lord. You made us for your pleasure, for Love cannot stand to be alone. Love must have others to love. But pure love must give a choice to love in return and not be forced. You gave us choice, thus taking the chance we might reject you. Little children love you because not too long before their birth, they beheld your face. May I be as the little child. May my eyes always twinkle, my lips grin wide, and my arms reach out for you. And when I my soul trips and falls sometimes in its hurry, may you reach down, wipe my tears away, hold me in your protective arms and kiss away my hurt. Help me be like a trusting little child. I am trying, Lord. I am trying.
I praise you, Lord God of my heart. You are my king, my Father, my Creator, my Life, my Betrothed, the Lover of my soul. You are all I need and all everyone else needs. I came from you and find peace only when I go back to you. You made me, I am yours. I belong to you and long to return to you. I worship you both now and forever.
Forgive me for not sharing what you are with more people and showing them what you can make of them. You can make their life beautiful. How dare I keep it a secret!
Ah, my Lord, I cannot thank you enough for giving me your Bible. Within its pages is glory. It brims with delight, for I never have to guess what you’re thinking. They are your love letters to me. You are always on my mind. Sometimes I can hardly wait to join you in your home when I will know what you are like face to face. What a day that will be. Home coming! The angels and cherub and all of heaven will rejoice when I arrive, but none will rejoice more than I. What a wonder you are in the brilliance of your glory and majesty.
The scripture for today, June 14 (6/14), is Numbers 6:14 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“There he is to present his offerings to the Lord…a year-old ewe lamb without defect for a sin offering…. “
A lot of people don’t understand what Jesus dying on a cross has to do with going to heaven. Romans 6:23 says, “the wages of sin is death.” ~ both physical and soul death. It is what we earn when we sin. It is Satan who pays us our wages.
In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve, the day you sin you will die. Indeed, the day they fell into Satan’s deceptive trap and sinned, their souls were separated from God.
Leviticus 17:11 “The life of the body is in the blood.” Although Hebrews 10:4 says the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin, their blood was a reminder of the horribleness of a violent, bloody death – whether physical or spiritual.
Finally, God the Word came to earth as a human, and John the Baptist called him the Lamb of God (John 1:29). Jesus was perfect; that is, he never sinned, he had no defects (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, Satan had no hold on him (John 14:30). But he took the blame for our sins (II Corinthians 5:21) and faced down Satan with them.
What does blood do? It delivers oxygen to the lungs and it delivers poisons to be destroyed by the liver which is in our side. So, after Jesus took that last belabored breath, a soldier opened his side with a spear, and out came all our poison sins along with the water which symbolizes rebirth.
Hours before his crucifixion, Jesus said in John 12:1, “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” How? In his dying, he could now cast out Satan’s greatest weapon – death. Just when Satan thought he had won, Jesus came back to life so that “through death, he destroyed him who had the power of death – the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).
Then God said, If you’ll believe and imitate sinless Jesus, I will forgive and consider you sinless too (Romans 6). Then I’ll bring you back to life in heaven.
Power in the blood? Wonderful power!
And, by the way, since he came back to life on Sunday, that’s what makes Sunday so special. It’s the I’m-sorry-you-had-to-die-for-my-sins Day. It’s the “Do-this-in-remembrance-of-me” Lord’s Supper Day. It’s the Gratitude Day.
THEY MET JESUS: SHADOW OF DEATH. It takes two chapters to entirely cover the crucifixion of Jesus — one chapter for the first three hours, a second chapter for the last three hours. Then the measly funeral held in the cave with two secret followers, his mother. and four other women just as the sun slipped away on the most terrible day in the history of mankind. The following book, COME FLY WITH ME, is the victory book. 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/
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.
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/
The scripture for today, June 12 (6/12), is Luke 6:12 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“One of those days, Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”
How in the world did Jesus think of enough things to say that he could pray all night? Most of us, on a good day, only manage a 5-minute prayer. The next verse says that the next morning he selected his twelve apostles. Aha! He had a list. He had probably spent at least half an hour each praying about them by name, as well as about others he was considering. Jesus knew what his apostles would be facing someday. Which ones would be loyal enough, stubborn enough, strong-willed enough to someday in the future endure persecution, torture (skinned alive, beaten to death, burned), and martyrdom for him?
Who do you pray for by name? Do you have a prayer list? How about opening the newspaper and praying for all those people in the news ~ perpetrators, victims, causes, governments, situations? Or everyone you work with? Or everyone your children go to school with? Or all their teachers and administrators? Or the clerks in the stores you go to regularly? Or members of an organization you belong to? Or every member of your congregation? What about countries where people become Christians at risk of their freedom and even their lives?
There are always people in need of prayer. And one of the joys of such a prayer life is now and then telling people whom you know that they are in your prayers, or writing a note to someone who is a stranger to you telling them that you pray for them.
Some people have never heard their names in prayer. Some people have never even been told that someone prays for them.
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.
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
The scripture for today, June 9 (6/9), is Job 6:9-8 found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off!”
Job was suffering terribly. The Bible says he had sores all over his body. There were other symptoms listed elsewhere in Job that indicate he had a form of leprosy. Now he just wanted to die.
When you get into a life problem that seems hopeless, do you just give up and say, “God, I can’t go on like this. Just take my life right now. It’s too hard. I can’t do it anymore”?
God knows what you are going through. God knows that Satan is attacking you. When things are desperately low, your job is just to hang on. It often takes God time to shift around a lot of other people’s lives in order to alleviate your pain.
Remember, God hurts just as much when you suffer as when he watched his own Son suffer on the cross. His Son’s suffering accomplished something wonderful for others. So too, someday your suffering will somehow, in some way, accomplish something good. And ultimately, just by surviving, Satan loses, and God wins.
This too, will pass. You may not think so, but it will. You may think you will never smile again, never want to go around people again, never sing again. But you will. Just as Job did.
You are the God of beauty to my senses, magnificence to my heart, awesomeness to my mind. You made me, and how I long to return to my Maker. Your hands formed me. Your breath brought life to my body. Your spirit made my soul eternal. When I die, I will only change worlds. When I die, I will enter into your wondrous eternal home and bask in the light of your love, the tenderness of your touch, the wonder of your very presence.
Thank you, Lord God, for all you have done to save me from the punishment for my sins ~ hell, an eternal living death. An existence where Satan’s masquerade is over. An existence with no light, no goodness, no patience, no love. A place with no walls of salvation, no streets to walk on, no foundations for a bottomless existence. An existence without God is horrid. You have prodded and poked mankind to lure us away from hell. You do everything possible and keep us for yourself but so many believe Satan’s lies that you hate them. Your love is a tower that cannot collapse. It is a wall that cannot be penetrated. A fortress that cannot fall. How can I thank you?
Ah, my Lord, you are all I need. You have a home prepared and all waiting for me at the end of my sojourn here. Oh, blessed and joyous homecoming. How I long for it to be now. How I long to dwell with you and praise you each moment of eternity. And, having crowned me with your love, I will declare my fealty to you and reign with you as an unworthy exalted servant over whatever worlds you place under me. Forever, I will be yours. And so I worship you.
I’m neglecting other people too much. This is a constant sin I struggle with. How can you keep forgiving me when I do it over and over? Interfere with my life so I will look beyond what I like to what others like.
I know I cannot join you in your realm yet because you say I still have work to do. Thank you for the church so we can encourage each other’s work. So we can learn more about you as a group. So we don’t have to face our sins alone. So we can share our sadness with those who love us. So, we can be priests to each other and make sacrifices for each other. So we can pray for each other and read your Word together. So we can share our little victories with each other. So we can struggle to do better together. So we can lift each other and never feel alone. Thank you for your Plan to continue the wondrous life of Christ on earth through our combined efforts. And your promise to lift us up to reign with you some day in the heavens.
REVELATION: A LOVE LETTER FROM GOD. This is God’s last love letter to the world. He has done everything possible to help us escape hell, including offering his only begotten son to die in our place. We are his children. He loves us and does not want us to be hurt. Amidst their fear, he tells of the overwhelming joy he can give those who accept his Son as Lord of their life. One last reassurance. One last love letter from God. To BUY, click a book cover or paste this: https://bit.ly/REVELATION-LOVE https://northernlightsbooks.org/1107-2/my-book-revelationa-love-letter-from-god/