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Category: Inspirational Page 2 of 216

Joy in fasting?

00-cover-kindle-medium-newThe scripture for today, June 17 (6/17), is Matthew 6:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face.”

This is interesting because Jesus did not say “If, you fast,” but rather “When you fast.” It was as though he was teaching us to take for granted that we would fast ~ it would be second-nature to us. In a sense, it is, for when most people go through a sudden tragedy such as loss of a loved one, they often cannot eat.

But what about voluntary fasting? The early church sometimes fasted. Acts 13:2 says a congregation in Antioch, Syria, fasted and worshipped, then chose men to go out as missionaries. Queen Esther fasted before going to the king uninvited with a request he might not like (Esther 4:16). Isaiah 58:3 says people fasted in order to humble themselves.

Some people respond, “I’d die if I had to fast.” Perhaps that’s kind of the idea. We know we would die if we went without food long enough. So perhaps one day of fasting is a way of saying, “God, I would die for you if I had to.” Yes, fasting is a humbling experience and frightening to some people. But perhaps that is the point.

Is something important coming up that you know you will be urgently praying about? Once you skip one meal, you will have conquered your desire to eat. Then, with your brain not having to concentrate on digesting food, it will be able to focus more on that important thing happening in your life. Your prayers will be more focused. You will be more focused with your eyes more clearly on God.

So, take a shower, comb your hair, put on some nice clothes, and look like you have something important to do. Then fast.

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APPLIED CHRISTIANITY:  A HANDBOOK OF 500 GOOD WORKS.  Handicapped? Wanting to do good works for others anyway? Too busy to add good works to your already cluttered life? What do you say when a friend’s relative dies? Wonder how to handle gossip, baby showers, mean bosses, etc. in the workplace? Do the poor in other countries bother you? Want to teach your children to do good deeds? To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/APPLIEDCHRISTIANITY  https://northernlightsbooks.org/1107-2/my-book-applied-christianity/

 

Love Letters From God

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.

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LOVE LETTERS OF JESUS & HIS BRIDE, ECCLESIA.  Look over their shoulder at their love letters [chapters in Song of Solomon] beginning with the time he finds her in the clutches of Satan and pays the terrible blood ransom to free her. He takes her to their Garden and they fall even more in love. Then on to the times she wanders away and he follows her to bring her back to him. Their story ends with Ecclesia desperately calling to him, “Come, Lord Jesus.”.  He replies, “I am coming soon.”  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/LoveLettersOfJesus                            https://northernlightsbooks.org/love-letters-of-jesus-his-bride-ecclesia-2/

What’s in the blood?

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.

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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/  

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/

 

God loves to answer prayer

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.

God loves to answer prayer. Do you love prayer?

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TOUCHING GOD.  SILVER-WINGED PRAYERS: YOUR SPIRIT TO GOD’S. I dare you to pray for 50 people, 100 people, 500 people. You do not need to explain each person’s needs. God knows them. If all you can do is bring their names before the throne of God, then do that.  May these prayers help you along the way to connect with your Maker, your God, the Lover of your Soul. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/SilverWingedPrayers    https://northernlightsbooks.org/365-silver-winged-prayers-your-spirit-to-gods/

 

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

Feeling Rich When You’re Not

The scripture for today, June 10 (6/10), is Proverbs 6:10f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest ~ and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”

Oh! This scripture really comes to the point, doesn’t it? Perhaps during difficult economic times for some people, this can be a gentle reminder. If you can’t work for money, you can work for free. There is always work to do as a volunteer either in an organization or just by yourself. All it takes is for you to look around.

Well, if you’re already in the clutches of poverty, what will volunteering do to help the situation? People will notice you. They will notice your work ethic and your cheerfulness and your thoughtfulness.  They will know you are out of work and just might tell people looking for someone to hire. And in the process, you are helping others. That in itself can make you feel rich ~ even if you’re not.

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APPLIED CHRISTIANITY: A HANDBOOK OF 500 GOOD WORKS.  Every possible type of good work is included in this book, along with step-by-step methods. Something for everyone, whether you have 10 minutes a day or 1 hour a day available.  There is something everyone can do. I Corinthians 9:23 ~ “I am made all things to all men that I might, by all means, save some.”  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/APPLIEDCHRISTIANITY         https://northernlightsbooks.org/1107-2/my-book-applied-christianity/

 

Can I ever smile again?

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.

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MEFIBOSET: CRIPPLED PRINCE.  He lost everything ~ his father, his grandfather, his throne, his palace home, use of his legs.  Though he must constantly deal with three enemies who do everything they can to make his life miserable, Mefiboset, grandson of a king, is an overcomer, a climber, a conqueror who triumphs in the end. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://bit.ly/Crippled-Prince                                                                                          https://northernlightsbooks.org/books-more-biblical-historical-novels/book-4-mefiboset-crippled-prince/

 

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/

 

A Tower that Cannot Collapse

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?

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THE LORD’S SUPPER:  52 READINGS WITH PRAYERS.  Excellent to keep by the communion table to be used by those presiding.  Also, members can order their own copy for their personal meditation while partaking of this holy moment every Sunday while partaking of the Lord’s Supper — the great reminder.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://bit.ly/LordsSupper52      https://northernlightsbooks.org/the-lords-supper-52-readings-with-prayers/

 

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