I praise you, Jehovah, Creator of everything I observe and more. You are too large to see all of you. You are too small to perceive your intricacies, too much to fathom, too wise to comprehend. You are my monarch, my sovereign, my emperor, my king. You reign over my heart, my mind, my spirit, my soul. And one day I will see you face to face. What will it be like? Actually seeing he who made the universe with over two trillion galaxies, each filled with one hundred thousand million stars. And you know them all by name. Better, you know me by name. How I worship you.
Thank you for the rain we had to nourish my thirsty garden. How do you make such fantastic things out of tiny seeds? Beets with one seed, carrots with another seed, radishes with another, corn, wheat, beans, tomatoes ~ all from tiny seeds. I put them under ground, they die, then they come back to life in delightful assorted sizes, shapes, colors, and tastes. Oh, how you must enjoy creating and giving life. Such pleasure you must receive from watching my little garden grow. I do too, Lord. I do too.
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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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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.
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.
The scripture for today, June 18 (6/18), is 2nd Chronicles 6:18a as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you.”
Did you ever want to see God, to talk to him face to face? Perhaps something bad had just happened in your life, and you had this urge to bawl him out, then let him explain why. Or did you ever want to touch God? Perhaps you were so very lonely that you desperately needed his arms around you, and feel his touch as he brushed away your tears.
But, if you could see him and touch him, it would mean that he could not be with others in the world at that time and could not hear anyone else’s prayers at that time except yours. Try to be grateful that you cannot see and touch him for now. He is always available to you, regardless of where you are in this vast world and regardless of how many others are praying to him at that moment.
How he can sort out all our prayers at once is mind-boggling. How he can be everywhere at once is amazing. How he can love each one of us as though we were the only person in the world is miraculous and incredible.
The scripture for today, May 17 (5/17) is John 5:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.’ “
Psalm 115:12 says God is thinking about you all the time. When you’re walking, riding, talking, doing, coming, going. God is always working for you. A popular song a few years ago was, “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands.”
But does he always keep you from harm? He gave you free will, and sometimes you don’t make good choices. Others around you have free will, and they sometimes don’t make good choices.
If everything was perfect, this would be heaven. But it is not. Heaven is for later after we go through some tests. Regardless of what happens here, God is beside you if you fall, ready to get to work, ready to hold out his hand to lift you up.
How he loves you and cherishes you and cares for you. He always will if you follow him. Then, after you have fulfilled your own work here on earth, you can follow him right through the gates into that perfect world you wish you had now ~ heaven. Then wish will be reality.
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The scripture for today, May 4 (5/4), is 1st Peter 5:4 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“And when the Chief Shepherd [Jesus] appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
The world is frustrated with and has left “organized religion,” and it is our fault. We brought it on ourselves. We have organized our denominations to death, and the spiritually minded have said, “Enough is enough. I want none of it. I just want Jesus.”
Look at all the denominations that appoint someone to be the head of their religion at their world headquarters. He goes by different titles ~ bishop, high priest, father, pope, president. Their headquarters may be a small office or a multi-story building, or an entire complex of buildings.
From here, the head meets regularly with his immediate underlings (who are still much higher than us ordinary people) to make decisions for their denomination. They pass regulations on who can hold office, what percent of income must be given to their denomination, where their contributions must be spent, amendments to their particular creed, and on and on. (By the way, shepherd is translated in modern English to pastor.)
Here is a unique thought: Let us set this system aside and replace everything with Jesus as the only head, and let the world headquarters be in heaven! We do not have to rely on the decisions of men but on the decisions of God the Son who loved us so much that he became human for a while so he could die for us. Maybe we need to sell our big buildings, give the money to mission work and the poor, and return to meeting in unorganized homes or fields.
We don’t even need a creed, because, if it is less than the Bible, it isn’t enough; if it is more than the Bible, it is too much, and if it is the same as the Bible, why have it?
No more “organized religion.” No more divisiveness. No more denominationalism. Just one united church of Christ with its divine Founder as our sole leader, and His divine words as our sole creed. This will never fade away.
Jesus is the crown giver. Return Him to His throne and watch the world return to Him.
The scripture for today, May 2 (5/2), is Micah 5:2 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
In today’s world completely connected and interconnected universally, people are asking, “Who is the Higher Power?”. Some say the Muslim Allah is, some say the Hindu Brahman is, some say the Buddhist Nirvana, some say the Jehovah of Christianity is. This is called the “New Age Movement.”
Buddhism (though most people do not realize where it came from) has infiltrated the young culture by declaring there is no such thing as truth. One thing is true to one person, an opposite thing is truth to another person, so believe what you want. Hinduism teaches we have to keep being reborn and live through this yard life eternally or until we become perfect. Islam teaches paradise is a place where you can drink all the wine you want and never get drunk, and are waited on my wide-eyed virgins.
None of the writings of these religions have been proven true. The Bible is the only religious book in the world with built-in proofs that it is of divine origin. Prophecies of many events in the life of Christ and of entire empires flow throughout the Old Testament. No human could have known these hundreds of facts hundreds of years before they happened. And, if these prophecies were truth, then the rest of the Bible is truth.
Today’s amazing scripture prophecies where the “ruler…from ancient times” ~ the eternal king ~ will be born. It gives the exact city Jesus (who had been in heaven before his human birth) would be born in but was written seven centuries before his birth.
The Word of God in flesh wasn’t just a prophet, he wasn’t just a good man, he wasn’t a fraud. Thank God, He thought of everything to help us believe Jesus was, indeed, the Son of God, God materialized.
The scripture for today, April 29 (4/29), is Deuteronomy 4:29 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Ah, to find God. Who are you, God? What do you do all through my day? What do you have to say to me? Or do you not say anything? Do you even see me, God? Where are you? I cannot find you.
Open your eyes, friend. God is always nearby. There is an old expression, “To know him is to love him.” So true. To find God, get to know him. He is talking to you right now in his Bible, explaining what he is like and how he reacts to every possible situation in life. Open your Bible. Look through the mini-books within. God not only gives you examples of right and wrong ways to seek Him, but he gives you beautiful psalms and proverbs for your everyday life. And, wonder of wonders, He tells how He came down to us and walked among us as Jesus. Seek him there. He is talking to you.
Then take the next step. When he asks questions to people in his Bible, take them as your questions and answer them. When he tells someone to stop doing wrong, take them as yours and admit to him the things you do or say that are wrong. When he blesses people in the Bible, take them as your blessings and thank him for them.
Yes, seek, and you will find. This mutual conversation with God is the with-all-your-heart-and-soul kind. You can do it. He’s waiting for you. Shhhh. Do you hear the silence? It’s your turn. Talk to God.
The scripture for today, April 28 (4/28), is Mark 4:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“All by itself, the soil produces grain ~ first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.”
Jesus was explaining that the kingdom of heaven is like a seed planted in the ground. It grows almost miraculously. The church is, indeed, like this. Planted some 2000 years ago, it has survived through every adversity and attack contrived by man. Sometimes the attacks were even from within. But at such times, just when it looked as though it was going to die, just like a seed dying in the earth, it would begin to sprout anew and grow up stronger than ever.
A little seed turning into a stalk is miraculous and amazing. The survival of the church for 2000 years in a hostile world is even more miraculous and amazing.
The church rose up in Jerusalem, then died there. It next rose up and became strong in today’s Turkey, then died there. It next rose up and became strong in Greece, then died there. Then in France. Then in Germany. It arrived in England with an apostle and grew strong until the pope claimed jurisdiction in the 1300s. Then spiritual wars and threatenings and burnings. Still congregations multiplied everywhere and grew and thrived. Finally religious freedom came. Then came the infighting in the late 1600s and near destruction of the church there. Then it rose up in America and became strong, and now it is dying there. But it is rising up and becoming strong in India and Africa.
It is impossible to destroy the church. Chop down the stalks, but the wind carries the seeds somewhere else to rise up and grow. Miraculously.