The scripture for today, July 10 (7/10), is Psalm 7:10 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.”
Ah, my Lord, I become so tired sometimes. That latest assignment you gave me has been so hard. Sometimes I complain knowing I should not because that would make me a Christian coward.
Is it okay if I am afraid sometimes? I am only one and am trying to keep my head above water along with others I am trying to pull out of the flood with me. I’m trying, Lord. I weep sometimes, but amidst my tears, I continually think, “What should my next step be?”.
Sometimes I just stand still and let the turmoil go on around me while I close my eyes and sing a sweet song to you. That’s when I sense you are singing with me.
At other times I stand up to all the turmoil charging at me. You gave me your weapons: a smile, a touch, a gentle word.
Then there are those terrible times when I feel so beaten up, I think all is lost. Then I remember you are there. You are always there. And I know you are shielding me while I rest.
Then we start all over again, you and I, Lord. Another assignment. Another. And another. Until at last, you reach out your arms to me and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. It’s time to come on home.”
Jehovah God, in your Word, you tell me how to think and act. You tell me what to stay away from, what to change, what to do. You tell me what attitudes I should have. I try, but sometimes Satan lures me away from you with his false promises of a better and happier life. He convinces me it’s okay to not do what you want because “God just doesn’t want me to be happy”. Then, when I give in, I realize he has lied to me again and I yearn to return to you. It is always astounding to me that you smile and welcome me back. You forgive even the sins I repeat over and over ~ always trying but always failing. Continuously, you forgive, wipe away my tears, and calm my soul. I do not understand such patience and love. All I know is that you are my God and I am yours.
Thank you for Calvary. Thank you for making it possible for them to arrest you, chain you, slap you, spit on you, beat you, scourge you, drive nails into your body. You let them do it to show the world how mean humanity had become when following Satan. You exposed Satan for what he was. Then you tricked him! Hallelujah, you tricked Satan! He thought he’d killed God. How egotistical. No one can kill God. You spent three days resting in Paradise, then came back to life. Was Satan ever mad. He had lost again. Oh, Wonder of wonders, my Lord. Nothing can conquer you. You are Lord of all lords, King of all kings, Conqueror of all conquerors. And I worship you.
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/
The scripture for today, July 1 (7/1), is Leviticus 7:1f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.
“These are the regulations for the guilt offering, which is most holy. The guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood is to be sprinkled against the altar on all sides.”
Romans 3:23 says the wages of sin is death. The earnings are paid by Satan, the author of death. The earnings for your sins were collected by substitute deaths of substitute perfect animals over and over in the Old Testament. But Jesus nailed the Old Law to the cross (Colossians 2:14), and with his one sacrifice made it so that no more blood sacrifices were necessary (Hebrews 8-9).
In a sense, Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, laid down on the altar of the world where his blood flowed from all sides of the cross to all sides of the earth. Why would anyone want to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and nullify that horribleness Jesus went through in our place?
Jesus collected your wages from Satan for your sins in your place. We can never, ever thank him enough. Instead of temple ceremonies, he asked you to commemorate his death with the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Communion each week. Do you? On Sundays, the day he came back to life, do you?
I adore you, God. I look up to you in awe that you, my Creator, allow me up so close to you. 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.
THEY MET JESUS: SHADOW OF DEATH. Pilate was cornered by the people, Simon was cornered by the executioners. Jesus writhed in pain on the cross that should have been ours And invaded hell to provide escape for us. The thieves struggled with their mortality, Joseph struggled with religiosity, The guards struggled with impossibility. Jesus saw the women, pursued Peter, And enlightened the depressed. 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/
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, 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.
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/
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/
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.
I adore you, my God. I cannot see or hear you, but I know you are beside me and in love with me. You are higher than the stars, louder than the thunder, gentler than the butterfly, deeper than the ocean, sweeter than a flower. They are all a touch of you. I bask in the warmth of your love, the gentle breezes of your mercy, the quietude of safety in you. I praise you, God, for all that you are. You are so strong, nothing can make you change. That is what makes you God. You are the doer, not the un-doer. You are the Creator, not the destroyer. You are the love, the light giver, the light provider. How I adore you.
Lord, I have neglected going to see people who need my encouragement. I know they need me, but I do something for myself instead. It has gotten out of hand. Open my eyes and forgive me.
Ah, my Lord, thank you for the Bible and revealing yourself in it. I never have to guess. Your mind is laid bare to me. You’ve exposed all your joys and pain, laughter and tears, hopes and desires, strengths and tenderness, justice and mercy. You dared expose yourself to me. All the rawness and transparency is there for me. Do I dare do less? My God, my hope is in you. My will I surrender to you. My heart I give you. My soul bows forever to you. Thank you, Jehovah God, for giving me the Bible that explains why I am here and all you did to save me from Satan’s living death. Thank you that you are preparing me to live and reign with you over worlds I cannot imagine. Whatever they are, my will shall always be your will. Without you, nothing good can ever happen. With you, goodness reigns supreme. With you, I can live forever. You have allowed me to stand with you. The fight is worth it. The victory overwhelming.