Quote for 1/18/2018

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV

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Jesus is our best and only proof of this. Scripture tells us that He was tempted as we are, yet without sinning. Jesus was always relying on God and His Word to resist temptation. The most notable instance of this happened right after John the Baptist baptized Jesus at the Jordan. Jesus then was led to the wilderness where He first fasted and then was tempted by Satan, one on one.

First, Satan tempted Him to rely on Himself and use His power to turn stones to bread and eat. Jesus countered him with God’s Word, saying that man lives by God’s Word and not mere bread.

Seeing that Jesus relied on God’s Word, He tried to pervert God’s Word to Jesus just as he had to Eve in Eden eons before. Jesus called him out again that it is not for us to test God at His Word.

Finally, he sought to tempt Jesus with worldly riches. All it would take is to worship him. Jesus again rebuked Satan from scripture.

Rely on God. Keep His Word pure. Worship no one but Him. Sounds a bit like the verse from the 16th, doesn’t it?

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Quote for 1/17/2018

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.   Philippians 2:14-16 NKJV

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This is a hard one for me to comment on simply because I don’t believe in being a target. I’ve learned that barking back at a bully can actually improve things. It isn’t my first choice, but I show a flash of aggression and then go back to being me.

Paul didn’t have to go to Rome, speaking legally. Once it was learned that he was a Roman citizen, the authorities told him they were sorry for the misunderstanding and were willing to let it all go. Paul got his back up, and he essentially told them he wanted his day in court. It went something like, “You think you can accuse me and degrade me publicly and that an apology behind closed doors is good enough? I’m thinking not!”

When Jesus told Ananias to minister to Saul and Ananias tried to remind Him that Saul is no Christian’s friend, Jesus replied that “…I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

So maybe Paul was acting on orders. Other than that he was a pretty docile guy after his conversion. He certainly practiced what he preached in this section from his letter to the Philippians.

Quote for 1/16/2018

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.   Galatians 5:16 NKJV

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This is spiritually keeping your eye on the ball. Golfers should NEVER think about the hazards. If they do, that’s exactly where the ball will go. It’s the same thing spiritually. Stay plugged in to God by staying in touch at all times, as Paul encouraged the church in Thessalonica:

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

He’s not talking about constantly folding your hands with your eyes closed. Just talk to God as you go through your day. He’s right there next to you. Talk to Him. Ask Him for help. Thank Him for making the light as you drive. Pray for whoever is in the ambulance that went by you with its siren and lights on.

Everything you do all day long should be done walking in the Spirit, always plugged in to His power and grace.

Quote for 1/15/2018

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:31-32 NKJV

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It’s the difference between being lost and knowing where you are. With GPS devices and phone apps I don’t know that we are as familiar with this lost feeling as we were 20-30 years ago. Do you know the truth of where you are and which way your destination lies?

Why do we fill our lives with things and selfies and countless other “me too” efforts? Could it be a search for truth, an effort to discover just where we are in the universe? Could it be a search for which direction we need to take?

We all need a GPS, a God Positioning System. The Bible. Jesus’ Word. How often do we open it to check our position in this world? How often do we take its directions?

Read your bible. You don’t know where to start? Try opening it like any other book and start at the beginning. Discover the truth of God’s love for you and set your course in His direction.

“…and the Truth shall make you free.”

Quote for 1/14/2018

[ Obedience by Faith ] If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.   1 John 4:20-21 NKJV

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I won’t lie to you; this one is hard. Not everyone s loveable by human standards. Some people are a real challenge to just tolerate.

But we are ALL loveable by God’s standards. That’s just something we need to take on faith. And act on.

Quote for 1/13/2018

…that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NKJV

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God wants us.  Intensely.  He is our Creator, but He still asks for our permission to have a relationship with us!

God sacrifices His Son, Jesus to reconcile us to Him after choosing against Him, and giving us a mulligan, a do-over.

Then He asks us to be His partners in spreading that Good News.  You know how this works; singing your own praises doesn’t necessarily impress someone else nearly as much as a friend singing them for you.

God asks us to be His ambassadors, telling others…no, SHOWING others what a profound effect God has on our lives.  He asks us to make His plea to others for Him, because He knows how effective that is.

Please.  Be reconciled to Him.  Join Him in His love and providence, and show everyone you know how full of hope and life they can be too!

Quote for 1/12/2018

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.   Galatians 3:26-28 NKJV

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This verse of the day from BibleGateway.com tells us that, through Jesus atoning sacrifice and our faithful acceptance of His Grace, we are on a par with Christ; we are all one in Him.

Paul continues this theme in chapter 4 his letter to the church in Galatia:

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

The Son of God earned both His salvation and ours by perfectly fulfilling the Law.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.   Hebrews 4:15

Jesus could have failed, having been tempted as we are, but He didn’t! He earned us our adoption papers into His family, adoption by His – and now our – heavenly Father!

And we are now all one with them, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

Happy Friday!

Quote for 1/11/2017

I called on the Lord in distress; The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?    Psalm 118:5-6 NKJV

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I keep several Bible verses at the bottom of my prayer list, several of which make nice corollaries to this:

Be strong & of good courage; do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.    Joshua 1:9

Wait on the Lord.  Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.  Wait, I say, on the Lord!    Psalm 27:14

These are my two favorites, although I have several more.  Oh!  And let’s never forget to say “Thank You!”

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.        Psalm 50:15

Quote for 1/10/2018

…but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”    1 Peter 1:15-16 NKJV

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 “It” is written in Leviticus chapters 11, 19 and 20. Chapter 20, verse 7 is especially helpful:

Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.

Consecrate means to “dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose.”

Likewise, “holy” means “dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred.”

Think of your life as something separate from yourself, an item to be handled, to be managed as a precious resource. Think of it as something that has been dedicated to God alone, because it has. It has been set aside through the suffering and blood of Jesus.

Given that special nature, how should we use our lives? How should we conduct our lives? It would be great if we could do so perfectly, but we should make every effort to do so.

Remember that this is Peter talking. This is the guy who betrayed Jesus, denying Him three times outside where Jesus was being held. It wasn’t his finest hour. He certainly wasn’t managing his life as something consecrated or holy.

Except for one, significant detail. He asked for forgiveness when he erred! Judas betrayed Jesus too, but he didn’t value his life enough toward God’s purpose to have Jesus redeem it. He handled his situation on his own.

Do you manage your life as one consecrated to God, including taking it to His “repair shop” when you damage it? You should, because…

“…He who called you is holy, (so)you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Quote for 1/9/2018

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.    Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV

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A member of your family has a car accident.  What’s your first concern; person or car?

How do you spend your time?  Do you read God’s Word?  Do you talk to other people about it?  Do you seek knowledge or do you sit in your nest like a hungry fledgling bird, mouth open, waiting for someone to feed you?  Are maybe a grown bird sitting there like a chick, looking ridiculous?

Are you taking an active part in your own relationship with God, your own salvation or is an hour or two once a week all you devote to a heavenly treasure?

Are you working toward retirement?  No, not that retirement…THAT retirement!!  What do your savings look like?  Where are they stored?