Quote for 09/11/2021

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.    Isaiah 26:3

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The prophet Daniel is the perfect example of this.  He was taken from Jerusalem as a teenager, castrated in Babylon, and taught to serve that king.  But Daniels mind stayed on God.  His example led the king to completely changing the diet his trainees were on.  His “stayed mind” saved him in the lion’s den, and made him a trusted, even sought-after adviser well into his 80’s.

Through it all, Daniel was a pillar of peace founded on his faith in God.

Quote for 09/10/2021

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.    Matthew 7:8

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Context is everything, so I think the key to fully understanding this verse lies in verse 11:

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

The Father will give us good things when we ask.  Two things stand to reason.  First, if we ask for bad things, those will not be had for the asking.  James 4:3 agrees with this, explaining that “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

The second thing is that we might ask for something that is indeed good.  God, in His wisdom, might want to give us something better!

Ask and will certainly receive when you ask for things pleasing to Him…maybe even better!

Quote for 09/09/2021

…as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.    2 Peter 1:3

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The mystery of the Gospel is not much of a mystery to those of faith.  We have the Bible that lays it all out for us from Adam and Eve to the early church and those that walked with Jesus.

Even then, our eyes need to be opened by God’s power to understand what it all means.

For those of us who have had our eyes opened and are familiar with the mystery of the Gospel, we need to remember that it’s only easy after we learn.  For those who haven’t learned yet, the Gospel remains a mystery.

The Gospel was even a mystery to God’s chosen, the Jews.  Many simply couldn’t see it and persecuted the early church.  Even today that same lack of understanding motivates people to persecute the church.

Our response should be one of patience and encouragement fueled by prayer that those who have not yet received God’s Spirit and faith!

Quote for 09/08/2021

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.    Romans 12:4-5

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Teamwork is sometimes described in rowing terms; we all need to be pulling in the same direction!

Can you imagine how ridiculous a body would look if its different parts all tried to move in different directions?  Can you imagine how ridiculous the body of Christ looks when we all move in different directions?

Some hate sinners.  Some love those same sinners and try to help them with repentance and the Gospel.  Some preach a gospel of prosperity, which is found nowhere in the Bible!  Others are intent in driving their congregation to tears.

How do we all row in the same direction?  Read our Bibles together.  Study together.  Allow Scripture to interpret Scripture instead of relying on our own understanding.

Quote for 09/07/2021

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.    Romans 1:16

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I had a job in a kitchen the summer after I finished grad school.  The owner was driving me to a second location, and he made a comment that I misheard.  I saw an opportunity to talk about my faith by mistake.  When we entered the parking lot, I saw a wry grin on his face and suddenly realized my error.

For a moment I expected he saw me as foolish, but then I thought, no!  God used me to tell him something he needed to hear.  Maybe he didn’t understand it right that minute, but the message was delivered, whatever it was supposed to be.

I didn’t feel foolish.  I was glad that God had given me faith to share my faith.

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”    Psalm 122

Quote for 09/06/2021

I love the Lord, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.    Psalm 116:1-2

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Scripture interprets and confirms Scripture.  David writes in the Psalm his response to God’s love.  His response!

John agrees in his second letter, writing, “We love Him because He first loved us.”

What form has that love taken?  He created us and the entire universe for us.  He stayed with Adam and Eve when they forsook Him.  He sacrificed His only begotten Son, Jesus to pay for our collective sins.  He even provides for us whether we believe in Him or not, “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

He answered David’s supplication, and he answers ours also.  He often answers with better that we request!

He is our Father.  We can call upon him always!

Quote for 09/05/2021

bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.    Colossians 3:13

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Gossip. It’s insidious. We may think we know what we’re talking about, but we often don’t.

Many years ago when I was acting, a young lady in the show was having trouble learning her lines. There was a lot of muttering amongst the company, and I started getting those same negative thoughts too, feeding off others’ comments. But the thought came to me that maybe she just needs a hand.

I invited Maureen to my apartment for lunch; bologna sandwiches. I ran her lines with her, and she was much improved in the afternoon rehearsal.

Maybe someone actually did you wrong. I remind myself that everyone is someone’s jerk…even me! I think we hurt each other accidently more often than not. I’d like to be forgiven for an inadvertent – even deliberate slight just as I suppose the “jerks” in my life would like to be when all is said and done!

Quote for 09/04/2021

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?    Romans 8:32

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We don’t always understand just what God has done for or what He continues to do. We’ve heard of Jesus death and resurrection in payment of our sins so often that we likely have become almost immune to it. Do we ever think about it past the phrase?

What if, to save humanity, you gave up your only child to die a horrible death? The plan would be that He would rise from the dead, but that part wouldn’t be a guarantee. Would you do it?

God did.

Besides that, God gives us family, shelter, food, a victory for our football team, etc. God loves us and enjoys doing things for us. That was the whole point of creating us; to have a relationship and to give us gifts. He might withhold things for our own good just as we do our own children, but think on it…

He gave Jesus up for us with no assurance that He’d get His Son back. Surely he can feed us and even let our team win a game, right?

Quote for 09/03/2021

I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.    Psalm 16:8

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This is something I wish I could say confidently every day, but I confess I cannot. Psalm 16 is attributed to King David, so I can see him saying this.

There is, of course Bathsheba, who was his ultimate downfall, his Delilah, if you will. The child that resulted from their adultery died after birth per God’s judgement. There was more calamity in David’s future for his faithlessness.

But even in his worst straights, he managed to keep his eyes on God. He endured all that came his way, even in grief.

Perhaps this verse is telling us that why might not endure all temptations successfully, but we can endure all trials…even those that are self-inflicted.

That is how David lived.

Quote for 09/02/2021

And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.  8Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.    Matthew 6:7-8

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Seeds. They are often made a comparison to the spiritual throughout the Bible. People dying are compared to seeds being planted that will spring forth with abundant life in Christ.

We see here again how sowing seed is an apt illustration for our eternity. In Matthew 13 Jesus points out that the soil a seed falls on determines how it will grow and flourish – or not.

Today Paul warns that we need to sow the right kind of seed. If we sow seeds of lust, theft, and other sinful desires, we will reap the crop of sin; death. But if we sow seeds that strive to the spiritual and obedience, we will reap a crop of eternal life with God.

Every act you perform on earth is a seed you sow to your eternity. What seeds did you sow today? Impatience? Love? Kindness? Dishonesty? What will you reap when your day comes?

The Good News is that when we sow seeds of sin, Jesus is ready to forgive when we realize our error and come to Him humbly in repentance!