- Tuesday, 1/1/19 Matthew 8:26a, And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Fear and a lack of faith are inseparable companions. “Fear not” can only be accomplished through an increase of faith...’which comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ Again, that ol’ black Book is of paramount importance. Romans 8:21, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. What a day that will be!! If you’re fighting battles with your flesh, take heart: you WILL be victorious; it WILL be defeated. If you’re not fighting your flesh, why not? You’re aligning yourself with the losing side/cause.
- Wednesday, 1/2/19 Micah 6:8, ...what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Do you love to extend mercy, or do you do it grudgingly? Do you love getting mercy? Enough to humble yourself and truly confess your sin? Hosea 10:13, Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way... Trusting in OUR way always gets us into trouble. My way, your way, everybody’s way is sinful and corrupt. Quit trusting your mind, your feelings, your intentions, your goals. Get wholly on board with Christ. Use His mind by accessing His Book and taking to His Spirit.
- Thursday, 1/3/19 Acts 12:12, ...[Peter, post jail] came to the house of Mary...where many were gathered together praying. Blunt question: when was the last time you went to a prayer meeting with others? Prayed in a group setting? “Give US this day...” Prayer is VERY anti-flesh...it’s HARD...do it anyway. Acts 14:15, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: The greatest Christians of their day readily admitted their fleshly frailties. Do you? Or, are you “near perfect...EVERY time” and everyone else is consistently wrong? When you conflict with your spouse or kids or coworkers: can you formulate 47 eloquent arguments why you’re right and they’re wrong? Or, do you humbly consider that you’re a proud, selfish human (sorta like me and everyone else) and that you may have done something to offend? All of us need to look far more critically at our own thoughts, actions, and motives, and far more mercifully at others’.
- Friday, 1/4/19 Acts 15:9, And put no difference between [Jews] and [Gentiles], purifying their hearts by faith. Praise God!! He may have a favorite nation, but He has no favorite people!!! He’ll give any one of us the same as any other: He’ll give the shirt off His back and the Blood in the Back!! Whoopee!!! Psalm 8:1, O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Even where it is hated, His name is excellent. Remember Whose side you’re on: and remember that it’s the winning side. So, maintain your standards, hold the King James high, keep on preaching, and keep on soul winning. Our Captain is pleased, and will reward us handsomely. Have you ever said something like, “They (or I) don’t deserve any of that? No one deserves to be treated like that”? The truth is, that is a true statement. None of us deserve to be treated poorly: we deserve to burn in Hell forever. We deserve FAR worse than whatever treatment is getting us riled up. Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." ALL that ANY of us (you, me, mom, child, etc.) deserve is to burn in agony forever, so ANYTHING that we get that is better than burning is more than we deserve. I say this, not to minimize mistreatment by others, but to stifle the pride that feels I/we/us/he/she deserve better treatment. We don’t. Our pride, our self-absorption declares our “minimum level of acceptable treatment.” So, #1, allow Bible teaching alter your thinking and speaking. And, #2, thinking that so-n-so didn't deserve thus-n-so may be taking your focus off of you. Yes you. You (and the offended) need to forgive the offender. "But they don't deserve forgiveness!!!" No, but you're commanded to forgive...as Christ hath forgiven you. (If you're saying, "Yeah, but..." then it shows that you're not agreeing with Bible doctrine. "But" nothing: you and I and everyone else deserves Hell. Is that mistreatment/abuse/injustice bad? Yes. Was it wrong for the perpetrator to have done it? Yes. Should they possibly be punished by man's laws? Yes. Are their actions Hell? No. So, the mistreatment/abuse/injustice is less than we deserve.) Alter your thinking and verbiage. Forgive and lead others to do so also.
- Saturday, 1/5/19 Romans 15:7, Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. OH MY WORD!!! Read that again!!! We’re to receive each other AS, JUST LIKE, IN THE SAME FASHION as Christ received us at salvation. Eagerly, totally, sweetly, forgetfully...OUCH, OUCH, OUCH... Just because you or I don’t get the feeling that God is actively expressing His displeasure at our lifestyle or actions, doesn’t mean that He isn’t deeply displeased. Consider Romans 1:24, Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts... Three times the same phrase is used: basically, in His displeasure, God “left them alone.” Don’t play tug-of-war with God: sometimes, He’ll let go of the rope and let you win...and fall flat on your bottom...
- Sunday, 1/6/19 Matthew 11:15, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (I’ve heard that this is the most repeated command in the NT.) I’m assuming that if we’re born again, we’ve been given the “ears to hear.” However, we must still CHOOSE to hear. “Let him.” Do you...regularly “hear” from your Bible reading/church time? There is help...ask me or your spiritual leaders. Romans 1:1a, Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ... A deep introspective question: Are you, am I, truly a servant of Christ...or of someone/thing else? Maybe ask yourself the question this way: “Who or what gets a large portion of my discretionary time?” Before you give a glib answer, think: could you give someone a list of what you’ve done in your discretionary time in service? Far too many of us are truly Christians only for a few hours a week, but the rest of the week, we give our time to pleasure, friends, family, food, hobbies... Those aren’t wrong, in and of themselves, but are we serving Christ IN that time? Are we conscious of His agenda for the people with whom we interact at work or play? Are we working on cars and find ourselves “without any time” to go soul winning? Are we working overtime and thus, “CAN’T” make church? During this time of new beginnings and resolutions, maybe each of us needs to do some introspection.
- Monday, 1/7/19 Do you find yourself with the post-holiday blues, or simply lots of burdens? Matthew 11:29, Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Get to work (yoke) with/for Christ and the knowledge will come as will the peace and rest. Proverbs 24:5, A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength (force, power, vigor). Know yourself; know others; know inter-relational skills; know technical facts at work; know the Bible, know history, know current events, know health facts... Most of us spend too much time on our phones, on Netflix or YouTube and too little time reading. (You remember how to read, don’t you? And what a book is?)
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