Monday, June 30, 2014

Romans 1:21-32 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (7/1/2014)...

"Your republic (United States) will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by barbarians in the 20th century as the Roman Empire was in the 5th century, with this difference - the Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your own country."
- Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) 

Romans 1:21-32 (NLT) Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. 

So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. 

Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jonah 3:10-4:4 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/27/2014)...

"Jonah's sulking disappointment came from a failure of imagination, a failure of heart. He had no idea what God was doing, the largeness of his love and mercy and salvation. He had reduced his vocation to his own performance - being in the right place, doing the right thing - but he interpreted everything through his Jonah ideas, his Jonah desires. It was certainly commendable that he had become obedient, that he was doing what he was called to do. But he was inexperienced in God, a stranger to grace."
- Eugene H. Peterson (Under The Unpredictable Plant, pg 161)

Jonah 3:10-4:4 (NLT) When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. 
This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the LORD about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, LORD? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, LORD! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.” 
The LORD replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?” 

PRAYER - Dear gracious God, help me today not to be "...a stranger to grace." Amen.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

1 Corinthians 15:45-55 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/26/2014)...

"When Adam and Eve rebelled in the garden of Eden, God began a rescue mission. God wanted to restore his world and creatures so they would fulfill his original intentions for them: to enjoy him and praise him forever."
- Rose Publishing (Book of Acts, 2013)

1 Corinthians 15:45-55 (NLT) The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man. 

What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. 

But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? ” 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

1 Peter 2:11-12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/25/2014)..,

"One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching."
- Gerard Way

1 Peter 2:11-12 (NLT) Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Psalm 37:25-26 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/24/2014)...

Psalm 37:25-26 (NLT) Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing. 

NOTE - Because children starve today, as they did in David's time, what did David mean by these words? The children of the righteous need not go hungry because other believers should help them in their time of need. In David's day, Israel obeyed God's laws, which ensured that the poor were treated fairly and mercifully. As long as Israel was obedient, food would be available for everyone. When Israel forgot God, the rich took care of themselves only, and the poor suffered (Amos 2:6, 7).

When we see a Christian brother or sister suffering today, we can respond in one of three ways: (1) We can say, as Job's friends did, that the afflicted person brought this on himself. (2) We can say that this is a test to help the person develop more patience and trust in God. (3) We can help the person in need. David would approve of only the last option. Although many governments today have their own programs for helping those in need, this is no excuse for ignoring the poor and needy within our reach.
- Life Application Study Bible 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ephesians 4:26-27, 31-32 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/23/2014)..,

   "Anger is most useful as a diagnostic tool. When anger erupts in us, it is a signal that something is wrong. Something isn't working right. There is evil or incompetence or stupidity lurking about. Anger is our sixth sense for sniffing out wrong in the neighborhood. Diagnostically it is virtually infallible, and we can trust it.
   ...What anger fails to do, though, is tell us whether the wrong is outside or inside us. We usually begin by assuming that the wrong is outside us..."
- Eugene H. Peterson (Under The Unpredictable Plant, pg 157)

Ephesians 4:26-27, 31-32 (NLT) And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil...
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Psalm 139:1-12 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/20/2014)...

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables, and when he picked up a CD player to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from the dark saying: "Jesus is watching you." 

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight out, and froze. When he heard nothing more after a bit, he shook his head, promised himself a vacation after the next big heist, then began searching for more valuables. Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he hears: "Jesus is watching you." 

Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the
voice. Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot. 

"Did you say that?" He hissed at the parrot.

"Yep," the parrot squawked: "I'm just trying to warn you."

The burglar relaxed "Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?"

"Moses," replied the bird.

"Moses?" the burglar laughed. "What kind of people would name a bird Moses?"

The bird replies: "The kind of people that would name a Rottweiler Jesus."

Psalm 139:1-12 (NLT) O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Psalm 32:1-5 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/19/2014)...

A pastor who always started each church service off with the phrase, "The Lord be with you." The people would then respond, "and also with you.”

However, one Sunday the sound system wasn’t working very well. The pastor stepped up to the pulpit and said, "There’s something wrong with this microphone." 

The people responded, "AND ALSO WITH YOU!."


Psalms 32:1-5 (NLT) Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

1 John 1:1-3 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/18/2014)...

The following poem is quite dated, but still very much worth contemplating...

If Jesus came to your house to spend some time with you,
If He came unexpected, I wonder what you'd do.

Oh, I know you'd give your nicest room to such an honored guest
And all the food you'd give to Him Would be the very best.

And you would keep assuring Him you're glad to have Him there—
That serving Him in your home is joy beyond compare.

But when you saw Him coming, would you meet Him at the door
With arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly visitor?

Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in
Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they'd been?

Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?

And I wonder—if the Savior spent a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing, the things you always do?

Would you go right on saying, the things you always say?
Or would life for you continue as it does from day to day?

Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you go?
Or would you maybe change your plans for just a day or so?

Would you be glad to have Him meet your closest friends?
Or would you hope they stay away, until His visit ends?

Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?

It might be interesting to know, the things that you would do,
If Jesus came in person, to spend some time with you.

Credited to Lois Blanchard Eades

1 John 1:1-3 (NLT) We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

1 John 3:1-3 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/17/2014)...

When the outlook is bleak, try the up-look.

1 John 3:1-3 (NLT) See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Psalm 26:1-3 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/16/2014)...

If arrested and put on trial for being a Christian, would you be found guilty?

Psalm 26:1-3 (NLT) Declare me innocent, O LORD, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY’S READING (6/13/2013)...

"My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."
-- Clarence Budington Kelland

"How true Daddy's words were when he said: 'All children must look after their own upbringing.' Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands."
-- Anne Frank (German Jew and Holocaust Victim)

Ephesians 6:4 (NLT) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NLT) 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Psalm 19:9-14 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/12/2014)...

"Most of us spend the first six days of the week sowing wild oats, then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure." 
- Fred Allen

Psalm 19:9-14 (NLT) Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them. How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

2 Peter 1:5-9 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/11/2014)...

Wendell Berry says that he knew a barber once who refused to give a discount to a bald client, explaining that his artistry consisted not in cutting off but in knowing when to stop.
- Eugene H. Peterson (Under The Predictable Plant, p. 139)

2 Peter 1:5-9 (NLT) Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

John 6:35; 14:6 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/10/2014)...

Did I come to The Lord looking for something, or seeking more of him? 

- I'm not going to give you bread, "I am the bread." (John 6:35)
- I'm not going to show you the way, "I am the way. (John 14:6)
- I'm not going to share with you truth, "I am the truth." (John 14:6)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Psalm 118:13-14 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/9/2014)...

God is interested in developing your character. At times He lets you proceed, but He will never let you go too far without discipline to bring you back. In your relationship with God, He may let you make a wrong decision. Then the Spirit of God causes you to recognize that it is not God's will. He guides you back to the right place.    - - - Henry Blackaby

Psalm 113:8-14 (NLT) The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Psalm 19:9-14 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/6//2014)...

“Seven Deadly Sins

Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Science without humanity
Knowledge without character
Politics without principle
Commerce without morality
Worship without sacrifice.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

Psalm 19:9-14 (NLT) Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them. How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. 

James 3:5-10; Proverbs 25:11 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/5/2014)...

BEFORE YOU SPEAK...THINK...
T - Is it True?
H - Is it Helpful?
I - Is it Inspiring?
N - Is it Needful
K - Is it Kind?

Proverbs 25:11 (NLT) A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver. 

James 3:5-10 (NLT) In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

1 Timothy 6:12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/4/2014)...

If I falter, push me on.
If I stumble, pick me up.
If I retreat, shoot me.
- Motto, French Foreign Legion

1 Timothy 6:12 (NLT) Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.

DISCLAIMER: The author of this post asks devoted readers to not follow through with the third "if" of the FFL motto. Thank you.



Monday, June 2, 2014

Philippians 4:13; Psalm 139:14 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/3/2014)..,

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." 
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Philippians 4:13 (NLT) For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. 

Psalm 139:14 (NLT) Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Psalm 14:1; Romans 1:18-25 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/2/2014)...

We are each free to believe what we want and it is my view that the simplest explanation is there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization. There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that, I am extremely grateful.
- Stephen Hawking

..it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
- Carl Sagan

Psalm 14:1 (NLT) Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good! 

Romans 1:18-25 (NLT) But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.