Thursday, December 28, 2017

Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/28/2017)...


HAPPY NEW YEAR


"From New Year’s on the outlook brightens; good humor lost in a mood of failure returns. I resolve to stop complaining."

Leonard Bernstein (American composer, conductor, author)


Ephesians 4:28-32 (NLT) If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 

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.


Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT) Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.


Romans 15:13 (NLT) I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.




Image: Creative Commons (Google Images/Alan Turkus)


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Matthew 5:13-16 ( NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/27/2017)...


HAPPY NEW YEAR


"What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year."

Vern McLellan


Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT) You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.




Image: Creative Commons (Google Images/davidyuweb)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

John 8:12 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/26/2017)...


HAPPY NEW YEAR


"Christmas night is a solemn and encouraging reminder that Christ truly is the Light of a New Year."

Rocky


John 8:12 (NLT) Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.


John 12:34-36 (NLT) The crowd responded, “We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway?” 

Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light...."


Psalms 27:1 (NLT) The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?




Friday, December 22, 2017

Titus 3:5-7 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/22/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS 


"Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself."

Norman W. Brooks


Titus 3:5-7 (NLT) He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.


1 John 4:19 (NLT) We love each other because he loved us first.




Image: Creative Commons ("Addoration by the Shepperds”  by Wolfgang Sauber)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

1 John 4:9-17 NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/21/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS 


"Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas."

Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)


1 John 4:9-17 (NLT) God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 


Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 


And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. 


God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.




Image: Creative Commons (Flickr/Steve Snobgrass)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Matthew 1:20-25 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/14/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS


"If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: "God with us." We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!"

John MacArthur


Matthew 1:20-25 (NLT) As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” 

When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.


Isaiah 7:14 NLT All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).




Image: Creative Commons (Flickr/Adobe of Chaos)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Matthew 1:20-21 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/13/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS


"His poverty was so great that He was born in another man's house, and buried in another man's tomb."


Matthew 1:20-21 (NLT) As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”


Hebrews 10:5-7 (NKJV) Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ”




Image: Creative Commons (Google/unknown origin)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Psalm 139:13-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/11/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS


"When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?"

G. K. Chesterton 


Psalms 139:13-14, 17-18 (NLT) You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!




Image: Creative Commons (freedesignfile.com)

Friday, December 8, 2017

John 3:16-17 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/8/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS


"Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart."

George Matthew Adams


John 3:16-17 (NLT) For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.




Image: Creative Commons (Wikimedia/public domain)


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Luke 4:14-22 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/6/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS


"When the song of the angels is stilled, 

When the star in the sky is gone, 

When the kings and princes are home, 

When the shepherds are back with their flock, 

The work of Christmas begins: 

...To find the lost, 

To heal the broken, 

To feed the hungry, 

To release the prisoner, 

To rebuild the nations, 

To bring peace among brothers, 

To make music in the heart."

~ Howard Thurman


 Luke 4:14-22 (NLT) Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region. He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 


When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come. ” 


He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. 


Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” Everyone spoke well of him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”




Image: Creative Commons (Flickr)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Matthew 2:7-11 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/4/2017)...


"The magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in His presence."

Bangor Christmas Parade of Lights (2017)


Matthew 2:7-11 (NLT) Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.




Image: Christmas Parade(2017)

Friday, December 1, 2017

1 Corinthians 10:14 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/1/2017)...


"When anything in life is an absolute requirement for your happiness and self-worth, it is essentially an 'idol,' something you are actually worshiping. When such a thing is threatened, your anger is absolute. Your anger is actually the way the idol keeps you in its service, in its chains. Therefore if you find that, despite all the efforts to forgive, your anger and bitterness cannot subside, you may need to look deeper and ask, 'What am I defending? What is so important that I cannot live without?' It may be that, until some inordinate desire is identified and confronted, you will not be able to master your anger."

Tim Keller (Pastor/theologian/apologist/author)


 1 Corinthians 10:14 (NIV) Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.


Ephesians 4:21-27 (NLT) Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 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.




Image: Creative Commons (unknown origin)