Guilty with no defense

“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.  Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”  Romans 3:19-20.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Kings 8, 2 Chronicles 5, Psalm 99, and Romans 3.

God’s laws serve an important purpose: They convince us that we are all law breakers.

God does not evaluate us on a curve.  It only takes one sin to put us into the “sinner” category.  We can’t do the, “What about them?” routine or, “At least I’m not like them.”

We all stand before God guilty.  We live in a world, however, that after recognizing its guilt, chases a loophole.  Chases a way of lessening their status.

Those who recognize themselves as sinners must recognize the consequence they face; eternal separation from God.

Our inability to obey God’s law puts us in a no-win situation on Judgment Day.  We can’t honestly tell God that we are not sinners.  His judgment of us is about “guilty” or “innocent” and we know where we stand.  If only it was about “good” or “bad” then we would have a chance at heaven………but it isn’t.

I know that before a holy and righteous God on Judgment Day I stand completely in the clear!  How is that possible?  When Jesus died, He died in my place for my sins.  I believe it.  The consequences of my sins are GONE!  I am innocent because Jesus took care of my guilty.  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

“Lord, Your Word is a light.  It shows me what a sinner I am, but it also shows me a way to remove the consequence that my sins deserve.  Thank You for what You did for me.  I am blessed.  Open the eyes of readers who need this truth, I beg.  I love You, Lord.”

In God’s sight we are guilty, not good.  Believe that He took care of the consequences of our guiltiness.

 

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Doing good endlessly

“And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.”  2 Thessalonians 3:13.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Kings 4-5, 2 Chronicles 2, Psalm 101, and 2 Thessalonians 3.

Another of Scripture’s high standards.

Who can live it out?

The ultimate’s are the problem.  Who can “never” tire?

God sets standards for our behavior so high that we quickly realize that we can’t achieve it.  We’re going to fail.  The good news?  It helps us see that in our own strength we are indeed limited.

So, what do we do?  We turn to the One whose strength is greater than ours is.  We cling to Him.  We trust Him.  We follow His lead.

I am weak and He is strong.  I have lived a long life and have endless history revealing my lack of endurance.  I need Him every second.

My strength IN HIM will be endless.  He knows my limitations.  He won’t have me doing things I can’t handle if I trust Him.

“Lord, I love You.  I want to never tire serving You.  Sometimes I do tire. Usually it’s when I’m doing things for You that are my idea, not Yours.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.  I need You, Father.”

Are you running out of steam?  Try working for God instead of yourself.

 

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What should I ask God for?

“That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’” 2 Chronicles 2:7.

“Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”  2 Chronicles 2:10.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Kings 3, 2 Chronicles 1, Psalm 78, and 2 Thessalonians 2.

I love the story that goes with these verses.

Would that the leaders of the US be given what Solomon was given!

I read Scripture and write about what I learn from it in this blog.  I am intent on finding applications.  Things I learn that I can hold myself accountable to.

I take today’s verses personally.  I desperately want to live the way God wants me to live.  How often I fail at it!  Why?  Because I’m lacking in one or both things (wisdom & knowledge) that Solomon asked for.

Both of those items MUST be in place.  Try one without the other and problems will be found.

My tendency is to do better in the “knowledge” part.  I get facts but don’t always react wisely to them.  Running through TV channels late at night is not spiritually healthy for me to do.  I know that as a fact but last night I didn’t have the wisdom I needed to not do it.  Deep dive into godless smut.

“Lord, fill me with You.  I beg for Your wisdom and knowledge as I try to live pleasing to You.  Forgive me for trusting myself in anything.  I desperately need You in all things.  Guide me.  Direct my path this day, I beg.  I love You, Lord.”

God gave Solomon wisdom and knowledge because he asked for it.  Won’t he do the same for you and I?

 

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That’s mine!

“But me – who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you?  Everything comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand.” 1 Chronicles 29:14 (Message).

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Kings 2, 1 Chronicles 29, Psalm 95, and 2 Thessalonians 1.

David had just given a royal fortune for the building of the temple.  His people had done the same thing.

Time to gloat?  Time to position oneself for a pat on the back?  Not according to David.

David gets it right: We have nothing good that wasn’t given to us.  We’re caretakers. And yet how stingy we are?  We give as if we’ve gathered on our own.

I will not be taking anything with me when my time on earth is over.

I need God’s wisdom regarding what I have been given.  How should it be used?

How often do I praise God for His blessings to me?  Could it be that I lose track that every good gift and every perfect gift comes from Him?  Probably so.

“Lord, make me mindful of You.  I am just passing through in this life and I want every second to be rightly spent to please You.  Thank You for Your provisions for me.  I am truly blessed.  I have earned none of it.  It is truly grace.  Thank You for Your ultimate Gift: deletion of my sin record.  Your Love for me is unfathomable.  Praise You, Lord!”

Every good gift and every perfect comes from Him.  Why then aren’t we more generous with what He’s given us? He didn’t tell us to hang on for dear life with what He’s given us.

 

 

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Prepared for His return

“But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.”  1 Thessalonians 5:4.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Kings 1, 1 Chronicles 28, Psalm 91, and 1 Thessalonians 5.

How do you prepare for His return?

I believe that I need to be in a state of permanent readiness.

I will not get away with making assumptions of when He will come back.  Why? My estimations are certain to be wrong because no one knows when He will return.

I must get straight the urgency of what His return will mean: Those who have denied Him will spend the rest of their lives apart from Him. Not too difficult to think about unless I connect it to my own family/friends/acquaintances.  Many of them are deniers.  Where is my urgency for them?

I must be aggressively interceding for those apart from God.  I must aggressively be ready/willing to speak His Words to them.  They may not have a tomorrow.  When will I show the proper concern for them?

“Lord, tarry I pray so that more and more may believe in You.  May recognize their need for You and believe that You died for their sins.  O Lord help them.  Help me, I beg.  Father, what can I do? Direct my path.  Flood my thoughts with You so that Your Words will flow from me.  I love You, Father.”

Do you have family that would be separated from you in the after-life?

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No gliding allowed

“Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1.

“Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:10.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Chronicles 25-27 and 1 Thessalonians 4.

Gliding and backsliding go together.

The strongest of believers must always be actively seeking Him.  Sadly, if I am not seeking Him, I am opening myself up to being led by Satan.

The more I train myself to follow Him, the better I get at following Him.

How unfortunate a day in which we follow our own instincts!  We then end up crediting ourselves and often losing ground with God.

My life must be FILLED with Him.  I cannot reserve parts of me for my own inclinations.  He wants all of me.

How glorious it is to know His bidding and to carry it out.  My strength comes from Him.  I don’t conjure it up.  When I ask Him to direct my paths, He knows my capabilities.  He will assign me to what I can handle.  Hallelujah.

“Lord, what do You want me doing, or not doing, today?  I surrender to Your will.  Open/Shut doors so that I can find Your Way this day.  Prick my conscience when I am off Your Course.  There is no other place I ever want to be.  Forgive me for my waywardness.  I love You, Lord.”

No cruise control allowed!

 

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Are you bringing joy to anyone?

“How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?  1 Thessalonians 3:9.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Chronicles 22-24, and 1 Thessalonians 3.

Are we bringing anyone any joy?

Do people that spend quality time with us gain joy from our relationship?

I think that within a family structure there are numerous opportunities to bring joy to others and it doesn’t have to be in a big way.  People have birthdays.  They celebrate events.  Are we in on the celebration?

My wife has really gotten into sending out birthday cards to family members and church friends.  She had me selecting a card for a family member with a birthday in August!  Remembering a birthday brings joy.

Bringing joy to others requires determination.  “What would make that person happy?”

“Lord, You have given me everything good and perfect.  Thank You.  You have brought joy into my life by Your Love for me.  You have set me up for eternal life.  You have been Someone I can call on 24/7.  Help me to bring joy to others.  Help me to unglue my eyes from myself and see clearly ways I can bring joy to others in Your Name.”

Are you someone who makes people joyful?

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