Jewish Intellectualism…(The Bible’s Impact on Scientific Discovery [July 3])


How much are you willing to search for something? How much are you willing to fight for something? How much are you willing to wrestle and not give up for something?  Are you willing to not let go? Are you willing to not give up? Are you willing to persevere? Are you willing to hold on till you get it? Are you willing to challenge? Are you willing to probe? Are you willing to question in order to discover and determine what the answer is? Will live without worrying and without fear? Will you lean in and lean on God rather than allowing the lies and tricks of the devil cause doubt and fear? Will you walk in confidence trusting in God’s truth and promises? Will you believe who God says you are?

Today’s reading brings us to Genesis 32 speaking of Jacob and how he wrestled an answer and a blessing and his name was changed to who God said he was…

Jacob Fears Esau

1Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, 4instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. 5I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.'”
6And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” 7Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, 8thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.”
9And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ 10I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.'”
13So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” 17He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ 18then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.'” 19He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, 20and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.'” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.” 21So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.

Jacob Wrestles with God

22The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.

from Genesis 32

So what about you? Will you turn to God? Will you not give up but keep seeking, keep asking, and keep knocking until you get an answer? Will you turn to the one who knows all things and has the answers? Will you turn to Jesus who is the answer? Will you turn to Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life? Will you turn to Him when u are faced with any questions or challenges that you need an answer for and not give up till you get it and find it?

Have you met and received Jesus? Let’s pray…

Prayer of Salvation Example

For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.

Today’s reading comes to use from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of the Bible’s impact on Scientific Discovery. Our topic for today is Jewish Intellectualism and points us to the story from Genesis 32:22-32…

‘The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh. ‘ — Genesis 32:22-32

Today’s devotional speaks about how as of 2013 22% of Nobel Prizes awarded since 1901 were given to Jews which is an incredible stat and accomplishment given that the Jewish people only make up less than 1% of the population. We learn about new technologies that have come from Israel and how many of the US tech companies have research and development centers in Israel. It then brings up to the question of where does this intellectual tradition come from and how there is no single answer, but that some suggest that it points back to the lineage of Abraham to Isaac to Jacob for Jacob whose name was changed to Israel after wrestling with God for a blessing because he feared his brother as he was head back towards home.  In today’s reading we can connect it to verses 27-28 where it says:

‘And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” ‘ from Genesis 32:27-28

It closes with the point that Jacob’s willingness to “wrestle” – to challenge, to probe, and to question knowledge – constitutes the core of the Jewish intellectual tradition.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You Lord for the wisdom, the discernment, and the breakthroughs and transformation that took place at camp. Lord, I give You this day in celebration of all the work You did in and through our campers and our staff. Help us Lord to lean not on our own understanding but rather in all things at all times, lean into You as our hope and our source. I ask all this so that in all things and at all times You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

BISHOP BEDELL…(The Bible’s Impact on Trade and Taxes [June 11])


Are you going through tough times? Is your group going through tough times? Is your neighborhood going through tough times? Is your workplace going through tough times? Is your family going through tough times? And what are you doing? How are you acting? What are you saying? How are you encouraging others? How are you inspiring others? How are you providing hope to others? How are you spreading good cheer? How are you spreading perseverance? Are you reminding them that they belong to God? Are you standing firm like Daniel and his friends at the fiery furnace when they said

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

from Daniel 3

Will you stand up for the truth? Will you stand up for what is good? Will you stand up for what is right? Will you stand up for what is just? Will you stand firm and not give up? Will you put on the full armor of God? Will you be prepared no matter what? Will you take hold of the truth that the battle belongs to the Lord? Will you take comfort in knowing that because you are standing up and aligned with God that no matter what happens here and now in on earth that you know that You will spend eternity with God because you are His?

Today’s reading comes to us from Psalm 3

Save Me, O My God

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

1 O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.”

Selah

3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill.

Selah

5 I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people!

Selah

from Psalm 3

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of the Bible’s impact on Trade and Taxes comes to us through the story of Bishop Bedell. We learn about the Irish Rebellion of 1641-1642. We learn about the Catholics rising up against the English government out of fear for the Protestants invasion. We learn about how they killed and imprisoned many Protestants.  We read about Bishop William Bedell of Kilmore, an Anglican bishop who preached from our reading for today in verses 3-6.

‘ But you, O Lord , are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord , and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.’

–from Psalms 3:3-6

He used these verses and words of encouragement even while facing the threat of death himself. He provided hope to both his fellow prisoners as well as to his captors which reminds of Paul while he was imprisoned and continued to preach the message of hope and spoke of how it was advancing the kingdom of God. His inspiration motivated many even though he eventually died from environmental issues and getting typhus in February of 1642. We learn that his final words of encouragement that were recorded say “Be of good cheer, be of good cheer; whether we live or die we are the Lord’s.

Will you let the joy of the Lord be your strength? Will you take hold of the truth that He that is in you is greater than he who is in the world? Will you not lose hope because of trials or troubles but rather draw closer to God? In this world we will have troubles – Jesus tells us this and tells us also to take hope because He has overcome the world! We also learn that we are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that  the testing of our faith produces perseverance. So we need to let perseverance finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

So let’s persevere! Let’s take hope in Jesus! Let’s allow our faith to grow! Let’s Persevere so that in the wend we will hear well done my good and faithful servant! Let’s finish strong so that we will be mature, complete, and lacking nothing!


Heavenly Father,
You know the day ahead even before I step into it. You know the past behind me and love me the same no matter how great a step or how bad a stumble for when I ask for forgiveness You are faithful and just to forgive me. Lord grant me wisdom for today. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear so that You Lord in all that I say and do will bring You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

Don’t be fooled! Persevere! Endure till the end!


What do you believe? Don’t be fooled by imitators and imposters! Don’t be tricked or manipulated by liars and cheaters! We have the truth and how it is to happen so let’s persevere through the trials and the tribulations, the struggles and the tests! Let’s not lose hope but let’s press onward and endure until the end! We know it won’t be easy and we know that it will be worth it! Let’s not hold too tightly to things but rather let’s hold onto this world lightly that God may make our hands full! Let’s meditate on His Word daily! Let’s walk out our lives with Him and in constant conversation with Him! Let’s not lean on our own understanding but rather trust in God and lean on Him! Let’s put on the full armor of God so that we can be prepared! Let’s pursue God’s calling on our lives! Let’s not grow weary in completing the good work that God has prepared in advance for us to do! Let’s finish strong! Let’s live lives that will also us to hear God say “well done my good and faithful servant”! Let’s have big dreams! Let’s pursue big dreams! Let’s accomplish big dreams in God’s strength and power! Let’s dream God sized dreams that require Him to show up instead of our size dreams which can be done in our own strength and power.

Today’s reading comes from Mark 13 and we hear directly from Jesus so that we can walk with eyes wide open and not have to get surprised nor worry because He has it all under control. Let’s jump in before we continue…

Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple

‘And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Signs of the End of the Age

‘And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

The Abomination of Desolation

‘”But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that it may not happen in winter. For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.

The Coming of the Son of Man

‘”But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

‘”From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

No One Knows That Day or Hour

‘”But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

–from Mark 13

Don’t worry or fear when we see things foretold by Jesus. Don’t panic or be anxious when His Word returns true. Put your hope and your trust in Jesus so that on that day of His return you will be called up into the air to meet with Him! Invite Jesus into Your heart so that you can live out this life on earth to the fullness of His purpose and plan for your life! God’s Word says to pray without ceasing, so don’t leave God at church or at home or in the car but rather bring Him everywhere you go and speak to Him so that He can help you in and throughout every situation that comes your way! God is for us and not against us – so choose to receive Jesus into Your heart and be transformed! Let the old be gone and start living the new that has come!

New International Version
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

New Living Translation
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

English Standard Version
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

–from Romans 12:2

Let’s be people who are wise through God’s wisdom! Let’s be people who are good because God is good! Let’s be people who are discerning because we bring everything before God and discuss it so that we know how to proceed! Let’s meditate on God’s Word daily so that we know what is acceptable, pleasing, and perfect to God (there are now laws against them)! Use God’s Word as your measuring stick so that you test and approve things against it in order to discern God’s will, His good, pleasing, and perfect will for your life!

Today’s devotional from the Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Impact of the Bible on history and philosophy points to Mark 13:24

‘”But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, Mark 13:24

which points to Bible Study notes and how people like John Bunyan and William Shakespeare used the Geneva Bible. It was an incredible study tool because it came with extensive Bible notes designed to help people with their everyday life understand the Bible through cross-references, historical insights, suggestions, meanings, applications, and geographical information that would be familiar to the readers. This Bible was more than just the Word of God and enraged King James I to the point of getting him to commission a new translation: The King James Bible.

Feb 21 - The Impact of the Bible Study notes and on commissioning of the KJV of Bible - Mark 13_24


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all the plans You have for it. I thank You Lord that I received the offer to lead a group that will dive into Your Word. I know we have talked about starting something near work and now I have this offer. Help me Lord to know and to understand. Give me a vision and a dream for what You would have me do for I know that with You all things are possible and that nothing is too big for You. I give this day into Your hands knowing that having a dream bigger than me means that You will need to show up! I know that in Your strength and Your power I can do more. Help me to respond and accomplish Your perfect will so that in all that I think, say, and do that You Lord will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory, in Jesus’ name! That there will be less of me and more of You! That my hold on things will be light in order to allow You to fill it up and then take it away for Your purposes and plans. So I give this all up to You leaning on You rather than my own understanding so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Will you stand up for the truth? Will you stand up for what is right? The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 28th)


As you prepare for this day will you stand firm? Will you put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the evil schemes of the devil? Our battle is a spiritual one, it is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Put on the belt of truth! Put on the breastplate of righteousness! Put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace as your shoes! Take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one!  Guard your mind and put on the helmet of salvation! Take time to meditate on God’s Word so that you know it and that you are prepared to use the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and praying without ceasing in the spirit! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Persevere through all things that come your way! Will you face troubles? Yes, but take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Will you face trials? Yes, but consider it pure joy because you know that that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Lean on God! Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight!

Today’s reading comes from the book of Jude:

Greeting

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Judgment on False Teachers

3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which like wise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael,contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they,like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying,“Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

A Call to Persevere

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

Doxology

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior,through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

–from Jude

Today’s devotional speaking of the impact of the Bible on Art comes from Jude 9 where it says:

But when the archangel Michael,contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Jude 9

The impact his verse has on the arts is how they have used the archangel Michael. Be it in literature or in arts, he appears as a representative of God! Michael is a rescuing angel! Michael is a chief prince! Michael is a warrior! Michael is defender of God’s will! Michael is a respectful angel! Michael is a guardian angel!

Searching with Bing for “the archangel Michael chief priest bible verse“, we find these verses:

Jude 1:99But even thearchangelMichael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The LORD rebuke you!”

Daniel 12:11“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people-everyone whose name is found written in the book-will be delivered.

Revelation 12:7-97Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-1813Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the LORD’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the LORD, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the LORD himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of thearchangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air. And so we will be with the LORD forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Daniel 10:2121but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.

Daniel 10:1313But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

Today’s reading from The Global Impact Bible comes from the artist Raphael who painted St. Michael Overwhelming the Demon.

Jan 28 - Jude 9 - St. Michael Overwhelming the Demon by Raphael

The literary example that is mentioned comes from a poem by Lord Byron in reference to George III:

XXIX (29)

‘Twas the archangel Michael; all men know
The make of angels and archangels, since
There’s scarce a scribbler has not one to show,
From the fiends’ leader to the angels’ prince;
There also are some altar-pieces, though
I really can’t say that they much evince
One’s inner notions of immortal spirits;
But let the connoisseurs explain their merits.

–from The Vision Of Judgment – Poem by (Lord) George Gordon Byron


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this day and for all that You do and have done. I thank You Lord that Your Word never returns void and that Your Word through the generations has impacted all areas of life. Today Lord I give my life and my day into Your hands in hopes that You will take it and use it for Your purposes so that in all that I think, say, and do that You will be exalted and glorified in Jesus’ name. Help me Lord to not allow any distractions or diversions to keep me from being the person You created me to be. Help me Lord to stand up and stand firm and stand strong on the rock of Jesus Christ and when things get tough continue to stand! Help me Lord with wisdom and discernment to know and the courage and boldness to walk it all out in obedience to You. I ask all this in Jesus’ name so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Amen.

 

Don’t give up! Never say Never! Put your trust in God! The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 26th)


Does it seem impossible? Does it seem improbable? Does it seem unbelievable? Does it seem unattainable? What is in the way? What is your roadblock? What is it going to take? How would you respond if it happened? How would you respond when it happened? What would it take for you to believe? Are you willing to believe?

Imagine being the one who was missing when an event happened. Imagine everyone telling you about it but it sounded too good to be true. Imagine the miracle it would take for such a thing to happen. Imagine the change of reality it would take for it to be possible. Would you believe everyone or would you think they were trying to play a joke on you? Would you believe everyone or need more proof? Would you believe everyone or need to witness it with your own eyes? Would you say “I will never believe unless…”? Today’s theme is that we should never say never! Is it unbelief that is holding you back? Is it doubt that is keeping you from all that could have, should have, or would have? Or can you believe? Can you have faith? Can you have no doubt?

Today’s reading is from John 20 where Thomas returns to the stories of his friends. Their story was incredible. Their story was miraculous. Their story was amazing. But seemed too good to be true.

How would you have respond to Thomas as one of the people from John 20:19-23? What would you say to help encourage him to believe? What would you do to help trust that what was being described was real? How would you demonstrate the reality of everything that happened? So what about the people around you today? What about all the people God has brought into your life today who don’t believe? What are you doing? What are you saying? How are you demonstrating the reality of Jesus being alive? Don’t give up on those people! Never say never! Pray for them! Be salt in their lives! Be light in their darkness! Be hope to the hopeless! Be the love of God’s arms extended! Be the love of God’s arms embracing! Be present! Don’t give up!

Today’s reading shows us Thomas’ response…

25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them,“Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

–from John 20:25

Jesus can become real to people! Jesus can speak to people and help them believe! Jesus can have divine encounters with people on their road of life! Consider Saul who became Paul and how on that road to Damascus was transformed by a divine encounter with Jesus! God promises in His Word that He will give dreams and visions which many people around the world have having and encountering the reality and the truth of the love of God by having a divine encounter with Jesus! So pray for dreams! Pray for visions! Keep pouring into the lives of the people God has brought into your life at home, in your neighborhood, in your community, at school, at work, and everywhere in between. Never give up! Never say never! Press in! Press on! Don’t lose hope, put your trust in God! Might it cause trouble in this world? Take heart for Jesus has overcome the world! Might you face trials of many kinds? Consider it pure joy for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If you are still seeking then don’t give up! If you are still asking then don’t give up! If you are still knocking then don’t give up! God’s Word promises that you will find Him when you seek Him with all of your heart, mind, and strength! God’s Word also promises that when you seek you will find, when you ask you will receive, and when you knock it will be opened! Don’t give up! Invite Jesus into your situation! You don’t want to wait till it is too late and be faced with the reality of your decision! You don’t want to come face to face with Jesus and miss out on everything He had planned for you! Would you want to come face to face with Jesus and be confronted by your doubt? God is gracious! God is love! God is patient! He is looking for ways to draw you back unto Him! He provided a way through faith in Jesus! He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! He loves you so much that He made a way for you to spend all of eternity with Him! He didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but rather through Him the world could be saved!

Today’s reading about Thomas impacted the world of Arts. Caravaggio painted “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” because of the story sometime called doubting Thomas.

Jan 26 - John 20_25 - The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravagio

It speaks to the divine love and encounter of Jesus which is completed in John 20 when it says…

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and putout your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

–from John 20:26-29


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this day. I thank You Lord for Your Word and the truth of Your message. I know there will be hard times and in those times Lord, I pray that you will help take my faith and increase it by overwhelming any doubts or unbelief. Nothing is impossible with You! It is because of You and through You that the ability and opportunity to be saved exists. It is because of You and through You that all things are possible. So Lord, I give this day up into Your hands and ask Lord for Your help in it. I may not know what today will hold or what will unfold, but I do know that my hope and trust are in You! So Lord help me I pray to be salt and light into the world around me! Help me to not lose hope but to persevere and press in to what You have and desire for my life today. I give my day and my life into Your hands so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.