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Acts 28:3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” 5 But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.

Ouch! Paul was bitten by a snake. I’m sure the fangs of the snake going through his skin hurt, but by God’s grace and mercy, it didn’t kill him.

We’re going to experience things in life that will physically and emotionally hurt. These things were sent by the devil to steal, kill, or destroy something in our lives. It could be sickness, divorce, death of a loved one, or a loss of a job. Although these things hurt, when we rely on God’s grace and mercy, they won’t kill us. That’s encouraging news.

Certain things in life will hurt, but as we rely on God to see us through these difficult times, it will hurt, but it won’t kill.

Isaiah 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”

The reason we’re here is not some deep complicated thing. We were created to give God glory.

Don’t let religion confuse you about glory. It simply means to honor and give Him credit through praise and worship.

When we praise and worship God for all the wonderful things He’s done, God is glorified. A form of praise and worship is giving. Yes, giving. When we give an offering (financially), we’re tangibly giving God glory (1 Chron. 16:29).

We glorify God through our obedience. Jesus says in John 17:4, “I have glorified You on earth by accomplishing the work You gave Me to do.” By fulfilling our God-given assignments (small or great), God is glorified. Some of our God-given assignments are to believe in the finished works of Jesus, love, be blessings, etc.

Glorifying God is not optional. It’s something God is due according to 1 Chronicles 16:29. So, in every situation (pleasant and unpleasant), give God glory.

1 John 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Every person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and He died for our sins is spiritually alive. Every person who does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God and He died for our sins is spiritually dead. It’s that simple.

When people believe, they become spiritually alive, but until then, they’re the walking dead. It doesn’t matter how nice or sweet a person is or how many good acts they do. Without belief, they’re spiritually dead. They may be millionaires and have the appearance of being blessed, but they’re dead to God.

Unfortunately, based on their decision to not believe, the spiritually dead’s final destination is hell. God doesn’t send people to hell; people’s unbelief sends them there. Don’t walk around spiritually dead just to end up in hell and don’t let people walk around spiritually dead. Make Jesus Lord and let’s encourage others to make Him Lord so we all can be alive forevermore.

1 Timothy 6:17 As for the rich in this present world, instruct them not to be conceited and arrogant, nor to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

For so many years, a lot of Christians were the image of “no fun.” They didn’t smile, they had hundreds of rules, and they couldn’t do anything without it being called a sin. What outsider would want to be associated with people like that? Why would any person want to give up fun for that type of Christianity?

Christianity is not meant to be some somber experience where everyone is serious and in deep thought all the time. God’s design is that we enjoy ourselves in every aspect of life. We can enjoy ourselves at church, reading God’s Word, and in prayer. We can have fun with our children and relatives. We can watch a movie, play games, go on vacations, or just lounge around the house.

Let’s change the perception of Christianity by enjoying ourselves as we follow Jesus.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 (NLT) So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Satan is on the attack. He’s attempting to steal, kill, or destroy something in our lives (John 10:10). He takes no days off.

Understanding that Satan’s attack will never end, it’s important that we put on the whole armor of God. It didn’t say put on part of the armor of God, but the entire armor. We put on the armor of God to protect ourselves from Satan’s onslaught.

God’s armor consists of truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. To sum it up, the armor of God is knowledge and application of the Word of God. When we properly apply the Word of God, we effectively combat Satan’s attacks.

When the armor of God is in full effect, we’ll no longer be influenced to do the wrong thing, we won’t overthink ourselves into depression, and we won’t react based on how we feel.

If it hasn’t been done already, be sure to put on the armor of God and never take it off.

Proverbs 19:11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

Offense is optional. It’s our choice to be offended or not. One way to not be offended is to never take it.

It’s up to us to be offended if our boss belittles us in front of coworkers. It’s up to us to be offended by the looks of others. It’s up to us to be offended by the comments of others.

Part of not taking offense is knowing who we are in Christ. If we know that we’re wonderfully made, intelligent, successful, and righteous, we’ll never be in bondage to someone’s approval of us. Therefore, we’ll never be offended.

The option to be offended will always be present. We can either pick it up or leave it there. It’s in our best interest to leave it there. Don’t take it!

1 John 2:12 I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name.

Our sins are not going to be forgiven. They already are forgiven. Everything that we have done wrong and will do wrong has been forgiven. It doesn’t matter how minor or major the fault was, it’s all forgiven.

Our sins are not forgiven because of the good things that we do. There is no amount of works we can do to be forgiven by God. Our sins are forgiven because of the sacrifice of Jesus. He took on our sins and took the punishment for our sins (1 Peter 2:24).

For God or anyone else to hold our sins against us is an insult to the sacrifice of Jesus. We have been forgiven. Receive this forgiveness and know that through Christ, we are in right standing with God.

Jude 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

Without Jesus, we’re nothing. With every wrong thing we’ve done in our lives, we would die from guilt standing in the presence of God if it wasn’t for Jesus.

Jesus taught us how to live. He’s given us abundant life. He was whipped so that we can be healed. He sacrificed His life so that our past, present, and future sins can be forgiven. He put us in right standing with God. He gives us 24-hour access to God.

With all that He’s done, He’s still presently working on our behalf. Our Savior keeps us from sin and error. You may say, “I still sin periodically.” Yes, we all sin, but through Christ, He spiritually holds us up. And although we have shortcomings, His blood keeps us clean in the sight of God. When God sees us, He doesn’t see our mistakes, faults, and shortcomings. Thanks to Jesus, He sees us faultless.

If we don’t feel like we have anything to thank God about (although we do), let’s remember and thank God for Jesus.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

We put on a hat to protect us from the sun, we put on a coat to protect us from the cold, and we put on a rain jacket to protect us from the rain. We understand the concept of protection in the natural. It’s even more important to be protected spiritually. That’s why we’re instructed to put on the Lord Jesus.

How do we put on the Lord Jesus? By looking in God’s Word to see how He behaves, His thoughts, how He treats others, how He responds to negativity, and how He deals with pressure.

Notice, the scripture tells us to put the Lord Jesus on, but it never tells us to take Him off. So, put and keep these spiritual clothes on to be protected from the vices in the world.

There are some who are deceived into thinking God’s ways are archaic, unnecessary, or burdensome. With this mentality, those people search for another option. Instead of praying, they choose to mediate. Instead of reading the bible, they choose to read self-help books. Instead of treating everyone with love and respect, they only love and respect those who love and respect them.

Turning from God’s ways leaves us hollow. It may look like we have it altogether, but when life gets at its most difficult, we’ll crack under the pressure. We’ll start having nervous breakdowns, easily give into temptation, and start doing things we never thought we’ll do. We’ll settle for things below God’s best, we’ll get jealous of those who prosper, and we’ll find faults with elements of Christianity.

Meanwhile, God is there, waiting for anyone to turn and submit themselves to Him. The moment we turn to Him, He’s not holding anything against us (Rom. 4:8). He’s excited about enhancing the rest of our lives (Psalm 35:17). Stop searching for fulfillment in other things. Only God can bring true fulfillment in life.

Isaiah 55:2 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. 3 “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David.

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Scriptures of the Day

February 2020
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