Daily Scripture


August 31, 2015: 2:47 am: Daily Scripture

 

James 1:21-27
21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. 22 And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. 23 For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law-the law that sets you free-and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. 26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many find it easy and comfortable to maintain the appearance of being committed without a deep and sincere loyalty to God. Religious acts or rituals can help you to understand God, but without a sincere commitment to doing His will, they mean nothing. That is why God instituted circumcision and the sacrificial system in the Old Testament and baptism and the Lord’s Supper in the New. But religious ritual is helpful only if it is carried out with an attitude of love for and obedience to God. If a person’s heart is far from God, ritual will become empty mockery. God doesn’t want your “acts” of religion; He wants your actions of His will. Hosea 6:6 states, “I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices. I want you to know God; that’s more important than burnt offerings.” God told the Old Testament people that He did not want their sacrifices, He wanted their heart. Because a heart that loves Him is a heart that will obey Him. The actions that come out of a heart that loves Him will be for Him and not to Him. Pretense of love is not love at all. God desires your sincere love and the relationship that comes out of that love will keep you safe within His love. Don’t just go through the motions of serving Him. Search your heart and read His Word to know Him and you will love Him because of His great love for you!

Have a God Day!

Daily Scripture commentary is written by Christine Zimmerman

Chris@DrZimmerman.com

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August 10, 2015: 10:10 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 21:1-22
18 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, 19 and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs on it, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up. 20 The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” 21 Then Jesus told them, “I assure you, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and it will happen. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree? This was not a thoughtless, angry act but He was actually acting out a parable for his disciples.  Jesus was showing His anger at the appearance of religion, but really nothing is there.  Just as the fig tree looked good from a distance, but was fruitless on close examination, so the lives of those in “religion” can look good, but there is no fruit of the Sprit of God.  If you only appear to have faith without putting it to work in your life, you are like the fig tree that withered and died because it bore no fruit.  Those who look good, but do not have a relationship with Christ will bear no fruit. For those today who appear to have faith, but have no relationship with Jesus Christ, there will no fruit and their faith will wither and die.  Christ wants genuine faith in Him and that means the fruit of the Spirit of God will be evident.  Don’t take what you see as substance or validity in Christ.  Look for the fruit of God produced in a persons life.  In your life and the lives of those you see, seek to see the evidence of the Spirit of God.  If He is there, there will be fruit. For those who “look” good, but do not have Christ, there will be no fruit.  For those in Christ and those who are a part of Him, they will reflect Him and show the fruit of Him in their lives.

Have a God Day!

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August 7, 2015: 9:59 pm: Daily Scripture

atthew 20:1-16
“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of an estate who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work. 3 “At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. 4 So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. 5 At noon and again around three o’clock he did the same thing. 6 At five o’clock that evening he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’ 7 “They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’ The owner of the estate told them, ‘Then go on out and join the others in my vineyard.’ 8 “That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. 9 When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired earlier came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’ 13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take it and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be angry because I am kind?’ 16 “And so it is, that many who are first now will be last then; and those who are last now will be first then.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

This parable is not about rewards but about salvation. It is a strong teaching about grace, God’s generosity.  We should not resent those who turn to the Lord in the last moments of life.  No one deserves eternal life with God, no matter what they have done for Him.  There will be many people in heaven that we did not expect to see.  The criminal who died next to Christ did not serve Him during his life, but he accepted His grace and went to be with Christ in Paradise that day.  For those of us who have known of God’s grace for years and have served, our reward will be according to His will, and not according to what we have done.  Remember it is only those things done by His direction, through His power and for His purposes that we will be rewarded.  But to spend eternity with Jesus is the reward of all who believe in Him and accept His grace. no matter how long they believed.  Focus on your relationship with Him and not on what others are doing or have done.  You do what He is directing you to do and know that His love and peace are with you no matter how long you have known Him.

Have a God Day!

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July 30, 2015: 12:12 am: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 12:3-6
3 But as for me, Lord, you know my heart. You see me and test my thoughts. Drag these people away like helpless sheep to be butchered! Set them aside to be slaughtered! 4 How long must this land weep? Even the grass in the fields has withered. The wild animals and birds have disappeared because of the evil in the land. Yet the people say, “The Lord won’t do anything!” 5 Then the Lord replied to me, “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? 6 Even your own brothers, members of your own family, have turned on you. They have plotted, raising a cry against you. Do not trust them, no matter how pleasantly they speak.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jeremiah is before the Lord asking for direction in dealing with a faithless nation.  He has repeatedly told them that God would send judgment if they did not turn back to God.  But they refused to listen.  When Jeremiah questioned God because of the trouble he faced, God asked how he ever expected to face big challenges if the little ones tired him out. Times of trouble can be useful in anyones life if they learn and grow from it.  Troubles will reveal who you really are.  But if you cannot deal with small troubles, how will you deal with large calamities when they come your way?  God wants you to not complain about your problems, but to learn and be strengthened from them.  The trouble you face today is training you to be strong for more difficult situations you will face in the future.  Learn and grow strong according to the Word of God in all that happens in your life and you will be able to deal with what is yet to come.

Have a God Day!

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July 29, 2015: 8:39 pm: Daily Scripture

Isaiah 53
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9 And they made His grave with the wicked–But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.  10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

How could an Old Testament person understand the idea of Christ dying for our sins and actually bearing the punishment that we deserve? But yet Isaiah wrote this prophecy over 600 years before Christ would come to the earth. The scripture is clear that God would come and take the punishment for all those who have turned away, which is all of us.  The sacrifices Isaiah did only suggested this idea, but it is one thing to kill a lamb and something quite different to think of God’s chosen servant as the Lamb.  But God was pulling aside the curtain to let the people of Isaiah’s day look ahead to the suffering of the future Messiah and the resulting forgiveness made available through His sacrifice.  We have hindsight to see and know the identity of the promised Messiah, who has come and died for our sins.  So it is easier today for us to believe than it was for those in Isaiah’s day. If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ today, you will have no excuse when you stand before Him. The Word given to us by God is clear.

Have a God Day!

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July 28, 2015: 12:40 am: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 8:4-6

4 “Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they start down the wrong road and discover their mistake, don’t they turn back? 5 Then why do these people keep going along their self-destructive path, refusing to turn back, even though I have warned them? 6 I listen to their conversations, and what do I hear? Is anyone sorry for sin? Does anyone say, ‘What a terrible thing I have done’? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse rushing into battle!”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jeremiah prophesied for about 21 years before the Babylonians came to destroy Jerusalem and took the Jewish people into captivity.  God had given them plenty of time to change their ways.  God had repeatedly told them, “Obey Me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Only do as I say, and all will be well.”  But even though they still followed the rituals of worshiping Jehovah, they also had many other gods and also worshiped them.  At this time in history it is known that the Jews also worshiped a god that required them to sacrifice their own children and they did.  All the while they were still thinking they were safe from harm, because they keep up the appearance of worshiping the God of Jacob.  Most people who fall down realize that they are headed in the wrong direction.  It only makes sense for them to get up and change directions. But the Jews at this time were living sinful lives by choice and deceiving themselves that there would be no consequences.  They had lost perspective concerning God’s will for their lives and had minimized their sin.  If we continue too long in sin, the same thing will happen.  The longer we stay in sin that we know is sin, the greater the chance we will stay there regardless of what the consequences will be if we continue on.  That is why it is so important to stop and move in a different direction the minute the Spirit of God speaks to our heart about sin.  And you know what sin He is referring to in your life that you just do not want to give up.  God is saying to you today to stop and move back to Him or else you will suffer the consequences of the sin.  God has set into motion the consequences of sin and one of them is our ability to hear Him.  The longer we stay in sin, the less we will hear His voice.  Don’t let this happen, as soon as you know it is sin, stop and move back to the One and the only One who save you. He can have no fellowship with sin and sin will keep you from growing in faith in Him.

Have a God Day!

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July 20, 2015: 12:02 am: Daily Scripture

Mark 11:22-24
22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23 I assure you that you can say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart. 24 Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it. 25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

One of the most asked questions is  “Why doesn’t God answer my prayer?”  With all assurance, I can say that God hears all prayers, but not all requests get the answer wanted.  But all do get answered.  It is just not always in the way we want.  God is continually working all things out according to His purpose, His design and His time.  Our request may not fall into what He has intended or our request may not be good for us.  They may not take us the direction that He wants us to go.  There may be unforgivness in our hearts towards someone that needs to be dealt with before God will meet our request.  Jesus is telling us that for our prayers to be answered the way that we want, we must first believe that God is there.  We must be a believer in Him. And we must have faith that He hears us and will give us the object of our request if it is for the good of His Kingdom.  Take your focus off of the request and put it on Him.  When you come before Him give it to Him and then focus on Him and His will and not on the request.  Trust that He will work out for you the request according to His will and have faith that His will is best in the situation. If you are praying for healing, not all will be healed as we all have to die at some point and usually of an illness.  So relax in His care and know that He is with you and is working all things out for the glory of His will and that is what is best for you.

Have a God Day!

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June 24, 2015: 1:34 am: Daily Scripture

Isaiah 41:8-16

8 “But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from my friend Abraham, 9 I have called you back from the ends of the earth so you can serve me. For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. 10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. 11 “See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and ashamed. Anyone who opposes you will die. 12 You will look for them in vain. They will all be gone! 13 I am holding you by your right hand-I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I am here to help you. 14 Despised though you are, O Israel, don’t be afraid, for I will help you. I am the Lord, your Redeemer. I am the Holy One of Israel.’ 15 You will be a new threshing instrument with many sharp teeth. You will tear all your enemies apart, making chaff of mountains. 16 You will toss them in the air, and the wind will blow them all away; a whirlwind will scatter them. And the joy of the Lord will fill you to overflowing. You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Centuries ago the Church took on the belief that because Israel had rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior, that God was done with the Jews.  And all of His promises to them now belonged to those who believed in Christ.  This is just not true and never has been.  God never goes back on a promise He has made.  Someday the Jewish people will recognize Christ as their Savior and many do today.  The Church today is comprised of Gentiles and Jews.  But what God is telling Israel is that they will become a nation again and that He is not done with them. Christ will come back one day and rule as their King.  We have seen this become true right before our eyes and Israel became a nation again in 1948 after over 2600 years of being ruled by others. In 70 A.D. the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and scattered all of the Jews around the world.  But God never stopped working to bring them back and we are witness to this.  So we should be in support of Israel as brothers who do not know the truth of Christ yet.  God is still working to protect them and will continue until He is ruling on this earth as their King.

Have a God Day!

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June 22, 2015: 9:22 pm: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 1:14
14 But angels are only servants. They are spirits sent from God to care for those who will receive salvation.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

This verse tells us that there is a whole invisible world going on all around us that many are not aware.  But those in Christ have His Word and we should be aware of this and not only be aware but be prepared to do battle in this invisible world.  For Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  There is a very fundamental principle, which is that for everything visible, something invisible corresponds to it.  In other words, what is happening in your walk with Christ is being effected by what is happening in the invisible world around you. Angels are spiritual beings that were created by God for His purposes.  They are servants and are used by God to minister to those who are in Christ.  But there are also fallen angels that followed Satan when he rebelled against God.  There is no redemption for fallen angels. They had their chance and now because they have chosen to rebel against God along with Satan, they will be separated from God for eternity.  But they do not want you or any other human to get salvation.  They can’t make you lose you salvation once received, but they can try and draw you away from Him to make you ineffective for Christ thereby preventing you from becoming victorious or bringing anyone else to Him.  So they are working all around you to keep you miserable and not useful for the Kingdom of God.  Being aware of what is happening, makes you more useful to Christ for the purpose of prayer and for the purpose of moving beyond your stumbling blocks.  Satan would have you stay in a situation that keeps you from growing in Christ.  But you can move forward because Christ has provided a way for you.  He has provided you knowledge and the power of the Holy Spirit in you to move forward.  So pick up your sword of prayer and use the power of the Spirit of God in you and His angels to prevent Satan from having any more victory in your life by keeping you from moving forward for God.  Start today and pray for discernment of the lies Satan is telling you. Move off of that problem that has kept you bound for too many years and start making a difference for God in His Kingdom.

Have a God Day!

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June 9, 2015: 7:57 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 13:24-30

He replied, 24 “The door to heaven is narrow. Work hard to get in, because many will try to enter, 25 but when the head of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. Then you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I do not know you.’ 26 You will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you. Go away, all you who do evil.’ 28 “And there will be great weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets within the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out. 29 Then people will come from all over the world to take their places in the Kingdom of God. 30 And note this: Some who are despised now will be greatly honored then; and some who are greatly honored now will be despised then.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Our measurement of God in our lives is not in what we own or how much we succeed according to the standards of this world.  Wealth is not a measurement of how pleased God is with your life; it is merely a gift and should be looked at it that way.  God does not “reward” us with health because we obey Him; He rewards us with spiritual health for our obedience.  Now that does not mean that God will not help us financially or heal us of our sickness, because He can.  But if He chooses not to heal us, we must understand that it is not a measure of His righteousness in us, but is a part of living for God in a sinful world.  God uses His power to accomplish His purposes through His people.  God doesn’t give you power or heal you to be all you want to be, but He gives you power and heals you to be all that He wants you to be. Because no matter where you are today, wealthy or poor, sick or healthy, it is all to be used for His glory and His purpose.  No matter where you are in this life, God can use you for His purposes.  Do not let your circumstances prevent you from being used by God for His purpose.  Do not be one of the many who will say, “But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.”  The heart of these people will not be Christ but will be for their own gain, even though they “look” like they are serving Christ. Know Him, love Him, serve Him according to His purpose and do not let your circumstances hold you back.  God always has a work for you no matter what you are going through.  If we wait for perfect conditions, they will never come.  Remember God is more interested in your connection to Him than in your comfort. Make His will your primary desire and everything else will fall into place.

Have a God Day!

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