The Holy Bible in Schools

teach bible in schools
America was founded by Christians (some Protestant colonies and others Catholic) seeking religious freedom.  They wanted to practice their belief in the trinity of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit without worry of persecution.  Is Christianity still practiced freely in the USA and will it be so in the future?  If other religions are taught in schools, but Christ is not included, is that unethical as the teaching excludes the Christian religion on which this country was founded?  Education sources can not say ethically and truthfully say belief in freedom of religion while excluding Christianity.  Can students pray in school or bring their Bible to school any day during the year?

"And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way 
wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do." - Exodus 18:20 (KJV)

When formal education began in America, the Bible was the most readily available book.  So schools used the Bible to teach children to read.  Just a few decades ago, the Holy Bible was referenced in history, social studies, and civics classes when students were taught about the colonization of America and the foundation of US laws.  Is this still true today?  Also, the King James Version (KJV) Bible was used in some high school English classes to familiarize students with the "Kings English" before studying classic literature like Shakespeare.  Shouldn't the Bible be taught as part of literature curriculum still? 

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, 
that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." -
 Romans 15:4 (KJV)

If the Bible was so important for education in the past, why is it being blocked from curriculums now?  Real freedom of religion, understanding of ethics and morals, and reinforcement of US tradition includes teaching the Christian Bible in all schools.  Is the devil and his violence in schools winning over school district leaders or do parents still have a voice to bring respect for other people and belief in God back into the classroom? Is the trend to eliminate the Bible and restricting prayer from school districts fading?  If you want to bring the Bible back to schools, pray about it for your community and keep bringing it up at local school board  and PTA meetings.



Christian Goal Setting

achieving your goals
Have you heard about setting SMART goals in the past?  Did you wonder if you need to set some goals or just "let go and let God" run your life?  While the Bible teaches you to let God into your live and let Him lead you, it also teaches you not use that as an excuse to do nothing.

If God has a path for you, do you need a map to know the direction?  Setting Christian goals is more than just making yearly resolutions that you may or may not keep.  God gives everyone a purpose in this life - for you to know that purpose you must pray.  If you are to fulfill that purpose, you must plan.  This is where goal-setting comes in.  Christian goals may be personal, spiritual, or social.   Your goals may also be related to your: character, health, charity, family, vocation (business/career/job), church, finances, or community.

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, 
and he will establish your plans." 
- Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

We need to make sure your goals align with God's purpose, so think about what you wold like to achieve and then pray about it.  If God does not lead you away from your desired goals, then you should set realistic expectations, write down your goals so you can track progress, and make a step-by-step plan for achieving them.  Once you have your plan, pray about that too; ask God to help you on your journey and to lead you His way.

Once you feel your plan has been blessed, you will feel more motivated to stay focused and follow it through to fulfillment.  However, do not be discouraged or surprised if God changes your plan or path along the way, after all you want to stay in His will and He knows what is best for you.



Blessed to be a Blessing

Music is important to worship.  It can help us feel closer to God and make us recognize what He does for us.  God blesses you is the devotional theme, below is a music video that goes with that.  The lyric video explains how we are blessed and should share that good news with others by being a blessing ourselves.  The song "Blessed to be a Blessing" is available on the CD The Very Best of Lara Martin - The Voice of Hope on Amazon.

"And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt 
hearken unto the voice of the voice of the Lord thy God." - Deuteronomy 28:2 (KJV)

January Daily Devotionals: God Blesses You

bible verse of the day, daily devotional, bible verses, daily bible verse, daily bible reading, devotion, scripture of the day, daily scripture, daily bible, bible reading
Many people think of blessings as material things like a large house, new car, fancy clothes, promotion/high-paying job, big savings account, high credit limit, or other monetary wealth.  While others may see blessings as more physical things like personal health or comfort,  winning at sports, or participating in organizations.  Then there are the emotional blessings brought through a loving family, charity work, good friendships, getting a degree or an enriching career.  If you  have any of those are blessings, you should be thankful for them.  God wants to bless you spiritually through a joy-filled relationship with Him, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  It is ok to pray for your emotional, financial, mental, and  physical need,s as God says you are to ask for these things according to His will and you must use them with His guidance.  For your own spiritual growth, spiritual blessings is what you should be praying for.  

Please read the scriptures below so you may recognize that God not only meets your needs but blesses you with more than material things.  Review your blessings (including religious freedom, the Holy Bible, and local Church), acknowledge from God they came, and thank Him.

January References for Daily Devotionals 

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Remembering Christ's Sacrifice with Communion

juice and cracker as wine and bread
In Matthew 25:26-29, we see the first communion at the Lord's Last Supper during Passover before Christ's crucifixion.   Not only does he offer the communion ceremony, but he promises we will repeat the process in person with Him later on.

"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, 
ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." - 1 Corinthians 11:26 (KJV)

Communion is not to be taken lightly.  It is meant to remind us of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for our salvation.  The taking of bread (body) and wine (blood) are more than symbols to Christians.  It is a time to reflect on what Christ did, ask forgiveness of past sins, accept Jesus into our current hearts, and follow Him in the future so that we may have eternal life with the Father i Heaven.

Salvation by Faith, Not Works

charity and good works
Some religions teach that you must be good and do good deeds in order to be saved from eternal damnation in hell or move onto a better future life.  In other words, being good or doing good is the main way to get into heaven.  This belief probably comes from studying the Old Testament laws and guidelines of the covenant with God.  However, this is not what is reflected in the New Testament.   If doing good is all that is required, then Jesus did not need to come to earth, train disciples, and die on the cross.  Jesus Christ is the new covenant between God and humans, through Him we have a new kind of relationship with God.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 
Not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

Grace is God's unbounding love that he gives freely to us.  He created us so that He could share and show that love.  It is because of that grace that He sent Christ, God's son to die for our sins.  Salvation from our sins comes through believing in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins and accepting His redemption to gain eternal life with Him.  It is by our faith that we gain our way into Heaven, not by anything else that we may do while on earth.  Being good, showing goodness, and doing good are a reflection of Christian living.  However, we should be doing good deeds because we are faithful Christians following Christ's example.

Five Reasons We Have to Ask God For What We Want

asking God

The Bible tells us in Matthew that God knows what we need before we do.  God can bless at us at any time, in any place, and in any situation.  Why  Because God loves us.
 
"... for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, 
before ye ask him.
- Matthew 6:8 (KJV)

The Bible also tells us in James that we have to ask God for what what we want before we can get.  So if He knows before we do, why does he require us to ask?  Below are 5 reasons why God wants you to ask for what you want before you can get:
  1. He wants a real relationship with you.  Genuine relationships rely on two-way communication.
  2. He wants you to know that all good things come from God!  Not from: yourself, others, fate, luck, nor because of anything going on in the world.
  3. He truly wants to meet all your needs and bless you with more than that!  You must be aware of what you need before you know that you are blessed, not just physical needs but emotional and spiritual as well.
  4. He want you to grow strong in your faith and be a witness to others.  Acknowledging God has blessed you will aid you in this.  You have to be strong to resist temptation.
  5. He wants you to trust him.  When He answers, you know you can rely on His promises.
"... yet ye have not, because ye ask not."- James 4:2 (KJV)

Other places in the Bible, it tells us we must be patient and persistent in our prayers.  Just because God does not provide an answer quickly, does not mean he will not.  Perhaps it is not yet time for you to have that particular thing as you are not mature enough to handle it, have the wrong attitude in asking for it, or He plans to use the answer to help  others in addition to yourself when it happens.  Yes, God knows what you need, but he also knows when you need it and when you do not.