God loves you no matter what your style is.

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Countdown Verses #60 - #53

Ephesians 3:20-21; 1 Timothy 1:15-17; Romans 16:25, Countdown #60: Ephesians 3:20
Acts 2:14-21, 37-43, Countdown #59: Acts 2:38
James 1:1-18, Countdown #57, 78, 79: James 1:2, 1:12, 1:3
John 5:10-30, Countdown #56: John 5:24
John 11:21-45, Countdown #54: John 11:25
Romans 15:7-16, Countdown #53: Romans 15:13

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Ephesians 3:20-21; 1 Timothy 1:15-17; Romans 16:25, Countdown #60: Ephesians 3:20 (5/8/1

Our word doxology comes from the Greek doxa glory or honor, and a “doxology” is a (usually brief) expression of praise to God, as in “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.” Every so often as Paul was writing letters to his churches or friends, he would be overcome by a sense of the glory of God, and he would just stick in a little doxology that might or might not be closely related to what he was saying. Our Countdown Verse #60, “Now to the one who can do infinitely more than all we can ask or imagine according to the power that is working among us –,” is the first half of one of these doxologies, telling us who (God) the doxology is directed to. The next verse gives glory to God forever and ever, amen!

Here are three examples so that you can learn how to use them whenever you are overcome by the glory of God.

Acts 2:14-21, 37-43, Countdown #59: Acts 2:38 (5/9/12)

Our Countdown Verse #59, “Turn back to God! Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven. Then you will be given the Holy Spirit,” is the altar call at the earliest recorded Christian sermon preached by someone other than Jesus. About three thousand people came forward to be baptized, and we still celebrate that day, Pentecost, as the birthday of the Church.

James 1:1-18, Countdown #57, 78, 79: James 1:2, 1:12, 1:3 (5/10/12)

James is one of my favorite books, so I’m glad to see that three verses in the first chapter have made it onto our countdown list:
Personally, I hate “growth experiences.” James doesn’t. He says that, far from complaining when bad things happen to us, we should take advantage of them to learn patient endurance and to strengthen our faith. During that process, however, we must never fall into the trap of thinking that God sent whatever trouble we are having. God doesn’t tempt people, James says, and God doesn’t send trouble. Instead, God sends every good and perfect gift that we receive, and – best of all – new birth. Never give up.

John 5:10-30, Countdown #56: John 5:24 (5/11/12)

“We’ve never done it that way before.” “We’ve always done it that way.” “Don’t confuse me with the facts. My mind is already made up.” All of us are inclined to think that the way things are is the way things should be. One reason we think this way is that, most of the time, it works. Change is not always good. In the Church, we’ve even got a song about it: “Give me that old time religion. It was good enough for mother, and it’s good enough for me.”

However, when we meet up with Jesus, change is essential. The Jewish leaders were holding on to the old principle that working on the Sabbath is bad, which is an excellent principle straight out of the old time religion. What they did not see (because their minds were already made up) was that when working on the Sabbath produces a miraculous cure, it is excellent evidence that the work is good.

In our Countdown Verse #56, Jesus says, “I tell you for certain that everyone who hears my message and has faith in the one who sent me has eternal life and will never be condemned. They have already gone from death to life.” This weekend, let’s make sure that our old time religion is not getting in the way as Jesus tries to give us new life.

p.s. Unless your work is the kind of thing that has to be done 24/7, take this Sabbath off. Happy Mother’s Day!

John 11:21-45, Countdown #54: John 11:25 (5/14/12)

John writes easy Greek. John uses short words. John uses short sentences. A child can read John. Occasionally the evangelist utilizes extraordinary terminology in a multifaceted arrangement necessitating the exercise of a lexicon and multitudinous tomes of reference.

It has always been my impression that when I start looking up every other word in the dictionary and a Greek grammar book, John has gotten to the climax of his story. In this passage, that happens in the first part of verse 44.

So I agree that our Countdown Verse #54 is incredibly important: “Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life! The one who believes in me, even though he dies, will live!” However, the verse that John was excited about is verse 44:
Jesus’ promise is important, but the proof that he fulfills it is exciting!

Romans 15:7-16, Countdown #53: Romans 15:13 (5/15/12)

Years ago I took a two-day “Social Styles” class at work. As a result of my own “Driver” style, I felt that we could have held hands and chanted “Everybody’s different; try to get along” for twenty minutes and then gotten back to work. People with other social styles felt that we should have talked to each other about it for two more days, because we are all different, and it would be so nice if we could all get along!

God loves you, me, and everyone else, no matter what our style is, and has been doing as much as possible to save us all. Why is it, then, that we find so many reasons that God should save only those people who are just like us? Paul says in our Countdown Verse #53, “Accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, for the glory of God.”

Everybody’s different; try to get along.

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Countdown Verses #60 - #53
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Countdown Verses #43 - #39
Countdown Verses #38 - #33
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Countdown Verses #21 - #15
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Countdown Verses #6 - #3
Countdown Verses #2 - #1a
Countdown Verse #1

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