Archive for the ‘Morning Bible Reading…’ Category

What are you walking through each day carrying on your shoulders? What are you allowing to weigh you down? What would it take for you to hand it over? What would it take for you to partner and share the load? What is making you hold on so tightly that nobody else is able to step up or step in to help? Why are you living in such a way that it just gets heavier and heavier each day? What will it take for you to give it up to God so that He can help?

Today’s reading from Psalm speaks to this in the following way:

Confession and Forgiveness

1 Happy are those whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned.
2Happy is the one whom the Lord does not accuse of doing wrong and who is free from all deceit.
3When I did not confess my sins, I was worn out from crying all day long.
4Day and night you punished me, Lord; my strength was completely drained, as moisture is dried up by the summer heat.
5Then I confessed my sins to you; I did not conceal my wrongdoings. I decided to confess them to you, and you forgave all my sins.
6So all your loyal people should pray to you in times of need; when a great flood of trouble comes rushing in, it will not reach them.
7You are my hiding place; you will save me from trouble. I sing aloud of your salvation, because you protect me.
8The Lord says, “I will teach you the way you should go; I will instruct you and advise you.
9Don’t be stupid like a horse or a mule, which must be controlled with a bit and bridle to make it submit.”
10The wicked will have to suffer, but those who trust in the Lord are protected by his constant love.
11You that are righteous, be glad and rejoice because of what the Lord has done. You that obey him, shout for joy!

– from Psalm 32

Give up to God! Partner with Him! He tells us that His burden is light and His yoke is easy! So let’s stop trying to do it our own way and let’s start doing it His way! Let’s do it the way it was designed to be done! In this life we will all have to make choices. In this life we will all face trials, but God’s Word tells to consider it all joy for it works to complete us and it also tells us not to give up because Jesus has already overcome the world.

Ever been trying to get something done and find that there are others trying to sabotage you? Ever been trying to set something up and find that there are others trying to take you out? Don’t rush to conclusions! Don’t be crazy in your response and take out the good and the bad! Seek wisdom about how to deal with it so that in the end not only will you get the reward but also the satisfaction. (check this out)

When we turn to God even with just a small amount of faith, even the size of a mustard seed, it can be enough to get us through the challenges and trials we are facing. God wants us to keep and put our trust in Him! And in so doing, we will not only get to see but also live the miracles of God in this world we live. When we plan that small seed of faith, God will water it and help it grow. It will go from being so small to being a power house, a covering, a place of peace, hope, and courage. So don’t give up! Even if you only have a little, allow God to use it and work it in and through your life. (check this out)

It doesn’t take long and it doesn’t take much to get things started. A small amount can take something from good to great. A small amount and take something from good to devastating. Consider today as you prepare and get ready for what is ahead of you, what are you bringing to the mix. Consider today what you will allow to be included or added to the mixture. That one ingredient can take dough and make it rise. That one ingredient can take dough and make it fall flat. Forgetting to add the right ingredient  can keep it from even starting to rise. So let’s be aware of what’s taking place around us. If someone is trying to stir up love, joy, peace, harmony then let’s try to add more. If someone is trying to stir up bitterness, anger, frustration, displeasure, discontentment we need to keep that out and not allow it into the mix and possibly even start over with a new batch! (check this out)

Today, let’s focus on where we are going! Let’s not let the worries or fears of this world keep us from becoming the people God created us to be. Jesus speaks of what the kingdom of God is like, and we don’t have to wait till we get to heaven to be able to experience.

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44“The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man happens to find a treasure hidden in a field. He covers it up again, and is so happy that he goes and sells everything he has, and then goes back and buys that field.

The Parable of the Pearl

45“Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man is looking for fine pearls, 46and when he finds one that is unusually fine, he goes and sells everything he has, and buys that pearl.

The Parable of the Net

47“Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Some fishermen throw their net out in the lake and catch all kinds of fish. 48When the net is full, they pull it to shore and sit down to divide the fish: the good ones go into the buckets, the worthless ones are thrown away. 49It will be like this at the end of the age: the angels will go out and gather up the evil people from among the good 50and will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and gnash their teeth.
New Truths and Old
51“Do you understand these things?” Jesus asked them.
“Yes,” they answered.
52So he replied, “This means, then, that every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of heaven is like a homeowner who takes new and old things out of his storage room.”
– from Matthew 13 (GNT)

Do you know your audience? Do you prepare so that even before you arrive, you are ready? Do you have expectations of how they will be? Once you start and if you realize that they aren’t what you expected, how do you respond? If they are antagonistic, how will you respond? If they are just trying to mess with you, what will you do? If they are planting seeds of doubt, how will you respond? Don’t set false expectations or the bar so high nobody can meet it! Don’t take it all on your shoulders, as it could be a problem with them. Be wise! Seek wisdom! Respond appropriately! (check this out)

We need to live in the power and the promises of the new agreement and promise. We need to be receiving that and walking in that each step of every day. Sharing it allows the truth to circulate and the Word to get around. Are you stuck? Are you going through the motions? What is leading and guiding you? What is your source of truth? How will you know that you are heading in the right direction? We need to make it about the relationship and hold onto Him. Don’t be held back because of other people’s attitude, but press onward and upward in order to accomplish all that God has planned and purposed for your life! (check this out)

So as we prepare for everything that is ahead of us, let’s put our trust in God!

1I come to you, Lord, for protection; never let me be defeated. You are a righteous God; save me, I pray!
2Hear me! Save me now! Be my refuge to protect me; my defense to save me.
3You are my refuge and defense; guide me and lead me as you have promised.
4Keep me safe from the trap that has been set for me; shelter me from danger.
5 I place myself in your care. You will save me, Lord; you are a faithful God.
6You hate those who worship false gods, but I trust in you.
7I will be glad and rejoice because of your constant love. You see my suffering; you know my trouble.
8You have not let my enemies capture me; you have given me freedom to go where I wish.
9Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in trouble; my eyes are tired from so much crying; I am completely worn out.
10I am exhausted by sorrow, and weeping has shortened my life. I am weak from all my troubles; even my bones are wasting away.
11All my enemies, and especially my neighbors, treat me with contempt. Those who know me are afraid of me; when they see me in the street, they run away.
12Everyone has forgotten me, as though I were dead; I am like something thrown away.
13I hear many enemies whispering; terror is all around me. They are making plans against me, plotting to kill me.
14But my trust is in you, O Lord; you are my God.
15I am always in your care; save me from my enemies, from those who persecute me.
16Look on your servant with kindness; save me in your constant love.
17I call to you, Lord; don’t let me be disgraced. May the wicked be disgraced; may they go silently down to the world of the dead.
18Silence those liars—all the proud and arrogant who speak with contempt about the righteous.
19How wonderful are the good things you keep for those who honor you! Everyone knows how good you are, how securely you protect those who trust you.
20You hide them in the safety of your presence from the plots of others; in a safe shelter you hide them from the insults of their enemies.
21Praise the Lord! How wonderfully he showed his love for me when I was surrounded and attacked!
22I was afraid and thought that he had driven me out of his presence. But he heard my cry, when I called to him for help.
23Love the Lord, all his faithful people. The Lord protects the faithful, but punishes the proud as they deserve.
24Be strong, be courageous, all you that hope in the Lord.

– from Psalm 31

Take a moment to consider how you are spending your time. Take a moment and consider how you are investing your time. Where are you putting your time? Is it somewhere that will have a return? Is it somewhere that will multiply its impact? Is it somewhere that will just go down the drain? Is it just being gobbled up or used up? Is it just being spent with no return? Consider what you could be doing differently. Consider the impact if you were investing your life in others instead of just spending it on yourself. Consider the impact if you were investing your life in the lives of your wife and kids and the impact it would have in your family. Consider the impact if you were investing your life in people who are trying to get a hand up from the situation they have found themselves in. Consider the impact difference if you are investing your life in people who want a hand out instead of a hand up. It all comes back to the questions “are you spending or investing your time?” and “how are you doing it?” and “what is the return on investment?”

In this morning’s reading we see the parable Jesus speaks about the scattering of seeds and how depending on what type of soil it lands on, the impact of scattering the seeds.

3He used parables to tell them many things. “Once there was a man who went out to sow grain. 4As he scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some of it fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted, because the soil wasn’t deep. 6But when the sun came up, it burned the young plants; and because the roots had not grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up. 7Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants. 8But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants bore grain: some had one hundred grains, others sixty, and others thirty.” 9And Jesus concluded, “Listen, then, if you have ears!”

The Purpose of the Parables

10Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” 11Jesus answered, “The knowledge about the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 For the person who has something will be given more, so that he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing will have taken away from him even the little he has. 13The reason I use parables in talking to them is that they look, but do not see, and they listen, but do not hear or understand. 14 So the prophecy of Isaiah applies to them:‘This people will listen and listen, but not understand; they will look and look, but not see, 15because their minds are dull, and they have stopped up their ears and have closed their eyes. Otherwise, their eyes would see, their ears would hear, their minds would understand, and they would turn to me, says God, and I would heal them.’
16 “As for you, how fortunate you are! Your eyes see and your ears hear. 17I assure you that many prophets and many of God’s people wanted very much to see what you see, but they could not, and to hear what you hear, but they did not.

Jesus Explains the Parable of the Sower

18“Listen, then, and learn what the parable of the sower means. 19Those who hear the message about the Kingdom but do not understand it are like the seeds that fell along the path. The Evil One comes and snatches away what was sown in them. 20The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who receive the message gladly as soon as they hear it. 21But it does not sink deep into them, and they don’t last long. So when trouble or persecution comes because of the message, they give up at once. 22The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear the message; but the worries about this life and the love for riches choke the message, and they don’t bear fruit. 23And the seeds sown in the good soil stand for those who hear the message and understand it: they bear fruit, some as much as one hundred, others sixty, and others thirty.”

– from Matthew 13 (GNT)

When we invest or sow our time in good soil there will be a return in the fruit of our labor. If we don’t it is being scattered with no real return.

Have you overspent your time somewhere or on something or on someone? Ask God for wisdom! If it’s His will He will bring the fruit and the return on investment. We shouldn’t be doing things to get something back. We should be doing things to help produce great fruit in and through our lives and the lives of those we touch.

Do you realize what you have? Are you focused on getting more rather than focusing on the incredible blessings you already have? Let’s be thankful for what we have and praise God for what He has done already!

1I praise you, Lord, because you have saved me and kept my enemies from gloating over me.
2I cried to you for help, O Lord my God, and you healed me;
3you kept me from the grave. I was on my way to the depths below, but you restored my life.
4Sing praise to the Lord, all his faithful people! Remember what the Holy One has done, and give him thanks!
5His anger lasts only a moment, his goodness for a lifetime. Tears may flow in the night, but joy comes in the morning.
6I felt secure and said to myself, “I will never be defeated.”
7You were good to me, Lord; you protected me like a mountain fortress. But then you hid yourself from me, and I was afraid.
8I called to you, Lord; I begged for your help:
9“What will you gain from my death? What profit from my going to the grave? Are dead people able to praise you? Can they proclaim your unfailing goodness?
10Hear me, Lord, and be merciful! Help me, Lord!”
11You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy.
12So I will not be silent; I will sing praise to you. Lord, you are my God; I will give you thanks forever.

– from Psalm 30 (GNT)

Let’s allow our joy, our dancing, and our thanks to glorify God in how we spend our time and invest our time today!

He knows where we are! He knows where we’ve been! He knows where we are going!

Boundaries can be setup for a good reason. To keep us from getting hurt. To keep us from falling. To keep us on track. To keep us from distractions. To keep the bad out. To keep the good in. There are many reasons, but boundaries aren’t bad when they are setup properly and for the right reasons.

Rules can be setup for a good reason. To instruct. To correct. To direct. To inform. To build up.