Where does your confidence come from?


When you are walking down the street? When you face challenges at work? When you face challenges at home? When you are facing a big challenge? When you are facing a small challenge? When you are seeing a huge battle ahead? When you are being accused? When you are being attacked? Consider where you confidence comes from based on when the fear mechanism gets triggered? How will you get through it?

As for me and my house, it comes from the Lord – Jesus!

Today is a big day! It’s taken years to get to this point! There will be a test! But I will not fear, but rather I will put my hope and trust in Jesus! A big day for me! A big day for my wife! A big day for our family! A day I am anticipating to end with a great celebration! Praise be to God!


Today’s reading…

1“The Levitical kohanim, all the tribe of Levi, are to have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They are to eat the offerings made to Adonai by fire as His inheritance. 2They will have no inheritance among their brothers—Adonai is their inheritance, just as He promised them. 3So this will be the share due to the kohanim from the people—from those who offer a sacrifice, whether a bull or sheep, they are to give the kohen the shoulder, two cheeks, and the stomach. 4The firstfruits of your grain, of your new wine, of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you are to give him. 5For Adonai your God has chosen him from all your tribes to stand and serve in the Name of Adonai—him and his sons forever. 6“Suppose a Levite comes from one of your towns, wherever he is living in all of Israel, and he comes whenever his soul desires to the place Adonai chooses, 7and serves in the Name of Adonai his God like all his fellow Levites who stand there before Adonai. 8They are to eat equal portions, regardless of their fathers’ goods.

Occultism Loathsome to Adonai

9When you enter the land Adonai your God is giving you, you are not to learn to do the abominations of those nations. 10There must not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or a fortune-teller, soothsayer, omen reader, or sorcerer, 11or one who casts spells, or a medium, a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12For whoever does these things is an abomination to Adonai, and because of these abominations Adonai your God is driving them out from before you. 13You are to be blameless before Adonai your God. 14“For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to soothsayers and fortune-tellers, but as for you, Adonai your God will not allow you to do so.

A Prophet is Promised

15“Adonai your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst—from your brothers. To him you must listen. 16This is just what you asked of Adonai your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly when saying, ‘I cannot continue to hear the voice of Adonai my God or see this great fire any more, or I will die.’ 17“Adonai said to me, ‘They have done well in what they have spoken. 18I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will speak to them all that I command him. 19Now whoever does not listen to My words that this prophet speaks in My Name, I Myself will call him to account. 20But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My Name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods—that prophet will die.’ 21“Now should you say in your heart, ‘How would we recognize the word that Adonai has not spoken?’ 22When a prophet speaks in Adonai’s Name and the word does not happen or come true, that is a word that Adonai has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously—do not be afraid of him.

–from Deuteronomy 18

Stay away from cults. Trust and obey prophets from God!

Cities of Refuge

1“When Adonai your God cuts off the nations whose land Adonai your God is giving you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and houses, 2you are to set apart three cities for yourself within the land He is giving you to possess. 3You are to prepare the way for yourself and divide into three parts the borders of your land that Adonai your God enables you to inherit, so that anyone who kills may flee there. 4Now this is the case of the one who kills, who may flee there and live—whoever kills his neighbor unintentionally and did not hate him in the past— 5as when someone goes into the forest with his neighbor to chop wood, and his hand takes a swing with the axe to cut down the tree, and the iron flies off the wood and hits his neighbor so that he dies. He may flee to one of these cities and live. 6Otherwise if the way is long, the avenger of the blood, while his heart is hot, may chase the manslayer, catch up to him and strike him dead. Yet no death sentence is on him, since he did not hate him in the past. 7Therefore I am commanding you—set apart three cities for yourself. 8“Suppose Adonai your God enlarges your territory, as He has sworn to your fathers, and He gives you all the land that He promised to give to your fathers— 9when you take care to do all this mitzvah that I am commanding you today, to love Adonai your God and to always walk in His ways. Then you are to add three more cities for yourself, besides these three. 10Then innocent blood will not be shed within your land that Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance, and there would be blood upon you. 11“But suppose someone hates his neighbor, waits in hiding for him, rises up against him, strikes him dead, then flees to one of these cities. 12Then the elders of his hometown should send and take him from there and hand him over to the avenger of blood, to die. 13Your eye should not pity him, but you must purge the innocent blood from Israel, so that it may go well with you. 14“You must not move your neighbor’s boundary marker that the first generations marked out, in the inheritance you will receive in the land Adonai your God is giving you to possess. 15A single witness shall not rise up against a person for any offense or sin that he commits. By the word of two or three witnesses is a case to be established. 16Suppose a hostile witness rises up against someone to accuse him of wrongdoing. 17Then both people who have the dispute will stand before Adonai, before the kohanim and judges in charge at that time. 18The judges are to investigate thoroughly, and if indeed the witness is a false witness and has testified falsely against his brother, 19then you are to do to him just as he had plotted to do to his brother. So you will purge the evil from your midst. 20Those who remain will hear and be afraid, and they will no longer do such an evil thing as this in your midst. 21Your eye must not show pity—life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

–from Deuteronomy 19

Where does your hope come from? Where does your trust come from? He is just! There will be mountain top experience and there will be valley times too, and through it all including through the battles, we need to put our confidence, hope and trust in God!

Confidence in Battle

1“When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horse and chariot—a people more numerous than you—do not be afraid of them. For Adonai your God, the One who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. 2When you draw near to the battle, the kohen will come forward and speak to the people. 3He will say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, you are drawing near today to the battle against your enemies. Don’t be fainthearted! Don’t fear or panic or tremble because of them. 4For Adonai your God is the One who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies to save you.’ 5“The officers are to speak to the troops saying, ‘What man has built a new house but has not dedicated it? Let him go back to his house—otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would dedicate it. 6What man has planted a vineyard but has not put it to use? Let him go back to his house—otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would begin to use it. 7What man has become engaged to a woman but has not married her? Let him go back to his house—otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would marry her.’ 8The officers will speak further to the troops and say, ‘What man is afraid and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house—so he does not weaken his brothers’ heart like his own.’ 9Then when the officers have finished speaking to the troops, they should appoint army commanders at the head of the troops. 10“When you go near a city to fight against it, call out shalom to it. 11Now if it answers you shalom and opens up to you, then all the people found in it will serve you as forced laborers. 12If it does not make peace with you but makes war against you, then lay siege against that city. 13When Adonai your God hands it over to you, you are to strike all its males with the sword. 14Only the women, children, livestock and all that is in the city—all its spoil—may you take as plunder for yourself. So you may consume your enemies’ spoil, which Adonai your God has given you. 15Thus you will do to all the cities that are very distant from you, which are not among the towns of these nations nearby. 16However, only from the cities of these peoples, which Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes live. 17You must utterly destroy them—the Hittites , the Amorites , the Canaanites , the Perizzites , the Hivites and the Jebusites—just as Adonai your God has commanded you. 18You are to do this so they will not teach you to do all the abominations as they have done for their gods, and so you would sin against Adonai your God. 19“When you lay siege to a city for a long time, making war against it to capture it, you are not to destroy its trees by swinging an axe at them. For from them you may eat, so you shall not chop them down. For is the tree of the field human, that it should enter the siege before you? 20You may destroy and chop down only the trees that you know are not trees for food, so that you may build siege equipment against the city that is making war with you until its downfall.

–from Deuteronomy 20

Let’s grab a hold of God’s promises! Let’s grab a hold of His truth. Let’s live in the freedom that His truth gives and grants us! Today is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Boasting in Visions and Weakness

1I must go on boasting—though it does no good, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I know a man in Messiah (whether in the body I don’t know, or whether out of the body I don’t know—God knows)—fourteen years ago, he was caught up to the third heaven. 3I know such a man (whether in the body or outside of the body I don’t know—God knows)— 4he was caught up into Paradise and heard words too sacred to tell, which a human is not permitted to utter. 5On behalf of such a man I will boast—but about myself I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses. 6For if I should want to boast, I would not be foolish—for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me— 7even in the extraordinary quality of the revelations. So that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me—a a messenger of satan to torment me, so I would not exalt myself. 8I pleaded with the Lord three times about this, that it might leave me. 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Messiah may dwell in me. 10For Messiah’s sake, then, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 11I have become a fool—you drove me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I am in no way inferior to the super-special emissaries—though I am nothing. 12Truly the signs of an emissary were worked out among you, with patient endurance, by signs and wonders and mighty miracles. 13For in what respect were you treated worse than the rest of Messiah’s communities—except that I myself did not burden you? Pardon me this injustice! 14Look, I am ready to come to you this third time, and I will not burden you—for I seek not your possessions, but you! For the children are not obliged to save up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself. Nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you with trickery! 17I haven’t taken advantage of you through any of those I sent to you, have I? 18I did urge Titus to visit you, and I sent the brother with him. Titus didn’t take any advantage of you, did he? Didn’t we walk in the same spirit, in the same footsteps? 19All along you’ve been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. It is before God that we’ve been speaking in Messiah—and all for building you up, loved ones. 20For I am afraid that perhaps when I come, I may find you not as I wish, or I may be found by you not as you wish—that there may be strife, envy, outbursts of anger, self-seeking disputes, lashon ha-ra , gossip, arrogance, unruly commotions. 21I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I will mourn for many of those who have sinned before and not repented of the impurity and sexual immorality and indecency which they committed.

–from 2 Corinthians 12

Let’s be living testimonies of God’s love and greatness! Let’s boast in our actions and our words of His great love! Let’s live out how in our weakness His strength is revealed! He is more than enough! His grace is more than enough! He can use our weakness to reveal His power and strength! Let’s live out love into the world around us!

Taking the Kingdom by Force

1Yeshua began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a tower. He leased it to some tenant farmers and went on a journey.
2And at the season, he sent a servant to collect from the tenants part of the vineyard’s fruit.
3But grabbing him, they beat him up and sent him away empty-handed.
4And again the man sent another servant to them, and they wounded his head and treated him shamefully.
5He sent another, and that one they killed; and so on with many others, beating some and killing some.
6He had yet one, a well-loved son. He sent him to them last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
7“But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir! Come on, let’s kill him and the inheritance will be ours!’
8So grabbing the son, they killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.
9“What then will the master of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
10Haven’t you read this Scripture? ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone.
11This came from Adonai, and it is marvelous in our eyes.’”
12They were trying to seize Yeshua, because they realized that He spoke the parable against them. But they feared the crowd, so they left Him and went away.

A Test of Loyalty

13Then they send some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Yeshua in order to trap Him with a word.
14They come and say to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are honest, and what others think doesn’t concern You. You don’t look at men’s appearance, but teach the way of God according to the truth. Is it permitted to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?
15Should we pay, or shouldn’t we?” But Yeshua saw through their hypocrisy and said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius so I may see it.”
16They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they said to Him.
17Then Yeshua said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were completely amazed at Him.

The Challenge of the Sadducees

18Then Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came and began questioning Yeshua, saying,
19“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that ‘if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, then his brother should take the widow and father children for his brother.’
20There were seven brothers; and the first took a wife and, when he died, left no offspring.
21And the second took her and died, leaving no offspring, and the third likewise.
22Now the seven left no offspring. Last of all, the woman died, too.
23In the resurrection, when they rise up, whose wife will she be? For all seven had married her.”
24Yeshua said to them, “Isn’t this the reason you’ve gone astray, because you don’t understand the Scriptures or the power of God?
25For when they rise up from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
26But concerning the dead being raised, haven’t you read in the book of Moses about the burning bush? How God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?
27He’s not the God of the dead, but of the living. You have gone far astray!”

Love Ends the Argument

28One of the Torah scholars came and heard them debating. Seeing that Yeshua had answered them well, he asked Him, “Which commandment is first of all?”
29Yeshua answered, “The first is, ‘Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
30And you shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
31The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
32“Well said, Teacher,” the Torah scholar said to Him. “You have spoken the truth, that He is echad, and besides Him there is no other!
33And ‘to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love the neighbor as oneself,’ is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34When Yeshua saw that he had answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared any longer to question Him.

Who Is King David’s Lord?

35While Yeshua was teaching in the Temple, He said, “How is it that the Torah scholars say that the Messiah is Ben-David?
36David himself, through the Ruach ha-Kodesh, said, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’
37If David himself calls Him ‘Lord,’ in what way is He his son?” And the large crowd was listening to Him with delight.
38In His teaching He said, “Watch out for the Torah scholars, who like to walk around in long robes. They like greetings in the marketplaces,
39the best seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at feasts.
40They devour widows’ houses and make long prayers as a show. These men will receive greater condemnation!”
41He sat down opposite the treasury and began watching how the people were putting money into the offering box. Many rich people were putting in a lot.
42Then a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny.
43Calling His disciples over, He said to them, “Amen, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those contributing to the box!
44For they all put in from their surplus; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had, her whole living.”

–from Mark 12

 

 

How do you remember?


How do you remember what happened? How do you remember how it happened? How do you remember the way it happened? How do you remember where it happened? How do you remember when it happened? How do you remember why it happened? How do you remember who was there? How do you remember what came of it? How do you remember?

Don't forget - find ways to remember

When you were saved? When you a prayer was answered? When you were given wisdom? When you were given instruction? When you were blessed? When you prayed for something? When you went through trials? When you had a breakthrough? When you got married? When you had kids? When you graduated? When you bought your first home? When you got your first car? When you got your first job? When you got a new job? How do you remember?

How will you remember what you learned? How will you realize what is right at hand? How will you know right from wrong? How will you know the right way? How will you know the right person? How will you use what you have been taught? How will you use what you have? How many attempts will it take?

Ways to remember key points - ask questions

Will you turn to God and ask? Will you share the experiences with others? Will you write down the experiences? Will you talk to people about them? How will you remember?


Today’s reading …

Three Harvest Festivals

1“Observe the month of Aviv and keep the Passover to Adonai your God, for in the month of Aviv Adonai your God brought you out from Egypt by night. 2You are to sacrifice the Passover offering to Adonai your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place Adonai chooses to make His Name dwell. 3You are not to eat hametz with it. For seven days you are to eat matzot with it, the bread of affliction—for you came out from the land of Egypt in haste. Do this so that all the days of your life you will remember the day when you came out from the land of Egypt. 4No hametz should be seen with you in all your territory for seven days, and none of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day may be left overnight until the morning. 5You may not sacrifice the Passover offering within any of your gates that Adonai your God is giving you. 6Rather, at the place Adonai your God chooses to make His Name dwell, there you will sacrifice the Passover offering in the evening at sunset—the time of your coming out from Egypt. 7You are to cook and eat it at the place Adonai your God chooses, then you will turn around in the morning and journey home. 8For six days you are to eat matzot . On the seventh day there is to be a solemn gathering for Adonai your God—on it you are to do no work. 9Seven weeks you are to count for yourself—from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain you will begin to count seven weeks. 10Then you will keep the Feast of Shavuot to Adonai your God with a measure of a freewill offering from your hand, which you are to give according to how Adonai your God blesses you. 11So you will rejoice before Adonai your God in the place Adonai your God chooses to make His Name dwell—you, your son and daughter, slave and maid, Levite and outsider, orphan and widow in your midst. 12You will remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you are to take care and do these statutes. 13“You are to keep the Feast of Sukkot for seven days, after gathering in the produce from your threshing floor and winepress.” 14So you will rejoice in your feast—you, your son and daughter, slave and maid, Levite and outsider, orphan and widow within your gates. 15Seven days you will feast to Adonai your God in the place He chooses, because Adonai your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hand, and you will be completely filled with joy. 16Three times a year all your males are to appear before Adonai your God in the place He chooses—at the Feast of Matzot, the Feast of Shavuot, and the Feast of Sukkot. No one should appear before Adonai empty-handed— 17the gift of each man’s hand according to the blessing Adonai your God has given you.

Judges Appointed

18“Judges and officers you are to appoint within all your gates that Adonai your God is giving you, according to your tribes; and they are to judge the people with righteous judgment. 19You are not to twist justice—you must not show partiality or take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and distorts the words of the righteous. 20Justice, justice you must pursue, so that you may live and possess the land that Adonai your God is giving you. 21You are not to plant for yourself an Asherah pole of any kind of wood beside the altar of Adonai your God that you make for yourself. 22Nor are you to set up a pillar for yourself—Adonai your God hates this.

–from Deuteronomy 16

Will you share it? Will you write it down? Will you pass it along from generation to generation that there will be a legacy?

Investigations and Witnesses

1“You are not to sacrifice to Adonai your God a bull or a sheep that has a defect or anything bad—for that would be an abomination to Adonai your God. 2Suppose there is found in your midst—within one of your gates that Adonai your God is giving you—a man or woman who does what is evil in the eyes of Adonai your God by transgressing His covenant. 3This person goes and serves other gods and worships them—the sun or moon or any of the heavenly host, which I have not commanded. 4It is told to you and you have heard about it, and you investigate thoroughly and indeed it is true and the thing certain—this abomination has been done in Israel. 5Then you are to bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and stone that man or woman with stones to death. 6By the word of two or three witnesses, the one who is to die is to be put to death. No one is to be put to death by the word of one witness. 7The hand of the witnesses is to be first to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you are to purge the evil from your midst. 8“Suppose a matter arises that is too hard for you to judge—over bloodshed, legal claims or assault—matters of controversy within your gates. Then you should go up to the place Adonai your God chooses, 9and come to the Levitical kohanim and the judge in charge at that time. And you will inquire, and they will tell you the sentence of judgment. 10You are to act according to the sentence they tell you from that place Adonai chooses, and take care to do all that they instruct you. 11You are to act according to the instruction they teach you and the judgment they tell you—you must not turn aside from the sentence they tell you, to the right or to the left. 12The man who acts presumptuously by not listening to the kohen who stands to serve there before Adonai your God, or to the judge, that man must die. So you are to purge the evil from Israel. 13Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and not act presumptuously again.

Torah for Kings

14“When you come to the land that Adonai your God is giving you, possess it and dwell in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations around me,’ 15you will indeed set over yourselves a king, whom Adonai your God chooses. One from among your brothers will be appointed as king over you—you may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16Only he should not multiply horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to multiply horses, because Adonai has said to you, “You must never go back that way again.” 17Nor should he multiply wives for himself, so that his heart does not turn aside, nor multiply much silver and gold for himself. 18“Now when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself a copy of this Torah on a scroll, from what is before the Levitical kohanim. 19It will remain with him, and he will read in it all the days of his life, in order to learn to fear Adonai his God and keep all the words of this Torah and these statutes. 20Then his heart will not be exalted above his brothers, and he will not turn from the commandment to the right or to the left—so that he may prolong his days in his kingship, he and his sons, in the midst of Israel.

–from Deuteronomy 17

Will you obey it? Will you witness to it? Will you live up to it?

Coronation of Messianic King

1Why are the nations in an uproar, and the peoples mutter vanity? 2The kings of earth set themselves up and rulers conspire together against Adonai and against His Anointed One : 3“Let’s rip their chains apart, and throw their ropes off us!” 4He who sits in heaven laughs! Adonai mocks them. 5So He will speak to them in His anger, and terrify them in His fury: 6“I have set up My king upon Zion, My holy mountain.” 7I will declare the decree of Adonai. He said to me: “You are My Son— today I have become Your Father. 8Ask Me, and I will give the nations as Your inheritance, and the far reaches of the earth as Your possession. 9You shall break the nations with an iron scepter. You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s jar.” 10So now, O kings, be wise, take warning, O judges of the earth! 11Serve Adonai with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12Kiss the Son, lest He become angry, and you perish along your way— since His wrath may flare up suddenly. Happy is everyone taking refuge in Him!

–from Psalms 2

Share the truth! Share your experiences! Learn from other people’s experiences so you won’t have go through it all yourself!

True and False Apostles

1I wish that you would put up with a little foolishness from me, but indeed you are putting up with me. 2For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy. For I betrothed you to one husband, to present you to Messiah as a pure virgin. 3But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds might be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion and purity to the Messiah. 4For if someone comes and proclaims another Yeshua whom we did not proclaim, or if you receive a different spirit that you did not receive, or a different “good news” that you did not accept, you put up with that well enough! 5For I consider myself in no way inferior to the “super special” emissaries. 6Even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge. No, in every way we have made this clear to you in all things. 7Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I proclaimed to you God’s Good News free of charge? 8I robbed other communities by taking wages from them for service to you. 9When I was present with you and I was in need, I did not burden anyone; for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. In everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and I will continue to do so. 10As the truth of Messiah is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! 12But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off the opportunity from those who want an opportunity in what they boast about to also be regarded just as we are. 13For such men are false emissaries, deceitful workers masquerading as Messiah’s emissaries. 14And no wonder, for even satan masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is no great thing therefore if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their deeds.

Paul Boasts in the Lord

16I say again, let no one consider me to be a fool. But if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I also may boast a little. 17What I am saying, I am saying not according to the Lord, but as in foolishness, in this self-confident boasting. 18Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19For you, being so wise, put up with fools gladly. 20For you put up with it if someone enslaves you, if someone devours you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone puts on airs, if someone slaps you on the face. 21To my shame I must say that we have been weak. Yet whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I speak in foolishness—I dare, too. 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23Are they servants of Messiah? I am more so—I speak like I’m out of my mind—in labors much more, in prisons much more, in beatings more brutal, near death often. 24Five times from the Jewish leaders I received forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I spent in the open sea. 26In my many journeys I have been in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the desert, dangers in the sea, dangers among false brothers, 27in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28Besides these other things, there is daily pressure on me of concern for all of Messiah’s communities. 29Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with indignation? 30If I must boast, I will boast of my weakness. 31The God and Father of the Lord Yeshua, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32In Damascus the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33and I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

–from 2 Corinthians 11

Remember from where your hope comes! Remember from where your help comes! Remember in whom you trust! Remember what He has done in and through you!

Ben-David Enters Jerusalem

1Now as they draw near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, to the Mount of Olives, Yeshua sends two of His disciples 2and says to them, “Go into the village ahead of you. Right away as you enter it, you will find a colt tied up that no one has ever sat upon. Untie it and bring it. 3If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Master needs it.’ And right away he will send it back here.” 4They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a door. And they untied it. 5Some people standing there began saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6They answered just as Yeshua had told them, and the people let them go. 7And they brought the colt to Yeshua and laid their cloaks on it, and He sat on it. 8Many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread branches cut from the fields. 9Those going before and those following kept shouting, “Hoshia-na! Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! 10Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hoshia-na in the highest!” 11And He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around at everything, He went out to Bethany with the Twelve, since it was already late.

The Fruit of the Faithful

12The next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. 13Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if He would find any fruit on it. When He came up to it, He found nothing except leaves, because it wasn’t the season for figs. 14And He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening. 15Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the Temple and started to drive out those selling and buying in the Temple. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those selling doves, 16and He wouldn’t let anyone carry goods through the Temple. 17And He began to teach them, saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” 18The ruling kohanim and Torah scholars heard this and began looking for a way to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, because the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. 19Whenever evening came, Yeshua and His disciples would leave the city. 20As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree shriveled from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Yeshua, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree You cursed has shriveled up!” 22And Yeshua answered, saying to them, “Have faith in God! 23Amen, I tell you, if someone says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but trusts that what he says is happening, so shall it be for him. 24For this reason I say to you, whatever you pray and ask, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your transgressions.” 26[footnote: Some mss. add: But if you don’t forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.]

A Question for a Question

27Again they come to Jerusalem. While Yeshua was walking in the Temple, the ruling kohanim, Torah scholars, and elders come up to Him. 28And they start saying to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority to do these things?” 29Yeshua said to them, “I will put one question to you. Answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30The immersion of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me!” 31They began to dialogue among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32But if we say, ‘From men’…?” They were afraid of the crowd, for all held that John really was a prophet. 33So answering Yeshua, they say, “We don’t know.” And Yeshua tells them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

–from Mark 11

Do you know what is good for you?


Do you know what food is good for the body? Do you know things are good for the mind? Do you know what things are good for the soul? Do you realize that it is what comes out of you that makes you unclean? What are you putting into your heart? From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks! So don’t allow bitterness to stick in your heart! Allow forgiveness to have its way so that both you and others will be in a healthy state. Don’t wait and allow bitterness to drag you down into the pit, but rather forgive and allow your heart to be free from the sadness, the pain, the sorrow, the anger, and worse. Let’s ask God to soften our hearts! Let’s ask God to clean out our hearts! Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts to create a new pure heart in us! That we may be generous! That we may be ambassadors for God that others may come to know Him and hear Him and start a relationship with Him! Let’s be givers! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s share the love of God with others! And when you aren’t sure what to do, cry out to God! Ask Jesus for help! Allow the Holy Spirit to speak into your life the wisdom, the direction, the correction, the instruction you need! Stop and cry out to Him! Ask Him! Seek Him! Knock that He may open! Don’t lose hope but rather cry out to God and chase after Him! Don’t allow the enemy of your soul to create fear and and doubt but rather put your hope and trust in God! Let’s build others up! Let’s tear down strongholds that are holding us and them down or back! Let’s come humbly! Let’s come confidently! Let’s come lovingly! Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood but rather against dark powers and principalities of this world! Let’s be spreading the knowledge of God rather than allow those who would try to block it or come against it to be victorious. Let’s be confident of what Jesus has done! Let’s be confident of what Jesus is doing in and through us! Let’s share the good news! Everyone is looking to get some good news, there is so much bad news everywhere you turn. Don’t hoard the good news, but share it with those God brings into your life! Speak a word of encouragement for you may be that breath of wind into someone else’s sail to allow them to keep going! Let’s live lives that will bless and honor God that in the end we will get to hear those precious words – “well done my good and faithful servant”.


Today’s reading speaks into this topics through the following scripture…

Clean Foods for a Holy People

1“You are the children of Adonai your God. You are not to cut yourselves or shave your forehead for the dead. 2For you are a holy people to Adonai your God—from all the peoples on the face of the earth, Adonai has chosen you to be His treasured people. 3You are not to eat any detestable thing. 4These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain sheep. 6Among the animals, you may eat any animal that splits the hoof—the hoof completely split in two—and chews the cud. 7Yet of those that chew the cud or have a split hoof, you are not to eat the camel, the hare, and the rabbit—because they chew the cud but do not split the hoof, they are unclean to you. 8The pig, because it splits the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you—you are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses. 9Of all that are in the waters, these you may eat: whatever has fins and scales you may eat, 10but whatever does not have fins and scales you are not to eat—it is unclean to you. 11You may eat all clean birds, 12but these are the ones you are not to eat: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, 13the red kite, the black kite, and any bird of prey of that kind, 14every raven of any kind, 15the ostrich, the owl, the seagull, a hawk of any kind, 16the little owl, the great owl, the white owl, 17the pelican, the Egyptian vulture, the cormorant, 18the stork, a heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat. 19All winged insects are unclean to you—they are not to be eaten. 20You may eat any clean bird. 21You are not to eat anything that dies of itself. You may give it to the outsider within your gates so that he may eat it or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a holy people to Adonai your God. You are not to boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

Tithe and Remember the Levite

22“You will surely set aside a tenth of all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. 23You are to eat the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, before Adonai your God in the place He chooses to make His Name dwell, so that you may learn to fear Adonai your God always. 24Now suppose the way is too long for you, for you cannot carry the tithe because the place Adonai your God chooses to set His Name is too far from you. When Adonai your God blesses you, 25then you are to exchange the tithe for silver, bind up the silver in your hand, and go to the place that Adonai your God chooses. 26You may spend the money for whatever your soul desires—cattle, sheep, wine, strong drink, or whatever your soul asks of you. Then you will eat there before Adonai your God and rejoice—you and your household. 27But you are not to neglect the Levite within your gates, for he has no portion or inheritance with you. 28At the end of every three years, you are to bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year and store it within your gates. 29Then the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, along with the outsider, the orphan and the widow within your gates, will come and eat and be satisfied, so that Adonai your God may bless you in all the work of your hand that you do.

–from Deuteronomy 14

 

Shmittah: Cancellation of Debts

1“At the end of every seven years you are to cancel debts. 2This is how you are to cancel debts: every creditor is to release what he has loaned to his neighbor. He must not force his neighbor or his brother to repay, for Adonai’s debt cancellation has been proclaimed. 3A foreigner you may force, but your hand is to release whatever your brother owes you. 4“However, there should be no poor among you, for Adonai will surely bless you in the land Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess. 5If only you would carefully listen to the voice of Adonai your God, being careful to do all these mitzvah that I am commanding you today! 6For Adonai your God will bless you as He promised you. So you will lend to many nations, but not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you. 7“If there is a poor man among you—any of your brothers within any of your gates in your land that Adonai your God is giving you—you are not to harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother. 8Rather, you must surely open your hand to him and you must surely lend him enough for his need—whatever he is lacking. 9Watch yourself, so there is no unworthy thing in your heart saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of cancelling debts, is near,’ and your eye is evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing. Then he may call out to Adonai against you, and it will be a sin upon you. 10You must surely give to him, and your heart is not to be grieved when you give to him—for because of this thing Adonai your God will bless you in all your work and in every undertaking of your hand. 11“For there will never cease to be poor people in the land. Therefore I am commanding you, saying, ‘You must surely open your hand to your brother—to your needy and poor in your land.’ 12“If your fellow Hebrew—a man or woman—is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you are to set him free. 13When you set him free, you are not to send him away empty-handed. 14You are to surely provide for him from your flock and threshing floor and winepress. As Adonai your God has blessed you, you are to give to him. 15You will remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Adonai your God redeemed you; therefore I am commanding you this thing today. 16“Now if he tells you, ‘I will not go away from you’—because he loves you and your household since he is well off with you— 17then you are to take an awl and put it through his ear to the door, and he will be your servant forever. And to your female slave you are to do the same. 18It should not seem hard to you when you set him free from you, for he has served you six years—double the value of a hired worker. So Adonai your God will bless you in all that you do. 19“All the firstborn males that are born in your herd and your flock you are to consecrate to Adonai your God. You are to do no work with the firstborn of your herd or shear the firstborn of your flock. 20You are to eat it before Adonai your God year after year in the place Adonai chooses—you and your household. 21But if it has any blemish—if it is lame or blind or has any serious blemish—you are not to sacrifice it to Adonai your God. 22You are to eat it within your gates, the unclean and the clean together, just as they eat the gazelle or deer. 23Only its blood you are not to eat—you must pour it out on the ground like water.

–from Deuternomy 15

 

Cry of Desperation

1A song, a psalm of the sons of Korah, for the music director, for singing Mahalath, a contemplative song of Heman the Ezrahite. 2Adonai, God of my salvation, day and night I cried out before You. 3Let my prayer come before You. Turn Your ear to my cry. 4For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. 5I am counted with those who go down into the Pit. I have become as one with no strength— 6abandoned among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom You remember no more— cut off from Your hand. 7You have laid me in the lowest places, in dark places, in the depths. 8Your wrath lies heavily on me. You afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah
9You have put my companions far from me. You have made me repulsive to them. I am shut in and I cannot go out. 10My eye fails from affliction. I call upon You every day, Adonai. I spread out my hands to You. 11Will You work wonders for the dead? Or will the departed spirits rise up praising You? Selah
12Will Your love be declared in the grave? Or Your faithfulness in the place of ruin? 13Will Your wonders be known in the darkness? Your righteousness in the land of oblivion? 14But I—I cried out to You, Adonai, and in the morning my prayer meets You. 15Adonai, why do You spurn me? Why do You hide Your face from me? 16From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death. I suffer Your terrors—I am desperate! 17Your fury has swept over me. Your terrors have cut me off. 18Like water they surge around me all day. They close in on me together. 19Friend and loved one You took far from me. Darkness has become my companion.

–from Psalms 88

 

Tearing Down Strongholds

1Now I, Paul, appeal myself to you by the meekness and gentleness of Messiah—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when far away. 2I beg of you that when I am present I won’t need to be bold with the courage I consider showing against some who judge us as walking in the flesh. 3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. 4For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but powerful through God for the tearing down of strongholds. We are tearing down false arguments 5and every high-minded thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Messiah— 6ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. 7Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident in himself that he belongs to Messiah, let him reconsider that just as he belongs to Messiah, so also do we. 8For even if I boast a little more about our authority—which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down—I will not be put to shame. 9Not that I would try to terrify you by my letters— 10for they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his presence in person is weak and his speech of no account.” 11Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word through letters when we are absent, we also are in action when we are present. 12For we do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they have no understanding. 13But we will not boast beyond limits, but within the limits of the area that God has assigned to us—to reach even as far as you. 14We are not extending ourselves too far, as if we did not reach you—for we did come even as far as to you with the Good News of Messiah. 15Neither are we boasting beyond limits based on the labors of others, but we have hope while your faith is growing for our area among you to be greatly enlarged— 16so that we may proclaim the Good News even to regions beyond you, not boasting about what has been accomplished in another’s area. 17But “let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 18For it Is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

–from 2 Corinthians 10

Don’t lose what you have been given!


Do you realize what you have? Do you realize what you have seen? Do you realize what you have experienced? Do you realize what you have been given? Don’t forget!

Will you live out your life in love and obedience? Will you pass on as a legacy the good news you have received? Will you live each day with the importance and the urgency that it has?

Today’s reading begins with a reminder from Moses…

Love and Obey with All Your Heart

1“Therefore you are to love Adonai your God and keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances and His mitzvot at all times. 2And you should know this day that it was not your children who knew or saw the discipline of Adonai your God—His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm; 3His signs and the deeds He did in the midst of Egypt to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to all his land; 4and what He did to the army of Egypt, to its horses and chariots when He made the waters of the Sea of Reeds flow over them as they chased after you, and how Adonai has destroyed them to this day; 5what He did for you in the wilderness until you came to this place; 6 and what He did to Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab son of Reuben—how the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along with their households and tents and every living thing that followed them, in the midst of all Israel— 7Rather, it is your own eyes that have seen every mighty deed that Adonai has done. 8“Therefore you are to keep the whole mitzvah that I am commanding you today, so that you may be strong and go in and possess the land that you are crossing over to possess, 9and so that you may prolong your days on the land that Adonai swore to give to your fathers and to their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey. 10“For the land you are going in to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you came. There you planted your seed and watered it by foot, like a vegetable garden. 11But the land you are crossing over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, drinking from the rain of the heavens it drinks in water. 12It is a land that Adonai your God cares for—the eyes of Adonai your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year up to the end of the year. 13“Now if you listen obediently to My mitzvot that I am commanding you today—to love Adonai your God and to serve Him with all your heart and soul— 14then I will give rain for your land in its season—the early rain and the late rain —so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15I will give grass in your field for your livestock, and you will eat and be satisfied. 16Watch yourselves, so your heart is not deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them. 17Then the anger of Adonai will be kindled against you, so He will shut up the sky so that there will be no rain and the soil will not yield its produce. Then you will perish quickly from the good land Adonai is giving you. 18“Therefore you are to set these words of Mine in your heart and in your soul. You are to bind them as a sign on your hand, and as frontlets between your eyes. 19You are to teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. 20You are to write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied on the land Adonai swore to give to your fathers, as long as the heavens are above the earth. 22“For if you will diligently keep all this ­mitzvah that I am commanding you to do—to love Adonai your God, to walk in all His ways and to cling to Him— 23then Adonai will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. 24Every place where the sole of your foot treads will be yours—from the wilderness to the Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as the western sea will be your border. 25No one will be able to stand against you—Adonai your God will put the fear and dread of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has promised you.

Blessing or Curse Set Before You

26“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27the blessing, if you listen to the mitzvot of Adonai your God that I am commanding you today, 28but the curse, if you do not listen to the mitzvot of Adonai your God, but turn from the way I am commanding you today, to go after other gods you have not known. 29Now when Adonai your God brings you into the land you are going in to possess, you are to set the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30Are they not across the Jordan toward the west, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the Arabah—opposite Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh? 31For you are about to cross over the Jordan to go in to possess the land Adonai your God is giving you—you will possess it and dwell in it, 32and you will take care to do all the statutes and ordinances that I am setting before you today.

–from Deuteronomy 11

Will you go the way you are supposed to go and reap the benefits? Will you share this wisdom and knowledge that there will be a legacy after you? How will you make a difference in and through the life you lead and live? There is a reason and a purpose in everything He asks of you, it’s part of His greater plan!

The Place He Chooses

1“These are the statutes and ordinances that you are to make sure to do in the land that Adonai, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess—all the days that you live on the earth. 2You must utterly destroy all the places where the nations that you will dispossess served their gods—on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3You are to tear down their altars, smash their pillars, burn their Asherah poles in the fire and cut down the carved images of their gods, and you are to obliterate their name from that place. 4“You are not to act like this toward Adonai your God. 5Rather you are to seek only the place Adonai your God chooses from all your tribes to put His Name to dwell—there you will come. 6There you are to bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes, the offering of your hand, your vow and freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. 7There you and your households will eat before Adonai your God and rejoice in every undertaking of your hand, as Adonai your God has blessed you. 8You will not do all the things as we are doing here today—everyone doing what is right in his own eyes. 9For you have not yet come to the resting place and the inheritance that Adonai your God is giving you. 10But when you cross over the Jordan and settle in the land that Adonai your God enables you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you, you will dwell in safety. 11“Then the place Adonai your God chooses to make His Name dwell, there you are to bring all that I command you—your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes, the offering of your hand, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to Adonai. 12Then you will rejoice before Adonai your God—you and your sons and daughters, your slaves and maids, and the Levite in your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance among you. 13Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in any place you see. 14Rather do so only in the place Adonai chooses in one of your tribes—there you are to offer your burnt offerings, and there you are to do all I am commanding you. 15“However, you may slaughter and eat meat within all your gates—whatever your soul’s desire, according to the blessing Adonai your God has given you. Either the unclean or clean may eat of it, as they would a gazelle and or deer. 16But you are not to eat the blood—you are to pour it out on the ground like water. 17You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or new wine or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, or any of your vow offerings that you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the offering of your hand. 18Rather you are to eat them before Adonai your God in the place Adonai your God chooses—you, your son and daughter, your slave and maid, and the Levite within your gates—and you will rejoice before Adonai your God in every undertaking of your hand. 19Be careful that you do not neglect the Levite as long as you live on the earth. 20“When Adonai your God enlarges your territory as He has promised you, and you say, ‘I want to eat meat,’ because your soul craves meat, then you may eat meat—all your soul’s desire. 21If the place Adonai your God chooses to put His Name is too far from you, then you may slaughter any of your herd and flock that Adonai has given you—as I have commanded you—and you may eat within your gates, all your soul’s desire. 22Just as the gazelle or hart is eaten, so you may eat it—the unclean and clean alike may eat it. 23Only be sure that you do not eat the blood—for the blood is the life, and you are not to eat the life with the meat. 24You are not to eat it—you are to pour it out on the ground like water. 25You are not to eat it, so that it may go well with you and your children after you, when you do what is right in Adonai’s eyes. 26“Only the holy things and vow offerings that are yours are you to take and go to the place that Adonai chooses. 27You are to offer your burnt offerings—the flesh and the blood—on the altar of Adonai your God. The blood of your sacrifices is to be poured out on the altar of Adonai your God, but the meat you are to eat. 28Take care and listen to all these words that I am commanding you, so that it may go well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the eyes of Adonai your God. 29“When Adonai your God cuts off before you the nations that you are going in to dispossess, when you have dispossessed them and settled in their land, 30be careful not to be trapped into imitating them after they have been destroyed before you. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods? I will do the same.’ 31You are not to act like this toward Adonai your God! For every abomination of Adonai, which He hates, they have done to their gods—they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.

–from Deuteronomy 12

He is trying to guide you. He is trying to protect you. He is trying to set boundaries in order to save you and keep you from falling for lies and deception. The truth sets us free but there are some who will try to twist it and trip you up.

Beware of False Prophets

1“Whatever I command you, you must take care to do—you are not to add to it or take away from it. 2“Suppose a prophet or a dreamer of dreams rises up among you and gives you a sign or wonder, 3and the sign or wonder he spoke to you comes true, while saying, ‘Let’s follow other gods’—that you have not known, and—‘Let’s serve them!’ 4You must not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams—for Adonai your God is testing you, to find out whether you love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 5Adonai your God you will follow and Him you will fear. His mitzvot you will keep, to His voice you will listen, Him you will serve and to Him you will cling. 6That prophet or dreamer of dreams must be put to death! For he has spoken falsehood against Adonai your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to entice you from the way Adonai your God commanded you to walk. So you will purge the evil from your midst. 7“Suppose your brother—your mother’s son—or your son or daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your best friend of your own soul misleads you secretly, saying, ‘Let’s go and serve other gods’—that you and your fathers have not known, 8from among the gods of the peoples around you, near you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other. 9You are not to give in or listen to him, your eye is not to pity him, and you are not to spare or conceal him. 10Instead, you will surely put him to death. Your hand should be the first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 11You are to stone him with stones to death because he tried to entice you away from Adonai your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 12Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and never again will they do such an evil thing as this in your midst. 13“Suppose you hear it said in one of your cities, which Adonai your God is giving you to dwell in, 14that worthless fellows have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let’s go and serve other gods’—that you have not known. 15Then you are to investigate, search out and inquire thoroughly. If indeed it is true and the matter certain that this abomination has been done in your midst, 16you will surely strike down the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it and all that is in it and its livestock with the sword. 17You are to gather all its plunder into the middle of the street, and you are to burn with fire the city and all its plunder—all of it to Adonai your God. It will be a ruin forever—it shall never be built again. 18Nothing from the ban should cling to your hand, so that Adonai may turn from the fierceness of His anger and show you mercy, and have compassion on you and multiply you, just as He swore to your fathers— 19when you listen to the voice of Adonai your God, keeping all His mitzvot that I am commanding you today, doing what is right in the eyes of Adonai your God.

–from Deuteronomy 13

So turn to God! Go to the source of truth! Turn to the one who is true love! And follow after Him and His ways! Let’s be planting generosity! Let’s be planting a heart of cheerful giving! Let’s be people who joyfully give so that others may come to know the reality of Jesus in their lives! Let’s live lives that will bring God all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name.

1Now about this service to the kedoshim, it is indeed unnecessary for me to write to you— 2for I know your eagerness. I boast about it to the Macedonians, that Achaia has been preparing for a year already; and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you may not be in vain in this case, so that you may be prepared, just as I kept saying. 4Otherwise, if any Macedonians were to come and find you unprepared, we—not to mention you—would be put to shame in this undertaking. 5So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on to you and arrange ahead of time your generous gift that had been promised beforehand, so that it would be ready as a gift and not as an extortion.

Sowing and Reaping Generosity

6The point is this: whoever sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. 7Let each one give as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion—for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that by always having enough of everything, you may overflow in every good work. 9As it is written, “He scattered widely, He gave to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” 10Now the One who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be enriched in everything for all generosity, which through us brings about thanksgiving to God. 12For this service of giving is not only supplying the needs of the kedoshim, but is also overflowing with many thanksgivings to God. 13Because of the evidence of this service, they praise God for the obedience of your affirmation of the Good News of Messiah and for the generosity of your contribution to them and to everyone. 14And in their prayer for you, they long for you because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

–from 2 Corinthians 9

Are you facing giants today?


At work? At school? On the field? On the road? I remember how my mom used to say “the bigger they are the harder they fall”. Don’t be afraid of giants!

It’s kind of like being in the midst of a storm, where does your focus go? Where should it go?

Last night before rehearsal the topic of Peter getting out of the boat and walking on water and the importance of keeping our eyes on Jesus. We can’t focus on the waves. Wave can’t focus on the storm. We can’t focus on the giants. We need to keep our focus on Jesus and what He calls us to be and to do. We need to remember all He has done and then move forward in all that He is doing and is about to do as He goes before us to prepare the good work He has for us to do!

Today’s reading kicks off on the topic of giants…

Who Brings Down Giants?

1“Hear, O Israel! You are about to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself—cities great and fortified up to the heavens. 2The people are great and tall, sons of the Anakim. You know them, and you yourselves have heard, “Who can stand before the sons of Anak?” 3But you will know today that Adonai your God is the One who is crossing over before you as a devouring fire. He will destroy them, and He will bring them down before you, so that you may drive them out and make them perish quickly, as Adonai has promised you. 4“After Adonai your God has driven them out from before you, do not say in your heart, ‘It is because of my righteousness that Adonai has brought me in to possess this land.’ It is because of the wickedness of these nations that Adonai is driving them out from before you. 5It is not by your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you are going in to possess their land. Rather, because of the wickedness of these nations, Adonai your God is driving them out from before you, and in order to keep the word Adonai swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 6So you should understand that it is not because of your righteousness that Adonai your God is giving you this good land to possess—for you are a stiff-necked people.

What Happened to the Tablets?

7“Remember, never forget, how you provoked Adonai your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day you left the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against Adonai. 8At Horeb you provoked Adonai to wrath, and Adonai was angry with you—enough to destroy you. 9When I went up the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that Adonai cut with you, I stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights; I did not eat bread or drink water. 10Adonai gave me the two tablets of stone written by the finger of God. Moreover, on them were all the words that Adonai had spoken with you on the mountain from the midst of the fire, on the day of the assembly. 11“Now at the end of 40 days and 40 nights, Adonai gave me the two tablets of stone—the tablets of the covenant. 12Adonai said to me, ‘Get up! Go quickly down from here, for your people whom you brought out from Egypt have acted corruptly. They have quickly turned from the way I commanded them; they have made a molten image for themselves.’ 13Furthermore Adonai spoke to me saying, ‘I have seen this people, and it is indeed a stiff-necked people. 14Leave Me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under the heavens. Then I will make you into a nation mightier and greater than they.’ 15“So I turned and came down from the mountain while the mountain was burning with fire. Now the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. 16When I looked, you had indeed sinned against Adonai your God—you had made yourselves a metal calf. So quickly you had turned aside from the way Adonai had commanded you! 17So I took hold of the two tablets, threw them out of my two hands, and smashed them before your eyes. 18“Then I fell down before Adonai like the first time, for 40 days and 40 nights. I did not eat bread or drink water—because of all your sin that you committed, doing evil in Adonai’s sight, provoking Him to anger. 19For I was afraid of the fierce wrath and fury which Adonai bore toward you—to destroy you. But Adonai listened to me that time also. 20Adonai was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, so I prayed for Aaron also at the same time. 21I took your sin—the calf you had made—and burned it in the fire. I crushed it, grinding it up so well that it was as fine as dust, and I threw its dust into the wadi flowing down from the mountain. 22“Again at Taberah and Massah and Kibroth-hattaavah, you provoked Adonai to wrath. 23When Adonai sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, ‘Go up and possess the land I have given you,’ then you rebelled against the commandment of Adonai your God and didn’t believe Him or listen to His voice. 24You have been rebellious against Adonai from the day that I knew you. 25“So I threw myself down before Adonai those 40 days and 40 nights, because Adonai had said He would destroy you. 26I prayed to Adonai and said, ‘O Lord, Adonai, do not destroy Your people—Your inheritance that You have redeemed through Your greatness and brought out from Egypt with a mighty hand. 27Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Pay no attention to the stubbornness of this people or to their wickedness or their sin. 28Otherwise the land from which You brought us out may say, “Because Adonai was not able to bring them into the land that He spoke of to them, and because He hated them, He has brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.” 29Yet they are Your people—Your inheritance that You brought out by Your great power and Your outstretched arm.’

–from Deuteronomy 9

Don’t turn away from God! Don’t walk away! Don’t complain or grumble! Build up your relationship with Him! Build up your hope and trust in Him! Be willing to wait on Him! Be willing to listen to what He says to you! Be willing to be obedient to His instruction and directions!

Just because you mess up, don’t lose hope! Turn back to Him! He is the God of the second chances, third chances, fourth changes…. So don’t beat yourself up too much but rather turn back to God and ask Him for forgiveness and wisdom into how to proceed! He doesn’t setup boundaries to keep you from having fun, but rather to protect you. His plans for you are good! He is LOVE! So let’s give Him our hearts so that He can move in and work in and through us!

We hear about the second chances when God produced the second set of tablets…

Two New Tablets

1“At that time Adonai said to me, ‘Carve for yourself two tablets of stone like the first ones and come up to Me on the mountain. Make yourself an ark of wood. 2I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets that you smashed, and you are to put them in the ark.’ 3“So I made an ark of acacia wood, cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. 4Like the first inscription, Adonai wrote on the tablets the Ten Words He had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly, then gave them to me. 5Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made—and there they are, just as Adonai commanded me. 6“(Bnei-Yisrael traveled from the wells of the sons of Jaakan to Moserah—there Aaron died and was buried, and his son Eleazar served as kohen in his place. 7From there they journeyed to Gudgod, and from Gudgod to Jotbah—a land of wadis flowing with water. 8At that time Adonai set the tribe of Levi apart to carry the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai, to stand before Adonai to serve Him and to pronounce blessings in His Name—as is the case to this day. 9Therefore Levi has no portion or inheritance with his brothers—Adonai is his inheritance, just as Adonai your God had promised about him.) 10“I stayed on the mountain like the first time—40 days and 40 nights. Adonai listened to me that time also and was not willing to destroy you. 11Adonai said to me, ‘Rise up, go, journey ahead of the people so that they may go in and possess the land that I swore to their fathers to give to them.’ 12“So now, O Israel, what does Adonai your God require of you, but to fear Adonai your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13to keep the mitzvot of Adonai and His statutes that I am commanding you today, for your own good? 14Behold, to Adonai your God belong the heavens and the highest of heavens, the earth and all that is in it. 15Only on your fathers did Adonai set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them—you—from all the peoples, as is the case this day.

Circumcise Your Hearts

16“Circumcise the foreskin of your heart therefore, and do not be stiff-necked anymore. 17For Adonai your God is God of gods and Lord of lords —the great, mighty and awesome God, who does not show partiality or take a bribe. 18He enacts justice for the orphan and widow, and loves the outsider, giving him food and clothing. 19Therefore love the outsider, for you were outsiders in the land of Egypt. 20Adonai your God you will fear—Him will you serve. To Him will you cling, and by His Name will you swear. 21He is your praise and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your eyes have seen. 22Your fathers went down to Egypt with 70 persons, and now Adonai your God has made you like the stars of the heavens in number.

–from Deuteronomy 10

We shouldn’t hide from God! In reality we can’t anyways! And when and while we build up our relationship with Him, He will walk with us and talk with us and lead us on our way! Let’s not grow weary in doing good works! Let’s turn to God when we are being attacked! Let’s turn to God when we don’t know what to do! Let’s walk with Him through the mountain top highs as well as the low times in the valleys of life!

Hide Not Your Face from Me

1A psalm of David. Hear my prayer, Adonai, give ear to my petitions. In Your faithfulness and Your righteousness, answer me! 2Do not bring Your servant into judgment, for in Your eyes no one living is righteous. 3For an enemy pursues my soul. He crushes my life down to the ground. He makes me dwell in darkness, like those long dead. 4So my spirit grows faint within me. My heart is shocked within me. 5I remember the days of old. I meditate on all You have done. I ponder the work of Your hands. 6I spread forth my hands to You. My soul longs for You as a parched land. Selah 7Answer me speedily, Adonai— my spirit fails. Hide not Your face from me, lest I become like those who go down into the Pit. 8Make me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You I trust. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. 9Deliver me from my enemies, Adonai. I hide myself in You. 10Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. Let Your good Ruach lead me on level ground. 11For Your Name’s sake, Adonai, revive me. In Your justice bring my soul out of trouble. 12In Your mercy cut off my enemies and destroy all who harass my soul, for I am Your servant.

–from Psalms 143

Let’s not be self-centered! Let’s not be selfish! Let’s be generous! Let’s be givers! Let’s share what God has given us! I remember a story from camp growing up where there were warm fuzzies and cold prickelies. And someone had told one of the people who had been giving out of warm fuzzies that if they kept doing that they could run out. Out of fear when others would give them warm fuzzies, they started to give them cold prickelies back. Eventually things got really bad but the truth set everyone free. As long as we are giving love, we will never run out! So we need to be living in love and generously sharing love with those God has brought into your life! Be willing to give grace to others as God provides and has exemplified grace to you! There is a cost, but it is totally worth it.

Eagerness to Give

1Now we make known to you, brothers and sisters, the grace God has given to Messiah’s communities in Macedonia— 2that in much testing by affliction, the abundance of their joy and their extreme poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3For I testify that according to their ability, and even beyond their ability, they gave of their own free will— 4begging us with much urging for the favor of sharing in the relief of the kedoshim. 5Moreover, it was not just as we had hoped, but they gave of themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. 6So we urged Titus that, just as he had made a start before, so he should also complete this gracious service for you. 7But as you excel in everything—in faith and speech and knowledge and all diligence, and in your love for us—also excel in this grace. 8I am saying this not as a command, but I am trying to prove by the diligence of others the genuineness of your love as well. 9For you know the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah—that even though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that through His poverty you might become rich. 10Now I give my opinion in this matter, that it is a credit to you that a year ago you were the first to start—not only to do but even to be willing. 11But now finish doing it, so that just as there was eagerness to be willing, so also to finish it, out of what you have. 12For if the eagerness is present, the gift is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he doesn’t have. 13For it is not relief for others and hardship for you, but as a matter of equality. 14Your abundance at this present time meets their need, so that their abundance may also meet your need—so that there may be equality. 15As it is written, “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.”

An Offering by Special Delivery

16But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same devotion for you. 17For indeed he not only accepted our appeal, but went to you with eagerness and on his own initiative. 18We are sending along with him the brother whose fame in connection with the Good News has spread throughout all of Messiah’s communities. 19Not only that, but he has also been appointed by the communities as our travel companion with this gracious gift, which is administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20We are taking this precaution, so that no one will blame us in regard to the way we administer this generous gift. 21We have regard for what is honorable—not only before the Lord, but also before people. 22Also with them we are sending our brother whom we have tested many times and found to be diligent in many things, but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. 23As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brothers, they are the emissaries of the communities, a glory to Messiah. 24Therefore, before Messiah’s communities show them the proof of your love and of our boasting about you.

–from 2 Corinthians 8

We are to live in love! God’s plan is perfect! Are you willing to do it His way rather than trying to mess with it? Are you willing to go His way rather than try to switch it up? Are you about the truth or trickery? Are you about love? Are you about hope? Are you about forgiveness? There is a cost but in the end your return on investment is totally worth it.

Abide in Marriage

1Then getting up from there, Yeshua goes to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. Again crowds gather around Him, and, as was His custom, He began to teach them once more. 2Pharisees came up, and to test Him they began asking, “Is it permitted for a man to divorce his wife?” 3And He replied to them, “What did Moses command you?” 4The Pharisees said, “Moses permitted a man to write a bill of divorce and to put her away.” 5But Yeshua said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment! 6But from the beginning of creation, God ‘made them male and female. 7For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate!” 10In the house, the disciples began questioning Him about this again. 11And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12And if she divorces her husband and marries another, she is committing adultery.”

Let the Little Ones Come!

13Now people were bringing little children to Yeshua so He might touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14But when Yeshua saw this, He got angry. He told them, “Let the little children come to Me! Do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15Amen, I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it!” 16And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

The Cost of Discipleship

17As Yeshua was setting out on His way, a man ran up to Him, fell on his knees before Him, and asked, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18“Why do you call Me good?” Yeshua said to him. “No one is good except One—that is God. 19You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,’ do not cheat, ‘honor your father and mother.’” 20The man responded, “Teacher, all these I have kept since my youth!” 21Looking at him, Yeshua loved him and said, “One thing you lack. Go, sell as much as you have, and give to the poor; and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” 22But at this statement, the man became sad and went away grieving, for he had much property. 23Then looking around, Yeshua says to His disciples, “How hard it will be for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24The disciples were amazed at His words. But Yeshua answers again and says to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26The disciples were even more astonished, saying among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” 27Looking at them, Yeshua said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God!” 28Peter began to say to Him, “Look, we’ve left everything to follow You!” 29“Amen, I tell you,” Yeshua replied, “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for My sake and for the sake of the Good News, 30who will not receive a hundred times as much now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and property, along with persecutions; and in the olam ha-ba , eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Death and Resurrection Revealed

32They were on the way going up to Jerusalem, and Yeshua was going ahead of them. And they were amazed, while those who followed were fearful. Again Yeshua took the Twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to Him. 33He said, “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the ruling kohanim and the Torah scholars. They will condemn Him to death and hand Him over to the Gentiles. 34They will mock Him and spit on Him, scourge Him and kill Him. Yet after three days, He will rise again!” 35Then Jacob and John, the sons of Zebedee, come up to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.” 36And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 37They said to Him, “Let us sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.” 38But Yeshua answered them, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Are you able to drink the cup I drink, or endure the immersion I must endure?” 39They said to Him, “We are able.” And Yeshua said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink, and you will endure the immersion I must endure. 40But to sit on My right or left is not Mine to grant—it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41Now when the ten heard, they started to get angry with Jacob and John. 42And calling them over, Yeshua said to them, “You know those recognized as rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones play the tyrant over them. 43Yet it is not this way among you. But whoever wants to be great among you shall be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first among you shall be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Ben-David Heals the Blind

46Then they came to Jericho. Now as Yeshua was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47When he heard that it was Yeshua of Natzeret, he began to cry out, “Ben-David, Yeshua! Have mercy on me!” 48Many were warning him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, “Ben-David, have mercy on me!” 49Yeshua stopped and said, “Call him over.” So they call the blind man, saying, “Take heart! Get up, He’s calling you!” 50Throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and came to Yeshua. 51And answering him, Yeshua said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Rabboni, I want to see again!” 52Yeshua said to him, “Go! Your faith has made you well.” Instantly he regained his sight and began following Yeshua down the road.

–from Mark 10

 

 

 

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