Have you realized God’s hand in your life and the favor He has given you with the Kings?


Have you realized God’s hand in your life and the favor He has given you with the Kings? Those in authority over you?
 
Do you realize the priveledges that have been given you because of your relationship with the true God?
 
Hold onto those memories as a testimony that you can share with others.
 
Track the miracles, the favor, the words that God has given you, so that when you are being challenged to grow your faith even more, you can look back and realize that God is just preparing you for even greater things to come. Fear Not, Just Believe.
 
Today’s Reading:

Ezra 7:1-28; 8:31-9:6; 10:1-5,10-12; Psalm 97:7-9; Proverbs 17:14


Do you see what is going on around you? Will you humble yourself, will you repent for what is taking place in and around you? Will you allow others to get involved?

Remember now, that in spite of what we have done, if we will turn back to God and be His people, that He will forgive us and heal our land, that we may be of good courage as we walk with God.

 

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Why do you do what you do? Is it for yourself or God?


God wants us to:

‘Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
The alien or the poor.
Let none of you plan evil in his heart
Against his brother.’

He also wants us to:

Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor;
And do not love a false oath.
For all these are things that I hate,’
Says the LORD."

Do people see something different in you? Do people sense something different about you? Do they want to go with you to see and meet with God?


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and all that is within it. May today bring You praise and honor and glory through all I do. Lord, that I may shine so that people are directed to look up to You. Lord, I thank You for having intervened in my life almost 10 years ago now and helping me to turn back to You and to hear Your truth. Lord, that You would transform my heart and my mind so that I look at things in a different way. Lord God, throughout the last 10 years You have been faithful in guiding me and encouraging me, speaking to me through Your Word and through others in a way that I would know that You know exactly where I am and what I am going through. Help me today Lord to receive the Words I have read in Your Word from Zechariah 7-8. Help me to receive the message that I received from Your Word in Psalm 95:6-7 and Proverbs 17:10. Lord, as You see where I am and what is going on in my heart and my mind, I pray that You will help me to grab onto the truth of what is coming and to step into that. Help me to walk in humility and trust in You. Help me to shine for You. God let everything I say and everything I do bring glory to You so that when I look back as I know I will I will be able to remember Your hand comforting, guiding, and protecting me through this life. Lord, when I think of my 3 big plans 10 years ago, when I think of the dream of an 8 year old boy to have a horse, when I think of being able to work in the house of God, when I think of how You have helped me at work over the years to have favor with those in authority over me, when I think of the blessings that You have provided when I have been obedient, when I think of the connections and network that You have helped me to build and share with others. When I think of the leaders You have brought into my life that I may receive wisdom and direction from them. Help me Lord today to never forget, and to press on into the new things that You have planned for me. Use me for Your purposes and be glorified. Help me to shine as a reflection of You, as the moon reflects the light of the sun, help me to reflect the light of the Son to those around me that You may receive the praise and the honor and the glory. God I thank You for my wife, my family, my friends, my job, and so many other blessings You have put into my life. I give this all into Your hands giving You the praise and the honor and the glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


WORSHIP

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
Psalm 95:6-7

WISDOM

Rebuke is more effective for a wise man
Than a hundred blows on a fool.
Proverbs 17:10

Priorities: Are you putting first things first? What is first for you?


I remember going through challenging times many years back and wondered what was going on. My diabetes being out of control was the wake up call that something was going wrong. Accepting that there was a problem, I pursued to see what the problem was and discovered it was a priority issue. I was putting in long long hours at work (up till midnight or 1 and then backup at 5am because I was working with people around the world), I was volunteering in my neighborhood association, I was volunteering at my church. But when I look at where I was spending my time and what I was doing, I realized God was providing me with a wakeup call to help me realign myself and do a priority reset. I knew what the order was supposed to be, but that from my activities you wouldn’t know it. So I took time to pray and put God back at the top where He belongs. Next was my wife and our marriage. Third was family. Fourth was my work where God had gifted me to be able to accomplish all He had for me. I realized that our company hires great people and as such I shouldn’t need to micromanage the situation which helped bring the balance back into the work-life balance equation. Since I needed to keep the balance, I stepped down from the board and remain volunteering at church in a way that serves God and others. The difference that made was incredible and God has blessed this. And I give Him the praise and the honor and the glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

How are your priorities today? Do you need to do a reset or realignment of priorities?


Today’s Reading:

Haggai 1-2; Psalm 94:17-19; Proverbs 17:7


"You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes."

WORSHIP

Unless the LORD had been my help,
My soul would soon have settled in silence.
If I say, "My foot slips,"
Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up.
In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.
Psalm 94:17-19

WISDOM

Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool,
Much less lying lips to a prince.
Proverbs 17:7


Ever wonder why do you I need to go through this? What will this get me? Where is this taking me? Why me?


With God all things are possible. In the darkest night, in hardest battle, in the trials of waiting, in the trials of doing, God is there and can deliver you.

Fear Not, Just Believe. Put Your Trust where it deserves to be, in the hands of God. Put your hope where it deserves to be, in the hands of God. He can and will deliver you from all fear, will you put your trust and hope in Him?

Where does your hope come from?

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.


Today’s Reading:  New Edict and Deliverance!

Esther 8:1-9:5,13-32; Psalm 94:1-3; Proverbs 17:5


Devotionals:

From Pain to Destiny
By Os Hillman

Clean and Committed
By Bayless Conley


From Pain to DestinyBy Os Hillman

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-5).

God often allows pain to ignite destiny in our lives. Without motivation, many of us would never fulfill the purposes for which God created us. Oftentimes a measured assault invades our life and creates a depth of pain that all we know to do is press into God with all our being.

At first, our motivation is to alleviate the pain. After a season of extreme emotional and sometimes physical pain, a second phase begins. This phase moves us to discover a new and deeper relationship with God. We begin to discover things about ourselves and about God that we never would have discovered without this motivation. Gradually, our heart changes our motivation from pain to loving obedience because there is a transition of the heart that takes place. No longer do we seek God for deliverance from the pain; we seek God because He is God. We seek His face and not His hand.

When we move to the second phase we often find ourselves moving into a new destiny and calling for our lives because God often separates us from the old life in this process. No doubt Joseph and Peter felt the pain of their individual crises. However, later they could realize God’s purposes in their crisis. Like Joseph, we are able to say, "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good."

Today, let God move you from the place of pain to the place of destiny. Let God show you the secret things He has reserved for you as a result of the crisis you may find yourself in.


I know not what is to come, I know what God has told me to do, I know that I had a dream, but all I see around me is change. I don’t know how He may make the dream come true, I don’t know what all He has to orchestrate to make it reality. But I do know in whom I put my trust. I put my hope and trust in the Lord, and lift up my prayers and supplication to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When God is for me, who can be against me?

Lord,
As I watch and see the surroundings change, I look to You, I keep my eyes on You, my rock and my fortress, my everlasting hope and peace. The change keeps coming and I feel like can I keep pressing forward. I know the enemy tries to plant seeds of doubt, but I know that I must keep moving forward and I must keep going, for You have called me and I will follow. I will stand in the gap for all those around me, praying God that You will find ways to encourage them and fill them with Your Joy. The level of change taking place has felt overwhelming at times, but Lord as I turn my focus on You, a peace comes over the situation. As I think of Peter who was brave enough to step out of the boat and onto the water, I understand how the storms of life around him and me can cause me to lose focus for a moment and begin to sink. God, You are awesome and You know the exact words that I need to hear for each day. As I go into this day, I lift up praise and honor and glory to You, in the name of Jesus hoping that people will turn from their situations and circumstances and look to You the author and perfector of our faith, to find true deliverance and strength, peace and purpose. And Lord, we will all give You the praise and the honor and the glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

A clean heart.  Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

A committed heart.  2 Chronicles 16:9 (NIV) says, "For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him."

God has great plans for you today–what will you do?


Today’s Reading:
Ezekiel 47:1-23; 48:30-35; Psalm 91:11-13; Proverbs 17:1


Are you living near the river of life? God’s Word speaks:

"This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine."

Jesus is the river of life. There are definite benefits of staying close to Jesus. He is our provider and our healer. He will give us wisdom and discernment, direction and protection.


Seeing Thorns as Blessings
By Os Hillman

God’s grace is enough for all of our needs. In our weakness, His power is perfected. Can you stay humble and a godly perspective through all the blessings God sends your way or do you need an extra hand from God to help you stay grounded? Most need God’s hand so stay grounded, so be anxious for nothing, but in prayer and supplication lift it up to God that in His Strength, we may be perfected and purified in to Christ’s likeness. Put your trust and reliance in God.


Inwardly Compelled
By Bayless Conley

Did you know that God is pouring the same love that motivated Him to send Jesus to redeem mankind into the heart of every believer?

Romans 5:5 says: Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us

That is why we are supposed to do something about helping the lost.

2 Corinthians 5:14 says: For the love of Christ compels us.

Do you hear that alarm going off in your heart?

“Sounding regularly but seldom heard.  Buried under personal ambitions, cares and problems, daily routines and the general busyness of life.  But it is unmistakably there!

The same love that moved Jesus to heal the sick and minister God’s life to broken people is in you!  Listen to it.  Get in touch with it and express it to someone in need.”