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!
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