Sure you have a good plan, but will you give the directions up to God?


Will you try to do it all alone? Will you allow God to help? Will you try to do it your way? Will you allow the process to go God’s way? Will you try to do it all in your own strength? Will you allow God’s strength to help carry the load? Will you share the yoke with God? Are your motives in the right spot? Will you commit all that you are going to do up to God? Will you serve with humility? Will you be fair and just? Would you rather wisdom or reward? Wisdom is more valuable than gold and silver! Let’s be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger! We have 2 ears and 1 mouth — we should be listening twice as much right!

Today’s reading begins in Proverbs…

Commit Your Heart to Adonai

1The plans of the heart belong to man, but the tongue’s answer is from Adonai. 2All a man’s ways are pure in his own eyes, but Adonai weighs the motives. 3Commit whatever you do to Adonai, and your plans will succeed. 4Adonai works everything out for his own purpose— even the wicked for a day of disaster. 5Adonai abhors all the proud in heart. Be assured, they will not go unpunished. 6By mercy and truth is iniquity atoned, and by the fear of Adonai one avoids evil. 7When one’s ways are pleasing to Adonai, he makes even his enemies be at peace with him. 8Better a little with righteousness than much income without justice. 9The heart of man plans his course, but Adonai directs his steps.

The Delights of a Just King

10An oracle is on the lips of the king— let his mouth never be treacherous in judgment. 11Honest balances and scales are Adonai’s. All the weights in a bag are His handiwork. 12Wrongdoing is an abomination to kings, for a throne is established by righteousness. 13Righteous lips are the delight of kings. He loves those who speak honestly. 14A king’s fury is like messengers of death, but a wise man will appease it. 15In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor like a cloud of spring rain. 16How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver. 17The highway of the upright avoids evil. He who guards his way protects his life. 18Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19Better to be lowly in spirit with the afflicted than to share the spoil with the proud. 20One prudent in a matter will find good Blessed is the one who trusts in Adonai. 21The wise in heart is called discerning, and sweetness of lips increases persuasiveness. 22Insight is a fountain of life to one who has it, but folly leads to the discipline of fools. 23A wise man’s heart teaches his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips. 24Pleasant words are honeycomb— sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 25There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 26A laborer’s appetite works on his behalf, for his hunger drives him on.

Slow to Anger

27A wicked scoundrel digs up evil, and on his lips is a scorching fire. 28A perverse person sows strife, and a gossip separates close friends. 29A violent person lures his neighbor, leading him down a path that is no good. 30One who winks his eyes schemes deceit, one who purses his lips is bent on evil. 31Gray hair is a crown of glory, found on the path of righteousness. 32Better to be slow to anger than a mighty warrior. One who controls his temper is better than one who conquers a city. 33The lot is cast into the lap, but their very decision is from Adonai.

–from Proverbs 16

Character…don’t allow money or power pull you away from what is right and what is just! It’s more than just our words and our actions, God is looking to see our motive – what is in our heart! There is nothing we can hide from Him! We are to love everyone! God created each of us and so we should be treating each other with the respect and love! Let’s be peacemakers! Let’s be flipping the status quo over and live to raise the bar on society! Let’s consider what God says over what people say! Consider Matthew 5 and how Jesus flips what was common and normal towards God’s plan, God’s purpose, and God’s way! Will you walk with integrity in order to find safety? Let’s be looking to create reconciliation and forgiveness rather than allowing anger and frustration and bitterness to grow and fester and take root.

Beware Bribes and Rebellion

1Better is dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. 2A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son and will share the inheritance with the brothers. 3A crucible is for silver and a furnace is for gold, but Adonai tests the heart. 4An evildoer listens to wicked lips; a liar listens to a malicious tongue. 5Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker. Whoever rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished. 6Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly and the glory of children is their parents. 7Arrogant lips are not fitting for a fool, much less lying lips for a ruler. 8A bribe is a charm in the eyes of its owner. Wherever he turns, he succeeds. 9Whoever covers up an offense seeks love. Whoever repeats a matter separates close friends. 10A rebuke makes a greater impression on a discerning person than a hundred lashes on a fool. 11An evil man seeks only rebellion, and so a cruel messenger will be sent against him. 12Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than to deal with a fool in his folly. 13Whoever rewards evil for good— evil will never leave his house. 14The beginning of strife is like letting out water— so stop a quarrel before it breaks out. 15Acquitting the wicked and condemning the righteous: both are an abomination to Adonai. 16Of what use is money in the hand of a fool since he has no intention of acquiring wisdom? 17A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. 18A man lacking judgment shakes hands on a deal and puts up financial security for his neighbor. 19He who loves sin loves strife. One who builds a high gate invites destruction. 20A perverse heart finds nothing good a devious tongue falls into trouble. 21Whoever fathers a fool gets grief. There is no joy for the father of a disgraceful son. 22A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 23The wicked one receives a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice. 24Wisdom is before the person of understanding, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. 25A foolish son is grief to his father and bitterness to her that bore him. 26Also, to punish a righteous person is not good, nor to beat up an honorable one for his integrity. 27One with knowledge restrains his words, and a discerning person stays calm. 28Even a fool, who keeps quiet, is considered wise, discerning, if he seals his lips.

–from Proverbs 17

Let’s do a self assessment today…Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. …Use forgiveness and love to replace such things. Jesus, the rock of the faith was rejected. The cornerstone of faith was rejected. So consider pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for it will work in you so that in the end you will be complete, lacking nothing. We don’t have to worry, even though in this world we will have troubles, because Jesus has already overcome the world!

We are to make a difference! Do you know why? It’s because you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Living Stones

1So get rid of all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all lashon ha-ra . 2As newborn babes, long for pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow toward salvation— 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen by God and precious, 5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Messiah Yeshua. 6For it says in Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen, precious cornerstone. Whoever trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” 7Now the value is for you who keep trusting; but for those who do not trust, “The stone which the builders rejected— this One has become the chief cornerstone,” 8and “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they are disobeying the word—to this they were also appointed. 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10Once you were “not a people,” but now you are “God’s people.” You were shown “no mercy,” but now you have been shown “mercy.” 11Loved ones, I urge you as strangers and sojourners to keep away from the fleshly cravings that war against the soul. 12Keep your conduct honorable among the Gentiles. Then while they speak against you as evildoers, they may—from noticing your good deeds—glorify God in the day of visitation.

Respect and Order

13For the Lord’s sake, submit yourselves to every human authority—whether to a king as supreme, 14or to governors sent by him for the punishment of those who do evil and the praise of those who do good. 15For this is God’s will, that you silence the ignorance of foolish men by doing good. 16Live as free people, but not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Rather, live as God’s slaves. 17Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 18Slaves, with all respect submit yourselves to your masters—not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are harsh. 19For this finds favor if, for the sake of conscience toward God, someone endures grief from suffering undeservedly. 20For what credit is there if, when you sin and get a beating, you endure? But if you endure when you do good and suffer for it, this finds favor with God. 21For you were called to this, because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you might follow in His footsteps: 22“He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” 23When He was abused, He did not return the abuse. While suffering, He made no threats. Instead, He kept entrusting Himself to the One who judges righteously. 24He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we, removed from sins, might live for righteousness. “By His wounds you were healed.” 25For you like sheep were going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

–from 1 Peter 2

God is good! God is love! God is perfect! God is eternal! God is light!

An Aside with the Disciples

1Meanwhile, when thousands of people had gathered, so many that they were trampling one another, Yeshua began speaking first to His disciples, “Be on guard yourselves against the hametz of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and nothing hidden that will not be made known.
3Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in private rooms will be proclaimed from the housetops.
4“I say to you, My friends, you should not be afraid of those who kill the body, since after this they have nothing more they can do.
5But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear the One who, after the killing, has authority to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear this One!
6“Aren’t five sparrows being sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.
7Indeed, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
8Now I tell you, whoever acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge him before the angels of God.
9But the one who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who slanders the Ruach ha-Kodesh will not be forgiven.
11And when they bring you to the synagogues, rulers, and authorities, do not worry about how you should defend yourself or what you should say,
12because the Ruach ha-Kodesh will teach you at that time what is necessary to say.”

A Request from the Crowd

13Then someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14But Yeshua said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or arbitrator over you?”
15Then He said to them, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the material goods he possesses.”
16And Yeshua told them a parable, saying, “The land of a certain rich man produced good crops.
17And he began thinking to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do? I don’t have a place to store my harvest!’
18And he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do! I’ll tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I’ll store all my grain and my goods.
19And I’ll say to myself, ’O my soul, you have plenty of goods saved up for many years! So take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry.”’
20But God said to him, ‘You fool! Tonight your soul is being demanded back from you! And what you have prepared, whose will that be?’
21So it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich in God.”

Instructions for the Disciples

22Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “So I say to you, do not worry about life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will wear.
23For life is more than food and the body more than clothing.
24Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable you are than birds!
25“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
26So if you cannot do even something very little, why do you worry about other things?
27Consider the lilies, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these.
28But if God so clothes the grass in the field—which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow—then how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29“So do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.
30For all the nations of the world strive after these things. But your Father knows that you need these things.
31Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.
32Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father chose to give you the kingdom.
33“Sell your possessions and do tzadakah. Make money pouches for yourselves that do not get old—a treasure in the heavens that never runs out, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
35“Have your belt strapped on and lamps burning.
36Be like people waiting for their master to return from a wedding feast, so that when he comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately.
37“Happy are those slaves whose master finds them alert when he comes. Amen, I tell you, he will prepare himself and have them recline at table, and will come and serve them.
38”And if he comes in the second or even the third watch and finds them so, they will be happy.
39But understand this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you don’t expect.”
41Then Peter said, “Master, are You telling this parable for us, or for everyone?”
42And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their food portion at the proper time?
43Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes.
44Truly I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions.
45“But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time to come,’ and he begins to beat the young slave boys and girls and to eat and drink and get drunk,
46the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. And he will cut him in two and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
47“That slave who knew his master’s will but did not prepare or act according to his desire will be harshly whipped.
48But the one who did not know and did things worthy of a beating will be whipped lightly. From everyone given much, much will be required; and from the one for whom more is provided, all the more they will ask of him.
49“I came to pour out fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already ablaze!
50But I have an immersion to endure, and how distressed I am until it is finished!
51“Do you suppose that I have come to bring shalom on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
52From now on there will be five in one house in opposition, three against two and two against three.
53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Lessons for the Crowds

54Then He also was saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, instantly you say, ‘A rainstorm is coming’—and so it is.
55And when a south wind is blowing, you say, ‘It will be a scorcher’—and so it is.
56Hypocrites! The surface of the earth and sky you know how to interpret yet you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57Why can’t you judge for yourselves what is right?
58For while you are going with your accuser to the authorities, make an effort to come to a settlement with him—so he doesn’t drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer of the court, and the officer of the court throw you into prison.
59I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid back the last little bit.”

–from Luke 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So what will you do with your life?


What choices will you make! Will you decide to do things that are good? Will you decide to do things that are wise? Will you decide to do things that will build up? Will you decide to do things that will last? Will you decide to do things that will endure? Will you decide to do things that will show your love for God? Will you decide to do things that will show your love of others? Will you decide to walk with character? Will you decide to walk uprightly? Will you decide to live in a trustworthy manner? Will you decide to forgive rather than to allow a bitter root to eat away at you from the inside out? Will you decide to consider it pure joy when you face trials and troubles of many kinds?  What will you do with your life?

Wisdom Builds Up, Folly Tears Down

1A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. 2The one who walks uprightly fears Adonai, but one devious in his ways despises Him. 3In the mouth of a fool is a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise protect them. 4Where there are no oxen, the stalls are clean, but from the strength of the ox comes an abundant harvest. 5A trustworthy witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies. 6A scoffer seeks wisdom yet finds none, but knowledge is easy to the discerning. 7Walk away from a fool— for you will find no knowledge on his lips. 8The wisdom of the prudent is to consider his way, but the folly of fools is deception. 9Fools mock guilt of sin, but among the upright is goodwill. 10The heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. 11The house of the wicked will be demolished, but the tent of the upright will flourish. 12There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 13Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. 14A backsliding heart partakes of its ways, and a good man is rewarded for his. 15The naïve believes every word, but the shrewd discerns his steps. 16The wise fears and turns away from evil, but the fool is hotheaded and reckless. 17One with a short temper acts foolishly, and one with crafty schemes is hated. 18The naïve inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. 19Evil men will bow in the presence of the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

Poverty and Riches

20The poor is hated even by his neighbor, but many are those who love the rich. 21Whoever despises his neighbor sins, but whoever is gracious to the needy is blessed. 22Indeed those who plot evil go astray but grace and truth come to those who plan good. 23In all hard work there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. 24The crown of the wise is their riches, but the folly of fools is foolishness. 25A truthful witness saves lives, but one who utters lies is treacherous. 26In the fear of Adonai one has strong confidence. It will be a refuge for His children. 27The fear of Adonai is a fountain of life, turning one from the snares of death. 28A large population is a king’s glory, but lack of subjects is a prince’s ruin. 29One who is slow to anger shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one exalts folly. 30A tranquil heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones. 31The one who oppresses the poor shows contempt for his Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors Him. 32The wicked is brought down in his calamity yet the righteous has a refuge even in death. 33Wisdom rests in the heart of the discerning, and even among fools she is known. 34Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. 35The king shows favor toward a servant who acts wisely, but his wrath is on one who is disgraceful.

–from Proverbs 14

How will you answer? How will you speak? Will others be able to receive it? Will you speak in a way that others will be receptive to? Will you speak life? Will you speak hope? Will you speak truth? Will you speak love? Will you speak healing? From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks…so fill your life and your heart with the right stuff and the right attitude so that you can live and speak life!

Tongue of the Wise

1A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 2The tongue of the wise treats knowledge correctly, but the mouth of fools spouts folly. 3The eyes of Adonai are everywhere, observing the wicked and the good. 4A healing tongue is a tree of life, but a deceitful one crushes the spirit. 5A fool despises his father’s discipline, but one who accepts reproof is smart. 6The house of the righteous has great wealth, but the income of the wicked brings trouble. 7The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but not so the heart of fools. 8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Adonai, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

Pursue Righteousness and Reproof

9Adonai detests the way of the wicked, but loves those who pursue righteousness. 10Stern correction awaits one who forsakes the way. One who hates reproof will die. 11Sheol and Abaddon are before Adonai— how much more the hearts of people! 12A mocker dislikes one who corrects him; he will not go to the wise.

Heart Attitude Matters

13A joyful heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. 14A discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on folly. 15All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast. 16Better is little with the fear of Adonai than great wealth with turmoil. 17Better a meal of vegetables where there is love, than a fattened ox where there is hatred. 18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but one who is slow to anger calms a quarrel. 19The way of the slacker is a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway. 20A wise child brings joy to his father, but a foolish person despises his mother. 21Folly is joy to one who lacks sense, but one with discernment walks straight. 22Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. 23A person has joy in an appropriate answer— how good is a timely word. 24The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to Sheol. 25Adonai tears down a proud man’s house, but He maintains the widow’s boundary. 26Evil thoughts are an abomination to Adonai, but pleasant words are pure. 27One greedy for gain troubles his household, but whoever hates bribes will live. 28A righteous heart thinks before answering, but a wicked mouth blurts out evil things. 29Adonai is far from the wicked, but hears the prayer of the righteous. 30Bright eyes bring joy to the heart. Good news gives health to the bones. 31One whose ear heeds a life-giving reproof dwells among the wise. 32Whoever avoids correction despises himself, but whoever heeds reproof acquires understanding. 33The fear of Adonai is the discipline of wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

–from Proverbs 15

Have you been born again? Have you received God’s grace and mercy by ask Jesus into your heart? It’s not too late if you are reading this, so why not make today your birthday?

Interested and not sure what to do or how to do it? Leave me a comment.

John 3 NLT

1There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

3Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,a you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

4“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

5Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.b 6Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.c 7So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘Youd must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

9“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.

10Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Mane has come down from heaven. 14And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.f

16“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

18“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.g

Sample Sinners Prayer

Today’s reading closes in 1 Peter 1…

Greetings

1Peter, an emissary of Messiah Yeshua, To the sojourners of the Diaspora in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia—chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, set apart by the Ruach for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Yeshua the Messiah: May grace and shalom be multiplied to you.

A Message of Living Hope

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! In His great mercy He caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua from the dead. 4An incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance has been reserved in heaven for you. 5By trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6You rejoice in this greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. 7These trials are so that the true metal of your faith (far more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire) may come to light in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Messiah Yeshua. 8Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. And even though you don’t see Him now, you trust Him and are filled with a joy that is glorious beyond words, 9receiving the outcome of your faith—the salvation of your souls. 10The prophets, who spoke about the grace that was to be yours, searched for this salvation and investigated carefully. 11They were trying to find out the time and circumstances the Ruach of Messiah within them was indicating, when predicting the sufferings in store for Messiah and the glories to follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were providing these messages not to themselves but to you. These messages have now been announced to you through those who proclaimed the Good News to you by the Ruach ha-Kodesh, sent from heaven. Even angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.

A Call to Be Holy

13So brace your minds for action. Keep your balance. And set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah. 14Like obedient children, do not be shaped by the cravings you had formerly in your ignorance. 15Instead, just like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in everything you do. 16For it is written, “Kedoshim you shall be, for I am kadosh.” 17If you call on Him as Father—the One who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds—then live out the time of sojourning in reverent fear. 18You know that you were redeemed from the futile way of life handed down from your ancestors—not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19but with precious blood like that of a lamb without defect or spot, the blood of Messiah. 20He was chosen before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through Him you are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your trust and hope are in God. 22Now that you have purified your souls in obedience to the truth, leading to sincere brotherly love, love one another fervently from a pure heart. 23You have been born again—not from perishable seed but imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, “All humanity is like grass, And all its glory like a wildflower. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, 25But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was proclaimed as Good News to you.

–from 1 Peter 1

 

Do you believe in good and evil?


Do you believe in right and wrong? Do you believe in true and false? Do you believe in righteousness and wickedness? Do you believe in virtuous and dishonoring? Do you believe in diligence and slothfulness? Do you believe and wisdom and foolishness? Do you believe in up and down? Do you believe in North and South? Do you believe in good and evil?

If you don’t, why not? Don’t you realize the battle that is taking place all around you? The battle taking place in the seen and the unseen?

Let’s jump back into the book of wisdom – Proverbs – and see what today’s reading has in store…

The Righteous and the Wicked

1Whoever loves knowledge loves correction, but whoever hates reproof is stupid. 2A good man obtains favor from Adonai, but He condemns a person with evil schemes. 3No one is made secure by wickedness, but a righteous root will not be moved. 4A virtuous wife is her husband’s crown, but a dishonoring one is like rottenness in his bones. 5The plans of the righteous are just, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them. 7The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the household of the righteous will stand. 8A man is praised according to his insight, but one with a twisted mind is despised. 9Better to have little honor and a servant than to have glory and no bread.

Caring for Animals and Land

10A righteous person cares for the life of his animal, yet even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. 11The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases daydreams lacks sense. 12The wicked covets the loot of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes.

Fruit of Mouth

13An evil one is ensnared by the sin of lips, but the righteous one escapes trouble. 14By the fruit of his mouth a man will be satisfied with good. The work of a man’s hands will reward him. 15A fool’s way is right in his own eyes, but the wise listen to advice. 16A fool shows his irritation immediately, but a prudent person overlooks an insult. 17A trustworthy witness tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit. 18Reckless speech is like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue for only a moment. 20Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but those promoting shalom have joy. 21No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked are full of misery. 22Lying lips are detestable to Adonai, but those who act faithfully are His delight. 23A clever person conceals his knowledge, but the heart of a fool blurts out folly.

Diligence or Sloth

24The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy will become forced labor. 25An anxious heart weighs one down, but a good word cheers him up. 26The righteous gives his friend guidance, but the way of the wicked leads astray. 27A lazy person does not roast his game, but a diligent person prizes his possessions. 28In the path of righteousness is life— it is a path to immortality.

–from Proverbs 12

Do you realize the power of words? Do you manage what comes out of your mouth? Do you control what you say? Do you realize the impact of what comes out of your mouth? Do you realize what is going on inside of you? From the overflow of your heart, the mouth speaks! So take inventory and make sure you aren’t carrying around stuff you shouldn’t and that God never intended for you to! Use your words to build up others and to tear down strongholds! Your words have the power of life and death so make sure you realize what you are able to say before you left it fly past your lips!

Guard the Way of Integrity

1A wise son heeds his father’s discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
2From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good things, but the treacherous crave violence.
3He who watches his mouth protects his life, but whoever opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
4The slacker’s soul craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent soul will be satisfied.
5A righteous person hates lying, but the wicked acts in shameful disgrace.
6Righteousness guards one who walks in integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.
7One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
8A man’s riches may ransom his life, but a poor person hears no threat.
9The light of the righteous shines brightly. The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.
10Arrogance yields nothing but strife. Wisdom belongs to those who take advice.
11Wealth gained by fraud dwindles, but he who gathers by labor increases it.
12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
13Whoever despises instruction will pay a penalty, but whoever respects a mitzvah will be rewarded.
14Wise instruction is a fountain of life, turning one away from snares of death.
15Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.
16Everyone shrewd acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts folly.

The Wise and the Foolish

17A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18He who spurns discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever accepts correction will be honored.
19A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning away from evil.
20He who walks with wise men is wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
21Misfortune pursues sinners, but prosperity rewards the righteous.
22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
23The fallow field of the poor yields much food, but it is swept away by injustice.
24He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent with discipline.
25The righteous eats to his heart’s content, but the belly of the wicked goes hungry.

–from Proverbs 13

Do you sing? Do you dance? Do you party? Do you do any of that for God? Do you do any of that to God? Do you do any of that for yourself? So why not praise God with those gifts and talents!

Praise with Singing and Dancing

1Halleluyah! Sing to Adonai a new song, His praise in the assembly of the kedoshim.
2Let Israel rejoice in its Maker. Let the children of Zion be glad in their King.
3Let them praise His Name with dancing. Let them sing praises to Him with tambourine and harp.
4For Adonai takes pleasure in His people. He crowns the humble with salvation.
5Let the kedoshim exult in glory. Let them sing for joy on their beds.
6Let God’s high praises be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand—
7to execute vengeance upon the nations and rebukes on the peoples,
8to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9to carry out the sentence decreed— this is the glory of all His kedoshim. Halleluyah!

–from Psalms 149

Do you have treasure? Real treasure that will last? Will it last forever? Even after you leave this earth? Why not store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

We are in a season! We need to be ready for each day and each season that is yet to come! So let’s be patient! Jesus is coming back! He won’t rush it because His will is that nobody would perish but that everyone would repent and turn back to God! He is coming back! Are you sharing His love and His hope with the world? How about the world around you? How about your friends and family and neighbors? Are you praying for those in need? for the sick?

Rotten Riches

1Come now, you rich, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you.
2Your riches have rotted and your clothes have become moth-eaten.
3Your gold and your silver have rusted and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have stored up treasure in the last days.
4Behold, the wages of the workers who mowed your fields—which you kept back by fraud—are crying out against you. And the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.
5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts for a day of slaughter.
6You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous person—he does not resist you.

Be Patient for His Coming

7So be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it until it receives the early and late rain.
8You also be patient. Strengthen your hearts because the coming of the Lord is near.
9Do not grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be judged. Behold, the judge is standing at the doors.
10As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11Behold, we consider blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the outcome of Adonai—that Adonai is full of compassion and mercy.
12But above all, my dear brothers and sisters, do not swear—either by heaven, or by the earth, or by any other oath. But let your “yes” be “yes,” and your “no,” be “no”—so that you may not fall under judgment.

Praying for the Sick

13Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.
14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of Messiah’s community, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16So confess your offenses to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.
17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. And it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
18He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
19My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth and someone turns him back,
20let him know that the one who turns a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

–from James 5

We aren’t to only pray in the midst of an emergency, although we should! We are to pray without ceasing since we are to be in relationship with God and hence talking with Him all throughout the day! He can speak to us even before something happens and help us get or be prepared! He can even make sure we avoid stuff we are supposed to be avoiding!

Jesus gave it all! Jesus died, was buried in a tomb, and on the 3rd day was resurrected from the dead and defeated death! He is now sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us! He sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our guide so that we are never alone! Have you invited Jesus into your heart yet? Have you started this life changing process of asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Are you ready for a change? Are you ready for something different? What’s it going to take?

Praying Along the Way

1Now Yeshua was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Master, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2Then Yeshua said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Father, sanctified be Your Name, Your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
5Then Yeshua said to them, “Which of you has a friend and will go to him in the middle of the night and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
6because a friend of mine has come to me on his journey and I have nothing to set before him.’
7Then from within he may answer, saying, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’
8I tell you, even if the friend will not get up and give him anything out of friendship, yet because of the man’s persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9“So I say to you, ‘Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you.
10For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.’
11What father, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12And if he asks for an egg, will he give him a scorpion?
13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Ruach ha-Kodesh to those who ask Him!”

Crowds Demand a Sign from Heaven

14Now Yeshua was driving out a demon, and it was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute one spoke and the crowds were amazed.
15But some among them said, “By beelzebul, the ruler of demons, He drives out demons.”
16Others, testing Him, were demanding from Him a sign from heaven.
17But Yeshua, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and a house against a house falls.
18Now if satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say by beelzebul I drive out the demons.
19But if by beelzebul I drive out demons, by whom do your sons drive them out? For this reason, they will be your judges.
20But if by the finger of God I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
21“When a strong one, fully-armed, protects his own estate, his possessions are safe.
22But as soon as someone stronger than he attacks and overpowers him, then he takes away the armor that he had trusted in and divides up his plunder.
23He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
24“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places looking for rest. Not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house where I came from.’
25And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.
26Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and settle there. And that man’s last condition becomes worse than the first.”
27Then as Yeshua was saying these things, a certain woman in the crowd, raising her voice, said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that carried You and the breasts that nursed You!”
28But He said, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
29With the crowds increasing, Yeshua began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation. It demands a sign, yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
30For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31The Queen of the South will rise up at the Judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
32The men of Nineveh will rise at the judgment with this generation and will condemn it, because they repented at Jonah’s proclamation. And indeed, one greater than Jonah is here.
33“No one lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on the lampstand so that those entering may see the light.
34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light. But when it is sick, your body is full of darkness.
35Therefore, watch out that the light in you is not darkness.
36If then your body is full of light, with no part of it dark, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its gleam.”

Dinner with a Pharisee

37As He spoke, a Pharisee asked Yeshua to eat with him, so He entered and sat down.
38But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Yeshua did not do the ritual handwashing before the meal.
39But the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.
40Fools! Didn’t He who created the outside also create the inside?
41But give as tzadakah those things that are within, and indeed everything is pure to you.
42“But woe to you Pharisees, for you tithe mint, rue, and every garden herb, yet bypass justice and the love of God. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others.
43Woe to you Pharisees, for you love the best seats in the synagogues and the greetings in the marketplaces.
44Woe to you, for you are like unmarked tombs, and people walk over them without knowing.”
45But answering, one of the Torah lawyers says to Him, “Teacher, when You say these things, You insult us too.”
46Then Yeshua said, “Woe to you Torah lawyers as well, for you weigh the people down with burdens hard to carry, yet you yourselves will not touch the burdens with even a finger.
47“Woe to you, for you build the tombs of the prophets whom your own fathers killed!
48So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers, for indeed they killed them and you are building their tombs.
49“For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and emissaries, and some of them they will kill and persecute,
50so that the blood of the prophets shed since the foundation of the world might be required from this generation—
51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the one who perished between the altar and the house of God. Yes, I tell you, it will be required from this generation.’
52“Woe to you, Torah lawyers, for you have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter, and you stood in the way of those entering.”
53When Yeshua left there, the Torah scholars and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to interrogate Him on many issues,
54plotting against Him to catch Him in His words.

–from Luke 11

 

How do you respond to corrections? How do you respond to being reprimanded?


Will you receive it? Will you learn from it? Will you love them? Will you refuse it? Will you reject it? Will you get upset or angry from it? Will you become abusive? Will you be responsive to it? Will you hate them? Will you love them?

Let’s turn to God! Let’s ask Him for wisdom! Let’s ask Him for insight! Let’s ask Him if it is true! Let’s ask Him how to respond! Let’s be obedient to Him!

Today’s reading continues in Proverbs…

Wisdom and Folly Invite

1Wisdom has built her house. She has carved out her seven pillars. 2She has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3She has sent out her servant girls. She calls from the city’s heights: 4“Whoever is naïve, turn in here!” To those who lack understanding, she says: 5“Come, eat my bread and drink the wine I have mixed. 6Abandon your foolish ways and live! Walk in the way of understanding.” 7Whoever corrects a scoffer is asking for insult. Whoever reproves a wicked man gets abuse. 8Do not correct a scoffer or he will hate you. Rebuke a wise man and he will love you. 9Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still. Teach a righteous man and he will increase in learning. 10The fear of Adonai is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11For through me your days will be many and years will be added to your life. 12If you are wise, you are wise to your own advantage, but if you scoff, you bear it alone. 13The foolish woman is rowdy. She is naïve and knows nothing. 14So she sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the heights of the city, 15calling to those who pass by, who go straight on their way: 16“Whoever is naïve, let him turn in here.” To those who lack understanding, she says: 17“Stolen water is sweet and bread eaten in secret is delicious!” 18But he does not know that the dead are there— her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

–from Proverbs 9

Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Trust in God! Be diligent for you will find God when you diligently seek Him! As we are learning this year at camp, it is important to walk with integrity!

Diligence and Laziness

1The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son gives joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother. 2Ill-gotten treasures profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death. 3Adonai will not let a righteous soul go hungry, but thwarts the cravings of the wicked. 4Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. 5He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

Sayings of the Mouth Matter

6Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. 7The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot. 8The wise in heart accept commands, but a babbling fool comes to ruin. 9One who walks in integrity, walks securely, but one who takes crooked paths will be discovered. 10One who winks an eye maliciously causes grief, while a babbling fool comes to ruin. 11The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. 12Hatred stirs up strife but love covers up all transgressions. 13Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one lacking sense. 14Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool is near ruin. 15The wealth of a rich man is a strong city. Poverty is the ruin of the poor. 16The wages of the righteous are life. The income of the wicked is sin. 17One who heeds discipline is on the path of life, but whoever ignores correction goes astray. 18One who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. 19When words abound, transgression is unavoidable. but whoever restrains his lips is wise. 20The tongue of the righteous is choice silver. The heart of the wicked is of little value. 21The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding.

Dread or Hope

22The blessing of Adonai brings wealth and He adds no trouble with it. 23As doing wickedness is delight to a fool, so is wisdom to a man of discernment. 24What the wicked dread will fall on them. The desire of the righteous will be given. 25When the whirlwind passes, the wicked are no more, but the foundation of the righteous is everlasting. 26Like vinegar to the teeth or smoke to the eyes, so is a slacker to those who send him. 27The fear of Adonai prolongs life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. 28The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hope of the wicked perishes. 29The way of Adonai is a stronghold to the upright, but it is a ruin to those who do evil. 30The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not dwell in the land. 31The mouth of the righteous bears the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out. 32The lips of the righteous know what is pleasing, but the mouth of the wicked is perverse.

–from Proverbs 10

Will you live honestly? Will you live with integrity? Will you live with humility and avoid the pitfalls of pride? Will you put your hope and trust in nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness? Will you live in righteousness so that those around you will be blessed?

Integrity of Scales and Soul

1Dishonest scales are an abomination to Adonai, but an accurate weight is His delight. 2When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. 3The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. 4Riches make no profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. 5The righteousness of the blameless man makes his way straight, but the wicked man is brought down by his wickedness. 6The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are trapped by their desire.

Righteousness Builds Up a City

7When the wicked dies, his hope perishes, and the hope of the strong vanishes. 8The righteous is rescued from trouble. Instead it comes on the wicked. 9With his mouth the ungodly destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. 10When the righteous do well, a city rejoices. When the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. 11Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed. 12One who despises his neighbor lacks sense, but one with discernment remains silent. 13A gossip reveals secrets, but one who is trustworthy conceals a matter. 14Without guidance people fall, with many counselors there is deliverance. 15Whoever puts up security for a stranger will have trouble, but whoever avoids shaking hands on such a deal is secure.

Rewards for Righteous or Ruthless

16A gracious woman gains honor, but ruthless men seize riches. 17A kind man does his own soul good, but a cruel man harms his own flesh. 18The wicked earn deceptive wages, but a sower of righteousness reaps a true reward. 19Steadfast righteousness leads to life, but pursuing evil ends in death. 20Perverse hearts are an abomination to Adonai. His favor is on those blameless in their ways. 21Be sure, the evil will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered. 22Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. 23The desire of the righteous is only good, but the hope of the wicked only wrath. 24One gives freely, yet gains even more. Another withholds unjustly, and comes to poverty. 25A soul who blesses will prosper, and one who gives water will himself be satisfied. 26People curse anyone withholding grain, but blessing is on the head of one who dispenses it. 27A person who diligently seeks good finds favor, but to one who searches for evil, evil comes to him! 28Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. 29Whoever troubles his own household will inherit wind, and the fool will be a servant to the wise-hearted. 30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever wins souls is wise. 31If the righteous is rewarded on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!

–from Proverbs 11

So as we begin this day, let’s resist pride and evil ways! Let’s raise the bar and the standard so that the average goes up!

Resist Pride and Evil

1Where do quarrels and conflicts among you come from? Don’t they come from this, namely your passions that battle within your body parts? 2You crave and have not. You murder and you envy, yet you cannot get it. You fight and you wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives so you may spend it on your passions. 4You adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you think that in vain the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit which He made to dwell in us”? 6But He gives greater grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7Therefore submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded! 9Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of Adonai, and He shall lift you up. 11Do not speak evil against one another, brethren. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the Torah and judges the Torah. But if you judge the Torah, you are not a doer of the Torah, but a judge. 12There is only one lawgiver and judge—the One who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you who judges your neighbor?

If the Lord Wills, We Will

13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17Therefore whoever knows the right thing to do and does not do it—for him it is sin.

–from James 4

 

 

 

What is the treasure you seek?


Is it a treasure you can bring with you everywhere you go? Is it a treasure that will last forever? Is it a treasure you can store somewhere safe where thieves can steal and rust cannot destroy? Is it a treasure that will make a difference every day? Is it a treasure that will help you every day of your life? Is it a treasure that will make your life better? Is it a treasure that will help you improve your life and the lives of those around you? Is it a treasure that will never run out? Is it a treasure that will refill?

Have you found it? Are you treasuring it?

Today’s reading starts with Proverbs 7…

Treasure Torah’s Teaching

1My son, keep my words and treasure my mitzvot within you. 2Keep my mitzvot and live, my teaching as the apple of your eye. 3Bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your relative. 5They will keep you from a seducing woman, from the foreign woman with her seductive speech. 6For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice. 7I saw among the naïve, I noticed among the youth, a young man lacking understanding, 8crossing the street near her corner, walking in the direction of her house, 9in the twilight of the evening, in the darkest hours of the night. 10All of a sudden, a woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute and with a cunning heart. 11She is loud and defiant. Her feet never stay at home— 12now in the streets, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks. 13So she grabs him and kisses him and with a brazen face says to him: 14“I had to sacrifice fellowship offerings; today I paid my vow. 15So I’ve come out to meet you, to seek your presence eagerly— and I found you! 16I have spread my couch with tapestry of dyed Egyptian linens. 17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18Come, let’s drink our fill of love till morning! Let’s delight ourselves with love. 19For my husband is not at home— he’s gone on a long journey. 20He took a bag of money with him— he won’t come home until full moon.” 21With her persistent pleading she entices him, with smooth talk she seduces him. 22Suddenly he follows her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a stag bounding toward a trap, 23till an arrow pierces its liver. Like a bird darting into a snare, he never considered his own soul! 24Now then, sons, listen to me, pay attention to the words of my mouth. 25Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray onto her paths. 26For many are the victims she has brought down, and numerous are all her slain. 27Her house is a highway to Sheol, leading down to the chambers of death.

–from Proverbs 7

Seek wisdom! Ask Jesus into your heart! Allow your faith to build! Store up and invest in eternity! God’s way is so much great and better and higher than anything we could ever do on our own!

Wisdom Appeals at the Gates

1Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift her voice? 2On the topmost heights along the way, at the crossroads, she takes her stand. 3Beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: 4“To you, O men, I call out! My cry is to all mankind! 5O naïve ones, learn prudence! Fools, gain understanding! 6Listen, for I speak excellent things, and my lips utter right things. 7For my mouth speaks truth, and my lips detest wickedness. 8All the words of my mouth are righteous, Nothing in them is perverse or crooked. 9All of them are straightforward to the discerning, and right to those who find knowledge. 10Receive my instruction instead of silver and knowledge rather than choice gold. 11For wisdom is better than jewels, nothing you desire compares with her. 12“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and acquire knowledge with discretion. 13To fear Adonai is to hate evil. I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and a perverse mouth. 14Counsel and sound wisdom are mine. I have understanding and power. 15By me kings reign and princes decree justice. 16By me princes govern, and all nobles who judge righteously. 17I love those who love me. Those who earnestly seek me find me. 18With me are wealth and honor, enduring riches and righteousness. 19My fruit is better than refined gold, my harvest better than choice silver. 20I walk in the way of righteousness, along paths of justice. 21I endow substance to those who love me and fill their treasuries.

Wisdom Before Creation

22“Adonai brought me forth, the first of His way, before His works of old. 23From eternity I was appointed from the beginning, before the world began. 24When there were no depths, I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25Before the mountains were shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth. 26He had not yet made the land, the fields, or the first dust of the earth. 27 When He set the heavens in place, I was there. When He inscribed the horizon on the face of the ocean, 28when He established the skies above, when He securely fixed the fountains of the deep, 29when He set the boundaries for the sea, so that the waters never transgress His command, when He laid out earth’s foundations— 30then I was the craftsman beside Him, I was His daily delight, always rejoicing before Him, 31 rejoicing in His whole world, and delighting in mankind. 32“So now, children, listen to me! Blessed are those who keep my ways. 33Heed discipline and be wise, and do not neglect it. 34Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. 35For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from Adonai. 36But whoever fails to find me harms his life— all who hate me love death.”

–from Proverbs 8

Let’s live our lives in love! Loving God and loving others! Let’s allow God’s love to flow through us into the lives of those around by showing them grace!

Be Gracious to Your Servants

1A Song of Ascents. To You I lift up my eyes— You enthroned in the heavens. 2Behold, as the eyes of slaves to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a slave-girl to the hand of her mistress— so our eyes look to Adonai our God, till He shows us favor. 3Show us favor, Adonai, show us favor! For we have endured much contempt. 4Our soul has had enough of the scorn of those at ease, the contempt of the proud.

–from Psalms 123

Let’s use our words for good! Words have power! Words have the power to build up and to tear down! Let’s use them to build up others and teardown strongholds! Ever heard sayings about your mouth? “Loose lips sink ships”, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.“… Today’s reading speaks to taming the tongue and the dangers of the tongue…

Dangerous Tongue

1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, since you know that we will receive a stricter judgment. 2For we all stumble in many ways. If someone does not stumble in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 3And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole body as well. 4See also the ships—though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member—yet it boasts of great things. See how so small a fire sets a blaze so great a forest! 6And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of evil placed among our body parts. It pollutes the whole body and sets on fire the course of life—and is set on fire by Gehenna. 7For every species of beasts and birds, reptiles and sea creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Adonai and Father, and with it we curse people, who are made in the image of God. 10From the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be. 11A spring doesn’t pour out fresh and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh water.

Gentle Wisdom from Above

13Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct let him show his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in shalom by those who make shalom.

–from James 3

So, let’s not go it alone! Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. God has much for us to do! Let’s team up and go out there and take back the ground the devil is trying to steal from us! Let’s stand up for something rather than falling for everything! Let’s go and bring back a good report of how God was able to work in and through us! Let’s go and exhibit what it is like to be a good neighbor! Let’s show the love of God and our love for people! Let’s live each day to make a difference!

Yeshua Sends Out the Seventy

1Now after these things, the Lord assigned seventy others and sent them out by twos before Him into every town and place where He Himself was about to go. 2And He was telling them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. 3“Go forth! Look, I am sending you as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4Do not be burdened with a money belt, travel bag, or shoes; and do not greet anyone along the way. 5Whatever home you enter, first say, “Shalom be on this home.” 6If a son of shalom is there, your shalom will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7And remain in this same home, eating and drinking the things they offer, for the worker is deserving of his wage. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8“Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what they set before you. 9Then heal the sick in that town, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10But if you enter a town and they do not welcome you, then go out into its streets and say, 11‘Even the dust of your town sticking to our feet, we wipe off as a witness to you. But know this! The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town. 13“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have turned long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14Yet it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the Judgment than for you! 15And you, Capernaum? You won’t be lifted up to heaven, will you? No, you will go down as far as Sheol. 16The one who listens to you hears Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me, and the one who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

Returning with a Good Report

17Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Master, even the demons submit to us in Your name!” 18And Yeshua said to them, “I was watching satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19Behold, I have given you authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names have been written in the heavens.” 21In that very hour, He was overjoyed in the Ruach ha-Kodesh and said, “I praise You, Father, Master of the universe, that You have hidden these things from the wise and discerning and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was pleasing to You. 22All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” 23Then turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24For I tell you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you are seeing yet did not see, and to hear what you are hearing yet did not hear.”

Who Is My Neighbor?

25Now a certain Torah lawyer stood up to entrap Yeshua, saying, “Teacher, what should I do to gain eternal life?” 26Then Yeshua said to him, “What has been written in the Torah? How do you read it?” 27And he replied, “You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28Yeshua said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.” 29But wanting to vindicate himself, he said to Yeshua, “Then who is my neighbor?” 30Yeshua replied, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was attacked by robbers, who stripped him and beat him. Then they left, abandoning him as half dead. 31And by chance, a kohen was going down that road; but when he saw the man, he passed by on the opposite side. 32Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the opposite side. 33But a Samaritan who was traveling came upon him; and when he noticed the man, he felt compassion. 34He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then setting him on his own animal, he brought him to a lodge for travelers and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him. And whatever else you spend, upon my return I will repay you myself.’ 36Which of these three seems to you a neighbor to the one attacked by robbers?” 37And he said, “The one who showed mercy to him.” Then Yeshua said to him, “Go, and you do the same.”

At Home with Miriam and Martha

38Now while they were traveling, Yeshua entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39She had a sister called Miriam, who was seated at the Master’s feet, listening to His teaching. 40But Martha was distracted with much serving; so she approached Yeshua and said, “Master, doesn’t it concern you that my sister has left me to serve alone? Then tell her to help me!” 41But answering her, the Lord said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and bothered about many things; 42but only one thing is necessary. For Miriam has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

–from Luke 10