Are you thankful for what you have? Are you appreciative for what you have? Are you grateful for what you have? Do you thank God for such blessings? Do you try to stay as close to God as when you were being through tough times? Are you wandering off? Are you straying from God and His ways? Are you moving away from center and swaying away? Do you think you can do it on your own? Have you forgotten about God? Are you setting the stage so that the next generation may think you did it on your own and there is no God? Are you setting up a future where things could go bad, really bad because people will be walking out from under the covering and protection of God?
Take a look around you! Consider the generation now and what “self” type living has done and is doing to the world around you! We need to never forget what He has done, what He is doing, and what He has promised daily! We need to make sure that not only are we going to be ok, even during a time of peace and prosperity, but that the next generation realizes that the reason for where we are at – blessed and peaceful – is because of God’s love and covering and instruction and wisdom! Don’t let them forget! Pass on the Good News! Help them to see and know about God! Help them see and know the truth of having a relationship with God!
Today’s reading continues in 1 Kings with Solomon as king and Israel at a place of peace and abundance…
Solomon’s Official Staff
1Now King Solomon reigned over all Israel, 2and these were his officials: Azariah son of Zadok, the kohen; 3Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud, the recorder; 4Benaiah son of Jehoiada, in charge of the army; Zadok and Abiathar, kohanim; 5Azariah son of Nathan, in charge of the officers; Zabud son of Nathan the kohen, the king’s personal attendant; 6Ahishar, in charge of the household; Adoniram son of Abda in charge of the forced labor. 7Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household; each had to make provision for a month in the year. 8These were their names: Ben-Hur, in the hill-country of Ephraim; 9Ben-Deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan; 10Ben-Hesed, in Arubboth (his were Socoh and all the land of Hehper); 11Ben-Abinadab in all the height of Dor (Taphath, Solomon’s daughter was his wife); 12Baana son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah as far as beyond Jokmeam; 13Ben-Geber, in Ramot-Gilead (his were the villages of Jair son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and also his were the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, 60 great cities with walls and bronze bars); 14Ahinadab son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also took Basemath, Solomon’s daughter, as wife); 16Baana son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; 17Jehoshaphat son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18Shimei son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19Geber son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and one who was the officer in the land. 20Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea in abundance, eating and drinking and rejoicing.
–from 1 Kings 4
So proclaim God’s goodness so that the next generation will know! Tell of the things God has done through the highs and the lows so that they will know where to turn and who to turn to! Testify about where you were, what happened, and how God got you thru to the other side! They need to know so that when they face challenges they know where to turn and what to do! Let’s remember how Jesus came to fulfill the law and how He gave His all that we could be reconciled to God and be saved!
Our Righteous Judge
1For the music director, to the tune of “The Death of the Son,” a psalm of David. 2I will praise Adonai with my whole heart. I will tell about all Your wonders. 3I will be glad and rejoice in You. I will sing praise to Your Name, Elyon! 4When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before You. 5For You upheld my right and my cause. You sat upon the throne, judging righteously. 6You rebuked the nations, You destroyed the wicked— blotting out their name forever and ever. 7The enemy is finished, in ruins forever. You overturned their cities— even the memory of them has perished. 8But Adonai reigns forever. He established His throne for judgment. 9He judges the world in righteousness and governs the peoples justly. 10Adonai is a stronghold for the oppressed, a high tower in times of trouble. 11Those who know Your Name trust You— for You, Adonai, never have forsaken those who seek You. 12Sing praises to Adonai, who dwells in Zion. Declare His deeds among the peoples. 13He who avenges blood remembers. He will not forget the cry of the afflicted. 14Be compassionate to me, Adonai. See my affliction from those hating me. Lift me up from the gates of death. 15Then I will tell all your praises in the gates of the daughter of Zion, rejoicing in Your salvation. 16The nations sank into the pit they made. The net they hid caught their own foot. 17Adonai is known for executing judgment. The wicked one is trapped in the work of his own hands. Selah 18The wicked will turn to Sheol, as will all the nations that forget God. 19For the needy will not forever be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever. 20Arise, Adonai, do not let man triumph. Let the nations be judged before You. 21Strike them with terror, Adonai. Let the nations know they are only human. Selah
–from Psalms 9
Turn to God! Call upon Him! Ask Him! Speak with Him! Build a relationship with Him! Never forget Him!
1Therefore leaving the basic teaching of the Messiah, let us move on toward maturity—not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of trust in God, 2of teaching about immersions, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3Now this we will do, if God permits. 4For it is impossible for those who once were enlightened—having tasted of the heavenly gift and become partakers of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, 5and having tasted the good word of God and the powers of the olam ha-ba , 6and then having fallen away—to renew again to repentance, since they are again crucifying Ben-Elohim for themselves and publicly disgracing Him. 7For the earth—having soaked up the rain frequently falling on it—brings forth vegetation useful to those for whom it is farmed; and it shares in God’s blessing. 8But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed—its end is to be burned over. 9But even though we speak like this, loved ones, concerning you we are convinced of better things—things coming with salvation. 10For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love that you showed for His name, in having served and continuing to serve the kedoshim. 11But we long for each of you to show the same eagerness for the certainty of hope to the very end— 12so you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those inheriting the promises through trust and perseverance.
The Promise and the Oath
13Now when God made His promise to Abraham—since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14saying, “Surely I will bless you, and surely I will multiply you.” 15And so after waiting patiently, Abraham reached the promise. 16For people swear by someone greater; and the oath, as confirmation, is an end to all their disputing. 17In the same way God, determining to point out more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchanging nature of His purpose, guaranteed it with an oath. 18So by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, both firm and steady—a hope that enters the inner place behind the curtain. 20Yeshua has entered there as a forerunner on our behalf, having become Kohen Gadol “forever, according to the order of Melechizedek .”
–from Hebrews 6
So will you be fishers of men? Will you plant seeds of hope? Will you plant seeds of love? Will you plant seeds of encouragement? Will you shine light, life, hope into the world around you? Will you speak love, joy, peace to the people around you? Will you make a difference to the people God has brought into your life? How will you make a difference today? How will lives be transformed because you shared Jesus with them?
Calling Fishermen at the Kinneret
1It happened that the crowds were pressing upon Yeshua to hear the word of God as He was standing by the Lake of Kinneret, 2when He saw two boats standing beside the lake. Now the fishermen had left them and were washing the nets. 3Getting into one of the boats, Simon’s boat, Yeshua asked him to push out a ways from the land. Then sitting down, He taught the crowds from the boat. 4When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Go out into the deep water, and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon replied, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing. But at Your word I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets began to break. 7So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Yeshua’s knees, saying, “Go away from me, Master, for I am a sinful man!” 9For amazement had gripped him and all who were with him, over the catch of fish they had netted; 10so also Jacob and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were partners with Simon. But Yeshua said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on, you will be catching men.” 11So when they had brought the boats to the landing, they left everything and followed Him.
Yeshua Heals and News Spreads
12Now while Yeshua was in one of the towns, a man covered with tza’arat appeared. And when he saw Yeshua, he fell on his face and begged Him, saying, “Master, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 13Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be cleansed!” Immediately, the tza’arat left him. 14Yeshua ordered him to tell no one, but commanded him, “Go and show yourself to the kohen. Then bring an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 15But the news about Yeshua was spreading all the more, and many crowds were coming together to hear and to be healed of their diseases. 16Yet He would often slip away into the wilderness and pray.
Crowds Gather from the Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem
17Now on one of those days, Yeshua was teaching. Pharisees and Torah scholars were sitting there, who had come from every village of the Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem. And Adonai’s power to heal was in Him. 18And behold, men were carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher, trying to bring him in and place him before Yeshua. 19But when they found no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his stretcher through the tiles, right in the middle before Yeshua. 20When He saw their faith, He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven.” 21Then the Torah scholars and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this fellow speaking blasphemies? Who can pardon sins but God alone?” 22Yeshua, knowing their thoughts, replied to them, “Why are you raising questions in your hearts? 23Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to pardon sins….” He said to the paralyzed one, “I tell you, get up and take your cot, and go home!” 25Immediately he got up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. 26Astonishment took hold of them, and they glorified God and all were filled with awe, saying, “We’ve seen incredible things today!”
The Banquet at Levi’s House
27After these things, Yeshua went out and observed a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28And leaving everything, he got up and followed Him. 29Levi made a great banquet for Yeshua at his house, and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining with them. 30The Pharisees and their Torah scholars began murmuring to His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31And Yeshua answered and said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a doctor, but those who are sick do. 32I did not come to call the righteous, but the sinful to repentance.” 33But they said to Him, “John’s disciples often fast and offer prayers, as do the disciples of the Pharisees. But Your disciples are eating and drinking.” 34But Yeshua said to them, “You cannot make the guests of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? 35But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” 36Now he was also telling them a parable. “No one tears a patch from a new garment to use it on an old garment. Otherwise he will rip the new, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, it will be spilled out, and the skins will be destroyed. 38But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39No man who drinks old wine wants new, because he says, ‘The old is fine.’”
–from Luke 5