People are watching you to see who you are. People are watching you to see if you are who you say you are. People are watching you to see what your character says about you. People are watching you to see how you will respond to the situations that come your way. People are watching you and how you act will impact their perception and actions towards and about you.
If we don’t step up and do what is right, it will create problems! If we don’t step up and lead, it will cause confusion and delays! If we don’t step up to do what we have been called to do, then someone else will be called to do the work! What will your legacy say about you? What will the memory of you mean to others? Will you be salt and light and make a difference in the lives of those around you? Do you see what is going on around you? How far down the slippery slope will you allow it to go before you will do something and get involved?
How do you want to be thought of? How do you want to be remembered? How are you going to live your life?
It’s time…to step up and lead!
Today’s reading starts with 1 Kings 16…
Zimri Ends Baasa’s Line
1Now the word of Adonai came to Jehu son of Hanani against Baasa, saying: 2“Since I raised you up from the dust and made you ruler over My people Israel, yet you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have caused My people Israel to sin, vexing Me with their sins. 3I am about to consume Baasa and his house. I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat. 4Anyone of Baasa who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field, the birds of the sky will eat.” 5Now the rest of the deeds of Baasa and what he did and his might, are they not written in Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 6Then Baasa slept with his fathers and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah became king in his place. 7But the word of Adonai had already come by the hand of the prophet Jehu son of Hanani against Baasa and against his house, because of all the evil he had done in Adonai’s eyes, vexing Him with the work of his hands, becoming thus like the house of Jeroboam which He struck down. 8In the twenty-sixth year of King Asa of Judah, Elah son of Baasa became king over Israel in Tirzah, and reigned two years. 9Then his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariotry, conspired against him while he was in Tirzah, making himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was in charge of the palace in Tirzah. 10Then Zimri went in, struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa of Judah, and became king in his place. 11It came about when he became king, as soon as he sat on the throne, he struck down all the household of Baasa, leaving him not even one man, nor his kinsmen nor his friend. 12So Zimri destroyed the entire house of Baasa, according to the word of Adonai which He spoke against Baasa by the prophet Jehu, 13for all the sins of Baasa and the sins of his son Elah, which they committed and caused Israel to commit, vexing Adonai God of Israel with their useless idols. 14Now the rest of the deeds of Elah and all that he did, are they not written in Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
Rise of Omri
15In the twenty-seventh year of King Asa of Judah, Zimri reigned for seven days in Tirzah. Now the people were encamped against Gibbethon of the Philistines. 16When the people encamped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired and even struck down the king,” then all Israel proclaimed Omri—the commander of the army—king over Israel that very day in the camp. 17Then Omri and all Israel with him went up from Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah. 18When Zimri saw that the city was captured, he went into the citadel of the royal palace, and burned down the royal palace over him with fire. So he died too, 19because of the sins which he committed, doing what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, walking in the way of Jeroboam and in the sin which he had committed, making Israel sin. 20Now the rest of the deeds of Zimri and his treason that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 21Then the people of Israel were divided into two factions: half of the people followed Tibni son of Ginath, making him king, while the other half followed Omri. 22But the people following Omri prevailed against the people following Tibni son of Ginath. Tibni died, and Omri became king. 23In the thirty-first year of King Asa of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and reigned 12 years, six years in Tirzah. 24Then he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and built a city on the hill. He named the city that he built Samaria, based on the name Shemer, the owner of the hill. 25But Omri did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and acted more wickedly than all who were before him. 26For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and in the sins that he had caused Israel to commit, vexing Adonai God of Israel, with their useless idols. 27Now the rest of the deeds of Omri that he did and the valiant deeds that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 28So Omri slept with his fathers and was buried in Samaria. Then his son Ahab became king in his place.
Ahab Even Worse
29In the thirty-eighth year of King Asa of Judah, Ahab son of Omri began to reign over Israel; and Ahab son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria 22 years. 30But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, more than all who were before him. 31Now, as if it was a trifling thing to walk in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, he also took as wife Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshipped him. 32He also erected an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he had built in Samaria. 33Also Ahab made the Asherah pole. So Ahab did yet more to provoke the Adonai God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.
Curse of Jericho Rebuilt
34During his days, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. At the cost of Abiram his firstborn, he laid its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son Segub, he set up its gates—according to the word of Adonai, which He had spoken through Joshua son of Nun.
–from 1 Kings 16
How bad does it really have to get before God will get your attention? How far away will you walk before you realize you are no longer under His covering? How bad do you want your own way that it ends up impacting a family, a community, a region, a country, the world? What’s it going to take for people to see what is really going on and grab a hold of the truth and then turn back to God? What’s it going to take?
Do you realize you don’t have to have a lot to make a difference? Do you realize all it takes is faith, obedience, and to give the little you do have up to God? Do you realize that the miracle is in proportion to the size of your faith? Do you realize the miracles that can happen when you believe and act out of obedience to God? Not the size of what you have but the size of your faith! (not the little flower and oil — the number of jars)
Elijah Proclaims Famine
1Now Elijah the Tishbite, one of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab: “As Adonai God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be no dew or rain these years, except at my word.” 2Then the word of Adonai came to him saying: 3“Leave this place, turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan. 4It will come about that you will drink from the wadi. I have also commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5So he went and did according to the word of Adonai—he went and lived by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6The ravens kept bringing him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the wadi. 7Then it came to pass after a while that the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 8Then the word of Adonai came to him saying: 9“Arise, go to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have just commanded a widow there to provide for you.”
Miracle of Flour and Oil
10So he arose and went to Zarephath. Now when he came to the town gate, to his surprise, a widow was there gathering sticks. So he called her and said, “Please bring a little water in a jar that I may drink.” 11As she was going to fetch it, he called her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12So she said, “As Adonai your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in the jar, and a little oil in the jug. Now look, I am gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13Elijah said to her, “Fear not! Go and do as you said, but first make me a little cake from what you have there. Bring it out to me and afterwards, make some for you and for your son. 14For thus says Adonai God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be exhausted nor shall the jug of oil be empty until the day Adonai sends rain on the land.’” 15So she went and did according to the word of Elijah—and she and he, and her household ate for many days. 16The jar of flour was not exhausted, nor did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of Adonai which He spoke through Elijah.
Resurrection of a Boy
17After these things, it came to pass that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house fell sick, and his sickness was getting much worse until he had no breath left in him. 18So she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, man of God? Have you come to me to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” 19He said to her, “Give me your son.” Then he took him from her arms, carried him up to the upper room where he was staying and laid him on his own bed. 20He cried out to Adonai and said, “Adonai my God, have You brought such evil even on the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?” 21Then he stretched himself upon the child three times. He cried out to Adonai and said, “Adonai my God, please let this child’s soul come back into his body!” 22Adonai listened to the cry of Elijah, so the soul of the child came back into his body and he was revived. 23Then Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. Elijah said, “See! Your son is alive.” 24Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word in your mouth is truth.”
–from 1 Kings 17
So will you turn back to God? Will you invite Him into your life? Will you walk with him out of reverence and obedience? Will you lift Him up and give Him praise? Let’s answer the call and do what He asks of us!
Who Can Stand in Your Presence?
1For the music director, on stringed instruments: a psalm of Asaph, a song. 2In Judah God is known. In Israel His Name is great. 3In Salem is His sukkah and His dwelling place in Zion. 4There He broke the fiery shafts of the bow, the shield, the sword, and the battle. Selah 5You are brilliant, more majestic than nourishing mountains. 6The valiant have been plundered— they slumbered in their sleep. The mighty could not lift their hands. 7At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and rider lay dead asleep. 8You are awesome, yes You are! Who can stand in Your presence once You are angry? 9From heaven You pronounced judgment. The earth feared and was still— 10when God rose up to judgment, to save all the humble of the land. Selah 11For wrath upon man will bring You praise, a remnant of wrath You put on as a belt. 12Make vows to Adonai your God and fulfill them. Let all around Him bring tribute to the One who is to be feared. 13He cuts off the breath of princes. The kings of earth are in awe of Him.
–from Psalms 76
Do you want to be left behind? Do you want to have to deal with the pain and the suffering? Will you choose before He comes back? Will you wait till then and decide before the final judgment? What is holding you back? What would it take for God to get your attention? It’s time! He’s coming back soon! He needs those who believe to step up and lead! He needs those who believe to be salt and light! Let’s answer the call and step up and lead as God is calling us to do and to be who God is calling us to be.
144,000 Marked with a Seal
1After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or against any tree. 2Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He cried out with a loud voice to the four angels who were permitted to harm the earth and the sea, 3saying, “Do no harm to the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4Now I heard the number of those marked with the seal: 144,000 from every tribe of Bnei-Yisrael— 5 12,000 from the tribe of Judah; 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben; 12,000 from the tribe of Gad; 6 12,000 from the tribe of Asher; 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali; 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh; 7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon; 12,000 from the tribe of Levi; 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar; 8 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun; 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph; 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin.
Countless Worshipers Before the Throne
9After these things I looked, and behold, a vast multitude that no one could count—from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues—was standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands 10and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels were standing around the throne, along with the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might belong to our God forever and ever. Amen!” 13Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these dressed in white robes, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” 14Then he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15For this reason, they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His Temple. The One seated on the throne will shelter them. 16They shall never again go hungry, nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat. 17For the Lamb in the midst of the throne shall shepherd them and guide them to springs of living water, and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
–from The Revelation 7
It’s not about how much you have, but what you do with the little you do have! Take a look around you! Do you see what is going on all around the world? Every time I go through the book of Revelation, I sense we are getting closer and closer! Consider what God’s Word says! Take a look around at what is going on around the world! And then consider how you will choose and respond!
Teaching in the Temple
1Then Yeshua looked up and saw the rich dropping their gifts into the treasury box. 2He also saw a poor widow dropping in two small copper coins. 3And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all the rest. 4For all these put in their gifts from their surplus. But she, out of her poverty, put in all she had to live on.” 5And while some were talking about the Temple, how it was decorated with beautiful stones and offerings, Yeshua said, 6“As for these things you are looking at, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!” 7And they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, so when will these things happen? What will be the sign that these things are about to take place?” 8And He said, “Watch out that you are not led astray! For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He’ and ‘The time is near!’ Do not follow them. 9And when you hear of wars and chaos, do not be terrorized. For these things need to happen first, but the end will not come at once.” 10Then He continued telling them, “Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes along with famines and epidemics in various places, and there will be terrors along with great signs from heaven. 12But before all these things, they will grab you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons, and leading you away to kings and governors on account of My name. 13This will lead you to be a witness. 14So make up your minds not to prepare ahead of time to defend yourselves— 15for I Myself will give you speech and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16But you will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—and they will put some of you to death. 17And you will be hated by all because of My name. 18Yet not a hair of your head will be lost. 19By your endurance, you will gain your souls. 20“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must get out, and those in the countryside must not enter her. 22For these are the days of punishment, to fulfill all that has been written. 23“Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath on this people. 24They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25“There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars. And upon the earth nations will be confused by the roaring of the sea and its waves. 26People will lose heart from fear and anticipation of what is overtaking the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to happen, stand straight and lift up your heads, because your salvation is near!” 29Then Yeshua told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30As soon as they sprout their leaves, you see it and you know at once that summer is near. 31So also, when you see these all these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 34“But watch out so your hearts are not weighed down by carousing, strong drink, and the worries of life. Do not let that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35For it will come rushing upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36But stay alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things about to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 37So during the days Yeshua was teaching in the Temple, but in the nights He went out and stayed on the Mount of Olives. 38And all the people would come early in the morning to hear Him in the Temple.
–from Luke 21
Is the world hearing the story through how you are living your life?