Trust…It’s important! Where can you put yours?


Where can you put your trust? Who can you trust? What can you trust? When can you trust? Why can you trust?

Who can put their trust in you? What can people put their trust for? When can people put their trust in you? Why can people trust you? Where can people put their trust in you?

Trust…what comes to mind when you hear this word?

When you are facing a big challenge, can you trust?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9

Whose words can you trust?

Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. –2 Samuel 7:28

Where can you turn when in a tough situation? Who can you look for that you can trust?

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.  –Psalms 9:10

Who can you trust to love you?

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. –Psalms 13:5

Is there any thing on earth that is fully trustworthy? Is there a better place to put your trust?

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. –Psalms 20:7

Who can you trust when fear shows up?

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. –Psalms 56:3

Who can you trust when things seem to be spinning out of control? Where can you turn?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. –from Proverbs 3:5-6 

Who can you trust with a secret?

A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. –Proverbs 11:13

Are you putting all the pressure on yourself?

Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.–Proverbs 28:26
28 Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. –Proverbs 11:28

Whose words can you trust?

8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless. –Jeremiah 7:8

No matter the trial, the situation, the trouble, where will you put your trust?

The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. –Daniel 6:23

Trust in God!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. –John 14:1
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. –Romans 15:13
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” –Revelation 21:5
Trust is hard to build! Trust is hard to find! Trust is easy to lose!
God is trustworthy and true! Always and forever! Put your trust in God!

Today’s reading gets us started in Isaiah…

Egypt’s Horses Will Stumble

1Oy , those going down to Egypt for help. They are relying on horses, trusting in chariots since they are many, and in horsemen since they are very mighty, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel nor seek Adonai! 2Yet He is also wise. He brings disaster, and does not take back His words. He rises against the house of evildoers, against help for workers of iniquity. 3Now Egyptians are men and not God, and their horses are flesh, not spirit. When Adonai stretches out His hand, both he who helps will stumble and he who is helped will fall, and both will perish together.

A Lion Protects Zion

4For thus says Adonai to me: “As a lion or a young lion growls over its prey, though a company of shepherds is called out against him —their voice does not disturb him, nor does their noise upset him— so Adonai-Tzva’ot will come down to fight on Mount Zion, on its hill. 5Like hovering birds, so Adonai-Tzva’ot will protect Jerusalem. By protecting, He will deliver. By passing over, He will save.” 6Return to the One from whom rebellion is so deep, Bnei-Yisrael. 7For in that day everyone will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which you made for yourselves with your hands of sin. 8“Then Assyria will fall, not by a sword of man, so a sword not of man will devour him and he will flee from the sword. His young men will be put to forced labor. 9 His rock will pass away because of fear. His princes will be afraid of the banner” —it is a declaration of Adonai— His fire is in Zion, and His furnace is in Jerusalem.

–from Isaiah 31

Will you have trust in righteousness? Will you have trust in justice?

Reign in Righteousness

1Behold, a king will reign in righteousness and princes will rule in justice. 2Each will be like a refuge from the wind and a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a massive rock in a weary land. 3Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will pay attention. 4The heart of the hasty will understand knowledge, and the tongue of stammerers will speak fluently, clearly. 5No longer will a fool be called noble, or a scoundrel said to be a gentleman. 6For the fool speaks foolishness and his heart works wickedness, to practice ungodliness, and speak error about Adonai, to deprive the hungry of food and withhold drink from the thirsty. 7The scoundrel’s methods are evil— he makes up wicked schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just. 8But the noble devises noble plans, and for noble causes he stands. 9Rise up, you women at ease, And hear my voice. You complacent daughters, give ear to my words. 10Within a year and a few days you will shudder, complacent ones. For the grape harvest will fail and the gathering will not come. 11Tremble, you women at ease! Shudder, you complacent ones! Strip and make yourselves bare, and put sackcloth on your waist. 12Beat your breasts lamenting for pleasant fields, for fruitful vine, 13for the land of my people, where thorns and briars come up, for all the joyful houses of the jubilant city. 14For the palace will be abandoned; the bustling city will be deserted; the citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever, a delight of wild donkeys, a pasture for flocks, 15until the Ruach is poured out on us from on high, and the desert becomes a garden, and a garden seems like a forest. 16Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the garden. 17The result of righteousness will be shalom and the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. 18My people will live in a peaceful place, in secure dwellings, quiet resting places. 19Then hail will flatten the forest; and the city will be utterly laid low. 20Blessed are you, sowing by all waters, letting the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.

–from Isaiah 32

Will you call upon God for help? Will you trust Him in the midst of the storms of life?

Your Right Hand Delivers Me

1Of David. I praise You with all my heart. In the presence of the mighty I will sing praises to You. 2I bow down toward Your holy Temple and praise Your Name for Your love and Your faithfulness. For You—magnified above all Your Name and Your word. 3On the day I called, You answered me. You made me bold with strength in my soul. 4All the kings of the earth will praise You, Adonai, when they hear Your mouth’s speech. 5So they will sing of the ways of Adonai, for great is the glory of Adonai. 6For though Adonai is exalted, yet He looks upon the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar. 7Though I walk amid trouble, You revive me. You stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand delivers me. 8Adonai will fulfill His purpose for me. Your lovingkindness, Adonai, endures forever. Do not abandon the work of Your hands.

–from Psalms 138

Will you humble yourself in order to show your trust in God? Will  you be a servant leader in order to show your trust in God? Will you trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Will you trust God with the seeds you have scattered? Will you trust God with the seeds you have watered? Will you trust that God will make them grow?

Miriam Anoints the Messiah

1Six days before Passover, Yeshua came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Yeshua had raised from the dead. 2So they prepared a dinner there for Yeshua. Martha was serving, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3Then Miriam took a pound of very expensive oil of pure nard and anointed Yeshua’s feet, and she wiped His feet dry with her hair. Now the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4But Judah from Kriot, one of His disciples, the one who was about to betray Him, said, 5“Why wasn’t this oil sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6Now he said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. Since he had the moneybox, he used to steal from what was put in it. 7Therefore Yeshua said, “Leave her alone! She set it aside for the day of My burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me.” 9Now a large crowd of Judeans knew He was there and came, not only for Yeshua but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10So the ruling kohanim made plans to kill Lazarus also, 11because on account of him many of the Jewish people were going and putting their trust in Yeshua.

Israel’s King Has Come

12The next day, the huge crowd that had come up for the feast heard that Yeshua was coming to Jerusalem. 13So they took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, “‘Hoshia-na! Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” 14Finding a young donkey, Yeshua sat on it, as it is written, 15“Fear not, Daughter of Zion! Look! Your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” 16His disciples did not understand these things at first. But when Yeshua was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that the crowd had done these things for Him. 17So the crowd, which had been with Yeshua when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, kept on telling everyone about it. 18It was also for this reason that the crowd came out to meet Him, because they heard that He had performed this sign. 19So the Pharisees said to each other, “You see that you can’t do anything. Look, the whole world has taken off after Him!”

Fallen Seed Produces a Harvest

20Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast. 21These came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in the Galilee. “Sir,” they said, “we want to see Yeshua.” 22Philip comes and tells Andrew; Andrew and Philip come and tell Yeshua. 23Yeshua answers them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified! 24Amen, amen I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it produces much fruit. 25He who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it forever. 26If any man serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there also will My servant be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. 27“Now My soul is troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But it was for this reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify Your name!” Then a voice came out of heaven, “I have glorified it, and again I will glorify it!” 29Therefore the crowd that was standing there and heard it was saying that it had thundered. Others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.” 30Yeshua responded, “This voice hasn’t come for My sake, but for yours. 31Now is the judgment of this world! Now the prince of this world will be driven out! 32And as I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.” 33He said this to show the kind of death He was about to die. 34The crowd answered Him, “We’ve heard from Scripture that the Messiah remains forever. How can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

Choose Either the Light or the Darkness

35Therefore Yeshua said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness will not overtake you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he is going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become sons of light.” Yeshua spoke these things, then left and hid Himself from them. 37But even though He had performed so many signs before them, they weren’t trusting in Him. 38This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet, who said, “Adonai, who has believed our report? To whom has the arm of Adonai been revealed?” 39For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah also said, 40“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they might not see with their eyes nor understand with their hearts and turn back, and I would heal them.” 41Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke of Him. 42Nevertheless many, even among the leaders, put their trust in Him. But because of the Pharisees, they were not confessing Yeshua, so they would not be thrown out of the synagogue; 43for they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God. 44Yeshua cried out, “Whoever puts trust in Me believes not in Me but in the One who sent Me! 45And whoever beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me. 46As light I have come into the world, so that everyone who trusts in Me should not remain in darkness. 47“If anyone hears My words but doesn’t keep them, I do not judge him; for I came to save the world, not to judge the world. 48The one who rejects Me and doesn’t receive My words has a judge; the word I spoke will judge him on the last day. 49For I did not speak on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and speak. 50And I know that His commandment is life everlasting. Therefore what I say, I say just as the Father has told Me.”

–from John 12

So will you help clean up? Will you get started in your own heart? in your own home? in your own community? in your own country? Start looking inward – get the plank out of your own eye before trying to take the speck out of the eye of another.

Removing the “Hametz” from Your House

1It is actually reported that among you there is sexual immorality, and such immorality as is not even among the pagans—that someone has his father’s wife. 2And you are puffed up! Shouldn’t you have mourned instead, so that the one who did this deed might be removed from among you? 3For even though I am absent in body, I am present in spirit—I have already passed judgment on the one who has done this thing, as though I were present. 4When you are gathered together in the name of our Lord Yeshua, I am with you in spirit. With the power of our Lord Yeshua, 5you are to turn such a fellow over to satan for the destruction of his fleshly nature, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Yeshua. 6Your boasting is no good. Don’t you know that a little hametz leavens the whole batch of dough? 7Get rid of the old hametz, so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened—for Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us celebrate the feast not with old hametz, the hametz of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread—the matzah of sincerity and truth. 9I wrote to you in my letter not to mix together with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the sexually immoral people of this world or the greedy or swindlers or idolaters, for then you would have to exit the world. 11But now I am writing to you not to mix together with anyone who is being called a brother if he is sexually immoral or greedy or an idolater or a slanderer or a drunkard or a swindler—not even to eat with such a fellow. 12For what business do I have judging outsiders? Don’t you judge those who are inside? 13But those who are outside, God judges. Put away the wicked fellow from among yourselves.

–from 1 Corinthians 5

 

 

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What legacy do you want to leave?


Are you interested in the one? Are you interested in yourself? Are you interested in others? Are you interested in helping one? Are you interested in helping a multitude?

Will you give them fish to help them for a day? Will you teach them to fish and help them for a lifetime? Will you help them build a fish pond and set them up to help generations to come?

What are you saying? What are you doing? Is it a matter of the heart or are you just going through the motions and not really in it? Do you believe? Are you pretending? What’s it going to take for it to be real? Are you acting out of love? Are you acting out of fear?

God sees beyond the surface! God knows your heart! God knows your every thought! Nothing is hidden from Him!

Why not turn back to Jesus! Why not invite Him into your life? Why not allow Him into your heart? Why not follow after Him and His lead and His example? Be transformed! Be renewed! And be for real! No more acting! Be true! No more pretending! Be real!

This world needs you to be! Live in a way that will leave a legacy! Be transformed! Bring transformation around you!


Today’s reading continues in the book of Isaiah…

Night Vision of Ariel

1Oy , Ariel, Ariel! City where David camped. Year to year again—festivals in a cycle. 2But I will distress Ariel. There will be lamenting and moaning— then will she be like Ariel to Me? 3I will encamp against you all around, I will set up siege-works against you and will raise up ramps against you. 4You will be brought low, you will speak from the ground. From the dust where you are prostrate your speech will come. Your voice will be like a ghost out of the ground, and your speech will whisper out of the dust. 5Yet the multitude of your foes will become like fine dust, and the multitude of the terrifying like chaff that passes away. It will happen in an instant, suddenly. 6You will be visited by Adonai-Tzva’ot with thunder, earthquake, huge noise, whirlwind and storm-wind, and the flame of a consuming fire. 7It will be like a dream, a night vision: the multitude of all the nations warring against Ariel, yes, all warring against her, the ramparts around her and her besiegers. 8It will be like a hungry man dreaming and behold, he is eating, but awakes with his hunger unsatisfied, or like a thirsty man dreaming and behold, he is drinking, but awakes faint, his soul thirsting. So it will be with the multitude of all the nations warring against Mount Zion. 9Wait, and be astounded! Blind yourselves, and be blind! Drunk, but not with wine, Stagger, but not with strong drink. 10For Adonai has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep, and has shut your eyes—the prophets, and covered your heads—the seers. 11So this entire vision is for you like the words of a sealed scroll, which they give to one who knows books, saying, “Read this, please,” but he says, “I can’t, because it’s sealed.” 12Then the scroll is given to one who does not know books, saying, “Read this, please,” but he says, “I don’t know books.” 13So Adonai says, “Since these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, yet their hearts are far from Me, and their fear of Me is a mitzvah taught by men. 14Therefore, behold, once more I will do a marvelous work among this people— a marvel and a wonder— so the wisdom of their wise will perish, and the discernment of their discerning will be concealed.” 15Oy , those who go to great depths to hide their plans from Adonai! Their works are in the dark. They say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” 16Your perversity! Should the potter be regarded the same as the clay? Should the thing made say to its maker, “You did not make me”? Or the thing formed say of its former, “You have no understanding?” 17Will it not be just a very little while before Lebanon turns into a garden, and a garden will seem like a forest? 18In that day the deaf will hear words of a book, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 19The meek will add to their joy in Adonai, and the needy of humanity will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20For the ruthless will come to an end and the scorner will be finished, and all watching to do evil cut off. 21Those who make a man out to be guilty with a word, and trap him who reproves at the gate, and deny justice with meaninglessness. 22Therefore, thus says Adonai, Redeemer of Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: “Jacob will no longer be ashamed, no longer will his face grow pale; 23for when he sees his children, the work of My hands in his midst, they will sanctify My Name; they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24Those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur will learn instruction.”

–from Isaiah 29

Wondering where to start? Wondering where to turn? Wondering where to go?

Turn to God! Ask Jesus into your heart! Ask Him to give you eyes to see and ears to hear! Ask Him to give you wisdom! Open His Word! Read His Word daily! Open the Bible! Don’t have one and want one? You can read it online at http://bible.com! You can read it on your phone by getting the Bible app at http://bible.com/app! You can get paper versions at bookstores or contact a local church or ask a friend (if they are like me, they have several)! It’s God’s love letter to us! It’s a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path! It’s a book of wisdom, instruction, direction, hope, love! (more free resources…)

No Help In Egypt

1“Oy , the rebellious children” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “Who carry out a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Ruach, so they may add sin to sin, 2who go down to Egypt, but did not consult Me, to take refuge in Pharaoh’s stronghold, to seek shelter in Egypt’s shadow. 3Therefore Pharaoh’s stronghold will become your shame, and the shelter in Egypt’s shadow will become your disgrace. 4For though their princes are at Zoan and their ambassadors reach Hanes, 5they will all be ashamed of a people who cannot profit them. They are neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace.” 6The burden concerning the beasts of the Negev: Through a land of trouble and anguish, in which are lioness and lion, viper and flying serpent, they are carrying their riches on the backs of young donkeys, their treasures on camel humps, to a people who cannot profit them. 7Egypt’s help is futile and pointless. Therefore I have called her “Rahab who just sits.”

Witness Against False Prophets

8Now go, write it on a tablet for them and inscribe it in a scroll, so that it may be as a witness for the last day, forever. 9For this is a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to obey the Torah of Adonai. 10They say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right. Speak to us smooth words. Prophesy illusions. 11Get out of the way! Turn away from the path! Let’s hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” 12Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: “Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and rely on perversity, 13therefore this sin will be to you like a crack bulging in a high wall, about to fall— its collapse comes suddenly, in an instant! 14Its collapse is like smashing a clay jar, so ruthlessly shattered that a shard will not be found among the pieces to take fire from the hearth or scoop water from the cistern.”

Longing to Be Gracious

15For thus says Adonai Elohim, the Holy One of Israel: “By repentance and rest you are saved, in quietness and trust is your strength— but you were not willing.” 16But you said, “No, we will flee on horses!” Therefore you will flee. And, “We will ride on swift horses!” Therefore your pursuers will be swift. 17A thousand will flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you will flee, until you are left like a flag on the top of a mountain, and like a banner on a hill. 18Therefore Adonai is longing to be gracious to you. Thus He will be exalted, so He may have mercy on you. For Adonai is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him. 19For the people of Zion who are dwelling in Jerusalem will weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. When He hears you, He will answer. 20Though Adonai gives you the bread of adversity and the water of oppression, your teachers will no longer be hidden, but your eyes will see your teachers. 21Your ears will hear a word behind you saying: “This is the way, walk in it. When you turn to the right, or when you turn to the left.” 22You will defile your graven images overlaid with silver, and your metal images covered with gold. You will throw them away like a menstrual cloth. You will say, “Be gone!” 23Then He will give you rain for your seed, which you will sow in the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in wide-open pasture. 24The oxen and the young donkeys that till the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and pitchfork. 25There will be, on every high mountain and on every lofty hill, streams running with water— on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter— like the light of seven days— in the day Adonai binds up the brokenness of His people, and heals the wounds He inflicted. 27Look, Adonai’s Name comes from afar, burning with His anger, in thick rising smoke, His lips full of indignation, His tongue like a consuming fire, 28His Ruach like an overflowing torrent rising up to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of the worthless, to put in the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads away. 29You will have songs as in the night when you keep a holy festival, and gladness of heart like one walking with the flute to go to the mountain of Adonai, to the Rock of Israel.

Punishing Rod

30Adonai will make His glorious voice heard, and reveal His arm descending with fierce fury in a consuming fire, in cloudburst, rainstorm and hailstones. 31For at the voice of Adonai, Assyria will be terrified— when He strikes with the rod. 32Every stroke of His punishing rod that Adonai brings down on him —with tambourines and harps, and battles brandishing His arm— He will fight against them. 33For Topheth has long been ready, prepared for the king, its fire pit made deep and wide, a pyre of fire with plenty of wood. The breath of Adonai, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it aflame.

–from Isaiah 30

We don’t have to be stuck in our old ways! We can choose to have a new start! We can choose to be born again! We can choose to be transformed! We can ask Jesus in and allow His hope to fill us up! We can leave the past where it belongs behind us! We can stop allowing setbacks to define us and just let them be a setup for a comeback! We need to put our trust in God! We need to start a living relationship with Jesus! And then let’s move forward transformed for the glory of God! While you are living, it’s never too late to start believing in Jesus! So why not you? Why not now? Why not right where you are right now?

Jesus gave His life on the cross so that we can live! Don’t allow it to be for nothing! Receive it!

Lazarus Is Dead

1Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Miriam and her sister Martha. 2This was the same Miriam who anointed the Master with perfume and wiped His feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. 3So the sisters sent a word to Yeshua, saying, “Master, the one you love is sick!” 4When Yeshua heard this, He said, “This sickness will not end in death. It is for God’s glory, so that Ben-Elohim may be glorified through it.” 5Now Yeshua loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6However, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for two more days. 7Then after this, He said to His disciples, “Let’s go up to Judea again.” 8“Rabbi,” the disciples say to Him, “just now the Judean leaders were trying to stone You! And You’re going back there again?” 9Yeshua answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours in the day? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of the world. 10But if a man should walk around at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11After He said this, He tells them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I’m going there to wake him up.” 12So the disciples said to Him, “Master, if he has fallen asleep, he will get better.” 13Now Yeshua had spoken about his death, but they thought He was talking about ordinary sleep. 14Then Yeshua told them clearly, “Lazarus is dead! 15I’m glad for your sake I wasn’t there, so that you may believe. Anyway, let’s go to him!” 16Then Thomas called the Twin said to the other disciples, “Let’s go too, so that we may die with Him!”

Comforting the Mourners

17So when Yeshua arrived, He discovered that Lazarus had been in the tomb already for four days. 18Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19and many of the Judeans had come to Martha and Miriam to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Yeshua was coming, she went out to meet Him; but Miriam sat in the house. 21Martha said to Yeshua, “Master, if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died! 22But I know, even now, that whatever You may ask of God, He will give You.” 23Yeshua said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to Him, “I know, he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Yeshua said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life! Whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, shall live. 26And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27She says to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, Ben-Elohim who has come into the world.” 28After she said this, she left and secretly told her sister Miriam, “The Teacher is here, and He’s calling for you.” 29As soon as Miriam heard, she quickly got up and was coming to Him. 30Now Yeshua had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met Him. 31The Judeans, who were with Miriam in the house and comforting her, seeing how quickly she got up and went out, followed her. They thought she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32So when Miriam came to where Yeshua was, she saw Him and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died!” 33When Yeshua saw her weeping, and the Judeans who came with her weeping, He was deeply troubled in spirit and Himself agitated. 34“Where have you laid him?” He asked. “Come and see, Master,” they tell Him. 35Yeshua wept. 36So the Judeans said, “See how He loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Couldn’t this One, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have also kept this man from dying?”

Yeshua’s Word Raises the Dead

38So Yeshua, again deeply troubled within Himself, comes to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Yeshua says, “Roll away the stone!” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to Him, “Master, by this time he stinks! He’s been dead for four days!” 40Yeshua says to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they rolled away the stone. Yeshua lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard Me. 42I knew that You always hear Me; but because of this crowd standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43And when He had said this, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44He who had been dead came out, wrapped in burial clothes binding his hands and feet, with a cloth over his face. And Yeshua tells them, “Cut him loose, and let him go!”

Better that One Man Die

45Therefore many of the Judeans, who had come to Miriam and had seen what Yeshua had done, put their trust in Him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Yeshua had done. 47So the ruling kohanim and Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we doing?” they asked. “This Man is performing many signs! 48If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our holy place and our nation.” 49But one of them, Caiaphas, who was kohen gadol that year, said to them, “You know nothing! 50You don’t take into account that it is better for you that one man die for the people rather than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” 51Now he did not say this by himself; but as the kohen gadol that year, he prophesied that Yeshua would die for the nation. 52And not for the nation only, but also so that He might gather together into one the scattered children of God. 53So from that day on, they plotted to kill Him. 54Therefore Yeshua no longer walked openly among the Judeans, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with His disciples. 55Now the Jewish Passover was near; and many people went up out of the regions to Jerusalem before Passover, to purify themselves. 56So they were searching for Yeshua, saying to one another as they stood in the Temple, “What do you think? Won’t He come to the feast at all?” 57Now the ruling kohanim and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it so that they might arrest Him.

–from John 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you trust what you are standing on?


What do you believe? What is your foundation? What is the basis for your belief? Is it solid? Is it dependable? Is it reliable? Can you trust it? Can it hold you up? Can you align to it? Are you able to walk out life because of it? Are you able to know how to live because of it? Are you able to get answers? Are you able to find hope? Are you expectant of what is yet to come? Does it set a standard that is high? Does it raise the bar? Are you able to call out? Are you able to know that the best is yet to come for you?

Is your foundation Jesus Christ? Is your cornerstone Jesus Christ?


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…

Trust the Rock of Ages

1In that day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city. He appoints salvation as its walls and ramparts. 2Open the gates! Let the righteous nation enter— one that keeps faith. 3You keep in perfect peace one whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. 4Trust in Adonai forever, for the Lord Adonai is a Rock of ages. 5For He humbles those dwelling on high, leveling the lofty city, leveling it to the ground, bringing it down to the dust. 6Feet will trample it down, feet of the afflicted, the footsteps of the poor. 7The way of the righteous is straight. Upright One, You make smooth the path of the righteous. 8Yes, in the way of Your judgments, Adonai, we have waited for You. Your Name and Your remembrance is the desire of our soul. 9My soul longs for You at night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You. For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 10Though grace is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness. Even in a land of uprightness he will act wrongly, not perceiving the majesty of Adonai. 11Adonai, Your hand is lifted up, yet they do not see it; They will see Your zeal for the people and be put to shame. Yes, fire will devour Your enemies.

Your Dead Will Live!

12Adonai, You will establish shalom for us, for all our works You have done for us. 13Adonai Eloheinu, other lords beside You have had dominion over us, but we remember Your Name alone. 14The dead do not live— dead souls do not rise. Thus You punished and destroyed them and wiped out all memory of them. 15You have increased the nation, Adonai, You have increased the nation. You are glorified as You have expanded all the borders of the land. 16Adonai, they sought You in distress, they poured out a whispered prayer when Your discipline was upon them. 17As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so we were before You, Adonai. 18We have been with child, we have been in pain, yet we gave birth to wind. We are accomplishing no deliverance for the earth, nor are inhabitants of the world coming to life. 19Yet it will be: “Your dead will live! My corpses will rise! Awake and shout for joy, you who dwell in the dust! Your dew is like the dew of the dawn. The land of dead souls will come to life! 20Go, my people, enter your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide for a little while, until the wrath is past. 21For behold, Adonai is coming out from His place to punish inhabitants of the earth for iniquity. The earth will disclose her bloodshed, no longer covering up her slain.

–from Isaiah 26

Who do you depend on? Who do you rely on? Who are you leaning on? Are you leaning on God rather than your own understanding? Is your hope and trust in God? Is God your strength? Do you realize that in your weakness God will be your strength? Jesus is coming back! God’s plan is one of redemption for those who choose to follow Him! God’s plan is one of forgiveness for those who choose to follow Him! Will you choose to follow Jesus? Will you invite Him into your heart?

Leviathan the Dragon

1In that day Adonai will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent with His fierce, great, strong sword, Leviathan the twisted serpent! He will slay the dragon in the sea.

Second Song of the Vineyard

2“In that day sing to her, ‘A vineyard of delight!’ 3I, Adonai, watch over it, I water it every moment. I guard it day and night, so that no one may harm it. 4It is not that I have wrath. Who would give me thorns and thistles? Into battle I would march against them! I would burn them up altogether! 5Rather let them rely on My strength. Let them make peace with Me— make peace with Me.”

Israel Will Blossom Again

6In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit. 7Did He strike Israel as He struck those who struck them? Or were they slain as their slayers were slain? 8You contended with her by banishing her, by driving her away. With His fierce wind He expelled them on the day of the east wind. 9So by this will Jacob’s sin be atoned and this the full price to remove his sin: When he makes all the altar stones like shattered chalk stones, so that the Asherah poles and incense rise no more. 10The fortified city is a lonely habitation, forlorn and forsaken like the desert. There the calf will graze, there lie down and consume its branches. 11When the boughs are withered, they will be broken off. Women come and set them on fire, for it is a people of no understanding. Therefore their Maker will show them no mercy—He who formed them will give them no grace. 12It will come about in that day, Adonai will thresh from the channel of the River to the Wadi of Egypt, and you will be gathered one by one, Bnei-Yisrael. 13It will also come about in that day, a great shofar will be blown. Those perishing in the land of Assyria and the exiles in the land of Egypt will come and worship Adonai on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

–from Isaiah 27

Do you realize the importance of the cornerstone in building up? It ensures that everything is aligned! It ensures everything is in its right place! It ensure that you can build up in strength on that solid foundation! Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb! He came as the sacrificial lamb to give His all that we might be saved! He came as the lamb who showed us how to live a servant’s life! He came to be an example for us to follow! He is coming back as the Lion to finish things off! He will come back to complete the work! He has already won the battle against death! He will come back as we read in the book of Revelation so that the new heaven and the new earth will come! He will come back as we read in the book of Revelation and we will all live together in harmony with Him!

Will you choose to spend eternity with God? Will you choose to spend eternity apart from God?

Will you choose to align with Jesus? Will you let Jesus be your solid foundation? Will you listen to His instruction? Will you align to His way? Will you live a transformed life?

A Cornerstone of Zion

1Oy , the proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks! Its glorious beauty is a fading flower, which is at the head of the fertile valleys of those overcome with wine! 2Behold, Adonai is strong and mighty, like a hailstorm, a destructive tempest, like a downpour of overflowing water, He hurls it down to earth with His hand. 3The proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks will be trampled underfoot. 4The glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the fertile valley, like a first-ripe fig before summer— whoever sees it, swallows it up while it is still in his palm. 5In that day Adonai-Tzva’ot will be a crown of glory, a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people, 6a spirit of judgment for him who sits on the judgment seat, and strength for those turning back the battle at the gate. 7But these also reel from wine and stagger from strong drink —the kohen and the prophet reel from strong drink— are confused because of wine, they stagger because of strong drink, they are muddled in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8Since all the tables are full of the filth of vomit, no place is left. 9To whom will He teach knowledge? To whom will He explain the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast? 10For it must be ‘precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.’ 11For through stammering lips and a foreign tongue He will speak to this people, 12To whom He said, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary, here is repose”— but they would not listen. 13So the word of Adonai is to them ‘precept on precept, precept on precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.’ So they walk, and fall backward, and are broken, trapped, and captured. 14Therefore hear the word of Adonai, you scoffers, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem: 15“Because you have said, ‘We cut a covenant with death, we made a pact with Sheol, so when the overflowing scourge passes through, it won’t come for us, for we have made lies our refuge, and hid ourselves in falsehood’— 16Therefore thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone, a firm foundation— whoever trusts will not flee in haste. 17But I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line. Hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and water will overflow the hiding place. 18Your covenant with death is annulled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand. An overflowing scourge will pass through and you will be its trampling place. 19 As often as it passes through, it will seize you—morning by morning, by day and by night passing through. It will be sheer terror to understand the message.’” 20For too short is the bed to stretch on, too narrow the blanket to wrap up in. 21For Adonai will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will quake with awe as at the valley of Gibeon, to do His deed, His strange deed, and to work His work, His extraordinary work. 22So now, stop your scoffing, lest your shackles be strengthened! For I have heard from Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot of destruction determined upon the whole land. 23Give ear and hear my voice! Pay attention and hear my words. 24Does a plowman plow all day to sow the seed? Does he continually break open and harrow his ground? 25No! When he has leveled its surface, he scatters dill and sows cumin, plants wheat in rows, places barley, and rye on its border. 26For his God teaches him judgment, instructing him. 27For dill is not threshed with a sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin. Rather, dill is beaten out with a staff, and cumin with a rod. 28Bread grain is crushed, but not endlessly. Rumbling cart wheels and horses over it would only crush it to powder. 29This also comes from Adonai-Tzva’ot: Wonderful is His counsel, great is His wisdom.

–from Isaiah 28

So will you stop to listen? Will you actively listen to what God is saying to you? Will you receive it? Will you accept it? Will you set it as your foundation? Will you align to the cornerstone? Will you build your life up upon it? Will you be different? Will you live different from the ways of the world? Will you make a difference in the world around you?

Will you follow after Jesus? Will you obey His command? Will you live the life of a servant? When you lead will you lead as a servant? When you work will you work as a servant? When you go, will you go as a servant? Will you stand firm on the foundation that is Jesus Christ? Will you choose to believe? Will you choose to obey? Will you choose to serve and be Jesus’ hands extended to the world around you?

Will you walk in the light? Will you be like the moon who we see because it reflects the light of the sun? Will you reflect the light of the Son to the world around you?

The Faithful Hear the Shepherd’s Voice

1“Amen, amen I tell you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice. The shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4“When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them; and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Yeshua told them this parable, but they did not understand what He was telling them. 7So Yeshua said again, “Amen, amen I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All those who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate! If anyone comes in through Me, he will be saved. He will come and go and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly! 11“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12The hired worker is not the shepherd, and the sheep are not his own. He sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees. Then the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep. 13The man is only a hired hand and does not care about the sheep. 14“I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, 15just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not from this fold; those also I must lead, and they will listen to My voice. So there shall be one flock, one Shepherd. 17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, so that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.” 19Again a division arose among the Judeans because of these words. 20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon. He’s insane! Why listen to Him?” 21Others said, “These are not the sayings of someone who is plagued by a demon. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can it?”

Some Despise the Light and Harden

22Then came Hanukkah; it was winter in Jerusalem. 23Yeshua was walking in the Temple around Solomon’s Colonnade.24Then the Judean leaders surrounded Him, saying, “How long will You hold us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us outright!” 25Yeshua answered them, “I told you, but you don’t believe! The works I do in My Father’s name testify concerning Me. 26But you don’t believe, because you are not My sheep. 27My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. 28I give them eternal life! They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. And no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” 31Again the Judean leaders picked up stones to stone Him. 32Yeshua answered them, “I’ve shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone Me?” 33The Judean leaders answered, “We aren’t stoning you for a good work, but for blasphemy. Though You are a man, You make Yourself God!” 34Yeshua answered them, “Isn’t it written in your Writings, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36do you say of Him, the One the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You speak blasphemy,’ because I said, ‘I am Ben-Elohim’? 37“If I don’t do the works of My Father, don’t believe Me! 38But if I do, even if you don’t trust Me, trust the deeds. Then you may come to know and continue to understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.” 39Therefore they tried to capture Him again, but He escaped from their hand. 40Again He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first started immersing, and He stayed there. 41Many people came to Him and were saying, “John performed no sign, but all John said about this man was true.” 42And many trusted in Him there.

–from John 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

You in a downward spiral? Know how to get out of it?


I remember years back when because of lies, broken promises, deception, I got bitter. Allowing yourself to get bitter is like taking poison and thinking the other person is going to somehow get impacted. Through that experience, I learned that the way to stop it and the key to turning it around is two fold. First we need to turn back to God and give it all up into His hands. Second we need to forgive them! Wit this combination the weight, the pressure, the pain, and the bitterness can all be released and free you from it all. It may sound easy, but it wasn’t easy for me. It took me about 3 months of the downward spiral before I was willing to listen to what God had to say. Every night there would be songs on the radio to forgive and I would battle God over it saying “but God you know what they’ve done to me” and wouldn’t give it up to Him and forgive them. But God’s Word tells us that the battle belongs to the Lord! God’s Word tells us that vengeance is the Lord’s! God’s Word tells us to forgive them! God’s Word tells us to bless those who persecute us, bless and do not curse! God’s Word tells us to bless our enemies – feed them if they are hungry, give them something to drink if they are thirsty! Don’t wait till you hit rock bottom before you look up to God! Remember this quote from Dr. Willie JolleyA setback is just a setup for a comeback!” By focusing on what is yet to come, we can be encouraged and trusting in what God’s Word promises! Jesus is coming back! We will be spending eternity with Him because of our decision to follow Him! And He hasn’t called us to heaven yet, so the best is yet to come!

So will you make the choice today to stop the downward spiral? Will you choose to forgive? Will you choose to let go of the bitterness? Will you choose to ask God to forgive you and to lead you and guide you forward? Will you allow that setback to be a setup for a comeback? Will you grab hold of the hope that the best is yet to come?


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…We need to be light and salt and helping this world around us to turn back to God and to see who He really is. We need to help them turn back to God before they have to deal with the consequences of having walked out from out of the covering of Jesus. We need to help them to come back home where we have protection. We need to help them to turn back to God and be filled with hope before it is too late…We want them to be part of the celebration during the end times…

Curse of Empty Land

1Behold, Adonai makes the land empty and makes it waste, twists its face, and scatters its inhabitants. 2So it shall be: as with the people, so with the kohen, as with a servant, so with his master, as with a maid, so with her mistress, as with a buyer, so with the seller, as with a lender, so with the borrower, as with a creditor, so with the debtor. 3The land will be utterly emptied, and totally plundered. For Adonai has spoken this word. 4The land faints and fades away, The world wilts and fades away, The exalted people of the earth wilt. 5The land is polluted by its inhabitants, for they have transgressed Torah, violated statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant. 6Therefore a curse will devour the land. Those dwelling there are found guilty. Therefore the inhabitants of the land will be burned up, so the people remaining are few. 7The new wine fails, the vine wilts, all the merry-hearted sigh. 8The glee of tambourines stops, the noise of revelers ends, the joy of the harp ceases. 9They no longer drink wine with song. Liquor is bitter to those drinking it. 10The shattered city is in chaos. Every house is shut up, none may enter. 11In the streets is an outcry for wine; all joy becomes dark as evening; the mirth of the land is banished. 12The city is left in ruins; the gate is battered down.

Last Days’ Judgments

13So will it be in the earth and among the nations, as when shaking an olive tree, or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest. 14They will raise their voices, They will sing for joy, of the majesty of Adonai they shout from the sea. 15‘Therefore glorify Adonai in the east, the Name of Adonai, the God of Israel, in the isles of the sea. 16From the ends of the earth we have heard songs: “Glory to the righteous!” But I say, “I waste away, I waste away! Oy to me! Traitors betray! With treachery traitors betray!” 17Panic, pit and trap are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth. 18And it shall come to pass: whoever flees from the sound of panic will fall in the pit, and whoever climbs up out of the pit will be caught in the trap. For the windows of heaven are opened and the foundations of the earth shake. 19The earth is broken apart, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken utterly. 20The earth reels to and fro like a drunk, and sways like a hut. its transgression is so heavy upon it that it will fall and never rise again. 21It will come about in that day, Adonai will punish the host of heaven on high, and the kings of the earth on the earth. 22They will be gathered together, like prisoners in the Pit, and will be shut up in the prison, and after many days be punished. 23Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, for Adonai-Tzva’ot will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before His elders, gloriously.

–from Isaiah 24

We need them to realize they have a choice! We need them to realize that their choice makes a difference! We need them to know that their choices have a long lasting impact on what is yet to come! We need them to know that they should choose sooner rather than later in order to avoid even more challenging times than God desires for them to go through! We need them to know that right now, today, there is a choice to be made! We need them to know that they don’t have to wait, but they can make a decision today that will impact their lives into eternity!

Will you choose to ask Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior?

Last Days’ Deliverance

1Adonai, You are my God, I will exalt You, I will praise Your Name, for You have done wonderful things, plans of old with steadfast faithfulness. 2For You have made a city into a heap, a fortified city into a ruin, a foreigner’s palace a city no more— never to be rebuilt. 3Therefore a strong people will honor You. Cities of ruthless nations will fear You. 4For You have been a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy in distress, a refuge from the rainstorm, a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against the wall. 5Like heat in a dry place, You subdue the roar of foreigners. Like heat in the shade of a cloud, the song of tyrants is brought low. 6On this mountain, Adonai-Tzva’ot will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples— a banquet of aged wine— of rich food, of choice marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7On this mountain He will swallow up the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the veil spread over all nations. 8He will swallow up death forever. my Lord Adonai will wipe away tears from every face. He will remove His people’s reproach from all the earth. For Adonai has spoken. 9It will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God, We waited for Him—He will save us. This is Adonai—we waited for Him. We will rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” 10For the hand of Adonai will rest on this mountain. Moab will be trampled under Him, as straw is trampled in a manure pile. 11When he spreads his hands in it as a swimmer spreads his hands to swim, his pride will be brought down low together with the trickery of his hands. 12He will level your high-fortified walls, lay them low, and cast them down to the ground, down to dust.

–from Isaiah 25

Everyone has that spot that they try or have tried to fill with stuff. Everyone has that spot that feels or has felt empty. Everyone has a choice on temporarily filling the spot or permanently inviting Jesus into it and allow His Spirit to move in. Are you just living in the moment or living for eternity? Are you living for a temporary high or living with the hope that the best is yet to come? Are you living on the rollercoaster of emotions? Where does your hope and trust come from? Who can you trust? Turn back to God! He is waiting for you! He is waiting and ready and willing to help you get back in place and back on track! He will rejoice and celebrate upon your return! Just like in the story of the Lost Son or the Prodigal Son, God is ready to receive you and lift you back up! Don’t be downcast! Allow the fountain of living water to come into your life!

My Soul Thirsts for God

1For the music director, a contemplative song of the sons of Korah. 2As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. 3My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and appear before God? 4My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day: “Where is your God?” 5These things I remember as I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go along with the throng, walking with them to the House of God, with a voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping a festival. 6Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you murmuring within me? Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, for the salvation of His presence. 7My God, my soul is downcast within me! Therefore I remember You from the land of Jordan and from the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mitzar. 8Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls. All Your waves and breakers have swept over me. 9By day Adonai commands His love, and at night His song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. 10I will say to God my Rock: “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go about mourning, under the oppression of the enemy?” 11As with a crushing in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, by saying to me all day, “Where is your God?” 12Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you murmuring within me? Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, the salvation of my countenance and my God.

–from Psalms 42

Let’s open our eyes to see! Let’s be light that other people’s eyes will be opened to see too! Let’s be salt and light into this dark world! Let’s be people pointing to the truth! For the truth will set you free! If Jesus asks you to do something hard to be saved would you do it? If Jesus asked you to do something simple to be saved would you do it? What’s it going to take for you to believe?

Bringing Light to the Blind

1As Yeshua was passing by, He saw a man who had been blind since birth. 2His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” 3Yeshua answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. This happened so that the works of God might be brought to light in him. 4We must do the work of the One who sent Me, so long as it is day! Night is coming when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6Having said these things, He spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud on the blind man’s eyes. 7He told him, “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which is translated Sent). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing. 8Therefore his neighbors and those who had seen him as a beggar kept saying, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” 9“This is the one!” some said. “No, but it looks like him,” said others. But the man himself kept saying, “I am!” 10So they asked him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11He answered, “The Man who is called Yeshua made mud, rubbed it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went away and washed, and then I received my sight!” 12“Where is He?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said. 13They bring to the Pharisees the man who once was blind. 14Now the day was Shabbat when Yeshua made the mud and opened the man’s eyes. 15So again the Pharisees were asking him how he received his sight. He responded, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see!” 16So some of the Pharisees began saying, “This man isn’t from God, because He doesn’t keep Shabbat!” But others were saying, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So there was a split among them. 17Again they say to the blind man, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He’s a prophet.” 18So the Judean leaders didn’t believe that he had been blind and received his sight until they called his parents. 19They questioned them, “Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? Then how does he see now?” 20Then his parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21We don’t know how he now sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him—he’s old enough. He will speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Judean leaders. For the Judean leaders had already agreed that anyone who professed Yeshua to be Messiah would be thrown out of the synagogue. 23That’s why his parents said, “He’s old enough—ask him.” 24So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner!” 25The man replied, “I don’t know whether He’s a sinner. One thing I do know is that I was blind, but now I see!” 26So they asked him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” 27“I told you already and you didn’t listen!” the man responded. “What, do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become His disciples too, do you?” 28They railed at him and said, “You’re a disciple of that One, but we’re disciples of Moses! 29We know that God has spoken to Moses; but as for this fellow, we don’t know where He is from.” 30The man replied to them, “That’s amazing! You don’t know where He is from, yet He opened my eyes! 31We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners; but if anyone fears Him and does His will, He hears this one. 32Since the beginning of the world, no one has ever heard that anyone has opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, He couldn’t do anything.” 34They replied to him, “You were born completely in sin, and you’re teaching us?” And they threw him out.

Is Seeing Believing?

35Yeshua heard that they had thrown him out. Finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36The man answered, “Who is He, Sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in Him!” 37Yeshua said, “You have seen Him—He is the One speaking with you.” 38He said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him. 39Yeshua said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who don’t see may see, and the ones who do see may become blind.” 40Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard Him say this and asked, “We’re not blind too, are we?” 41Yeshua said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, ‘We see.’ So your sin remains.”

–from John 9

So let’s start living today like Jesus! Let’s imitate Him as we humbly serve others! Let’s imitate Him as we love and share with others! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to the people we will engage with today to ensure that He is exalted and lift up while the door is being opened to welcome others into the Kingdom of God! Let’s point people to the Son whose light we are reflecting in this world!

Learning to Imitate Messiah’s Emissary

1So let each one think of us in this way—as Messiah’s helpers and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2In this case, moreover, what is required of stewards is to be found trustworthy. 3But to me it matters very little to be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore do not judge anything before the time—wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the things hidden in darkness and also make clear the motives of the hearts. Then the praise for each one will come from God. 6Now I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so you might learn from us not to go beyond what is written. Then none of you will be puffed up in favor of one against the other. 7For who makes you different? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8Already you are full! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish you were kings, so we also might be kings with you! 9For it seems to me that God has put us, the emissaries, on display last of all—like men sentenced to death. For we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. 10We are fools for Messiah’s sake, but you are wise in Messiah! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, but we are dishonored! 11To this very hour we are both hungry and thirsty, dressed in rags and mistreated and homeless. 12We toil, working with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless. When we are persecuted, we endure. 13When we are slandered, we speak kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the dregs of all things—even to this moment. 14I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to warn you as my dearly loved children. 15For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Messiah, yet you do not have many fathers. For in Messiah Yeshua, I became your father through the Good News. 16I urge you therefore—be imitators of me. 17For this reason I have sent you Timothy, my dearly loved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Messiah, just as I teach everywhere in every community. 18Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing; and I will find out not the talk of those who are puffed up, but their power. 20For the kingdom of God does not consist of talk but of power. 21What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

–from 1 Corinthians 4

 

Where does your hope come from?


Where does your help come from? What do you believe? Whom do you follow? With who do you align? Are you walking with or walking away? Are you talking with or talking to or talking at? Are you managing or are you building a relationship? Do you see what is going on around you? Will you be salt and light and make a difference? Will you be positive and encouraging so that people turn back to God? Will you allow your life to shine so that people will glorify your Father in heaven? Will you trust in God no matter what? Will you have hope because you know that the best is yet to come? Yes in this world we will have troubles, but as Jesus tells us, “take heart for I have overcome the world“. Yes, we will face trials, but as God’s Word tells us, “consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds” not just for kicks or for giggles, but so that in and through them we will come thru the other end complete and lacking nothing. My hope is in Jesus! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! So don’t lose hope! Don’t lose faith! Trust in God! Don’t go it alone! Don’t try to do it your own way and in your own strength! Turn to God and follow after Him and His ways!


Today’s reading starts in Isaiah …

Vision of Jerusalem’s Catastrophe

1The burden of the Valley of Vision: What is the matter with you now? For you have gone up to the rooftops. 2You were full of noise, a boisterous city, an exultant town? Your dead were not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle. 3All your rulers have fled together, then captured without a bow. All who were caught were taken into exile together, though they had fled far off. 4Therefore I said, “Look away from me! Let me weep bitterly— don’t try to comfort me about the ruin of the daughter of my people.” 5For my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot has a day of panic, trampling and confusion— in the Valley of Vision— of tearing down a wall, a catastrophe on the mountain. 6Elam took up the quiver, with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. 7So it will come to pass that your choicest valleys will be full of chariots and horsemen posted at the gate. 8So He will expose Judah’s defense, and in that day you will look for the armor in the Forest House. 9Then you will see the breaches in the walls of the city of David—for they will be many—though you collect the water of the lower pool. 10Though you counted the houses of Jerusalem, you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11You even made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool—but you did not look to the Maker, or consider the One who planned it long before. 12Now in that day, Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot will call for weeping and wailing, for baldness and putting on sackcloth. 13But instead, there is joy and gladness, slaughtering cattle and killing sheep, meat and drinking wine! “Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die!” 14But Adonai-Tzva’ot revealed in my ears: “Surely this sin will not be atoned for until you die,” says my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot. 15Thus says my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot: “Go, say to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the house: 16‘What are you doing here, and who are you to be here, that you cut out a grave for yourself, carving out a tomb on the height, chiseling a crypt for yourself in the rock? 17Behold, strong man, Adonai is about to hurl you headlong, and seize you firmly. 18He will roll you up tightly and toss you like a ball into a large country. There you will die, and your glorious chariots will be the shame of your Master’s house. 19I will remove you from your post, and pull you down from your station. 20“In that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. 21I will clothe him in your robe and fasten your sash on him. I will give your authority into his hands, so he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22I will set the key of the house of David upon his shoulder—what he opens, no one can shut; what he shuts, and no one can open. 23I will fasten him as a peg in a firm place, and he will be a throne of honor to his father’s house. 24They will hang all the glory of his father’s house on him—offspring and posterity, all the small vessels, from bowls to all the jars. 25“In that day,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot, “the peg that was fastened in a firm place will give way, break away and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off.” For Adonai has spoken.

–from Isaiah 22

Let’s try to get our nation back on track. Let’s try to get it back in alignment with God’s Word, God’s Will and God’s Ways. Let’s not allow it to stray and have to deal with the consequences. Let’s put our hope and trust in God! Just as in the old testament, we have watched how people have had to get into pretty bad situations before they had the aha moments which got them to stop and turn back to God! I pray we don’t have to hit rock bottom before we do turn back to God as a nation! How bad do you need it to be before you will turn back? How bad do you need it to be before you start to intercede for others? How will you point people to the hope that is within you?

How much shaking will it take before God can get your attention? Sometimes it takes shaking things up to get your attention! Are you ready?

Shaking Tyre and Sidon

1The burden of Tyre. Wail, ships of Tarshish! For Tyre is destroyed. There is no house and no harbor. From the land of Cyprus, it was revealed to them. 2Be still, inhabitants of the coastland, you merchants of Sidon, your messengers crossing the sea. 3On many waters the grain of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile was her revenue and a marketplace of nations. 4Be ashamed, O Sidon. For the sea has spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, “I have not writhed or given birth. I have not reared young men or brought up maidens.” 5When the report reaches Egypt, they will be in anguish at the report about Tyre. 6Cross over to Tarshish. Wail, you inhabitants of the island! 7Is this your jubilant city? Whose antiquity is from long ago, whose feet have taken her to settle in far off lands? 8Who planned this against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of earth? 9Adonai-Tzva’ot has planned it, to defile the pride of all glory, to shame all the honored of earth. 10Overflow through your land like the Nile, O daughter of Tarshish! There is no restraint any more. 11His hand has stretched out over the sea, He has shaken the kingdoms. Adonai has given a commandment concerning Canaan, to destroy its strongholds. 12He said, “You will exult no more.” O crushed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, cross over to Cyprus— even there you will have no rest. 13Look, the land of the Chaldeans— this is the people who no longer exist. Assyria set it up for desert animals. They set up their siege towers; they stripped its palaces; they made it a ruin. 14Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For your stronghold is destroyed. 15Then it will come about in that day that Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years, like the days of one king. At the end of 70 years it will happen to Tyre just as in the song of the prostitute: 16“Take a harp, stroll about the city, forgotten harlot! Skillfully play many songs, so you may be remembered.” 17Then it will come about after the end of 70 years that Adonai will take note of Tyre. She will return to her trade and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Yet her profit and her wages will be set apart to Adonai. They will not be stored up or hoarded. For her profit will be for those who dwell in the presence of Adonai, as ample food and as fine clothing.

–from Isaiah 23

So will you turn to Jesus? Will you cry out to Jesus? Will you ask Him into your life? Will you ask Him into your heart? Will you pursue Him? Will follow after Him? Will you listen to Him? Will you be obedient to Him? Will you receive His mercies? Will you walk in His light? Will you reflect it into the world around you? Will you receive Him before it is too late? Will grab hold of the love and the hope He is offering? Will you love Him? He loves you so much He gave up His life on the cross to provide for forgiveness for you!

Mercy for a Sinful Woman

1But Yeshua went to the Mount of Olives. 2At dawn, He came again into the Temple. All the people were coming to Him, and He sat down and began to teach them. 3The Torah scholars and Pharisees bring in a woman who had been caught in adultery. After putting her in the middle, 4they say to Yeshua, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of committing adultery. 5In the Torah, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” 6Now they were saying this to trap Him, so that they would have grounds to accuse Him. But Yeshua knelt down and started writing in the dirt with His finger. 7When they kept asking Him, He stood up and said, “The sinless one among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Then He knelt down again and continued writing on the ground. 9Now when they heard, they began to leave, one by one, the oldest ones first, until Yeshua was left alone with the woman in the middle. 10Straightening up, Yeshua said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11“No one, Sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Yeshua said. “Go, and sin no more.”

The Light of the World

12Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows Me will no longer walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13Then the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself, so Your testimony is not valid.” 14Yeshua answered them, “Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is valid. For I know where I came from and where I am going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I am going. 15You judge according to the flesh, but I do not judge anyone. 16Yet even if I do judge, My judgment is true, because it is not I alone but I with the Father who sent Me. 17Even in your Torah it is written that the testimony of two men is true. 18I am one witness for Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness for Me.” 19Then they said to Him, “Where is your Father?” Yeshua answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you knew Me, you would also know My Father.” 20He spoke these words in the treasury while teaching in the Temple, but no one arrested Him because His hour had not yet come. 21Then again Yeshua spoke to them, “I am going away. You will look for Me and die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22“He won’t kill Himself, will He?” the Judeans asked. “Is that why He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23Yeshua said, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world 24Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. If you don’t believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”25So they asked Him, “Who are you?” Yeshua replied, “What have I been telling you from the beginning? 26I have much to say and judge about you. But the One who sent Me is true, and I tell the world what I heard from Him.” 27They didn’t understand that He was talking to them about the Father. 28So Yeshua said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am. I do nothing by Myself, but speak just what the Father has taught Me. 29The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to Him.” 30As He was speaking these things, many people put their trust in Him. 31Then Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly My disciples. 32You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!” 33They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s children and have never been slaves to anyone! How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now the slave does not remain in the household forever; the son abides forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed! 37I know you are Abraham’s children; yet you are trying to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38I tell of what I have seen with the Father; so also you do what you heard from the Father.” 39“Abraham is our father,” they replied to Him. Yeshua said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40But now you are seeking to kill Me—a Man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. This Abraham did not do! 41You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born as illegitimate children—we have one Father, God Himself!” 42Yeshua said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for from God I came and now I am here. For I have not come on My own, but He sent Me. 43Why don’t you understand My speech? Because you’re not able to hear My word! 44You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks lies he is just being himself—for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45“But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46Which one of you convicts Me of sinning? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe Me? 47He who belongs to God hears the words of God. The reason you don’t hear is because you do not belong to God.” 48The Judean leaders responded, “Aren’t we right to say you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49Yeshua answered, “I do not have a demon! I honor My Father, yet you dishonor Me. 50But I do not seek My own glory; there is One who is seeking and judging. 51Amen, amen I tell you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.” 52“Now we know You have a demon!” the Judean leaders said to Him. “Abraham and the prophets died. Yet You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste death.’ 53You are not greater than our father Abraham who died, are You? The prophets also died! Who do You make Yourself out to be?” 54Yeshua answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father who gives Me glory—the One of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55Yet you do not know Him, but I know Him. If I say I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you. Yet I do know Him and keep His Word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; he saw it and was thrilled.” 57Then the Judeans said to Him, “You’re not even fifty years old and you’ve seen Abraham?” 58Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, before Abraham was, I am!” 59Then they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Yeshua hid Himself and went out from the Temple.

–from John 8