I remember that year when God called me to start blogging. It was an interesting time as I was prepared to put together a blog where I would share family stuff with family and friends as a private site. But God called me to make it publish and so I told Him if I am to make it public, He needs to help me write it and give me topics and categories and content and …. and so He told me to blog about my morning readings. That year back in 2005, my reading began in the book of Revelation. And hence the name for the blog From 2005 to Eternity. When you start at the end of a book you learn how it will end. When you start at the end of the book you learn how the rest of the book will get wrapped up. In my case, I started at the end of the Bible and learned about the end and why I can have trust and hope for me, for my family, and for other believers in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I also learned about the importance and the urgency of sharing the love of God with the world around me in order that they may hear the Good News and make the decision for themselves to accept the gift of Jesus and start their own relationship with God! I realized that my blog was going from a casual update on the state of my family to other members of the family and friends to something the world needed to know and hear and learn and believe! I know where I will end up! I know I will be spending eternity with God! I know that I will get to see Jesus face to face! I know heaven is for real! I know many details about heaven! I also know that there will be people left behind who will still have a chance to choose to follow and receive Jesus after the believers are taken away from the earth. I know that there will be some who will choose after that point to believe and be saved. I know that there will be others who will still resist and battle against the truth of God. I know that God’s hope is that everyone will believe and be saved, but we each need to make that decision for ourselves. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His one and only son, that everyone who would believe in Him would not perish but would have everlasting life! He sent Jesus the first time not to condemn the world, but that through Him the world would be saved! So we need to believe in Jesus, we need to follow after Him, we need to be baptized in His name! I am confident in what I believe in! I know and trust that God’s Word is true! As I continue my journey God has given me glimpses into what I have to look forward to – like getting to see my other 2 daughters in heaven – during the reading of the book “Heaven is for real”. I still remember having the conversation about children with God as I felt a connection with Philip the evangelist who had 4 daughters that were prophetess based on my reading and my daughter at the time. I remember asking Him if I would have 4 daughters or if I would have a son, either way would be fine but just wondered. That morning my reading brought me to the story of Abraham and the promised son Isaac. Today we have 2 daughters and 1 son, but on that journey we had 2 pregnancies where we lost the babies. But I know now that I will get to see them and meet them in heaven! I know that they got to skip the trials and the journey on earth and spend eternity with God! I have an assurance of what I have not yet seen! God is good and alive! God is with us! God loves us! God’s plans are good! God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future! We need to make a decision! Have you chosen? Will you choose before it is too late? If you haven’t why not decide today and ask Jesus into your heart and into your life?
Be Confident About Your Future – Day 71: Bible In One Year 2017
Devotional. Psalm 33:1-11, Mark 16, Leviticus 25, Leviticus 26:1-13
- The plans of the Lord … Psalm 33:1-11
1Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
6By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7He gathers the waters of the sea into jars7 Or sea as into a heap;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
–from Psalm 33
Looking back as the psalmist does to the past, I am able to have confidence in the future! Looking back at the past, remembering what Jesus has done in and through my life gives me hope and confidence about the future! Looking back at what God has been able to do and teach me builds up my faith and trust that He is for me and not against He, He has a plan for me and it is good, He will never leave me nor abandon me, His plans will stand firm forever! Humans may make plans that may fail, but God’s plans are firm forever! If we are willing to partner with God and be obedient to the prompting of His Spirit, then we can make plans and God can guide our steps. And when we go off course, if we are willing to listen, He will get us back on track. So let’s not lose hope but rather let’s trust in Him, let’s praise Him, let’s worship Him, let’s be living sacrifices that show the world around us the greatness of our God! Let’s show His arms extended by the way we live! Let’s show His love by the way we live! Let’s reflect the love of God into the world around us so that we can shine for Him all the days of our lives!
2. The power of the resurrection … Mark 16:1-20
Jesus Has Risen
1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”
8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
9When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
12Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
14Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
–from Mark 16
I know that Jesus didn’t come to be served, but to serve! I know that Jesus came with a purpose on purpose to make a way where there didn’t seem to be a way! I know that Jesus came to teach us how to truly live and how to truly serve! I know that Jesus came and conquered the power of sin and of death by becoming the ultimate sacrifice! I know that He overcame the world and on the third day rose again! I know that He is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us! His sacrifice opened the way for us to enter into the Holy of Holies as the curtain tore when He gave up His spirit on the cross and removed the barrier allowing all of us the ability and opportunity to enter into the presence of God and start building a relationship with Him! We are all important to God! We are all created in the image of God! Jesus is real! Jesus is alive! The tomb is empty! Jesus wants to have an intimate relationship with you so that every day in every way, you are walking and talking with Him!
3. The promises of God … Leviticus 25:1-26:13
The Sabbath Year
1The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, 2“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. 3For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. 6Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, 7as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.
The Year of Jubilee
8“ ‘Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. 9Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. 11The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. 12For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.
13“ ‘In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property.
14“ ‘If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other. 15You are to buy from your own people on the basis of the number of years since the Jubilee. And they are to sell to you on the basis of the number of years left for harvesting crops. 16When the years are many, you are to increase the price, and when the years are few, you are to decrease the price, because what is really being sold to you is the number of crops. 17Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God.
18“ ‘Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. 19Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety. 20You may ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?” 21I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. 22While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in.
23“ ‘The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers. 24Throughout the land that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.
25“ ‘If one of your fellow Israelites becomes poor and sells some of their property, their nearest relative is to come and redeem what they have sold. 26If, however, there is no one to redeem it for them but later on they prosper and acquire sufficient means to redeem it themselves, 27they are to determine the value for the years since they sold it and refund the balance to the one to whom they sold it; they can then go back to their own property. 28But if they do not acquire the means to repay, what was sold will remain in the possession of the buyer until the Year of Jubilee. It will be returned in the Jubilee, and they can then go back to their property.
29“ ‘Anyone who sells a house in a walled city retains the right of redemption a full year after its sale. During that time the seller may redeem it. 30If it is not redeemed before a full year has passed, the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to the buyer and the buyer’s descendants. It is not to be returned in the Jubilee. 31But houses in villages without walls around them are to be considered as belonging to the open country. They can be redeemed, and they are to be returned in the Jubilee.
32“ ‘The Levites always have the right to redeem their houses in the Levitical towns, which they possess. 33So the property of the Levites is redeemable—that is, a house sold in any town they hold—and is to be returned in the Jubilee, because the houses in the towns of the Levites are their property among the Israelites. 34But the pastureland belonging to their towns must not be sold; it is their permanent possession.
35“ ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. 36Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. 37You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit. 38I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.
39“ ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves. 40They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. 41Then they and their children are to be released, and they will go back to their own clans and to the property of their ancestors. 42Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. 43Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.
44“ ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
47“ ‘If a foreigner residing among you becomes rich and any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to the foreigner or to a member of the foreigner’s clan, 48they retain the right of redemption after they have sold themselves. One of their relatives may redeem them: 49An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in their clan may redeem them. Or if they prosper, they may redeem themselves. 50They and their buyer are to count the time from the year they sold themselves up to the Year of Jubilee. The price for their release is to be based on the rate paid to a hired worker for that number of years. 51If many years remain, they must pay for their redemption a larger share of the price paid for them. 52If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, they are to compute that and pay for their redemption accordingly. 53They are to be treated as workers hired from year to year; you must see to it that those to whom they owe service do not rule over them ruthlessly.
54“ ‘Even if someone is not redeemed in any of these ways, they and their children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, 55for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
1“ ‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God.
2“ ‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.
3“ ‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. 5Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.
6“ ‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. 7You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.
9“ ‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.
–from Leviticus 26
What’s next on this earth? I am not sure, but I know that whatever comes my way, God will be with Him and He can use any of it for good! He can take what the devil plans for evil and turn it around for good! He can take what others may plan for evil and turn it around and use it for good! I have so many testimonies of what God has been able to do in and through me by the grace and to the glory of Jesus! Yes, in this world we will have troubles, but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world and hence we are able to have hope and the benefits here on earth even before the ultimate rewards of heaven and eternity with Him! Thanks to Jesus we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that by letting perseverance finish its work we can be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Let’s live lives of forgiveness! Being forgiven! Forgiving others! Being loved! Loving others! Serving one another! Let’s be considerate and honest to one another, treating everyone with the respect they deserve! Remember we don’t own anything and so we need to be good stewards of what God has given to us!