Will you allow God’s good plan to direct you?


God’s got a plan. He has a plan for you. Are you willing to receive it? Are you willing to hear it and follow it? Are you willing to hear it and walk it out? Are you willing to wait upon God in order to get the details you need for today’s part of the plan? Are you willing to start even if you don’t have the full plan?

I remember a time when at a men’s retreat God called me to join the board of the homeowners association. I knew he wanted me involved in the community but didn’t know what that would look like but out of obedience I stepped into it. I can only imagine the fear or doubt that could have or would have been there had I know what the next three years was going to look like. God gave me enough information to step up, step out, and start going in the direction He had planned. To think how over those years as secretary, vice-president, and then eventually president of a homeowners association for over ten thousand people, needing to change what roofing material would be allowed, what colors of pain would be allowed, how to handle the insurance prices, how to handle the security/safety concerns, how to handle to billing how to work thru staffing and management, how to handle to pools, how to handle the internal board conflicts, and so much more that may have or could have swayed me from stepping up or stepping in to such a large thing at that point in my life.

I learned that God gives us enough detail to start going and helps us to walk through it, teaching and training, leading and guiding, preparing and encouraging us through it all. He has been able to do this even more times since and right now is a time I need wisdom in regards to planning as my roles and responsibilities have grown and changed. Going from an individual contributor who had to support the full team to now being a manager of incredible staff and the work and requests that are coming in growing even faster, the need to for a vision, a mission, and a plan becomes even more important. As I turn to God’s Word this morning and pray, I await the instruction and direction to be able to take that step up and step out so that we can step into God’s plan and His flow for what is yet to come.


Today’s reading from God’s Word gets us started with 1 Kings 7 today.

‘Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years to complete the construction. One of Solomon’s buildings was called the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. It was 150 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. There were four rows of cedar pillars, and great cedar beams rested on the pillars. The hall had a cedar roof. Above the beams on the pillars were forty-five side rooms, arranged in three tiers of fifteen each. On each end of the long hall were three rows of windows facing each other. All the doorways and doorposts had rectangular frames and were arranged in sets of three, facing each other. Solomon also built the Hall of Pillars, which was 75 feet long and 45 feet wide. There was a porch in front, along with a canopy supported by pillars. Solomon also built the throne room, known as the Hall of Justice, where he sat to hear legal matters. It was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling. Solomon’s living quarters surrounded a courtyard behind this hall, and they were constructed the same way. He also built similar living quarters for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married. From foundation to eaves, all these buildings were built from huge blocks of high-quality stone, cut with saws and trimmed to exact measure on all sides. Some of the huge foundation stones were 15 feet long, and some were 12 feet long. The blocks of high-quality stone used in the walls were also cut to measure, and cedar beams were also used. The walls of the great courtyard were built so that there was one layer of cedar beams between every three layers of finished stone, just like the walls of the inner courtyard of the Lord ’s Temple with its entry room. King Solomon then asked for a man named Huram to come from Tyre. He was half Israelite, since his mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father had been a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. Huram was extremely skillful and talented in any work in bronze, and he came to do all the metal work for King Solomon. Huram cast two bronze pillars, each 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference. For the tops of the pillars he cast bronze capitals, each 7 1 / 2 feet tall. Each capital was decorated with seven sets of latticework and interwoven chains. He also encircled the latticework with two rows of pomegranates to decorate the capitals over the pillars. The capitals on the columns inside the entry room were shaped like water lilies, and they were six feet tall. The capitals on the two pillars had 200 pomegranates in two rows around them, beside the rounded surface next to the latticework. Huram set the pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one toward the south and one toward the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz. The capitals on the pillars were shaped like water lilies. And so the work on the pillars was finished. Then Huram cast a great round basin, 15 feet across from rim to rim, called the Sea. It was 7 1 / 2 feet deep and about 45 feet in circumference. It was encircled just below its rim by two rows of decorative gourds. There were about six gourds per foot all the way around, and they were cast as part of the basin. The Sea was placed on a base of twelve bronze oxen, all facing outward. Three faced north, three faced west, three faced south, and three faced east, and the Sea rested on them. The walls of the Sea were about three inches thick, and its rim flared out like a cup and resembled a water lily blossom. It could hold about 11,000 gallons of water. Huram also made ten bronze water carts, each 6 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 4 1 / 2 feet tall. They were constructed with side panels braced with crossbars. Both the panels and the crossbars were decorated with carved lions, oxen, and cherubim. Above and below the lions and oxen were wreath decorations. Each of these carts had four bronze wheels and bronze axles. There were supporting posts for the bronze basins at the corners of the carts; these supports were decorated on each side with carvings of wreaths. The top of each cart had a rounded frame for the basin. It projected 1 1 / 2 feet above the cart’s top like a round pedestal, and its opening was 2 1 / 4 feet across; it was decorated on the outside with carvings of wreaths. The panels of the carts were square, not round. Under the panels were four wheels that were connected to axles that had been cast as one unit with the cart. The wheels were 2 1 / 4 feet in diameter and were similar to chariot wheels. The axles, spokes, rims, and hubs were all cast from molten bronze. There were handles at each of the four corners of the carts, and these, too, were cast as one unit with the cart. Around the top of each cart was a rim nine inches wide. The corner supports and side panels were cast as one unit with the cart. Carvings of cherubim, lions, and palm trees decorated the panels and corner supports wherever there was room, and there were wreaths all around. All ten water carts were the same size and were made alike, for each was cast from the same mold. Huram also made ten smaller bronze basins, one for each cart. Each basin was six feet across and could hold 220 gallons of water. He set five water carts on the south side of the Temple and five on the north side. The great bronze basin called the Sea was placed near the southeast corner of the Temple. He also made the necessary washbasins, shovels, and bowls. So at last Huram completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of the Lord : the two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals; the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars); the ten water carts holding the ten basins; the Sea and the twelve oxen under it; the ash buckets, the shovels, and the bowls. Huram made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord , just as King Solomon had directed. The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan. Solomon did not weigh all these things because there were so many; the weight of the bronze could not be measured. Solomon also made all the furnishings of the Temple of the Lord : the gold altar; the gold table for the Bread of the Presence; the lampstands of solid gold, five on the south and five on the north, in front of the Most Holy Place; the flower decorations, lamps, and tongs—all of gold; the small bowls, lamp snuffers, bowls, ladles, and incense burners—all of solid gold; the doors for the entrances to the Most Holy Place and the main room of the Temple, with their fronts overlaid with gold. So King Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord . Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Lord ’s Temple.’

1 Kings 7

‘Sound the trumpet in Jerusalem ! Raise the alarm on my holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the Lord is upon us. It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains, a great and mighty army appears. Nothing like it has been seen before or will ever be seen again. Fire burns in front of them, and flames follow after them. Ahead of them the land lies as beautiful as the Garden of Eden. Behind them is nothing but desolation; not one thing escapes. They look like horses; they charge forward like warhorses. Look at them as they leap along the mountaintops. Listen to the noise they make—like the rumbling of chariots, like the roar of fire sweeping across a field of stubble, or like a mighty army moving into battle. Fear grips all the people; every face grows pale with terror. The attackers march like warriors and scale city walls like soldiers. Straight forward they march, never breaking rank. They never jostle each other; each moves in exactly the right position. They break through defenses without missing a step. They swarm over the city and run along its walls. They enter all the houses, climbing like thieves through the windows. The earth quakes as they advance, and the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord is at the head of the column. He leads them with a shout. This is his mighty army, and they follow his orders. The day of the Lord is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive? That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the Lord your God as before. Blow the ram’s horn in Jerusalem! Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Gather all the people— the elders, the children, and even the babies. Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room. Let the priests, who minister in the Lord ’s presence, stand and weep between the entry room to the Temple and the altar. Let them pray, “Spare your people, Lord ! Don’t let your special possession become an object of mockery. Don’t let them become a joke for unbelieving foreigners who say, ‘Has the God of Israel left them?’” Then the Lord will pity his people and jealously guard the honor of his land. The Lord will reply, “Look! I am sending you grain and new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy your needs. You will no longer be an object of mockery among the surrounding nations. I will drive away these armies from the north. I will send them into the parched wastelands. Those in the front will be driven into the Dead Sea, and those at the rear into the Mediterranean. The stench of their rotting bodies will rise over the land.” Surely the Lord has done great things! Don’t be afraid, O land. Be glad now and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things. Don’t be afraid, you animals of the field, for the wilderness pastures will soon be green. The trees will again be filled with fruit; fig trees and grapevines will be loaded down once more. Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil. The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced. Then you will know that I am among my people Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other. Never again will my people be disgraced. “Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike. And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth— blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape, just as the Lord has said. These will be among the survivors whom the Lord has called.’

Joel 2

‘While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000. The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest. They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”’

Acts 4:1-12

‘But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.’

2 Peter 3:8-13

‘It is good to give thanks to the Lord , to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre. You thrill me, Lord , with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord , what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts. Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this: Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. But you, O Lord , will be exalted forever. Your enemies, Lord , will surely perish; all evildoers will be scattered. But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents. But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord ’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”’

Psalms 92

Let’s do it!


Let’s get it done! Let’s go from to-do to to-done! God has called us to it! God will lead us through it! God has called us to it! God will provide! Let’s trust Him and pursue His purpose and plans. What can we do today to get us close to where He wants us to get? What can we do today that will prepare us for where we are going? Will you take time to hear? Will you take time to listen? Will you take time learn? Will you take time to grow? Will you take time to draw closer? Will you take that step? That step that requires faith to step up? That step that requires faith to step out? That step of faith that gets you lined up? Let’s not just be hearers of the Word but rather let’s become doers of the Word! If not you then who? If not now then when? If not here then where? If not this then what? If not because God called you then why? If not through God’s Word and the Holy Spirit then how? If not by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony then how? Let’s do it! Right here! Right now! Let it be us! Let’s take hold of that day of Pentecost promise and receive that power from the Holy Spirit coming upon us and go out into the world and be God’s witness right where we are at so that the Word gets out from right here to all around the world in and through us! Let’s persevere and not give up in doing the good work God has called us to do! Let’s not grow weary in doing the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish! It may not be easy but it will definitely be worth it! Who are the people God has intended for you to speak to and into? Who are the people God has surrounded you with in order that you can speak into and over their lives? How will you pour into their lives for the fields are white and ready for harvest? Let’s get it done!


Today’s reading gets started in 1 Kings 6 from God’s Word with Solomon getting the house of God aka the Temple done…

‘It was in midspring, in the month of Ziv, during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, that he began to construct the Temple of the Lord . This was 480 years after the people of Israel were rescued from their slavery in the land of Egypt. The Temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high. The entry room at the front of the Temple was 30 feet wide, running across the entire width of the Temple. It projected outward 15 feet from the front of the Temple. Solomon also made narrow recessed windows throughout the Temple. He built a complex of rooms against the outer walls of the Temple, all the way around the sides and rear of the building. The complex was three stories high, the bottom floor being 7 1 / 2 feet wide, the second floor 9 feet wide, and the top floor 10 1 / 2 feet wide. The rooms were connected to the walls of the Temple by beams resting on ledges built out from the wall. So the beams were not inserted into the walls themselves. The stones used in the construction of the Temple were finished at the quarry, so there was no sound of hammer, ax, or any other iron tool at the building site. The entrance to the bottom floor was on the south side of the Temple. There were winding stairs going up to the second floor, and another flight of stairs between the second and third floors. After completing the Temple structure, Solomon put in a ceiling made of cedar beams and planks. As already stated, he built a complex of rooms along the sides of the building, attached to the Temple walls by cedar timbers. Each story of the complex was 7 1 / 2 feet high. Then the Lord gave this message to Solomon: “Concerning this Temple you are building, if you keep all my decrees and regulations and obey all my commands, I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father, David. I will live among the Israelites and will never abandon my people Israel.” So Solomon finished building the Temple. The entire inside, from floor to ceiling, was paneled with wood. He paneled the walls and ceilings with cedar, and he used planks of cypress for the floors. He partitioned off an inner sanctuary—the Most Holy Place—at the far end of the Temple. It was 30 feet deep and was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling. The main room of the Temple, outside the Most Holy Place, was 60 feet long. Cedar paneling completely covered the stone walls throughout the Temple, and the paneling was decorated with carvings of gourds and open flowers. He prepared the inner sanctuary at the far end of the Temple, where the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant would be placed. This inner sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He overlaid the inside with solid gold. He also overlaid the altar made of cedar. Then Solomon overlaid the rest of the Temple’s interior with solid gold, and he made gold chains to protect the entrance to the Most Holy Place. So he finished overlaying the entire Temple with gold, including the altar that belonged to the Most Holy Place. He made two cherubim of wild olive wood, each 15 feet tall, and placed them in the inner sanctuary. The wingspan of each of the cherubim was 15 feet, each wing being 7 1 / 2 feet long. The two cherubim were identical in shape and size; each was 15 feet tall. He placed them side by side in the inner sanctuary of the Temple. Their outspread wings reached from wall to wall, while their inner wings touched at the center of the room. He overlaid the two cherubim with gold. He decorated all the walls of the inner sanctuary and the main room with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. He overlaid the floor in both rooms with gold. For the entrance to the inner sanctuary, he made double doors of wild olive wood with five-sided doorposts. These double doors were decorated with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. The doors, including the decorations of cherubim and palm trees, were overlaid with gold. Then he made four-sided doorposts of wild olive wood for the entrance to the Temple. There were two folding doors of cypress wood, and each door was hinged to fold back upon itself. These doors were decorated with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers—all overlaid evenly with gold. The walls of the inner courtyard were built so that there was one layer of cedar beams between every three layers of finished stone. The foundation of the Lord ’s Temple was laid in midspring, in the month of Ziv, during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign. The entire building was completed in every detail by midautumn, in the month of Bul, during the eleventh year of his reign. So it took seven years to build the Temple.’

1 Kings 6

‘The Lord gave this message to Joel son of Pethuel. Hear this, you leaders of the people. Listen, all who live in the land. In all your history, has anything like this happened before? Tell your children about it in the years to come, and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation. After the cutting locusts finished eating the crops, the swarming locusts took what was left! After them came the hopping locusts, and then the stripping locusts, too! Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you wine-drinkers! All the grapes are ruined, and all your sweet wine is gone. A vast army of locusts has invaded my land, a terrible army too numerous to count. Its teeth are like lions’ teeth, its fangs like those of a lioness. It has destroyed my grapevines and ruined my fig trees, stripping their bark and destroying it, leaving the branches white and bare. Weep like a bride dressed in black, mourning the death of her husband. For there is no grain or wine to offer at the Temple of the Lord . So the priests are in mourning. The ministers of the Lord are weeping. The fields are ruined, the land is stripped bare. The grain is destroyed, the grapes have shriveled, and the olive oil is gone. Despair, all you farmers! Wail, all you vine growers! Weep, because the wheat and barley— all the crops of the field—are ruined. The grapevines have dried up, and the fig trees have withered. The pomegranate trees, palm trees, and apple trees— all the fruit trees—have dried up. And the people’s joy has dried up with them. Dress yourselves in burlap and weep, you priests! Wail, you who serve before the altar! Come, spend the night in burlap, you ministers of my God. For there is no grain or wine to offer at the Temple of your God. Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Bring the leaders and all the people of the land into the Temple of the Lord your God, and cry out to him there. The day of the Lord is near, the day when destruction comes from the Almighty. How terrible that day will be! Our food disappears before our very eyes. No joyful celebrations are held in the house of our God. The seeds die in the parched ground, and the grain crops fail. The barns stand empty, and granaries are abandoned. How the animals moan with hunger! The herds of cattle wander about confused, because they have no pasture. The flocks of sheep and goats bleat in misery. Lord , help us! The fire has consumed the wilderness pastures, and flames have burned up all the trees. Even the wild animals cry out to you because the streams have dried up, and fire has consumed the wilderness pastures.’

Joel 1

‘They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John. Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him. You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact! “Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes. “Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance. But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things. Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets. Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything he tells you.’ Then Moses said, ‘Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from God’s people.’ “Starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today. You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, ‘Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up his servant, Jesus, he sent him first to you people of Israel, to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways.”’

Acts 3:11-26

‘This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles. Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.’

2 Peter 3:1-7

‘Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord : He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”’

Psalms 91

So do you know Jesus? Do you want to invite Him into your heart and your life? Do you want to start the journey to eternity in Heaven with Him? Let’s pray and feel free to leave me a comment if you would like to discuss more. Or you can email me at ask@from2005toeternity.com.

What are you doing? Don’t you remember?


Consider the words you are using. Why are you using such words? Don’t you remember what was told on how to use your words? Consider your actions. Why are you acting that way? Don’t you remember what was told on how to act? What is your motivation for such things? What is your purpose for such things? What is your reason for such things?

Do you remember the wisdom of Proverbs 18:21?

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Proverbs 18:21

Do you remember the wisdom of James 3:5-6?

5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

–James 3:5-6–

What about your actions, do you remember what Matthew 7:1-6 says?

1“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

–Matthew 7:1-6–

Do you remember the wisdom of Colossians 3:17?

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father

–Colossians 3:17–

So consider what you are doing. Consider not only the what but the how and the why. Remember to promises and purposes of God. Don’t forget and stray. Draw closer to God and walk out the rest of your life with Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you, instruct you and comfort you.


Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from:


We need to consider the history we receive and learn from in Judges. We need to take hold of the promises of Jesus through Isaiah. Take hold of the testimony about Jesus and John in Luke. Take hold of God’s grace shared through Paul in 1 Timothy 1. Let’s respond in accordance to the wisdom from Psalms 20.

What are your duties?


What have you been given responsibility to do? What obligations do you have to perform for moral and legal reasons? What tasks have you been assigned to complete? What actions are you needing to take and accomplish? Do you have a commitment to complete? Do you have a responsibility to get it done? What is the motivation? Is it an obligation? Is it out of obedience? Is it out of loyalty or allegiance? Is it out of respect or reverence? Or are you doing it because it is your mission? your commission? your assignment? your obligation? your burden?

Consider the various roles you have in life. Consider the duties you have to do because of each of them. Consider the motivation and the purposes. Consider how we have been set apart to do something special and powerful. Consider how each one of us has a purpose to accomplish. Consider how we are each assigned duties to accomplish.


Today’s reading gets us started in Numbers 4.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Kohathite division of the tribe of Levi. List all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who are eligible to serve in the Tabernacle. “The duties of the Kohathites at the Tabernacle will relate to the most sacred objects. When the camp moves, Aaron and his sons must enter the Tabernacle first to take down the inner curtain and cover the Ark of the Covenant with it. Then they must cover the inner curtain with fine goatskin leather and spread over that a single piece of blue cloth. Finally, they must put the carrying poles of the Ark in place. “Next they must spread a blue cloth over the table where the Bread of the Presence is displayed, and on the cloth they will place the bowls, ladles, jars, pitchers, and the special bread. They must spread a scarlet cloth over all of this, and finally a covering of fine goatskin leather on top of the scarlet cloth. Then they must insert the carrying poles into the table. “Next they must cover the lampstand with a blue cloth, along with its lamps, lamp snuffers, trays, and special jars of olive oil. Then they must cover the lampstand and its accessories with fine goatskin leather and place the bundle on a carrying frame. “Next they must spread a blue cloth over the gold incense altar and cover this cloth with fine goatskin leather. Then they must attach the carrying poles to the altar. They must take all the remaining furnishings of the sanctuary and wrap them in a blue cloth, cover them with fine goatskin leather, and place them on the carrying frame. “They must remove the ashes from the altar for sacrifices and cover the altar with a purple cloth. All the altar utensils—the firepans, meat forks, shovels, basins, and all the containers—must be placed on the cloth, and a covering of fine goatskin leather must be spread over them. Finally, they must put the carrying poles in place. The camp will be ready to move when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the sacred articles. The Kohathites will come and carry these things to the next destination. But they must not touch the sacred objects, or they will die. So these are the things from the Tabernacle that the Kohathites must carry. “Eleazar son of Aaron the priest will be responsible for the oil of the lampstand, the fragrant incense, the daily grain offering, and the anointing oil. In fact, Eleazar will be responsible for the entire Tabernacle and everything in it, including the sanctuary and its furnishings.” Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Do not let the Kohathite clans be destroyed from among the Levites! This is what you must do so they will live and not die when they approach the most sacred objects. Aaron and his sons must always go in with them and assign a specific duty or load to each person. The Kohathites must never enter the sanctuary to look at the sacred objects for even a moment, or they will die.”

And the Lord said to Moses, “Record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Gershonite division of the tribe of Levi. List all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who are eligible to serve in the Tabernacle. “These Gershonite clans will be responsible for general service and carrying loads. They must carry the curtains of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle itself with its coverings, the outer covering of fine goatskin leather, and the curtain for the Tabernacle entrance. They are also to carry the curtains for the courtyard walls that surround the Tabernacle and altar, the curtain across the courtyard entrance, the ropes, and all the equipment related to their use. The Gershonites are responsible for all these items. Aaron and his sons will direct the Gershonites regarding all their duties, whether it involves moving the equipment or doing other work. They must assign the Gershonites responsibility for the loads they are to carry. So these are the duties assigned to the Gershonite clans at the Tabernacle. They will be directly responsible to Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.

“Now record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Merarite division of the tribe of Levi. List all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who are eligible to serve in the Tabernacle. “Their only duty at the Tabernacle will be to carry loads. They will carry the frames of the Tabernacle, the crossbars, the posts, and the bases; also the posts for the courtyard walls with their bases, pegs, and ropes; and all the accessories and everything else related to their use. Assign the various loads to each man by name. So these are the duties of the Merarite clans at the Tabernacle. They are directly responsible to Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.”

So Moses, Aaron, and the other leaders of the community listed the members of the Kohathite division by their clans and families. The list included all the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle, and the total number came to 2,750. So this was the total of all those from the Kohathite clans who were eligible to serve at the Tabernacle. Moses and Aaron listed them, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses. The Gershonite division was also listed by its clans and families. The list included all the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle, and the total number came to 2,630. So this was the total of all those from the Gershonite clans who were eligible to serve at the Tabernacle. Moses and Aaron listed them, just as the Lord had commanded. The Merarite division was also listed by its clans and families. The list included all the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle, and the total number came to 3,200. So this was the total of all those from the Merarite clans who were eligible for service. Moses and Aaron listed them, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses. So Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of Israel listed all the Levites by their clans and families. All the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle and for its transportation numbered 8,580. When their names were recorded, as the Lord had commanded through Moses, each man was assigned his task and told what to carry. And so the registration was completed, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.’

Numbers 4

Today’s reading then brings us to the conclusion of the book of Proverbs with Proverbs 31.

‘The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him. O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol. For if they drink, they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed. Alcohol is for the dying, and wine for those in bitter distress. Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.’

Proverbs 31

Today’s reading then takes us back into the New Testament first in Mark 15

‘At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!” Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!” Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph ), and Salome. They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there.

This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.’

Mark 15:33-47

and then into 2 Corinthians 10

‘Now I, Paul, appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ—though I realize you think I am timid in person and bold only when I write from far away. Well, I am begging you now so that when I come I won’t have to be bold with those who think we act from human motives. We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient. Look at the obvious facts. Those who say they belong to Christ must recognize that we belong to Christ as much as they do. I may seem to be boasting too much about the authority given to us by the Lord. But our authority builds you up; it doesn’t tear you down. So I will not be ashamed of using my authority. I’m not trying to frighten you by my letters. For some say, “Paul’s letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak, and his speeches are worthless!” Those people should realize that our actions when we arrive in person will be as forceful as what we say in our letters from far away. Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant! We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us, which includes our working with you. We are not reaching beyond these boundaries when we claim authority over you, as if we had never visited you. For we were the first to travel all the way to Corinth with the Good News of Christ. Nor do we boast and claim credit for the work someone else has done. Instead, we hope that your faith will grow so that the boundaries of our work among you will be extended. Then we will be able to go and preach the Good News in other places far beyond you, where no one else is working. Then there will be no question of our boasting about work done in someone else’s territory. As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord .” When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.’

2 Corinthians 10

As we consider our roles and our duties let us meditate on what God’s Word teaches us today. Let’s reflect upon where we are, who we are, why we are and pause. Let’s reflect on our motivation and our reasons for holding onto them. Let’s receive guidance and direction from God so that in all things we do, we do it unto God so that in and through it all, He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.

Today’s reading concludes with today’s reading from the book of Psalms, Psalms 97.

‘The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice! Let the farthest coastlands be glad. Dark clouds surround him. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire spreads ahead of him and burns up all his foes. His lightning flashes out across the world. The earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the Lord , before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; every nation sees his glory. Those who worship idols are disgraced— all who brag about their worthless gods— for every god must bow to him. Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced, and all the towns of Judah are glad because of your justice, O Lord ! For you, O Lord , are supreme over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. You who love the Lord , hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked. Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right. May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord and praise his holy name!’

Psalms 97

How come you act the way you do?


Is it peer pressure? Is it copycat? Is it because everyone that you grew up did it? Is it because everyone where you live today does it? Is it because your parents do it? Is it because your friends do it? Is it because your people in the workplace do it? Is it because people in the government do it? Is it because it gets you what you want? Is it for safety reasons? Is it a protective reason? Is it something that you learned? Is it because of a life transforming event? Is it because of an encounter? Why do you act the way you do?


Today’s reading gets us started with Leviticus 18.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. I am the Lord your God. So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life. You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the Lord your God. If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord . “You must never have sexual relations with a close relative, for I am the Lord . “Do not violate your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have sexual relations with her. “Do not have sexual relations with any of your father’s wives, for this would violate your father. “Do not have sexual relations with your sister or half sister, whether she is your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born into your household or someone else’s. “Do not have sexual relations with your granddaughter, whether she is your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, for this would violate yourself. “Do not have sexual relations with your stepsister, the daughter of any of your father’s wives, for she is your sister. “Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister, for she is your father’s close relative. “Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s close relative. “Do not violate your uncle, your father’s brother, by having sexual relations with his wife, for she is your aunt. “Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, so you must not have sexual relations with her. “Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife, for this would violate your brother. “Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. And do not take her granddaughter, whether her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, and have sexual relations with her. They are close relatives, and this would be a wicked act. “While your wife is living, do not marry her sister and have sexual relations with her, for they would be rivals. “Do not have sexual relations with a woman during her period of menstrual impurity. “Do not defile yourself by having sexual intercourse with your neighbor’s wife. “Do not permit any of your children to be offered as a sacrifice to Molech, for you must not bring shame on the name of your God. I am the Lord . “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. “A man must not defile himself by having sex with an animal. And a woman must not offer herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it. This is a perverse act. “Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for the people I am driving out before you have defiled themselves in all these ways. Because the entire land has become defiled, I am punishing the people who live there. I will cause the land to vomit them out. You must obey all my decrees and regulations. You must not commit any of these detestable sins. This applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. “All these detestable activities are practiced by the people of the land where I am taking you, and this is how the land has become defiled. So do not defile the land and give it a reason to vomit you out, as it will vomit out the people who live there now. Whoever commits any of these detestable sins will be cut off from the community of Israel. So obey my instructions, and do not defile yourselves by committing any of these detestable practices that were committed by the people who lived in the land before you. I am the Lord your God.”’

Leviticus 18

Today’s reading then brings us into Proverbs 14 to give us wisdom and knowledge.

‘A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. Those who follow the right path fear the Lord ; those who take the wrong path despise him. A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe. Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. An honest witness does not lie; a false witness breathes lies. A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding. Stay away from fools, for you won’t find knowledge on their lips. The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves. Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation. Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy. The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the godly will flourish. There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains. Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward. Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps. The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence. Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated. Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. Evil people will bow before good people; the wicked will bow at the gates of the godly. The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many “friends.” It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor. If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness. Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness. A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is a traitor. Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children. Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death. A growing population is a king’s glory; a prince without subjects has nothing. People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness. A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him. The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a refuge when they die. Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools. Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people. A king rejoices in wise servants but is angry with those who disgrace him.’

Proverbs 14

Today’s reading next brings us into Mark 12.

‘Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. So the second brother married the widow, but he also died without children. Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, and still there were no children. Last of all, the woman also died. So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.” Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven. “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—haven’t you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead. You have made a serious error.” One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord . And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.” Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.’

Mark 12:18-34

Today’s reading continues into 2 Corinthians 3.

‘Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.’

2 Corinthians 3:12-18

Today’s reading concluded with today’s psalm from Psalms 85.

‘Lord , you poured out blessings on your land! You restored the fortunes of Israel. You forgave the guilt of your people— yes, you covered all their sins. Interlude You held back your fury. You kept back your blazing anger. Now restore us again, O God of our salvation. Put aside your anger against us once more. Will you be angry with us always? Will you prolong your wrath to all generations? Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, O Lord , and grant us your salvation. I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. But let them not return to their foolish ways. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, so our land will be filled with his glory. Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed! Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven. Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings. Our land will yield its bountiful harvest. Righteousness goes as a herald before him, preparing the way for his steps.’

Psalms 85

How will you choose to walk out your life?


Are you willing to choose to walk it out within the boundaries that can be blessed? Are you willing to choose to walk it out in order to stay within the presence of God? Are you willing to choose to go beyond knowing what is right and into doing what is right? Are you willing to choose to walk in alignment with God’s will and God’s plan? How will you choose to walk out your life?

Today’s reading begins in Exodus 23.

‘“See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you. Pay close attention to him, and obey his instructions. Do not rebel against him, for he is my representative, and he will not forgive your rebellion. But if you are careful to obey him, following all my instructions, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will oppose those who oppose you. For my angel will go before you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, so you may live there. And I will destroy them completely. You must not worship the gods of these nations or serve them in any way or imitate their evil practices. Instead, you must utterly destroy them and smash their sacred pillars. “You must serve only the Lord your God. If you do, I will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness. There will be no miscarriages or infertility in your land, and I will give you long, full lives. “I will send my terror ahead of you and create panic among all the people whose lands you invade. I will make all your enemies turn and run. I will send terror ahead of you to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply and threaten you. I will drive them out a little at a time until your population has increased enough to take possession of the land. And I will fix your boundaries from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the eastern wilderness to the Euphrates River. I will hand over to you the people now living in the land, and you will drive them out ahead of you. “Make no treaties with them or their gods. They must not live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me. If you serve their gods, you will be caught in the trap of idolatry.”’

Exodus 23:20-33

Today’s reading continues into Exodus 24.

‘Then the Lord instructed Moses: “Come up here to me, and bring along Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders. All of you must worship from a distance. Only Moses is allowed to come near to the Lord . The others must not come near, and none of the other people are allowed to climb up the mountain with him.” Then Moses went down to the people and repeated all the instructions and regulations the Lord had given him. All the people answered with one voice, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.” Then Moses carefully wrote down all the Lord ’s instructions. Early the next morning Moses got up and built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He also set up twelve pillars, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent some of the young Israelite men to present burnt offerings and to sacrifice bulls as peace offerings to the Lord . Moses drained half the blood from these animals into basins. The other half he splattered against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it aloud to the people. Again they all responded, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded. We will obey.” Then Moses took the blood from the basins and splattered it over the people, declaring, “Look, this blood confirms the covenant the Lord has made with you in giving you these instructions.” Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel climbed up the mountain. There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself. And though these nobles of Israel gazed upon God, he did not destroy them. In fact, they ate a covenant meal, eating and drinking in his presence! Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone on which I have inscribed the instructions and commands so you can teach the people.” So Moses and his assistant Joshua set out, and Moses climbed up the mountain of God. Moses told the elders, “Stay here and wait for us until we come back. Aaron and Hur are here with you. If anyone has a dispute while I am gone, consult with them.” Then Moses climbed up the mountain, and the cloud covered it. And the glory of the Lord settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the Lord appeared at the summit like a consuming fire. Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.’

Exodus 24

Today’s reading next takes us into the story of Job with Job 10.

‘“I am disgusted with my life. Let me complain freely. My bitter soul must complain. I will say to God, ‘Don’t simply condemn me— tell me the charge you are bringing against me. What do you gain by oppressing me? Why do you reject me, the work of your own hands, while smiling on the schemes of the wicked? Are your eyes like those of a human? Do you see things only as people see them? Is your lifetime only as long as ours? Is your life so short that you must quickly probe for my guilt and search for my sin? Although you know I am not guilty, no one can rescue me from your hands. “‘You formed me with your hands; you made me, yet now you completely destroy me. Remember that you made me from dust— will you turn me back to dust so soon? You guided my conception and formed me in the womb. You clothed me with skin and flesh, and you knit my bones and sinews together. You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love. My life was preserved by your care. “‘Yet your real motive— your true intent— was to watch me, and if I sinned, you would not forgive my guilt. If I am guilty, too bad for me; and even if I’m innocent, I can’t hold my head high, because I am filled with shame and misery. And if I hold my head high, you hunt me like a lion and display your awesome power against me. Again and again you witness against me. You pour out your growing anger on me and bring fresh armies against me. “‘Why, then, did you deliver me from my mother’s womb? Why didn’t you let me die at birth? It would be as though I had never existed, going directly from the womb to the grave. I have only a few days left, so leave me alone, that I may have a moment of comfort before I leave—never to return— for the land of darkness and utter gloom. It is a land as dark as midnight, a land of gloom and confusion, where even the light is dark as midnight.’”’

Job 10

Today’s reading brings us into the New Testament in Mark 1.

‘This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written: “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord ’s coming! Clear the road for him!’ ” This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him. Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.’

Mark 1:1-20

We continue into 1 Corinthians 7.

‘Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches. For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now. For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments. Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.’

1 Corinthians 7:17-24

As we conclude today’s reading, let us meditate on today’s psalm from Psalms 55.

‘Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats. They bring trouble on me and angrily hunt me down. My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking. Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. Interlude How quickly I would escape— far from this wild storm of hatred. Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans, for I see violence and conflict in the city. Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders, but the real danger is wickedness within the city. Everything is falling apart; threats and cheating are rampant in the streets. It is not an enemy who taunts me— I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me— I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God. Let death stalk my enemies; let the grave swallow them alive, for evil makes its home within them. But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me. God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them. Interlude For my enemies refuse to change their ways; they do not fear God. As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises. His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers! Give your burdens to the Lord , and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. But you, O God, will send the wicked down to the pit of destruction. Murderers and liars will die young, but I am trusting you to save me.’

Psalms 55

The Heidelberg Catechism and Its Impact on Holland’s Culture…(The Bible’s Impact on Trade and Taxes [June 23])


What is motivating the way you are living out your life? What is driving your decisions and actions? What is directing your steps, your thoughts, yours words, and your actions? Is there anything that has changed the way you live? Is there anything that has intersected your life and turned it around? Do you know what you believe? Do you know the impact?

Today’s reading comes from Malachi 1

1The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.

The Lord’s Love for Israel

2″I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob 3but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” 4If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,” the Lord of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.'” 5Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, “Great is the Lord beyond the border of Israel!”

The Priests’ Polluted Offerings

6″A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ 7By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. 8When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts. 9And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts. 10Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. 11For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. 12But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. 13But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord.14Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.

from Malachi 1

Consider the condition of your heart. Consider how you are living. Consider your motivation. Consider what your words and actions speak to those who are watching you. Consider how you are living. Are you living in alignment with God and God’s will and way and purpose for your life? How will you consider changing the way you live and the fruit you produce?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible speaks to us about the impact of the Bible on Trade and Taxes. We learn today about the Heidelberg Catechism and its impact on the culture of Holland. Today’s devotional points to how Malachi 1:13-14 condemns stealing and reprises the biblical theme of “You shall not steal” from the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:15. Let’s take a look at these two scripture references…

‘But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord . Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations. ‘ — Malachi 1:13-14

and

‘”You shall not steal. ‘ — Exodus 20:15

We learn how the explanation of this in the Heidelberg Catechism had a significant impact on the Dutch culture. Wondering what a catechism is? The Heidelberg Catechism was written in Heidelberg and in 1566 translated into Dutch and soon became read and used for teaching purposes in churches in the Netherlands. It impacted the Dutch people and culture to work hard and to give to God’s work. Many of these biblical roots still impact the Netherlands today even though religious affiliations in the country has declined.

So do you know what you believe? Is the Bible your source of truth? How is it impacting you and the way you live your life?


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You for time to make sure things are ready and prepared. I thank You for time to be with my kids. I thank You for time with my family. I thank You for time to be in Your Word. I thank You for allowing my days to start with You. Lord, help me today to live out this day in a way that will bring You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Know your audience!


Are you read up? Are you engaged? Are you involved? Are you connected? Are you reaching out? Are you making the effort? Are you seeking in order to find? Are you researching in order to learn? Are you listening in order to understand? Are you taking the time? Do you really know the people?

Feb 28 - Know your audience - How to know your audience - Titus 1

Do you believe in purity? Do you realize there pure and impure things? Do you take what you hear and measure it against God’s Word to discern the truth and validity of it? Do you stand for the truth and rebuke lies? Since your life is speaking the truth of who you are and what you believe, is it speaking to faith and truth and hope in Jesus? Or is it speaking something different? Are your words and your actions in conflict? Are you taking in God’s Word but not following through on the good works He has prepared in advance for you to accomplish and neglecting them?

Do you understand the people, the culture, the beliefs of the people around you? Are you willing to learn it so as to build relationships that God can use and help you to plant seeds and water them over time until the right time appears? Can you be patient and show true love to the world around you? Do you remember what love it? True love I mean? Let’s reflect on it for a moment.

Love is…

Remember that love never fails

Are you trying to live a life of true and unconditional love? The type of love God has for you and is pouring into you so that you can then pour it into the people he brings into your life?

Today’s reading comes from Titus 1…

Greeting

‘Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Qualifications for Elders

‘This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

— from Titus 1

From Titus 1, the Global Impact Bible for today’s devotional points towards Titus 1:12-15 which points to “Studying the culture”…

‘One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

— from Titus 1:12-15 

It speaks to the importance of studying the culture. You can’t walk into a new place and be able to speak life into it if you aren’t prepared and don’t understand the culture. Interestingly enough in the history of the world, we find that there are some leaders who discourage people from reading anything except the Bible and sacred books. Through Paul speaking to Titus, we see that they had extensive knowledge of the secular text. We see that with that knowledge they could walk into a situation and be able to speak the truth as it related to the people and share the hope of Jesus Christ through it. A good example where this gets called out is through Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz who was a Mexican poet who used this fact in defence of her literary works. She even references Titus 1:12 as part of it. So we need to be educated. We need to be read up. We need to be ready for what is yet to come. So let’s be prepared! Let’s be ready for the good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do! Let’s not grow weary in doing good works! Let’s let our lives shine the reality of Jesus by the good works we do to His praise, honor, and glory!


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that is within it. I praise You Lord for the reality that the Earth and everything in it are yours. I take hold of the truth which comes from Your Word and know that it is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Help me Lord to have eyes to see and ears to hear and a mind to learn so that I can be prepared to speak truth and life in love to the world around me. Help me Lord to not be blinded by the lies of the devil or the world but that through this life which is an education I am able to accomplish the good works You have prepared in advance for me to accomplish. Help me to be a good steward of every good and precious gift from You so that in the end, I may come before Your throne and hear well done my good and faithful servant. Help me Lord to shine for You! Help me Lord to pour into the lives of the people around me in order that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Are you living an example that is making a difference?


Are you reaching out to those around you? Are you extending your hand to the people around you? Are you welcoming those around you? Are you embracing those around you? Are you loving the people around you? Are you being light to brighten things up for the people around you? Are you being salt in the world around you? What example are you setting to the people who are watching or seeing you?

Whether you know it or not, people are watching you! People at home (your family)! People at work! People on the streets! People are watching you to see who you are! Are your words aligning to your actions? What fruit are you bearing that others may see by observing you? Who are people learning you are when they watch and see the fruit you are producing?

There are people who are looking for mentors! There are people who looking for role models! There are people who are seeking good examples! Your children are watching you to see who you are and if it aligns to who you think you should be! Are you being good parents? Are you being a good sibling? Are you being good children? What are your actions saying about who you are? What example are you giving?

Are you sharing your learnings with others? Are you helping others to avoid the pitfalls of your life by sharing your experiences? Are you looking to others to give you wisdom and advice rather than having to walk thru, trip thru, tangled in, doing it all on your own? Do you have a mentor? Do you have a mentee? Why not learn from others? Why not train up the next generation in the way they should go so that they won’t have to deal with the pain and suffering you did?

How do you find someone? What type of an example do you look for them to be in order to know if they would be a good fit? How do you know their character?

Do you realize the impact of your example being set on influencing others?

Ever heard that you need to “walk the walk”? Ever heard that “talk is cheap”? Ever heard that “you need to practice what you preach”? Ever realize how much of communication is visual? Similarly, visual is the biggest part of why we need to be a good example in this world we live in! Ever watched people who don’t speak the same language try to connect? They tend to do a lot of pointing to try and get their point across through physical things. An example would be someone trying to ask for something. They try to start with words but one says “pomme” to which the other person says “what?” then they try to describe it with hand gestures and eventually they may be able to find the object or a picture of the object at which point the person may respond “oh, an apple”. Within a single language we can read a lot into what someone is saying through their body language (uncomfortable, shy, fear, etc.) and their tone (excited, sad, sarcasm, etc.). So we can tell a lot about others by their actions! So let’s share the Good News with the people around us and then lets live it out that others may see the good work and praise our Father in heaven!

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. –from Matthew 5:16

So are you setting a good example? Are you producing good fruit? Are your actions saying what you try to portray in words?

John Maxwell has been quoted saying “Eighty-nine per cent of what people learn comes through visual stimulation; ten per cent through audible stimulation and one per cent through other senses… What they hear they understand. What they see they believe!

Are you trying to persuade through words? Are you trying to convince through words?

So whose example are you following? What example are you setting for those around you?

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. –from 1 Peter 2:21

So when people are watching you, what example are you setting?


Your Example

Day 328: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Walk in wisdom … Proverbs 28:18-28
  2. Win over, with or without words … 1 Peter 3
  3. Worship in the way of the Lord … Ezekiel 45, Ezekiel 46

What are you doing to help those who don’t believe?


Do you realize there are people around you today who don’t believe and are heading in the wrong direction? Do you realize there are people around you today who don’t believe and don’t realize the road they are on? Do you realize there are people around you today who are feeling bad and don’t know there is an answer and there is hope? Do you realize there are people around you who need to know they matter and are loved? Do you realize that there is a plan at work for you to make a difference in their lives? Do you realize that there is a plan at work for you to give them hope? Do you realize that there is a plan at work for you to pass God’s love onto them? Do you realize that you may be the only thing in their life at the moment pointing them to the love of Jesus? Do you realize you have been put in such a place at such a time for a greater purpose? Do you realize that you have been put there for such a day and such a time as this?

So what are you going to do with this responsibility? What will you do with this purpose? What will you do with this plan? Today is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Don’t stop believing! Take time to listen! Make a difference today! Be the difference today!

Have you had an encounter with Jesus? Do you realize He gave His life to the point of death on a cross for you? Do you realize that God loves you so much that He sent Jesus, His one and only Son so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but would have everlasting life? Have you started a relationship with Jesus?

Do you feel the pain that everyone should get this encounter and experience and relationship with Jesus? Do you feel that loss for the lost?

Do you want your family and friends to get to experience this? Do you want them to be able to receive Jesus into their hearts? Do you realize you may not be able to convince them to go to church with you but that you may have to be the church to them? By the way you live in front of them! By the actions and responses you take! By the words you use and express!

How do you handle the pain or anguish for the loss? How do you handle the passion and the love? How do you balance them in your life and in your relationship with others!

Will you keep believing for them? Will you trust God’s sovereign plan for those you love? those God has brought into your life?

Today is the day! So what will you do with it? Don’t waste it! Keep believing! Make a difference!

What will they see when they see you? Will they see Jesus with skin on?


What About Those Who Do Not Believe

Day 206: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalms 89:9-13, Romans 9:1-21, Hosea 11:12, Hosea 12, Hosea 13, Hosea 14

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/206

  1. Thank God for his rule and reign … Psalm 89:9-13
    • The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours—you created it all. (v11)

  2. Trust in his mercy and compassion … Romans 9:1-21
  3. Turn from sin and return to God … Hosea 11:12-14:9

What needs to be done to be ready for the year ahead?


Last day before work starts up. New year underway. What needs to be planned for? What needs to be prepared for? What do you need to be ready for? It’s go time! No more waiting! No more delay! No more sitting on the sidelines! It’s go time! It’s time to get fit! It’s time to get healthy! It’s time to set a plan! It’s time to get the projects itemized and aligned! It’s time to set schedules! It’s time to define rules! It’s time to make a difference! Let’s be ready!

So let’s praise God for what He has done! Let’s praise God what He is doing! Let’s praise God for what He is about to do! Let’s praise God for the favor He has provided! Let’s praise God fro the courage He has provided! And with this let’s complete the work He has given us to do!

Do you see the people God has brought around you? Do you see how God has brought you people who have been gifted to help in the work ahead of you? Do you see how God provided people who can provide wisdom and discernment? Do you see how God provided people who can provide expertise and skills to get it done? Do you see how God provided people who were gifted with talents that will help you get the work done? Appreciate them! Thank God for them! Come together in unity to complete the work has prepared in advance for you to do!

Ever been so aware of something ahead that when you look at different parts you see them coming together at the same time? 8 days left in my annual bible reading. The end of this coincides with the scheduled week of prayer and fasting. So what’s next? Building my relationship up with God as that is step 1 in receiving clarity in my heart! What things need to be accomplished — work, camp, travel, blessings, teach, raise, … God’s never early, and never late, God’s timing is perfect!

So let’s continue to prepare! Let’s hear God’s Word and be doers of God’s Word! Faith without actions is dead!

Let’s close together today with today’s reading from the New Testament!

Warning against Prejudice

1My friends, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance. 2Suppose a rich man wearing a gold ring and fine clothes comes to your meeting, and a poor man in ragged clothes also comes. 3If you show more respect to the well-dressed man and say to him, “Have this best seat here,” but say to the poor man, “Stand over there, or sit here on the floor by my feet,” 4then you are guilty of creating distinctions among yourselves and of making judgments based on evil motives.
5Listen, my dear friends! God chose the poor people of this world to be rich in faith and to possess the kingdom which he promised to those who love him. 6But you dishonor the poor! Who are the ones who oppress you and drag you before the judges? The rich! 7They are the ones who speak evil of that good name which has been given to you.
8 You will be doing the right thing if you obey the law of the Kingdom, which is found in the scripture, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 9But if you treat people according to their outward appearance, you are guilty of sin, and the Law condemns you as a lawbreaker. 10Whoever breaks one commandment is guilty of breaking them all. 11 For the same one who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Even if you do not commit adultery, you have become a lawbreaker if you commit murder. 12Speak and act as people who will be judged by the law that sets us free. 13For God will not show mercy when he judges the person who has not been merciful; but mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith and Actions

14My friends, what good is it for one of you to say that you have faith if your actions do not prove it? Can that faith save you? 15Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don’t have enough to eat. 16What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!”—if you don’t give them the necessities of life? 17So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead.
18But someone will say, “One person has faith, another has actions.” My answer is, “Show me how anyone can have faith without actions. I will show you my faith by my actions.” 19Do you believe that there is only one God? Good! The demons also believe—and tremble with fear. 20You fool! Do you want to be shown that faith without actions is useless? 21 How was our ancestor Abraham put right with God? It was through his actions, when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. 22Can’t you see? His faith and his actions worked together; his faith was made perfect through his actions. 23 And the scripture came true that said, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.” And so Abraham was called God’s friend. 24You see, then, that it is by our actions that we are put right with God, and not by our faith alone.
25 It was the same with the prostitute Rahab. She was put right with God through her actions, by welcoming the Israelite spies and helping them to escape by a different road.
26So then, as the body without the spirit is dead, also faith without actions is dead.

–James 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Today's Reading: Ezra 7, Ezra 8, James 2

What would it take to get things straightened out?


If your life was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?

If your family was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?

If you city or community was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?

If your state or province or country was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?

Today’s reading begins speaking to what Babylon’s part was in trying to get things straightened out. It speaks the role Babylon played.

How severe would it need to be in the questions posted above to get things straightened out? Would it have to be life or death level? Would it have to impact the good and the bad? Would you have to be riddled with fear or weakness? Would the threat have to be so severe that it might get your attention? What would it take to get you or people in general to turn back to God and align to His ways?

Would it have to be so bad and so terrifying for to get your attention? Or could a sign of heaven get your attention and get you to turn back to God?

What behaviors need to stop? What activities need to stop? What actions need to stop?

What behaviors need to be swapped out? What needs to begin? What needs to get restarted?

Do you see the bloodshed taking place? Innocent blood? Guilty blood?

What will it take for people to turn back to living life God’s way? What will it take to turn things around so that we are living lives of love? Loving God! Loving people!

Invite God into your life! Invite Jesus into your heart! Ask for forgiveness! Live as humble servants!

From top to bottom, from bottom to top, how will we align so that we will live with God rather than apart from God? Will we live lives of servant leadership? Will we humbly come before the throne of God? There is power in the name of Jesus! So will you confess, will you bow down before you are forced to? Will you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

So let’s reflect on the questions as we read from Galatians together…

1What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7So you are no longer a slave, but Godʼs child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Paulʼs Concern for the Galatians

8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
12I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. 13As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, 14and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
17Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. 18It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. 19My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

Hagar and Sarah

21Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.
24These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27For it is written:

“Be glad, barren woman,
you who never bore a child;
shout for joy and cry aloud,
you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband.”

28Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave womanʼs son will never share in the inheritance with the free womanʼs son.” 31Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

–from Galatians 4

Let’s live out our lives as children of God! Let’s cry out to our Abba Father!


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 21, 22, Galatians 4