Don’t let the fire go out because the sun is setting!


Shine in the darkness. Shine your light so others in the dark will be sent in the right direction. Allow your refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated self to show up even larger than before so that everyone can see and experience the overflow of God’s love into their lives. Now that realize the importance of making time, start to plan the next time now. Continue to stir and add to the fire never allowing it to go out.

Let’s be active participants in life. Let’s be active partners with God and with those He brings into our lives. Let’s come alongside them and journey with them. Let’s give them the attention they deserve so that they realize they value and how much you appreciate them. Let’s be authentic not allowing bitterness to take root but rather to allow forgiveness to ensure that love is being poured out. Let’s not only make a difference but also pass on the difference.


Don’t let the fire go out just because the sun is setting, the world needs the light now more than ever.


Today’s reading from God’s Word is:

  • Ezra 10
  • Ezekiel 41
  • Ezekiel 42
  • Acts 22:22-29
  • Revelation 15
  • Psalms 134

Let’s realize the situation and weep those who weep and celebrate with those who celebrate.

How important is alignment to the truth in your life? Will you reflect on God’s Word and align to what it says?

Remember the truth for the truth will set you free. Speak the truth in love so that can be heard and received by others. Allow the truth of the Word lead you and guide you, instruct you and correct you.

Jesus at the cross completed the law. Jesus’s second coming will finish the time of judgement and wrath.


So where are you at today? Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a recommitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

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 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

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

Do you see what is happening?


Do you see what is taking place around you? Will you remain silent? Will you do nothing? Will you remember? Will you be a reminder? Do others see what has happened? Do you see what has happened? Do you see what could happen? Do you see what is potentially ahead?

Ever heard the quote that all it takes for evil to win is for good people to do nothing?

So… are you going to do something? are you going to say something? are you going to be someone who does something rather than letting things fall apart?

Need a refresher of other times in history when the pendulum swung?

Do you see what is happening?


Today’s reading brings us into the book of Joel…

1The word of Adonai that came to Joel the son of Pethuel:

Mourn the Land’s Destruction

2Hear this, elders! Give ear, all inhabitants of the land. Has this ever happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? 3Tell your children about it— your children to their children, their children to another generation. 4What the locust left, the swarming locust has eaten, and what the swarming locust left, the canker-worm has eaten, and what the canker-worm left, the caterpillar has eaten. 5Awake, drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine— on account of sweet wine, for it is denied to your mouth! 6For a nation has invaded my land. Vast—yes, without number! Its teeth are lion’s teeth, with jaw-teeth of a lioness. 7He has turned my vine to waste and my fig tree to splinters. He has stripped off all the bark and flung it down— its branches are left white. 8Wail like a virgin dressed in sackcloth for the husband of her youth! 9Grain offering and drink offering are cut off from the House of Adonai. Kohanim—ministers of Adonai—mourn. 10The field is ruined, the land grieves, for the grain has been devastated, new wine is dried up, oil languishes. 11Be ashamed, O ploughmen; wail, O vinedressers, over wheat and over barley, for the harvest of the field is lost. 12The vine withered, the fig tree wilted. Pomegranate, palm and apple tree —all trees of the field— are withered, for joy has withered away from the children of men. 13Gird yourselves and weep, kohanim! Howl, ministers of the altar! Come, lie in sackcloth all night, ministers of my God. For grain and drink offering are withheld from the House of your God.

The Day is Near!

14Consecrate a fast. Proclaim a solemn assembly. Gather elders and all living in the land to the House of Adonai your God, and cry to Adonai. 15Ah, the day! The day of Adonai is near! As havoc from Shaddai it will come. 16Is food not cut off before our eyes— joy and gladness from God’s House? 17Seed has shriveled under the dirt clod. Storehouses are desolate, granaries are torn down, for the grain has withered. 18How the animals groan! The herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture. The flocks of sheep also suffer. 19To You, Adonai, I cry! For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and flame has set ablaze all the trees of the field. 20Also beasts of the field pant toward You. For the water of wadis are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

–from Joel 1

Will you sound the alarm? Will you let others know? Will you show others what you see? Will you tell them what you are hearing? Will you warn them before it is too late? Will you point them to God as the answer to their problems? Will you point them to God as their savior?

1Blow the shofar in Zion! Sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all living in the land tremble— for the day of Adonai is coming— surely it is near! 2A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as blackness spreads over the mountains. A great and mighty people— from antiquity there was never anything like it, nor after it ever again from generation to generation. 3A fire devours before them and behind them flame blazes up. Like the Garden of Eden is the land before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness. Nothing at all ever escapes them. 4Their appearance is like the appearance of horses— they gallop like war horses. 5Like the clatter of chariots, they leap on the tops of mountains, like crackling flame of fire devouring stubble, like a mighty horde in battle array. 6Before them peoples are in anguish. All faces become ashen gray. 7They run like mighty men. They climb a wall like men of war. They each march in line, never deviating from their ways. 8One does not crowd another. Each one marches on his own highway. They plunge through the weapons, never breaking off. 9They rush on the city, they run on the wall, they climb up into the houses, coming through the windows like a thief. 10Before them land quakes, heaven trembles, sun and moon become dark, stars withdraw their brightness. 11Adonai utters His voice before His army. For His camp is very vast—for mighty is it that carries out His word. For great is the day of Adonai— very terrifying! Who can endure it?

Call for Teshuvah

12“Yet even now” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and lamenting.” 13Rend your heart, not your garments, and turn to Adonai, your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abundant in mercy, and relenting about the calamity due. 14Who knows? He may turn and relent, and may leave a blessing behind Him —so there may be a grain offering and a drink offering for Adonai, your God.

Blow the Shofar

15Blow the shofar in Zion! Sanctify a fast; proclaim an assembly. 16Gather the people; sanctify the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even those nursing at breasts. Let the bridegroom come out from his bedroom and the bride from her chamber. 17Between the porch and the altar let the kohanim, ministers of Adonai, weep, and let them say: “Have pity, Adonai, on Your people. Don’t make Your heritage a scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should the peoples say, ‘Where is their God?’” 18Adonai will be zealous for His land, and have compassion on His people. 19Adonai will answer and say to His people: “Behold, I will send you the grain, the new wine, and the fresh oil, and you will be satisfied with it. I will no longer make you a mockery among the nations. 20“But I will remove the northern invader far from you—yes, I will banish him to a dry and desolate land— his vanguard into the Eastern Sea and his rearguard into the Western Sea. His odor will go up— Yes, his stench will rise.” For He has done great things!

Rain and Restoration

21Do not fear, O land. Be glad! Rejoice! For Adonai has done great things. 22Do not be afraid, beasts of the field, for the desert pastures have sprouted, for the tree bears its fruit. Fig tree and vine yield their strength. 23So be glad, children of Zion, and rejoice in Adonai, your God. For He gives you the early rain for prosperity, Yes, He will bring down rain for you, the early and latter rain as before. 24The threshing floors will be full of grain and the vats will overflow with new wine and fresh oil. 25“I shall restore to you the years that the locust, the swarming locust, the canker-worm and the caterpillar have eaten— My great army that I sent among you.” 26“You will surely eat and be satisfied, and praise the Name of Adonai your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. Never again will My people be shamed 27You will know that I am within Israel. Yes, I am Adonai your God —there is no other— Never again will My people be shamed.”

–from Joel 2

Will you receive the Holy Spirit? Will you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Will you choose to follow God? Will you decide before it is too late?

Promise of the RuachAdonai

1“So it will be afterward, I will pour out My Ruach on all flesh: your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 2“Also on the male and the female servants will I pour out My spirit in those days. 3I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth— blood, fire and pillars of smoke. 4The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome day of Adonai comes. 5Then all who call on Adonai’s Name will escape, for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be rescue, as Adonai has said, among the survivors whom Adonai is calling.”

–from Joel 3

Will you ask Jesus into your heart before it’s judgment day? Will you ask Jesus into your heart to help you through every day? Will you trust Him and believe Him and follow Him the rest of your life? Will you be an ambassador of peace and healing? Will you be an ambassador of hope and love? Will you be an ambassador of joy and truth? Will you be salt and light into this world? Don’t hide your light under a basket or your bed, shine it bright that others may see it and turn back to God and glorify your Heavenly Father!

1Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life—bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2down the middle of the city’s street. On either side of the river was a tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the city, and His servants shall serve Him. 4They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5Night shall be no more, and people will have no need for lamplight or sunlight—for Adonai Elohim will shine on them. And they shall reign forever and ever!

Yeshua Is Coming

6He said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true! Adonai, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent His angel to show His servants what must happen soon. 7Behold, I am coming soon! How fortunate is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” 8I, John, am the one hearing and seeing these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel showing me these things. 9But he tells me, “See that you do not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets and those keeping the words of this book. Worship God!” 10Then he tells me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do righteousness, and the holy still be holy. 12Behold, I am coming soon, and My reward is with Me, to pay back each one according to his deeds. 13“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14How fortunate are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and may enter through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the sexually immoral and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16I, Yeshua, have sent My angel to testify these things to you for My communities. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” 17The Ruach and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come—let the one who wishes freely take the water of life! 18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book. If anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his share in the Tree of Life and the Holy City, which are written in this book. 20The One giving testimony to these things says, “Yes! I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Yeshua! 21May the grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all!

–from The Revelation 22

Don’t wait! You won’t want to be late!

 

 

 

 

 

Do you realize what is going on?


Do you see how people are trying to remove God world? Do you see them trying to remove Him from history? Do you see them trying to remove Him from the schools? Do you see them trying to remove Him from government? Do you see them trying to minimize who He is? Do you see the results and repercussions of this?

Today’s reading starts with Leviticus 26…

1“You are not to make idols for yourselves, nor raise up an engraved image or a standing-stone, or place any carved stone in your land to bow down to it. For I am Adonai your God. 2“You are to keep My Shabbatot and have reverence for My Sanctuary. I am Adonai.

Faithfulness Ensures Blessings

3“If you walk in My statutes, keep My mitzvot and carry them out, 4then I will give you rains in their season, the land will yield its crops, and the trees of the field will yield their fruit. 5Your threshing will last until grape gathering, the grape gathering will last until the sowing time, you will eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land. 6“I will bring shalom in the land, and you will lie down, with no one making you afraid. I will remove dangerous beasts from the land and no sword will pass through your land. 7You will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword. 8Five of you will chase 100 and 100 of you will chase 10,000, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you. 9“I will turn toward you, make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you. 10You will eat the old harvest and clear out the old because of the new. 11I will set My Tabernacle among you, and My soul will not abhor you. 12I will walk among you and will be your God, and you will be My people. 13I am Adonai your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, so that you would not be their slaves, and I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk upright.

Faithlessness Ensures Misery

14“But if you will not listen to Me, nor carry out all these mitzvot, 15and if you reject My statutes and if your soul abhors My ordinances, so that you do not keep all My mitzvot, but instead break My covenant, 16then I will do the following to you in return. I will appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever that will dim the eyes and cause the soul to pine away. You will sow your seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17I will set My face against you and you will be routed before your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when no one pursues you. 18“If you, in spite of these things, will not listen to Me, then I will chastise you seven times more for your sins. 19I will break your pride of power. I will make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze. 20Also your strength will be spent in vain, for your land will not yield its increase, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit. 21“If you keep walking contrary to Me and will not listen to Me, then I will multiply the plagues on you seven times like your sins. 22I will send the wild animals among you, which will rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you so few in number that your roads will become deserted. 23“Now if in spite of these things you will not be chastened by Me, but walk contrary to Me instead, 24then I will also walk contrary to you. Then I will strike you, I Myself, seven times for your sins. 25I will bring a sword upon you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant, and you will be gathered together inside your cities. I will send the pestilence among you and you will be given into the hand of the enemy. 26When I break your staff of bread, ten women will bake your bread in one oven, and they will bring back your bread by weight, so that you will eat but not be satisfied. 27“Yet if in spite of this you will not listen to Me but walk contrary to Me, 28then I will walk contrary to you in wrath. So I will chastise you seven times for your sins. 29You will eat the flesh of your sons and you will eat the flesh of your daughters. 30I will destroy your high places and cut down your altars of incense, cast your dead bodies upon the bodies of your idols, and My soul will abhor you. 31I will lay waste your cities and devastate your sanctuaries. I will not smell your soothing aromas. 32I will make the land desolate and your enemies settling there will be astonished at it. 33I will scatter you among the nations and I will draw out the sword after you. So your land will become a desolation and your cities will become a waste. 34Then the land will enjoy its Shabbatot all the days of its desolation, while you are in the land of your enemies. Then the land will rest and enjoy its Shabbatot. 35As long as it lies desolate it will have rest, that rest which it did not have from your Shabbatot, when you lived on it. 36“As for those who remain, I will bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies, so that the sound of a driven leaf will put them to flight, and they will flee as one flees from the sword and fall, even when no one is pursuing. 37They will stumble over one another, as if before the sword, when no one pursues, and you will have no strength to stand before your enemies. 38You will perish among the nations and the land of your enemies will devour you. 39Those of you who are left in the land of your enemies will rot away because of their iniquity, and because of the iniquities of their fathers they will rot away with them.

Adonai Remembers His Own

40“But if they confess their iniquity and that of their fathers, in the treachery they committed against Me, and how they walked contrary to Me 41—in return I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies—and if at that time their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled, so that they accept the punishment for their iniquity, 42then I will remember My covenant with Jacob and also My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43But the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its Shabbatot while it lies desolate without them, and they will accept the punishment of their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes. 44“Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I hate them into utter destruction, and break My covenant with them, for I am Adonai their God. 45But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am Adonai.” 46These are the statutes, ordinances and laws, which Adonai made between Himself and Bnei-Yisrael at Mount Sinai by Moses.
–from Leviticus 26

So how will you live? So how will you act? So how will you shine? So how will you speak? So how will you behave? So how will you walk? So how will you talk? So where will you point others? Will you be directing them towards God or away from God? Will you be an active participant? Which group will you choose to be a part of? What does it say about your character? What does it say about you?

Today’s reading continues into Psalms 12…

Silence the Flattering Lips

1For the music director, on the eight-string lyre, a psalm of David. 2Help, Adonai! For no one godly exists. For the faithful have vanished from the children of men. 3Everyone tells a lie to his neighbor, talking with flattering lips and a divided heart. 4May Adonai cut off all flattering lips— a tongue bragging big things. 5They say: “With our tongue we’ll prevail. We own our lips—who can master us?” 6“Because of the oppression of the poor, because of the groaning of the needy, now will I arise,” says Adonai. “I will put him in the safe place— he pants for it.” 7The words of Adonai are pure words— like silver refined in an earthly crucible, purified seven times. 8You will keep us safe, Adonai. You will protect us from this generation forever. 9The wicked strut all around, while vileness is exalted by mankind.
–from Psalms 12

Don’t get tripped up in the mess! Don’t get tripped up in the lies! Don’t get tripped up in the deception! Don’t be a stumbling block to others! Choose wisely! Choose to be a part of God’s family! Choose to be a voice of hope! Choose to be an ambassador of peace! Choose wisely! And then live it out with God! Live it out under the cover of the blood of Jesus! And be transformed and live a life that transforms and leads!

Today’s reading closes with John 16…

1“I have spoken these things to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. 2They will throw you out of the synagogues. Yes, an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3They will do these things because they have never known the Father or Me. 4But I have spoken these things to you so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.”

The Ruach Reveals Truth

5“But now I am going to the One who sent Me, and not one of you is asking Me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Because I have spoken these things to you, grief has filled your heart. 7But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away! For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12“I still have much more to tell you, but you cannot handle it just now. 13But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. 15Everything that the Father has is Mine. For this reason I said the Ruach will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.”

Death and Resurrection Foretold

16“A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me.” 17Then some of His disciples said to one another, “What does He mean by telling us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? And, ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18They kept on saying, “What’s this He’s saying, ‘A little while’? We don’t know what He’s talking about!” 19Yeshua knew that they wanted to question Him, so He said to them, “Are you asking each other about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? 20Amen, amen I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will celebrate. You will be filled with sorrow, but your sorrow will turn to joy! 21“When a woman is in labor, she has pain because her hour has come. But when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, because of the joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22So also you have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you! 23“In that day, you will ask Me nothing. Amen, amen I tell you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 24Up to now, you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be full. 25“These things I have spoken to you in metaphors. An hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in metaphors, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26In that day, you will ask in My name—and I’m not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from God. 28I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29His disciples say, “See, now You’re speaking plainly and not in metaphors. 30Now we know that You know everything and have no need to be asked anything. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” 31Yeshua answered them, “Do you now believe? 32Look, the hour is coming—indeed has come—when you will be scattered, each to his own, and you will abandon Me. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!
–from John 16

Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to be our comforter, our teacher, and our guide! Let’s live our lives in spirit and in truth!

When you are having a discussion…


Are you listening to the other person or thinking about what you will say next? Are you actively listening to what the person is saying so that you are sure you are getting it? Are you more interested in what you have to say than what they are telling you? This is a problem! Especially if there is a conflict since you won’t really get their side of the story!

If we start with the advice we first get from today’s reading, we hear:

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

–from James 1

If we consider the priority order of this instruction we see that first we need to hear what the person is saying — active listening — I remember when I took calls in tech support this was a very important skill. You are acknowledging what they are saying and if you don’t understand something you get clarification. You aren’t challenging or arguing, you are just working to make sure they know you are hearing them and making sure you know what the actual problem or reason for their being upset, frustrated, or angry. It’s not always easy, but it is the right thing to do when in the middle of a situation! Rather than fighting each other, put the target on the actual problem! We have two ears and 1 mouth so let’s try to listen twice as much as we speak! Our reading tells us to be slow to speak, let’s make sure we don’t overreact or blow things out of proportions but rather gather the information necessary to move forward! Getting angry won’t reduce the conflict, it will in most cases cause it to escalate! And that doesn’t do either of you any good. Our reading not only tells us priority of actions, it also gives us instructions on how to get there by getting rid of the junk that gets in the way! We need to get rid of the intention or desire to do evil! We need to get rid of immoral behavior! We need to be humble! We need to humbly receive the Word of God! We need to humbly accept the Word of God placed in us! It can be the thing that saves our soul. It will help us walk in alignment with God! It can direct us into a relationship with Jesus! And Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light — Romans puts it this way “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” and Acts puts it this way “believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved“. We need to be able to listen to what God is saying in and through the situation! We need to be able to hear what the heart of the other person is also saying!


So today,
let’s be quick to listen,
slow to speak,
and
even slower to get angry!


 

Today’s devotional (Conflict At Work day 3) also speaks about this verse. This is what they have to say on the subject…

Be Quick to Listen

Christians need to listen well, both to people and to God. “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). You listen, not as a technique to influence others, but as a way to let God’s word “rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness” (James 1:21). Listening well to others removes our anger and arrogance. When others speak words that we do not welcome—words of disagreement, criticism or dismissal—it is easy to respond in anger, especially in high-pressure situations. But doing so usually makes our position worse and discredits our witness as Christ’s servants.

When approaching a co-worker about conflict, you must set aside your self-justification long enough to listen to what the other person has to say. This is very difficult! But it works. Your goal at first is not to come to agreement, but just to understand the other person’s point of view. Say something like, “I realize that this is coming between us, so I want to start by listening to how you see things.” Then listen without interrupting. Repeat back what the other person said without modifications or corrections. “I think you said…. Is that right?” You may have to try several times until you get it so the other person can respond, “Yes that is what I said.” Success!

Now ask the other person to listen to your perspective and repeat it back to you, just as you did for him or her. Repeat until the other person actually repeats what you said, without asking the person to agree with it.

Now you both understand the other person’s point of view. You may still disagree. Yet most of the time, the feeling of being heard and respected is so wonderful that both of you have a new energy and sense of working together. Now you can begin to find a solution to the conflict that you can both live with.

Video

Watch this short video about being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.

Prayer

Dear God, It is difficult to listen and not defend my own position. Help me approach conflict with meekness, humility and a heart that is willing to truly understand another’s perspective. Amen.

Further Exploration

Click to read more from the Theology of Work Project about listening in James 1.

–from Conflict At Work (day 3)

 

 

 

 

God is creative and He created us in His image.


Have you ever noticed that work isn’t something added later on in the story of God? Have you ever noticed how God’s Word begins with works of God? Have you ever noticed in the first two chapters of Genesis how it begins with His Work in the creation of the universe and of man? Since we are created in the image of God, work is something we were born with the active imagination to do, the visionary ideas to do, the purposeful plans to accomplish, just like Him! It’s incredible to consider how it all began with a bang! It’s incredible how it started and progressed ad He worked! So let’s pursue God and be creative like Him! Let’s be purposeful in our work so that in all we do we will glorify God! Let’s be visionary and not just be doing stuff, but rather let’s be doing the good work God has created in advance for us to accomplish! Let us not forget that the Earth is the Lords and everything in it! He created everything on purpose with a purpose for a purpose! That includes you and me! You’re not an accident and neither am I! No matter what anyone may think or say! It wasn’t a surprise to God when you were born, for He knit you together in your mother’s womb! If we are still on earth, that is because God isn’t done with us yet and He has something for us to do! So let’s take time to consider God’s will for us today! Let’s ask Him to work in us and through us today! Let’s ask God for eyes to see His hand working in and through us as imitate His creativity by living life to the full!

Today’s Reading:

1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

–from Genesis 1

7And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

–from Genesis 2

We are important to God! We have a purpose that requires us to work for His glory! So let’s make sure that we glorify Him in all the work we have to do today!

How much does it matter to you? How impactful should it be?


When you pray is it a causal thing? When you pray is it a passive thing? When you pray is it an occasional thing?

Is it important to you? Is it impactful to you? Is it necessary to you?

Consider what you are praying about… Consider how important it is and the proper response… Consider much it means and requires and what the right response should be…

Praying isn’t a casual thing, but rather it’s time spent talking with God. Praying isn’t a passive thing, it’s an active thing and in some cases pro-active thing so that we can get the wisdom and direction and instruction from God, necessary to deal with something! Praying is an all the time thing! We may pray differently depending on when we pray, why we pray, and what is going on, but it’s not an occasional thing!

Today’s Reading: Joshua 7:6-9

6Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. 7And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! 8O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?”

Joshua was dealing with something big and had a big response in how he prayed! It was like a full contact sport! He ripped his clothes! He fell to the ground! He laid on the ground face down wanting and needing God’s answer! He threw dust on His head because of the distress he wanted to convey! He wasn’t making it casual, He was being purposeful in order to show God that this was important to him. He was needing God’s wisdom to be able to move forward! He wanted to make sure that whatever it was He was needing to do and was supposed to go in the future that it would glorify God’s great name!

Where are you at today? Is it routine? Consider a change of posture! Consider praying in that new way and then waiting to hear from God! Don’t just say it and get up and go on your way! Wait on Him! Joshua waited and God answered him…

10The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? 11Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. 12Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you. 13Get up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the Lord, God of Israel, “There are devoted things in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you.” 14In the morning therefore you shall be brought near by your tribes. And the tribe that the Lord takes by lot shall come near by clans. And the clan that the Lord takes shall come near by households. And the household that the Lord takes shall come near man by man. 15And he who is taken with the devoted things shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done an outrageous thing in Israel.’”–from Joshua 7

God can provide direction and instruction to help you with what you are facing! Do you really want to know? Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone, out of your routine, and then wait upon the Lord? How far do you have to go before you will consider it? How bad does it have to get before you will submit yourself to God and be willing to wait upon Him to answer?

Will today be the day?