Ever felt alone in the middle of a crowd?


Ever felt alone in the middle of a group experience? Ever been alone somewhere? Ever been alone somewhere and not felt lonely? What does alone mean to you? What does alone feel like to you? Do you realize how others feel about loneliness?


Let’s first frame this with the dictionary definitions:

a·lone[əˈlōn]
ADJECTIVE
  1. having no one else present; on one’s own:
    “she was alone that evening” · “he lives alone”
    synonyms:by oneself · on one’s own · all alone · solitary · single · singly · solo · solus · unescorted · unaccompanied · partnerless · companionless · by one’s lonesome
  2. indicating that something is confined to the specified subject or recipient:
    “we agreed to set up such a test for him alone” · “it is Congress alone that can declare war”
    synonyms:only · solely · just · and no one else · and nothing else · and no one but · and nothing but

and

lone·li·ness[ˈlōnlēnəs]
NOUN
  1. sadness because one has no friends or company:
    “feelings of depression and loneliness”
    • the fact of being without companions; solitariness:
      “the loneliness of a sailor’s life”
  2. (of a place) the quality of being unfrequented and remote; isolation:
    “the loneliness of the farm”

‘Loneliness and the feeling of being uncared for and unwanted are the greatest poverty.’ –Mother Theresa


This is a real problem! This is a real issue! This is a reality in this virtual world that is being created where people aren’t being social because of social networks. Do you stop when you see someone who is alone to learn about them? Do you stop when you see someone who in the midst of a crowd of people doesn’t seem to be connecting? Do you stop when you see someone who is new to the group or the company in order to help them connect and feel welcomed?

Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean loneliness. Are you a catalyst to ensure that people who are alone aren’t lonely?

Do you realize that we weren’t created to go through life alone? Do you realize that we were created to be in relationship first with God and second with one another? Do you realize that even when we read from God’s Word the top two commandments get summarized by Love God and Love one another? Do you realize the loneliness topic is even brought up in the beginning? Genesis? Genesis 2 speaks to it this way…

18The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

Today’s devotional speaks to this when it quotes Desmond Tutu…

‘The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms,’ writes Desmond Tutu. He continues, ‘We are made for complementarity. We are created for a delicate network of relationships, of interdependence with our fellow human beings… We belong in one family – God’s family, the human family… the greatest good is communal harmony.’

–from Day 311: Bible In One Year 2017

Today’s devotional adds to this in closing with…

God does not intend for you to be lonely and isolated. Loneliness has been described as ‘a homesickness for God’. God created you for community – calling you into relationship with him and with other human beings.

–from Day 311: Bible In One Year 2017

You are not alone, yet you may feel loneliness. Turn to God! Call out to Him! Turn back to Him and turn to His Word and read His promises and truth to know the truth for the truth will set you free! People may see you alone but because of your relationship with Jesus you are not lonely! But if we can’t tell where someone is at, shouldn’t we be people reaching out, embracing, and discipling the world around us? So see what is going on around you – even within group events…in some cases maybe even more so that they feel loneliness because amongst the crowd they feel alone.


The Answer to Loneliness

Day 311: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. A peaceful community … Psalm 120:1-7
  2. A ‘new’ community … Hebrews 8:1-13
    • God promised a new covenant that would be superior to the old one and founded on better promises. The writer goes back to the book of Jeremiah, and quotes 31:31–34.

      What were these promises? They are fourfold:

      New heart

      God promises to implant his laws in your heart. This does not mean simply committing the law to memory (as per Deuteronomy 6:6–9). It means having a new heart, ‘I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts’ (Hebrews 8:10b).

      Firsthand knowledge

      He promises that the knowledge of God will be a matter of personal experience. ‘No longer will they teach their neighbours, or say to one another, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know me’ (v.11). It is possible for you to know God in the way that Jeremiah knew God: ‘They’ll all get to know me firsthand’ (v.11, MSG).

      Universal scope

      ‘They will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest’ (v.11b). This was a fulfillment of the promise in the Old Testament that the promise would no longer be confined to Israel and Judah but would extend to all nations (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; 19:24).

      Total forgiveness

      ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more’ (Hebrews 8:12). For the Hebrews, the word ‘remembering’ meant more than mental effort; it carried with it the sense of doing something to the advantage or disadvantage of the person who remembered. If your sins are not remembered, it means that God is determined to forgive and that the ‘slate’ of your sins is ‘forever wiped clean’ (v.12, MSG). All this is possible because Jesus offered his life for you (v.13).

      This new covenant is far superior and ‘has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and ageing will soon disappear’ (v.13).

      The new covenant is the basis of the new community into which God calls you. This new covenant is the answer to loneliness. The covenant is with God’s people together and not solely with each individual person. The promises are all in the plural. You have the immense privilege of belonging to the new community of God’s people. You know God personally. Your sins are forgiven. The Holy Spirit has come to live within you and given you a new heart. You are never alone.

      –from Day 311: Bible In One Year 2017

  3. A faithful community … Ezekiel 13:1-15:8

You are not alone!


No matter where you are at! No matter what you are going through! No matter what is ahead of you! You need to realize that you have someone who is available to you 24x7x365 (and 366 in a leap year)!

You are not alone! He is Emmanuel – God with us!

He is with you every step of the way whether you realize it or not! Will you talk with Him in and through it? Will you realize that He will pick you up and carry you through the hard times?

See the source image

Will you realize even when it gets hard and you don’t think you can go any further, He is there to help you through it, He is there to help you around it, He is there to help you over it! He will even allow it to be cast out of the way!

Do you realize the power of the Son? Through the Son you have access to the Father! Through the Son things that could have gotten in the way are removed and open the door to allow you access to the Father!

So, will you pray a prayer that has power? Will you pray by the leading of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ when you ask of the Father?

I remember hearing a story of someone being asked to not pray in the name of Jesus and they answered if I don’t pray in the name of Jesus then there is no point in them praying.

I remember hearing a story of how praying without Jesus is like sending a letter without putting a stamp on it.

So be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit! Through Jesus we have direct access to the Father when we pray! So let’s not try to go it alone! Let’s give up the very situation to God and allow Him to work in and through it for His glory!


Ever considered the pattern of the Lord’s prayer? Ever tried to pray aligned to it? I remember being blessed when I learned it from an incredible Pastor name Pastor Jenkins! There have been many times when I don’t know what to pray or what to say I go back to this simple prayer and expand at each point…

See the source image

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name…

Lord, I thank You and praise you Lord for who you are and all that you have and are doing in and through my life. You are the author and perfecter of my faith! You are so amazing and incredible and I love You so much. May my life today bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…

Grant me wisdom today Lord so that in all that I think, all that I say, and all that I do, You will be lifted up! Help me Lord to accomplish Your will today in and through my life! Not my will, but Your will be accomplished today in and through my life.

Give us this day our daily bread…

Lord, You know what is coming today and You know what I will need to make it through. I ask Lord for Your provision today of wisdom, discernment, direction, and any resources I will need to accomplish your will! Help me Lord today to be Your hands extended, Your arms embracing, and Your love offered into the world around me.

And forgive us our trespasses…

Lord, forgive me. You know the mistakes and You know the temptations I have given into. Lord, forgive me Lord so that I can leave the past where it belongs, behind me and move forward in Your purpose and plans today. I ask this Lord having forgiven others for I know that as I forgive others, You will forgive me.

As we forgive those who trespass against us…

Lord, I lift up those who have harmed me, those who have lied to me, those who have mistreated me, those who have hurt me and I forgive them. I know Lord that allowing a bitter root into my life will serve no good purpose and will only make things worse. I know Lord that not forgiving them is like taking poison and expecting it to harm them which makes no sense and isn’t beneficial to anyone. I know Lord that in forgiving them, it doesn’t make what they did right but it does free me from the chains and the pain that would grow if I didn’t give it up to you and let it go. So Lord I forgive them and give it up into Your hands!

Lead us not into temptation…

Lord, grant me wisdom today to not be tripped up or tricked by the devil. Don’t allow temptations to get me off track or keeping me from achieving the full purpose and plan and potential You have plans for me today! Help me Lord to be focused more on the things that will lift You up and bring You praise! Help me Lord to live out today in the fruit of the Spirit rather than being tempted into the ways of the world! Help me Lord to live my life today by demonstrating and living out love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!

But deliver us from evil…

Lord, rebuke the devil and his power and vices so that I can walk free from and keep away from the evil plans he is trying to play out today. Grant me wisdom for every situation I pray so that in and through it all my actions, my responses will bring You the praise, honor, and glory! Help me Lord not to get tripped up or tricked by the lies of the devil for His plans are to rob, kill, and destroy and Lord I want to be Your witness of How Your desire and plan  is that I would live life and life to the full!

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Lord, I give my life and this day up into Your hands that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lord, Your Word is so key to helping us because temptations will be with us always and so we need the antidote to temptation which is the Word of God!

Another acronym to help in prayer is the word A.C.T.S. which is the one described in today’s devotional

The psalmist’s prayer is addressed to God. Jesus teaches us to address God as our Father. As Psalm 119 draws to a close, the psalmist prays a variety of prayers, which include ‘A.C.T.S.’:

  • A – Adoration

    Praise God for who he is and what he has done.

    ‘Let me live that I may praise You’ (v.175, AMP).

  • C – Confession

    Ask God’s forgiveness for anything that you have done wrong.

    I have gone astray like a lost sheep’ (v.176, AMP).

  • T – Thanksgiving

    Thank God for health, family, friends and so on.

    ‘My lips shall pour forth praise (with thanksgiving and renewed trust)’ (v.171, AMP).

  • S – Supplication

    Pray for yourself, for your friends and for others.

    ‘May my supplication come before you’ (v.170).

–from Day 310: Bible In One Year 2017

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and nobody gets the Father except through Him, so we need to take hold of this and rejoice in receiving Him and walking out our lives with Jesus! Today’s devotional speaks to the benefits of Jesus this way…

Jesus’ priesthood is based on a superior promise. The writer quotes Psalm 110:4 to show how Jesus’ priesthood was established through a promise of God. Unlike the temporary former priests, Jesus’ priesthood was confirmed by God’s promise (Hebrews 7:20–21). Jesus perfectly meets all your needs (v.26).

  • Jesus has defeated death for you

    It is ‘by the sheer force of resurrection life – he lives!’ (v.16). Unlike the former priests, Jesus lives forever, and his priesthood is permanent (vv.23–24).

  • Jesus is constantly praying for you

    Jesus continually intercedes for those who come to God through him: ‘He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with him and intervene for them’ (v.25b, AMP).

    Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813–1843) wrote: ‘If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.’

  • Jesus is uniquely able to represent you

    The priests had to offer sacrifices for their sin first, but Jesus was ‘completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself’ (v.26, MSG). He is the unique mediator who is fully God and fully human.

  • Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice for your sins

    ‘Unlike the other high priests he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people’ (v.27). When Jesus offered himself on the cross, it was only necessary for this sacrifice to be offered once, since it was totally effective: ‘He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself’ (v.27).

His qualities of a superior life, a superior promise, a superior ‘offerer’ and a superior offering, all demonstrate that Jesus’ priesthood is totally effective in providing you access to the Father. As a result of Jesus’ permanent and perfect priesthood, you can ‘draw near to God’ (v.19). You can, ‘come to God through him’ (v.25).

–from Day 310: Bible In One Year 2017

We need to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our prayers! Even when we don’t know what to say He can speak through even our groans… Unlike in the old days before the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit through the baptism of the Holy Spirit became available to all people it used to be on specific people at specific times for specific purposes! Today we are able to have the Holy Spirit in us when we received Jesus!


You Have Access to God

Day 310: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. To the Father … Psalms 119:169-176
  2. … through Jesus … Hebrews 7:11-28
  3. … by the Holy Spirit … Ezekiel 10, Ezekiel 11, Ezekiel 12

You are not alone…ł


You weren’t created to be alone. You weren’t created to go it alone. That’s why there is one another! God created you to have a relationship with you!

Walking thru a dark time in life? Invite God to walk it out with you. Talking to some about something and they aren’t getting it? Invite God into your situation.

Just because others are understanding how real God is in your life doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep sharing. It is planting seeds. It is tilling the soil of their heart. It is watering the ground to help it be ready for that day when they do receive it and get it.

When the Holy Spirit moves in when they invite Jesus into their lives, the lights will come on and they will get it. We need to be praying for our friends and family so that the Holy Spirit will open their hearts, minds, eyes and ears to the truth of Jesus.

So no matter what you are doing or going through, you don’t have to do it alone for we have the promise of God with us. The promise that Jesus will be with us every step of the way. By inviting Him in we now have Him with us the rest of our life on earth and throughout eternity.


God is With You

Day 218 – Bible in One Year 2017

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/218

  1. With you in troublePsalm 91:9-16

  2. With you by his Spirit … 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

In his book, True Spirituality, Vaughan Roberts notes that there is a four-fold process in which the Holy Spirit reveals God’s wisdom to us.

The Holy Spirit knows

He knows what no human being could otherwise know – the mind and thoughts of God. ‘The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows the thoughts of another human being except that person’s own spirit within? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God’ (vv.10b–11).

The Holy Spirit reveals

The Holy Spirit does not keep his knowledge of the wisdom of God to himself, but he reveals it to those in whom he dwells. ‘We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us’ (v.12). You have received the Spirit who is from God. He is with you. He enables you to understand the secret wisdom of God, though of course we could never fathom the depths of God. As Paul says later in this letter, in this life ‘we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror’, not yet ‘face to face’ (13:12).

The Holy Spirit inspires

Paul was inspired by the Spirit to pass on the wisdom of the gospel to others. ‘This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words’ (2:13). The Spirit similarly teaches you what to say so that you too can express ‘spiritual truths in spiritual words’, generally through the Spirit-inspired words of the apostles recorded in the New Testament. You can share words in line with Scripture that point people to Jesus.

The Holy Spirit illuminates

Without the Holy Spirit you simply cannot understand spiritual truths: ‘The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned’ (v.14). When God is with you by his Spirit you can actually understand the mind of the Lord. Indeed, you ‘have the mind of Christ’ (v.16).

Lord, thank you for this amazing truth that you are with me by your Spirit. Today, may I have the mind of Christ in all my decisions and conversations. I pray for spiritual words to express spiritual truths.

— from Day 218: Bible in One Year 2017

  1. With you in success … 1 Chronicles 22:2-23:32

It’s time to realize God is God!


What do you believe? Who are you believing in? Where does your trust come from? In whom shall you trust? Are you living for God for something else? How long will you wander? How long will you stray? How long till you come back to God? Or will you run the risk that Jesus will return before you decide? What would it take for you to believe? What would it take for you to turn back? What would it take for you to receive the incredible gift of God? Hurry before it is too late!

It’s time to realize God is God!


Don’t be an Ahab! Don’t be a Jezebel! Turn back to God before it is too late! Walk in the triumph of the Lord!

Elijah Confronts Ahab

1Now it was after many days that the word of Adonai came to Elijah in the third year saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab; then I will send rain on the land. 2So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. 3Ahab summoned Obadiah who was the steward of the palace. Now Obadiah feared Adonai greatly— 4for when Jezebel was cutting off the prophets of Adonai, Obadiah took 100 prophets, hid them 50 to a cave, and provided them with bread and water. 5Then Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the wadis. Perhaps we may find grass and so keep the horses and mules alive and not lose all the animals.” 6So they divided the land between them to explore it—Ahab went one way by himself while Obadiah went another way by himself. 7As Obadiah was on the road, all of a sudden, Elijah met him. When he recognized him, he fell on his face and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?” 8“It is I,” he answered him. Go tell your lord, ‘Look, Elijah is here!” 9“How have I sinned,” he replied, “that you are giving your servant into the hand of Ahab, to put me to death? 10As Adonai your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent to search for you; and when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made that kingdom or nation swear that they could not find you. 11“Now you’re saying, ‘Go tell your lord, “Look, Elijah is here!”’ 12But as soon as I leave you, the Ruach Adonai may carry you off where I wouldn’t know. Then, when I come and tell Ahab and he can’t find you, he’ll kill me! Now I, your servant, have feared Adonai since my youth. 13Wasn’t my lord told what I did when Jezebel slaughtered the prophets of Adonai—how I hid 100 of Adonai’s prophets, 50 to a cave and provided them with bread and water? 14So now you say, ‘Go tell your lord, “Look, Elijah is here!’” He’ll kill me!” 15Then Elijah said, “As Adonai-Tzva’ot lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” 16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him; then, Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17Now when Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, the one who causes trouble for Israel?” 18But he answered, “I have not troubled Israel. Rather, it is you and your father’s house—by forsaking the mitzvot of Adonai and going after the Baalim. 19Now then, send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

Triumph on Mount Carmel

20So Ahab sent word to all the children of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If Adonai is God, follow Him; but if Baal is, follow him.” But the people did not answer him, not even a word. 22Then Elijah said to the people, “I am the only prophet of Adonai left, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23Now let them give us two young bulls. Let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it into pieces, lay it on the wood, and put no fire underneath, while I prepare the other bull, lay it on the wood, and put no fire underneath. 24Then you will call on the name of your god, and then, I will call on the Name of Adonai. The God who answers with fire, He is God.” All the people responded and said, “It’s a good thing.” 25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first—since you are so many. Then call on the name of your god, but put no fire underneath.” 26So they took the bull that he gave them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning till noon, crying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice—no one was answering. They also danced leaping around the altar that was made. 27Now when it was about noon, Elijah mocked them and said, “Shout louder! After all, he is a god! Maybe he’s deep in thought, or he’s relieving himself, or he’s off on a journey, or perhaps he’s asleep and must wake up!” 28So they shouted even louder and cut themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until the blood gushed over them. 29When midday was past, they kept prophesying ecstatically until the time of offering up the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice, no one answering, no one paying attention. 30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came closer to him. Then he repaired the damaged altar of Adonai. 31Elijah took twelve stones—like the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of Adonai had come saying, “Israel shall be your name”— 32and with the stones he built an altar in the Name of Adonai. Then he made a trench around the altar, large enough to contain two measures of seed. 33Then he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. 34Then he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” Then he said, “A second time!” and they did it a second time. Then he said, “A third time!” and they did it a third time. 35So the water ran around the altar and he also filled the trench with water. 36Now it was at the time of offering up the evening sacrifice that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Adonai, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that You are God in Israel, that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37Answer me, Adonai, answer me, so that these people may know that You, Adonai, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” 38Then the fire of Adonai fell and consumed the burnt offering—and the wood, the stones and the dust—and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces, and they said, “Adonai, He is God! Adonai, He is God!” 40Then Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Let not a single one of them escape.” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon and slew them there. 41Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there’s the sound of rain.” 42So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, crouched on the ground and put his face between his knees. 43Then he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up, looked, and said, “There’s nothing.” Then he said, “Go back”—seven times— 44and it was the seventh time that he said, “Look! A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” Then he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Harness your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” 45In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. Ahab mounted and rode, and headed to Jezreel. 46Now the hand of Adonai was on Elijah, so he girded up his loins and outran Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

–from 1 Kings 18

We aren’t supposed to do it alone! We are supposed to do it with God! With God all things are possible! So fear not, just believe! Turn to God for wisdom and direction so you will know how to respond to what is set before you! It may not be as bad as you think!

Whisper at the Cave

1Then Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done and how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah saying, “So let the gods do to me and worse if by this time tomorrow I don’t make your life like the life of one of them.” 3Frightened, he got up and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, he left his servant there. 4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom bush. He prayed that he might die. “It’s too much!” he said. “Now, Adonai, take my life! For I’m no better than my fathers.” 5Then he lay down and slept under the broom bush. Then behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, “Get up, and eat.” 6So he looked, and to his surprise, there by his head was a cake baked on the hot stones and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7Then the angel of Adonai came again a second time, touched him and said. “Get up and eat, because the journey is too much for you.” 8So he arose and ate and drank, and in the strength of that meal forty days and forty nights went to Horeb, the mountain of God. 9When he arrived there at the cave, he spent the night there. Then behold, the word of Adonai came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10“I have been very zealous for Adonai-Tzva’ot,” he said, “for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and slain Your prophets with the sword—and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it!” 11Then He said, “Come out and stand on the mount before Adonai.” Behold, Adonai was passing by—a great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and shattering cliffs before Adonai. But Adonai was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but Adonai was not in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake a fire, but Adonai was not in the fire. After the fire there was a soft whisper of a voice. 13As soon as Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle, went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then all of a sudden, a voice addressed him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14“I have been very zealous for Adonai Tzva’ot,” he said, “for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and slain Your prophets with the sword—and I alone am left, and they are seeking to take my life!” 15Then Adonai said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram, 16and anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17It shall come to pass that whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu will slay; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha will slay. 18Yet I have preserved seven thousand in Israel whose knees have not bowed to Baal and whose mouth has not kissed him.”

Calling of Elisha

19So he departed from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. Then Elijah crossed over to him and threw his mantle on him. 20So he left the oxen and ran after Elijah saying, “Let me please kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” “Come back,” he said to him. “For what have I done to you?” 21So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the oxen’s yoke gear, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose, went after Elijah and became his attendant.

–from 1 Kings 19

The time is getting closer! The signs are everywhere! So what will you do about it? How will you show you care?

The Seventh Seal and Seven Trumpets

1Now when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden incense burner. He was given much incense to offer up along with the prayers of all the kedoshim upon the golden altar before the throne. 4And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the kedoshim, rose before God from the angel’s hand. 5Then the angel took the incense burner and filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there were clashes of thunder and rumblings and flashes of lightning and earthquakes. 6Then the seven angels holding the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. 7The first trumpeted, and there was hail and fire mixed with blood, and they were thrown upon the earth. A third of the earth burned up, a third of the trees burned up, and all the green grass burned up. 8The second angel trumpeted, and something like a huge mountain ablaze with fire was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9a third of the creatures living in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10The third angel trumpeted, and a great star fell from the heavens, burning like a torch. It fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11Now the name of the star is Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the waters that were made bitter. 12The fourth angel trumpeted, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day would not shine, as well as a third of the night. 13Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying out with a loud voice as it flew high in the sky, saying, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpets the three angels are about to sound!”

–from The Revelation 8

So what will you do? Who will you tell? How will you share His love with those He brings into your life? It’s not too late yet if you are reading this to choose to follow Jesus! It’s not too late yet if you are reading this to tell others about Jesus! If not you then who? If not now then when? This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

1Then the fifth angel trumpeted, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth. The key to the bottomless pit was given to him. 2He opened the pit, and smoke rose from the pit like the smoke of a gigantic furnace. The sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the pit. 3Then from the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given to them like the scorpions have power over the earth. 4They were told to do no harm to the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5And they were permitted not to kill them, but to torment them for five months—and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a person. 6In those days, people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them. 7Now the appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were something like crowns of gold, and their faces were like human faces. 8They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like those of lions. 9They had chests like iron breastplates; and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots rushing into battle. 10They have tails like scorpions with stingers; and in their tails is their power to harm people for five months. 11They have as king over them the angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he has the name Apollyon. 12The first woe is past. Behold, two woes are still coming after these things. 13The sixth angel trumpeted, and I heard a single voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God. 14It said to the sixth angel, the one holding the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15So the four angels—who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year—were released to kill a third of mankind. 16The number of mounted troops was two hundred million—I heard their number. 17Now here is how I saw the horses and those riding on them: they had breastplates that were fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow. The heads of the horses were as heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire and smoke and brimstone. 18By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone that came out of their mouths. 19For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads by which they inflict injuries. 20But the rest of mankind, those not killed by these plagues, did not repent and turn away from the works of their hands—they would not stop worshiping demons and the idols of gold and silver and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. 21And they did not repent and turn away from their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their stealing.

–from The Revelation 9

 

Sure you have a good plan, but will you give the directions up to God?


Will you try to do it all alone? Will you allow God to help? Will you try to do it your way? Will you allow the process to go God’s way? Will you try to do it all in your own strength? Will you allow God’s strength to help carry the load? Will you share the yoke with God? Are your motives in the right spot? Will you commit all that you are going to do up to God? Will you serve with humility? Will you be fair and just? Would you rather wisdom or reward? Wisdom is more valuable than gold and silver! Let’s be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger! We have 2 ears and 1 mouth — we should be listening twice as much right!

Today’s reading begins in Proverbs…

Commit Your Heart to Adonai

1The plans of the heart belong to man, but the tongue’s answer is from Adonai. 2All a man’s ways are pure in his own eyes, but Adonai weighs the motives. 3Commit whatever you do to Adonai, and your plans will succeed. 4Adonai works everything out for his own purpose— even the wicked for a day of disaster. 5Adonai abhors all the proud in heart. Be assured, they will not go unpunished. 6By mercy and truth is iniquity atoned, and by the fear of Adonai one avoids evil. 7When one’s ways are pleasing to Adonai, he makes even his enemies be at peace with him. 8Better a little with righteousness than much income without justice. 9The heart of man plans his course, but Adonai directs his steps.

The Delights of a Just King

10An oracle is on the lips of the king— let his mouth never be treacherous in judgment. 11Honest balances and scales are Adonai’s. All the weights in a bag are His handiwork. 12Wrongdoing is an abomination to kings, for a throne is established by righteousness. 13Righteous lips are the delight of kings. He loves those who speak honestly. 14A king’s fury is like messengers of death, but a wise man will appease it. 15In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor like a cloud of spring rain. 16How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver. 17The highway of the upright avoids evil. He who guards his way protects his life. 18Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19Better to be lowly in spirit with the afflicted than to share the spoil with the proud. 20One prudent in a matter will find good Blessed is the one who trusts in Adonai. 21The wise in heart is called discerning, and sweetness of lips increases persuasiveness. 22Insight is a fountain of life to one who has it, but folly leads to the discipline of fools. 23A wise man’s heart teaches his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips. 24Pleasant words are honeycomb— sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 25There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 26A laborer’s appetite works on his behalf, for his hunger drives him on.

Slow to Anger

27A wicked scoundrel digs up evil, and on his lips is a scorching fire. 28A perverse person sows strife, and a gossip separates close friends. 29A violent person lures his neighbor, leading him down a path that is no good. 30One who winks his eyes schemes deceit, one who purses his lips is bent on evil. 31Gray hair is a crown of glory, found on the path of righteousness. 32Better to be slow to anger than a mighty warrior. One who controls his temper is better than one who conquers a city. 33The lot is cast into the lap, but their very decision is from Adonai.

–from Proverbs 16

Character…don’t allow money or power pull you away from what is right and what is just! It’s more than just our words and our actions, God is looking to see our motive – what is in our heart! There is nothing we can hide from Him! We are to love everyone! God created each of us and so we should be treating each other with the respect and love! Let’s be peacemakers! Let’s be flipping the status quo over and live to raise the bar on society! Let’s consider what God says over what people say! Consider Matthew 5 and how Jesus flips what was common and normal towards God’s plan, God’s purpose, and God’s way! Will you walk with integrity in order to find safety? Let’s be looking to create reconciliation and forgiveness rather than allowing anger and frustration and bitterness to grow and fester and take root.

Beware Bribes and Rebellion

1Better is dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. 2A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son and will share the inheritance with the brothers. 3A crucible is for silver and a furnace is for gold, but Adonai tests the heart. 4An evildoer listens to wicked lips; a liar listens to a malicious tongue. 5Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker. Whoever rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished. 6Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly and the glory of children is their parents. 7Arrogant lips are not fitting for a fool, much less lying lips for a ruler. 8A bribe is a charm in the eyes of its owner. Wherever he turns, he succeeds. 9Whoever covers up an offense seeks love. Whoever repeats a matter separates close friends. 10A rebuke makes a greater impression on a discerning person than a hundred lashes on a fool. 11An evil man seeks only rebellion, and so a cruel messenger will be sent against him. 12Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than to deal with a fool in his folly. 13Whoever rewards evil for good— evil will never leave his house. 14The beginning of strife is like letting out water— so stop a quarrel before it breaks out. 15Acquitting the wicked and condemning the righteous: both are an abomination to Adonai. 16Of what use is money in the hand of a fool since he has no intention of acquiring wisdom? 17A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. 18A man lacking judgment shakes hands on a deal and puts up financial security for his neighbor. 19He who loves sin loves strife. One who builds a high gate invites destruction. 20A perverse heart finds nothing good a devious tongue falls into trouble. 21Whoever fathers a fool gets grief. There is no joy for the father of a disgraceful son. 22A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 23The wicked one receives a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice. 24Wisdom is before the person of understanding, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. 25A foolish son is grief to his father and bitterness to her that bore him. 26Also, to punish a righteous person is not good, nor to beat up an honorable one for his integrity. 27One with knowledge restrains his words, and a discerning person stays calm. 28Even a fool, who keeps quiet, is considered wise, discerning, if he seals his lips.

–from Proverbs 17

Let’s do a self assessment today…Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. …Use forgiveness and love to replace such things. Jesus, the rock of the faith was rejected. The cornerstone of faith was rejected. So consider pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for it will work in you so that in the end you will be complete, lacking nothing. We don’t have to worry, even though in this world we will have troubles, because Jesus has already overcome the world!

We are to make a difference! Do you know why? It’s because you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Living Stones

1So get rid of all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all lashon ha-ra . 2As newborn babes, long for pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow toward salvation— 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen by God and precious, 5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Messiah Yeshua. 6For it says in Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen, precious cornerstone. Whoever trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” 7Now the value is for you who keep trusting; but for those who do not trust, “The stone which the builders rejected— this One has become the chief cornerstone,” 8and “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they are disobeying the word—to this they were also appointed. 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10Once you were “not a people,” but now you are “God’s people.” You were shown “no mercy,” but now you have been shown “mercy.” 11Loved ones, I urge you as strangers and sojourners to keep away from the fleshly cravings that war against the soul. 12Keep your conduct honorable among the Gentiles. Then while they speak against you as evildoers, they may—from noticing your good deeds—glorify God in the day of visitation.

Respect and Order

13For the Lord’s sake, submit yourselves to every human authority—whether to a king as supreme, 14or to governors sent by him for the punishment of those who do evil and the praise of those who do good. 15For this is God’s will, that you silence the ignorance of foolish men by doing good. 16Live as free people, but not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Rather, live as God’s slaves. 17Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 18Slaves, with all respect submit yourselves to your masters—not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are harsh. 19For this finds favor if, for the sake of conscience toward God, someone endures grief from suffering undeservedly. 20For what credit is there if, when you sin and get a beating, you endure? But if you endure when you do good and suffer for it, this finds favor with God. 21For you were called to this, because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you might follow in His footsteps: 22“He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” 23When He was abused, He did not return the abuse. While suffering, He made no threats. Instead, He kept entrusting Himself to the One who judges righteously. 24He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we, removed from sins, might live for righteousness. “By His wounds you were healed.” 25For you like sheep were going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

–from 1 Peter 2

God is good! God is love! God is perfect! God is eternal! God is light!

An Aside with the Disciples

1Meanwhile, when thousands of people had gathered, so many that they were trampling one another, Yeshua began speaking first to His disciples, “Be on guard yourselves against the hametz of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and nothing hidden that will not be made known.
3Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in private rooms will be proclaimed from the housetops.
4“I say to you, My friends, you should not be afraid of those who kill the body, since after this they have nothing more they can do.
5But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear the One who, after the killing, has authority to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear this One!
6“Aren’t five sparrows being sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.
7Indeed, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
8Now I tell you, whoever acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge him before the angels of God.
9But the one who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who slanders the Ruach ha-Kodesh will not be forgiven.
11And when they bring you to the synagogues, rulers, and authorities, do not worry about how you should defend yourself or what you should say,
12because the Ruach ha-Kodesh will teach you at that time what is necessary to say.”

A Request from the Crowd

13Then someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14But Yeshua said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or arbitrator over you?”
15Then He said to them, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the material goods he possesses.”
16And Yeshua told them a parable, saying, “The land of a certain rich man produced good crops.
17And he began thinking to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do? I don’t have a place to store my harvest!’
18And he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do! I’ll tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I’ll store all my grain and my goods.
19And I’ll say to myself, ’O my soul, you have plenty of goods saved up for many years! So take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry.”’
20But God said to him, ‘You fool! Tonight your soul is being demanded back from you! And what you have prepared, whose will that be?’
21So it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich in God.”

Instructions for the Disciples

22Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “So I say to you, do not worry about life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will wear.
23For life is more than food and the body more than clothing.
24Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable you are than birds!
25“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
26So if you cannot do even something very little, why do you worry about other things?
27Consider the lilies, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these.
28But if God so clothes the grass in the field—which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow—then how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29“So do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.
30For all the nations of the world strive after these things. But your Father knows that you need these things.
31Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.
32Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father chose to give you the kingdom.
33“Sell your possessions and do tzadakah. Make money pouches for yourselves that do not get old—a treasure in the heavens that never runs out, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
35“Have your belt strapped on and lamps burning.
36Be like people waiting for their master to return from a wedding feast, so that when he comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately.
37“Happy are those slaves whose master finds them alert when he comes. Amen, I tell you, he will prepare himself and have them recline at table, and will come and serve them.
38”And if he comes in the second or even the third watch and finds them so, they will be happy.
39But understand this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you don’t expect.”
41Then Peter said, “Master, are You telling this parable for us, or for everyone?”
42And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their food portion at the proper time?
43Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes.
44Truly I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions.
45“But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time to come,’ and he begins to beat the young slave boys and girls and to eat and drink and get drunk,
46the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. And he will cut him in two and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
47“That slave who knew his master’s will but did not prepare or act according to his desire will be harshly whipped.
48But the one who did not know and did things worthy of a beating will be whipped lightly. From everyone given much, much will be required; and from the one for whom more is provided, all the more they will ask of him.
49“I came to pour out fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already ablaze!
50But I have an immersion to endure, and how distressed I am until it is finished!
51“Do you suppose that I have come to bring shalom on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
52From now on there will be five in one house in opposition, three against two and two against three.
53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Lessons for the Crowds

54Then He also was saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, instantly you say, ‘A rainstorm is coming’—and so it is.
55And when a south wind is blowing, you say, ‘It will be a scorcher’—and so it is.
56Hypocrites! The surface of the earth and sky you know how to interpret yet you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57Why can’t you judge for yourselves what is right?
58For while you are going with your accuser to the authorities, make an effort to come to a settlement with him—so he doesn’t drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer of the court, and the officer of the court throw you into prison.
59I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid back the last little bit.”

–from Luke 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the treasure you seek?


Is it a treasure you can bring with you everywhere you go? Is it a treasure that will last forever? Is it a treasure you can store somewhere safe where thieves can steal and rust cannot destroy? Is it a treasure that will make a difference every day? Is it a treasure that will help you every day of your life? Is it a treasure that will make your life better? Is it a treasure that will help you improve your life and the lives of those around you? Is it a treasure that will never run out? Is it a treasure that will refill?

Have you found it? Are you treasuring it?

Today’s reading starts with Proverbs 7…

Treasure Torah’s Teaching

1My son, keep my words and treasure my mitzvot within you. 2Keep my mitzvot and live, my teaching as the apple of your eye. 3Bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your relative. 5They will keep you from a seducing woman, from the foreign woman with her seductive speech. 6For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice. 7I saw among the naïve, I noticed among the youth, a young man lacking understanding, 8crossing the street near her corner, walking in the direction of her house, 9in the twilight of the evening, in the darkest hours of the night. 10All of a sudden, a woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute and with a cunning heart. 11She is loud and defiant. Her feet never stay at home— 12now in the streets, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks. 13So she grabs him and kisses him and with a brazen face says to him: 14“I had to sacrifice fellowship offerings; today I paid my vow. 15So I’ve come out to meet you, to seek your presence eagerly— and I found you! 16I have spread my couch with tapestry of dyed Egyptian linens. 17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18Come, let’s drink our fill of love till morning! Let’s delight ourselves with love. 19For my husband is not at home— he’s gone on a long journey. 20He took a bag of money with him— he won’t come home until full moon.” 21With her persistent pleading she entices him, with smooth talk she seduces him. 22Suddenly he follows her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a stag bounding toward a trap, 23till an arrow pierces its liver. Like a bird darting into a snare, he never considered his own soul! 24Now then, sons, listen to me, pay attention to the words of my mouth. 25Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray onto her paths. 26For many are the victims she has brought down, and numerous are all her slain. 27Her house is a highway to Sheol, leading down to the chambers of death.

–from Proverbs 7

Seek wisdom! Ask Jesus into your heart! Allow your faith to build! Store up and invest in eternity! God’s way is so much great and better and higher than anything we could ever do on our own!

Wisdom Appeals at the Gates

1Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift her voice? 2On the topmost heights along the way, at the crossroads, she takes her stand. 3Beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: 4“To you, O men, I call out! My cry is to all mankind! 5O naïve ones, learn prudence! Fools, gain understanding! 6Listen, for I speak excellent things, and my lips utter right things. 7For my mouth speaks truth, and my lips detest wickedness. 8All the words of my mouth are righteous, Nothing in them is perverse or crooked. 9All of them are straightforward to the discerning, and right to those who find knowledge. 10Receive my instruction instead of silver and knowledge rather than choice gold. 11For wisdom is better than jewels, nothing you desire compares with her. 12“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and acquire knowledge with discretion. 13To fear Adonai is to hate evil. I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and a perverse mouth. 14Counsel and sound wisdom are mine. I have understanding and power. 15By me kings reign and princes decree justice. 16By me princes govern, and all nobles who judge righteously. 17I love those who love me. Those who earnestly seek me find me. 18With me are wealth and honor, enduring riches and righteousness. 19My fruit is better than refined gold, my harvest better than choice silver. 20I walk in the way of righteousness, along paths of justice. 21I endow substance to those who love me and fill their treasuries.

Wisdom Before Creation

22“Adonai brought me forth, the first of His way, before His works of old. 23From eternity I was appointed from the beginning, before the world began. 24When there were no depths, I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25Before the mountains were shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth. 26He had not yet made the land, the fields, or the first dust of the earth. 27 When He set the heavens in place, I was there. When He inscribed the horizon on the face of the ocean, 28when He established the skies above, when He securely fixed the fountains of the deep, 29when He set the boundaries for the sea, so that the waters never transgress His command, when He laid out earth’s foundations— 30then I was the craftsman beside Him, I was His daily delight, always rejoicing before Him, 31 rejoicing in His whole world, and delighting in mankind. 32“So now, children, listen to me! Blessed are those who keep my ways. 33Heed discipline and be wise, and do not neglect it. 34Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. 35For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from Adonai. 36But whoever fails to find me harms his life— all who hate me love death.”

–from Proverbs 8

Let’s live our lives in love! Loving God and loving others! Let’s allow God’s love to flow through us into the lives of those around by showing them grace!

Be Gracious to Your Servants

1A Song of Ascents. To You I lift up my eyes— You enthroned in the heavens. 2Behold, as the eyes of slaves to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a slave-girl to the hand of her mistress— so our eyes look to Adonai our God, till He shows us favor. 3Show us favor, Adonai, show us favor! For we have endured much contempt. 4Our soul has had enough of the scorn of those at ease, the contempt of the proud.

–from Psalms 123

Let’s use our words for good! Words have power! Words have the power to build up and to tear down! Let’s use them to build up others and teardown strongholds! Ever heard sayings about your mouth? “Loose lips sink ships”, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.“… Today’s reading speaks to taming the tongue and the dangers of the tongue…

Dangerous Tongue

1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, since you know that we will receive a stricter judgment. 2For we all stumble in many ways. If someone does not stumble in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 3And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole body as well. 4See also the ships—though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member—yet it boasts of great things. See how so small a fire sets a blaze so great a forest! 6And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of evil placed among our body parts. It pollutes the whole body and sets on fire the course of life—and is set on fire by Gehenna. 7For every species of beasts and birds, reptiles and sea creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Adonai and Father, and with it we curse people, who are made in the image of God. 10From the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be. 11A spring doesn’t pour out fresh and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh water.

Gentle Wisdom from Above

13Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct let him show his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in shalom by those who make shalom.

–from James 3

So, let’s not go it alone! Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. God has much for us to do! Let’s team up and go out there and take back the ground the devil is trying to steal from us! Let’s stand up for something rather than falling for everything! Let’s go and bring back a good report of how God was able to work in and through us! Let’s go and exhibit what it is like to be a good neighbor! Let’s show the love of God and our love for people! Let’s live each day to make a difference!

Yeshua Sends Out the Seventy

1Now after these things, the Lord assigned seventy others and sent them out by twos before Him into every town and place where He Himself was about to go. 2And He was telling them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. 3“Go forth! Look, I am sending you as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4Do not be burdened with a money belt, travel bag, or shoes; and do not greet anyone along the way. 5Whatever home you enter, first say, “Shalom be on this home.” 6If a son of shalom is there, your shalom will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7And remain in this same home, eating and drinking the things they offer, for the worker is deserving of his wage. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8“Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what they set before you. 9Then heal the sick in that town, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10But if you enter a town and they do not welcome you, then go out into its streets and say, 11‘Even the dust of your town sticking to our feet, we wipe off as a witness to you. But know this! The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town. 13“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have turned long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14Yet it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the Judgment than for you! 15And you, Capernaum? You won’t be lifted up to heaven, will you? No, you will go down as far as Sheol. 16The one who listens to you hears Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me, and the one who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

Returning with a Good Report

17Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Master, even the demons submit to us in Your name!” 18And Yeshua said to them, “I was watching satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19Behold, I have given you authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names have been written in the heavens.” 21In that very hour, He was overjoyed in the Ruach ha-Kodesh and said, “I praise You, Father, Master of the universe, that You have hidden these things from the wise and discerning and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was pleasing to You. 22All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” 23Then turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24For I tell you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you are seeing yet did not see, and to hear what you are hearing yet did not hear.”

Who Is My Neighbor?

25Now a certain Torah lawyer stood up to entrap Yeshua, saying, “Teacher, what should I do to gain eternal life?” 26Then Yeshua said to him, “What has been written in the Torah? How do you read it?” 27And he replied, “You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28Yeshua said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.” 29But wanting to vindicate himself, he said to Yeshua, “Then who is my neighbor?” 30Yeshua replied, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was attacked by robbers, who stripped him and beat him. Then they left, abandoning him as half dead. 31And by chance, a kohen was going down that road; but when he saw the man, he passed by on the opposite side. 32Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the opposite side. 33But a Samaritan who was traveling came upon him; and when he noticed the man, he felt compassion. 34He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then setting him on his own animal, he brought him to a lodge for travelers and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him. And whatever else you spend, upon my return I will repay you myself.’ 36Which of these three seems to you a neighbor to the one attacked by robbers?” 37And he said, “The one who showed mercy to him.” Then Yeshua said to him, “Go, and you do the same.”

At Home with Miriam and Martha

38Now while they were traveling, Yeshua entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39She had a sister called Miriam, who was seated at the Master’s feet, listening to His teaching. 40But Martha was distracted with much serving; so she approached Yeshua and said, “Master, doesn’t it concern you that my sister has left me to serve alone? Then tell her to help me!” 41But answering her, the Lord said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and bothered about many things; 42but only one thing is necessary. For Miriam has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

–from Luke 10

 

 

 

 

 

Really? Don’t you realize what is going on?


Do you remember what you are supposed to be doing? Are you pointing fingers in the wrong direction? Are you overreacting because of it? Are others getting the flack because of you? Will you do what you are supposed to do? Will you listen to what you have been asked to do? Will you take responsibility for your own actions?

Will you bless those who God tells you to bless? Will you curse those God tells you to curse? Will you go where God tells you to go? Will you stay if God wants you to stay? Will you stay in alignment or will you deal with the consequences? Don’t try to go it alone! Do it His way!

Will you allow the offer of power and money to direct your steps? Will you listen to God and do what He says? Will you risk the consequences of disobedience? Will you blame others for your own actions? Will you blame others who are looking out for your best interest? Will you respond to them in the wrong way because you are missing out on how they are protecting you?

What if God gave them the words to speak to open your eyes to how they were protection you? What if it were an animal that started to speak, would that get your attention? Would you apologize for the pain and suffering you caused?

Will you get the message and obey? Will you do only what God tells you to do? Will you say only what God gives you to say? Will you allow Him to lead you and guide you with each step?


 

This morning’s reading begins with such a story…where are you at? and how would you respond today if you had such an encounter?

A Donkey Rebukes Balaam

1Then Bnei-Yisrael set out and camped in the plains of Moab alongside the Jordan across from Jericho. 2When Balak son of Zippor, realized all that Bnei-Yisrael had done to the Amorites, 3Moab became terrified because there were so many people. Moab was filled with dread because of Bnei-Yisrael. 4Moab said to the elders of Midian, “The multitude will lick up everything around us like the ox licks up the grass of the field.” Now Balak son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.

5He sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, at Pethor near the River in his native land, saying to him, “Look now, a people has come out of Egypt. See now, they cover the surface of the earth and are settling beside me. 6Come now, curse this people for me, because they are too strong for me! Perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them away from the country. I know that whoever you bless will be blessed and whoever you curse will be accursed!” 7The elders of Moab and Midian left with divination fees in their hand. When they came to Balaam, they told him Balak’s words. 8He said to them, “Spend the night here. I will give you an answer just as Adonai speaks to me.” So the officials of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9God came to Balaam and asked, “Who are these men with you?” 10Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent word to me: 11See, the people coming out of Egypt cover the surface of the land. Come now, curse them for me. Perhaps I will be able to fight against them and drive them away!” 12God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them! Do not curse them, for they are blessed!” 13So Balaam got up in the morning and said to the officials of Balak, “Go back to your country, for Adonai has refused to let me go with you.” 14So the Moabite officials got up, went back to Balak, and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”

15Balak again sent other dignitaries, more numerous and honored than these previous ones. 16They also came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak son of Zippor: Please let nothing keep you from coming to me! 17I will richly reward you, and everything you tell me I will do! Just come now and curse this people for me!” 18But Balaam answered Balak’s servants, “Even if Balak gave me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot cross beyond the mouth of Adonai my God, to do anything small or great! 19But now, you may spend the night here, too. Then I may find out anything else Adonai may say to me.” 20God came to Balaam by night and said to him, “Since the men came to you to summon you, arise and go with them. However, only the word I tell you are you to do!” 21So Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the Moabite princes.

22But the anger of God burned because he was going. The angel of Adonai stood in the road to oppose him—he was riding on his donkey and two of his servants were with him— 23when the donkey saw the angel of Adonai standing in the road with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off the road and went into the field. So Balaam beat the donkey to get her back onto the road. 24Then the angel of Adonai stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25When the donkey saw the angel of Adonai, she pressed against the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against the wall. So Balaam continued beating her. 26The angel again moved. He stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, right or left. 27When the donkey saw the angel of Adonai, she lay down under Balaam. Balaam was very angry and beat the donkey with his staff. 28Then Adonai opened the donkey’s mouth and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?” 29Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you’ve made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you now!” 30The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey which you have ridden as always to this day? Have I ever been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. 31Then Adonai opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of Adonai standing in the road with his drawn sword in his hand. So he fell on his face. 32The angel of Adonai said to him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Behold, I came as an adversary because your way before Me is a reckless one! 33The donkey saw Me and turned away from Me these three times. If she had not turned away from Me, by now I would have killed you indeed, but let her live!” 34Balaam said to the angel of Adonai, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now, if this is displeasing in your eyes, I will go back home.” 35The angel of Adonai said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s princes.

36When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to greet him at the Moabite city on the border of the Arnon, the frontier of the territory. 37Balak said to Balaam, “Didn’t I send you an urgent summons? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I really unable to reward you?” 38“Look, I have come to you now!” Balaam said to Balak. “Can I just say anything? I must speak only the message which God puts into my mouth.” 39Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath-huzoth. 40Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep and sent some to Balaam and the princes who were with him. 41In the morning, Balak took Balaam with him to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw part of the people.

–from Numbers 22

You do want to go to heaven right? You do want to spend eternity with God right? You don’t want to end up apart from God forever right? You don’t want to deal with the pain and suffering of living all of the rest of eternity apart from God right? So will you receive God? Will you ask Jesus to come into your heart and to forgive you and your past? Will you choose to live eternity with Him? Will you accept the blessings that today’s reading speaks to through Psalms?

Pilgrim Road to Adonai’s Courts

1For the music director, upon the Gittite lyre, a psalm of the sons of Korah. 2How lovely are Your tabernacles, Adonai-Tzva’ot! 3My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of Adonai. My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 4Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young —near Your altars, Adonai-Tzva’ot— my King and my God! 5Blessed are they who dwell in Your House —they are ever praising You. Selah 6Blessed is one whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the pilgrim roads. 7Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring. The early rain covers it with blessings. 8They go from strength to strength— every one of them appears before God in Zion. 9Adonai-Tzva’ot, hear my prayer, give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah 10O God, look at our shield, and look upon the face of Your anointed. 11For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather stand at the threshold of the House of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. 12For Adonai Elohim is a sun and a shield. Adonai gives grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. 13Adonai-Tzva’ot, blessed is the one who trusts in You.

–from Psalms 84

Will you follow a good example? Will you lead by example? Will you be an imitator of Him? Will you help others to see the truth? Will you help other to be good? Will you help others to know the difference between good and bad, good and evil? Will you help others to have an example to pattern their lives after? Will you teach the importance of unity? Will you draw them together in alignment to God’s will? Will you help them prevent division within the group?

1Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Messiah.

Headship and Coverings

2Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firm the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3But I want you to know that the head of every man is Messiah, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Messiah is God. 4Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered dishonors his head. 5But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered dishonors her head. For it is one and the same as having been shaved. 6For if a woman does not cover her head, let her cut off her hair. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, let her cover her head. 7For surely a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of man. 8For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9Neither was man created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11In any case—in the Lord—woman is not independent of man and man is not independent of woman. 12For just as the woman came from the man, so also the man comes through the woman—but all things are from God. 13Judge for yourselves—is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Doesn’t the natural order of things teach you—if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace for him; 15but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory, for her hair was given to her as a covering. 16But if anyone intends to be contentious, we have no such custom—nor do God’s communities.

Unity at the Lord’s Table

17But in giving you this instruction I do not praise you, for when you meet together it does more harm than good. 18For first of all, when you come together as Messiah’s community, I hear that there are divisions among you; and to some extent I believe it— 19for there must be factions among you, so that those among you who are tried and true may be evident. 20Therefore, when you meet together in the same place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper— 21for each one takes his own supper beforehand, and one goes hungry while another gets drunk. 22What! It is certainly not that you do not have houses, is it? Don’t you have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise God’s community and try to humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? I don’t praise you for this! 23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you—that the Lord Yeshua, on the night He was betrayed, took matzah ; 24and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you. Do this in memory of Me.” 25In the same way, He also took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in memory of Me.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 27Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28But a man must examine himself, and then let him eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29For the one who eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and quite a few have died. 31For if we were judging ourselves thoroughly, we wouldn’t be coming under judgment. 32But when we are judged, we are being disciplined by the Lord so that we might not be condemned along with the world. 33So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34If anyone is hungry let him eat at home, so that when you meet it doesn’t lead to judgment. And the rest I will put in order when I come.

–from 1 Corinthians 11

When in alignment there is power! When in unity there is power! When in obedience there is power! So are you living in alignment, unity, and obedience to all God is calling you to?

Power Over Demons

1They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes. 2As soon as Yeshua got out of the boat, a man from the graveyard with an unclean spirit met Him. 3He lived among the tombs, and no one could restrain him anymore, even with a chain. 4For he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been ripped apart by him and the shackles broken. No one was strong enough to tame him. 5And through it all, night and day, at the graveyard and in the mountains, he kept screaming and gashing himself with stones. 6When he saw Yeshua from a distance, he ran and bowed down before Him. 7Crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What’s between You and me, Yeshua, Ben El Elyon? I’m warning you, in the name of God, do not torment me!” 8For Yeshua had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9Then Yeshua began questioning him, “What is your name?” And he answered, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10He kept begging Him not to send them out of the country. 11Now a large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside nearby. 12The unclean spirits urged Him, saying, “Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them.” 13So Yeshua gave them permission. The unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs. And the herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the cliff and were drowned in the sea. 14The herdsmen ran away and told the town and countryside, and they came to see what had happened. 15Now they came to Yeshua and saw the madman who had had the legion. He was sitting there, dressed in clothes and in his right mind. The people were scared. 16Those who had seen it described in detail what had happened to the man plagued by a demon, and they also told about the pigs. 17And they began to beg Yeshua to leave their country. 18As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been infested with demons kept begging to remain with Him. 19Yeshua did not let him, but He told him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much Adonai has done for you, how He showed you mercy.” 20So he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Yeshua had done for him. And all were amazed.

Power in His Touch

21When Yeshua had crossed over in the boat again to the other side, a big crowd gathered around Him; and He was by the sea. 22Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, comes. Seeing Him, he falls at His feet. 23He begs Him a great deal, saying, “My little daughter is near death! Come and lay hands on her so that she may be healed and live!” 24So Yeshua went off with him, and a big crowd was following Him and pressing upon Him. 25And there was a woman with a blood flow for twelve years, 26who had suffered much under many doctors. She had spent all that she had without benefit; instead, she grew worse. 27When she heard about Yeshua, she came through the crowd from behind and touched His garment. 28For she kept saying, “If I touch even His clothes, I shall be healed.” 29Right away the blood flow stopped, and she felt in her body that she was healed from her disease. 30At once Yeshua, knowing in Himself that power had gone out from Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” 31His disciples responded, “You see the crowd pressing upon You and you say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 32But He kept looking around to see who had done this. 33But the woman, scared and shaking, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in shalom and be healed from your disease.” 35While Yeshua was still speaking, messengers come from the house of the synagogue leader, saying, “Your daughter is dead. Why do you still trouble the Teacher?” 36But ignoring what they said, Yeshua tells the synagogue leader, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37He did not let anyone follow Him except Peter, Jacob, and John, the brother of Jacob. 38They come to the house of the synagogue leader. He sees a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39After entering, He said to them, “Why make such a fuss and weep? The child didn’t die, but is sleeping.” 40They start jeering at Him. But after sending all of them out, He takes the child’s father and mother, and those with Him, and enters where the child was. 41Then, taking hold of the child’s hand, He tells her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up.” 42Immediately, the girl stood up and began to walk around! (She was twelve years old.) And they were overcome with astonishment. 43But He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said something to eat should be given to her.

–from Mark 5

Don’t go it alone!


Do you think you are all that and that you don’t need help? Do you think you can do it all on your own? Do you think if you try hard enough, work longer, and don’t give up that you will make it?

Don’t go it alone! We were never made to go it alone! That is why God gave us one another! When things get tough we need to come together and help each other out! Rather than murmuring about hardships, we need to turn to God and turn to one another and ask for help!

Will you step up to help someone in need? Will you humble yourself and ask for help? Will you do something about it vs grumbling and complaining about it? Let’s not be so proud that we won’t give someone a hand up! Let’s not be so proud that we won’t ask for help when we need it! We may just need wisdom! We may just need love! We may just need encouragement! We may just need hope! We may just need to realize we aren’t alone! We may need provision! But don’t grumble or murmur or worry – turn to God! Lift up your cares to Him because He cares for you! It’s about a relationship not about complaining!

Don’t go it alone!


Today’s reading starts off with some murmuring and grumbling…

70 Elders to Share the Burden

1The people were murmuring in the ears of Adonai about hardship, and when Adonai heard, His anger burned. The fire of Adonai blazed among them, ravaging the outskirts of the camp. 2The people cried out to Moses, so Moses prayed to Adonai and the fire died out. 3The name of that place was thus called Taberah because fire from Adonai had burned among them. 4The grumblers among them began to have cravings, so Bnei-Yisrael began to wail repeatedly, saying, “If we could just eat some meat! 5We remember the fish that we used to eat in Egypt, for free—the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic! 6But now we have no appetite. We never see anything but this manna .” 7Now the manna was similar to coriander seed and had an appearance like gum resin. 8The people went about, gathered it up, and ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into cakes. It had a taste like something made with olive oil. 9When the dew descended on the camp at night, the manna descended with it. 10Moses heard the people wailing by their families, each man at the door to his tent. Adonai’s anger became very hot, and Moses was troubled. 11So Moses asked Adonai, “Why have You brought trouble on Your servant? Haven’t I found favor in Your eyes—that You laid the burden of all these people on me? 12Did I conceive all these people, or did I give birth to them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom just as the nurse carries an infant’—to the land You promised to their fathers? 13Where can I get meat for all these people? For they wail to me saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14I am not able to carry all these people by myself! The load is too heavy for me! 15If this is how You are treating me, kill me now! If I have found favor in Your eyes, kill me please—don’t let me see my own misery!” 16Adonai said to Moses, “Bring me 70 of the elders of Israel whom you know to be elders of the people and their leaders. Take them to the Tent of Meeting, so they may stand with you there. 17Then I will come down and speak with you there, and, I will take some of the Ruach that is on you and will place it on them. They will carry with you the burden of the people, so you will not be carrying it alone.” 18“Now to the people say: Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because you will eat meat, for you wailed in Adonai’s ears saying, ‘If only we could eat meat! It was better for us in Egypt!’ Now Adonai will give you meat and you will eat! 19You will eat—not for one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20but for an entire month—until it is coming out of your nostrils and it becomes loathsome to you! For you rejected Adonai who is among you, and you wailed to His face saying, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?” 21Moses then said, “600,000 foot soldiers—the people I am in the middle of—yet You say, ‘I am going to give them meat to eat for an entire month?’ 22If flocks and herds were slaughtered, would they have enough? Or if all the fish in the sea were caught, would they have enough?” 23Adonai said to Moses, “Is Adonai’s arm too short? Now you will see whether My word will come true for you or not.”

Seventy Elders Prophesying

24So Moses went out and told the people Adonai’s words. He gathered 70 of the elders of the people and had them stand around the Tent. 25Adonai descended in the cloud and spoke with him. He took some of the Ruach that was on him and placed it on each of the 70 elders. It so happened that when the Ruach first rested on them, they prophesied—but never again. 26Two men, however, had remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad and the name of the other was Medad. The Ruach rested on them. They were among those listed, but they had not gone out to the Tent. So they prophesied in the camp. 27A young man ran and told Moses and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!” 28Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses since his youth, cried out and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!” 29But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous on my behalf? If only Adonai would make all the people prophets! If only Adonai would put the Spirit on all of them!” 30Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Quails From the Sea

31Now a wind went out from Adonai and drove quails from the sea. He brought them into the camp to about a day’s journey in any direction, about two cubits above the ground all around the camp. 32The people went out all that day and all that night and all the following day and collected quail. No one gathered less than ten omers. They spread them out all around the camp. 33Yet while the meat was between their teeth, before it was swallowed, Adonai’s anger burned against the people. So Adonai struck the people with a severe plague. 34For that reason the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah , because they buried the people who were craving. 35From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed to Hazeroth and stayed in Hazeroth.

–from Numbers 11

Stick with God rather than trying to go it all alone or gossip or murmur or grumble.

Would you want to be called to the principals office? How about if it was the principals of life rather than just school? Do you really want to be wining and complaining to the point where you get called out? Are you ready to account for yourself? Would you humbly bring yourself to the person you are having a problem with before you get called out? Ever day we are faced with choices! Ever day we choose what we will do, what we will say and how we will respond! So choose wisely! You don’t want to end up in detention or timeout.

Today’s reading continues as Miriam and Aaron are speaking against Moses and then get called out by God…

Miriam and Aaron Speak Against Moses

1Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on account of the Cushite woman he married, because he had married a Cushite woman. 2They asked, “Has Adonai spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t He also spoken through us?” Adonai heard it. 3Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than anyone on the face of the earth. 4Immediately, Adonai said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “The three of you, come out to the Tent of Meeting.” So the three came out. 5Adonai descended in a column of cloud, stood at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and called to Aaron and Miriam. The two of them stepped forward. 6“Hear now My words!” He said. “When there is a prophet of Adonai, I reveal Myself in a vision, I speak to him in a dream. 7Not so with My servant Moses. In all My house, he is faithful. 8I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles. He even looks at the form of Adonai! Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?” 9Adonai’s anger burned against them, and He left them. 10When the cloud lifted up from above the Tent, behold, Miriam had tza’arat, like snow! As Aaron turned toward her, behold, she had tza’arat! 11He said to Moses, “Please, my lord, don’t hold against us the sin we have committed so foolishly! 12Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, who comes from his mother’s womb with his flesh half-eaten away!” 13So Moses cried to Adonai saying, “O God, heal her now!” 14Adonai said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, would she not be in shame for seven days? Let her be confined outside the camp for seven days. After that she may be brought back.” 15So Miriam was restricted to outside the camp for seven days. The people did not move on until Miriam was brought back. 16Afterward, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Wilderness of Paran.

–from Numbers 12

So let’s praise Him! Let’s worship Him! Let’s lift Him up throughout the day! Let’s glorify Jesus in all we think, say, and do!

Praise Him, All Creation!

1Halleluyah! Praise Adonai from the heavens! Praise Him in the highest! 2Praise Him all His angels! Praise Him all His armies. 3Praise Him, sun and moon! Praise Him, all stars of light. 4Praise Him, highest heavens, and waters above the heavens. 5Let them praise the Name of Adonai, for He commanded and they were created. 6He set them in place forever and ever. He made a decree that will never pass away. 7Praise Adonai from the earth, sea monsters and all depths, 8fire and hail, snow and vapor, storm wind doing His bidding, 9mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, 10beasts and all cattle, crawling things and winged birds, 11kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of earth, 12both young men and maidens, old men and children. 13Let them praise the Name of Adonai, for His Name alone is exalted. His glory is above earth and heaven. 14He has raised up a horn for His people, a praise for all His kedoshim, for the children of Israel— a people near to Him. Halleluyah!

–from Psalms 148

They say that imitation is the highest level of flattery – so why no imitate Jesus? Let’s be helpers! Let’s be stewards! Let’s be trustworthy! Let’s not judge others! Let’s be blessings! Let’s endure! Let’s speak kindly! Let’s reveal God’s power!

More choices! We get to choose! We get to choose how we live and in effect we get to choose the results!

God’s Word speaks to that today too…

Learning to Imitate Messiah’s Emissary

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

–from 1 Corinthians 4

So what are you going to do? How are you going to live? What will others see in and through you?

Are you ready? He will be back again! He came once as the savior and next time … So let’s be prepared! Let’s be ready! Let’s receive the gift of grace! Let’s share the gift of grace! Let’s be ready to celebrate when He comes back again! Let’s choose to follow Him now! Let’s choose to ask Him into our hearts today! Let’s start the incredible relationship God has always wanted to have with us that will last forever!

The Kingdom Is Coming Now

1The beginning of the Good News of Yeshua ha-Mashiach, Ben-Elohim. 2As Isaiah the prophet has written, “Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way. 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’” 4John appeared, immersing in the wilderness, proclaiming an immersion involving repentance for the removal of sins. 5All the Judean countryside was going out to him, and all the Jerusalemites. As they confessed their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothes made from camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7“After me comes One who is mightier than I am,” he proclaimed. “I’m not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of His sandals! 8I immersed you with water, but He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.”

The Spirit Rests on Yeshua

9In those days, Yeshua came from Natzeret in the Galilee and was immersed by John in the Jordan. 10Just as He was coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens ripping open and the Ruach as a dove coming down upon Him. 11And there came a voice from the heavens: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased!” 12That instant, the Ruach drives Him into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by satan. And He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were taking care of Him.

Fishermen Follow Him

14Now after John was put in jail, Yeshua came into the Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God.15“Now is the fullness of time,” He said, “and the kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins, and believe in the Good News!” 16Passing along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Simon’s brother Andrew casting a net in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17And Yeshua said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19Going a little farther, He saw Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands and followed Him.

Demons Flee at His Command

21And they went into Capernaum. Right away, on Shabbat, He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22And they were astounded at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one having authority and not as the Torah scholars. 23Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24“What have we to do with You, Yeshua of Natzeret? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are! You’re the Holy One of God!” 25Yeshua rebuked him, saying, “Quiet! Come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, after throwing the man into convulsions and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all so amazed that they asked among themselves, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!” 28And immediately news about Him spread throughout the region surrounding Galilee.

The Hurting Become Whole

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with Jacob and John to the house of Simon and Andrew. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever. Right away, they told Yeshua about her. 31He came and raised her up by taking her hand. The fever left her, and she began to take care of them. 32When evening came, at sunset, the people brought to Him all the sick and those who were afflicted by demons. 33The whole town gathered together at the door. 34He healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. And He would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left, and went away to a place in the wilderness; and there He was praying. 36Then Simon and those with him hunted for Yeshua. 37And when they found Him, they said to Him, “Everybody’s looking for You.” 38He said to them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also—this is what I came for.” 39And He went throughout all the Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40A man with tza’arat comes to Him, begging Him and falling on his knees, saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41Moved with compassion, Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him. He said, “I am willing. Be cleansed.” 42Immediately, the tza’arat left him, and he was cleansed. 43Yeshua sent him away at once, sternly warning him. 44He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go show yourself to the kohen. Then, for your cleansing, offer what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45But he went out and began to proclaim and spread the word, so much that Yeshua could no longer enter a town openly but had to stay out in wilderness areas. Still, they kept on coming to Him from everywhere.

–from Mark 1

 

 

Trying to figure it all out on your own?


Are you trying to make sense of what is going on? Are you trying to make it your way? Are you trying to go it alone? Do you think you have it all figured out? Do you know where to turn? Do you know who to ask? Do you know who to trust? Do you know who to lean on? Will you humble yourself enough to let go of your pride and desire to control everything?

Today’s reading speaks an incredible truth to these questions:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.

–from Proverbs 3

We need to trust Him! We don’t know it all! We won’t understand it in the moment! So we need to trust Him completely! Lean on God! Lean on God’s Word! Build up your trust and your wisdom through Him and His Word! Don’t allow your one sided understanding keep you from the greater things that are yet to come! Don’t allow your lack of understanding hold you back from doing what He is calling and asking you to do!

So going through a tough time? Acknowledge Him! So going through a good time? Acknowledge Him! So going through a rough time? Acknowledge Him! Don’t be so proud that you don’t! Don’t be so proud that you won’t! Don’t be so bitter that you can’t! His Word tells us that if we will acknowledge Him in all our ways (not the occasional way, all our ways) He will make our path straight! Remember how we want to walk on that straight path! The one that makes it through the narrow gate! The one that leads to everlasting life! So let’s not get so puffed up that we don’t acknowledge Him! Let’s keep from getting so sad that we won’t acknowledge Him! Let’s acknowledge Him in and through it all!

Realize that you don’t see it all! Realize there are things taking place that you aren’t aware of! Realize that there is a process going on! Realize you are going through the process! Realize that in the good and the bad and everywhere in between God is able to use it to accomplish His plan! Remember His plan for you is good! Remember His plan for you is to give you a hope and a future! Remember His plan included sending Jesus so that we could be reconciled back unto Him! Remember His plan shows how much He loves us because Jesus came and gave it all to complete it, even to the point of dying on a cross! So let’s trust God! Let’s honor God! Let’s glorify God! Let’s exalt God! Let’s fear God and do what is right! Let’s resist the devil so that He will flee! Let’s keep ourselves from evil! Let’s turn from it! Let’s flee temptation!

Not because we want to keep ourselves from fun, but rather to keep us healthy and safe! It will keep us healthy and strong! It will build us up rather than tear us down! So let’s step out today walking in trust of God!


Today’s devotional (day 6) speaks about today’s reading too.

Lessons from my GPS

A headline in the April 23, 2012 edition of The Atlantic recently grabbed my attention: 53% of Recent College Grads Are Jobless or Underemployed — How? Think about how alarming that statistic really is — more than half of all college students are graduating only to find there isn’t a job in their chosen field waiting for them. After four years of study, many have to set aside their plans to pursue their dreams, settling instead for flipping hamburgers, selling coffee or sweeping floors.

There’s nothing wrong with those tasks. In fact, I believe much can be learned by engaging in manual labor. Whether you’re reading this as one of those “under- employed” recent college grads or you’re a seasoned professional who has been forced to deliver pizza or stock supermarket shelves, I’m here to tell you that the path you’re on is part of God’s plan for your life. Let me illustrate with a personal example.

When I lost my job as a “big-time” executive, I had to humble myself and take whatever I could find to do just to keep some income coming in. That included freelancing as a locksmith for a very gracious brother from church. My task typically consisted of assisting people who had locked themselves out of their car. One particularly busy day I was on a roll with 14 calls in a 12-hour period. Those calls had me zigzagging from one end of the county to the other to rescue stranded drivers.

I recall thinking about the many times I passed by the same landmarks. I wondered why that person or this person couldn’t have locked themselves out just 40 minutes earlier when I was in their area! I began to retrace my routes in my mind and realized what a maze of turns and curves and overlaps had occurred through- out my travels. It was a MapQuest nightmare!

When I read the words in Proverbs 3:6 about how the Lord “will make your paths straight,” I was reminded of the haphazard route I had to take while working as a locksmith on that crazy, busy day — which, in turn, prompted me to think about my career path. Specifically, I reflected on how often I have worked at a job in which I had no idea how that role would fit into my future. As I reviewed my experiences in light of this verse, I realized that my assortment of jobs was not a maze of uncharted destinations. In fact, every bit of experience I have accumulated, in many different fields, I am using today. I have to believe that every job you have had has helped to mold you too.

You and I are a MapQuest trip “in process.” If you look closely, you can see how the Lord has mapped out your life and how seemingly unrelated job experiences really do fit together to formulate the Lord’s plan for you. The experiences of your life and career actually do make sense — you just might not see the big picture at the moment. Unfortunately, that’s because you and I are not privy to the directions beyond this very minute.

Although we still want to ask when this part of the journey will be over, and we still long to know where we will end up with our career, we can rest assured that God has a perfect plan for us. He will make your paths straight if you trust in him rather than in yourself. Why not take some time right now and look back over your road map? Isn’t it amazing how the Lord has worked, in all things, for your good? If you don’t see the straight road just yet, don’t worry. With his guidance, you will see how the road behind is part of the road ahead.

–from Why Did I Lose My Job If God Loves Me? (Day 6)

Wow! The road that continues, the landmarks, the plan, the purpose, the learnings!

Son/Brother/Grandson/Nephew/Friend — Baker — Waiter — Programmer — Support — Husband — Developer — Dad — Child of God — Intl PM — Camp Counselor — Evangelist — HOA Board– Build — Engineering system — Intl PM — Church Board — Camp Director — …

How about your road? The road behind you! Will it help you trust Him going forward? Do you need to ask Him into your life because you don’t know Him? It makes a difference! I know, it wasn’t till later in life that this aha moment came to me and it has transformed my outlook in the and through the good and the rough times! God never said it would be easy, but He did say He would never leave us nor abandon us! He also said to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! He also said that in this world we will have troubles, but not to worry because He has overcome pure joythe world!

 

The road may not be all fun and games


How is your day going? Is everyday fun and games at work? Are you finding that the path may take you places that sometimes feel tedious? Same things day after day? Not sure how it will change? Not sure if it will change? Wondering what’s going to happen next? Are you doing what you are supposed to be doing? Are you being obedient? If so, then as I like to put it, “Do your best and let God take care of the rest!” When we have our priorities in order, we can know and trust God will take care of everything! We hear that when we read “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” stay aligned and obedient and then “and all these things will be added to you.

Today’s reading kicks off with what may have felt like a tedious effort to be undergoing…

5Thus Isaac sent Jacob away. And he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.

–from Genesis 28

When we are walking out what God has called us to know, we can know and trust Him! Don’t give up on the journey! You may not see it, but we need to grab a hold of the truth that when we are doing what God has called us to do, He is in it, He will never leave us nor abandon us! Do you realize where you are standing? Do you realize where you are sitting? Do you realize where you are has a purpose?

Today’s reading continues with …

10Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep.

–from Genesis 28

Consider what your work provides… What does it provide you? What does it provide those you get to work with? What does it provide your family? What does it provide others? Coming out of the thanksgiving weekend, aren’t you thankful for it? You may not think it is the end all and be all, but aren’t you thank for it? Don’t you get to talk and meet some great people? Don’t you get to be a light for God in this world through it? Don’t you get to learn and experience new things that will help you develop into all that God desires for you to be in and through it? Is there anything you can do differently that would make it better? Is there anything about your view, your perspective, your sensitivity that would allow you to see and know where you are at and then be able to walk out what your purpose and your calling is in and at this point and place in time?

If you checkout the rest of Genesis 28, you realize that the “normal” place that didn’t seem like much at the time was really a place that was more than he knew. It wasn’t just desert, it was the promised land! So don’t miss out because of your own attitude and behavior on what God has planned for you! You aren’t an accident! You were created on purpose for a purpose with a purpose! So consider today! Be receptive to God’s prompting! And shine your light that others may see it and glorify Your Father in Heaven because of the fruit you are bearing and sharing with them! Let’s live today with purpose realizing that God is working and through everything we experience! People are watching to see how we respond to see if we are for real! In our weakness, God’s strength is revealed! (But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.)

Today’s devotional is day 3 from God at Work! The devotional speaks to these verses as follows:

When the Road is Tedious

Day after day, walking in the hot sun, doing what God commanded, feeling the weight of obedience, thinking God was very far away, Jacob was ready for another lesson: God is at work even when the place I find myself in is wearisome. As he fell asleep in the wilderness atmosphere, and the weariness he felt, I’m sure Jacob didn’t realize God had guided his very steps to the exact place where his grandfather had worshiped. It’s amazing. Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are established by the Lord.” Jacob didn’t know it, but God was ordering his journey.

How many times in our lives do we face some tedious regularity and think to ourselves, “Well, God’s not in this.” Jacob stretched out in that field. No obvious clues God was anywhere in that boring neighborhood. And yet God was very much there.

What tedium are you facing in your life and trying to figure out where God is? I talked to a man I respect this week and asked, “How’s it going at work?”

He said, “You know, James, my job provides for my family and it gives me an opportunity to serve God. I don’t love my job, but I’m thankful for it.”

Man, is he ever right on. Do you know God is in that place where you work? Even if it seems so regular, He’s right there!

Prayer: Father, sometimes I wonder about the value of a particular day. Did You work through me? I realize these questions are sometimes the mistake of insisting on seeing results, but I also want to make sure that I’m not slipping into a casual and careless life that isn’t attentive to You. Lord, please remind me how You demonstrate Your power by working in the weakest, tedious places in my life—for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

You are not alone!


You were never meant to do this thing called life on your own! You were are to supposed to be doing life with one another! In addition, Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our guide through life to help us make it!

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

15“If you love me, you will obey my commandments. 16I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. 17He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God. The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him. But you know him, because he remains with you and is in you. 18“When I go, you will not be left all alone; I will come back to you. 19In a little while the world will see me no more, but you will see me; and because I live, you also will live. 20When that day comes, you will know that I am in my Father and that you are in me, just as I am in you. 21“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. My Father will love those who love me; I too will love them and reveal myself to them.” 22Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “Lord, how can it be that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” 23Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them. 24Those who do not love me do not obey my teaching. And the teaching you have heard is not mine, but comes from the Father, who sent me. 25“I have told you this while I am still with you. 26The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you. 27“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid. 28You heard me say to you, ‘I am leaving, but I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father; for he is greater than I. 29I have told you this now before it all happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe. 30I cannot talk with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me, 31but the world must know that I love the Father; that is why I do everything as he commands me. “Come, let us go from this place.

–from John 14

He will be a teacher to help us know what to do! He will give you peace! And Jesus is coming back! So don’t be afraid and don’t worry!

A Vision of Christ

9I am John, your brother, and as a follower of Jesus I am your partner in patiently enduring the suffering that comes to those who belong to his Kingdom. I was put on the island of Patmos because I had proclaimed God’s word and the truth that Jesus revealed. 10On the Lord’s day the Spirit took control of me, and I heard a loud voice, that sounded like a trumpet, speaking behind me. 11It said, “Write down what you see, and send the book to the churches in these seven cities: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” 12I turned around to see who was talking to me, and I saw seven gold lampstands, 13and among them there was what looked like a human being, wearing a robe that reached to his feet, and a gold band around his chest. 14His hair was white as wool, or as snow, and his eyes blazed like fire; 15his feet shone like brass that has been refined and polished, and his voice sounded like a roaring waterfall. 16He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth. His face was as bright as the midday sun. 17When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the first and the last. 18I am the living one! I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I have authority over death and the world of the dead. 19Write, then, the things you see, both the things that are now and the things that will happen afterward. 20Here is the secret meaning of the seven stars that you see in my right hand, and of the seven gold lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

–from Revelation 1

We don’t need to walk in fear and trembling, but rather in faith and courage! God has already won the victory! God has already prepared the way in advance and so we just need to take a hold of it and complete the work He has given us to do! Jesus tells us that He has set a time and a place for everything. By God’s Word we know things that we wouldn’t have known previously! Let’s not grow weary in doing good work! Let’s accomplish the work God has called us to do! Taking care of the orphans and the widows! Taking care of the needy! We don’t need the government to do it, we should be the people God has called us to be and serve others! Let’ be the one another for some one else!!

1Why doesn’t God set a time for judging, a day of justice for those who serve him? 2People move property lines to get more land; they steal sheep and put them with their own flocks. 3They take donkeys that belong to orphans, and keep a widow’s ox till she pays her debts. 4They prevent the poor from getting their rights and force the needy to run and hide. 5So the poor, like wild donkeys, search for food in the dry wilderness; nowhere else can they find food for their children. 6They have to harvest fields they don’t own, and gather grapes in vineyards of the wicked. 7At night they sleep with nothing to cover them, nothing to keep them from the cold. 8They are drenched by the rain that falls on the mountains, and they huddle beside the rocks for shelter. 9Evil people make slaves of fatherless infants and take the children of the poor in payment for debts. 10But the poor must go out with no clothes to protect them; they must go hungry while harvesting wheat. 11They press olives for oil, and grapes for wine, but they themselves are thirsty. 12In the cities the wounded and dying cry out, but God ignores their prayers. 13There are those who reject the light; they don’t understand it or go where it leads. 14At dawn the murderer gets up and goes out to kill the poor, and at night he steals. 15The adulterer waits for twilight to come; he covers his face so that no one can see him. 16At night thieves break into houses, but by day they hide and avoid the light. 17They fear the light of day, but darkness holds no terror for them.

[Zophar]

18The wicked are swept away by floods, and the land they own is under God’s curse; they no longer go to work in their vineyards. 19As snow vanishes in heat and drought, so sinners vanish from the land of the living. 20Not even their mothers remember them now; they are eaten by worms and destroyed like fallen trees. 21That happens because they mistreated widows and showed no kindness to childless women. 22God, in his strength, destroys the mighty; God acts—and the wicked die. 23God may let them live secure, but keeps an eye on them all the time. 24For a while the wicked prosper, but then they wither like weeds, like stalks of grain that have been cut down. 25Can anyone deny that this is so? Can anyone prove that my words are not true?

–from Job 24

Will you live the life God is calling you to? Will you start and continue to build the relationship with Jesus that He came to start, and sustain? Will you turn back to God and follow after Him? Will you let the driving force be love? Loving God and loving others? Are you living up to your potential? Are you living up to your calling?

The Lord’s Accusation against Israel

1The Lord has an accusation to bring against the people who live in this land. Listen, Israel, to what he says: “There is no faithfulness or love in the land, and the people do not acknowledge me as God. 2They make promises and break them; they lie, murder, steal, and commit adultery. Crimes increase, and there is one murder after another. 3And so the land will dry up, and everything that lives on it will die. All the animals and birds, and even the fish, will die.”

The Lord Accuses the Priests

4The Lord says, “Let no one accuse the people or reprimand them—my complaint is against you priests. 5Night and day you blunder on, and the prophets do no better than you. I am going to destroy Israel, your mother. 6My people are doomed because they do not acknowledge me. You priests have refused to acknowledge me and have rejected my teaching, and so I reject you and will not acknowledge your sons as my priests. 7“The more of you priests there are, the more you sin against me, and so I will turn your honor into disgrace. 8You grow rich from the sins of my people, and so you want them to sin more and more. 9You will suffer the same punishment as the people! I will punish you and make you pay for the evil you do. 10You will eat your share of the sacrifices, but still be hungry. You will worship the fertility gods, but still have no children, because you have turned away from me to follow other gods.”

The Lord Condemns Pagan Worship

11The Lord says, “Wine, both old and new, is robbing my people of their senses! 12They ask for revelations from a piece of wood! A stick tells them what they want to know! They have left me. Like a woman who becomes a prostitute, they have given themselves to other gods. 13At sacred places on the mountaintops they offer sacrifices, and on the hills they burn incense under tall, spreading trees, because the shade is so pleasant! “As a result, your daughters serve as prostitutes, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. 14Yet I will not punish them for this, because you yourselves go off with temple prostitutes, and together with them you offer pagan sacrifices. As the proverb says, ‘A people without sense will be ruined.’ 15“Even though you people of Israel are unfaithful to me, may Judah not be guilty of the same thing. Don’t worship at Gilgal or Bethaven, or make promises there in the name of the living Lord. 16The people of Israel are as stubborn as mules. How can I feed them like lambs in a meadow? 17The people of Israel are under the spell of idols. Let them go their own way. 18After drinking much wine, they delight in their prostitution, preferring disgrace to honor. 19They will be carried away as by the wind, and they will be ashamed of their pagan sacrifices.

–from Hosea 4

1“Listen to this, you priests! Pay attention, people of Israel! Listen, you that belong to the royal family! You are supposed to judge with justice—so judgment will fall on you! You have become a trap at Mizpah, a net spread on Mount Tabor, 2a deep pit at Acacia City, and I will punish all of you. 3I know what Israel is like—she cannot hide from me. She has been unfaithful, and her people are unfit to worship me.”

Hosea Warns against Idolatry

4The evil that the people have done keeps them from returning to their God. Idolatry has a powerful hold on them, and they do not acknowledge the Lord. 5The arrogance of the people of Israel cries out against them. Their sins make them stumble and fall, and the people of Judah fall with them. 6They take their sheep and cattle to offer as sacrifices to the Lord, but it does them no good. They cannot find him, for he has left them. 7They have been unfaithful to the Lord; their children do not belong to him. So now they and their lands will soon be destroyed.

War between Judah and Israel

8Blow the war trumpets in Gibeah! Sound the alarm in Ramah! Raise the war cry at Bethaven! Into battle, men of Benjamin! 9The day of punishment is coming, and Israel will be ruined. People of Israel, this will surely happen! 10The Lord says, “I am angry because the leaders of Judah have invaded Israel and stolen land from her. So I will pour out punishment on them like a flood. 11Israel is suffering oppression; she has lost land that was rightfully hers, because she insisted on going for help to those who had none to give. 12I will bring destruction on Israel and ruin on the people of Judah. 13“When Israel saw how sick she was and when Judah saw her own wounds, then Israel went to Assyria to ask the great emperor for help, but he could not cure them or heal their wounds. 14I will attack the people of Israel and Judah like a lion. I myself will tear them to pieces and then leave them. When I drag them off, no one will be able to save them. 15“I will abandon my people until they have suffered enough for their sins and come looking for me. Perhaps in their suffering they will try to find me.”

–from Hosea 5

The People’s Insincere Repentance

1The people say, “Let’s return to the Lord! He has hurt us, but he will be sure to heal us; he has wounded us, but he will bandage our wounds, won’t he? 2In two or three days he will revive us, and we will live in his presence. 3Let us try to know the Lord. He will come to us as surely as the day dawns, as surely as the spring rains fall upon the earth.” 4But the Lord says, “Israel and Judah, what am I going to do with you? Your love for me disappears as quickly as morning mist; it is like dew, that vanishes early in the day. 5That is why I have sent my prophets to you with my message of judgment and destruction. What I want from you is plain and clear: 6I want your constant love, not your animal sacrifices. I would rather have my people know me than burn offerings to me. 7“But as soon as they entered the land at Adam, they broke the covenant I had made with them. 8Gilead is a city full of evil people and murderers. 9The priests are like a gang of robbers who wait in ambush for someone. Even on the road to the holy place at Shechem they commit murder. And they do all this evil deliberately! 10I have seen a horrible thing in Israel: my people have defiled themselves by worshiping idols. 11“And as for you, people of Judah, I have set a time to punish you also for what you are doing.

–from Hosea 6

It matters what you believe!


Having a strong foundation makes a big difference in what you are able to do! Having a cornerstone on which to build your life allows it to be built up sturdy and strong! It’s important to have a source of truth that you can believe in and live by. What do you believe? How does your belief impact the way you live? How does what you believe impact your words and your actions?

Today’s reading starts out with Jesus speaking to the Jewish authorities…

You Cannot Go Where I Am Going

21Again Jesus said to them, “I will go away; you will look for me, but you will die in your sins. You cannot go where I am going.” 22So the Jewish authorities said, “He says that we cannot go where he is going. Does this mean that he will kill himself?” 23Jesus answered, “You belong to this world here below, but I come from above. You are from this world, but I am not from this world. 24That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. And you will die in your sins if you do not believe that ‘I Am Who I Am’.” 25“Who are you?” they asked him. Jesus answered, “What I have told you from the very beginning. 26I have much to say about you, much to condemn you for. The one who sent me, however, is truthful, and I tell the world only what I have heard from him.”
27They did not understand that Jesus was talking to them about the Father. 28So he said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, you will know that ‘I Am Who I Am’; then you will know that I do nothing on my own authority, but I say only what the Father has instructed me to say. 29And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, because I always do what pleases him.” 30Many who heard Jesus say these things believed in him.

–from John 8

What you believes matters! Jesus tells us

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. –John 14:6

What we do is based on what we believe! What we say is based on what we believe! How we respond is based on what we believe! Where we end up is based on what we believe!

Knowing that Jesus is the answer everyone needs to know about matters! Knowing that we are to be loving people and building relationships with them matters! Nobody should be excluded from being loved since we have the example of God that tells us …

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

–from John 3:16-21

So it really does matter what you believe and how what you believe impacts how you live!

Are you sharing what you believe? Are you filling others up with truth and love in love? Are you an outreaching, embracing, discipling person?

Today’s reading continues with this message…

17These people are like dried-up springs, like clouds blown along by a storm; God has reserved a place for them in the deepest darkness. 18They make proud and stupid statements, and use immoral bodily lusts to trap those who are just beginning to escape from among people who live in error. 19They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of destructive habits—for we are slaves of anything that has conquered us. 20If people have escaped from the corrupting forces of the world through their knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are again caught and conquered by them, such people are in worse condition at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been much better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and then turn away from the sacred command that was given them. 22What happened to them shows that the proverbs are true: “A dog goes back to what it has vomited” and “A pig that has been washed goes back to roll in the mud.”

–from 2 Peter 2

So don’t waste it! Don’t turn from it! Don’t lose it! Don’t give it up! Don’t try to go it alone! Don’t be foolish! There is strength in numbers! Put your trust in God!

As we conclude our reading today in the book of Job, I hold onto the fact and the truth how important the relationship with God is over going through the motions and the rituals or religion. So don’t just be going through the motions, but rather build up your relationship with Jesus! If you don’t have one, get one started today and allow Him to help make your path straight and to help you with questions and answers and actions and words that you will need today!

1Call out, Job. See if anyone answers. Is there any angel to whom you can turn? 2To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do. 3I have seen fools who looked secure, but I called down a sudden curse on their homes. 4Their children can never find safety; no one stands up to defend them in court. 5Hungry people will eat the fool’s crops—even the grain growing among thorns—and thirsty people will envy his wealth. 6Evil does not grow in the soil, nor does trouble grow out of the ground. 7No indeed! We bring trouble on ourselves, as surely as sparks fly up from a fire. 8If I were you, I would turn to God and present my case to him. 9We cannot understand the great things he does, and to his miracles there is no end. 10He sends rain on the land and he waters the fields. 11Yes, it is God who raises the humble and gives joy to all who mourn. 12-13He upsets the plans of cunning people, and traps the wise in their own schemes, so that nothing they do succeeds; 14even at noon they grope in darkness. 15But God saves the poor from death; he saves the needy from oppression. 16He gives hope to the poor and silences the wicked. 17Happy is the person whom God corrects! Do not resent it when he rebukes you. 18God bandages the wounds he makes; his hand hurts you, and his hand heals. 19Time after time he will save you from harm; 20when famine comes, he will keep you alive, and in war protect you from death. 21God will rescue you from slander; he will save you when destruction comes. 22You will laugh at violence and hunger and not be afraid of wild animals. 23The fields you plow will be free of rocks; wild animals will never attack you. 24Then you will live at peace in your tent; when you look at your sheep, you will find them safe. 25You will have as many children as there are blades of grass in a pasture. 26Like wheat that ripens till harvest time, you will live to a ripe old age. 27Job, we have learned this by long study. It is true, so now accept it.

–from Job 5

God’s grace is enough! Turn to Him! Nothing is too big for God to be able to handle! Nothing is too hard for God not to solve!