The Story of Job. – Day 13

Arbitrator vs Intercessor? Do you have one?

Do you have an arbitrator between you and God? Do you think one exists? Do you have someone who can be your adjudicator · arbiter · judge · umpire · referee · assistant referee · linesman · line judge · mediator · conciliator · intervenor · intercessor · go-between · negotiator · peacemaker? Do you have an intercessor between you and God? Do you think one exists? Do you have someone who can be your mediator · moderator · go-between · negotiator · middleman · intermediary · intervenor · interceder · arbitrator · arbiter · conciliator · reconciler · broker · honest broker · petitioner · supplicant · liaison officer · peacemaker? Have you heard of Jesus? Have you met Jesus? Have you had an encounter with Jesus? Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for me and all the believers. Is He interceding for you too? Do you believe?

Ever tried to debate or argue about something you know little about? Ever tried to prove a point that you didn’t have all the facts on? Did it happen out of hopelessness or despair? Did it happen out of pride or arrogance? How will you know the truth? How will you find the truth? Do you realize that it is the truth that will set you free?

Today’s reading from God’s Word from Job 9 starts with an interesting case that has Job saying that there is no arbitrator between God and man. We will all one day come before the judgment seat of God to give an answer for the life we live and it will have an impact on our next steps. Believing in Jesus gives us eternal life with God and how we have decided to steward our life will impact our role or responsibilities then.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

2 Corinthians 5:10

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Romans 14:12

Today’s reading from Job 9:

‘Then Job answered and said, “Yes, I know it is true. But how can a mortal man be right before God? If one should want to contend or dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times . God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; Who has [ever] defied or challenged Him and remained unharmed? It is God who removes the mountains, and they do not know it, When He overturns them in His anger; Who shakes the earth out of its place, And its pillars tremble; Who commands the sun, and it does not shine; Who seals up the stars [from view]; Who alone stretches out the heavens And tramples down the waves of the sea; Who made [the constellations] the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, And the [vast starry] spaces of the south; Who does great things, [beyond understanding,] unfathomable, Yes, marvelous and wondrous things without number. Behold, He passes by me, and I do not see Him; He moves past me, but I do not perceive Him. Behold, He snatches away; who can restrain or turn Him back? Who will say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’ “God will not turn back His anger; The [proud] helpers of Rahab [the arrogant monster of the sea] bow under Him. How can I answer Him [and plead my case], Choosing my words [to reason] with Him? For though I were righteous, I could not answer. I must appeal for mercy to my Opponent and Judge. If I called and He answered me, I could not believe that He was listening to my voice. For He bruises me with a tempest And multiplies my wounds without cause. He will not allow me to catch my breath, But fills and saturates me with bitterness. If it is a matter of strength and power, behold, He is mighty! And if of justice, who can summon and challenge Him? Though I am innocent and in the right, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty; Though I am blameless, He would denounce me as guilty. [Though] I am blameless, I do not care about myself; I despise my life. It is all one; therefore I say, ‘He destroys [both] the blameless and the wicked.’ When [His] scourge kills suddenly, He mocks at the despair of the innocent. The earth is given into the hands of the wicked; He covers the faces of its judges [so that they are blind to justice]. If it is not He, then who is it [that is responsible for all this injustice]? “Now my days are swifter than a runner; They vanish, they see no good. They pass by like the [swift] boats made of reeds, Like an eagle that swoops down on its prey. If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my sad appearance, and be cheerful and brighten up,’ I am afraid of all my pains and worries [yet to come]; I know that You will not acquit me and leave me unpunished. I am accounted wicked and held guilty; Why then should I labor in vain [to appear innocent]? If I were to wash myself with snow And cleanse my hands with lye, You would still plunge me into the pit, And my own clothes would hate me [and refuse to cover my foul body]. For God is not a [mere] man, as I am, that I may answer Him, That we may go to court and judgment together. There is no arbitrator between us, Who could lay his hand upon us both [would that there were]. Let Him take His rod away from me, And let not the dread and fear of Him terrify me. Then I would speak [my defense] and not fear Him; But I am not like that in myself.’

Job 9

Today’s study of our reading comes from the following:

Study notes:

In Job’s pain and despair, he starts to question or seek a mediator to help his questions to God. Job was looking for answers to the injustice of the pain and suffering he was going thru. We read in today’s chapter from Job, how Job felt futility about being vindicated in the midst of his righteousness and having done nothing wrong. Job realized that he was unable to argue or discuss with God or even understand God’s ways and wonders if he can depend on God. We learn as we read as Job references the sea which was viewed as “a force of evil” back then whereas the stars were worshiped by some. Job realizes that the focus needs to be on the creator not the created, how God’s greatness and wisdom would ensure God’s victory even against a case with man. We learn how Job is willing to pray to God and ask God for help, but he wouldn’t argue with God. God’s will and way are perfect and unchangeable. We learn about the despair of the day for Job as painful as they were. We learn how Job feels that in the midst of all of this, even if Job put on a happy face or put on a happy mood, it would be fake and would be held against him. Job speaks to how God must have found him guilty and so what’s the point of going on or trying to prove otherwise. We see how bad it has gotten for Job that he was losing all hope and falling into deeper despair. So Job declares that there is no arbitrator who could stand between him and God who would be able to bring this situation to a resolution. He would like to find an advocate, an arbitrator, an umpire, or a referee to help in this situation but could not find someone to help find him justice.

Where are you at today? Are you looking for an advocate, an arbitrator, an umpire, or a referee for your life? Do you realize that God realized that we couldn’t do it on our own and so He sent His one and only Son Jesus? Do you realize that when Jesus ascended back up to heaven that He didn’t leave us alone, He sent the Holy Spirit? Do you realize the names we have for them both?

Found the following list at 32 Names of the Holy Spirit Used In Scripture

  • Breath Of The Almighty – Job 33:4 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the life-giving breath of God!
  • 2.Counselor & Comforter – John 14:16,26; 15:26 and Romans 8:26 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is our comforter, our counselor and He gives us strength!
  • Spirit of Counsel – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit will counsel us and teach us as we grow in Christ!
  • Eternal Spirit – Hebrews 9:14 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the eternal God!
  • Free Spirit – Psalm 51:12 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is a generous and willing spirit!
  • God – Acts 5:3-4 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is God as the Third Person of the Trinity!
  • Good Spirit – Nehemiah 9:20; Psalm 143:10 – Meaning- God’s Spirit will teach us and lead us in goodness!
  • Holy Spirit – Psalm 51:11, Luke 11:13, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30 – Meaning-God is the Spirit and He is Holy! He is the Spirit of Holiness.
  • Lord – 2 Corinthians 3:16-17 – Meaning- As the Third Person in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is recognized and worshiped as the Lord!
  • Power of the Highest – Luke 1:35 – Meaning- The Spirit of God’s Power, He is the greatest power!
  • Spirit of Might – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning- He is the Spirit of strength.
  • Spirit of Adoption – Romans 8:15 – Meaning- By this Spirit we are made heirs of God
  • Spirit of Burning – Isaiah 4:4 – Meaning- He is the fire of purification!
  • Spirit of Judgment – Isaiah 4:4, 28:6 – Meaning-The Spirit brings conviction and judgment.
  • Spirit of Christ (Jesus Christ) – Romans 8:9, 1 Peter 1:11 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit shared between Jesus and God
  • Spirit of Glory – 1 Peter 4:14 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit always gives Glory to God!
  • Spirit of God – Genesis 1:2, 1 Corinthians 2:11, Job 33:4 -Meaning- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Triune God!
  • Spirit of Yahweh, (Spirit of the Lord Yahweh) – Isaiah 11:2, Isaiah 61:1 – Meaning- The Spirit has the sacred name for God-Yahweh!
  • Spirit of Grace – Zechariah 12:10, Hebrews 10:29 – Meaning- He is a Spirit of Grace!
  • Spirit of Knowledge – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit has clarity of Mind.
  • Spirit of Truth – John 14:17, 15:26 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is about truth not falsehood!
  • Spirit of Life – Romans 8:2 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit gives life!
  • Spirit of Understanding – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is understanding!
  • Spirit of Wisdom – Isaiah 11:2, Ephesians 1:17 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is wise!
  • Spirit of the Living God – 2 Corinthians 3:3 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the One True God who is the God of Life!
  • Spirit of Prophecy – Revelation 19:10 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit inspires true prophecy!
  • Spirit of the Father – Matthew 10:20 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is shared between the Father and the Son.
  • Spirit of the Fear of the Lord – Isaiah 11;2 – Meaning- The Spirit of the Spirit of reverence toward our God.
  • Spirit of the Lord (God) – Acts 5:9 -Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the presence of the Lord.
  • Spirit of the Son – Galatians 4:6 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit shared between the Son and the Father.
  • Spirit – Matthew 4:1, John 3:6, 1 Timothy 4;1 – Meaning- Sometimes simply referenced as the “Spirit”.
  • Spirit of Revelation – Ephesians 1:17 – Meaning-God reveals His truth through the Holy Spirit!

Looking again I found an even more interesting list based on today’s subject: What are the names and titles of the Holy Spirit?

  • Author of Scripture: (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16) The Bible is inspired, literally “God-breathed,” by the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. The Spirit moved the authors of all 66 books to record exactly what He breathed into their hearts and minds. As a ship is moved through the water by wind in its sails, so the biblical writers were borne along by the Spirit’s impulse.
  • Comforter / Counselor / Advocate: (Isaiah 11:2; John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7) All three words are translations of the Greek parakletos, from which we get “Paraclete,” another name for the Spirit. When Jesus went away, His disciples were greatly distressed because they had lost His comforting presence. But He promised to send the Spirit to comfort, console, and guide those who belong to Christ. The Spirit also “bears witness” with our spirits that we belong to Him and thereby assures us of salvation.
  • Convicter of Sin: (John 16:7-11) The Spirit applies the truths of God to men’s own minds in order to convince them by fair and sufficient arguments that they are sinners. He does this through the conviction in our hearts that we are not worthy to stand before a holy God, that we need His righteousness, and that judgment is certain and will come to all men one day. Those who deny these truths rebel against the conviction of the Spirit.
  • Deposit / Seal / Earnest: (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14) The Holy Spirit is God’s seal on His people, His claim on us as His very own. The gift of the Spirit to believers is a down payment on our heavenly inheritance, which Christ has promised us and secured for us at the cross. It is because the Spirit has sealed us that we are assured of our salvation. No one can break the seal of God.
  • Guide: (John 16:13) Just as the Spirit guided the writers of Scripture to record truth, so does He promise to guide believers to know and understand that truth. God’s truth is “foolishness” to the world, because it is “spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). Those who belong to Christ have the indwelling Spirit who guides us into all we need to know in regard to spiritual matters. Those who do not belong to Christ have no “interpreter” to guide them to know and understand God’s Word.
  • Indweller of Believers: (Romans 8:9-11; Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 6:19) The Holy Spirit resides in the hearts of God’s people, and that indwelling is the distinguishing characteristic of the regenerated person. From within believers, He directs, guides, comforts, and influences us, as well as producing in us the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). He provides the intimate connection between God and His children. All true believers in Christ have the Spirit residing in their hearts.
  • Intercessor: (Romans 8:26) One of the most encouraging and comforting aspects of the Holy Spirit is His ministry of intercession on behalf of those He inhabits. Because we often don’t know what or how to pray when we approach God, the Spirit intercedes and prays for us. He intercedes for us “with wordless groans,” so that when we are oppressed and overwhelmed by trials and the cares of life, He comes alongside to lend assistance as He sustains us before the throne of grace.
  • Revealer / Spirit of Truth: (John 14:17; 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16) Jesus promised that, after the resurrection, the Holy Spirit would come to “guide you into all truth.” Because of the Spirit in our hearts, we are able to understand truth, especially in spiritual matters, in a way that non-Christians cannot. In fact, the truth the Spirit reveals to us is “foolishness” to them, and they cannot understand it. But we have the mind of Christ in the Person of His Spirit within us.
  • Spirit of God / the Lord / Christ: (Matthew 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Peter 1:11) These names remind us that the Spirit of God is indeed part of the triune godhead and that He is just as much God as the Father and the Son. He is first revealed to us at the creation, when He was “hovering over the waters,” denoting His part in creation, along with that of Jesus who “made all things” (John 1:1-3). We see this same Trinity of God again at Jesus’ baptism, when the Spirit descends on Jesus and the voice of the Father is heard.
  • Spirit of Life: (Romans 8:2) The phrase “Spirit of life” means the Holy Spirit is the one who produces or gives life, not that He initiates salvation, but rather that He imparts newness of life. When we receive eternal life through Christ, the Spirit provides the spiritual food that is the sustenance of the spiritual life. Here again, we see the triune God at work. We are saved by the Father through the work of the Son, and that salvation is sustained by the Holy Spirit.
  • Teacher: (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:13) Jesus promised that the Spirit would teach His disciples “all things” and bring to their remembrance the things He said while He was with them. The writers of the New Testament were moved by the Spirit to remember and understand the instructions Jesus gave for the building and organizing of the Church, the doctrines regarding Himself, the directives for holy living, and the revelation of things to come.
  • Witness: (Romans 8:16; Hebrews 2:4; 10:15) The Spirit is called “witness” because He verifies and testifies to the fact that we are children of God, that Jesus and the disciples who performed miracles were sent by God, and that the books of the Bible are divinely inspired. Further, by giving the gifts of the Spirit to believers, He witnesses to us and the world that we belong to God.

It is amazing what we can learn from the past. We can choose to either learn from it or be doomed to repeat it.

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

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

Who has got your back?

Ever been in a situation where it got tough? Ever been in a situation where it got ugly? Ever been in a situation where you were the victim? Ever been in a situation where you were part of the group who learned about it?

What happened? What was the response? Did anyone do anything? Where did you turn? What did you do?

Would you be willing to turn to God for wisdom? Would you allow Him to direct your steps? Not every situation deserves the same response or reaction!

So who has got your back? Will you let God have your back? Will you be obedient to what He prompts you to do? To respond? To react? To say? Don’t try to do it your own way! Do it God’s way! Some may respond in ways outside of God’s will! Some may go beyond what is reasonable! Some may make things worst.

The power of forgiveness will be the key to getting out the other side. Without forgiveness, you end up in a place where you are taking the poison and expecting it to impact the other person. So consider the response! Consider what needs to be done! But so that you don’t drive yourself crazy, make sure that forgiveness comes into the picture. (Remember: Forgiving others takes away their power over you and that as you forgive others, God will forgive you!)

Today’s reading raised all these questions to mind. Today’s reading is more severe than what I would hope most people would ever have to be exposed to. Let’s check it out…

Dinah Defiled by Shechem

1Now Dinah, Leah’s daughter whom she bore for Jacob, went out to look at the daughters of the land.
2When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her and raped her.
3But his soul clung to Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, and he loved the young woman and spoke reassuringly to the young woman.
4So Shechem said to his father Hamor saying, “Get me this girl for a wife.”
5Now Jacob had heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah while his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob kept quiet until they came in.
6Meanwhile Shechem’s father Hamor went out to Jacob in order to speak with him.
7Jacob’s sons had already come in from the field when they heard, and the men were deeply grieved and furious, because he had committed a vile deed in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, which ought never to be done.
8But Hamor spoke with them saying, “My son Shechem—he’s very attached to your daughter. Please give her to him for a wife.
9Intermarry with us. You can give your daughters to us, and you can take our daughters for yourselves.
10You can live with us, and the land will be open to you: live in it, move about freely in it, and settle down in it.”
11Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “Would that I find favor in your eyes! Whatever you say to me I’ll give.
12Set the dowry and the presents as high as you like and I’ll give whatever you say to me. But give me the young woman as a wife.”
13But Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully as they spoke, because he had defiled their sister Dinah.
14They said to them, “We can’t do this thing—give our sister to a man who is uncircumcised—for this is a disgrace to us.
15Only by this will we consent to you: if you will become like us, by circumcising every male.
16Then we’ll give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves, and live with you, and become one people.
17But if you don’t listen to us and be circumcised, we’ll take our daughter and leave.”
18Now their words seemed good to Hamor as well as Hamor’s son Shechem.
19So the young man did not hesitate to do it, since he delighted in Jacob’s daughter. Now he was honored above everyone else in his father’s house.
20So Hamor and his son Shechem came into the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying:
21“These men are enjoying a peaceful relationship with us and they are living in the land and moving about freely in it. As for the land, look, it’s spread out on both sides before us. We can take their daughters to be our wives, and we can give our daughters to them.
22But by this did these men consent to us, to live with us and to become one people—when all our males are circumcised as they are circumcised.
23Their livestock and their possessions: won’t they be ours? Only let us consent to them so that they’ll live with us.”
24Now everyone who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and to his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, every one who went out the gate of his city.
25Then on the third day while they were in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came against the city undisturbed and killed every male.
26Hamor and his son Shechem they killed with the sword, then took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left.
27Jacob’s sons came upon the slain and plundered the city because they defiled their sister.
28They took their flocks, their cattle and their donkeys, those that were in the city as well as those that were in the field.
29All their wealth, their little children, and their wives they captured and plundered, as well as everything that was in the houses.
30But Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You’ve brought trouble on me, making me a stench among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I am but a few men—they’ll gather against me and strike me—then I’ll be destroyed, my household and I.”
31But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?”
–from Genesis 34

Jacob learns about it and is concerned. The brothers wanted to stand up for their sister and protect her.

If and when we respond, will it be out of obedience to God? will it be out of fear of others? or will it be out of an emotional reaction or response?

Remember whose got your back! Why not make sure you are all on the same page? Why not get the group, the friends, the family, the team together and make sure you are all on the same page.

Consider how God called Jacob to that and how they all came together…

Rededication at Beth-El

1Then God said to Jacob, “Get up! Go up to Beth-El and stay there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”
2So Jacob said to his household and to everyone who was with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that are among you. Cleanse yourselves and change your clothes.
3Now let’s get up and go up to Beth-El so that I can make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and has been with me in the way that I have gone.”
4So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods in their hand and the rings in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the oak tree near Shechem.
5Then they journeyed, and the terror of God was on the cities that were around them, so they did not pursue Jacob’s sons.
6Then Jacob arrived at Luz in the land of Canaan (that is Beth-El), he and all the people who were with him.
7He built an altar there and called the place El-Beth-El because God had revealed Himself to him there when he fled from the presence of his brother.
8Then Rebekah’s nurse Deborah died, and was buried below Beth-El, under the oak—so it was named Oak of Weeping.
9God appeared to Jacob again, after he returned from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him.
10God said to him: “Your name was Jacob. No longer will your name be Jacob, for your name will be Israel.” So He named him Israel.
11God also said to him: “I am El Shaddai. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation and an assembly of nations will come from you. From your loins will come forth kings.
12The land that I gave to Abraham and to Isaac— I give it to you, and to your seed after you I will give the land.”
13Then God went up from him at the place where He had spoken with him.
14Jacob set up a memorial stone in the place where He had spoken with him—a stone pillar—and he poured a drink offering on it and poured oil on it.
15Jacob named the place where God spoke with him Beth-El.

Rachel’s Death in Childbirth

16Then they traveled from Beth-El, and while they were still a distance from entering Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth, but her labor was difficult.
17While she was struggling to give birth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for this is also a son for you.”
18Now as her soul was departing (for she died), she named him Ben-Oni, but his father named him Benjamin.
19Then Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
20Jacob set up a memorial stone over her grave. (It is the memorial stone over Rachel’s grave to this day.)

Israel Returns to Isaac

21Then Israel journeyed on and set up his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
22While Israel was living in that land, Reuben went and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard about it. Now Jacob had twelve sons.
23Leah’s sons were Jacob’s firstborn Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
24Rachel’s sons were Joseph and Benjamin.
25The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s female servant, were Dan and Naphtali,
26and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s female servant, were Gad and Asher. These are Jacob’s sons, who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
27Then Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre of Kiriat-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed.
28Now Isaac’s days were 180 years.
29Then Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his peoples, old and full of days. So his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
–from Genesis 35

You are better than that. You can’t live in the past with what others have said, but rather you need to live in the present as God is calling you! When you come to Him and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you become a new creation, the old is gone and the new is come. When you are transformed from who you were to who God is calling you to be.

The old way had a reason. The old way had a purpose. The old way had a season. The new way is better. Jesus’ way is better! It moves from a physical thing to a matter of the heart!

Consider what we read in today’s reading from Acts…

Jerusalem Council Rules on Circumcision

1Now some men coming down from Judea were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
2When Paul and Barnabas had a big argument and debate with them, the brothers appointed Paul and Barnabas with some others from among them to go up to Jerusalem to the emissaries and elders about this issue.
3So they were sent on their way by the Antioch community. They were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they were bringing great joy to all the brothers and sisters.
4When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the community and the emissaries and the elders. They reported all that God had done in helping them.
5But some belonging to the party of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the Torah of Moses.”
6The emissaries and elders were gathered together to examine this issue.
7After much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God chose from among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the message of the Good News and believe.
8And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving them the Ruach ha-Kodesh—just as He also did for us.
9He made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts through faith.
10Why then do you put God to the test by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples—which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
11But instead, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the LordYeshua, in the same way as they are.”
12Then the whole group became silent and were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were describing in detail all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.
13After they finished speaking, Jacob answered, “Brothers, listen to me.
14Simon has described how God first showed His concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for His Name.
15The words of the Prophets agree, as it is written:
16‘After this I will return and rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David. I will rebuild its ruins and I will restore it,
17so that the rest of humanity may seek the Lord— namely all the Gentiles who are called by My name— says Adonai, who makes these things
18known from of old.’
19Therefore, I judge not to trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God—
20but to write to them to abstain from the contamination of idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what is strangled, and from blood.
21For Moses from ancient generations has had in every city those who proclaim him, since he is read in all the synagogues every Shabbat.”

Letter to Diaspora Communities

22Then it seemed good to the emissaries and elders, with the whole community, to choose men from among themselves to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judah (also called Barsabbas) and Silas, leading men among the brethren,
23and this letter along with them: “The emissaries and the elders, your brothers, To the Gentile brothers of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings!
24Since we have heard that some from among us have troubled you with words disturbing to your souls, although we gave them no such authorization,
25it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul—
26men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
27We therefore have sent to you Judah and Silas, who themselves will report to you the same things by word of mouth.
28It seemed good to the Ruach ha-Kodesh and to us not to place on you any greater burden than these essentials:
29that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. By keeping away from these things, you will do well. Shalom!”
30So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch; and when they had gathered the whole group together, they delivered the letter.
31The people read it and rejoiced over its encouragement.
32Judah and Silas, prophets themselves, encouraged the brothers and sisters with a long message and strengthened them.
33After spending some time there, they were sent off with shalom by the brothers and sisters to those who had sent them.
35But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and proclaiming the word of the Lord with many others.

New Teams Strengthen Communities

36After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s return and visit the brothers and sisters in every city where we have proclaimed the word of the Lord, to see how they are.”
37Barnabas was planning to take along John, called Mark.
38But Paul was insisting that they shouldn’t take him along—the one who had deserted them in Pamphylia, not accompanying them in the work.
39A sharp disagreement took place, so that they split off from one another. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.
40But Paul selected Silas and went out, being entrusted by the brothers and sisters to the gracious care of the Lord.
41He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the communities.
–from Acts 15

Do you realize the power of forgiveness? Do you realize similarity between the words pardon and forgive? As a noun “the action of forgiving or being forgiven for an error or offense”. As a verb “forgive or excuse (a person, error, or offense)”. Do you realize the power Jesus was given when he was a mad and had as the son of God and has today? Do realize the power that was provided when He gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for eternity? Nothing was held back from Jesus! He wasn’t just able to heal the physical, but He was able to break chains in the supernatural as well. He heals more than just the physical, He heals the spiritual side of us too. He is the ultimate physician so that we are able to bring to Him all of our needs! Let’s see what we learn as today’s reading closes in Matthew…

Authority to Pardon Sins

1After getting into a boat, Yeshua crossed over and came to His own town.
2Just then, some people brought to Him a paralyzed man lying on a cot. And seeing their faith, Yeshua said to the paralyzed man, “Take courage, son! Your sins are forgiven.”
3Then some of the Torah scholars said among themselves, “This fellow blasphemes!”
4And knowing their thoughts, Yeshua said, “Why are you entertaining evil in your hearts?
5For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
6But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to pardon sins…” Then He tells the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your cot and go home.”
7And he got up and went home.
8When the crowd saw it, they were afraid and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

A Physician for Sinners

9As Yeshua was passing by from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he got up and followed Him.
10Now it happened that when Yeshua was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Yeshuaand His disciples.
11When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why does this Teacher of yours eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12But when He heard this, Yeshua said, “Those who are healthy have no need for a doctor, but those who are sick do.
13Now go and learn what this means: ‘Mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.’ For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but the sinful.”

Teaching New Ways

14Then John’s disciples came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”
15And Yeshua said to them, “The guests of the bridegroom cannot mourn while the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
16“And no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch pulls away from the garment and a worse tear happens.
17Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, and the wine spills out and the skins are ruined. But they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Compassion in the Shepherd’s Touch

18Just as He was saying these things to them, a synagogue leader came and began to bow before Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come lay Your hand on her and she will live.”
19And Yeshua got up and began to follow him, with His disciples.
20Just then a woman, losing blood for twelve years, came from behind and touched the tzitzit of His garment.
21For she kept saying to herself, “If only I touch His garment, I will be healed.”
22But then Yeshua turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” He said, “your faith has made you well.” That very hour the woman was healed.
23When Yeshua came into the synagogue leader’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing,
24He said, “Go away, for the girl isn’t dead, but sleeping.” And they began jeering at Him.
25But when the crowd had been cleared out, He went in and took her hand, and the girl got up.
26And news of this spread all around that region.
27As Yeshua went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Ben-David, have mercy on us!”
28When He went into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Yeshuasaid to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Master,” they said to Him.
29Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith, let it be done for you.”
30And their eyes were opened. And Yeshua warned them sternly, “See that no one knows.”
31But they went out and spread the news about Him all around that region.
32As they were going out, a mute man plagued by a demon was brought to Him.
33After the demon was driven out, the mute man started speaking. The crowds were astounded, saying, “Never has anything like this been seen in Israel!”
34But the Pharisees were saying, “By the prince of demons He drives out demons.”
35Now Yeshua was going around all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness.
36When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
38Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest that He may send out workers into His harvest field.”

So, let’s join forces with Jesus! Let’s let Him have our back! Let’s live life a different way!

Let’s do it His Way!








Who is your intercessor? Do you have one?

With where you are at in life, do you have any intercessors who will pray and intercede for  you? Do you have any prayer warriors who will cover you throughout the year and especially during the tough times to help with finding wisdom and discernment when having to make a tough decision? Do you have somewhere you can turn to find one? Do you know where to look? Do you have anyone who would intervene for you? Do  you have anyone who will mediate or arbitrate for you? Is there someone who will help you reconcile?

Let’s take a look into today’s Word…

6“I have made you known to those you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me. They have obeyed your word, 7and now they know that everything you gave me comes from you. 8I gave them the message that you gave me, and they received it; they know that it is true that I came from you, and they believe that you sent me. 9“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those you gave me, for they belong to you. 10All I have is yours, and all you have is mine; and my glory is shown through them. 11And now I am coming to you; I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world. Holy Father! Keep them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one just as you and I are one. 12While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me. I protected them, and not one of them was lost, except the man who was bound to be lost—so that the scripture might come true. 13And now I am coming to you, and I say these things in the world so that they might have my joy in their hearts in all its fullness. 14I gave them your message, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but I do ask you to keep them safe from the Evil One. 16Just as I do not belong to the world, they do not belong to the world. 17Dedicate them to yourself by means of the truth; your word is truth. 18I sent them into the world, just as you sent me into the world. 19And for their sake I dedicate myself to you, in order that they, too, may be truly dedicated to you.

–from John 17

Jesus is an incredible mediate for He has gone a head of us and is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding for you and me. We need to be ready! We need to be prepared in and out of season to speak to the hope that is within us! We need to be ready for Jesus’ return because we don’t now the day or the time, but we do know that He is coming and that we want to be ready to return to Him! I look forward to the trumpet sound and hope to go and be with Jesus and not be left behind when the following begins…

The Seventh Seal

1When the Lamb broke open the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets. 3Another angel, who had a gold incense container, came and stood at the altar. He was given a lot of incense to add to the prayers of all God’s people and to offer it on the gold altar that stands before the throne. 4The smoke of the burning incense went up with the prayers of God’s people from the hands of the angel standing before God. 5Then the angel took the incense container, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth. There were rumblings and peals of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

The Trumpets

6Then the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
7The first angel blew his trumpet. Hail and fire, mixed with blood, came pouring down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees, and every blade of green grass.
8Then the second angel blew his trumpet. Something that looked like a huge mountain on fire was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea was turned into blood, 9a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10Then the third angel blew his trumpet. A large star, burning like a torch, dropped from the sky and fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11(The name of the star is “Bitterness.”) A third of the water turned bitter, and many people died from drinking the water, because it had turned bitter.
12Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet. A third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that their light lost a third of its brightness; there was no light during a third of the day and a third of the night also.
13Then I looked, and I heard an eagle that was flying high in the air say in a loud voice, “O horror! horror! How horrible it will be for all who live on earth when the sound comes from the trumpets that the other three angels must blow!”

–from Revelation 8

I don’t want to be left behind! I know God would rather we all make it too, because we know that Jesus was sent to save the world and not to condemn it! He is patient not wanting any to perish! But we all need to come to that point and receive Him our selves. Have you received Jesus into your heart yet? Have you started the journey and the relationship with Him? Is today your day? Will you be robbed of eternal love? Will you reject unconditional love?

1And now, Job, listen carefully to all that I have to say. 2I am ready to say what’s on my mind. 3All my words are sincere, and I am speaking the truth. 4God’s spirit made me and gave me life. 5Answer me if you can. Prepare your arguments. 6You and I are the same in God’s sight, both of us were formed from clay. 7So you have no reason to fear me; I will not overpower you. 8Now this is what I heard you say: 9“I am not guilty; I have done nothing wrong. I am innocent and free from sin. 10But God finds excuses for attacking me and treats me like an enemy. 11He binds chains on my feet; he watches every move I make.”

–from Job 33

If we learn from the past we won’t have to repeat it! It’s always les painful to learn from someone else’s mistakes than having to learn from them ourselves each time! Consider what happened in the past when people went out of alignment? Consider what happened when people walked away from the covering of God…

A Vision of Locusts

1I had a vision from the Sovereign Lord. In it I saw him create a swarm of locusts just after the king’s share of the hay had been cut and the grass was starting to grow again. 2In my vision I saw the locusts eat up every green thing in the land, and then I said, “Sovereign Lord, forgive your people! How can they survive? They are so small and weak!” 3The Lord changed his mind and said, “What you saw will not take place.”

A Vision of Fire

4I had another vision from the Sovereign Lord. In it I saw him preparing to punish his people with fire. The fire burned up the great ocean under the earth and started to burn up the land. 5Then I said, “Stop, O Sovereign Lord! How can your people survive? They are so small and weak!” 6The Lord changed his mind again and said, “This will not take place either.”

A Vision of a Plumb Line

7I had another vision from the Lord. In it I saw him standing beside a wall that had been built with the use of a plumb line, and there was a plumb line in his hand. 8He asked me, “Amos, what do you see?” “A plumb line,” I answered. Then he said, “I am using it to show that my people are like a wall that is out of line. I will not change my mind again about punishing them. 9The places where Isaac’s descendants worship will be destroyed. The holy places of Israel will be left in ruins. I will bring the dynasty of King Jeroboam to an end.”

Amos and Amaziah

10Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, then sent a report to King Jeroboam of Israel: “Amos is plotting against you among the people. His speeches will destroy the country. 11This is what he says: ‘Jeroboam will die in battle, and the people of Israel will be taken away from their land into exile.’” 12Amaziah then said to Amos, “That’s enough, prophet! Go on back to Judah and do your preaching there. Let them pay you for it. 13Don’t prophesy here at Bethel any more. This is the king’s place of worship, the national temple.” 14Amos answered, “I am not the kind of prophet who prophesies for pay. I am a herdsman, and I take care of fig trees. 15But the Lord took me from my work as a shepherd and ordered me to come and prophesy to his people Israel. 16So now listen to what the Lord says. You tell me to stop prophesying, to stop raving against the people of Israel. 17And so, Amaziah, the Lord says to you, ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your children will be killed in war. Your land will be divided up and given to others, and you yourself will die in a heathen country. And the people of Israel will certainly be taken away from their own land into exile.’”

–from Amos 7


A Vision of a Basket of Fruit

1I had another vision from the Sovereign Lord. In it I saw a basket of fruit. 2The Lord asked, “Amos, what do you see?” “A basket of fruit,” I answered. The Lord said to me, “The end has come for my people Israel. I will not change my mind again about punishing them. 3On that day the songs in the palace will become cries of mourning. There will be dead bodies everywhere. They will be cast out in silence.”

Israel’s Doom

4Listen to this, you that trample on the needy and try to destroy the poor of the country. 5You say to yourselves, “We can hardly wait for the holy days to be over so that we can sell our grain. When will the Sabbath end, so that we can start selling again? Then we can overcharge, use false measures, and fix the scales to cheat our customers. 6We can sell worthless wheat at a high price. We’ll find someone poor who can’t pay his debts, not even the price of a pair of sandals, and we’ll buy him as a slave.” 7The Lord, the God of Israel, has sworn, “I will never forget their evil deeds. 8And so the earth will quake, and everyone in the land will be in distress. The whole country will be shaken; it will rise and fall like the Nile River. 9The time is coming when I will make the sun go down at noon and the earth grow dark in daytime. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 10I will turn your festivals into funerals and change your glad songs into cries of grief. I will make you shave your heads and wear sackcloth, and you will be like parents mourning for their only child. That day will be bitter to the end. 11“The time is coming when I will send famine on the land. People will be hungry, but not for bread; they will be thirsty, but not for water. They will hunger and thirst for a message from the Lord. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 12People will wander from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean and then on around from the north to the east. They will look everywhere for a message from the Lord, but they will not find it. 13On that day even healthy young men and women will collapse from thirst. 14Those who swear by the idols of Samaria, who say, ‘By the god of Dan’ or ‘By the god of Beersheba’—those people will fall and not rise again.”

–from Amos 8
God’s plan is not a plan for destruction, but of redemption! How far do you think you can push it before you have to deal with the consequences?

The Lord’s Judgments

1I saw the Lord standing by the altar. He gave the command: “Strike the tops of the Temple columns so hard that the foundation will shake. Break them off and let them fall on the heads of the people. I will kill the rest of the people in war. No one will get away; not one will escape. 2Even if they dig their way down to the world of the dead, I will catch them. Even if they climb up to heaven, I will bring them down. 3If they hide on the top of Mount Carmel, I will search for them and catch them. If they hide from me at the bottom of the sea, I will command the sea monster to bite them. 4If they are taken away into captivity by their enemies, I will order them to be put to death. I am determined to destroy them, not to help them.” 5The Sovereign Lord Almighty touches the earth, and it quakes; all who live there mourn. The whole world rises and falls like the Nile River. 6The Lord builds his home in the heavens, and over the earth he puts the dome of the sky. He calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the earth. His name is the Lord! 7The Lord says, “People of Israel, I think as much of the people of Ethiopia as I do of you. I brought the Philistines from Crete and the Syrians from Kir, just as I brought you from Egypt. 8I, the Sovereign Lord, am watching this sinful kingdom of Israel, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth. But I will not destroy all the descendants of Jacob.
9“I will give the command and shake the people of Israel like grain in a sieve. I will shake them among the nations to remove all who are worthless. 10The sinners among my people will be killed in war—all those who say, ‘God will not let any harm come near us.’”

The Future Restoration of Israel

11The Lord says, “A day is coming when I will restore the kingdom of David, which is like a house fallen into ruins. I will repair its walls and restore it. I will rebuild it and make it as it was long ago. 12And so the people of Israel will conquer what is left of the land of Edom and all the nations that were once mine,” says the Lord, who will cause this to happen. 13“The days are coming,” says the Lord, “when grain will grow faster than it can be harvested, and grapes will grow faster than the wine can be made. The mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with it. 14I will bring my people back to their land. They will rebuild their ruined cities and live there; they will plant vineyards and drink the wine; they will plant gardens and eat what they grow. 15I will plant my people on the land I gave them, and they will not be pulled up again.” The Lord your God has spoken.

–from Amos 9

Are you ready? Are you getting prepared?

There is a plan and a purpose for today! There is a reason for the season you a going through! There is a time coming when Jesus will return! Are you ready? Are you getting prepared? What if He shows up today, will you be ready? What if it is tonight? How about tomorrow? ARE YOU READY?

This morning’s reading comes from Matthew 25-26, Psalm 97. The topic and the idea of being ready for what is to come came when I read the title “The Story of the Virgins” and knew that it was about two groups of people, one that showed up ready and on that that just showed up. Showing up is important, but what if it takes a bit long than you were expecting? How will you deal with the difference in expectations from reality? Do you realize what is at risk? Do you realize what you could be missing?

-5“God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.

6“In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bride-groom’s here! Go out and greet him!’
7-8“The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’
9“They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’
10“They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.
11“Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’
12“He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’
13“So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.
— Matthew 25

Stay Alert! Be ready in and out of season!

God has gifted you with many talents. What are you doing about it? Are you being a good steward of everything He has given you? Are you working on them to multiply them? Are you living to glorify Him? Today’s reading share the story this way:

14-18“It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
19-21“After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
22-23“The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
24-25“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
26-27“The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
28-30“‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’ — Matthew 25

We are called to a high standard! We are to be good stewards of all that we are given so that on that day of His return, we will get to hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant”. Isn’t that what you want to hear? Is that what you want to do? So consider the talents and the gifts God has given you and how you are using them for the glory of His kingdom. It’s not too late! As long as you are alive you have time to start. So don’t give up, get rid of the “play-it-safe”, and go out on a limb in faith believing and trusting in God so that you don’t ended up getting thrown out into the darkness.

So when He comes back and He is sorting people out, which group will you be in? Will you be in the group who believed, was prepared, and did something about it? Will you be in the group who was lackadaisical, unprepared, and lives in fear?


31-33“When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
34-36“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
37-40“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
41-43“Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—
I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’
44“Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’
45“He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’
46“Then those ‘goats’ will be herded to their eternal doom, but the ‘sheep’ to their eternal reward.” — Matthew 25

 So are you helping the hungry? Are you helping the thirsty? Are you helping the homeless? Are you helping the cold? You have a lot of time in a day and you get to choose what you will do with it. Time is like a vacuum and if you don’t fill it up properly, it will suck up all your time for other things. Which group do you want to be a part of? Which decisions are you going to make? Where will you focus your time and energy?

Check your heart! What’s your real intention? What’s the reason you are doing what you do? What’s the reason you are saying what you say? From the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks! So before you speak check yourself.


1-2When Jesus finished saying these things, he told his disciples, “You know that Passover comes in two days. That’s when the Son of Man will be betrayed and handed over for crucifixion.”
3-5At that very moment, the party of high priests and religious leaders was meeting in the chambers of the Chief Priest named Caiaphas, conspiring to seize Jesus by stealth and kill him. They agreed that it should not be done during Passover Week. “We don’t want a riot on our hands,” they said.
6-9When Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper, a woman came up to him as he was eating dinner and anointed him with a bottle of very expensive perfume. When the disciples saw what was happening, they were furious. “That’s criminal! This could have been sold for a lot and the money handed out to the poor.”
10-13When Jesus realized what was going on, he intervened. “Why are you giving this woman a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives, but not me. When she poured this perfume on my body, what she really did was anoint me for burial. You can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she has just done is going to be remembered and admired.”
14-16That is when one of the Twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the cabal of high priests and said, “What will you give me if I hand him over to you?” They settled on thirty silver pieces. He began looking for just the right moment to hand him over. — Matthew 26

When you are called on, will you be called out?

17On the first of the Days of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare your Passover meal?”
18-19He said, “Enter the city. Go up to a certain man and say, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near. I and my disciples plan to celebrate the Passover meal at your house.’” The disciples followed Jesus’ instructions to the letter, and prepared the Passover meal.
20-21After sunset, he and the Twelve were sitting around the table. During the meal, he said, “I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators.”
22They were stunned, and then began to ask, one after another, “It isn’t me, is it, Master?”
23-24Jesus answered, “The one who hands me over is someone I eat with daily, one who passes me food at the table. In one sense the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures—no surprises here. In another sense that man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man—better never to have been born than do this!”
25Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, “It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?”
Jesus said, “Don’t play games with me, Judas.” — Matthew 26

Consider the plans! Consider the thoughtfulness! Consider the importance! Consider the impact! Don’t forget! Do it often!

26-29During the meal, Jesus took and blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to his disciples:
Take, eat.
This is my body.
Taking the cup and thanking God, he gave it to them:
Drink this, all of you.
This is my blood,
God’s new covenant poured out for many people
for the forgiveness of sins.
“I’ll not be drinking wine from this cup again until that new day when I’ll drink with you in the kingdom of my Father.”
30They sang a hymn and went directly to Mount Olives.
— Matthew 26

 We are drawing towards Easter in the next couple of weeks. Are you prepared? Are you making plans? Are you going to receive and celebrate? Are you going to take time and remember the sacrifice and the ultimate salvation that came through it? Will you give it the priority it deserves in your busy schedule? It’s not about if you have time, it’s a matter of will you make time or take time for such a time as this!

31-32Then Jesus told them, “Before the night’s over, you’re going to fall to pieces because of what happens to me. There is a Scripture that says,
I’ll strike the shepherd;
helter-skelter the sheep will be scattered.
But after I am raised up, I, your Shepherd, will go ahead of you, leading the way to Galilee.”
33Peter broke in, “Even if everyone else falls to pieces on account of you, I won’t.”
34“Don’t be so sure,” Jesus said. “This very night, before the rooster crows up the dawn, you will deny me three times.”
35Peter protested, “Even if I had to die with you, I would never deny you.” All the others said the same thing.
36-38Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”
39Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?”
40-41When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”
42He then left them a second time. Again he prayed, “My Father, if there is no other way than this, drinking this cup to the dregs, I’m ready. Do it your way.”
43-44When he came back, he again found them sound asleep. They simply couldn’t keep their eyes open. This time he let them sleep on, and went back a third time to pray, going over the same ground one last time.
45-46When he came back the next time, he said, “Are you going to sleep on and make a night of it? My time is up, the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the hands of sinners. Get up! Let’s get going! My betrayer is here.” — Matthew 26

 Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Our bodies may be week, but our spirit is strong. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Walk in alignment with His plans and purposes! There is a time for battle and a time for peace, Jesus came to the earth the first time as the sacrificial lamb, the teacher, the healer, the Son of God! He gave His life so that we could have the opportunity to be reconciled back to God the Father. And the beginning of this coming to fruition happened in the garden.

47-49The words were barely out of his mouth when Judas (the one from the Twelve) showed up, and with him a gang from the high priests and religious leaders brandishing swords and clubs. The betrayer had worked out a sign with them: “The one I kiss, that’s the one—seize him.” He went straight to Jesus, greeted him, “How are you, Rabbi?” and kissed him.
50-51Jesus said, “Friend, why this charade?”
Then they came on him—grabbed him and roughed him up. One of those with Jesus pulled his sword and, taking a swing at the Chief Priest’s servant, cut off his ear.
52-54Jesus said, “Put your sword back where it belongs. All who use swords are destroyed by swords. Don’t you realize that I am able right now to call to my Father, and twelve companies—more, if I want them—of fighting angels would be here, battle-ready? But if I did that, how would the Scriptures come true that say this is the way it has to be?”
55-56Then Jesus addressed the mob: “What is this—coming out after me with swords and clubs as if I were a dangerous criminal? Day after day I have been sitting in the Temple teaching, and you never so much as lifted a hand against me. You’ve done it this way to confirm and fulfill the prophetic writings.”
Then all the disciples cut and ran. — Matthew 26

 Jesus didn’t come to overthrow the law and the commandments and the prophesy of God, He came to complete it! He can to fulfill the Word of God. Even to the point of being falsely accused, beaten, and crucified to death.

False Charges
57-58The gang that had seized Jesus led him before Caiaphas the Chief Priest, where the religion scholars and leaders had assembled. Peter followed at a safe distance until they got to the Chief Priest’s courtyard. Then he slipped in and mingled with the servants, watching to see how things would turn out.
59-60The high priests, conspiring with the Jewish Council, tried to cook up charges against Jesus in order to sentence him to death. But even though many stepped up, making up one false accusation after another, nothing was believable.
60-61Finally two men came forward with this: “He said, ‘I can tear down this Temple of God and after three days rebuild it.’”
62The Chief Priest stood up and said, “What do you have to say to the accusation?”
63Jesus kept silent.
Then the Chief Priest said, “I command you by the authority of the living God to say if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
64Jesus was curt: “You yourself said it. And that’s not all. Soon you’ll see it for yourself:
The Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Mighty One,
Arriving on the clouds of heaven.”
65-66At that, the Chief Priest lost his temper, ripping his robes, yelling, “He blasphemed! Why do we need witnesses to accuse him? You all heard him blaspheme! Are you going to stand for such blasphemy?”
They all said, “Death! That seals his death sentence.”
67-68Then they were spitting in his face and banging him around. They jeered as they slapped him: “Prophesy, Messiah: Who hit you that time?”
Denial in the Courtyard
69All this time, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard. One servant girl came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean.”
70In front of everybody there, he denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
71As he moved over toward the gate, someone else said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.”
72Again he denied it, salting his denial with an oath: “I swear, I never laid eyes on the man.”
73Shortly after that, some bystanders approached Peter. “You’ve got to be one of them. Your accent gives you away.”
74-75Then he got really nervous and swore. “I don’t know the man!”
Just then a rooster crowed. Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried. — Matthew 26

 So where do you stand today? If asked are you a Christian, how would you reply? If they gave you the option of not saying, what would you do? If they pushed and pressured you, how would you respond? What if it was with the risk that if you said yes, you could be killed? What are you more afraid of God or man? losing your life or losing your soul? spending your time apart from God or with God? Our choices have impact, eternal impact. Our choices are life or death matters. So choose wisely! Choose LIFE!



Is your heart right? Is there anything polluting your heart?

Are you saying things to make excuses for doing things right? Are you doing things that don’t align with what you should really be doing? Where is your heart in all of this? What is really going on? Are you doing the right thing or is your heart really not in it?

This morning’s reading from God’s Word: Matthew 15-16, Psalm 92 starts off with this title: “What Pollutes Your Life“. One quote that comes to mind as I am reading this is “Methings thou dost protest too much” from William Shakespeare in Hamlet. We see the reading start with Pharisees and religion scholars coming and protesting about how Jesus’ disciples are living. We see it is a matter of the heart why they are attacking Him and them.

1-2After that, Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem, criticizing, “Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?”
3-9But Jesus put it right back on them. “Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God’s commands? God clearly says, ‘Respect your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.’ But you weasel around that by saying, ‘Whoever wants to, can say to father and mother, What I owed to you I’ve given to God.’ That can hardly be called respecting a parent. You cancel God’s command by your rules. Frauds! Isaiah’s prophecy of you hit the bull’s-eye:
These people make a big show of saying the right thing,
but their heart isn’t in it.
They act like they’re worshiping me,
but they don’t mean it.
They just use me as a cover
for teaching whatever suits their fancy.”
10-11He then called the crowd together and said, “Listen, and take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up.”

It’s not a matter of what you put in that pollutes you, it’s a matter of what comes back out! What goes in isn’t as big of a problem, unless it affects what is on the inside. If your heart is good then what comes out will be good. If your heart is hurting, what you speak out will be hurting words. If your heart is polluted, then that pollution will be coming back out. Jesus explained it this way:

15Peter said, “I don’t get it. Put it in plain language.”
16-20Jesus replied, “You, too? Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you know that anything that is swallowed works its way through the intestines and is finally defecated? But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart. It’s from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and cussing. That’s what pollutes. Eating or not eating certain foods, washing or not washing your hands—that’s neither here nor there.”

So where are you at today? Is your heart in the right place? Are you asking Jesus to help clean house? Have you asked Him into your heart so that in your heart is only Jesus? Not Jesus plus but Jesus only. Are you ask God to search your heart and make it pure and clean? Like David did?

Don’t give up! Keep pressing on! Allow your faith to find victory!

21-22From there Jesus took a trip to Tyre and Sidon. They had hardly arrived when a Canaanite woman came down from the hills and pleaded, “Mercy, Master, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit.”
23Jesus ignored her. The disciples came and complained, “Now she’s bothering us. Would you please take care of her? She’s driving us crazy.”
24Jesus refused, telling them, “I’ve got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of Israel.”
25Then the woman came back to Jesus, went to her knees, and begged. “Master, help me.”
26He said, “It’s not right to take bread out of children’s mouths and throw it to dogs.”
27She was quick: “You’re right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master’s table.”
28Jesus gave in. “Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!” Right then her daughter became well. — Matthew 15

There are so many people around you today who are in need. Have you prepared to be able to help them? Have you gone in advance to be ready for all that God wants and needs you to do today? Jesus did, so let’s follow His example.

29-31After Jesus returned, he walked along Lake Galilee and then climbed a mountain and took his place, ready to receive visitors. They came, tons of them, bringing along the paraplegic, the blind, the maimed, the mute—all sorts of people in need—and more or less threw them down at Jesus’ feet to see what he would do with them. He healed them. When the people saw the mutes speaking, the maimed healthy, the paraplegics walking around, the blind looking around, they were astonished and let everyone know that God was blazingly alive among them. — Matthew 15

But He didn’t stop there, He met them at their point of need and then saw their was more that He could do. Are you seeing those around you and their immediate problem? Are you assisting them in that area? Do you think you are done or are you asking God for wisdom in regards to if there is anything else that He would want you to be doing or helping with? Jesus did and it glorified His Father in Heaven!

32But Jesus wasn’t finished with them. He called his disciples and said, “I hurt for these people. For three days now they’ve been with me, and now they have nothing to eat. I can’t send them away without a meal—they’d probably collapse on the road.”
33His disciples said, “But where in this deserted place are you going to dig up enough food for a meal?”
34-39Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”
“Seven loaves,” they said, “plus a few fish.” At that, Jesus directed the people to sit down. He took the seven loaves and the fish. After giving thanks, he divided it up and gave it to the people. Everyone ate. They had all they wanted. It took seven large baskets to collect the leftovers. Over four thousand people ate their fill at that meal. After Jesus sent them away, he climbed in the boat and crossed over to the Magadan hills. — Matthew 15

Imagine someone coming up to Jesus demanding a sign? Imagine getting back the only sign they will get is the sign of Jonah? Imagine the confusion as this was before the crucifixion and resurrection. Jonah was in the fish for 3 days — Jesus was dead and in the tomb for three days. Jonah was given new life on the third day — Jesus was resurrected and defeated death and sin forever! So be careful in your life, because a little bit of a bad thing can ruin the entire batch. As we head into the next chapter (16), we see that is where this starts with the title “Some Bad Yeast“.

1-4Some Pharisees and Sadducees were on him again, pressing him to prove himself to them. He told them, “You have a saying that goes, ‘Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning.’ You find it easy enough to forecast the weather—why can’t you read the signs of the times? An evil and wanton generation is always wanting signs and wonders. The only sign you’ll get is the Jonah sign.” Then he turned on his heel and walked away.
5-6On their way to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring along bread. In the meantime, Jesus said to them, “Keep a sharp eye out for Pharisee-Sadducee yeast.”
7-12Thinking he was scolding them for forgetting bread, they discussed in whispers what to do. Jesus knew what they were doing and said, “Why all these worried whispers about forgetting the bread? Runt believers! Haven’t you caught on yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves of bread and the five thousand people, and how many baskets of fragments you picked up? Or the seven loaves that fed four thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you collected? Haven’t you realized yet that bread isn’t the problem? The problem is yeast, Pharisee-Sadducee yeast.” Then they got it: that he wasn’t concerned about eating, but teaching—the Pharisee-Sadducee kind of teaching. — Matthew 16

Do you realize who Jesus is? Do you know that He came to have a relationship with us? Do you know that it is about more than religion and rituals, but it is about a relationship with Jesus? In this way new doors of opportunity and life have been open.

13When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?”
14They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17-18Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
19“And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”
20He swore the disciples to secrecy. He made them promise they would tell no one that he was the Messiah.

Let Jesus take the wheel! Let Him be in the driver’s seat! Trust Him, He is good to His Word! Do what He says to do. Avoid what He says not to do. This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it. Jesus did it all that we could be reconciled to God.

21-22Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!”
23But Jesus didn’t swerve. “Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.”
24-26Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
27-28“Don’t be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself. Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You’ll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory.” — Matthew 16

It’s a gift through grace. Will you receive it? Will you accept it? Will you live it?

Do you know who is on your side? What side are you on?

What are you up against today? Where are you heading? What’s holding you back? What is driving you? How will you get through? How will you know what to do? Who can you trust? Where will you turn? How long and how far will you walk away before you stop and consider the alternative?

This morning’s reading triggered this truth and so I wanted to share some thoughts and revelations related to this topic.

  • If our God is for us who can be against us

31-39So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.

We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. — Romans 8

  • He will stick closer than a brother
24Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. — Proverbs 18:24
  • If you seek Him, you will find Him, when you seek Him with all of your heart, mind, and soul

29-31But even there, if you seek God, your God, you’ll be able to find him if you’re serious, looking for him with your whole heart and soul. When troubles come and all these awful things happen to you, in future days you will come back to God, your God, and listen obediently to what he says. God, your God, is above all a compassionate God. In the end he will not abandon you, he won’t bring you to ruin, he won’t forget the covenant with your ancestors which he swore to them. — Deuteronomy 4

  • Jesus came to save, not bring judgment

16-18“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. — John 3:15-18

The verse from this morning’s reading that caused me to want to share the truth that God is on our side is:

4-6Jesus told them, “Go back and tell John what’s going on:
The blind see,
The lame walk,
Lepers are cleansed,
The deaf hear,
The dead are raised,
The wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side.
“Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed!” — Matthew 11:4-6
In life we have a choice, we have been given freewill so that we don’t just live as robots, we have been given a special opportunity. Choose wisely! Take a hold of the opportunity to receive Jesus into your heart and to live for God and realize that He is for you and how much He loves you.
Want to know what to do? Turn to God! Want to hear wisdom? Listen to God! Want to know where to go? Follow Jesus!
You don’t have to have it all together, you don’t have to know it all, you don’t have to be perfect before you turn to God!
25-26Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.” — Matthew 11:25-26
Are you feeling tired? Are you feeling over burdened?
28-30“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” — Matthew 11:28-30
Is your heart in the right position? Are you so tied up in routine, rituals, structure, that your heart is out of whack? Are your goals and your focus on the right things? Is it more about how it looks than what it accomplishes? We need to remember the priority order! We need to put first things first!
Look well at my handpicked servant;
I love him so much, take such delight in him.
I’ve placed my Spirit on him;
he’ll decree justice to the nations.
But he won’t yell, won’t raise his voice;
there’ll be no commotion in the streets.
He won’t walk over anyone’s feelings,
won’t push you into a corner.
Before you know it, his justice will triumph;
the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even
among far-off unbelievers. — Matthew 12

There is no neutral ground!

If you aren’t moving forward, you are falling backwards. If you aren’t for us, you are against us. Their is a real spiritual battle taking place. You can’t just be sitting on the beach and think it’s all good, because there is a battle taking place for your soul and the soul of everyone around you. We are all eternal beings and it is God’s desire that we spend it with Him in heaven, whereas, it’s the devil’s goal to make you send eternity apart from God. It all comes down to a choice, one that each one of us has to make individually.
22-23Next a poor demon-afflicted wretch, both blind and deaf, was set down before him. Jesus healed him, gave him his sight and hearing. The people who saw it were impressed—“This has to be the Son of David!”
24But the Pharisees, when they heard the report, were cynical. “Black magic,” they said. “Some devil trick he’s pulled from his sleeve.”
25-27Jesus confronted their slander. “A judge who gives opposite verdicts on the same person cancels himself out; a family that’s in a constant squabble disintegrates; if Satan banishes Satan, is there any Satan left? If you’re slinging devil mud at me, calling me a devil kicking out devils, doesn’t the same mud stick to your own exorcists?
28-29“But if it’s by God’s power that I am sending the evil spirits packing, then God’s kingdom is here for sure. How in the world do you think it’s possible in broad daylight to enter the house of an awake, able-bodied man and walk off with his possessions unless you tie him up first? Tie him up, though, and you can clean him out.
30“This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.
31-32“There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you deliberately persist in your slanders against God’s Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives. If you reject the Son of Man out of some misunderstanding, the Holy Spirit can forgive you, but when you reject the Holy Spirit, you’re sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.
33“If you grow a healthy tree, you’ll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree.
34-37“You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” — Matthew 12
Jesus was willing to give His all for us. He went to the cross! He was buried and died for 3 days (similar to Jonah who was stuck in the belly of a whale)! He conquered the grave and the power of death and has been raised up to sit at the right hand of the father and is intervening, mediating, pleading, negotiating, and arbitrating for all those who have chosen to go His way! Will you decide to make the choice? There is no fence sitting. There is no neutral. You are in or you are out! Choose wisely!
38Later a few religion scholars and Pharisees got on him. “Teacher, we want to see your credentials. Give us some hard evidence that God is in this. How about a miracle?”
39-40Jesus said, “You’re looking for proof, but you’re looking for the wrong kind. All you want is something to titillate your curiosity, satisfy your lust for miracles. The only proof you’re going to get is what looks like the absence of proof: Jonah-evidence. Like Jonah, three days and nights in the fish’s belly, the Son of Man will be gone three days and nights in a deep grave.
41-42“On Judgment Day, the Ninevites will stand up and give evidence that will condemn this generation, because when Jonah preached to them they changed their lives. A far greater preacher than Jonah is here, and you squabble about ‘proofs.’ On Judgment Day, the Queen of Sheba will come forward and bring evidence that will condemn this generation, because she traveled from a far corner of the earth to listen to wise Solomon. Wisdom far greater than Solomon’s is right in front of you, and you quibble over ‘evidence.’
43-45“When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn’t find anyone, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’ On return it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse off than if he’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place.
“That’s what this generation is like: You may think you have cleaned out the junk from your lives and gotten ready for God, but you weren’t hospitable to my kingdom message, and now all the devils are moving back in.” — Matthew 12

Are you facing a mess? Are you facing troubles?

God doesn’t mess up. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are better than our thoughts. He has a plan that will give you a hope and a future!

We can get right with God! Turn to Jesus and ask Him into your life. He gave it all so that we could be reconciled to God!

God’s grace vs. God’s wrath! Restores/Reset rather than toasted.

Do you know the arbitrator who sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for you? His name is Jesus!

When you are feeling down and out there is only one place to turn! Turn back to God! He is able to exceedingly abundantly more than we can ever ask or imagine! All things are possible for those who believe! Nothing is impossible for God! How far will you have to fall before you look up? If you are in a downward spiral, will you look up and cry out to God for help? Do you have to hit rock bottom first? We all have choices to make. We all get to make them. And the consequences of our choice direct us either down the right path or off the beaten path.

God’s strong name is our help! He won’t go off and leave us. He won’t abandon us defenseless. When everything else seems against us, God is for us. So turn to Him. Ask Him for wisdom and guidance! Call on Him for He will answer you when you seek Him with all of your heart, all your mind, and all your strength.

When we ask God into our lives and we allow Him to reign in our lives, it changes things. It changes how we act, how we think, how we speak. When we give God the wheel of our lives, it puts our hearts in a position where we no longer have a desire to wrong someone else. We are in a position where we have no desire to take advantage of others personal gain nor vengeance. This is why in Leviticus, God’s Word says:

Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 25:17 (KJV)

Others may leave us. Others may abandon us. But just as we have come to Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it is Jesus who is living in us. And as Jesus lives in us, just when everyone scattered and left Him, God the Father was with Him the rest of the way!