What motivates your decision?

The Story of Job. – Day 23

You are at a crossroads. You are at the door to change. You are facing the decision of more of the same or something different. You are seeking wisdom. You are hearing advice. You are asking questions. The answers are clear in some cases and vague in others. The answers are direct in some cases and open ended in others. Knowing that there is wisdom in many counselors, I ask for input. I trust into God rather than my own understanding in order to pursue God’s perfect plan and will at this juncture. I try to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in order to discern the right decision. Today I need to choose. Today I need to decide. Today’s decision will impact many. Today’s decision will transform the day to day work and yet allow for similar surroundings. So before I go, I stop and turn to God’s Word.

Today’s reading comes out of Job 18:

‘Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said, “How long will you hunt for words and continue these speeches? Do some clear thinking and show understanding and then we can talk. Why are we regarded as beasts, As if [we are] stupid (senseless) in your eyes? You who tear yourself apart in anger, Is the earth to be abandoned for your sake, Or the rock to be moved out of its place? “Indeed, the light of the wicked will be put out, And the flame of his fire will not shine. The light will be dark in his tent, And his lamp beside him will be put out. The vigorous stride will be shortened, And his own counsel and the scheme [in which he trusted] will bring his downfall. For the wicked is thrown into a net by his own feet (wickedness), And he steps on the webbing [of the lattice-covered pit]. A snare catches him by the heel, And a trap snaps shut on him. A noose is hidden for him on the ground, And a trap for him on the path. Terrors frighten him on every side And chase at his heels. The strength [of the wicked] is famished and weakened, And disaster is ready at his side [if he stops]. His skin is devoured by disease; The firstborn of death [the worst of diseases] consumes his limbs. He is torn from his tent which he trusted [for safety], And he is marched and brought to the king of terrors (death). Nothing of his dwells in his tent; Brimstone (burning sulfur) is scattered over his dwelling [to purify it]. The roots [of the wicked] are dried up below, And above, his branch is cut off and withers. Memory of him perishes from the earth, And he has no name on the street. He is driven and propelled from light into darkness, And chased from the inhabited world. He has no offspring or prosperity among his people, Nor any survivor where he sojourned. Those in the west are astonished and appalled at his fate, And those in the east are seized with horror. Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked and the ungodly, And such is the place of him who does not know or recognize or honor God.”’

Job 18:1-21

Today’s study includes information from:

Study Notes:

When people try to convince you of something do they use tactics? Are they using logic tactics? Are they using debate tactics? Are they using emotional tactics? Are they using fear tactics? What motivates you? What are you looking for in your conversations? Is it a peace, but not just someone trying to butter you up, a real peace that surpasses all understanding that allows you to know God’s in it?

We see as we look into the study of Job 18 how Bildad in his second attempt to speak to Job that reason isn’t working and so he moves on to trying to persuade Job with fear by scaring him into reality as he believes that Job is about to die the way of the wicked.

We see how Bildad, as with the previous speech to Job by Eliphaz, makes his second go merciless · pitiless · cruel · heartless · hard-hearted · hard · stony-hearted · stony · with a heart of stone · cold-blooded · cold-hearted · harsh · callous · severe · unmerciful · unrelenting · unsparing · unforgiving · unfeeling · uncaring · unsympathetic · uncharitable · lacking compassion · relentless · remorseless · unbending · inflexible · inexorable · implacable · unpitying · unremitting · steely · brutal · inhuman · inhumane · barbarous · barbaric · savage · bloodthirsty · sadistic · vicious · fierce · ferocious · cutthroat · dog-eat-dog · inclement · fell · marble-hearted. He tries to bring Job into his reality by telling him to “Do some clear thinking and show understanding and then we can talk.” He is trying to get him to stop being emotional and complaining and to calm down so he can be logical in order to be able to have a conversation.

We how he next moves into trying to reject and dismiss what Job had said and scoff at him when he says “Why are we regarded as beasts, As if [we are] stupid (senseless) in your eyes? You who tear yourself apart in anger, Is the earth to be abandoned for your sake, Or the rock to be moved out of its place?

After all that he moves into telling a story of how the wicked will have bad outcomes and experiences.

We see how Bildad takes at how Job had described his friends in Job 12:7-12 when he describes them in terms of animals.

We see how Bildad’s story speaks to light and darkness in terms of life and and death. We learn how God is light and so for our lamps to be lit requires God to light it. We also learn how Bildad took it to the next step in speaking “the light of the wicked will be put out, And the flame of his fire will not shine.

The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

Proverbs 13:9

25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Acts 17:25-28

We learn how Bildad in speaking of the wicked, compare them to how birds and animals are captured by “nets”, “snares”, “traps”, “nooses” and how that is the way the wicked will meet their demise.

So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? 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?

Will you attack the problem or the person?

The Story of Job. – Day 20

What is your purpose and your intention for debating or questioning the other person? Is your goal to win or to understand? Is your goal to win or to inform? Is your goal to solve the problem or defeat the person? When faced with a problem, how will you address it? Will you attack the problem or will you attack the person? Will you allow Jesus to be in the center of the relationship and then partner with the other person to address the problem? Will you attack the problem or will you attack the other person?

Do you know what is going on? Do you totally comprehend it? Are you assuming based on your knowledge and just trying to win the debate? Are you finding that your technique isn’t helping you win the argument? Are you realizing that you are now trying to go after the person? Are you a real friend with a real relationship or are you a so-called friend and just trying to indict the other person so that you win?

Today’s reading comes to use from Job 15:

‘Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered [Job] and said, “Should a wise man [such as you] utter such windy and vain knowledge [as we have just heard] And fill himself with the east wind [of withering, parching, and violent accusations]? Should he rebuke and argue with useless talk? Or with words in which there is no benefit? Indeed, you are doing away with fear, And you are diminishing meditation before God. For your guilt teaches your mouth, And you choose [to speak] the language of the crafty and cunning. Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; Yes, your own lips testify against you. “Were you the first man to be born [the original wise man], Or were you created before the hills? Do you hear the secret counsel of God, And do you limit [the possession of] wisdom to yourself? What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that is not equally clear to us? Among us are both the gray-haired and the aged, Older than your father. Are the consolations of God [as we have interpreted them to you] too trivial for you, [Or] were we too gentle toward you [in our first speech] to be effective? Why does your heart carry you away [allowing you to be controlled by emotion]? And why do your eyes flash [in anger or contempt], That you should turn your spirit against God And let such words [as you have spoken] go out of your mouth? What is man, that he should be pure and clean, Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous and just? Behold, God puts no trust in His holy ones (angels); Indeed, the heavens are not pure in His sight— How much less [pure and clean is] the one who is repulsive and corrupt, Man, who drinks unrighteousness and injustice like water! “I will tell you, listen to me; And what I have seen I will also declare; What wise men have [freely] told, And have not hidden [anything passed on to them] from their fathers, To whom alone the land was given, And no stranger passed among them [corrupting the truth]. The wicked man writhes with pain all his days, And numbered are the years stored up for him, the ruthless one. A [dreadful] sound of terrors is in his ears; While at peace and in a time of prosperity the destroyer comes upon him [the tent of the robber is not at peace]. He does not believe that he will return out of the darkness [for fear of being murdered], And he is destined for the sword [of God’s vengeance]. He wanders about for food, saying, ‘Where is it?’ He knows that the day of darkness and destruction is already at hand. Distress and anxiety terrify him, They overpower him like a king ready for battle. Because he has stretched out his hand against God And behaves arrogantly against the Almighty, Running and charging headlong against Him With his ornamented and massive shield; For he has covered his face with his fat, Adding layers of fat to his thighs [giving himself up to pleasures], And he has lived in desolate [God-forsaken] cities, In houses which no one should inhabit, Which were destined to become heaps [of ruins]; He will not become rich, nor will his wealth endure; And his grain will not bend to the earth nor his possessions be extended on the earth. He will not escape from darkness [fleeing disaster]; The flame [of God’s wrath] will wither his branch, And by the blast of His mouth he will go away. Let him not trust in vanity (emptiness, futility) and be led astray; For emptiness will be his reward [for such living]. It will be fulfilled while he still lives, And his branch will not be green [but shall wither away]. He will fail to bring his grapes to maturity [leaving them to wither unnourished] on the vine, And will cast off blossoms [and fail to bring forth fruit] like the olive tree. For the company of the godless is barren, And fire consumes the tents of bribery (wrong and injustice). They conceive mischief and bring forth wickedness, And their inmost soul prepares deceit and fraud.”’

Job 15:1-35

Today’s study includes information from:

Study Notes:

After Job’s latest speech, it has intensified the rebuttal of his friends. Their confrontation was energized by what Job had to say.

Today’s reading begins with Eliphaz, who was the first friend who tried to comfort him, the first to dispute with him and the oldest of them. The discussion or debate has escalated and become much more heated.

We see more questions being raised during this conversation and learn thru the study how the book of Job has more questions than any other book in the Bible with over 300 questions. The questions revolve around the subject of wisdom and trying to get understanding.

We read how Eliphaz was now telling Job that his words in vain and would have as little effect on God as the wind. He compares Job’s speech to the east wind which in that part of the world was the worst wind.

Eliphaz says Job’s words are worthless, unprofitable and do no good but instead cause hurt. We see how Eliphaz’s opinion of Job has degraded and felt that Job’s sins were so great that God wouldn’t even be listening to him.

Eliphaz goes on to accuse Job with the severity that Job was trying to undermine other people’s devotion to God. Today’s study goes on to say “He forgot that Job had asked God to take away his fear of Him. Job had spoken boldly of his belief that God would save him. Eliphaz believed that Job was not showing reverence toward God. He even believed that Job was hindering other’s prayers to God.

Eliphaz going from trying to argue to now attacking Job when he accuses Job of ““iniquity” and being “crafty” deceitful, whereas in his first speech he seemed to assume Job’s sincerity. Eliphaz believed that Job’s tongue was speaking from a heart filled with iniquity.

Eliphaz even goes on to accuse Job that his own words have condemned him. That there was no need to try and produce any testimony for his own lips had given enough proof of how he was guilty. Today’s study mirrors the accusation with the ones that Jesus received as it says “Now he was saying that the words he was speaking were condemning himself. He believed that Job had been acting in an irreverent way in speaking to God. Job was in very good company being accused of sinning with what he said. They accused Jesus of speaking blasphemy, and therefore worthy of death. How wrong they were, and how wrong Eliphaz was here.“.

Today’s study gives the following additional summary of what was discussed:

Verses 7-13: Eliphaz condemned Job for rejecting the conventional wisdom, as if he had more insight than other men (verses 7-9), and could reject the wisdom of the aged (verse 10), and the kindness of God (verse 11).

Verses 7-10: With God, true knowledge is not necessarily linked to age but to consistent obedience (Psalm 119:99-100). Knowledge and wisdom come from doing what God instructs and discovering that He always knows what is right (Deut. 4:6; 1 Tim. 4:12).

Verses 14-16: A strong statement with regard to the sinfulness of man (Rom. 3:23), that attacked Job’s claim to righteousness. (Verse 15), refers to holy angels who fell and brought impurity into the heavens (Rev. 12:1-4). The truth is accurate, that all men are sinners, but irrelevant in Job’s case, because his suffering was not due to any sin.

Verses 15-20: Retributive justice was not only Eliphaz’s philosophy but that of all three friends. They did not see that while suffering is ultimately the result of original sin not all suffering is the result of a person’s particular sin.

Verses 17-35: Eliphaz once again returned to the same perspective and indicted Job for sin because Job was suffering. To support his relentless point, he launched into a lengthy monologue about the wicked and their outcomes in life, including many parallels to the sufferings of Job. He had pain, and didn’t know when his life would end (verse 20). He suffered from fear, every sound alarmed him, and he thought his destroyer was near (verses 21-22). He worried about having food (verse 23). His suffering made him question God (verses 24-26). Once well-nourished, housed and rich (verses 27-29), he would lose it all (verses 30-33). Eliphaz concluded by calling Job a hypocrite (verses 34-35), saying that this was the reason things were going so badly.

Eliphaz again appeals to his personal experience for authority: “That which I have seen.” He then surveys the judgments that fall on the wicked, thus implying that Job is to be numbered among them.

Bible-Study.org Chapter 15

It was interesting as I looked for an image for today’s post, I found this interesting one and clicked one level further and found an interesting podcast about it. Attack the Problem Not the Person – the question was posed from an Amazon employee where he spoke of their way of Attacking the process not the person which leads into the podcast discussion.

So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? 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?

How against Jesus are you? Doesn’t mean you won’t be used by God! The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 27th)

Are you rejecting Jesus? Are you ignoring Jesus? Are you fighting against Jesus? Are you attacking Christians? Are you persecuting Christians? Are you trying to tear Jesus and Christians down?

Have you been hearing about the persecution that has been taking place by ISIS? Have you been hearing about the torture and murder going on around the world?

Yesterday we had the topic of “Never say never” and in there we looked at one example of someone who was so against Jesus and His followers that he got permission from the religious leaders in order to go out and persecute them. He was going around looking to round them up and bring them back bound for persecution and sentencing. Saul was on a mission to end “the Way” and was a huge threat to the Christians at the time. There was great fear and many people fled in order to try to escape the persecution. It managed to actually start spreading the new of Jesus. Saul was there when they stoned and killed Stephen. But God had a greater plan that would intersect Saul while he was on his way and turn what the enemy had planned for evil and use it for good. Saul was educated in the Jewish faith and was at a very high level of education but after his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus he considered that all garbage or dung compared to knowing Jesus. He speaks to it in Philippians 3 when he says:

 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh,I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law,3 blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

–from Philippians 3

Imagine being someone who is so against Jesus that you would be willing to go out and try to capture them all and then kill them. Imagine if God could take all that  your past knows and turn your heart around to the point where you would become a speaker for God. Let’s take a look into today’s reading from Acts 9 and Saul’s transformation through the encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus that turned him into Paul.

The Conversion of Saul

1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord,went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus,so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly alight from heaven shone around him. 4 And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and goto the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered,“Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16   will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized;19 and taking food, he was strengthened.

–from Acts 9

We need to take hold of God’s Word and believe that His Word is true! We need to not hate but defeat hate with love! We need to take hold of what we read in Matthew 5 where it tells us:

Love Your Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

–from Matthew 5

Is it easy to do? Nope, not at all but we need to be like Ananias and be obedient to God’s Word and His prompting. We need to trust in God and lean not on our own understanding. Obedience is better than sacrifice and imagine having been the one who was used to find a key that opened up the reality of Jesus to the world. Imagine Ananias who was afraid of facing Saul but who in obedience did what God called him to do and released the guy, the apostle Paul, who wrote so much of the new testament. Don’t be afraid, put your trust in God! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Trust in God!

Are you against Christians and Jesus? Now imagine being Saul and having that encounter on the road to Damascus. What type of vision or dream would it take for you to receive and believe the reality of Jesus? How can God use you to make a difference in the people and the world around you? God’s Word has impacted the world for generations and will continue to for generations to come. Why not take time to start reading God’s Word? Why not consider letting the Words of Jesus come off the pages and speak into your heart? Why not let God’s Word be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path? Why not allow the Holy Spirit to plant the seed of faith into your heart today? Why not invite Jesus into your life and ask Him to speak truth giving you the wisdom and discernment you need for today?

Jesus is coming back one day and we need to help as many people as we can enter into His presence as God allows us to for the glory of His kingdom.

Today’s reading from Acts 9 had an impact on the world of art. Today’s reading about Paul’s conversion impacted Caravaggio to paint it twice and which are on display in Rome, Italy.

Jan 27 - Acts 9_3-4 - The Conversion of Paul by Caravaggio

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You for Your Word that never returns void. I praised You for the truth that nobody is or can be too far from You to be able to turn around and come to You. Lord, I pray for my brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted for their faith in You. I ask Lord that You will give them strength and wisdom to be able to complete the work You have for them to accomplish. I ask Lord that You will give them the boldness and courage to never give up! Lord, I lift up all those who are pursuing, persecuting, attacking, and killing Your people and ask Lord that You will provide them with visions and dreams of the reality of Jesus that they wouldn’t continue in the lies of the enemy whose plan is to rob, kill, and destroy them but rather Lord that they will be like the lost son and turn back to You or like a Saul who became Paul in order to spread the truth of Jesus to so many. Lord, I thank You for having touched my life and transformed me. I ask that Your Holy Spirit will have divine encounters that will not only save Your people but will also transform the hearts of those who are persecuting them and turning them back to You. Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear today so that I can speak truth, life, and Your love into the world around me. Help me Lord to make a difference for the glory of Your kingdom. May this day bring You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

How much do you love? How much do you care?

What is your motivation? What is your purpose? What is your reason? Are you doing it out of love? Are you doing it in love? How much do you love? How much do you care?

You are where you are for a reason! You are where you are for a purpose! So what are you going to do about it? What is going to be your motivation to get it done and done right? So what are you going to use as your driving factor? What will help keep you on track? How much will you love? How far will it take you? What difference will it make? What difference will you make?

Do you realize the benefit of relationships? Relationship with God? Relationship with your spouse? Relationship with your friend? Relationship with your neighbor? Relationship with your co-workers? Relationship with your church? Relationship with your pastor? Do you realize the benefits?

There are three types of love: EROS – Romantic Love (ex. Michal’s love), PHILEO – Brotherly Love (ex. Jonathan’s love), and AGAPE – Unconditional Love (ex. God’s love)

Today’s reading starts with Jonathan and his love for David…

Jonathan’s Covenant Love for David

1Now it came to pass, when David had finished speaking to Saul, Jonathan’s soul was knit to David’s soul, and Jonathan loved him as himself. 2Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. 3Then Jonathan cut a covenant with David, because he loved him as himself. 4Jonathan stripped off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, along with his armor: his sword, bow and belt.

Saul’s Jealousy

5So David went out wherever Saul sent him and had success, so Saul set him over the men of war. It was pleasing in the eyes of all the people as well as in the eyes of Saul’s courtiers. 6Upon their coming back, upon David’s return from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing in circles to greet King Saul, with timbrels, with joy and with three-stringed instruments. 7So the women sang one to another, as they were dancing saying, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” 8Then Saul became very angry—this saying was evil in his eyes—and he commented, “They’ve ascribed to David ten thousands and to me they’ve ascribed thousands. Now what more does he lack but the kingdom?” 9So Saul eyed David from that day on. 10It came about the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, so that he was raving within the palace. While David was playing music with his hand, as he did day by day, Saul had his spear in his hand, 11and Saul hurled the spear, thinking, “I’ll pin David to the wall!” But David eluded him—twice. 12Now Saul became afraid of David, because Adonai was with him but had departed from Saul. 13Therefore Saul removed him from his entourage by appointing him as a captain of a thousand. So David went out and came in before the troops. 14David had success in all his undertakings, since Adonai was with him. 15When Saul saw that he had great success, he dreaded him. 16But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them. 17Then Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab—I give her to you as a wife. Only continue to be my son of valor and fight Adonai’s battles.” For Saul thought, “My hand needn’t be against him—let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18But David replied to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 19But when it was time to give Saul’s daughter Merab to David in marriage, she was given as wife to Adriel the Meholathite instead.

Michal’s Love for David

20Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. When they told Saul, the matter pleased him. 21Saul thought, “I will give her to him, so that she may become a snare to him—and the hand of the Philistines will be against him.” So Saul said to David, “You can still become my son-in-law, even today, with the second one.” 22Then Saul commanded his courtiers, “Speak with David privately and say, ‘Behold, the king delights in you and all his courtiers love you. So now, become the king’s son-in-law!’” 23So Saul’s courtiers whispered these words in David’s ears. But David said, “Is it a light thing to you becoming the king’s son-in-law, considering that I am a poor man and of little account?” 24Saul’s courtiers reported back to him what David had said. 25Then Saul said, “Thus you will say to David, ‘The king desires no bridal dowry except 100 foreskins of the Philistines—to take vengeance on the king’s enemies.’” So Saul schemed to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26When his courtiers told David these words, the word seemed right in David’s eyes to become the king’s son-in-law. Before the days were fulfilled, 27 David had risen, gone with his men and killed 200 Philistine men. Then David brought their foreskins and gave them in full number to the king—to become the king’s son-in-law. So Saul gave him Michal his daughter as a wife. 28When Saul saw and realized that Adonai was with David and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, 29Saul grew even more afraid of David. Thus Saul became David’s enemy for all days. 30When the chiefs of the Philistines marched out, as often as they came out, David proved more successful than all of Saul’s officers. So his name became highly esteemed.

–from 1 Samuel 18

Don’t be afraid! Walk in trust of God! Even when you are feeling attacked or chased, put your trust in God! He knows what He is doing!

Saul Tries to Kill David

1Now Saul told his son Jonathan and all his courtiers to kill David. But Saul’s son Jonathan delighted much in David. 2So Jonathan informed David saying, “My father Saul is seeking to kill you. So now, please be on guard in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you will be, and I will speak with my father about you. If I notice anything, I will tell you.” 4So Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul and said to him, “May the king not sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you, and since his deeds have been very beneficial for you; 5For he put his life in his hand and killed the Philistine, and Adonai won a great victory for all Israel—you saw it and rejoiced. So why would you sin against innocent blood by killing David without a cause?” 6Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, “As Adonai lives, he will not be put to death.” 7So Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these things. Jonathan brought David to Saul and in his presence as before. 8Once again war broke out, and David marched out and fought the Philistines, and inflicted a great slaughter on them and they fled before him. 9Yet once again an evil spirit from Adonai came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, as David was playing music with his hand. 10Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away from Saul’s face, so that he drove the spear into the wall. That night David fled and got away. 11Then Saul sent agents to David’s house to watch him, in order to kill him in the morning. But David’s wife Michal warned him saying, “If you don’t escape for your life tonight, tomorrow you will be dead!” 12So Michal lowered David down through the window, and thus he went, fled and escaped. 13Then Michal took a household idol, laid it in the bed, put a quilt of goats’ hair at the head and covered it with a cloth. 14When Saul sent messengers to arrest David, she said, “He’s sick.” 15So Saul sent the agents back to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed so I may put him to death.” 16When the messengers came in, behold, the household idol was in the bed with the quilt of goats’ hair at its head. 17Saul then said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy get away, so that he escaped?” Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go or I’ll kill you!’” 18So David fled and escaped, went to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went and stayed at Naioth. 19Saul was told, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20So Saul sent agents to seize David, but they saw a band of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing and presiding over them. Then the Ruach of God came upon Saul’s agents and they too prophesied. 21When Saul was told, he sent other agents and they too prophesied. Then Saul sent a third group of messengers, and they too prophesied. 22Then he himself went to Ramah, and when he arrived at the great cistern in Secu, he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” Someone answered, “Look, they are at Naioth at Ramah.” 23So he proceeded there, to Naioth at Ramah, and the Ruach of God came upon him as well, and he prophesied as he kept walking until he arrived to Naioth at Ramah. 24Then he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. That is why people were saying, “Is Saul too among the prophets?”

–from 1 Samuel 19

When the enemy tries to frighten you – turn to God! When the enemy tries to threaten you – turn to God! When the enemy tries to attack you – turn to God! TRUST HIM in every situation!

God Is My Strong Tower

1For the music director: “Do Not Destroy,” a Michtam of David, when Saul sent men to watch the house to kill him. 2Deliver me from my enemies, my God! Set me on high, away from those who rise up against me. 3Deliver me from workers of iniquity. Rescue me from bloodthirsty men. 4For behold, they lie in wait for me. Defiant men stir up strife against me— not for my transgression or sin, Adonai. 5For no guilt of mine, they run and set things up. Awake! Help me! Look! 6For You are Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot, the God of Israel! Rouse Yourself to punish all the nations. Show no mercy to any iniquitous traitors. Selah 7They return at evening, snarling like a dog, prowling about the city. 8See, they are spewing with their mouth —swords in their lips— “After all, who is listening?” 9But You, Adonai, are laughing at them. You scoff at all the nations. 10O my strength, I watch for You— for God is my strong tower. 11My God in His lovingkindness will go before me. God will let me look down on my foes. 12Do not slay them, lest my people forget. With Your power shake them and bring them down, O Lord our shield. 13The sin of their mouth is the words of their lips. So let them be caught in their pride, and for uttering a curse and a lie. 14Consume them in wrath, consume them till they are no more. Let them know that God rules over Jacob to the ends of the earth. Selah 15They return at evening, snarling like a dog, prowling about the city. 16They wander around for food. If they are not full, they stay up all night. 17But I—I sing of Your strength! Yes, in the morning I sing aloud of Your lovingkindness. For You have been my fortress, a refuge in the day of my trouble. 18O my strength, to You I sing praises. For God is my strong tower— my God of lovingkindness.

–from Psalms 59

Will you answer the call? Will you step out in faith? Will do what you have been called to do? Will you do it all in love? Will you do it all in obedience to God?

Instructions to the Twelve

1Yeshua summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, so they could drive them out and heal every kind of disease and sickness. 2Now these are the names of the twelve emissaries: first, Simon, called Peter, and his brother Andrew; Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; Jacob, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot, and Judah the man from Kriot, the one who also betrayed Him. 5Yeshua sent out these twelve and ordered them, “Do not go to the Gentiles, and do not enter into any Samaritan town. 6But go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near!’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with tza’arat, drive out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9Do not get gold or silver or copper for your money belts, 10or a bag for the journey, or two shirts, or sandals, or a walking stick; for the worker is entitled to his food. 11“Whatever town or village you shall enter, find out who in it is worthy and stay there until you leave. 12As you come into the house, greet it. 13If the household is worthy, let your shalom come upon it. But if it’s not worthy, let your shalom return to you. 14And whoever will not receive you or listen to your words, as you leave that house or that town, shake the dust off your feet. 15Amen, I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of Judgment than for that town. 16“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and flog you in their synagogues. 18You will be brought before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you should say, for it shall be given to you in that hour what you should say. 20For it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against their parents and have them put to death. 22And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end shall be saved. 23Whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next. Amen, I tell you, you will never finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25It is enough for the disciple to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! 26“So do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed and nothing hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear in your ear, proclaim from the housetops! 28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. 29“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them shall fall to the ground apart from your Father’s consent. 30But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So do not fear; you are worth more than many sparrows. 32“Therefore whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father who is in heaven. 33But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. 34“Do not think that I came to bring shalom on the earth; I did not come to bring shalom, but a sword. 35For I have come to set ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.’ 37“He who loves father or mother more than Me isn’t worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me isn’t worthy of Me. 38And whoever does not take up his cross and follow after Me isn’t worthy of Me. 39He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. 40“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives the One who sent Me. 41He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a tzaddik in the name of a tzaddik shall receive a tzaddik’s reward. 42And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, amen I tell you, he shall never lose his reward.”

–from Matthew 10

We don’t have to be afraid for the Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us, protect us and encourage us, be our comforter and our guide! We are out in a world where we are like sheep amongst wolves.But we have God on our side! So let’s walk with God and allow Him to lead us, guide us, protect us, encourage us, comfort us and grant us wisdom for each and every situation we face. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! Jesus is the only way to the Father! So let’s invite Him into our hearts and allow Him to help us get our lives cleaned up from the inside out!




The rest of the story!

Is your story looking tough? Is your story looking troubled? Are you going through some tough times? Are you being challenged? Are you facing trials of many kinds? Are there walls or mountains? Are there valleys or pits? Are you feeling beat up? Are you feeling attacked? Are you losing hope? Are you feeling down? Are you feeling bad? Have you been devastated? Are you wondering what is going on?

Don’t lose hope and don’t give up! It’s not the end of your story!

I remember a time in my life that whenever I got to the books of Job or Revelation, I would wonder what was going to happen to me as God’s reading tends to speak right into where I am at to help me get through it. Ever since 2013, I have had a different view of what will happen when I get to Job. I am no longer looking at the trials as a negative but I am looking at the full story including the ending then wondering what miracle and blessings God will produce in and through this time. Revelation is always an interesting one for me too as it was the first book I was reading when I started to blog back in 2005. Every year I read it, it feels like the time is getting closer and closer based on what is taking place around the world. It also comes with the hope that comforts me that God will rescue me from what will be because He has already saved me through my faith and hope in Jesus!

Today’s readings are incredible to me because it brings the conclusion to both books to me in one day! (I still have a couple more chapters in Revelation after today, but final 2 chapters of Job)

Reflecting on Job where he began and then where a new beginning starts. Reflecting on Job where he had to go in order to learn and hear God’s love. Reflecting on Job and how I don’t know everything about what is going on right now, and that God is working in and through it for my good. Reflecting on the promise I received in 2013 as I was in transition between jobs and got the message of Job 42:12 speaking of how the second half of Job’s life was twice as good as the first half and his family was renewed.

First half (where Job began said…)

2He had seven sons and three daughters
3and his possessions were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen and 500 female donkeys, and a very large household. That man was the greatest of all the people of the East.
–from Job 1

Second half (where Job’s book end says…)

12So Adonai blessed Job’s latter days more than at his beginning. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.
13He also had seven sons and three daughters.

So let’s no grow weary in doing what is good, what is right, what is just, and what is needed! Let’s walk with God in and through it all so that in the end not only will we have a testimony of His great love, we will be able to hear the amazing words “well done, my good and faithful servant”.

So no matter what you are going through right now, realize it’s not the end and that God’s not done with you yet! Stick close to Him and He will stick close to you! Seek Him with all of your heart and you will find Him! Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Your day is coming where you will meet with God and be renewed, redeemed, and restored!

Let’s jump into today’s reading … Job 41 continues from Job 40 speaking of the Leviathan. Today’s reading puts it like this…

1“See, his hope is wrong, he is laid low, even the sight of him.
2Is he not fierce when he is roused? Who then is able to stand before Me?
3Who has confronted Me that I should repay? Everything under heaven belongs to Me.
4“I will not keep silent about his limbs, or his might or the grace of his arrangement.
5Who can strip off his outer garment? Who can penetrate his double armor?
6Who can open the doors of his face, ringed with fearsome teeth?
7His rows of shields are his pride, shut up closely as with tight seal;
8each so close to the next, that no air can pass between.
9They are joined one to another; they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
10“He sneezes out flashes of light; his eyes are like the eyelids of dawn.
11Out of his mouth go flames, sparks of fire shoot out.
12Smoke pours from his nostrils, as a boiling pot over burning reeds.
13His breath sets coals ablaze and flames dart from his mouth.
14“Strength resides in his neck; dismay runs before him.
15The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm on him, immovable.
16His heart is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone.
17“When he rises up, the mighty are afraid; at his crashing they retreat.
18A sword that reaches him has no effect— nor with a spear, dart, or javelin.
19He regards iron as straw, bronze as rotten wood.
20Arrows do not make him flee; sling stones become like chaff to him.
21A club is regarded as stubble; he laughs at the rattling 0f a lance.
22“His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail like a threshing sledge in mud.
23He makes the deep boil like a cauldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
24He leaves a shining wake behind him; one would think the deep had white hair.
25Nothing on dry land is his equal— a creature without fear.
26He sees every haughty thing; he is king over all who are proud.”
–from Job 41

and Matthew Henry’s commentary captures and summarizes it like this (if you click the link he digs deeper into it)…

The description here given of the leviathan, a very large, strong, formidable fish, or water-animal, is designed yet further to convince Job of his own impotency, and of God’s omnipotence, that he might be humbled for his folly in making so bold with him as he had done. I. To convince Job of his own weakness he is here challenged to subdue and tame this leviathan if he can, and make himself master of him (v. 1-9), and, since he cannot do this, he must own himself utterly unable to stand before the great God (v. 10). II. To convince Job of God’s power and terrible majesty several particular instances are here given of the strength and terror of the leviathan, which is no more than what God has given him, nor more than he has under his check, (v. 11, v. 12). The face of the leviathan is here described to be terrible (v. 12, v. 14), his scales close (v. 15-17), his breath and neesings sparkling (v. 18-21), his flesh firm (v. 22-24), his strength and spirit, when he is attacked, insuperable (v. 25-30), his motions turbulent, and disturbing to the waters (v. 31, v. 32), so that, upon the whole, he is a very terrible creature, and man is no match for him (v. 33, v. 34).

–from Our Library /Commentaries /Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete) /Job /Job 41

Our reading continues into Job 42 which is the part I remember when trials come my way. I humble myself to God and trust in Him! Put another way, I do what I can do (I do my best) and I trust Him for the rest! Instead of what will I or did I lose, I loose to what God is going to do with what has been taken away and turn it around and bless me with next. It goes like this…

Job Retracts

1Job answered Adonai and said:
2“I know You can do all things; no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
3You ask, ‘Who is this, who darkens counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke without understanding, things too wonderful for me which I did not know.
4You said, ‘Hear now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will inform Me.’
5I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye has seen You.
6Therefore I despise myself, and repent on dust and ashes.”

Job Restored

7After Adonai had spoken these words to Job, Adonai said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken about Me what is right, like My servant Job has.
8So now, take for yourselves seven young bulls and seven rams and go to My servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, for I will accept Job’s prayer and not deal with you according to your folly because you have not spoken correctly about Me, like My servant Job.”
9So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what Adonai told them; and Adonai accepted Job’s prayer.
10So Adonai restored what Job had lost, after he prayed for his friends and Adonai doubled everything that Job had before.
11Then all his brothers, all his sisters and everyone who had known him before, came to him and ate bread with him in his house. They consoled him and comforted him for all the calamity that Adonai had brought upon him. Each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring.
12So Adonai blessed Job’s latter days more than at his beginning. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.
13He also had seven sons and three daughters.
14He called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch.
15Nowhere in the land were there found women as beautiful as the daughters of Job. Their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers.
16After this, Job lived 140 years; he saw his children and their children for four generations.
17And so Job died, old and full of days.
–from Job 42

As God’s Word tells us that those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength!

God’s Word today continues into Genesis 11. Pride can cause problems. If our focus isn’t on the right things, we can go in the wrong direction. Let’s read about Babel…

Tower of Babel

1Now the entire earth had the same language with the same vocabulary.
2When they traveled eastward, they found a valley-plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
3They said to one another, “Come! Let’s make bricks and bake them until they’re hard.” So they used bricks for stone, and tar for mortar.
4Then they said, “Come! Let’s build ourselves a city, with a tower whose top reaches into heaven. So let’s make a name for ourselves, or else we will be scattered over the face of the whole land.”
5Then Adonai came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of man had built.
6Adonai said, “Look, the people are one and all of them have the same language. So this is what they have begun to do. Now, nothing they plan to do will be impossible.
7Come! Let Us go down and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand each other’s language.”
8So Adonai scattered them from there over the face of the entire land, and they stopped building the city.
9This is why it is named Babel, because Adonai confused the languages of the entire world there, and from there Adonai scattered them over the face of the entire world.
–from Genesis 11

Genesis 11 continues with the genealogy from Shem to Abram…

From Shem to Abram

10These are the genealogical records of Shem: Shem was 100 years old when he fathered Arpachshad—two years after the flood.
11Shem lived 500 years after he fathered Arpachshad, and he fathered sons and daughters.
12Arpachshad lived 35 years when he fathered Shelah.
13Arpachshad lived 403 years after he fathered Shelah, and fathered sons and daughters.
14Shelah lived 30 years and he fathered Eber.
15Shelah lived 403 years after he fathered Eber, and fathered sons and daughters.
16Eber lived 34 years and he fathered Peleg.
17Eber lived 430 years after he fathered Peleg, and he fathered sons and daughters.
18Peleg lived 30 years and he fathered Reu.
19Peleg lived 209 years after he fathered Reu, and he fathered sons and daughters.
20Reu lived 32 years and he fathered Serug.
21Reu lived 207 years after he fathered Serug, and he fathered sons and daughters.
22Serug lived 30 years and fathered Nahor.
23Serug lived 200 years after he fathered Nahor, and he fathered sons and daughters.
24Nahor lived 27 years and he fathered Terah.
25Nahor lived 119 years after he fathered Terah, and he fathered sons and daughters.
26Terah lived 70 years when he fathered Abram, Nahor and Haran.
27These are Terah’s genealogies: Terah fathered Abram, Nahor and Haran. Haran fathered Lot.
28Haran died before Terah his father, in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
29Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah—the daughter of Haran, father of Milcah and Iscah.
30Sarai was barren; she did not have a child.
31Terah took Abram his son and Lot, Haran’s son, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and he took them out of Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
32Terah’s days were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.
–from Genesis 11

Today’s reading continues into the book of Acts after the power of the Holy Spirit had come over the disciples. Let’s take a look at how God is using His chosen ones today…

A Lame Beggar Walks

1Now Peter and John were going up to the Temple at the ninth hour, the time of prayer.
2A man lame from birth was being carried—every day they used to put him at the Temple gate called Beautiful, so he could beg for tzadakah from those entering the Temple.
3When he saw Peter and John about to go into the Temple, he began asking to receive tzadakah.
4But Peter, along with John, looked straight at him and said, “Look at us!”
5So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.
6But Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you—in the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha-Natzrati, get up and walk!”
7Then grabbing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately the man’s feet and ankles were made strong.
8Jumping up, he stood and began walking; and he went with them into the Temple, walking and leaping and praising God!
9Now all the people saw him walking and praising God.
10They began to realize he was the one who used to sit begging for tzadakah at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were filled with wonder and astonishment over what had happened to him.
–from Acts 3

So what has God given you today? You may not have what they want, but you do have what they need! Never forget that! Never downplay that! Never think you don’t have what they need! Jesus is the answer! It doesn’t matter what the question is, the answer is Jesus! So what will you face today? How will Jesus be the answer to help someone else out? Will you step up, will you stand up, will you stand out, and call down the power of Jesus into the situation? If not you, then who? If not now, then when? If not right there, when where? If not that, then what? Why not make today a great day to glorify god?

Acts 3 continues…will you allow the continuing book of Acts that we are living out today to speak and point people to Jesus?

Peter Speaks at the Temple

11While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people together came running toward them in the place called Solomon’s Portico.
12But when Peter saw, he responded to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us—as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
13The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Yeshua—the One you handed over and disowned before Pilate, though he had decided to release Him.
14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you.
15You killed the Author of life—the One God raised from the dead! We are witnesses of it.
16Now through faith in the name of Yeshua, His name has strengthened this man whom you see and know. Indeed, the faith through Yeshua has given this man perfect health in front of you all.
17“Now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your leaders did.
18But what God foretold through the mouth of all His prophets—that His Messiah was to suffer—so He has fulfilled.
19Repent, therefore, and return—so your sins might be blotted out,
20so times of relief might come from the presence ofAdonai and He might send Yeshua, the Messiah appointed for you.
21Heaven must receive Him, until the time of the restoration of all the things that God spoke about long ago through the mouth of His holy prophets.
22Moses said, ‘Adonai your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your brothers. Hear and obey Him in all that He shall say to you.
23And it shall be that every soul that will not listen to that Prophet shall be completely cut off from the people.’
24Indeed, all the prophets who have spoken from Samuel on have announced these days.
25You are the sons of the prophets and also of the covenant that God cut with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘In your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
26God raised up His Servant and sent Him first to you, to bless you all by turning each of you from your wicked ways.
–from Acts 3

Wow! To point others to Jesus! To tell them that your power comes from Jesus! If people really ask will you tell them? Will you let them know that your joy comes from the Lord? Will you tell them that your peace that goes beyond all understanding comes from God? Will you tell them the power of forgiveness you learned through a relationship with Jesus? Will you tell them that all things are possible for those who believe? Will you tell them of how it is better to be small in God’s world than anything else outside of it? Where will you point them? They are searching! They are seeking! They are wondering! They are watching you, whether you know it or not! People are watching to see what makes you tick! So when that time comes up and they ask…”What makes you like that?” Will you be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you? Be prepared! It will happen! I know because from time to time, it happens to me! God will bring you before kings, in my case executives who ask me. It happens with people from every aspect of life! It doesn’t matter how high a position or low a position they have, they all are looking for hope! Will you point them in the right direction? Will you point them to God! Will you speak to the hope that comes from a relationship with Jesus! Will you be the one who plants the seed? Will you be the one who waters? So that God can make it grow! So they may choose to have their name in the book of life!

Today’s reading concludes in Revelation 20…Don’t be afraid to do what is right and speak the truth in love!

The First Resurrection

1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a great chain.
2He seized the dragon—the ancient serpent, who is the devil and satan—and bound him for a thousand years.
3He also threw him into the abyss and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed. After these things, he must be released for a short while.
4Then I saw thrones, and people sat upon them—those to whom authority to judge was given. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Yeshua and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image, nor had they received his mark on their forehead or on their hand. And they came to life and reigned with the Messiah for a thousand years.
5The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.
6How fortunate and holy is the one who has a share in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no authority, but they shall be kohanim of God and the Messiah, and they shall reign with Him for a thousand years.

Judgment After 1000 Years

7When the thousand years has ended, satan shall be released from his prison,
8and he shall come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for the battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea.
9And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the kedoshim and the beloved city—but fire fell from heaven and consumed them.
10And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they shall be tortured day and night forever and ever.
11Then I saw a great white throne, and the One seated on it. The earth and heaven fled from His presence, but no place was found for them.
12And I saw the dead—the great and the small—standing before the throne. The books were opened, and another book was opened—the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what was written in the books, according to their deeds.
13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Sheol gave up the dead in them. Then they were each judged, each one of them, according to their deeds.
14Then death and Sheol were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death—the lake of fire.
15And if anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
–from Revelation 20

So if you are reading this, it’s not too late to decide yet. Leave me a comment if you would like to chat. Ask Jesus into your heart if you are ready! Ask Him to forgive you! Ask Him to help you through the rest of your days! Ask Him where to get plugged in – finding a Bible believing, Bible preaching church where you can be supported.













Judgment vs Trial

Have you ever been going through a tough time? How did others respond? Have you ever seen others going through a tough time? How did you respond?

Was it an attitude of judgment? Was it an attack that you must have done something wrong for you to be in such a place? Was it a verbal attack to explain to you all that you must have done wrong? Was it trying to place judgment on you for something you obviously had done and needed to have corrected? Was it hard to listen to and required rebuttle? Was it hard to listen to and would have been better off without any of it? Was it from a spirit of condemnation?

Was it an attitude of grace? Was it a conversation about the trial you were going through? Was it a conversation about not losing hope? Was it a discussion about God’s goodness and how He could be and must be working in and through this? Was it incorporating the benefits of trials and how we should consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds? Was it incorporating that because we are in a fallen world, we will face troubles and to grab hold of the promise and hope of Jesus who said that we can have hope through it all, because He has overcome the world? So we need to be overcomers!

It’s amazing how an attitude makes the difference be it when we are going through tough times or we are speaking to others who are going through tough times.

Today’s reading from Job 36 continues with Elihu who unlike the others who spoke before him, were speaking from a perspective of trials. It went like this…

Elihu Magnifies the Almighty
1Then Elihu said further:
2“Be patient with me a bit longer and I will show you that there is more to say on God’s behalf.
3I get my knowledge from afar; I ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
4For truly, my words are not false; One who is perfect in knowledge is with you.
5“Indeed, God is mighty, but despises none, He is mighty in strength of understanding.
6He does not keep the wicked alive, but gives justice to the afflicted.
7He does not take His eyes from the righteous, but enthrones them with kings and exalts them forever.
8But if they are bound in chains, and held captive by cords of affliction,
9then He declares to them their deed that they have transgressed arrogantly.
10And He opens their ear to instruction, and commands that they turn from evil.
11If they obey and serve, they will end their days in prosperity, and their years in happiness.
12But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword, and die without knowledge.
13“The godless in heart harbor anger, they do not cry for help even when He binds them.
14Their souls die in youth, their life ends among cult prostitutes.
15He delivers the afflicted by his affliction and opens their ear in oppression.
16“And indeed, He will draw you from the mouth of distress, to a spacious place without constraint, and the comfort of a table full of rich food.
17But you are full of judgment on the wicked, judgment and justice take hold of you!
18Beware lest wrath entice you with riches; or a large bribe turn you aside.
19Will your wealth sustain you to keep you from distress, or even all your mighty efforts?
20Do not long for the night, when people vanish from their places.
21Be careful, do not turn to iniquity; for you have chosen this rather than affliction.
22“Indeed, God is exalted in His power. Who is a teacher like Him?
23Who has prescribed His way for Him? Or said ‘You have done wrong’?
24Remember to magnify His work, of which people have sung.
25All mankind has seen it; people gaze on it from afar.
26Behold, God is exalted —beyond our knowledge! The number of His years is unsearchable.
27For He draws up the drops of water; they distill rain into its mist,
28which the clouds pour down and shower mankind abundantly.
29Indeed, who can understand the spreading of the clouds, and the thunder from His pavilion?
30“See how He scatters His lightning about Him, covering the depths of the sea.
31For by these, He judges peoples and supplies food in abundance.
32He covers His hands with lightning and commands it to strike its target.
33His thunder declares His presence, the cattle also, about what is coming.
–from Job 36

If you hear it coming with a spirit of condemnation, realize where it is coming from, for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!

Today’s reading continues into Luke 24 after Jesus was crucified and placed in the tomb, after the day of rest when the women went to check on Jesus in the tomb carrying the spices they had prepared before the Sabbath and the surprise that they found…including the divine encounter…

Women Visit the Garden Tomb

1Now on the first day of the week, at daybreak, the women came to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared.
2They found the stone had been rolled away from the tomb;
3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Yeshua.
4And while they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.
5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you search for the living among the dead?
6He is not here, but He is risen! Remember what He told you when He was still in the Galilee,
7saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be executed, and on the third day rise up.”
8And they were reminded of His words.
9And when they returned from the tomb, they told all these things to the eleven and to everyone else.
10Now it was Miriam from Magdala, Joanna, the Miriam of Jacob and others together with them who were telling these things to the emissaries.
11But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.
12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Leaning in, he sees only the linen cloths. And he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.
–from Luke 24

Imagine getting such incredible and almost unbelievable news. Would you run to go check it out too? They did…Imagine walking down the road after learning that Jesus wasn’t in the tomb. Imagine walking down the road wondering about what would be next in life after the incredible journey you had just experienced. Imagine this…

Eyes Open in Emmaus

13Now behold, two of them on that very day were traveling to a village named Emmaus, a distance of about seven miles from Jerusalem.
14They were speaking with one another about all the things that had been happening.
15While they were talking and discussing, YeshuaHimself approached and began traveling with them.
16But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him.
17Then He said to them, “What are these things you are discussing with one another as you are walking along?” They stood still, looking gloomy.
18Then the one named Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?”
19Yeshua said to them, “What kind of things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Yeshua from Natzeret, who was a Prophet, powerful in deed and word before God and all the people—
20how the ruling kohanim and our leaders handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they executed Him.
21But we were hoping that He was the One about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.
22“But also some women among us amazed us. Early in the morning they were at the tomb.
23When they didn’t find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said He is alive!
24Some of those with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women said, but they did not see Him.”
25Yeshua said to them, “Oh foolish ones, so slow of heart to put your trust in all that the prophets spoke!
26Was it not necessary for Messiah to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”
27Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them the things written about Himself in all the Scriptures.
28They approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther on.
29But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is already gone.” So He went in to stay with them.
30And it happened that when He was reclining at the table with them, He took the matzah , offered a bracha and, breaking it, gave it to them.
31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from them.
–from Luke 24

How are you living today? Are you living asking God to open your eyes so that you can see what is going on around you? Are you living asking God for wisdom and discernment to be able to speak into the lives of others and to be able to hear His voice through others?

Good News for the Disciples in Jerusalem
32They said to one another, “Didn’t our heart burn within us while He was speaking with us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”
33And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and others with them gathered together,
34saying, “The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!”
35Then they began telling about the events on the road and how He became recognized by them in the breaking of the matzah .
36While they were speaking of these things, YeshuaHimself stood in the midst of them and said, “ShalomAleichem!”
37But they were startled and terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost.
38Then He said to them, “Why are you so shaken? And why do doubts arise in your heart?
39Look at My hands and My feet—it is I Myself! Touch Me and see! For a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.
41But while they were still in disbelief due to joy and wonder, He said to them, “Do you have anything to eat here?”
42They gave Him a piece of broiled fish,
43and He took it and ate it in their presence.
44Then He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you—everything written concerning Me in the Torah of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.
45Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
46and He said to them, “So it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,
47and that repentance for the removal of sins is to be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48You are witnesses of these things.
49And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
–from Luke 24

So where are you at today? Are you on a journey and in disbelief? Are you on a journey and in the discovery mode? Are you on a journey and living in the miraculous? Are you on a journey and living with the joy of what took place? Where are you at today?

50Then Yeshua led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.
51And while blessing them, He departed from them and was taken up into heaven.
52After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
53And they were continually in the Temple, praising God.
–from Luke 24

Jesus went up on a cloud and will return the same way He left! Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life so let’s follow after Him till we are reunited in Heaven with Him on that day when He calls us up to be with Him! That we will be on the right side because we are living our lives to glorify Him and our Father in Heaven!

Today’s reading concludes in Revelation 18. In the end there will be the final judgment! Everyone will need and be held accountable for what they have done! Those who are in the book of life will spend eternity with God and those who didn’t will spend eternity apart from God!

Judgment of Babylon

1After these things, I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his glory.
2He cried out with a mighty voice, saying: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a den for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit and for every unclean bird and for every unclean and detestable beast.
3For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the fury of her immorality. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich off the power of her self-indulgence.”
4Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you participate in her sins and receive her plagues!
5For her sins have piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.
6Pay her back just as she has paid out, and give her back double for her deeds! In the cup she has mixed— mix a double dose for her!
7As she has exalted herself and indulged herself in luxury, so give her the same measure of torment and grief! For in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen— I am no widow; I shall never see grief.’
8For this reason her plagues will arrive in a single day— death and grief and famine— and she shall be burned down with fire. For mighty is Adonai Elohim who judges her!”
9Then the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and indulged in luxury with her shall weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning—
10standing far off because of the terror of her torment, saying: “Alas, alas, O great city— O Babylon, the mighty city! For in a single hour your judgment has come!”
11And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, because no one buys their merchandise anymore—
12shipments of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of citron wood; all kinds of ivory products; all kinds of products made of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble;
13cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, oil, fine flour, and wheat; cattle, sheep, horses, and chariots; and slaves—that is, human souls.
14The fruit of your soul’s desire has gone from you, and all the expensive and beautiful things are lost to you —never again will people find them.
15The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, shall stand far off for fear of her torment, weeping and mourning,
16saying, “Alas, alas, O great city— clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!
17For in a single hour so much wealth has been ruined!” And every ship captain and passenger, sailors and all who make their living at sea, stood at a distance
18and were crying out, seeing the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’
19And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, “Alas, alas, O great city— in her all who had ships at sea grew rich from her wealth! For in a single hour has she been ruined!
20Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you kedoshim, emissaries and prophets! For God has judged her condemnation of you!”
21Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying: “So shall Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, never to be found again!
22And the sound of harpists and musicians, flautists and trumpeters, shall never be heard in you again! And the craftsman of any craft shall never be found in you again! And the sound of a mill shall never be heard in you again!
23And the light of a lamp shall never shine in you again! And the voice of the bridegroom and bride shall never be heard in you again! For your businessmen were the tycoons of the world, for all the nations were deceived by your sorcery!
24And in her was found the blood of the prophets andkedoshim and all those slaughtered on the earth.”
–from Revelation 18

Being troubled or challenged by the world?

The world heading in a different direction? The world causing you angst? The world actions and decisions seeming off queue and out of alignment? Your views being attacked or challenges? Your opinions being attacked or questioned? Are you feeling the hatred against you because of your views and perspective?

In this world we will face trials, but take heart for Jesus has overcome the world!

Being hated by the world because of your belief, hope, trust, and love for Jesus is happening because that is what happened to Him!

Let’s take a look into the start of today’s reading and see what it has to say…

The World’s Hatred

18“If the world hates you, just remember that it has hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, then the world would love you as its own. But I chose you from this world, and you do not belong to it; that is why the world hates you. 20Remember what I told you: ‘Slaves are not greater than their master.’ If people persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours too. 21But they will do all this to you because you are mine; for they do not know the one who sent me. 22They would not have been guilty of sin if I had not come and spoken to them; as it is, they no longer have any excuse for their sin. 23Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24They would not have been guilty of sin if I had not done among them the things that no one else ever did; as it is, they have seen what I did, and they hate both me and my Father. 25This, however, was bound to happen so that what is written in their Law may come true: ‘They hated me for no reason at all.’
26“The Helper will come—the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God and who comes from the Father. I will send him to you from the Father, and he will speak about me. 27And you, too, will speak about me, because you have been with me from the very beginning.

–from John 15

they hated Jesus first

Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Take hold of the Holy Spirit, the comforter that Jesus sent to not only be our Helper, but also our comforter and our guide! We know the end of the story! We know how it will end! We know it will get worst in the world before it gets better! We know that for those who are in Christ Jesus, there is a victory and an eternity to be spend with Him!

So don’t be a fence sitter! Don’t be in the middle! Don’t be lukewarm! Choose and pursue what God has for you to do!

The Message to Laodicea

14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
“This is the message from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, who is the origin of all that God has created. 15I know what you have done; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! 16But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth! 17You say, ‘I am rich and well off; I have all I need.’ But you do not know how miserable and pitiful you are! You are poor, naked, and blind. 18I advise you, then, to buy gold from me, pure gold, in order to be rich. Buy also white clothing to dress yourself and cover up your shameful nakedness. Buy also some ointment to put on your eyes, so that you may see. 19I rebuke and punish all whom I love. Be in earnest, then, and turn from your sins. 20Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if any hear my voice and open the door, I will come into their house and eat with them, and they will eat with me. 21To those who win the victory I will give the right to sit beside me on my throne, just as I have been victorious and now sit by my Father on his throne.
22“If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches!”

–from Revelation 3

Accept and receive God’s guidance and correction so that we can become more like Christ! Don’t fight against the prodding and the poking of God who is trying to get us up and going in the right direction! Let’s stand up and step up to be the people of God who God created us to be! No sitting on the fence! No humming and hawing! Let’s be doers of the Word! Let’s allow our actions speak for our faith! Let’s prove that our faith is not dead! Let’s testify to the faith that is within us! Let’s share the relationship we have with God and how it is more than just rituals and routine! Let’s tell the world about our faith and our God!

Job’s Final Statement of His Case

1Job began speaking again.


2If only my life could once again be as it was when God watched over me. 3God was always with me then and gave me light as I walked through the darkness. 4Those were the days when I was prosperous, and the friendship of God protected my home. 5Almighty God was with me then, and I was surrounded by all my children. 6My cows and goats gave plenty of milk, and my olive trees grew in the rockiest soil. 7Whenever the city elders met and I took my place among them, 8young men stepped aside as soon as they saw me, and old men stood up to show me respect. 9The leaders of the people would stop talking; 10even the most important men kept silent. 11Everyone who saw me or heard of me had good things to say about what I had done. 12When the poor cried out, I helped them; I gave help to orphans who had nowhere to turn. 13People who were in deepest misery praised me, and I helped widows find security. 14I have always acted justly and fairly. 15I was eyes for the blind, and feet for the lame. 16I was like a father to the poor and took the side of strangers in trouble. 17I destroyed the power of cruel men and rescued their victims. 18I always expected to live a long life and to die at home in comfort. 19I was like a tree whose roots always have water and whose branches are wet with dew. 20Everyone was always praising me, and my strength never failed me. 21When I gave advice, people were silent and listened carefully to what I said; 22they had nothing to add when I had finished. My words sank in like drops of rain; 23everyone welcomed them just as farmers welcome rain in spring. 24I smiled on them when they had lost confidence; my cheerful face encouraged them. 25I took charge and made the decisions; I led them as a king leads his troops, and gave them comfort in their despair.

–from Job 29

We can’t always understand why! But we do have the confidence because God’s Word tells us…

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. –from James 1:2-4

Don’t despair when we face trials! Turn to God and walk closer to Him seeking wisdom for if and when we need it, God’s Word continues in James with…

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. –from James 1:5

So don’t give up! Don’t give in! Trust in God and allow the work He has begun in you to be completed so that you can be all that He has created and purposed for you to be in and throughout this world and the world to come!

So let’s share the truth! For God’s Word tells us what has happened and we need to make sure people are aware of the past so that they don’t repeat it! Those who don’t know the past are doomed to repeat it! So rather let’s share the truth so that we can try to prevent others from having to learn through the pain and suffering themselves and rather learn through the experiences of others! Let’s not have to walk through the pain ourselves before we can learn about it or from it! Let’s all turn back to God before it’s too late! When the trumpet sounds and Jesus comes back to receive His people! Oh what a wonderful day for those who are in Christ Jesus! Oh what a confusing and scary day for those who will be left behind and trying to figure out what just happened!

1This is the Lord’s message to Joel son of Pethuel.

The People Mourn the Destruction of the Crops

2Pay attention, you older people; everyone in Judah, listen. Has anything like this ever happened in your time or the time of your ancestors? 3Tell your children about it; they will tell their children, who in turn will tell the next generation. 4Swarm after swarm of locusts settled on the crops; what one swarm left, the next swarm devoured. 5Wake up and weep, you drunkards; cry, you wine-drinkers; the grapes for making new wine have been destroyed. 6An army of locusts has attacked our land; they are powerful and too many to count; their teeth are as sharp as those of a lion. 7They have destroyed our grapevines and chewed up our fig trees. They have stripped off the bark, till the branches are white. 8Cry, you people, like a young woman who mourns the death of the man she was going to marry. 9There is no grain or wine to offer in the Temple; the priests mourn because they have no offerings for the Lord. 10The fields are bare; the ground mourns because the grain is destroyed, the grapes are dried up, and the olive trees are withered. 11Grieve, you farmers; cry, you that take care of the vineyards, because the wheat, the barley, yes all the crops are destroyed. 12The grapevines and fig trees have withered; all the fruit trees have wilted and died. The joy of the people is gone. 13Put on sackcloth and weep, you priests who serve at the altar! Go into the Temple and mourn all night! There is no grain or wine to offer your God. 14Give orders for a fast; call an assembly! Gather the leaders and all the people of Judah into the Temple of the Lord your God and cry out to him! 15The day of the Lord is near, the day when the Almighty brings destruction. What terror that day will bring! 16We look on helpless as our crops are destroyed. There is no joy in the Temple of our God. 17The seeds die in the dry earth. There is no grain to be stored, and so the empty granaries are in ruins. 18The cattle are bellowing in distress because there is no pasture for them; the flocks of sheep also suffer. 19I cry out to you, Lord, because the pastures and trees are dried up, as though a fire had burned them. 20Even the wild animals cry out to you because the streams have become dry.

–from Joel 1