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


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

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


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


Today’s reading from God’s Word is:

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

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

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

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

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


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

Let’s pray:

How bad does it have to get?


Does it have to get personal? Does it have to get financial? Does it have to get physical? Does it have to get emotional? Does it have to get political? Does it have to get global? Does it have to get geopolitical? Does it have to impact your state of mind? Does it have to impact your health? How bad does it have to get before you will do something about it?

How far down the downward spiral does it have to go before you stop and look up?

How far are you willing to wander before you will turn back and get on track?

How bad does it have to get before you will cry out to God and turn back to Him?

Are you willing to try and medicate or mutilate yourself rather than confront it?

Are you willing to try and go it alone and isolate yourself rather than ask for help?

There is hope! There is purpose! There is love! There is truth! There is grace! There is life! Are you willing to ask for it? Are you willing to receive it? What will it take for you to believe? What will it take for you to have discernment rather than to try and go and do it all in your own ways and plans?

How bad does it have to get for you do be willing to accept a change?


Today’s reading gets us started in the Old Testament with King Hezekiah who has become deathly ill in 2 Kings 20:

‘About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the Lord says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.” When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord , “Remember, O Lord , how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly. But before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, this message came to him from the Lord : “Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord , the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple of the Lord . I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my own honor and for the sake of my servant David.’” Then Isaiah said, “Make an ointment from figs.” So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered! Meanwhile, Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “What sign will the Lord give to prove that he will heal me and that I will go to the Temple of the Lord three days from now?” Isaiah replied, “This is the sign from the Lord to prove that he will do as he promised. Would you like the shadow on the sundial to go forward ten steps or backward ten steps? ” “The shadow always moves forward,” Hezekiah replied, “so that would be easy. Make it go ten steps backward instead.” So Isaiah the prophet asked the Lord to do this, and he caused the shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz! Soon after this, Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent Hezekiah his best wishes and a gift, for he had heard that Hezekiah had been very sick. Hezekiah received the Babylonian envoys and showed them everything in his treasure-houses—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the aromatic oils. He also took them to see his armory and showed them everything in his royal treasuries! There was nothing in his palace or kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them. Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did those men want? Where were they from?” Hezekiah replied, “They came from the distant land of Babylon.” “What did they see in your palace?” Isaiah asked. “They saw everything,” Hezekiah replied. “I showed them everything I own—all my royal treasuries.” Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to this message from the Lord : The time is coming when everything in your palace—all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now—will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord . Some of your very own sons will be taken away into exile. They will become eunuchs who will serve in the palace of Babylon’s king.” Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “This message you have given me from the Lord is good.” For the king was thinking, “At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime.” The rest of the events in Hezekiah’s reign, including the extent of his power and how he built a pool and dug a tunnel to bring water into the city, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. Hezekiah died, and his son Manasseh became the next king.’

2 Kings 20

Today’s reading then continues into Ezekiel 26:

‘On February 3, during the twelfth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, Tyre has rejoiced over the fall of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Ha! She who was the gateway to the rich trade routes to the east has been broken, and I am the heir! Because she has been made desolate, I will become wealthy!’ “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am your enemy, O Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the waves of the sea crashing against your shoreline. They will destroy the walls of Tyre and tear down its towers. I will scrape away its soil and make it a bare rock! It will be just a rock in the sea, a place for fishermen to spread their nets, for I have spoken, says the Sovereign Lord . Tyre will become the prey of many nations, and its mainland villages will be destroyed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord . “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: From the north I will bring King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon against Tyre. He is king of kings and brings his horses, chariots, charioteers, and great army. First he will destroy your mainland villages. Then he will attack you by building a siege wall, constructing a ramp, and raising a roof of shields against you. He will pound your walls with battering rams and demolish your towers with sledgehammers. The hooves of his horses will choke the city with dust, and the noise of the charioteers and chariot wheels will shake your walls as they storm through your broken gates. His horsemen will trample through every street in the city. They will butcher your people, and your strong pillars will topple. “They will plunder all your riches and merchandise and break down your walls. They will destroy your lovely homes and dump your stones and timbers and even your dust into the sea. I will stop the music of your songs. No more will the sound of harps be heard among your people. I will make your island a bare rock, a place for fishermen to spread their nets. You will never be rebuilt, for I, the Lord , have spoken. Yes, the Sovereign Lord has spoken! “This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Tyre: The whole coastline will tremble at the sound of your fall, as the screams of the wounded echo in the continuing slaughter. All the seaport rulers will step down from their thrones and take off their royal robes and beautiful clothing. They will sit on the ground trembling with horror at your destruction. Then they will wail for you, singing this funeral song: “O famous island city, once ruler of the sea, how you have been destroyed! Your people, with their naval power, once spread fear around the world. Now the coastlands tremble at your fall. The islands are dismayed as you disappear. “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will make Tyre an uninhabited ruin, like many others. I will bury you beneath the terrible waves of enemy attack. Great seas will swallow you. I will send you to the pit to join those who descended there long ago. Your city will lie in ruins, buried beneath the earth, like those in the pit who have entered the world of the dead. You will have no place of respect here in the land of the living. I will bring you to a terrible end, and you will exist no more. You will be looked for, but you will never again be found. I, the Sovereign Lord , have spoken!”’

Ezekiel 26

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament where we see that Paul eventually had enough and started making non-Jews aka gentiles his focus, his mission field in Acts 18:

‘Then Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he became acquainted with a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife, Priscilla. They had left Italy when Claudius Caesar deported all Jews from Rome. Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was. Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue, trying to convince the Jews and Greeks alike. And after Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul spent all his time preaching the word. He testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.” Then he left and went to the home of Titius Justus, a Gentile who worshiped God and lived next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and everyone in his household believed in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also heard Paul, became believers, and were baptized. One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” So Paul stayed there for the next year and a half, teaching the word of God. But when Gallio became governor of Achaia, some Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him before the governor for judgment. They accused Paul of “persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to our law.” But just as Paul started to make his defense, Gallio turned to Paul’s accusers and said, “Listen, you Jews, if this were a case involving some wrongdoing or a serious crime, I would have a reason to accept your case. But since it is merely a question of words and names and your Jewish law, take care of it yourselves. I refuse to judge such matters.” And he threw them out of the courtroom. The crowd then grabbed Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him right there in the courtroom. But Gallio paid no attention.’

Acts of the Apostles 18:1-17

Today’s reading continues into Revelation 8:

‘Then the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to blow their mighty blasts. The first angel blew his trumpet, and hail and fire mixed with blood were thrown down on the earth. One-third of the earth was set on fire, one-third of the trees were burned, and all the green grass was burned. Then the second angel blew his trumpet, and a great mountain of fire was thrown into the sea. One-third of the water in the sea became blood, one-third of all things living in the sea died, and one-third of all the ships on the sea were destroyed. Then the third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from the sky, burning like a torch. It fell on one-third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star was Bitterness. It made one-third of the water bitter, and many people died from drinking the bitter water. Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet, and one-third of the sun was struck, and one-third of the moon, and one-third of the stars, and they became dark. And one-third of the day was dark, and also one-third of the night. Then I looked, and I heard a single eagle crying loudly as it flew through the air, “Terror, terror, terror to all who belong to this world because of what will happen when the last three angels blow their trumpets.”’

Revelation 8:6-13

Today’s reading then concludes with Psalms 121:

‘I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord , who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.’

Psalms 121

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

Let’s pray:


Heavenly Father,
Thank You Lord for an incredible weekend of leadership training. Thank You Lord for a day of rest. Lord, I lift up this day to You in hopes that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Thank You Lord for a day in which to witness Your kingdom come and Your will being done on earth as it is in heaven. Lord, You know better than I all that will be coming my way today and so I give this day up into Your hands and ask Lord that You provide me with the wisdom and direction, the discernment and the comfort to do what is required to accomplish Your will. Lord, forgive me Lord for the things I should have done that I didn’t and the things I shouldn’t have done but did. Lord, just as You have forgiven me, I forgive all those who have done wrong against me. I won’t allow bitterness nor frustration to get in the way of the joy of the Lord that is my strength so that no bitter roots can take hold in my life. Lord, I know the enemy will try to tempt me from walking out today Your way and so Lord, I ask for Your eyes to see, Your ears to hear, in order that I will stay in alignment with Your will and Your calling over my life for Your plans today. Help me to resist the devil in order that he will flee. Help me today Lord so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

What would it take to get your attention and focus?


Do you notice the small things? Does it have to be huge to get your attention? If you saw it would you stop to get a better look? If you saw it would you shrug it off and keep on your way? Is your plan better than what might be? Is your plan so important that nothing could your attention? Is your focus so intense that you might miss out on a miracle or even better? With where you are at today, with so many “reality shows” that aren’t so real, with so many “amazing” things on tv and the news, what would it take to get your attention? What would it take for something to change your focus? Don’t you want to be drawn to the amazing plans and purposes and miracles of God? Consider this as you walk out your today! Will you allow the prompting of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you, direct and instruct you? Will you answer the call?

Today’s reading starts us in Exodus 3.

‘One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father —the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “ I Am Who I Am . Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations. “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’ “The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The Lord , the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord , our God.’ “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go. And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed. Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth.”’

Exodus 3

What would it take for you to believe? What would it take for you to receive? What would it take for you to obey? How much resistance will you have? Will you answer God’s call or will you look for a way out?

Today’s reading continues into Exodus 4.

‘But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?” Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. “Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back. Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand. “Perform this sign,” the Lord told him. “Then they will believe that the Lord , the God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—really has appeared to you.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out again, his hand was white as snow with a severe skin disease. “Now put your hand back into your cloak,” the Lord said. So Moses put his hand back in, and when he took it out again, it was as healthy as the rest of his body. The Lord said to Moses, “If they do not believe you and are not convinced by the first miraculous sign, they will be convinced by the second sign. And if they don’t believe you or listen to you even after these two signs, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on the dry ground. When you do, the water from the Nile will turn to blood on the ground.” But Moses pleaded with the Lord , “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord ? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” Then the Lord became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. And take your shepherd’s staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you.”

So Moses went back home to Jethro, his father-in-law. “Please let me return to my relatives in Egypt,” Moses said. “I don’t even know if they are still alive.” “Go in peace,” Jethro replied. Before Moses left Midian, the Lord said to him, “Return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you have died.” So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God. And the Lord told Moses, “When you arrive back in Egypt, go to Pharaoh and perform all the miracles I have empowered you to do. But I will harden his heart so he will refuse to let the people go. Then you will tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son. I commanded you, “Let my son go, so he can worship me.” But since you have refused, I will now kill your firstborn son!’” On the way to Egypt, at a place where Moses and his family had stopped for the night, the Lord confronted him and was about to kill him. But Moses’ wife, Zipporah, took a flint knife and circumcised her son. She touched his feet with the foreskin and said, “Now you are a bridegroom of blood to me.” (When she said “a bridegroom of blood,” she was referring to the circumcision.) After that, the Lord left him alone. Now the Lord had said to Aaron, “Go out into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So Aaron went and met Moses at the mountain of God, and he embraced him. Moses then told Aaron everything the Lord had commanded him to say. And he told him about the miraculous signs the Lord had commanded him to perform. Then Moses and Aaron returned to Egypt and called all the elders of Israel together. Aaron told them everything the Lord had told Moses, and Moses performed the miraculous signs as they watched. Then the people of Israel were convinced that the Lord had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.’

Exodus 4

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 28.

‘Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord , as his ancestor David had done. Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel. He cast metal images for the worship of Baal. He offered sacrifices in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, even sacrificing his own sons in the fire. In this way, he followed the detestable practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the pagan shrines and on the hills and under every green tree. Because of all this, the Lord his God allowed the king of Aram to defeat Ahaz and to exile large numbers of his people to Damascus. The armies of the king of Israel also defeated Ahaz and inflicted many casualties on his army. In a single day Pekah son of Remaliah, Israel’s king, killed 120,000 of Judah’s troops, all of them experienced warriors, because they had abandoned the Lord , the God of their ancestors. Then Zicri, a warrior from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah, the king’s son; Azrikam, the king’s palace commander; and Elkanah, the king’s second-in-command. The armies of Israel captured 200,000 women and children from Judah and seized tremendous amounts of plunder, which they took back to Samaria. But a prophet of the Lord named Oded was there in Samaria when the army of Israel returned home. He went out to meet them and said, “The Lord , the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah and let you defeat them. But you have gone too far, killing them without mercy, and all heaven is disturbed. And now you are planning to make slaves of these people from Judah and Jerusalem. What about your own sins against the Lord your God? Listen to me and return these prisoners you have taken, for they are your own relatives. Watch out, because now the Lord ’s fierce anger has been turned against you!” Then some of the leaders of Israel —Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai—agreed with this and confronted the men returning from battle. “You must not bring the prisoners here!” they declared. “We cannot afford to add to our sins and guilt. Our guilt is already great, and the Lord ’s fierce anger is already turned against Israel.” So the warriors released the prisoners and handed over the plunder in the sight of the leaders and all the people. Then the four men just mentioned by name came forward and distributed clothes from the plunder to the prisoners who were naked. They provided clothing and sandals to wear, gave them enough food and drink, and dressed their wounds with olive oil. They put those who were weak on donkeys and took all the prisoners back to their own people in Jericho, the city of palms. Then they returned to Samaria.

At that time King Ahaz of Judah asked the king of Assyria for help. The armies of Edom had again invaded Judah and taken captives. And the Philistines had raided towns located in the foothills of Judah and in the Negev of Judah. They had already captured and occupied Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages. The Lord was humbling Judah because of King Ahaz of Judah, for he had encouraged his people to sin and had been utterly unfaithful to the Lord . So when King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria arrived, he attacked Ahaz instead of helping him. Ahaz took valuable items from the Lord ’s Temple, the royal palace, and from the homes of his officials and gave them to the king of Assyria as tribute. But this did not help him. Even during this time of trouble, King Ahaz continued to reject the Lord . He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him, for he said, “Since these gods helped the kings of Aram, they will help me, too, if I sacrifice to them.” But instead, they led to his ruin and the ruin of all Judah. The king took the various articles from the Temple of God and broke them into pieces. He shut the doors of the Lord ’s Temple so that no one could worship there, and he set up altars to pagan gods in every corner of Jerusalem. He made pagan shrines in all the towns of Judah for offering sacrifices to other gods. In this way, he aroused the anger of the Lord , the God of his ancestors. The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign and everything he did, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. When Ahaz died, he was buried in Jerusalem but not in the royal cemetery of the kings of Judah. Then his son Hezekiah became the next king.’

2 Chronicles 28

Have you walked away from God? Will you turn back to God? Will you allow God to be your Lord and Savior? Will you do what is right and what is just in God’s sight? Will you live a life that is pleasing God instead of trying to please men? Do you really know what will satisfy people? Why not do what is pleasing to God instead?

Today’s reading continues into the New Testament in John 15.

‘“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’ “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.’

John 15:18-27

Today’s reading continues into 2 Thessalonians 3.

‘And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister. Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. Here is my greeting in my own handwriting—Paul. I do this in all my letters to prove they are from me. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.’

2 Thessalonians 3:6-18

So will you listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to prompt you so that you will continue the good works that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish? Will you live with God’s plan and purpose for your life in your heart?

Today’s reading closes with a psalm. Let’s meditate on today’s psalm – Psalms 40.

‘I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord . Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord , who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols. O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them. You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand — you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings. Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O Lord , well know. I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness. Lord , don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me. For troubles surround me— too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage. Please, Lord , rescue me! Come quickly, Lord , and help me. May those who try to destroy me be humiliated and put to shame. May those who take delight in my trouble be turned back in disgrace. Let them be horrified by their shame, for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!” But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!” As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts. You are my helper and my savior. O my God, do not delay.’

Psalms 40

Hope! Do you know where to go to get some?


Where are you looking? Where are you going? What are you trying to find? What do you think it looks like? How will you know when you have found it? How will you know when you have arrived?

Do you know that hope is? Doing a search online shows…

hope
[hōp]

NOUN

  1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen:
    “he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information” ·

    [more]
    synonyms: aspiration · desire · wish · expectation · ambition · aim ·

    [more]
  2. archaic
    a feeling of trust.

VERB

  1. want something to happen or be the case:
    “he’s hoping for an offer of compensation” ·

    [more]
    synonyms: expect · anticipate · look for · be hopeful of ·

    [more]
Powered by Oxford Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press · Translation by Bing Translator

But is that the hope the Bible speaks of? Checking, we find…

To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.

from http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/hope/

A\nother resources puts the Bible’s meaning this way…

“a strong and confident expectation.”

from https://bible.org/article/hope

Not a wishy washy thought, but a strong and confident expectation for what is yet to come!

Hope isn’t to be wishful thinking, it is to be confident expectations!

Where does your hope come from? My hope comes from God! In Him I can trust! In Him I can depend! In Him I am confident!

So if you don’t have hope in God? Do you have hope in something that will get you through the storms of life? Do you have hope in something beyond today? Where does your hope come from?

Turn to God! He is loving! He is trustworthy! He is faithful!

Why not start today by inviting Jesus into your life and be transformed forever?


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…

Sign of Nakedness

1In the year that the Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him and he fought against Ashdod and captured it, 2at that time Adonai spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz saying, “Go, remove the sackcloth from your loins and your sandals from your feet.” So he did so, walking naked and barefoot. 3Then Adonai said: “Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years, as a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, 4so will the king of Assyria lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Ethiopia, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to Egypt’s shame. 5So they will be dismayed and ashamed, because they hoped in Ethiopia and boasted in Egypt. 6Then the inhabitants of the coastland will say in that day, ‘Look, such is our hope—there we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! Now, how will we escape?’”

–from Isaiah 20

Do you see what is going on? Are you paying attention to what is going one? Do know realize what is taking place? Do you see those who are trying to lower expectations? Do you see those who are going towards the lowest common denominator rather than reaching for the stars? the best? the goal?

Watchman, Pay Attention!

1The burden of the desert by the sea: As windstorms sweep over the South, so it comes from the desert, a terrifying land. 2A harsh vision has been shown to me: “The traitor betrays, and the plunderer plunders. Go up, Elam! Besiege, Media! I have put an end to all her groaning.” 3Therefore my body is filled with pain. Pangs have taken hold of me like the pangs of a woman in labor. I am bewildered by what I hear, terrified by what I see. 4My heart is bewildered, terror overwhelms me. The twilight I longed for has been turned into trembling. 5Set the table, spread out the cloth! Eat! Drink! “Rise up, you princes, oil the shield!” 6For Adonai has said to me. “Go, post a watchman— let him declare what he sees! 7When he sees a chariot with a pair of horsemen, riders on donkeys, riders on camels, let him pay attention— very close attention!” 8Then he cried out like a lion: “Upon the watch tower, Adonai, I stand continually in the daytime, and stay at my post every night. 9Look! Here comes a chariot of men, with a pair of horsemen.” Then one answered and said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon! All the images of her gods are broken on the ground.” 10O my people, crushed on the threshing floor, what I heard from Adonai Tzva’ot, God of Israel, I have declared to you. 11The burden of Dumah: One calls to me from Seir, “Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?” 12The watchman said, “Morning comes, yet also it is night.” If you would inquire, inquire. Come back again.” 13The burden of Arabia: In the desert brush of Arabia you will stay for the night, you caravans of Dedanites. 14To him who is thirsty bring water, inhabitants of the land of Tema, meet the fugitive with food. 15For they fled from swords, from drawn sword, from bent bow and distress of war. 16For thus Adonai said to me, “Within a year (as with the years of a hired worker), all the glory of Kedar will cease, 17and the remainder of the number of the archers, the mighty men of the sons of Kedar, will be few. For Adonai God of Israel has spoken.”

–from Isaiah 21

So will you confess what is taking place? Will you return to God? Will you learn His ways? Will you meditate on His Word daily? Will you take care of your health? Will you expand your mind? Will you open your heart and invite Jesus in? Will you soften your heart? Do you need to have your life shaken up in order to get your attention? Do you need someone to come with a jackhammer to be able to get into your heart? What’s it going to take?

Confess, Return and Learn

1Of David, a contemplative song. Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is pardoned. 2Blessed is the one whose guilt Adonai does not count, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3When I kept silent, my bones became brittle through my groaning all day long. 4For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me. My strength was drained as in the droughts of summer. Selah 5Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not hide my iniquity. I said: “I confess my transgressions to Adonai,” and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah 6So let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found. When great floodwaters rise, they will not reach him. 7You are my hiding place— You will protect me from distress. You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah 8“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will give counsel—My eye is on you. 9Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding, and must be held in with bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” 10Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but lovingkindness surrounds the one who trusts in Adonai. 11Be glad in Adonai and rejoice, you righteous, and shout for joy, all who are upright in heart.

–from Psalms 32

Will you trust in Jesus? Will your hope be in Him? What would it take to get your attention? What would it take to change your mind? What would it take to open up your heart?

Do you feel that need in your heart? Do you feel that void that you keep trying to fill with things of the world but nothing is working or has worked yet? That is because it is a hole that we are supposed to turn to God and ask Him in to fill it! Is today your day?

Anticipating Hostility at Sukkot

1After these events, Yeshua was walking about in the Galilee. He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Judean leaders wanted to kill Him. 2Now the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near. 3Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go to Judea, so Your disciples also may see the works You are doing. 4No one who wants to be well known does everything in secret. If You are doing these things, show Yourself to the world!” 5For not even His brothers were trusting in Him. 6Therefore Yeshua said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always at hand. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify that its works are evil. 8You go on up to the Feast. I’m not going to this feast, because My time hasn’t yet fully come.” 9After saying these things, He stayed in the Galilee. 10But after His brothers went to the Feast, He also went, not openly but secretly. 11Then the Judean leaders were searching for Him at the Feast and kept asking, “Where is that fellow?” 12There was a lot of murmuring about Him in the crowds. Some were saying, “He is good.” But others were saying, “Not so! He leads the people astray.” 13Yet no one spoke openly about Him for fear of the Judean leaders.

Teaching at the Temple

14About halfway through the Feast, Yeshua went up to the Temple and began teaching. 15Then the Judean leaders were amazed, saying, “How does this man know so much, having never been taught?” 16Yeshua answered, “My teaching is not from Me, but from Him who sent Me. 17If anyone wants to do His will, he will know whether My teaching comes from God or it is Myself speaking. 18Whoever speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true and there is no unrighteousness in Him. 19Hasn’t Moses given you the Torah? Yet none of you keeps it. Why are you trying to kill Me?” 20The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who’s trying to kill you?” 21Yeshua answered, “I did one good work, and all of you are amazed. 22Because Moses has given you circumcision (though it is not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a man on Shabbat. 23If a man receives circumcision on Shabbat so that the Torah of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry that I healed a man’s whole body on Shabbat? 24Do not judge by appearance, but judge righteously.” 25Then some of the people from Jerusalem were saying, “Isn’t this the person they’re trying to kill? 26Look, He speaks openly and they’re saying nothing to Him. Can it be that the leaders know He is the Messiah? 27But we know where this person is from. But the Messiah, whenever He may come, no one knows where He is from.” 28Then, while teaching in the Temple courts, Yeshua cried out, “You know both who I am and where I am from! I have not come on My own, but the One who sent Me is true. You do not know Him, 29but I know Him because I am from Him and He sent Me.” 30Then they were trying to seize Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31Yet many from the crowd believed in Him and were saying, “When the Messiah comes, He won’t perform more signs than this person has, will He?” 32The Pharisees heard people in the crowd murmuring these things about Him, and the ruling kohanim and Pharisees sent guards to arrest Him. 33Yeshua said, “I am with you only a little while longer, and then I am going to the One who sent Me. 34You will look for Me but will not find Me. Where I am, you cannot come.” 35The Judean leaders then said among themselves, “Where is this person about to go that we shall not find Him? He’s not going to the Diaspora to teach the Greeks, is He? 36What did He mean by saying, ‘You will look for Me but will not find Me. Where I am, you cannot come’?”

Satisfying Spiritual Thirst

37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Yeshua stood up and cried out loudly, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture says, ‘out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39Now He said this about the Ruach, whom those who trusted in Him were going to receive; for the Ruach was not yet given, since Yeshua was not yet glorified. 40When they heard these words, some of the crowd said, “This man really is the Prophet.” 41Others were saying, “This is the Messiah.” Still others were saying, “The Messiah doesn’t come from the Galilee, does He? 42Didn’t the Scripture say that the Messiah comes from the seed of David and from Bethlehem, David’s town?” 43So a division arose in the crowd because of Yeshua. 44Some wanted to capture Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

Religious Adversaries

45Then the guards returned to the ruling kohanim and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring Him?” 46“Never has anyone spoken like this man,” the guards answered. 47The Pharisees responded, “You haven’t been led astray also, have you? 48Have any of the rulers or Pharisees believed in Him? 49No, but this mob that doesn’t know the Torah—they are cursed!” 50Nicodemus, the one who had come to Yeshua before and was one of them, said to them, 51“Our Torah doesn’t judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he’s doing, does it?” 52They answered him, “You aren’t from the Galilee too, are you? Search, and see that no prophet comes out of the Galilee!” 53Then everyone went to his own house.

–from John 7

Are you thirsting? Are you wishing you could just fill that hole? Are you wanting to have a spring within you that can fill you to overflowing with joy, peace, hope? Turn to Jesus! Ask Him into your heart! Allow Him to do a work in you! Allow God’s Spirit to lead you and guide you! Be transformed from the inside out! Let’s build our lives on the foundation Jesus has provide with Jesus as the cornerstone to help us build it up straight and strong to last!

Building Together on God’s Foundation

1And I, brothers and sisters, could not speak to you as Spirit-filled but as worldly—as infants in Messiah. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready. Indeed, even now you are not yet ready, 3for you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, aren’t you worldly and walking in a human way? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere humans? 5What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you came to trust—and to each as the Lord gave. 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow. 8Now he who plants and he who waters work as one, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But let each consider carefully how he builds on it. 11For no one can lay any other foundation than what is already laid—which is Yeshua the Messiah. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each one’s work will become clear. For the Day will show it, because it is to be revealed by fire; and the fire itself will test each one’s work—what sort it is. 14If anyone’s work built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss—he himself will be saved, but as through fire. 16Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that the Ruach Elohim dwells among you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 18Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks he is wise in this age, let him become a fool so he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the sight of God. For it is written, “He catches the clever in their craftiness.” 20And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are useless.” 21So let no one boast about men. For all things are yours— 22whether Paul or Apollos or Kefa, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come. All are yours, 23and you are Messiah’s, and Messiah is God’s.

–from 1 Corinthians 3

 

What’s leading or directing your decisions?


Faced with a decision to make, what is guiding you? Faced with decision to make, what is directing your path? Faced with decision to make, who or what are you following?

How about at work when options come before you? How about in your country when it comes to picking leadership during the elections? How about in your community when you need to choose where and when and if to get involved?

Is it based on peer pressure? Is it based on group decision? Is it based on a gut feel? Is it based on analyzing all the data? Is it based on alignment to God’s way and will?

sign-post-what-is-directing-your-decision-and-path

Imagine how things would be different if everyone put God in the center of all of their lives! Imagine Jesus being the center for every decision and hence being lead by the Holy Spirit in every decision you make!

jesus-at-the-center-of-it-all

Let’s stop focusing on the thing and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on the created and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on rituations and start focusing on having a relationship with God!


Today’s reading kicks off in this line in Hosea…

Idols Thrown Down

1“Put a shofar to your mouth! Like a vulture he comes against the house of Adonai. For they overstepped My covenant and transgressed My Torah. 2 Will they cry out to Me, ‘My God, we—Israel—knew You’? 3Israel has rejected goodness— an adversary will pursue him. 4They crowned kings, but not by Me. They appointed princes I did not approve. Their silver and gold they made into idols— just so they would be cut down. 5Samaria! Your calf is thrown down! My anger is kindled against them! How long will they be incapable of innocence? 6For a craftsman from Israel made it, so it is no god. For the calf of Samaria will be splinters. 7“For they sow wind, and reap a whirlwind. There is no mature grain— the sprout yields no meal. Should it produce anything, strangers would swallow it up. 8Israel has been swallowed up! Now they are among the nations, like an ornament with no delight in it. 9For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself. Ephraim has hired lovers. 10Although they hire among the nations, I will now round them up. So they will begin to decrease under the burden of king and princes. 11“When Ephraim multiplied altars for making sin offerings, they became his altars for sinning. 12Though I were to write out for him ten thousand things from My Torah, they are regarded as something strange. 13Sacrifices are gifts for Me— should they sacrifice meat and then eat it? Adonai will not accept them. Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sin— they will return to Egypt. 14For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built temples, while Judah has multiplied fortified cities. So I will send fire upon its cities that will consume their citadels.”

–from Hosea 8

How far away can you get before you get into trouble? How far from under the protective cover can you get before you get hurt? How far will you wander before you turn back?

Days of Desolation Are Coming

1Do not rejoice, O Israel, do not celebrate like the peoples— for so you have gone whoring away from your God. You have loved a prostitute’s pay, on every grain-threshing-floor. 2Threshing-floor and wine-press will not sustain them, and new wine will fail her. 3They will not dwell in Adonai’s land. Instead Ephraim will return to Egypt, and eat unclean food in Assyria. 4They will pour no wine-offerings to Adonai— they would not be pleasing to Him. Their sacrifices will be like the bread of mourners for them. All that eat it will be defiled, for their bread is for their appetite, not coming into the House of Adonai. 5What will you do for a moed or for the day of Adonai’s feast? 6Look, even if they escape the desolation, Egypt will gather them up; Memphis will bury them. And their precious silver treasures? Weeds will possess them. Thorns will be in their tents. 7The days of punishment have come; the days of retribution have come. Let Israel know! The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad! For great is your iniquity and great the hostility. 8Ephraim is a watchman with my God, a prophet. A bird catcher’s trap is on all his paths. Hostility is in the House of his God. 9They have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity, He will punish their sin. 10“Like grapes in the wilderness I found Israel. Like early fruit on a fig tree in its first season I saw your fathers. They came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame. So they became as detestable as the thing they loved. 11Ephraim’s glory flies away like a bird— no birth, no pregnancy, no conception! 12For if they should raise their children, I would make them childless to the last man. Yes, woe to them when I depart from them! 13Ephraim, as I have seen, is like Tyre, planted in a meadow, but Ephraim will bring his children out to the slayer.” 14Give them, Adonai, what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dried up breasts. 15“All their wickedness is at Gilgal, for there I despised them. Because of their wicked practices, I will drive them out of My House. I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious. 16Ephraim is blighted; their root is withered; they bear no fruit. Even if they bring forth children, I will slay the cherished ones in their wombs.” 17My God will cast them off, since they did not listen to Him. So they will become wanderers among the nations.

–from Hosea 9

What is going to take to bring you back into alignment with God? Will you need to see something? Will you need to hear something? Will you need to feel something? Will you smell or sense something? What would need to happen to really get your attention?

Will you change the way you are living? Will you set an ethic to follow? Will you look to live righteously? Will you look to live a covenant of love? Will you soften your heart to the things and ways of God? Will you humble yourself and give your life up to God?

What will you sow? What will that cause you to reap?

Israel to be Shamed in Captivity

1A luxuriant vine is Israel, who produces fruit for himself. Like the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars. Like the goodness of his land, they made beautiful sacred pillars. 2Their heart became smooth. Now they will bear their guilt. He will break down their altars. He will destroy their sacred pillars. 3Surely now they will say: “We have no king, for we have not feared Adonai. The king—what can he do for us?” 4They spoke words— empty oaths to make a covenant. But judgment springs up as hemlock in the furrows of the field. 5The inhabitants of Samaria will quarrel over the calves of Beth-aven. Indeed its people will mourn over it, but its priests will tremble over it. For its glory will surely depart from it. 6It also will be carried to Assyria as tribute to a warring king. Ephraim will receive shame and Israel will be put to shame by its own counsel. 7Samaria is being cut off. Her king is like a splinter on the surface of the water. 8The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel will be destroyed. Thorns and thistles will come up on their altars. And they will say to the mountains: “Cover us!” And to the hills: “Fall on us!” 9“From the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel. There they took their stand. Will not war over sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah? 10When I desire, I will chasten them, and peoples will gather against them when they are yoked to their two sins. 11Though Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh, I put a yoke over her fair neck. I will make Ephraim pull; Judah will plow; Jacob will drag a harrow by himself.”

Plow Up Your Ground

12Sow for yourselves righteousness. Reap in accord with covenant love. Break up your unplowed ground. For it is time to seek Adonai, until He comes and showers righteousness on you. 13You have plowed up wickedness, you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of delusion, for you have trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men. 14A tumult will arise among your people. All your strongholds will be demolished, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel in the day of battle, when a mother was dashed in pieces with her children. 15Just so has Bethel done to you because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel will be utterly cut off.

–from Hosea 10

What’s it going to take for God to get your attention? Do you realize what He has already done for you? Do you realize how much Jesus did? Do you realize what is at hand? Do you realize what is available? Do you realize it’s a choice we each have to make individually? So choose wisely! Choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and to follow Him all the rest of your life!

My Son Called Out

1“When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. 2They called out to them but they departed from their presence. They kept sacrificing to the Baalim and burning incense up to idols. 3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk. I took them on My arms. But they never acknowledged that I had healed them. 4With human cords I was drawing them, with bonds of love, and I became to them as One lifting a yoke from their jaws. I bent down to them and fed them. 5He will not return to the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian will be his king— because they refused to return. 6So a sword will fall on his cities, and destroy and devour his gate bars because of their own counsels. 7So My people are bent on turning from Me. Although they are being called upwards, none will rise up. 8“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I surrender you, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you as Zeboim? My heart is turning over within Me. My compassions are kindled. 9 I will not vent My fierce anger. I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God—not a man— the Holy One in the midst of you, and I will not come in fury.” 10They will walk after Adonai. He will roar like a lion. Indeed, He will roar and the children will come trembling from the west. 11“They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt, like a dove out of the land of Assyria, and I will settle them in their houses.” It is a declaration of Adonai.

–from Hosea 11

Make your choice fast! Make your choice soon! Don’t wait till it is too late! Take a look around and see the signs of the season! Every year when I go through the Bible, I feel like we are getting closer based on what is taking place in the world!

you-have-a-choice-to-make-choose-wisely

Signs of the End

1As Yeshua was going out of the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, look! What stones and what buildings!” 2Yeshua said to him, “You see these great buildings? Not one stone here will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!” 3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple, Peter, Jacob, John, and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5Yeshua began to tell them, “Watch out that no one leads you astray! 6Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 8For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines. These things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Watch out for yourselves! They will hand you over to the courts, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them. 10The Good News must first be proclaimed to all the nations. 11When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speaks but the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 12Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. And children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Birth Pangs Before Deliverance

14“But when you see ‘the abomination of desolation’ standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15The one on the roof must not go down, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16And the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 17Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18Pray that it will not happen in winter. 19“For in those days there will be trouble such as has never happened, not since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. 20And unless Adonai had cut short those days, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He cut short the days. 21“And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there He is!’ do not believe it. 22For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen. 23So be careful! See, I have told you everything beforehand.”

Messianic Victory

24“But in those days, after that trouble, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.’ 26And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then He will send out the angels and will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from the end of the earth, to the end of heaven.”

Keep Watch

28“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see all these things happening, know that it is near, at the door. 30Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, except the Father. 33“Keep on the lookout! Stay alert! For you do not know when the time is. 34It is like a man away on a journey. After leaving his house and putting his servants in charge and giving each his task, he also commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35Therefore stay alert, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or in the early morning. 36So watch in case, coming suddenly, he finds you asleep. 37What I say to you I say to all: ‘Stay alert!’”

–from Mark 13

 

What does it take to get your attention?


Ever notice how different people may be oblivious to what is taking place around them? For some they are immediately aware. For some they take a little prodding or poking before they realize there is something going on. For some it takes a monstrous event to get their attention.

Ever noticed how even when some people’s attention has been gotten, it still takes more for them to get or become engaged into the situation? Ever noticed that sometimes people can compartmentalize their life so much that they can ignore certain pieces? Ever found that some may realize but are just looking to escape the situation rather than address it?

What about you? Are you aware of what is going on around you? How crazy do things need to get before you will do something or get involved? Or will you? If you learned today that things were going off the rails, would you do something? How would you respond? What choice would you make? Would you do something before it was too late?

What does it take to get your attention?


Today’s reading continues in Isaiah…

Downfall of Jerusalem and Judah

1For behold! The Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot, takes from Jerusalem and from Judah supply and support, every supply of bread and every supply of water, 2mighty man and man of war, judge, and prophet, fortune-teller and elder, 3captain of 50 and man of rank, counselor, crafty magician and cunning charmer. 4I will set children as their rulers. Capricious ones will govern them. 5The people will oppress one another— each one by his fellow, each one by his neighbor. The child will be insolent to the aged, and dishonorable to the honorable. 6When a man takes hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying: “You have a cloak, you be our ruler! This ruin is under your charge.” 7In that day he will protest, saying: “I’m no healer! In my house is no bread or cloak. Don’t make me a ruler of people!” 8For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah is fallen. For their tongue and their actions are against Adonai, defying the eyes of His glory. 9The expression of their faces bears witness against them. They display their sin like Sodom— they do not hide it. Oy , their souls! For they brought evil on themselves.

The Judge Arises

10Say to the righteous, he will be well, eating the fruit of their deeds. 11Oy , the wicked! It will be bad for him, for the dealing of his hands will be done to him. 12My people! Children are their oppressors and women rule over them. My people! Your guides mislead you and destroy the way of your paths. 13Adonai arises to contend a case, and stands to judge the people. 14Adonai will enter into judgment with the elders of His people and with the princes: “You have devoured the vineyard. The plunder of the poor is in your houses. 15What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the face of the poor?” says Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot. 16Moreover Adonai says: “Since the Daughters of Zion are proud, and walk with outstretched necks and seductive eyes, walking and mincing as they go, making a jingling with their feet, 17therefore Adonai will smite with a scab the forehead of the Daughters of Zion. Adonai will expose their secret parts. 18In that day Adonai will strip the finery of anklets, headbands, crescents, 19pendants and bracelets, veils, 20headdresses, armlets, sashes, perfume vials, amulets, 21rings and nose-jewels, 22festal robes, capes, cloaks, purses, 23lace scarves, fine linen, turbans and veils. 24Now it will come to pass: Instead of sweet spices there will be rottenness; instead of a sash, rags; instead of curled hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty. 25Your men will fall by the sword, and your warriors in battle. 26Her gates will lament and mourn. Desolate, she will sit on the ground.

–from Isaiah 3

Do things have to get really bad? Do things have to get really good? Can things stay the same? We don’t have forever to make a choice! We don’t have forever to decide! Are you in or are you out? What if today is the last day, will you have chosen and know where you are going or will you have put it off and now will miss out?

1Seven women will grab hold of one man in that day, saying: “We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel. Only let us be called by your name— take away our reproach!”

Zion’s End-Time Glory

2In that day the Branch of Adonai will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land excellent and appealing for Israel’s survivors. 3So it will come to pass that whoever is left in Zion and whoever remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. 4After Adonai has washed away the filth of the Daughters of Zion and has purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, 5then Adonai will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her convocations, a cloud by day, and smoke and shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all, glory will be a canopy. 6Then there will be a sukkah for shade by day from the heat, and for refuge and for shelter from storm and from rain.

–from Isaiah 4

Will you live a life that will be a good return on investment? Will you be taking the gifts and talents you have been given and multiply them? Will you just dig a hole and put them there? We are supposed to take what we have been given and multiply it like a good steward! For the earth is the Lord’s and everything it, so we just need to be good stewards with what we have been given!

Song of the Vineyard

1Let me sing of my beloved, a song of my beloved, about His vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard in a very fertile hill. 2He dug it out and cleared its stones, planted it with a choice vine, built a tower in the midst of it, and even cut out a winepress. He expected it to yield good grapes, but it yielded worthless grapes. 3So now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, please judge between me and my vineyard. 4What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done? Why then, when I expected it to yield good grapes, did it yield worthless grapes? 5So now, I will make known to you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge, and it will be eaten up. I will break down the fence, and it will be trodden down. 6I will lay it waste: it will not be pruned or hoed, but briers and thorns will come up. I will also command the clouds not to rain on it. 7For the vineyard of Adonai-Tzva’ot is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah the planting of His delight. He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed, for righteousness, but behold, a cry!

Judgment for Injustice

8Woe to those who join house to house and merge field to field, until there is no room, and you will live alone in the midst of the land! 9In my ears, Adonai-Tzva’ot has said: “Surely many houses will be desolate— even grand and fine ones— with no occupants.” 10Ten acres of vineyard will yield six gallons, and an omer of seed will yield one ephah. 11Woe to those who rise up early in the morning— so they may pursue liquor, who stay up late at night, until wine inflames them! 12Harp and lyre, tambourine and flute, and wine are at their banquets. They do not notice Adonai’s activity nor see the works of His hands. 13“Therefore My people are in captivity for lack of knowledge. Their honorable men are famished and their multitudes parched with thirst. 14Therefore Sheol has enlarged its gullet and opened its measureless mouth— down goes her glory, her tumult, her uproar, and the revelry in her. 15So humanity will be bowed down mankind will be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty humbled.” 16But Adonai-Tzva’ot will be exalted through justice, and the Holy God consecrated through righteousness. 17Then lambs will graze as if in their own pasture, and nomads will eat in the ruins of the wealthy. 18Oy to those that drag iniquity along with cords of deceit, and sin as if with a cart rope! 19They say: “Let Him hurry up and hasten His work, so we may see it! Let the plan of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, so we may know it!” 20Oy to those who call evil good and good evil, who present darkness as light and light as darkness, who present bitter as sweet, and sweet as bitter! 21Oy to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight! 22Oy to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant at mixing drinks, 23who justify the wicked for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of justice! 24Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes straw, and as chaff collapses into the flame, so their root will be like rot, and their blossom will go up like dust. For they have rejected the Torah of Adonai–Tzva’ot, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. 25Therefore Adonai’s anger is kindled against His people. When He has stretched out His hand against them and struck them, the hills trembled, and their carcasses were like refuse in the streets. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched. 26He will lift up a banner to nations far off, and will whistle for them from the ends of the earth. Look! Swiftly, speedily they come! 27None will be weary and none stumble among them; none will slumber or sleep; no belt will be loose at the waist; no strap of sandals be broken. 28Their arrows are sharp and all their bows bent; their horse hooves will be like flint and their wheels like a whirlwind. 29Their roaring will be like a lion. They will growl like young lions— yes, they will roar, seize their prey and carry it away safely— and there will be none to rescue. 30They will roar against them like the roaring of the sea. If one looks to the land, behold, darkness and distress! The light is darkened by the clouds.

–from Isaiah 5

Consider the little you have to offer! You may think you have nothing, but what do you really have? Even the little you have when you give it up to God can be used and multiplied for the glory of God! Will you help others out of your abundance? Will you help others out of your lack? Will you take the little you have and give it up to God? Be it a little oil? Be it a your lunch? Be it a two fish and a few loaves? Do you realize what God can do with it? Will you trust Him if He or when He asks? There is a purpose! There is a plan! Don’t miss out!

Do You Still Not Understand?

1In those days, there was another large crowd with nothing to eat, and Yeshua called the disciples. He said to them, 2“I have compassion for the crowd, because they’ve stayed with Me for three days now and have nothing to eat. 3If I send them home hungry they’ll pass out on the way, for some of them have come from very far away.” 4His disciples answered Him, “How can anyone satisfy these people with bread here in a wasteland?” 5“How many loaves do you have?” Yeshua was asking them. “Seven,” they said. 6He directed the crowd to recline on the ground. After taking the seven loaves and giving thanks, He broke them and began giving them to His disciples to serve; and they served them to the crowd. 7They also had a few small fish and, after offering a bracha for them, He commanded these to be served as well. 8They ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over—seven baskets. 9About four thousand were there, and Yeshua sent them away. 10Right away, He got into the boat with His disciples and went to the area of Dalmanutha. 11The Pharisees came and began to argue with Him, demanding a sign from heaven, to test Him. 12Sighing deeply in His spirit, Yeshua said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Amen, I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13Leaving them, He got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.

The Un-Seeing Disciples

14Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they had only one loaf in the boat. 15Yeshua was warning them, “Watch out! Beware of the hametz of the Pharisees and the hametz of Herod.” 16They began to discuss with each other that they had no bread. 17And Yeshua, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you discuss that you have no bread? You still don’t get it? Don’t you understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18Having eyes, don’t you see? And having ears, don’t you hear? And don’t you remember? 19When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they say to Him. 20“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?” “Seven,” they say to Him. 21He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

Eyes that Need Opening

22They come to Bethsaida. Some people bring a blind man to Yeshua and beg Him to touch the man. 23Taking the blind man by the hand, Yeshua brought him outside the village. After spitting on the man’s eyes and laying His hands on him, Yeshua asked the man, “Do you see anything?” 24The man looked up and said, “I see men! They look like trees walking about.” 25Then Yeshua put His hands on the man’s eyes again. The man looked intently, his sight was restored, and he began to see everything clearly. 26Yeshua sent him straight home, saying, “Don’t even enter the village!” 27Now Yeshua and His disciples went out to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28They told Him, “John the Immerser; and others Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” 29Then He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered Him, “You are the Messiah!” 30And He warned them not to tell anyone about Him.

Revealing the Mission

31Then He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and ruling kohanim and Torah scholars, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He was speaking openly about this. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33But turning around and looking at His disciples, He rebuked Peter. He said, “Get behind Me, satan! You are not setting your mind on the things of God, but the things of men.” 34Then He called the crowd, along with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to follow after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and keep following Me. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the sake of the Good News will save it. 36For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37For what could a man give in exchange for his soul? 38For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels!”

–from Mark 8

 

What would it take for God to get your attention?


Last night while at church the book of Acts chapter 9 was being discussed. It spoke to the fact that in many cases we try to go against what God really wants in our lives. It spoke to the fact that in many cases we work against our true calling and purpose. It spoke to the fact that what God says about us may not be what we think, but that if we will grab onto it the potential that will be realized will be amazing. Have you connected with God? Have you started to build up a relationship with Him? If not, what is it going to take for Him to get your attention? Would it need to be as severe or drastic as what happens to Saul?

3As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?” 5“Who are you, Lord?” he asked. “I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said. 6“But get up and go into the city, where you will be told what you must do.” 7The men who were traveling with Saul had stopped, not saying a word; they heard the voice but could not see anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes, but could not see a thing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. 9For three days he was not able to see, and during that time he did not eat or drink anything. –from Acts 9

How receptive are you to hearing and receiving and responding to God’s Word? God has amazing plans for you and your life. God’s plans for you are good! The devil wants to rob and steal everything. God wants you to have life—life in all its fullness. God has a plan and wants to get your attention so that you can start and build up a relationship with Him. What would it take to get your attention? If we continue in Acts we read…

10There was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. He had a vision, in which the Lord said to him, “Ananias!”“Here I am, Lord,” he answered. 11The Lord said to him, “Get ready and go to Straight Street, and at the house of Judas ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying, 12and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he might see again.” 13Ananias answered, “Lord, many people have told me about this man and about all the terrible things he has done to your people in Jerusalem. 14And he has come to Damascus with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who worship you.” 15The Lord said to him, “Go, because I have chosen him to serve me, to make my name known to Gentiles and kings and to the people of Israel. 16And I myself will show him all that he must suffer for my sake.” 17So Ananias went, entered the house where Saul was, and placed his hands on him. “Brother Saul,” he said, “the Lord has sent me—Jesus himself, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here. He sent me so that you might see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 At once something like fish scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he was able to see again. He stood up and was baptized; 19and after he had eaten, his strength came back. –from Acts 9

We see the impact God provided through His grace and mercy and how through the forgiveness of sin by the sacrifice of Jesus, our lives can be transformed forever. There may be things in our hearts or lives that we figured would take forever to get it taken care of, but it takes but just a moment with God to be transformed forever. And if we will allow Jesus to get our attention and we start to follow His plans for our lives, we will never be the same. For some they will realize there is a spiritual battle taking place that they were never aware of because they had never been a threat to the devil’s plans. For others that reality will be clearer because of the their previous trials but will now find the strength and the courage to take it on with Jesus by their side. We see in Acts 9 the transformation that takes place in Saul after his encounter with Ananias…

Saul Preaches in Damascus

Saul stayed for a few days with the believers in Damascus. 20He went straight to the synagogues and began to preach that Jesus was the Son of God. 21All who heard him were amazed and asked, “Isn’t he the one who in Jerusalem was killing those who worship that man Jesus? And didn’t he come here for the very purpose of arresting those people and taking them back to the chief priests?” 22But Saul’s preaching became even more powerful, and his proofs that Jesus was the Messiah were so convincing that the Jews who lived in Damascus could not answer him. 23  After many days had gone by, the Jews met together and made plans to kill Saul, 24but he was told of their plan. Day and night they watched the city gates in order to kill him. 25But one night Saul’s followers took him and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket. –from Acts 9

What will it take or did it take for God to get your attention?


This morning’s reading is my catching up from the old testament readings for the week from the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 6: God calls Isaiah to be a prophet (let’s see how God gets his attention…)

1  In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on his throne, high and exalted, and his robe filled the whole Temple. 2Around him flaming creatures were standing, each of which had six wings. Each creature covered its face with two wings, and its body with two, and used the other two for flying. 3 They were calling out to each other: “Holy, holy, holy! The Lord Almighty is holy! His glory fills the world.” 4The sound of their voices made the foundation of the Temple shake, and the Temple itself became filled with smoke. 5I said, “There is no hope for me! I am doomed because every word that passes my lips is sinful, and I live among a people whose every word is sinful. And yet, with my own eyes I have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” 6Then one of the creatures flew down to me, carrying a burning coal that he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7He touched my lips with the burning coal and said, “This has touched your lips, and now your guilt is gone, and your sins are forgiven.” 8Then I heard the Lord say, “Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?”I answered, “I will go! Send me!” 9So he told me to go and give the people this message: “No matter how much you listen, you will not understand. No matter how much you look, you will not know what is happening.” 10Then he said to me, “Make the minds of these people dull, their ears deaf, and their eyes blind, so that they cannot see or hear or understand. If they did, they might turn to me and be healed.” 11I asked, “How long will it be like this, Lord?”He answered, “Until the cities are ruined and empty—until the houses are uninhabited—until the land itself is a desolate wasteland. 12I will send the people far away and make the whole land desolate. 13Even if one person out of ten remains in the land, he too will be destroyed; he will be like the stump of an oak tree that has been cut down.”(The stump represents a new beginning for God’s people.) –from Isaiah 6

Isaiah 7: He is God’s hand and mouth extended to speak to others as the prophet God has called him to be

  • The first message is to have faith and don’t lose hope (v1-9)
  • The second message was a sign from God speaking of the coming of Jesus and God’s promise of what is to come (v10-25)

Isaiah 8: God is good to His word! His word never returns void!

  • Isaiah’s Son as a Sign to the People (v1-4)
  • Because people don’t pay attention to the warnings, The Emperor of Assyria Is Coming (v5-10)
  • God will direct the path of the righteous and so, The Lord Warns the Prophet (v11-15)
  • Put your hope and trust in God alone. Don’t be like others who Consult the Dead (v16-20)
  • Put your hope and trust in God. Don’t curse Him or those He has put in authority over you. (v21-22)

Isaiah 9: Speaks of the return of Jesus as the King

  • 6A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” “Prince of Peace.” 7His royal power will continue to grow; his kingdom will always be at peace. He will rule as King David’s successor, basing his power on right and justice, from now until the end of time. The Lord Almighty is determined to do all this.
  • Disobedience to God opens the door to trials, troubles, pain.

Isaiah 10: God can use everyone for His purpose. What would it take to get your attention? Who would need to step into your life? Would it need to be someone in high authority?

  • Would it take: The Emperor of Assyria as the Instrument of God
  • Where will you put your trust? In whom will you put your hope and trust?
  • God’s got it all under control

Take a look around… What do you see?


Consider what you have learned, read, seen and what you can infer from what you see around you today. Consider what you know and the truth and how what your sense are telling you about today. Consider the sounds, the smells, the tastes, the feelings, and the sights and what they speak to you today.

Don’t miss out because you aren’t paying attention. Don’t give up because you aren’t seeing it yet. Consider the signs you know come first. Consider the order of operations that are needed. You till, you plant, you water and then you watch God make it grow! There is a process to it all. Consider the times you are living in! Consider what your purpose is in it! What are you putting your trust in? Is it something that will last? Something that go beyond your life on earth?

What do you see?


Today’s reading starts with …

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

(Matthew 24.32-35; Mark 13.28-31)
29Then Jesus told them this parable: “Think of the fig tree and all the other trees. 30When you see their leaves beginning to appear, you know that summer is near. 31In the same way, when you see these things happening, you will know that the Kingdom of God is about to come. 32“Remember that all these things will take place before the people now living have all died. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
–from Luke 21

Today’s reading continues into the importance of paying attention with…

The Need to Watch

34“Be careful not to let yourselves become occupied with too much feasting and drinking and with the worries of this life, or that Day may suddenly catch you 35like a trap. For it will come upon all people everywhere on earth. 36Be on watch and pray always that you will have the strength to go safely through all those things that will happen and to stand before the Son of Man.” 37  Jesus spent those days teaching in the Temple, and when evening came, he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives. 38Early each morning all the people went to the Temple to listen to him. –from Luke 21

Do you notice what time it is? How are you living? What is your life saying about your purpose at this time in history?

If you are reading this, then it’s not too late for you yet. You still have time to take a hold of the time you are living in and turn to true north and set your life not only in motion, but in the right direction as well. You still have time to turn back to God and start to live each day with Him! God chose to make a way that allows us all to be able to be reconciled back to Himself! He took things into His own hands to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way.

God’s Word continues today with the following…

Jesus Is Greater than Moses

1My Christian friends, who also have been called by God! Think of Jesus, whom God sent to be the High Priest of the faith we profess. 2 He was faithful to God, who chose him to do this work, just as Moses was faithful in his work in God’s house. 3A man who builds a house receives more honor than the house itself. In the same way Jesus is worthy of much greater honor than Moses. 4Every house, of course, is built by someone—and God is the one who has built all things. 5Moses was faithful in God’s house as a servant, and he spoke of the things that God would say in the future. 6But Christ is faithful as the Son in charge of God’s house. We are his house if we keep up our courage and our confidence in what we hope for.

A Rest for God’s People

7  So then, as the Holy Spirit says, “If you hear God’s voice today, 8do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God, as they were that day in the desert when they put him to the test. 9There they put me to the test and tried me, says God, although they had seen what I did for forty years. 10And so I was angry with those people and said, ‘They are always disloyal and refuse to obey my commands.’ 11I was angry and made a solemn promise: ‘They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest!’” 12My friends, be careful that none of you have a heart so evil and unbelieving that you will turn away from the living God. 13Instead, in order that none of you be deceived by sin and become stubborn, you must help one another every day, as long as the word “Today” in the scripture applies to us. 14For we are all partners with Christ if we hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at the beginning. 15  This is what the scripture says: “If you hear God’s voice today, do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God.” 16  Who were the people who heard God’s voice and rebelled against him? All those who were led out of Egypt by Moses. 17With whom was God angry for forty years? With the people who sinned, who fell down dead in the desert. 18When God made his solemn promise, “They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest”—of whom was he speaking? Of those who rebelled. 19We see, then, that they were not able to enter the land, because they did not believe.
–from Hebrews 3

Let’s take time to seek God through His Word and receive the truth that will set us free. Let’s remember the truth of how nothing can separate from the love of God! Let’s choose to follow after Jesus! Let’s choose to walk with God every step of every day! And let His light shine in and through us that we will become more and more like Him every day!

And when we need wisdom turn to God’s Word! Today’s word from Proverbs is…

16Anyone stupid enough to promise to be responsible for a stranger’s debts ought to have their own property held to guarantee payment. 17What you get by dishonesty you may enjoy like the finest food, but sooner or later it will be like a mouthful of sand. 18Get good advice and you will succeed; don’t go charging into battle without a plan. 19A gossip can never keep a secret. Stay away from people who talk too much. 20If you curse your parents, your life will end like a lamp that goes out in the dark. 21The more easily you get your wealth, the less good it will do you. 22Don’t take it on yourself to repay a wrong. Trust the Lord and he will make it right. 23The Lord hates people who use dishonest scales and weights. 24The Lord has determined our path; how then can anyone understand the direction his own life is taking? 25Think carefully before you promise an offering to God. You might regret it later. 26A wise king will find out who is doing wrong, and will punish him without pity. 27The Lord gave us mind and conscience; we cannot hide from ourselves. 28A king will remain in power as long as his rule is honest, just, and fair. 29We admire the strength of youth and respect the gray hair of age. 30Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.