Thanksgiving … It’s not just a day and it’s not just an attitude!


Today there was a great sermon message speaking to being thankful. It spoke of three stages of thankfulness and many biblical examples of how they can and have been applied. Thanksgiving is to be something we do all the time, continually, in all our ways, in all circumstances. Thanksgiving is something we should have because we allow the peace of Christ be the controlling factor in our hearts.

Scriptures:


The Grumble Free Year – imagine that. Imagine the experiment which was written and shared thru The Grumble-Free Year: Twelve Months, Eleven Family Members, and One Impossible Goal (Book by Tricia Goyer).


Complaining and grumbling come naturally, no need to teach or train how to do that. Sometime it becomes so common place in our lives that we diminish the affect it has on the relationships around us by driving a wedge between us and who or whatever we are complaining about it. It also is something that affects and offense to God. Everyday God gives everything we need. We have new mercies every morning from God. Imagine the impact of grumbling on an 11 day trip to the promised land became 4 decades of wandering in the desert.

‘The L ord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I put up with this evil congregation who murmur [in discontent] against Me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites, which they are making against Me. Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the L ord , ‘just what you have spoken in My hearing I will most certainly do to you; your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness, even all who were numbered of you, your entire number from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against Me. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, not one of you shall enter the land in which I swore [an oath] to settle you. ‘

Numbers 14:26-30

Just because you think you are grumbling against others doesn’t mean that it isn’t being heard or offensive to God. Don’t you want to give God the glory He so deserves? Grumbling and complaining it keeps us out of the promises God has for us. It is important to not only try to change our attitude without starting in the heart but it doesn’t end there.

Gratitude and thankfulness take practice and efforts. How can we grow and develop in this area? After the 40 years and the new generation is getting ready to enter into the promised land, we see how Moses speaks to them to not forget what God has done for you.

‘When you have eaten and are satisfied, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. ‘

Deuteronomy 8:10

Consider these words of Moses as the people were about to enter into the promised land: “FOR THE

This is the basic level of gratitude. Looking back and giving God thanks for the blessings He has already given into your life. Thanksgiving begins in the heart.
Thank You God FOR THE _______________.

Inward grumbling can still be known and heard by God! Can you be thankful for what you have, for the abilities you have, for the time, for the provision.

‘Bless and affectionately praise the Lord , O my soul, And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name. Bless and affectionately praise the Lord , O my soul, And do not forget any of His benefits; Who forgives all your sins, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle. ‘

Psalms 103:1-5

We need to look back and be thankful. We need to share and learn of the stories of what God has done so that we can not only be thankful but also share reasons to be thankful. Don’t stop at this level.

Consider the words of David in the midst of the valley: “EVEN THOUGH

‘Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord .’

Psalms 23:4-6

We can now take our gratitude to the next level, EVEN THOUGH. David is thanking God even though he is in a dark time in his life, even though he is walking thru a valley, even though his enemies are after him. What might try to get you ungrateful, discourage, depressed, or even angry that would be considered enemies of you? Enemy of insecurity? fear? doubt? illness? sickness? challenge? difficulty? In the midst of it all God wants to commune with you. Looking back is the FOR THE, in the middle of all that is going on right now, EVEN THOUGH, even if everything is going bad around me, God is with me through it.

‘Though the fig tree does not blossom And there is no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive fails And the fields produce no food, Though the flock is cut off from the fold And there are no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord ; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation! The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.’

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Even though … Habakkuk says that he will choose to rejoice, to shout in exultation for God’s salvation.

‘Even though He kills me; I will hope in Him. Nevertheless, I will argue my ways to His face. ‘

Job 13:15

Job has a maturing level of thankfulness and gratitude. LIke Paul and Silas in prison – they choose to sing at the midnight hour, the darkness part of the night and God opens the doors of the prison. We need to sing praises to our Jesus! We need to sing praises to our God! God brings a new aspect when we are generous with our praise!

Consider the words of Paul: “BECAUSE OF

‘Now I want you to know, believers, that what has happened to me [this imprisonment that was meant to stop me] has actually served to advance [the spread of] the good news [regarding salvation]. My imprisonment in [the cause of] Christ has become common knowledge throughout the whole praetorian (imperial) guard and to everyone else. Because of my chains [seeing that I am doing well and that God is accomplishing great things], most of the brothers have renewed confidence in the Lord, and have far more courage to speak the word of God [concerning salvation] without fear [of the consequences, seeing that God can work His good in all circumstances].

but the former preach Christ [insincerely] out of selfish ambition [just self-promotion], thinking that they are causing me distress in my imprisonment. What then [does it matter]? So long as in every way, whether in pretense [for self-promotion] or in all honesty [to spread the truth], Christ is being preached; and in this I rejoice. Y es, and I will rejoice [later as well], ‘

Philippians 1:12-14, 17-18

The next level of gratitude is BECAUSE OF what we are going thru. It is thanking God because of His purpose in the midst of the challenges. We might not understand the situation and we know that God in and through it all is doing something in and thru me that I am going to trust are going to be good! Paul shows how because he was in chains people were coming to Jesus. He is getting prison guards saved because of him being in prison. The message of Christ is being preach and so Paul gives God praise and thanks BECAUSE of it all. He is grateful and gracious level. We can take holder of

‘And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. ‘

Romans 8:28

God’s Word speaks to how God works all things together for good for those who love God! We know from God’s Word that he works all things together for good for those who love God and called according to His purposes. We can be grateful for each element of our lives no matter how good or bad, because He knows the bigger picture and how they are all working together, the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to come out with purpose and good. A BECAUSE OF attitude isn’t that we are thankful because of each of the bad things that happen, but because of God’s truth that we read in Romans 8:28 and can take hold

‘While Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance; and they raised their voices and called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were [miraculously] healed and made clean. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying and praising and honoring God with a loud voice; and he lay face downward at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him [over and over]. He was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten [of you] cleansed? Where are the [other] nine? Was there no one found to return and to give thanks and praise to God, except this foreigner?” Jesus said to him, “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power] has restored you to health.” Now having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed or with a visible display; nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].” ‘

Luke 17:11-19

We can look and find good in everything, no matter how bad things get. God keeps his eyes on us, just like He did like the lepers. Jesus gave them instructions to follow before He healed them. We need to follow God’s basic instructions. As they were going to show themselves to the priest, all 10 were cleansed and one saw that they were healed, they kept walking and believing while they were headed to the priest. One turned back and fell to his knees and cried out to Jesus “Thank you”. How many cry out for help but don’t turn back and cry out Thank you? They were probably all thankful of the healing in their hearts. Only one returned to express his thanks to Jesus.

Challenge today grow in our expression of gratitude rather than just our attitude of gratitude. What has God done to you and how are you going to express it?

Sing your praise to the Lord! Praise all that you have to be thankful for!

Starts in the heart but don’t let it end there, let it be an expression of gratitude! Let’s not neglect to express our gratitude to God!


Thank you for such an incredible message Pastor Larry Murrell (@sermon8tor) Thanksgiving … It’s not just a day and it’s not just an attitude! https://www.facebook.com/eastridgechurch/videos/551859588966793/


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:

Do you realize the impact you are having on others?


Featured image for this post comes from someone I started to follow over a decade ago, during a time when I need to have positive truths spoken over me and so I had him and others tweets going to my phone to help encourage me throughout the days…Today you can follow him on FB too.


Do you realize that your attitude impacts others? Do you realize that your responses impact others? Do you realize that a negative attitude impacts more than just yourself? Do you realize that a downer attitude impacts the performance of others? Ever considered why you are acting that way? Is there some issue that hasn’t been resolved that may require you to forgive someone? Is there some issue that continues to escalate because you haven’t dealt with it head on? You don’t want to be a downer right? You don’t want to make everyone around you down right? Do you realize a positive attitude impacts others too? Do you realize that when you walk around with a positive mental attitude it helps those around you too? Do you realize that when you walk around with the joy of the Lord as your strength it helps those around you? Do you realize that when you walk around as salt and light in the world, it makes a difference? Your attitude and your behavior impacts those around you and only you can decide how you are going to live it out. Do you realize how much of an impact your having on others?


Today’s reading gets us started in 2 Samuel 19 where we see how David’s attitude was impacting all his people, so how will you live out your today? Do you need a checkup from the neck up? Do you need someone to intervene? Do you need a booming voice encounter with God? Do you need a song that breaks thru the attitude? Why not invite God in and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you? Why not hear it and be obedient to what God instructs you?

‘Word soon reached Joab that the king was weeping and mourning for Absalom. As all the people heard of the king’s deep grief for his son, the joy of that day’s victory was turned into deep sadness. They crept back into the town that day as though they were ashamed and had deserted in battle. The king covered his face with his hands and kept on crying, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!” Then Joab went to the king’s room and said to him, “We saved your life today and the lives of your sons, your daughters, and your wives and concubines. Yet you act like this, making us feel ashamed of ourselves. You seem to love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that your commanders and troops mean nothing to you. It seems that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died, you would be pleased. Now go out there and congratulate your troops, for I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a single one of them will remain here tonight. Then you will be worse off than ever before.” So the king went out and took his seat at the town gate, and as the news spread throughout the town that he was there, everyone went to him. Meanwhile, the Israelites who had supported Absalom fled to their homes. And throughout all the tribes of Israel there was much discussion and argument going on. The people were saying, “The king rescued us from our enemies and saved us from the Philistines, but Absalom chased him out of the country. Now Absalom, whom we anointed to rule over us, is dead. Why not ask David to come back and be our king again?” Then King David sent Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, to say to the elders of Judah, “Why are you the last ones to welcome back the king into his palace? For I have heard that all Israel is ready. You are my relatives, my own tribe, my own flesh and blood! So why are you the last ones to welcome back the king?” And David told them to tell Amasa, “Since you are my own flesh and blood, like Joab, may God strike me and even kill me if I do not appoint you as commander of my army in his place.” Then Amasa convinced all the men of Judah, and they responded unanimously. They sent word to the king, “Return to us, and bring back all who are with you.” So the king started back to Jerusalem. And when he arrived at the Jordan River, the people of Judah came to Gilgal to meet him and escort him across the river. Shimei son of Gera, the man from Bahurim in Benjamin, hurried across with the men of Judah to welcome King David. A thousand other men from the tribe of Benjamin were with him, including Ziba, the chief servant of the house of Saul, and Ziba’s fifteen sons and twenty servants. They rushed down to the Jordan to meet the king. They crossed the shallows of the Jordan to bring the king’s household across the river, helping him in every way they could. As the king was about to cross the river, Shimei fell down before him. “My lord the king, please forgive me,” he pleaded. “Forget the terrible thing your servant did when you left Jerusalem. May the king put it out of his mind. I know how much I sinned. That is why I have come here today, the very first person in all Israel to greet my lord the king.” Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said, “Shimei should die, for he cursed the Lord ’s anointed king!” “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah!” David exclaimed. “Why have you become my adversary today? This is not a day for execution, for today I am once again the king of Israel!” Then, turning to Shimei, David vowed, “Your life will be spared.” Now Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson, came down from Jerusalem to meet the king. He had not cared for his feet, trimmed his beard, or washed his clothes since the day the king left Jerusalem. “Why didn’t you come with me, Mephibosheth?” the king asked him. Mephibosheth replied, “My lord the king, my servant Ziba deceived me. I told him, ‘Saddle my donkey so I can go with the king.’ For as you know I am crippled. Ziba has slandered me by saying that I refused to come. But I know that my lord the king is like an angel of God, so do what you think is best. All my relatives and I could expect only death from you, my lord, but instead you have honored me by allowing me to eat at your own table! What more can I ask?” “You’ve said enough,” David replied. “I’ve decided that you and Ziba will divide your land equally between you.” “Give him all of it,” Mephibosheth said. “I am content just to have you safely back again, my lord the king!” Barzillai of Gilead had come down from Rogelim to escort the king across the Jordan. He was very old—eighty years of age—and very wealthy. He was the one who had provided food for the king during his stay in Mahanaim. “Come across with me and live in Jerusalem,” the king said to Barzillai. “I will take care of you there.” “No,” he replied, “I am far too old to go with the king to Jerusalem. I am eighty years old today, and I can no longer enjoy anything. Food and wine are no longer tasty, and I cannot hear the singers as they sing. I would only be a burden to my lord the king. Just to go across the Jordan River with the king is all the honor I need! Then let me return again to die in my own town, where my father and mother are buried. But here is your servant, my son Kimham. Let him go with my lord the king and receive whatever you want to give him.” “Good,” the king agreed. “Kimham will go with me, and I will help him in any way you would like. And I will do for you anything you want.” So all the people crossed the Jordan with the king. After David had blessed Barzillai and kissed him, Barzillai returned to his own home. The king then crossed over to Gilgal, taking Kimham with him. All the troops of Judah and half the troops of Israel escorted the king on his way. But all the men of Israel complained to the king, “The men of Judah stole the king and didn’t give us the honor of helping take you, your household, and all your men across the Jordan.” The men of Judah replied, “The king is one of our own kinsmen. Why should this make you angry? We haven’t eaten any of the king’s food or received any special favors!” “But there are ten tribes in Israel,” the others replied. “So we have ten times as much right to the king as you do. What right do you have to treat us with such contempt? Weren’t we the first to speak of bringing him back to be our king again?” The argument continued back and forth, and the men of Judah spoke even more harshly than the men of Israel.’

2 Samuel 19

‘This message was given concerning Moab. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “What sorrow awaits the city of Nebo; it will soon lie in ruins. The city of Kiriathaim will be humiliated and captured; the fortress will be humiliated and broken down. No one will ever brag about Moab again, for in Heshbon there is a plot to destroy her. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘we will cut her off from being a nation.’ The town of Madmen, too, will be silenced; the sword will follow you there. Listen to the cries from Horonaim, cries of devastation and great destruction. All Moab is destroyed. Her little ones will cry out. Her refugees weep bitterly, climbing the slope to Luhith. They cry out in terror, descending the slope to Horonaim. Flee for your lives! Hide in the wilderness! Because you have trusted in your wealth and skill, you will be taken captive. Your god Chemosh, with his priests and officials, will be hauled off to distant lands! “All the towns will be destroyed, and no one will escape— either on the plateaus or in the valleys, for the Lord has spoken. Oh, that Moab had wings so she could fly away, for her towns will be left empty, with no one living in them. Cursed are those who refuse to do the Lord ’s work, who hold back their swords from shedding blood! “From his earliest history, Moab has lived in peace, never going into exile. He is like wine that has been allowed to settle. He has not been poured from flask to flask, and he is now fragrant and smooth. But the time is coming soon,” says the Lord , “when I will send men to pour him from his jar. They will pour him out, then shatter the jar! At last Moab will be ashamed of his idol Chemosh, as the people of Israel were ashamed of their gold calf at Bethel. “You used to boast, ‘We are heroes, mighty men of war.’ But now Moab and his towns will be destroyed. His most promising youth are doomed to slaughter,” says the King, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Destruction is coming fast for Moab; calamity threatens ominously. You friends of Moab, weep for him and cry! See how the strong scepter is broken, how the beautiful staff is shattered! “Come down from your glory and sit in the dust, you people of Dibon, for those who destroy Moab will shatter Dibon, too. They will tear down all your towers. You people of Aroer, stand beside the road and watch. Shout to those who flee from Moab, ‘What has happened there?’ “And the reply comes back, ‘Moab lies in ruins, disgraced; weep and wail! Tell it by the banks of the Arnon River: Moab has been destroyed!’ Judgment has been poured out on the towns of the plateau— on Holon and Jahaz and Mephaath, on Dibon and Nebo and Beth-diblathaim, on Kiriathaim and Beth-gamul and Beth-meon, on Kerioth and Bozrah— all the towns of Moab, far and near. “The strength of Moab has ended. His arm has been broken,” says the Lord . “Let him stagger and fall like a drunkard, for he has rebelled against the Lord . Moab will wallow in his own vomit, ridiculed by all. Did you not ridicule the people of Israel? Were they caught in the company of thieves that you should despise them as you do? “You people of Moab, flee from your towns and live in the caves. Hide like doves that nest in the clefts of the rocks. We have all heard of the pride of Moab, for his pride is very great. We know of his lofty pride, his arrogance, and his haughty heart. I know about his insolence,” says the Lord , “but his boasts are empty— as empty as his deeds. So now I wail for Moab; yes, I will mourn for Moab. My heart is broken for the men of Kir-hareseth. “You people of Sibmah, rich in vineyards, I will weep for you even more than I did for Jazer. Your spreading vines once reached as far as the Dead Sea, but the destroyer has stripped you bare! He has harvested your grapes and summer fruits. Joy and gladness are gone from fruitful Moab. The presses yield no wine. No one treads the grapes with shouts of joy. There is shouting, yes, but not of joy. “Instead, their awful cries of terror can be heard from Heshbon clear across to Elealeh and Jahaz; from Zoar all the way to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up now. “I will put an end to Moab,” says the Lord , “for the people offer sacrifices at the pagan shrines and burn incense to their false gods. My heart moans like a flute for Moab and Kir-hareseth, for all their wealth has disappeared. The people shave their heads and beards in mourning. They slash their hands and put on clothes made of burlap. There is crying and sorrow in every Moabite home and on every street. For I have smashed Moab like an old, unwanted jar. How it is shattered! Hear the wailing! See the shame of Moab! It has become an object of ridicule, an example of ruin to all its neighbors.” This is what the Lord says: “Look! The enemy swoops down like an eagle, spreading his wings over Moab. Its cities will fall, and its strongholds will be seized. Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish like a woman in labor. Moab will no longer be a nation, for it has boasted against the Lord . “Terror and traps and snares will be your lot, O Moab,” says the Lord . “Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap, and those who escape the trap will step into a snare. I will see to it that you do not get away, for the time of your judgment has come,” says the Lord . “The people flee as far as Heshbon but are unable to go on. For a fire comes from Heshbon, King Sihon’s ancient home, to devour the entire land with all its rebellious people. “What sorrow awaits you, O people of Moab! The people of the god Chemosh are destroyed! Your sons and your daughters have been taken away as captives. But I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come. I, the Lord , have spoken!” This is the end of Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning Moab.’

Jeremiah 48

‘“Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time. Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.) Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.” Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” For the third time he demanded, “Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.” But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed. So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded. As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.’

Luke 23:6-25

‘Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things. Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen. This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him. If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us. If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.’

2 Timothy 2:1-13

‘Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock. O God, enthroned above the cherubim, display your radiant glory to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Show us your mighty power. Come to rescue us! Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved. O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, how long will you be angry with our prayers? You have fed us with sorrow and made us drink tears by the bucketful. You have made us the scorn of neighboring nations. Our enemies treat us as a joke. Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved. You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine; you drove away the pagan nations and transplanted us into your land. You cleared the ground for us, and we took root and filled the land. Our shade covered the mountains; our branches covered the mighty cedars. We spread our branches west to the Mediterranean Sea; our shoots spread east to the Euphrates River. But now, why have you broken down our walls so that all who pass by may steal our fruit? The wild boar from the forest devours it, and the wild animals feed on it. Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Look down from heaven and see our plight. Take care of this grapevine that you yourself have planted, this son you have raised for yourself. For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies. May they perish at the sight of your frown. Strengthen the man you love, the son of your choice. Then we will never abandon you again. Revive us so we can call on your name once more. Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.’

Psalms 80

What are you known for?


At home, what are you known for? In your neighborhood, what are you known for? In your workplace, what are you known for? In your school, what are you known for? In your team, what are you known for? In your group, what are you known for?

Is it what you really want to be known for? Do you want to be known for being the happiest person? Do you want to be known as the most inspiring person? Do you want to be known as the most encouraging person? Do you want to be known as the most loving person? Do you want to be known as the most caring person? Do you want to be known as the most sharing person? Do you want to be known as the most welcoming person? Do you want to be known as the most authentic person? Do you want to be known as a generous person? Do you want to be known as a praying person? Do you want to be known as the most forgiving person? Do you want to be known as the most difficult person? Do you want to be known as the most disruptive person? Do you want to be known as the most annoying person? Do you want to be known as the most phony person? … What do you really want to be known for?

So how are you living today? How would that have to change (if it does) for you to be known for what you want to be known for? How would that impact you and your world? How would that change things? How would that make a difference?

Today’s reading comes out of Acts 10 and kicks off talking about Cornelius and speaks to what he was known for…

Peter and Cornelius

‘At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa. ‘

Peter’s Vision

‘The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven. Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.” And Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?” And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.” So he invited them in to be his guests. The next day he rose and went away with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.” And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.” ‘

Gentiles Hear the Good News

‘So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” ‘

The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles

‘While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days. ‘

–from Acts 10:1-48

What type of character are you known for? What type of attitude are you known for? What type of personality are you known for?

Today’s devotional comes from Acts 10:34-35…

‘So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. ‘ — Acts 10:34-35

Are you known as being impartial? Today’s devotional speaks of G.W. Offley and how the Bible supported arguments against slavery. It points even to his autobiography “A Narrative of the Life and Labors of the Rev. G.W. Offley” and quotes…

Therefore we may be oppressed by man, but never morally degraded, only as we are made willing subjects to do sinful acts against what we know or have the power to know is wrong in the sight of God and man.

No difference how poor we are, if we are respectable, honest, and upright, with God, ourselves, and our fellow man. For St. Peter declares, Acts 10, 34-35, that God is no respecter of persons. But in every nation, he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. And if any man is accepted with his God, then oppression, nor prejudice, or prisons, or chains, or whips, or anything formed by man, cannot degrade us. No, we must voluntarily subscribe to some mean act before we can be mean or low in the sight of our dear Lord and Master.

— above grabbed from http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/offley/offley.html

Jesus wasn’t selective! Jesus died for everyone! So the opportunity is available for everyone to receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Imagine someone asking you if you are religious. I replied “what do you mean by religious?” I explained about how I had learned it isn’t about rituals and routines. It isn’t about have too but it is about get to. It isn’t about need to but it is about want to. It isn’t about about following rules but it is about a relationship with Jesus. It was when that moment and realization happened that I was changed. We got interrupted and so I never got to finish answering the next question which was “how did that happen?”

In my case, God got me out of my comfort zone – the normal, the usual, the day to day was changing. In this new environment I then received an invitation to attend a Christmas church production/service. I felt so at home compared to past church experiences. It felt different and the pastor was preaching from the Bible. At the end of the service he mentioned about inviting Jesus into our hearts and receiving him as our Lord and Savior and starting a relationship with Him. It was the aha that I was missing. God took me that day and started to bring the full picture together. I learned about baptism. I learned about the importance of being part of the body. I learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I learned about the Bible by attending Wednesday night Bible studies. I went to Cleansing Stream which helped break strongholds and chains from my past. God took me right where I was and helped me move forward towards who He created me to be. He’s not done yet and neither am I — seeing as I am still here — but it was the change I needed and the truth I needed in order to receive Jesus and start my life journey with Him — in a true and living relationship where I can move out in faith and allow Him to lead me and guide me, granting me wisdom and peace, courage and boldness, to do and become the man of God He desires for me to be. I am hoping we will get to continue our conversation. There is a program at our church now called Alpha which I believe will help bridge the gap too. It didn’t exist at the church when I started but it is a great way to help people learn and understand God and His Word and who Jesus is and what it is all about.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I pray Lord that You will renew my strength and help me Lord to be who You created me to be and to do what You prepared in advance for me to accomplish. Help me Lord to be known as Your child. Help me Lord to be known as Your light. Help me Lord to be known as Your salt. Help me to be known as a good steward of all that You have given me. And may in all that I say, think, and do, lift You up and glorify You and praise You in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

What type of attitude are you walking around with?


How is it impacting your behavior? How is it impacting your frame of mind? How is it impacting your health? How is it impacting your words? How is it impacting your responses?

What is your posture saying about your attitude? Body language tells people a lot more than words and tone. (55% body language, 38% tone, 7% words) – Do words matter? Yes. Does how you say it matter? Yes. Does your attitude about it expressed your body language matter? Yes. Are you smiling? Even when you write an email? Even when you are on the phone? How about when you are in person?

It matters!

So what type of an attitude are you living with? It will impact you and the people around you either way. Is it positive or negative? Is it filled with gratitude or is it filled with criticism, disapproval, admonition, or condemnation? Is it filled with gratitude or is it filled with disregard or neglect?

Do you realize what Jesus already did for you? Do you realize what He is able to do for you now if or when you walk out this life in relationship with Him? Are you grateful? Is your attitude walking thru life reflecting your gratitude? Are you able to let His light shine through your life? Are you inviting Him into every area of  your life? Are you allowing Him to be Lord of all your life or is He not Lord at all in your life?

Don’t walk around with worry or regret! Let’s do what God’s Word through the apostle Paul recommends…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

–from Philippians 4:6

Not just some situation, not just the easier ones, not just the harder ones, it says EVERY SITUATION! So let’s take hold of this truth and in every situation, let’s invite God into it so that you can celebrate with Him the good ones and be encouraged and receive wisdom and discernment when they are hard ones. Let’s talk to God about it! Let’s intercede about the situation! When we don’t know what to say or what to pray, let’s lean on the Holy Spirit as we are moaning, groaning about the situation to be our intercessor to the Father! He knows what we have need of even before we ask, so it become more a matter of humility and being able to turn to Him and invite Him into the situation! Let’s be willing to appeal to God about the situation! Let’s be willing to call on God in our situations because we know He loves and cares for us! Ask Jesus to help! Help you and be grateful! Help others and be grateful!

So will you live out today with an attitude of gratitude? Will you live out today with thanksgiving and praise? Will you walk out today with God, talking with Him and not running away from Him? Including Him in every conversation, decision, and get direction from Him?

This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Let’s take time to get filled up with God’s Word for today…


Attitude of Gratitude

Day 277: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Publicly offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving … Psalm 116:12-19
  2. Continually give thanks to God … Colossians 1:1-23
  3. Beware of neglecting thanksgiving … Jeremiah 7:30-9:16

What are you asking for? Do you realize what will happen if you get what you want?


Consider closely what you are asking for. Consider the consequences and the reason for the ask. Consider the benefits and the drawbacks. Consider how your priorities should be. Consider your needs vs your wants. What are you asking for? Do you realize what will happen if you get what you want? What is your heart in that area? What is your intent? What is your reason? What is your purpose?

Is God enough? Is there any reason you might try to do God plus? Is there any reason why you might try inserting someone else into part of the areas that God takes care of? Are you rejecting him?

Today’s reading start in 1 Samuel when the people of Israel are asking for a king…

Israel Demands a King

1Now when Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. 2The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second Abijah—they were judges in Beersheba. 3His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain—they took bribes and perverted justice. 4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5and said to him, “Behold, you have grown old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us—like all the nations.” 6But the matter was displeasing in Samuel’s eyes when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to Adonai. 7Then Adonai said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you. For they have not rejected you, rather they have rejected Me from being king over them. 8Like all the deeds that they have done since the day I brought them out of Egypt to this day—forsaking Me and worshiping other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9So now, listen to their voice. However, you must earnestly forewarn them, and declare to them the rulings of the king who will reign over them.” 10Now Samuel reported all the words of Adonai to the people who were asking him for a king. 11“This will be the practice of the king that will reign over you,” he said. “He will draft your sons and assign them as his charioteers and horsemen, and they will run before his chariots. 12He will appoint them as commanders of thousands and captains of fifties, also some to plow his fields, reap his harvest, make his weapons of war and the equipment for his chariots. 13Also he will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks and bakers. 14He will seize the best of your fields, vineyards and olive groves, and give them to his courtiers. 15He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage and give it to his officials and slaves. 16He will also take your male and female servants, your best young men and your donkeys and make them do his work. 17He will also take the tenth of your flocks. Then you yourselves will become his slaves. 18When the day comes and you cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, Adonai will not answer you on that day.” 19But the people refused to listen to Samuel, and they said, “No! But a king should be over us! 20So we may become like all the nations—having our king who will judge us, go out before us and fight our battles.” 21After Samuel heard all the words of the people, he reported them back in the hearing of Adonai. 22Adonai said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint a king to reign for them.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go, each one to his town.”

–from 1 Samuel 8

Consider the warning signs. Consider the consequences. Realize you will need to live with your decision. We all have free wills and as such we get to choose, so choose wisely!

Do you realize that in the midst of the daily things, God can raise you up? Do you realize within the mundane or boring tasks of a day, God can open up a door you didn’t even realize was available? God has a plan! God has a purpose! How will you respond? How will you act? How will you be? When you are wondering or having questions where do you turn? Will you turn and ask God? Will you ask a friend who has godly wisdom? Will you ask someone who has faith and will pray and give you an answer?

Saul Meets Samuel

1Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish son of Abiel son of Zeror son of Becorath son of Aphiah son of a Benjamite. He was a mighty man of valor 2and he had a son whose name was Saul—young and handsome—there was no one among Bnei-Yisrael better than him. From his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people. 3Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take now one of the servants with you, get up and look for the donkeys.” 4So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of Benjamin, but still did not find them. 5When they arrived in the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant with him, “Come, let’s go back—otherwise my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and start worrying about us.” 6Then his servant said to him, “Behold now, there is a man of God in this town, and he is a man held in honor—everything he says is sure to come true. Now, let’s go there. Perhaps he’ll tell us the way we should go.” 7Then said Saul to his servant, “But look, if we go, what would we bring the man? For the bread is gone from our sacks, and there is nothing to bring to the man of God as a present. What do we have?” 8The servant answered Saul again and said, “Behold, I have in my hand a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God and he will tell us our way.” 9(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he said, “Come, let’s go to the seer”—for today’s prophet was formerly called a seer.) 10Then Saul said to his servant, “Well said. Come, let’s go!” So they went to the town where the man of God was. 11As they went up the hill to the town, they found some girls going out to draw water, and they asked them, “Is the seer here?” 12They answered them and said, “He is there, ahead of you. Hurry now, for he has come today to the town because people have a sacrifice at the high place today. 13As soon as you enter the town, you’ll find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, because he must first bless the sacrifice—afterward the guests can eat. So now, get up, for you will find him at once.” 14So they went up to the town. As they were entering the town, behold, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the high place. 15One day before Saul came, Adonai had revealed to Samuel saying: 16“Tomorrow about this time, I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you will anoint him ruler over My people Israel. He will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines. I have observed My people, because their cry has come to Me.” 17When Samuel saw Saul, Adonai spoke to him, “Behold, this is the man I told you about. This one will govern My people.” 18Then Saul approached Samuel inside the gate and asked, “Tell me, please, where the seer’s house is?” 19Samuel answered Saul by saying, “I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place. For today you will eat with me. In the morning when I send you off, I will tell you everything that is in your heart. 20As for the donkeys that you lost three days ago, don’t set your heart on them, for they have been found. Now, for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s household?” 21Saul answered by saying, “Am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my clan is the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? So why do you say such things to me?” 22Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall, and gave them a place at the head of the guests, who numbered about 30 people. 23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion that I gave you and told you to set aside.” 24So the cook took up the thigh, raised it, and set it before Saul. Then he said, “Here is what has been reserved! Set it before you and eat, because it has been kept until this appointed time for you, since I said, ‘I have invited the people.’” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25When they came down from the high place to the town, he spoke with Saul on the roof. 26They rose early, and at daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof saying, “Get up, so I may send you off.” So Saul got up, and both of them, he and Samuel, went outside. 27As they were going down toward the edge of town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell your servant to go ahead of us and pass on, but as for you, stand still awhile, so that I may proclaim to you the word of God.”

–from 1 Samuel 9

Don’t let success or position or power go to your head! Stay humble! Stay with a servant’s heart! Don’t try to go it alone, put your trust in God! Success can be one of the biggest challenges and struggles in life! So realize it, prepare for it, and press through it with God and in God’s way!

Do you realize how God’s views are different from those of the world! Do you realize the importance of attitude? Do you realize it is possible to be content in every situation? Do you realize that you have a purpose? Do you realize that you are to make a difference? Do you realize that you are supposed to be different? Do you realize that you are being called to a higher standard? Do you realize your response is supposed to be different? Do you realize you are to respond with love? Do you realize that means even if someone is attacking or hating you? So what will you do now that you do know?

Drash on the Mountain

1Now when Yeshua saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain. And after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
2And He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.
12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great! For in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Called to Be Salt and Light

13“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt should lose its flavor, how shall it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on a lampstand so it gives light to all in the house.
16In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Filling the Law to the Fullest

17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.
18Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.
19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Torah scholars, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven!
21“You have heard it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever commits murder shall be subject to judgment.’
22But I tell you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca’ shall be subject to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be subject to fiery Gehenna.
23“Therefore if you are presenting your offering upon the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24leave your offering there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
25“Make friends quickly with your opponent while you are with him on the way. Otherwise, your opponent may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the assistant, and you will be thrown into prison.
26Amen, I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid back the last penny!
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28But I tell you that everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29And if your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away! It is better for you that one part of your body should be destroyed, than that your whole body be thrown into Gehenna.
30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you that one part of your body should be destroyed, than that your whole body go into Gehenna.
31“It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
32But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall carry out your oaths to Adonai.’
34But I tell you, do not swear at all—not by heaven, for it is the throne of God;
35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.
36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
37But let your word ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’—anything more than this is from the evil one.”

Overcoming Evil with Good

38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’
39But I tell you, do not resist an evildoer. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him also the other.
40And the one wanting to sue you and to take your shirt, let him also have your coat.
41Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
42Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they?
47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than anyone else? Even the pagans do that, don’t they?
48Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

–from Matthew 5

 

 

 

Be careful the company you keep!


Where are you spending most of your time? Who are you spending it with? How are you spending that time? What impact is it having on your life? Are you helping them? Are they helping you? Are you encouraging them in good things? Are you they encouraging you in good things? Are you they leading you astray? Are they bringing you place you shouldn’t go? What is being produced? Don’t be deceived! Don’t be tricked! Don’t be fooled! Be aware what is around you and what is taking place! Seek God’s wisdom to ensure you are staying in alignment! Consider the fruits of such a relationship!

Is the relationship producing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Against such things there is no law!

Don’t be lead astray! Don’t be lead into temptations! Don’t be lead off track!

Bad company corrupts good character

Today’s reading speaks to a time when people spent time doing the wrong things and keeping bad company…

Moabite Seduction and Phineas Arises

1While Israel was staying in Shittim, the people began to have immoral sexual relations with women from Moab. 2Then they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, so the people were eating, and bowing down before their gods. 3When Israel became bound to Baal of Peor, the anger of Adonai grew hot against Israel. 4Adonai said to Moses, “Seize all the ringleaders and hang them before Adonai facing the sun, so that Adonai’s fierce anger may be turned away from Israel.” 5So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you, kill your men who have been joining themselves to Baal of Peor.” 6Then behold, a man from Bnei-Yisrael came and brought a Midianite woman to his brothers before the eyes of Moses and of the whole assembly of Bnei-Yisrael, while they were weeping at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting! 7When Phinehas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen saw it, he arose from the midst of the assembly, took a spear in his hand, 8and went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced them through—both the Israelite man and the woman’s belly. Then the plague among Bnei-Yisrael was stopped. 9However, 24,000 were dead because of the plague!

10Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 11“Phinehas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen has turned away My anger from Bnei-Yisrael because he was very zealous for Me among them, so that I did not put an end to Bnei-Yisrael in My zeal. 12So now say: See, I am making with him a covenant of shalom! 13It will be for him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood—because he was zealous for his God and atoned for Bnei-Yisrael.” 14The name of the Israelite man killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri son of Salu, a prince of a Simeonite ancestral household. 15The name of the executed Midianite woman was Cozbi, daughter of Zur—he was a tribal head of an ancestral house in Midian. 16Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 17“Deal with the Midianites as enemies and strike them. 18For they have been enemies to you in their deceptions of you in the matter of Peor and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a Midianite prince, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague on account of the Peor incident.”

–Numbers 25

Don’t waste your inheritance! Don’t miss out on all that God has planned for you! Stick with God and allow Him and His will and His way to guide you and guard your heart and mind! Live a life transformed! Live a life that will glorify Him!

Numbering the Second Generation

1After the plague, Adonai said to Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen saying, 2“Take a headcount of the entire community of Bnei-Yisrael, sons twenty years old and upward, by their ancestral houses, all who can serve in Israel’s army.” 3So Moses and Eleazar the kohen spoke with them on the Moabite plains by the Jordan across from Jericho saying, 4“Just as Adonai commanded Moses, a census will be taken of all men of Bnei-Yisrael who came out of Egypt, from 20 years old and upward.” 5The descendants of the sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn: by Hanoch the Hanochite family, by Pallu the Palluite family, 6by Hezron the Hezronite family, and by Carmi the Carmite family, 7these Reubenite families numbered 43,730. 8The son of Pallu was Eliab. 9The sons of Eliab were Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. These were the Dathan and Abiram who were community leaders who rebelled against Moses and Aaron and were among the following of Korah in their rebellion against Adonai. 10Then the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them with Korah, whose followers died when the fire consumed the 250 men, these men serving as a warning. 11Korah’s sons, however, did not die. 12The sons of Simeon by their families were: by Nemuel the family of the Nemuelites, by Jamin the family of the Jaminites, by Jachin the family of the Jachinites, 13by Zerach the family of the Zerachites, and by Shaul the family of the Shaulites. 14These families of the Simeonites numbered 22,200. 15The sons of Gad by their families were: by Zephon the family of the Zephonites, by Haggi the family of the Haggites, by Shuni the family of the Shunites, 16by Ozni the family of the Oznites, by Eri the family of the Erites, 17by Arod the family of the Arodites, by Areli the family of the Arelites. 18The sons of Gad numbered 40,500. 19Er and Onan were sons of Judah but had died in the land of Canaan. 20The sons of Judah by their families were: by Shelah the Shelanite family, by Perez the Perezite family, by Zerach the Zerachite family. 21The sons of Perez: by Hezron the Hezronite family, by Hamul the Hamulite family. 22These were the sons of Judah. They numbered 76,500. 23The sons of Issachar by their families were: Tola and the family of the Tolaites, by Puvah the Punite family, 24by Jashub the Jashubite family, by Shimron the Shimronite family. 25These were the families of Issachar. They numbered 64,300. 26The sons of Zebulun by their families were: by Sered the family of the Seredites, by Elon the family of the Elonites, by Jahleel the family of the Jahleelites. 27These were the Zebulunite families. They numbered 60,500. 28The sons of Joseph by their families were Manasseh and Ephraim. 29The sons of Manasseh were: by Machir the family of the Machirites (Machir fathered Gilead.), by Gilead the family of the Gileadites. 30The sons of Gilead were: by Iezer the family of the Iezerites, by Helek the Helekite family, 31By Asriel the Asrielite family, by Shechem the Shechemite family, 32by Shemida the Shemidaite family, by Hepher the Hepherite family. 33Hepher’s son Zelophehad had no sons, only daughters. The names of Zelophehad’s daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 34These were the families of Manasseh. They numbered 52,700. 35These were the sons of Ephraim by their families: of Shuthelah the Shuthelahite family, of Becher the Bechrite family, of Tahan the Tahanite family. 36These were the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran the Eranite family. 37These were the families of the sons of Ephraim. These numbered 32,500. These were the sons of Joseph by their families. 38The sons of Benjamin by their families were: by Bela the Belaite family, by Ashbel the Ashbelite family, by Ahiram the Ahiramite family, 39by Shephupham the Shuphamite family, by Hupham the Huphamite family. 40The sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman. By Ard was the family of the Ardites, by Naaman the family of the Naamanites. 41These were the sons of Benjamin. They numbered 45,600. 42These were the sons of Dan by their families: by Shuham the Shuhamite family. These were the families of Dan by family. 43They were all Shuhamite families, and, they numbered 64,400. 44The sons of Asher by their families were: by Imnah the Imnite family, by Ishvi the Ishvite family, by Beriah the Beriite family. 45Through the sons of Beriah: by Heber the Heberite family, by Malchiel the Malchielite family. 46The name of Asher’s daughter was Serah. 47These were the families of Asher’s sons. They numbered 53,400. 48The sons of Naphtali by their families were: by Jahzeel the Jahzeelite family, by Guni the Gunite family, 49By Jezer the Jezrite family, by Shillem the Shillemite family. 50These were the families of Naphtali by their families. They numbered 45,400. 51These sons of Israel totaled 601,730.

52Adonai then spoke to Moses saying, 53“The land is to be divided to these as an inheritance according to the number of names. 54For the larger, you are to make his inheritance larger, and to the smaller you are to make his inheritance smaller. Each is to receive his inheritance in proportion to his population. 55Certainly the land is to be divided by lot. They will inherit it according to the names of their ancestral tribes. 56The division of the inheritance of larger and smaller tribes is to be decided by the lot.” 57These were the numbers of the Levites by their families: by Gershon the Gershonite family, by Kohath the Kohathite family, by Merari the Merarite family. 58These were the families of Levi: the Libnite family, the Hebronite family, the Machlite family, the Mushite family and the Korahite family. Kohath fathered Amram. 59Amram’s wife’s name was Jochebed daughter of Levi, who was born to the Levites in Egypt. She gave birth for Amram, Aaron and Moses, as well as Miriam their sister. 60Aaron was the father of Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 61However, Nadab and Abihu died when they offered sacrifices with unauthorized fire before Adonai. 62The male Levites a month old and upward totaled 23,000, though they were not included among Bnei-Yisrael, since He did not give them an inheritance among Bnei-Yisrael. 63These were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the kohen when they counted Bnei-Yisrael on the plains of Moab across from Jericho. 64Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the kohen when they counted Bnei-Yisrael in the Sinai wilderness, 65because Adonai had said they would surely die in the wilderness. Not one of them was left, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

–from Numbers 26

Focus on the things that will last faith, hope, and love! Choose to live in love! Choose to share God’s love! Choose to express true love!! Do you want to know what love is? Check this out…

The Superior Way of Love

1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all that I own and if I hand over my body so I might boast but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not brag, it is not puffed up, 5it does not behave inappropriately, it does not seek its own way, it is not provoked, it keeps no account of wrong, 6it does not rejoice over injustice but rejoices in the truth; 7it bears all things, it believes all things, it hopes all things, it endures all things. 8Love never fails— but where there are prophecies, they will pass away; where there are tongues, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13But now these three remain— faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

–from 1 Corinthians 13

Ever heard that God is love? That means you can take the sentences above and  replace the words love with God! Ever wondered how you should live? Replace love with your name and look to live life out that way!

 

 

 

Things that make you sad…Things that make you glad…


What is your daily attitude like? Ever had something happen that makes you sad? Ever had something that makes you glad? Do you have a stabilizer for your emotions? Is there something that enables you no matter the circumstance to have joy? Are you able to let the joy of the Lord be your strength? Do you allow times of trials to be considered pure joy? Ever been downcast or depressed? Ever wondered how to get over or get passed being downcast? Ever gotten so down because of the circumstances you are facing that you wondered what can you do? For me the key is to trust in God! For me the solution was the power of forgiveness … for me and from me!

Let’s take a look into today’s reading and see what God has to say…

Sadness and Gladness

16“In a little while you will not see me any more, and then a little while later you will see me.” 17Some of his disciples asked among themselves, “What does this mean? He tells us that in a little while we will not see him, and then a little while later we will see him; and he also says, ‘It is because I am going to the Father.’ 18What does this ‘a little while’ mean? We don’t know what he is talking about!”
19Jesus knew that they wanted to question him, so he said to them, “I said, ‘In a little while you will not see me, and then a little while later you will see me.’ Is this what you are asking about among yourselves? 20I am telling you the truth: you will cry and weep, but the world will be glad; you will be sad, but your sadness will turn into gladness. 21When a woman is about to give birth, she is sad because her hour of suffering has come; but when the baby is born, she forgets her suffering, because she is happy that a baby has been born into the world. 22That is how it is with you: now you are sad, but I will see you again, and your hearts will be filled with gladness, the kind of gladness that no one can take away from you. 23“When that day comes, you will not ask me for anything. I am telling you the truth: the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your happiness may be complete.

–from John 16

So turn to God! Ask believing in what Jesus says! Allow God to be your source and reason and purpose for being happy and complete! Yes we will face trials of many kinds, but Jesus tells us to consider it pure joy because its work will be completed and we will end being complete and lacking nothing! Jesus is going to come back! He is able to use all things and turn them around and use them for good, even what the enemy may have tried to use to trip you up! Things may look impossible to man, but all things are possible for God! Jesus gave His all to make a way when there was no way we could have gone in our own strength!

The Scroll and the Lamb

1I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sits on the throne; it was covered with writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a mighty angel, who announced in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3But there was no one in heaven or on earth or in the world below who could open the scroll and look inside it. 4I cried bitterly because no one could be found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside it. 5Then one of the elders said to me, “Don’t cry. Look! The Lion from Judah’s tribe, the great descendant of David, has won the victory, and he can break the seven seals and open the scroll.” 6Then I saw a Lamb standing in the center of the throne, surrounded by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb appeared to have been killed. It had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God that have been sent through the whole earth. 7The Lamb went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who sits on the throne. 8As he did so, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each had a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9They sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to break open its seals. For you were killed, and by your sacrificial death you bought for God people from every tribe, language, nation, and race. 10You have made them a kingdom of priests to serve our God, and they shall rule on earth.” 11Again I looked, and I heard angels, thousands and millions of them! They stood around the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders, 12and sang in a loud voice: “The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and strength, honor, glory, and praise!” 13And I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, in the world below, and in the sea—all living beings in the universe—and they were singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be praise and honor, glory and might, forever and ever!” 14The four living creatures answered, “Amen!” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

–from Revelation 5

It may not be about you! There might be a bigger reason! There may be a bigger purpose! Consider this, it may not be all about you! As I type that I reflect on the little stone in my pants pocket that is a reminder for this life, this weekend, and forever! Remember God wants to work in and through us! We are to be His ambassadors of grace and mercy to the world around us! It may be that you are the only “church” the only visible appearance of Jesus the person has or will ever see! It may be so that others realize it is beyond religion, it’s all about relationship!

1I have made a solemn promise never to look with lust at a woman. 2What does Almighty God do to us? How does he repay human deeds? 3He sends disaster and ruin to those who do wrong. 4God knows everything I do; he sees every step I take. 5I swear I have never acted wickedly and never tried to deceive others. 6Let God weigh me on honest scales, and he will see how innocent I am. 7If I have turned from the right path or let myself be attracted to evil, if my hands are stained with sin, 8then let my crops be destroyed, or let others eat the food I grow. 9If I have been attracted to my neighbor’s wife, and waited, hidden, outside her door, 10then let my wife cook another man’s food and sleep in another man’s bed. 11Such wickedness should be punished by death. 12It would be like a destructive, hellish fire, consuming everything I have. 13When any of my servants complained against me, I would listen and treat them fairly. 14If I did not, how could I then face God? What could I say when God came to judge me? 15The same God who created me created my servants also. 16I have never refused to help the poor; never have I let widows live in despair 17or let orphans go hungry while I ate. 18All my life I have taken care of them. 19When I found someone in need, too poor to buy clothes, 20I would give him clothing made of wool that had come from my own flock of sheep. Then he would praise me with all his heart. 21If I have ever cheated an orphan, knowing I could win in court, 22then may my arms be broken; may they be torn from my shoulders. 23Because I fear God’s punishment, I could never do such a thing. 24I have never trusted in riches 25or taken pride in my wealth. 26I have never worshiped the sun in its brightness or the moon in all its beauty. 27I have not been led astray to honor them by kissing my hand in reverence to them. 28Such a sin should be punished by death; it denies Almighty God. 29I have never been glad when my enemies suffered, or pleased when they met with disaster; 30I never sinned by praying for their death. 31All those who work for me know that I have always welcomed strangers. 32I invited travelers into my home and never let them sleep in the streets. 33Others try to hide their sins, but I have never concealed mine. 34I have never feared what people would say; I have never kept quiet or stayed indoors because I feared their scorn. 35Will no one listen to what I am saying? I swear that every word is true. Let Almighty God answer me. If the charges my opponent brings against me were written down so that I could see them, 36I would wear them proudly on my shoulder and place them on my head like a crown. 37I would tell God everything I have done, and hold my head high in his presence. 38If I have stolen the land I farm and taken it from its rightful owners—39if I have eaten the food that grew there but let the farmers that grew it starve—40then instead of wheat and barley, may weeds and thistles grow. The words of Job are ended.

–from Job 31

Consider your attitude towards others! Consider your attitude towards your neighbors! Consider your attitude towards God’s people!

1These are the words of Amos, a shepherd from the town of Tekoa. Two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel, God revealed to Amos all these things about Israel. 2Amos said, “The Lord roars from Mount Zion; his voice thunders from Jerusalem. The pastures dry up, and the grass on Mount Carmel turns brown.”

God’s Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors

Syria

3The Lord says, “The people of Damascus have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They treated the people of Gilead with savage cruelty. 4So I will send fire upon the palace built by King Hazael and I will burn down the fortresses of King Benhadad. 5I will smash the city gates of Damascus and remove the inhabitants of Aven Valley and the ruler of Betheden. The people of Syria will be taken away as prisoners to the land of Kir.”

Philistia

6The Lord says, “The people of Gaza have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They carried off a whole nation and sold them as slaves to the people of Edom. 7So I will send fire upon the city walls of Gaza and burn down its fortresses. 8I will remove the rulers of the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon. I will punish the city of Ekron, and all the Philistines who are left will die.”

Tyre

9The Lord says, “The people of Tyre have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They carried off a whole nation into exile in the land of Edom, and did not keep the treaty of friendship they had made. 10So I will send fire upon the city walls of Tyre and burn down its fortresses.”

Edom

11The Lord says, “The people of Edom have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They hunted down their relatives, the Israelites, and showed them no mercy. Their anger had no limits, and they never let it die. 12So I will send fire upon the city of Teman and burn down the fortresses of Bozrah.”

Ammon

13The Lord says, “The people of Ammon have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. In their wars for more territory they even ripped open pregnant women in Gilead. 14So I will send fire upon the city walls of Rabbah and burn down its fortresses. Then there will be shouts on the day of battle, and the fighting will rage like a storm. 15Their king and his officers will go into exile.”

–from Amos 1

We can’t justify ourselves! We can’t do enough to be right with God! We have messed up! We have tripped up! We have missed the mark! Jesus is the answer! Jesus is the way! We can’t save ourselves, however, through Jesus, we are saved by grace through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Moab

1The Lord says, “The people of Moab have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They dishonored the bones of the king of Edom by burning them to ashes. 2I will send fire upon the land of Moab and burn down the fortresses of Kerioth. The people of Moab will die in the noise of battle while soldiers are shouting and trumpets are sounding. 3I will kill the ruler of Moab and all the leaders of the land.”

Judah

4The Lord says, “The people of Judah have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They have despised my teachings and have not kept my commands. They have been led astray by the same false gods that their ancestors served. 5So I will send fire upon Judah and burn down the fortresses of Jerusalem.”

God’s Judgment on Israel

6The Lord says, “The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They sell into slavery honest people who cannot pay their debts, the poor who cannot repay even the price of a pair of sandals. 7They trample down the weak and helpless and push the poor out of the way. A man and his father have intercourse with the same slave woman, and so profane my holy name. 8At every place of worship people sleep on clothing that they have taken from the poor as security for debts. In the temple of their God they drink wine which they have taken from those who owe them money.
9“And yet, my people, it was for your sake that I totally destroyed the Amorites, who were as tall as cedar trees and as strong as oaks. 10I brought you out of Egypt, led you through the desert for forty years, and gave you the land of the Amorites to be your own. 11I chose some of your sons to be prophets and some of your young men to be nazirites. Isn’t this true, people of Israel? I, the Lord, have spoken. 12But you made the nazirites drink wine, and ordered the prophets not to speak my message. 13And now I will crush you to the ground, and you will groan like a cart loaded with grain. 14Not even fast runners will escape; strong men will lose their strength, and soldiers will not be able to save their own lives. 15Archers will not stand their ground, fast runners will not get away, and men on horses will not escape with their lives. 16On that day even the bravest soldiers will drop their weapons and run.” The Lord has spoken.

–from Amos 2

Are you living like you are victorious?


Consider how you are living your day. Consider your attitude. Consider your perspective. Are others seeing you living like you won? Or do you look defeated? Do you look down? Do live each day like the battle it is knowing the battle has already been won? Does anything keeping you from living victorious? Does anything keep you from living like you already won?

Will you live today like you already won?

The truth is God’s Word shows us twice the victory we have through Jesus Christ and that with Him we are victorious! One source is the Book of Revelation and the other is where today’s morning reading begins as Jesus conquered the grave and the power of Hell. There is a heaven and there is a hell. And because of Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life, we can live in confidence of not suffering through the pain and the torment. This is even a greater reason to live like you have already won so that others will be able to see the testimony of Jesus in and through you and start their own relationship with Jesus so that they don’t miss out and end up in Hell. Going this far into it, let’s look at someone who didn’t pursue God and compare before we jump into today’s reading…

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19“There was once a rich man who dressed in the most expensive clothes and lived in great luxury every day. 20There was also a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who used to be brought to the rich man’s door, 21hoping to eat the bits of food that fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22The poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the feast in heaven. The rich man died and was buried, 23and in Hades, where he was in great pain, he looked up and saw Abraham, far away, with Lazarus at his side. 24So he called out, ‘Father Abraham! Take pity on me, and send Lazarus to dip his finger in some water and cool off my tongue, because I am in great pain in this fire!’ 25But Abraham said, ‘Remember, my son, that in your lifetime you were given all the good things, while Lazarus got all the bad things. But now he is enjoying himself here, while you are in pain. 26Besides all that, there is a deep pit lying between us, so that those who want to cross over from here to you cannot do so, nor can anyone cross over to us from where you are.’ 27The rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28where I have five brothers. Let him go and warn them so that they, at least, will not come to this place of pain.’ 29Abraham said, ‘Your brothers have Moses and the prophets to warn them; your brothers should listen to what they say.’ 30The rich man answered, ‘That is not enough, father Abraham! But if someone were to rise from death and go to them, then they would turn from their sins.’ 31But Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone were to rise from death.’” –from Luke 16

It’s too late once you get there. The time is now! It’s time to grab a hold of the reality of your final destiny and do something about it. Do you know Jesus and have a relationship with Him as your Lord and Savior? Then live victorious today! Shine the hope that is in you! Share the hope that is in you by living like you already won! The reality is you have!

Have you wondered about this Jesus? Is today the day you will step up and ask Jesus to come into your life? Is today the day that you will start to walk the journey of forgiveness and hope and love with Jesus? Is today the day you start to live victoriously? (Have comments, questions? feel free to leave me a comment)

Today’s reading speaks of the victory over death! He died and he got the keys so that death no longer has power over His followers!

The Resurrection

(Matthew 28.1-10; Mark 16.1-8; John 20.1-10)
1Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the entrance to the tomb, 3so they went in; but they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4They stood there puzzled about this, when suddenly two men in bright shining clothes stood by them. 5Full of fear, the women bowed down to the ground, as the men said to them, “Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? 6He is not here; he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was in Galilee: 7‘The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and three days later rise to life.’” 8Then the women remembered his words, 9returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven disciples and all the rest. 10The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; they and the other women with them told these things to the apostles. 11But the apostles thought that what the women said was nonsense, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; he bent down and saw the grave cloths but nothing else. Then he went back home amazed at what had happened. –from Luke 24

Will you believe? Do you believe? Will you live victorious and not be held back by the lies and tricks of the devil?

Consider how much God loves you and how He views you… On the weekend I heard this great song, check it out and consider how victorious you can live!

God’s plan for us is good – He wants to give us a hope and a future! Even what the devil plans for evil, God can use and turn it around and use it for good.

Today’s reading continues to speak of the incredible power of being in relationship with God!

32Should I go on? There isn’t enough time for me to speak of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33Through faith they fought whole countries and won. They did what was right and received what God had promised. They shut the mouths of lions, 34put out fierce fires, escaped being killed by the sword. They were weak, but became strong; they were mighty in battle and defeated the armies of foreigners. 35Through faith women received their dead relatives raised back to life. Others, refusing to accept freedom, died under torture in order to be raised to a better life. 36Some were mocked and whipped, and others were put in chains and taken off to prison. 37They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they were killed by the sword. They went around clothed in skins of sheep or goats—poor, persecuted, and mistreated. 38The world was not good enough for them! They wandered like refugees in the deserts and hills, living in caves and holes in the ground. 39What a record all of these have won by their faith! Yet they did not receive what God had promised, 40because God had decided on an even better plan for us. His purpose was that only in company with us would they be made perfect.

–from Hebrews 11

So when you aren’t sure what to do, turn to God and do what He tells you to do! Do what you know is the right thing to do! Turn to God’s Word for wisdom! Today’s reading continues into Proverbs…

15Poor people are helpless against a wicked ruler; he is as dangerous as a growling lion or a prowling bear. 16A ruler without good sense will be a cruel tyrant. One who hates dishonesty will rule a long time. 17Someone guilty of murder is digging his own grave as fast as he can. Don’t try to stop him. 18Be honest and you will be safe. If you are dishonest, you will suddenly fall. 19A hard-working farmer has plenty to eat. People who waste time will always be poor. 20Honest people will lead a full, happy life. But if you are in a hurry to get rich, you are going to be punished. 21Prejudice is wrong. But some judges will do wrong to get even the smallest bribe. 22Selfish people are in such a hurry to get rich that they do not know when poverty is about to strike. 23Correct someone, and afterward he will appreciate it more than flattery. 24Anyone who thinks it isn’t wrong to steal from his parents is no better than a common thief. 25Selfishness only causes trouble. You are much better off to trust the Lord. 26It is foolish to follow your own opinions. Be safe, and follow the teachings of wiser people. 27Give to the poor and you will never be in need. If you close your eyes to the poor, many people will curse you. 28People stay in hiding when the wicked come to power. But when they fall from power, the righteous will rule again. –from Proverbs 28

This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

It’s a matter of the heart! Do you acknowledge what happened and will you turn back to God?


So much of what is tough through Jesus and through the Bible point back to where is our heart in how we live. From the overflow of our hearts our mouth speaks! Do you realize how you got to this point? Do you realize the good you did? Do you realize the mistakes you made? Do you realize that you need forgiveness? Do you realize that bitterness isn’t where you need to be, but that forgiveness is the key to true freedom? Are you mocking God? Are you blaming God? Are you turning to God for help and forgiveness and wholeness?

In this morning’s reading we see that it starts with Jesus and 2 criminals on the cross. Which one would you say most resembles your heart and your attitude?

38Above him were written these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” 39One of the criminals hanging there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40The other one, however, rebuked him, saying, “Don’t you fear God? You received the same sentence he did. 41Ours, however, is only right, because we are getting what we deserve for what we did; but he has done no wrong.” 42And he said to Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!” 43Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.” –from Luke 23

How do you view the world? What is the state of your heart? How is your response reflecting what is in your heart? How are your words reflecting what is in your heart? From the overflow of the heart, your mouth speaks!

Don’t run away! Run to God! Don’t run from! Run to! Consider the heart of the Father! For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son not to condemn the world, but that through Him the world could be saved! So that everyone who believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life! God’s plan is good! God’s plan is that we would have life to the full! God’s plan is to prosper you and not to harm you, He plans to give you hope and a future. So let’s come near to God! Let’s make Him and His plans and His purpose for our lives to be our plan and our purpose and our focus!

Let Us Come Near to God

19We have, then, my friends, complete freedom to go into the Most Holy Place by means of the death of Jesus. 20He opened for us a new way, a living way, through the curtain—that is, through his own body. 21We have a great priest in charge of the house of God. 22So let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water. 23Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise. 24Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. 25Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer. 26For there is no longer any sacrifice that will take away sins if we purposely go on sinning after the truth has been made known to us. 27Instead, all that is left is to wait in fear for the coming Judgment and the fierce fire which will destroy those who oppose God! 28Anyone who disobeys the Law of Moses is put to death without any mercy when judged guilty from the evidence of two or more witnesses. 29What, then, of those who despise the Son of God? who treat as a cheap thing the blood of God’s covenant which purified them from sin? who insult the Spirit of grace? Just think how much worse is the punishment they will deserve! 30For we know who said, “I will take revenge, I will repay”; and who also said, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God! 32Remember how it was with you in the past. In those days, after God’s light had shone on you, you suffered many things, yet were not defeated by the struggle. 33You were at times publicly insulted and mistreated, and at other times you were ready to join those who were being treated in this way. 34You shared the sufferings of prisoners, and when all your belongings were seized, you endured your loss gladly, because you knew that you still possessed something much better, which would last forever. 35Do not lose your courage, then, because it brings with it a great reward. 36You need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what he promises. 37For, as the scripture says, “Just a little while longer, and he who is coming will come; he will not delay. 38My righteous people, however, will believe and live; but if any of them turns back, I will not be pleased with them.” 39We are not people who turn back and are lost. Instead, we have faith and are saved.

–from Hebrews 10

Let’s live like the people God created us to be! Are you lost? God has been calling you! Are you lost? Let’s come together in faith and cry out to God and allow His plan and His purpose to bring you into the fold so that you can be saved! God’s got great plans for you! He created you on purpose with a purpose! Don’t lose hope!

Need wisdom? Turn to God’s Word! Need fellowship and friendship? Look for a Bible believing, Bible preaching church!

Today is the first day of the rest of your life! Let’s start it off with God!

1Never boast about tomorrow. You don’t know what will happen between now and then. 2Let other people praise you—even strangers; never do it yourself. 3The weight of stone and sand is nothing compared to the trouble that stupidity can cause. 4Anger is cruel and destructive, but it is nothing compared to jealousy. 5Better to correct someone openly than to let him think you don’t care for him at all. 6Friends mean well, even when they hurt you. But when an enemy puts his arm around your shoulder—watch out! 7When you are full, you will refuse honey, but when you are hungry, even bitter food tastes sweet. 8Anyone away from home is like a bird away from its nest. 9Perfume and fragrant oils make you feel happier, but trouble shatters your peace of mind. 10Do not forget your friends or your father’s friends. If you are in trouble, don’t ask a relative for help; a nearby neighbor can help you more than relatives who are far away. 11Be wise, my child, and I will be happy; I will have an answer for anyone who criticizes me. 12Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later. 13Any people stupid enough to promise to be responsible for a stranger’s debts deserve to have their own property held to guarantee payment. 14You might as well curse your friends as wake them up early in the morning with a loud greeting. –from Proverbs 27

Are you ready?


We are supposed to be prepared in and out of season! We are supposed to be prepared to give an answer! We are supposed to be prepared for every good work! We are supposed to prepare our hearts for God! We are supposed to be prepared to do what we have been called to do! We are supposed to be prepared for the battle that is coming our way! We are supposed to be prepared to present ourselves to God! Are you prepared to protect and guard what you have been given? We are supposed to be prepared to complete the good work that God prepared in advance for us to accomplish! Are you ready? Let’s get ready!

Do you realize how ready God is? Each day He goes before us, preparing in advance the good work He has for us to do.

Nothing surprises God! He is prepared!

Are you ready? Will you be ready? Are you going to start getting ready?

God’s Word to me speaks on the topic of being ready. His Word puts it this way:

Watchful Servants

35“Be ready for whatever comes, dressed for action and with your lamps lit, 36like servants who are waiting for their master to come back from a wedding feast. When he comes and knocks, they will open the door for him at once. 37How happy are those servants whose master finds them awake and ready when he returns! I tell you, he will take off his coat, have them sit down, and will wait on them. 38How happy they are if he finds them ready, even if he should come at midnight or even later! 39And you can be sure that if the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, he would not let the thief break into his house. 40And you, too, must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.” –from Luke 12

Jesus is coming back. We may not know the day, the hour, the minute, but He is coming back. If He comes back today, are you ready? Are you prepared for His return? What would you want to have ready in advance of His return?

Are you prepared to help others? Are you prepared to finish the Word God has prepared in advance for you to do? Have you prepared enough so that on that day you will hear “well done my good and faithful servant”? Are you living each day as though you are working for God rather than man? How does that change your preparation? How does that change your attitude? How does that change your effort? Do you realize all that God has given you to take care of? No matter how big or how small, it is given to you so that you are able to complete the good work God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish. To whom much is given, much is required! God’s Word continues with …

The Faithful or the Unfaithful Servant

(Matthew 24.45-51)
41Peter said, “Lord, does this parable apply to us, or do you mean it for everyone?” 42The Lord answered, “Who, then, is the faithful and wise servant? He is the one that his master will put in charge, to run the household and give the other servants their share of the food at the proper time. 43How happy that servant is if his master finds him doing this when he comes home! 44Indeed, I tell you, the master will put that servant in charge of all his property. 45But if that servant says to himself that his master is taking a long time to come back and if he begins to beat the other servants, both the men and the women, and eats and drinks and gets drunk, 46then the master will come back one day when the servant does not expect him and at a time he does not know. The master will cut him in pieces and make him share the fate of the disobedient. 47“The servant who knows what his master wants him to do, but does not get himself ready and do it, will be punished with a heavy whipping. 48But the servant who does not know what his master wants, and yet does something for which he deserves a whipping, will be punished with a light whipping. Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given. –from Luke 12

So this is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s be prepared to complete the good work He has prepared in advance for us to do! Will you take what you have been given and multiply it? Will you take what you have been given and bury it? Will you take what you have been given and share? Will you be a good steward of every good and perfect gift that God has given you? Let’s not be lazy, but let’s be energized to glorify God in all that we do! Help the light of the Lord shine wherever you are! Let the joy of the Lord be your strength! How can you make a difference in someone’s life today?

The Obligation to Work

6Our friends, we command you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to keep away from all believers who are living a lazy life and who do not follow the instructions that we gave them. 7You yourselves know very well that you should do just what we did. We were not lazy when we were with you. 8We did not accept anyone’s support without paying for it. Instead, we worked and toiled; we kept working day and night so as not to be an expense to any of you. 9We did this, not because we do not have the right to demand our support; we did it to be an example for you to follow. 10While we were with you, we used to tell you, “Whoever refuses to work is not allowed to eat.” 11We say this because we hear that there are some people among you who live lazy lives and who do nothing except meddle in other people’s business. 12In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we command these people and warn them to lead orderly lives and work to earn their own living. 13But you, friends, must not become tired of doing good. 14It may be that some there will not obey the message we send you in this letter. If so, take note of them and have nothing to do with them, so that they will be ashamed. 15But do not treat them as enemies; instead, warn them as believers.

–from 2 Thessalonians 3

Don’t grow weary in doing good work! Don’t grow tired in doing good work! Don’t stop doing what is good, what is right, and what is beneficial to God! Love everyone! Be ready! Be prepared to speak life into everyone you encounter!

Let’s let everything we do, all of our lives be a praise to God!

1Praise the Lord! Sing a new song to the Lord; praise him in the assembly of his faithful people! 2Be glad, Israel, because of your Creator; rejoice, people of Zion, because of your king! 3Praise his name with dancing; play drums and harps in praise of him. 4The Lord takes pleasure in his people; he honors the humble with victory. 5Let God’s people rejoice in their triumph and sing joyfully all night long. 6Let them shout aloud as they praise God, with their sharp swords in their hands 7to defeat the nations and to punish the peoples; 8to bind their kings in chains, their leaders in chains of iron; 9to punish the nations as God has commanded. This is the victory of God’s people. Praise the Lord! — from Psalm 149

It’s not the size, it’s a matter of the heart!


Some give out of the excess, but others give out of their need!

Some give to make a show, others give privately!

When you give to make a show, you have gotten all the reward that you are going to get!

We need to not only give, we need to love!

It’s not a matter of size, it’s a matter of the intent of the heart!

This came to mind from this morning’s reading where we hear from Jesus…

The Question about the Messiah

(Matthew 22.41-46; Luke 20.41-44)
35As Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he asked the question, “How can the teachers of the Law say that the Messiah will be the descendant of David? 36The Holy Spirit inspired David to say:
‘The Lord said to my Lord:
Sit here at my right side
until I put your enemies under your feet.’
37David himself called him ‘Lord’; so how can the Messiah be David’s descendant?”

Jesus Warns against the Teachers of the Law

(Matthew 23.1-36; Luke 20.45-47)
A large crowd was listening to Jesus gladly. 38As he taught them, he said, “Watch out for the teachers of the Law, who like to walk around in their long robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplace, 39who choose the reserved seats in the synagogues and the best places at feasts. 40They take advantage of widows and rob them of their homes, and then make a show of saying long prayers. Their punishment will be all the worse!”

The Widow’s Offering

(Luke 21.1-4)
41As Jesus sat near the Temple treasury, he watched the people as they dropped in their money. Many rich men dropped in a lot of money; 42then a poor widow came along and dropped in two little copper coins, worth about a penny. 43He called his disciples together and said to them, “I tell you that this poor widow put more in the offering box than all the others. 44For the others put in what they had to spare of their riches; but she, poor as she is, put in all she had—she gave all she had to live on.”
— from Mark 12:35-44

It’s a matter of the heart! Are you expressing your attitude of gratitude for God? Are you giving out of a joyful heart? Are you giving from your excess or the little you have? Do you realize what you have been given? Check your heart, don’t give out of compulsion, but give willing what God’s Spirit puts in your heart!

Ever seen someone missing a smile? Do you give them yours?

Ever seen someone needing a hug? Do you give them yours?

Do you realize you don’t lose by giving? Do you realize it is a multiplication factor?

Do you realize that it’s not what we think about ourselves that matters, but what God thinks about us?

Today’s reading continues with Paul defending his ministry…The powerful weapons used to destroy strongholds, to destroy false arguments, to pull down proud obstacles. Taking every thought captive in order to make it obedient to Christ. Being loyal!

1I, Paul, make a personal appeal to you—I who am said to be meek and mild when I am with you, but harsh with you when I am away. By the gentleness and kindness of Christ 2I beg you not to force me to be harsh when I come; for I am sure I can deal harshly with those who say that we act from worldly motives. 3It is true that we live in the world, but we do not fight from worldly motives. 4The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds. We destroy false arguments; 5we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. 6And after you have proved your complete loyalty, we will be ready to punish any act of disloyalty.

7You are looking at the outward appearance of things. Are there some there who reckon themselves to belong to Christ? Well, let them think again about themselves, because we belong to Christ just as much as they do. 8For I am not ashamed, even if I have boasted somewhat too much about the authority that the Lord has given us—authority to build you up, not to tear you down. 9I do not want it to appear that I am trying to frighten you with my letters. 10Someone will say, “Paul’s letters are severe and strong, but when he is with us in person, he is weak, and his words are nothing!” 11Such a person must understand that there is no difference between what we write in our letters when we are away and what we will do when we are there with you.
12Of course we would not dare classify ourselves or compare ourselves with those who rate themselves so highly. How stupid they are! They make up their own standards to measure themselves by, and they judge themselves by their own standards! 13As for us, however, our boasting will not go beyond certain limits; it will stay within the limits of the work which God has set for us, and this includes our work among you. 14And since you are within those limits, we were not going beyond them when we came to you, bringing the Good News about Christ. 15So we do not boast about the work that others have done beyond the limits God set for us. Instead, we hope that your faith may grow and that we may be able to do a much greater work among you, always within the limits that God has set. 16Then we can preach the Good News in other countries beyond you and shall not have to boast about work already done in someone else’s field.
17But as the scripture says, “Whoever wants to boast must boast about what the Lord has done.” 18For it is when the Lord thinks well of us that we are really approved, and not when we think well of ourselves.

So today, let’s come together! Let’s walk in unity with Christ and one another! Let’s allow the hope that is within us to glorify God!

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good…Remember all He has done for you! Testify of His great love and work in and through your life!

God and His People

(1 Chronicles 16.8-22)
1Give thanks to the Lord,
proclaim his greatness;
tell the nations what he has done.
2Sing praise to the Lord;
tell the wonderful things he has done.
3Be glad that we belong to him;
let all who worship him rejoice.
4Go to the Lord for help;
and worship him continually.
5-6You descendants of Abraham, his servant;
you descendants of Jacob, the man he chose:
remember the miracles that God performed
and the judgments that he gave.
7The Lord is our God;
his commands are for all the world.
8He will keep his covenant forever,
his promises for a thousand generations.
9He will keep the agreement he made with Abraham
and his promise to Isaac.
10The Lord made a covenant with Jacob,
one that will last forever.
11“I will give you the land of Canaan,” he said.
“It will be your own possession.”
12God’s people were few in number,
strangers in the land of Canaan.
13They wandered from country to country,
from one kingdom to another.
14But God let no one oppress them;
to protect them, he warned the kings:
15“Don’t harm my chosen servants;
do not touch my prophets.”
16The Lord sent famine to their country
and took away all their food.
17But he sent a man ahead of them,
Joseph, who had been sold as a slave.
18His feet were kept in chains,
and an iron collar was around his neck,
19until what he had predicted came true.
The word of the Lord proved him right.
20Then the king of Egypt had him released;
the ruler of nations set him free.
21He put him in charge of his government
and made him ruler over all the land,
22with power over the king’s officials
and authority to instruct his advisers.
23Then Jacob went to Egypt
and settled in that country.
24The Lord gave many children to his people
and made them stronger than their enemies.
25He made the Egyptians hate his people
and treat his servants with deceit.
26Then he sent his servant Moses,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27They did God’s mighty acts
and performed miracles in Egypt.
28God sent darkness on the country,
but the Egyptians did not obey his command.
29He turned their rivers into blood
and killed all their fish.
30Their country was overrun with frogs;
even the palace was filled with them.
31God commanded, and flies and gnats
swarmed throughout the whole country.
32He sent hail and lightning on their land
instead of rain;
33he destroyed their grapevines and fig trees
and broke down all the trees.
34He commanded, and the locusts came,
countless millions of them;
35they ate all the plants in the land;
they ate all the crops.
36He killed the first-born sons
of all the families of Egypt.
37Then he led the Israelites out;
they carried silver and gold,
and all of them were healthy and strong.
38The Egyptians were afraid of them
and were glad when they left.
39God put a cloud over his people
and a fire at night to give them light.
40They asked, and he sent quails;
he gave them food from heaven to satisfy them.
41He opened a rock, and water gushed out,
flowing through the desert like a river.
42He remembered his sacred promise
to Abraham his servant.
43So he led his chosen people out,
and they sang and shouted for joy.
44He gave them the lands of other peoples
and let them take over their fields,
45so that his people would obey his laws
and keep all his commands.
Praise the Lord!