THRIVE: How much change needs to happen for thriving to begin?


As my workday was coming to a close yesterday I got a message for a late meeting/call. It was to discuss that there would be more change. It wasn’t a surprise to me based on where things were at but it is still a change and a feeling of loss. One more layer is being peeled off. One more layer is being taken away. One more step towards the impact or the outcome of change. So what is or will be next?

Today’s verse of the day comes to us from 2 Corinthians 5:17 and says:

‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! ‘

2 Corinthians 5:17

It points to the importance of Jesus! It points to the importance of inviting Him into our hearts, our lives, and our every situation. It points beyond knowing Jesus or knowing about Jesus and moves to having a living relationship with Him. Its not about rituals and routines but rather about an intimate relationship with Jesus. When we start this relationship a transformation takes place. God creates a new heart in us. God creates a new mind in us. God creates a new us, a new creation where the old ways of thinking, seeing, acting, and being are gone and a new way o life has begun.

Are you living this new life yet? Do you have a relationship with Jesus yet? Are you looking for a change? Are you looking for a new way? Are you looking for a better way? Invite Jesus in today! Let’s pray:

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Finding Dad – Day3.


A New Work Week Begins…


It’s an interesting day as my body got me up much earlier than I normally do. No specific thoughts that were causing worry or anxiety just a sense of let’s get going. So I prayed as I always do before getting out of bed for my wife, kids, family, and the day ahead and then rolled over and got out of bed. I had tried to go back to sleep but it just wasn’t going to happen.

So a new work week begins and so new thoughts are starting to bounce around in my head. Between yesterday’s devotional on All Things New captured in my post Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Ready for something news? What’s it going to take? and this morning’s devotional of Starting Over, it makes me wonder what God is planning and preparing as the year continues. I keep drawing closer. I keep praying. I keep asking. I keep seeking. And His Word continues to speak. I reflect on my mid year conversations and God’s Word continues to speak. I reflect on the larger purpose/plan with the theme around Be The Dads that God put in my head as I was praying and reading through the Matthew Barnett book The Cause within You: Finding the One Great Thing God Created You to Do in This World that I had picked up on one of his visits to our church. As I consider how my family has grown up with my oldest preparing to head out in January, my middle preparing to head out in August, and my youngest continuing his journey, where I am and what I do will need to adjust too as we get closer (my wife and I) to becoming empty nesters – still a few more years to go before that happens but it is on the radar now.

So I need to be moldable in God’s hands. I need to be ready for the good works He is preparing in advance for me to accomplish. I need to prepare spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally for what is yet to come. He’s not done with me yet. I know my final destination will be in eternity with Him and I want to finish the race on this side strong in hopes of hearing Him say the words “well done good and faithful servant”. And so today as I try to process the early morning wake up call and what this day and this week will contain, I turn to God and His Word to receive guidance, wisdom, and strength to make it a reality.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 4th


Starting Over


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.’

Jeremiah 18:3-4

Let’s pause and grasp the context of today’s verses by looking at more of the chapter in the Amplified version:

‘The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will make you hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and saw that he was working at the wheel. But the vessel that he was making from clay was spoiled by the potter’s hand; so he made it over, reworking it and making it into another pot that seemed good to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” says the Lord. “Look carefully, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I might [suddenly] speak concerning a nation or kingdom, that I will uproot and break down and destroy; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent and reverse My decision concerning the devastation that I intended to do. Or at another time I might [suddenly] speak about a nation or kingdom that I will build up or establish; and if they do evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will reverse My decision concerning the good with which I had promised to bless them. Now then, say to the men of Judah and to the citizens of Jerusalem, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am shaping a disaster and working out a plan against you. Turn back, each of you from his evil way; correct your habits and change your actions for the better.” ’ But they will say, ‘That is hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act in accordance with the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ “Therefore thus says the Lord, ‘Ask now among the nations, Who has heard of such things? The virgin Israel Has done a very vile and horrible thing. Will the snow of [Mount] Lebanon melt and vanish from its rocks [which tower above Israel]? Will the cold, rushing waters of foreign lands [that flow down from the distant land] be dried up? Yet My people have forgotten Me; They burn incense to worthless gods, They have stumbled from their ways From the ancient roads, To walk in pathways, Not on a highway, Making their land a desolation and a horror, A thing to be hissed at perpetually; Everyone who passes by will be astounded And shake his head [in scorn]. I will scatter them like an east wind Before the enemy; I will show them My back and not My face In the day of their disaster [says the Lord].’ ” Then [my enemies] said, “Come and let us work out schemes against Jeremiah. Surely the law is not going to be lost to the priest [as Jeremiah predicts], nor the counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come and let us strike him with our tongue [by making charges against him before the king], and let us ignore anything he says.” Pay attention to me, O Lord [and intercede]; Listen to what my adversaries are saying [and are plotting against me]— Should good be repaid with evil? Yet they have dug a pit for me. Remember [with compassion] that I stood before You To speak good on their behalf, To turn Your anger away from them. Therefore, give their children over to the famine; Give them over to the power of the sword. And let their wives become childless and widowed; Let their men meet death [by virulent disease], Their young men be struck down by the sword in battle. Let an outcry be heard from their houses When You suddenly bring [a troop of] raiders upon them, For they have dug a pit to capture me And have hidden snares for my feet. Yet You, O Lord, know All their deadly plotting against me; Do not forgive their wickedness Or blot out their sin from Your sight. But let them be overthrown before You; Deal with them in the time of Your anger.’

Jeremiah 18:1-23

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Even when broken beyond repair, we can be made new in the Potter’s hands.
  • God’s not ready to give up on us and so we shouldn’t be willing to give up on us either.
  • Let’s give what is broken or holding us back to God and allow Him to start over, make us new, transform us.
  • Let’s allow God to take our fears and replace them with faith like He did with Abraham.
  • Let’s allow God to take our lies and replace them with His truth like He did with Jacob.
  • Let’s allow God to take our denials and rejection and replace them with His forgiveness and purpose like He did with Peter.
  • Just like all the people God gave a do-over or who God allowed to start over, let’s not lose hope but instead take hold of the reality of who He is in order that we too can be healed, forgiven, restored, and be able to start a new as we begin our today.
  • Let’s choose to be smooth, workable, and sticky so that we can be molded by God.
  • Let’s allow God to take away the rough and hard edges.
  • Let’s allow God to continue to form us and mold us to be useful.
  • Let’s allow God to continue to form us and mold us to be beautiful.
  • Let’s allow God to work out imperfections or flaws so that we can become who He has created us to be.
  • Let’s live with the hope that God isn’t going to throw us away but rather His plan for us is good and comes with hope and a future!
  • Let’s be ok if He needs to start over with us because we know He is doing so out of love!
  • Let’s be ok if He needs to start over with us because we know that He will remove the flaws and imperfections.
  • Let’s rejoice in the reality of when He starts over as He removes the flaws and adds in elements necessary for us to be better like His Spirit, accountability friends, and the guidance of His Word!
  • Let’s not become impatient as it takes time!
  • Let’s remember we are being molded for His purpose and for a specific use!
  • Let’s allow Him to both mold us into the vessel He desires and then be ready when the time is right to be used for His purpose.
  • If we need to wait to become useful again, don’t lose hope or start to worry! God’s timing is perfect!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What kind of flaws can make us unusable to the Potter?
  • What’s your role and what’s God’s role in shaping you?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The God who made you can make you over.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you feeling broken or out of sorts and in the need to be renewed or remade? Are you feeling damaged or confused and in needs of repair or hope? Are you looking to find a way to make today count? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Ready for something news? What’s it going to take?


What are you going through today? Are you on a treadmill of experiences? Are you feeling like you are on a hamster wheel? Are you trying to find a way out or a way off? Are you ready for something new? Are you ready for a change? Are you wondering which way to turn? Are you wondering what it would take? Could today be your day for things to become new? Could today be your day to get off the treadmill of life? Could today be your day to stop going round and round in the hamster wheel? What is it going to take for you to get sick and tired of being sick and tired and grab a hold of something new? Would it take an act of God? Would it take a vision of heaven? Would it take a dream of the next step? Would it take a God given purpose that would make a difference? What’s it going to take? Would it require that everything change?

Person running on a hamster wheel

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
― Henry Ford

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 3rd


All Things New


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”’

Revelation 21:4-5

Let’s take a moment and gather a bit more context from the chapter using the Amplified version:

‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (vanished), and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, arrayed like a bride adorned for her husband; and then I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “See! The tabernacle of God is among men, and He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them [ as their God, ] and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true [they are accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy].” And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I will give [water] from the fountain of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes [the world by adhering faithfully to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior] will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But as for the cowards and unbelieving and abominable [who are devoid of character and personal integrity and practice or tolerate immorality], and murderers, and sorcerers [with intoxicating drugs], and idolaters and occultists [who practice and teach false religions], and all the liars [who knowingly deceive and twist truth], their part will be in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” ‘

Revelation 21:1-8

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are your views on eternity?
  • Do you wonder what life after death is like?
  • Do you have a desire, interest, curiosity about about the afterlife?
  • Do you realize that God put a desire in our hearts for eternity?
    • ‘He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. ‘
      Ecclesiastes 3:11
  • Do you feel like there is life after death?
  • Do you feel like there is more than just what we experience in our lives?
  • Do you realize you aren’t alone in that feeling because people from every culture and in every age have tried to identify what it might be like?
  • Have you ever read the book of Revelation in order to learn about what heaven is like?
  • Have you ever read the book of Revelation and felt like the return of Jesus is getting closer?
  • I know when I started my reading of God’s Word in conjunction with this blog that is how I felt and also how come this blog has the name it does. I started in 2005 and the book of Revelation is how I got the “to eternity” part, hence From 2005 to Eternity!
  • Are you ready for the day when all wrongs will be made right?
  • Are you looking forward to the day when all wrongs will be made right?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when every pain will be comforted?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when every tear will be dried?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when all of the confusion, doubt, and heartache will pass away?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when bitterness, resentment, and strains of every kind and in every relationship will vanish?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when all things will be made new?
  • From God’s Word what do you think are some assumptions we can make about heaven?
  • Things that bring us joy will be amplified?
  • Love, affirmation, understanding, and encouragement will thrill us because they won’t be tainted by selfishness?
  • Laughter will be more heartily than ever before?
  • We will worship God more effectively and wholeheartedly?
  • All the things that cause pain, suffering, anxiety will vanish in the light of God’s love!
  • Are you looking forward to getting spend eternity with God?
  • Are you looking forward to being in heaven with God?
  • Are you looking forward as those who had been oppressed in the past?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were slaves had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were poor and desolate had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were sick and disabled had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were prisoners had done in history?
  • Or is life ok, going well for you and you are still looking forward to spending eternity with God in heaven knowing that it will even be better?
  • Not sure? Why not take some time today to consider and meditate on it?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you think heaven will be different from your life now?
  • What do you look forward to most?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“When the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come that following of Jesus which is an unspeakable joy.”

—  OSWALD CHAMBERS

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Proverbs 25 (God knows! even those things that incapable of being fully explored or understood)
  • Proverbs 26 (Understand the season, the reason, the purpose)
  • Proverbs 27 (Don’t brad! Don’t fill yourself up! Don’t be prideful! Instead be wise)

So where are you at today? Are you at a crossroad on which you need to make a decision? Are you at a turning point where you need to decide to move forward to turnaround? Are you ready to step off the wheel and start pursuing your God given purpose? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Louder doesn’t mean it’s right. Louder doesn’t mean better.


Ever been in a meeting where people start to raise their voice or even yell in order to make their idea or perspective seem better or right? Ever been in a meeting where it even escalated to the point where people start swearing or cursing? Ever seen those people in the room who are keeping quiet and how the meeting is missing out on their viewpoint and perspective? Ever seen those meetings where the meeting either escalates or gets called because of the behavior? Ever felt like walking out of one of those rooms?

The verse of the day from the Bible App today has an interesting perspective about when we speak:

‘If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:1

It is about our hearts! There are so many things that aren’t about the physical actions but rather about the content of our heart. If we aren’t speaking out of love then we are missing the point. If we aren’t overflowing from our hearts in love then bad things happen. Remember how it is from the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks? If we haven’t filled up our hearts with love then the anger and frustration, the bitterness and resentment, the hate and other ugly things are what come out. So we need to ask God to help us clean house and to fill our hearts with love!

So where are you at today? What is the content of your heart? What are your motives and intentions? Consider them today before you start or get into that conversation and look to speak what you have to say in and out of love!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 12th


Old and New


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.’

Ephesians 4:20-24

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever caught yourself battling the ways of the world vs the ways of God?
  • Ever struggled with choosing between the sinful way and God’s way?
  • Ever been challenged with the selfish choice vs the selfless choice?
  • Ever noticed how this challenge can be more evident when you become a Christian?
  • God forgives us for all our sins, we become a child of God, and we have our names written in the book of life that will allow us to spend eternity with God.
  • Ever noticed the challenge of this newness when the old sinful nature hasn’t fully gone away?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that God doesn’t care?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that we are foolish to be following God?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that it is ok to be selfish?
  • Today’s reading points out how the old selfish nature as a self-preservation actually gets worse.
  • Paul as he speaks thru today’s verses uses the metaphor of getting dressed to help us grasp how to deal with the old (selfish) and new (selfless) ways to live.
  • Are you going to put on clean clothes today or are you going to go thru the laundry hamper to pick what to wear?
  • Can you tell the difference? Do you even realize that you are doing it? Do you put all your clothes and so it is harder to detect or distinguish?
  • What happens when you notice that you are wearing something with a stain or an odor? Do you change into something clean?
  • It is similar to how when we notice we are acting in the old way, the stains or odors of pride, arrogance, indifference, and other things need to be taken off and replaced with something new and clean.
  • So when we notice it, let’s give it up to God and ask for forgiveness and then put it down and pick up the new and clean behavior instead.
  • Let’s decide to be putting on clean clothe and habits that will honor God and bless people!
  • Let’s decide to let God’s Word to sink into our hearts and our lives so that walk refreshed and renewed (like clean clothe that just came out of the dryer)
  • Let’s take hold of God’s truth so that we don’t get stuck wandering around wondering what the stink is until others point it out that it is us. That loudness! That rudeness! Let’s make sure we are speaking from a heart filled with love and a mind filled with the Word of God!
  • Let’s be aware so that when we notice the bad behavior, we can stop ourselves and like dirty clothes, we can change our attitude!
  • Let’s not ignore it but instead let’s do something about it!
  • Let’s put on our clean clothes!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some dirty clothes you’ve worn lately? When did you realize they were dirty?
  • What are some clean clothes you need to put on today?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”

Bob Pierce

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready for the old to be made new? Are you ready to start living a new? Are you ready to be a new creation where the old is gone and the new has come? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Happy New Year! How will 2021 be different? How will 2021 be the same?


It took me some time to consider how I would spend my morning time with God. I was considering different reading places and options. I was considering different devotionals and focus. But as of Tuesday after talking with a friend from Israel, I have decided to use JPS to read through the Old Testament which is in a different order from the Old Testament I have in my Bible as it goes in the order of the Tanakh. I have read through the Bible in many orders over the years including using the Chronological Bible which gave me an interesting twist on things. I have read through the Bible in other orders based on devotionals that would direct me through the Bible in the year. I have read through the Bible in other orders where you read part of the Old Testament or New Testament for the day along with a Proverb and a Psalm. I have read through the Bible with various translations too like King James, New King James, New Living Translation, New International Version, Message, Amplified, Common English Bible, Contemporary English Version, using tools like physical Bibles, biblegateway.com, bible.com, biblestudytools.com, biblehub.com, studylight.org and more. And so this year with the gift I received for Christmas of the One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar that I will read the daily devotional and then after researching reading models for reading the Tanakh that I will read 15-30mins to make my way through that before I turn the page and find a New Testament reading plan for the remainder of the year. The amount I am able to make it through in the Tanakh may vary in cases where I look to compare what it says using online version from Sepharia.org with my go to sources bible.com and biblehub.com.

So 2021 will remain the same with my day starting in God’s Word, exercising, and posting what God is speaking to me to this blog. I almost put my blog but I am just a steward of this blog as God called me to blog back in 2005 and to blog publicly and when I asked what to write about He directed me to write about my morning readings. I remember back in 2005 starting my blog using Windows Live Spaces and the people around the world that connected me to. I remember how in 2010 Windows Live was getting out of the blog business and migrated me to WordPress.com where I have been posting ever since. So I will press forward towards what God is calling me to do in order that I may be a good steward of my time and one day hear from my Lord and Savior, “well done my good and faithful servant“.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for January 1st

ONE THING

Memory Verse of the Day: Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV

‘Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’


Points from the devotional:
  • Remain humble – do not become cocky. Do not allow pride to fill you and cause you to get tripped up. Remember how pride goes before the fall.
  • As long as we are still here, we are a work in progress. God’s not done with us yet!
  • Take hold of the One Thing just like Paul did and how everything we do is to be towards that One Thing, the singular objective made up of two parts: “not dwelling in the past” but “reaching ahead to achieve the vision of the future”.
  • Reflecting on 2020, the past can hold us back or distract us (as my 2020 in the rearview theme spoke to)
  • The past can bog us down in one of two ways and neither are good for us. Ashamed of failures causing every decision we are considering in the present through the prism of grief and fear. Clouded by the glory days and trying to relive those moments rather than use it as a foundation or spring board for the present and future.
  • As my posts about 2020 pointed out, living in the rearview mirror will cause us to miss out on the life we are supposed to be living now. The present where we need to be focusing. Whether positive or negative pasts, getting stuck there will rob you of your the gift of life, the present.
  • Today’s memory verse begins with “forgetting those things which are behind” – and so as Paul tells us we need to forget the past and move forward.
  • Today’s memory verse then points us in the way we should go “reaching forward to those things which are ahead” in order for us to accomplish God’s vision for our lives.
  • Just like how in 2020 I had the opportunity to read the book Chase the Lion which called me to dream big, to set God sized goals, that if my dreams big enough to require God’s help they are too small.
  • We need to take hold of a God sized cause that will make a positive impact on the lives of people and expand the kingdom of God.
  • As I consider and reflect on this I consider my home and my role as husband, father, neighbor, and friend
  • As I consider and reflect on this I consider my workplace and my role as employee, mentor, and manager
  • As I consider and reflect on this I consider my service work and my role as director for T.R.A.C. and director, media, and online mediator for church services
  • In each of these my goal is to make a positive impact on the lives of people and expand the kingdom of God
  • So as I begin 2021 my focus is on Paul’s One Thing – “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Discussion Topics from today’s devotional:
What are some past failures or successes you need to leave behind?
  • eServices
  • Beta Program
  • 2020
  • Central Services
Is there a God-sized cause that has gripped your heart? Explain your answer.
  • H.A.F.K./T.R.A.C. – to lead people in serving kids and teens in the foster care system along with their families
  • Entrepreneurs who are trying to make it work with a transition to online – providing tools and services on a global scale that will help them with their purpose and calling.
Quotes from today’s devotional:

The day our memories become larger than our dreams is the day our soul begins to shrink.

— Ike Reighard

Discipline yourself to do the things you need to do when you need to do them, and the day will come when you will be able to do the things you want to do when you want to do them.

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Happy New Year! Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Thankful this New Year’s Eve!


Has this been a fun year? No. Has this been an enjoyable year? No. Have there been trials? Yes. Have there been troubles? Yes. Have there been challenges? Yes. Have there been trials? Yes. Have there been shake ups and shake downs to try to destabilize me? Yes. Have the challenges and the struggles slowed down or stopped? Nope. Even as I sit here on the eve of a new year, there are many open questions for what is yet to come.

But in the midst of all that there has been so much to be thankful for this new year’s eve that will start my second semi-centennial. I got more time to be with my family as so much of the world shutdown for a while. My wife and I started a routine of reading a devotional and then praying for each other each night after dinner. God’s opened up new doors of communication where I am able to speak to people from around the country and around the world. God’s opened doors for me to have conversations most mornings with other men and share life together. God’s even opened the door for me to be able to connect and pour into on evening a week too. God has provided for the needs of my family. God has protected my family as they come and go. God is love! God is light! My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’s blood and righteousness! My faith allows me to know this is not the end but as each day goes by it draws us closer to His return. I have learned the importance of love! I have learned how important it is to allow God’s love to fill me up in order that I can overflow into the world around me. There are so many things to be thankful for!

I continue to learn from the lessons of the past in order to press forward towards the prize which Jesus has prepared and put before me. I continue to celebrate all that God has done and continues to do to help me through each day. I continue to lean on Him rather than my own understanding so that I won’t be in despair from the attacks of the enemy. I continue to pray believing for God’s wisdom and discernment so that the Holy Spirit can be my comforter and my guide, leading me through each day.

Happy New Year’s Eve of my second semicentennial!


Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Philippians 4:13 and says:

13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]

— Philippians 4:13

With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? T-1 day till we will have October in the rearview mirror. T-1 day till a semicentennial will be in the rearview mirror. It is interesting to consider the first 30 against the last 20 and all that has taken place in the last 20 with God as the focal point, as the center, so that the chord of with Him in the middle has been so much stronger in helping me in and through life. How in the last 20 I have seen lives transformed including my own. I have seen incredible children grow up into incredible human beings who love God and serve people. How God was able to speak to me daily through His Word about where I am at, not to give up, and press in and press on for the glory of His kingdom. They say hindsight is 2020 and it has revealed to me that I still have more to learn and more growing to do. It has revealed to me the importance of have God at the center of the house and the impact it makes not only in my hope but beyond as it extends to work, to the community, to the next generation. So as I reflect on the past, I am excited for the future because I know that God is in control and that He will give me strength to complete the good works He has prepared in advance for me to accomplish. So let’s learn form the past and press forward today! Let’s make the most of today because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring but we do know that today will be more than enough to deal with.

The 49 week challenge
Day 304

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 304 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading
from GOD’S WORD–THE BIBLE:

My Notes:

  • ‘Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.’ — 2 Peter 3:1-18
  • ‘Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack. My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life. Because of their wickedness do not let them escape; in your anger, God, bring the nations down. Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll — are they not in your record? Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord , whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me? I am under vows to you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.’ — Psalms 56:1-13
  • ‘“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord . Therefore this is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord . “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord . “The days are coming,” declares the Lord , “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior. “So then, the days are coming,” declares the Lord , “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.” Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the Lord and his holy words. The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the Lord . “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the Lord . “Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.” Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets: “I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord . They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? See, the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord , “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord . “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord . “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord . “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord , “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? “Therefore,” declares the Lord , “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Yes,” declares the Lord , “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord . “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord . “When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the message from the Lord ?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsake you, declares the Lord .’ If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message from the Lord ,’ I will punish them and their household. This is what each of you keeps saying to your friends and other Israelites: ‘What is the Lord ’s answer?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord ’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God. This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the Lord ’s answer to you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ Although you claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord ,’ this is what the Lord says: You used the words, ‘This is a message from the Lord ,’ even though I told you that you must not claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord .’ Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. I will bring on you everlasting disgrace—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”’ — Jeremiah 23:1-40
  • ‘The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people. “Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings for exile and in the daytime, as they watch, set out and go from where you are to another place. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious people. During the daytime, while they watch, bring out your belongings packed for exile. Then in the evening, while they are watching, go out like those who go into exile. While they watch, dig through the wall and take your belongings out through it. Put them on your shoulder as they are watching and carry them out at dusk. Cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have made you a sign to the Israelites.” So I did as I was commanded. During the day I brought out my things packed for exile. Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands. I took my belongings out at dusk, carrying them on my shoulders while they watched. In the morning the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, did not the Israelites, that rebellious people, ask you, ‘What are you doing?’ “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This prophecy concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the Israelites who are there.’ Say to them, ‘I am a sign to you.’ “As I have done, so it will be done to them. They will go into exile as captives. “The prince among them will put his things on his shoulder at dusk and leave, and a hole will be dug in the wall for him to go through. He will cover his face so that he cannot see the land. I will spread my net for him, and he will be caught in my snare; I will bring him to Babylonia, the land of the Chaldeans, but he will not see it, and there he will die. I will scatter to the winds all those around him—his staff and all his troops—and I will pursue them with drawn sword. “They will know that I am the Lord , when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries. But I will spare a few of them from the sword, famine and plague, so that in the nations where they go they may acknowledge all their detestable practices. Then they will know that I am the Lord .” The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, tremble as you eat your food, and shudder in fear as you drink your water. Say to the people of the land: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says about those living in Jerusalem and in the land of Israel: They will eat their food in anxiety and drink their water in despair, for their land will be stripped of everything in it because of the violence of all who live there. The inhabited towns will be laid waste and the land will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord .’ ” The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel: ‘The days go by and every vision comes to nothing’? Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to put an end to this proverb, and they will no longer quote it in Israel.’ Say to them, ‘The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled. For there will be no more false visions or flattering divinations among the people of Israel. But I the Lord will speak what I will, and it shall be fulfilled without delay. For in your days, you rebellious people, I will fulfill whatever I say, declares the Sovereign Lord .’ ” The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the Israelites are saying, ‘The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’ “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord .’ ”’ — Ezekiel 12:1-28

As day 304 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Today’s devotional that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?


Ever been asked that? Ever had an answer? Are you living the answer now? Are you still wondering what you want to be when you grow up? Ever considered what you have been?

I reflect and consider being a baker, a delivery man, a waiter, a computer programmer, a technical support agent, a web developer, a husband, a father, an international program manager, a secretary, vice president, and president for a homeowners association, a fan, an international product manager, a director of product management, a director for a camp of teenage foster kids, a church board member, a media person, a service producer, and even a people manager.

So where I am now and knowing there is still more time and more life in me, what do I want to be when I grow up? It is interesting the advice you can receive from others. It is interesting the options that are available. It is interesting the actions that might or would be required depending on the answer to the big question: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

I know I would like to watch my kids serve God, finish up their schooling, get married, have families, and grow up. I know I am so blessed with all that God has provided me with from the love of my youth who is my wife to the incredible children who are so amazing, to the home and job that allow me to serve Him and be a blessing to others.

One thing I have learned over the years is that God has a plan and a purpose for my life. He calls me to step up and step into roles that in some cases I wouldn’t have considered or even stepped up for had I not received the call. So as I not only reflect on God’s hand upon me through every role or position I have already had, when I ask what do I want to be when I grow up the only good answer I can come up with is “whoever God wants or needs me to be”.


Day 68: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge  Day 68 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 68 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

With February in the rear view mirror, let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:

(I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Are you prepared for what is to come?
  • Are you preparing for what is yet to come?
  • Are you sending out others ahead of you to help it be prepared?
  • Are you being clear about what is and needs to be done?
  • Are you able to delegate and empower others to do the work that God has for them?
  • Are you able to lead by serving others?
  • Are you able to lead by example?
  • Do they realize that there is more than the miracles of today?
  • Do they realize that it is most important to have your name written in the book of life?
  • Are you ready to give an answer for the hope that is within you?
  • Will you love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength?
  • Will you love your neighbor as yourself?
  • Will you be generous and be a giver?
  • Do you realize what is really important?
  • Do you realize what is needed?
  • Will you choose what is better?
  • Do you know and understand the commands of the Lords you should follow?
  • Do you know what it will take to have a long life?
  • Do you know what it will take to ensure that things go well with you?
  • Do what is good and right in the Lord’s sight!
  • Make sure you understand the reason for the commands and stipulations of the Lord and be prepared to give an answer, a reason for the hope that is within you.
  • Do you know what you are supposed to do? avoid doing?
  • How will you respond and give an answer to God when you face Him at the judgment seat?
  • How will you be able to respond or justify yourself without being under the blood of Jesus?

As day 68 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

It’s new but is it better? Is it really new? Is it just different?


Ever heard that there is nothing new under the Sun? Ever heard people try to reformulate something and then put it out there as new? Is it new? Is it better? Is it different? What impact is the change supposed to make? What improvement is the change supposed to make? Who will benefit? How will they benefit? Will it be real or just a perception? Will it be truth or an illusion? Will it make things better in the long run? Will it help the group? Will it help the customers? When we consider the who, what, where, when, why, and how elements can we answer them and understand them? So how should you respond? How will you respond? How much time should you give it before you need to make a decision or act? Where will you turn for such wisdom and guidance? Do you have a source you can depend on that is the same yesterday, today, and forever? Will you share your hope with those around you who may struggle? Will you share your joy with those around you who may need it? Will you share the love of God with everyone so that you can be the difference and make a difference? Are you ready for a transformation?


Day 59: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge 
 Day 59 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 59 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

January is in the rear view mirror

With January in the rear view mirror, let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:

(I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Ever heard of the word TRANSFIGURED? It means to transform into something more beautiful or elevated. It means to transform outwardly and usually for the better.
  • Ever read of a case where someone was transfigured?
  • Can you imagine the response or reaction to being present when someone is transfigured?
  • What would you response be to a loud, deep, booming voice without someone visible to have said it? I know for me it shocked me, it surprised me, it made me look all around and realize there was nobody else in the room.
  • Would it take a still quiet voice to get your attention and response or does it need to be loud?
  • Will you choose to respond out of faith or out of fear?
  • Will you decided to do it when you are prompted by the Spirit in a still quiet voice?
  • Are you getting prepared before you start your day so that you are ready to respond and accomplish the will of God in and through your life?
  • Do you have faith? Even just a little bit of faith? Will you choose to believe?
  • Will you trust God to provide? Will you trust God that when He calls you too it, He will provide and get you through it?
  • What needs to die for something better to live?
  • Consider how a seed needs to go into the ground and die for the plant to grow and produce more.
  • Will you allow God to get the glory through the good and bad times?
  • Will you praise God when He takes what the enemy planned for evil and used it for good?
  • Will you trust God enough that even when you look or feel cornered?
  • Will you trust God enough that you won’t fear and you won’t worry?
  • Imagine the miracle when God makes a way when there didn’t seem to be a way!
  • God goes before you preparing the good works He has planned for you!
  • God goes behind you to protect you as you move forward after His plan and His will.
  • Imagine finding the Egyptian’s stuff at the bottom of the Red Sea
  • God will use those in authority over you for His glory! The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord!

As day 59 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

So are you going to do? Are you going to live it? Are you going to show it?


Does everyone know why you are who you are? Does everyone know how you do what you do? Does everyone know where your hope and help come from? Does everyone know what motivates and drives you? Does everyone know when your life was transformed and when you had that encounter? Does everyone know who made all things possible and was the reason for your life transformation?


Day 49: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge 
 Day 49 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 49 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

January is in the rear view mirror

With January in the rear view mirror, let’s reflect on what we have learned in the past 6 days as we meditate on God’s Word this 7th day. Do you have any highlights or insights from what we have read in the past 6 days? What connections have you made or can you make in relations to our readings from God’s Word? Have you made time to speak with God through your reading time? Have you made time to speak with God as a part of your daily schedule? Are you prioritizing God enough that He gets prime time with you? Have you missed the mark this week and need to turn back to God and confess it and ask Him for forgiveness? Have you taken time to thank and praise Him for the forgiveness that has already been paid for through the blood of Jesus? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the other blessings in your life? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the answered prayers? Do you have any worries? Are you taking hold of His promise not to worry but to give it up into His hands? Let’s ask God for wisdom and guidance for this day! Let’s put our trust in Him!

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)

Let us acknowledge the Lord ; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.

Hosea 6:3

My Notes:

  • The answer to all my questions that started today’s post is God!
  • I felt God calling me throughout my life and made attempts to connect but I never was able to understand it right and would slide away for a period.
  • I felt God calling me to take confirmation while I was in university and so on my next work term I did but somehow missed the memo that this Christianity things isn’t about routines and rituals and repetition but is rather about relationship.
  • I felt God calling me to get married in the church when we were planning our wedding and so we did and in the midst of all the training and preparation, I missed the reality of who Jesus is again.
  • I gave the option at a point in my career when I knew I had to make a change to both my parents and my in-laws which lead me far from them and far from home and then I lost all the excuses and became open to hear what God had to say. I learned thru the process that part of the reason for the blessing that came my way as I made such a huge shift in my life was because I had done what God had commanded (even though I didn’t do it intentionally for that reason) and it happened to be the one commandment that comes with a promise.
  • It was interesting looking back at God’s hand in getting us not only setup but settled in a place where He would be able to save us, anoint us, heal us, forgive us, transform us, and make us into leaders.
  • If anyone would like to chalk it up to coincidences then if you take the probability of all of the things that happened and made them for one single person it would be hard to achieve, never the less a couple with a new baby.
  • From the invitation to a Christmas production where we felt like we were at home and how it was such a different church for what either of us had ever experienced.
  • From a spiritual emphasis week to start out the new year where we had a divine encounter with God through Jesus Christ and were saved and with the Holy Spirit through the baptism of the Spirit and then even to be cleansed from things and freed from things we didn’t even realize that were there but we discovered had been and were holding us back through Cleansing Stream.
  • God took us right where we were at, not needing us to be perfect or polished
  • God received us into His family but that wasn’t enough, He brought healing and strength and wisdom to allow us to step up and step into all the plans He had in store for us.
  • He has called me to blogging – a guy who wasn’t really into English classes and yet learned so much that I could write. He called me to blog about what He was speaking to me so I could remember and reflect on all that He has said and done in and through my life.
  • Calling me to step up and step out into doing more than I thought I was capable of
  • Calling me to step into performing in front of an audience
  • Calling me to lead men
  • Calling me to lead a tech/production team
  • Calling me to trust Him
  • Calling me to forgive others and to be forgiven by others and Him
  • Calling me to step out of the boat
  • Calling me to lead a product development team
  • Calling me to manage people
  • Calling me to serve people
  • Calling me to serve foster kids
  • Calling me to lead a camp for teens in the foster care system
  • Calling me to lead a group of leaders to provide a fun and safe camp for foster teens
  • Calling me to put first things first and make sure my life aligns to my priorities
  • So why am I who I am? Because I had an encounter with Jesus that has transformed me and my life forever more.
  • So why do I do what I do? So that God can receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.
  • So where does my hope and my help come from? It comes from the Lord!
  • So what motivates and drives me? It is God’s purpose and plan for my life and His calling to be a worker out in the fields of life for the harvest is plenty and the workers are few! He has called me to stand in the gap, which is pretty cool for a guy whose name sounds like fill.
  • So when did my life get transformed? It was when I had an encounter with Jesus when I realized that it wasn’t about rituals or routines but about having a living relationship with Him and knowing that I am never alone because He is with me, He is for me, He will never leave me and never abandon me.
  • So why are all things possible? With man it may seem impossible but with God all things are possible!

As day 49 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Prayer of Salvation
Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansend and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

It’s a new day!


Up and at ’em. Dressed and ready to go. But before I can get my day started I need God’s Word and wisdom. I need to get prepared and the best way I have found to make that happen is to jump into God’s Word which provides with wisdom and discernment to get my day started. It helps bring questions and curiosities to the surface and answers and revelations to help me get ready for today. God’s Words never returns void!


Day 41: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge
– Day 41 —


Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 41 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

Let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Be aware of your surroundings!
  • Be aware of the hearts of the people around you!
  • Be aware that some may be hard and so may not be receptive to you and will require time and effort to build a real relationship of love and trust in order for them to be able to receive the seed of Good News.
  • Be aware that some may be sharp and so need to tread carefully to that neither of you get hurt, it will require that you tread carefully and remove the sharp edges in order to provide room and space for water to go and the seeds to be planted before they will be ready and available to receive the see of Good News.
  • Be aware that some may be filled with thorns and require much more careful and sensitive behaviors, it may require approaching the situation with gloves to protect yourself and still be able to show you care as you pull out the thorns and allow for the sun, the water, and the seed to come in and take root in order for them to be ready and willing to receive the seed of Good News.
  • Some may be ready and have their hearts in a situation to receive the Good News and be saved.
  • In any of these cases we need to be prepared.
  • In any of these cases we need to be willing to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in order to know how to act, respond, and engage.
  • Let’s allow our lights to shine into this dark world.
  • Let’s not allow fear or worry or doubt to turn or hide our lights.
  • Let’s take hold of God’s Word and put it into practice.
  • No matter the storm that comes our way, let’s pray and trust Jesus who can calm the storm or calm our hearts in the midst of the storm.
  • Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s be ambassadors of restoration! Let’s do it because the redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • We each have a part to play!
  • We each have something to carry!
  • Let’s be prepared for this new day and allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength!
  • Trust in God’s timing! He is never late! rarely early! always on time!
  • Will you allow the power of Jesus to engage you?
  • Will you allow the power of Jesus to transform you?
  • Will you allow the power of Jesus to direct you?
  • Let’s live out today glorifying God as living sacrifices!
  • Be prepared for the call of the Lord!
  • Be the one who can answer God’s call He has for you.
  • God has sent the Holy Spirit to give us power to accomplish His purpose, will you be prepared and willing to do what He asks of you?
  • Don’t allow nature or man to cause fear in your heart!
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind!
  • Believe the Lord!
  • Believe the Word of God!
  • Take hold of the promises of Isaiah about Jesus

‘Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord ’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’

Isaiah 53
  • We learn even that back then God was preparing people for the arrival of Jesus!
  • Praise God!
  • Trust God’s timing!
  • Trust God’s plan!
  • Trust God’s purpose!
  • Be prepared for what He will ask of you today!
  • Be bold and courageous for what comes your way!
  • Fear not, Just Believe!

As day 41 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Do you have a plan? Are you ready? Get ready! Get set! Go!


So what’s the plan? You need a plan, not only for you but also for others. Where there is no vision the people perish. Once you have the plan you need to get ready. You need to be prepared. Not only you but the others too. You don’t want to end up like the people who didn’t bring enough oil and didn’t make it. You want to be clear and help everyone get ready like Joshua did in chapter 3. So once we have a plan and we get prepared we will need to go when we get the sign, be it sound to start the race, be it the priests walking to the Jordan river, or whatever sign it is that says or tells you to start to run the plan. And remember… Remember what God did in and through it. Remember how God showed up through it. Remember to share it with others so they too will know how good God is. Let us be good stewards of what God has given that one day we will hear Him say “well done, my good and faithful servant“. Let us put our trust and hope in God so that even when it gets hard and tiring, He will renew our strength.


Today’s reading begins with Joshua:

‘Early the next morning Joshua and all the Israelites left Acacia Grove and arrived at the banks of the Jordan River, where they camped before crossing. Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp, giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about half a mile behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don’t come any closer.” Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.” In the morning Joshua said to the priests, “Lift up the Ark of the Covenant and lead the people across the river.” And so they started out and went ahead of the people. The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’” So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says. Today you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you. Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River! Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord , the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.” So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’

Joshua 3

and

‘When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’” So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there. Joshua also set up another pile of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the place where the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing. And they are there to this day. The priests who were carrying the Ark stood in the middle of the river until all of the Lord ’s commands that Moses had given to Joshua were carried out. Meanwhile, the people hurried across the riverbed. And when everyone was safely on the other side, the priests crossed over with the Ark of the Lord as the people watched. The armed warriors from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh led the Israelites across the Jordan, just as Moses had directed. These armed men—about 40,000 strong—were ready for battle, and the Lord was with them as they crossed over to the plains of Jericho. That day the Lord made Joshua a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites, and for the rest of his life they revered him as much as they had revered Moses. The Lord had said to Joshua, “Command the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant to come up out of the riverbed.” So Joshua gave the command. As soon as the priests carrying the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant came up out of the riverbed and their feet were on high ground, the water of the Jordan returned and overflowed its banks as before. The people crossed the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month. Then they camped at Gilgal, just east of Jericho. It was there at Gilgal that Joshua piled up the twelve stones taken from the Jordan River. Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord ’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”’

Joshua 4

Today’s reading then brings us into Isaiah:

‘“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over for all her sins.” Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord ! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!” A voice said, “Shout!” I asked, “What should I shout?” “Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field. The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord . And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountaintops! Shout it louder, O Jerusalem. Shout, and do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah, “Your God is coming!” Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.

Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord ? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him? Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice? No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand. All the wood in Lebanon’s forests and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough to make a burnt offering worthy of our God. The nations of the world are worth nothing to him. In his eyes they count for less than nothing— mere emptiness and froth. To whom can you compare God? What image can you find to resemble him? Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold, overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains? Or if people are too poor for that, they might at least choose wood that won’t decay and a skilled craftsman to carve an image that won’t fall down! Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand? Are you deaf to the words of God— the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant? God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them. He judges the great people of the world and brings them all to nothing. They hardly get started, barely taking root, when he blows on them and they wither. The wind carries them off like chaff. “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.’

Isaiah 40

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament:

‘“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver A talent is equal to 75 pounds or 34 kilograms. to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip. “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money. “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’ “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’ “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’’

Matthew 25:14-30

and

‘And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.

For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.

Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.’

Philippians 1:12-30

Today’s reading concludes with a new start in Psalms:

‘Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord , meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.’

Psalms 1

Do you need a change? Is it on the inside or the outside?


Do you know what it will take? Do you know what to do? Do you know where to turn? Do you realize the benefits it has?

Have you already made the decision and started moving forward in change? Has it been a mental change? Has it been a physical change? Has it been a heart change? Has it been a spiritual change?

As I ponder these questions, I am so glad that I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior because when I made that decision, I was transformed. I know spiritually I had begun the transformation from the inside out. As I ponder these questions and with knowing through God’s Word that my body is the temple for the Holy Spirit, I am considering what can I do to help make the outside better too. I have purchased workout equipment which probably a good start. I am now considering diet, and how I eat to help as well.

I know that because of the big decision to receive Jesus, it has impacted my life for eternity. I am now considering best ways to live a longer and healthier life to be able to be around for the next generations where not only can I share the importance of living with and for God but also living and eating well. I want to see them grow up and develop into all that God has purposed and planned for each of their lives. Time goes by so fast and so I need to make time to do what is right and make sure to stay on track for all the things God has planned and purposed for my life too.

Will you allow God to radiate in your life to the point where your life will point others to God and to believe in Him? Will you allow God to work in and through your life so that when others see your good works they will praise your Father in heaven?

When someone looks into your eyes, what do they learn? When you look into the eyes of others, what do you learn? Ever heard that the eyes are the window to the soul? Ever considered that windows tell a story based on what you can see? Consider windows you can look in through and see the beauty, the love, the hope. Consider tinted windows where you can’t see anything but darkness or maybe a reflection of yourself. Consider windows that do the screening so that they tell one story without actually knowing what is on the inside, you might be able to get close enough to look through the dots and see in, but from a distance you only case see what it was designed to say. When people take a look into your eyes what do they see? When you look through your eyes how do you see? Is your vision keeping you from seeing others as God does? Are you allowing God glasses to help you see the people He has brought into your life in the way He does so that you can see, hear, understand, and respond like you should?

So what does your face and your eyes say to the world around you?

What does the Bible say about faces and eyes?


How to Have a Spiritual Facelift

Day 242: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. God’s face … Psalm 104:19-30
  2. Our faces … 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
  3. God’s eyes … 2 Chronicles 35:20-36:23

Today’s reading from God’s Word…

  • Psalms 104:19-30
  • 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
    • 7The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. 8Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? 9If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! 10In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. 11So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!
      12Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. 14But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.
      16But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

  • 2 Chronicles 35:20-27
  • 2 Chronicles 36

Are you living the new transformation?


This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! –from 2 Corinthians 5:17

Have you allowed the old you to be crucified with Christ so that the new you can live?

For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

–from Romans 6:4

Have you experience baptism yet? Not christening as a baby but full immersion water baptism? As you consider or remember the experience of going into the water and dying with Christ and then coming out of the water reborn with Christ how did or would that impact you?

How has your life changed after starting your relationship with Jesus? Have you shared the experience with others so that they would know the impact of Jesus on your life?

So are you living the new life? Are you ready to live a new life? Are you willing to receive Jesus into your life and be transformed? Is today your day? Are you taking hold of everything that life can be thanks to your relationship with Jesus and all that He has already done for you?

If not, why not start today?


How to Live Your New Life

Day 201: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalms 87, Romans 6:1-14, Hosea 1, Hosea 2

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/201

  1. New song … Psalm 87:1-7
  2. New freedom … Romans 6:1-14
    • You HAVE BEEN saved from the PENALTY of sin
    • You WILL BE saved from the PRESENCE of sin
    • You ARE BEING saved from the POWER of sin
  3. New love … Hosea 1:1-2:23

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that You have planned for it. I thank You Lord for having sent Jesus to demonstrate Your love for us and for His ultimate sacrifice on the cross and resurrection power that conquers both the grave and the power of sin! Thanks You Lord for the truth through Your Word that calls us to live a transformed life leaving the old ways behind and start living out a new life with Jesus! Grant me wisdom for this day Lord that I may accomplish all that You have for me today! Help my light to shine so that You will be seen through me! Help my light shine so that others may see that I am but reflecting the light of Jesus to the world around me. Lord, thank You for loving me so much that You sent Jesus to this world that I can be saved. May this day I glorify You in the name of Jesus by being a conduit of Your truth, Your love, and Your ways to the people around me so that in and through it all that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you realize the impact of what you are doing?


Do you realize who you are impacting? Do you realize what impact your words are having on others? Do you realize what impact your actions are having on others? Do you realize what impact your behavior is having on others? Do you realize what impact your attitude is having on others? Do you realize the impact of your decisions? Do you realize the impact of your character? Do you realize the impact of your honesty? Do you realize the impact of your integrity? Do you realize the impact of your intent? Do you realize the impact of your caring? Do you realize the impact of your openness? Do you realize the impact of your authenticity? Do you realize the impact of your reputation? Do you realize the impact of your fairness? Do you realize the impact of your experience?

Is your impact positive or negative? Is your impact improving things? Is your impact helping things? Is your impact building up or tearing down? Is your impact setting others up? for success? for failure?


Let’s jump in to read from Zephaniah to kick off our reading for today…

1The Lord gave this message to Zephaniah when Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah.

Coming Judgment against Judah

2“I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” says the Lord. 3“I will sweep away people and animals alike. I will sweep away the birds of the sky and the fish in the sea. I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble, and I will wipe humanity from the face of the earth,” says the Lord. 4“I will crush Judah and Jerusalem with my fist and destroy every last trace of their Baal worship. I will put an end to all the idolatrous priests, so that even the memory of them will disappear. 5For they go up to their roofs and bow down to the sun, moon, and stars. They claim to follow the Lord, but then they worship Molech, too. 6And I will destroy those who used to worship me but now no longer do. They no longer ask for the Lord’s guidance or seek my blessings.” 7Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord, for the awesome day of the Lord’s judgment is near. The Lord has prepared his people for a great slaughter and has chosen their executioners. 8“On that day of judgment,” says the Lord, “I will punish the leaders and princes of Judah and all those following pagan customs. 9Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies, and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. 10“On that day,” says the Lord, “a cry of alarm will come from the Fish Gate and echo throughout the New Quarter of the city. And a great crash will sound from the hills. 11Wail in sorrow, all you who live in the market area, for all the merchants and traders will be destroyed. 12“I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners to punish those who sit complacent in their sins. They think the Lord will do nothing to them, either good or bad. 13So their property will be plundered, their homes will be ransacked. They will build new homes but never live in them. They will plant vineyards but never drink wine from them. 14“That terrible day of the Lord is near. Swiftly it comes— a day of bitter tears, a day when even strong men will cry out. 15It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out— a day of terrible distress and anguish, a day of ruin and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, 16a day of trumpet calls and battle cries. Down go the walled cities and the strongest battlements! 17“Because you have sinned against the Lord, I will make you grope around like the blind. Your blood will be poured into the dust, and your bodies will lie rotting on the ground.” 18Your silver and gold will not save you on that day of the Lord’s anger. For the whole land will be devoured by the fire of his jealousy. He will make a terrifying end of all the people on earth.

–from Zephaniah 1

Will you turn to God? Will you ask for forgiveness? Will you humble yourself and pray? Will you follow His commands? Will you love God? Will you love people? Will you seek to do what is right? Will you invite Jesus into your heart? Will you choose Jesus before it is too late? Will you decide before the end times and judgement comes? What would it take? How bad would things have to get? How far down the downward spiral would you have to travel before you start looking up and asking God? We all have to decide for ourselves! Your choice and decision do make a difference! Don’t miss out because of your selfishness or pride!

A Call to Repentance

1Gather together—yes, gather together, you shameless nation. 2Gather before judgment begins, before your time to repent is blown away like chaff. Act now, before the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger begins. 3Seek the Lord, all who are humble, and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you— protect you from his anger on that day of destruction.

Judgment against Philistia

4Gaza and Ashkelon will be abandoned, Ashdod and Ekron torn down. 5And what sorrow awaits you Philistines who live along the coast and in the land of Canaan, for this judgment is against you, too! The Lord will destroy you until not one of you is left. 6The Philistine coast will become a wilderness pasture, a place of shepherd camps and enclosures for sheep and goats. 7The remnant of the tribe of Judah will pasture there. They will rest at night in the abandoned houses in Ashkelon. For the Lord their God will visit his people in kindness and restore their prosperity again.

Judgment against Moab and Ammon

8“I have heard the taunts of the Moabites and the insults of the Ammonites, mocking my people and invading their borders. 9Now, as surely as I live,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, “Moab and Ammon will be destroyed— destroyed as completely as Sodom and Gomorrah. Their land will become a place of stinging nettles, salt pits, and eternal desolation. The remnant of my people will plunder them and take their land.” 10They will receive the wages of their pride, for they have scoffed at the people of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 11The Lord will terrify them as he destroys all the gods in the land. Then nations around the world will worship the Lord, each in their own land.

Judgment against Ethiopia and Assyria

12“You Ethiopians will also be slaughtered by my sword,” says the Lord. 13And the Lord will strike the lands of the north with his fist, destroying the land of Assyria. He will make its great capital, Nineveh, a desolate wasteland, parched like a desert. 14The proud city will become a pasture for flocks and herds, and all sorts of wild animals will settle there. The desert owl and screech owl will roost on its ruined columns, their calls echoing through the gaping windows. Rubble will block all the doorways, and the cedar paneling will be exposed to the weather. 15This is the boisterous city, once so secure. “I am the greatest!” it boasted. “No other city can compare with me!” But now, look how it has become an utter ruin, a haven for wild animals. Everyone passing by will laugh in derision and shake a defiant fist.

–from Zephaniah 2

Will you choose to rebel? Will you choose redemption? There are many paths but only one that will lead you to God! Jesus told us that He is the way! Will you turn to Him? Will you allow Him to transform you from the inside out? My redeemer lives! Choose to be redeemed by Jesus! Don’t walk out on God (or think you should or could)! Don’t walk away from God (or think you can hide from Him)! Turn back to God! Ask Him to heal and forgive you! Come with a humble spirit! Allow Jesus to start a work in your heart that will transform you for the rest of your life and the rest of eternity!

Jerusalem’s Rebellion and Redemption

1What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem, the city of violence and crime! 2No one can tell it anything; it refuses all correction. It does not trust in the Lord or draw near to its God. 3Its leaders are like roaring lions hunting for their victims. Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time, who by dawn have left no trace of their prey. 4Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain. Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions. 5But the Lord is still there in the city, and he does no wrong. Day by day he hands down justice, and he does not fail. But the wicked know no shame. 6“I have wiped out many nations, devastating their fortress walls and towers. Their streets are now deserted; their cities lie in silent ruin. There are no survivors— none at all. 7I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now! Surely they will listen to my warnings. Then I won’t need to strike again, destroying their homes.’ But no, they get up early to continue their evil deeds. 8Therefore, be patient,” says the Lord. “Soon I will stand and accuse these evil nations. For I have decided to gather the kingdoms of the earth and pour out my fiercest anger and fury on them. All the earth will be devoured by the fire of my jealousy. 9“Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the Lord together. 10My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia will come to present their offerings. 11On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed, for you will no longer be rebels against me. I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you. There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain. 12Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord. 13The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will never tell lies or deceive one another. They will eat and sleep in safety, and no one will make them afraid.” 14Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment and will disperse the armies of your enemy. And the Lord himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last your troubles will be over, and you will never again fear disaster. 16On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, “Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! 17For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” 18“I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will be disgraced no more. 19And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed. 20On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction, among all the nations of the earth, as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

–from Zephaniah 3

Jesus knew the price it would cost to be able to redeem the sins of this world! Jesus knew the cost of wanting to make a way when there wasn’t a way! Jesus knew that it would have to be something He took into His own hands in order to provide that way to bridge the gap and reconcile us back to God’s righteousness! And even though we didn’t deserve it, He came and gave His all! He gave His life on the cross! He conquered death! He is now seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us!

Have you decided to follow after Jesus? Have you decided to ask Him into your heart? Are you now walking in the hope that comes from that relationship? Are you now walking in the truth of Jesus to be able to lead you and guide you all the days of your life?

If not, why not start today? Go questions? Leave me a message!

Let’s get back into God’s Word…His love letter to us!

Paul Preaches in Thessalonica

1Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people. 3He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.” 4Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.
5But some of the Jews were jealous, so they gathered some troublemakers from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot. They attacked the home of Jason, searching for Paul and Silas so they could drag them out to the crowd. 6Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the other believers instead and took them before the city council. “Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted, “and now they are here disturbing our city, too. 7And Jason has welcomed them into his home. They are all guilty of treason against Caesar, for they profess allegiance to another king, named Jesus.”
8The people of the city, as well as the city council, were thrown into turmoil by these reports. 9So the officials forced Jason and the other believers to post bond, and then they released them.

Paul and Silas in Berea

10That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.
13But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble. 14The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him.

Paul Preaches in Athens

16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. 17He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.
18He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.”
19Then they took him to the high council of the city. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. 20“You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” 21(It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)
22So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, 23for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.
24“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
27“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.
30“God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. 31For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
32When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” 33That ended Paul’s discussion with them, 34but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

–from Acts 17

Will you allow Jesus to create a new heart you in? Will you allow Jesus to transform you into a new creation? Will you allow Jesus lead you into heaven? Let’s live out our lives to please God! Let’s be God’s ambassadors to this world! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s not do it to puff ourselves up but to point people to the one who deserves all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Let’s be ambassadors of Christ to the world around us!

New Bodies

1For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.4While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
6So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

We Are God’s Ambassadors

11Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

–from 2 Corinthians 5

It’s time to decide…


Which way will you go? Who will you follow? How will you live? What will that look like? Where will that take you? When will you choose? When will you decide?

It’s time to decide!


If the people before you were heading the wrong way, will you follow? If the people before were heading the wrong way, will you turn around and head in the right direction? It’s now in your hands so choose wisely!

1Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah. 2He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 3He walked in all the sins of his father which he had done before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to Adonai his God, like the heart of his father David. 4Nevertheless, for David’s sake, Adonai his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, raising up his son after him and establishing Jerusalem. 5For David did what was right in Adonai’s eyes and did not turn aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 6As there had been war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life, 7so there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. The rest of the deeds of Abijam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 8Then Abijam slept with his fathers so they buried him in the city of David, and his son Asa became king in his place.

Asa Starts Out Right

9In the twentieth year of King Jeroboam of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah. 10He reigned 41 years in Jerusalem; his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 11Now Asa did what was right in Adonai’s eyes, like his father David. 12He also expelled the male prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13Also he deposed his mother Maacah from being queen mother, because she had made an abominable image as an Asherah pole. So Asa cut down her image and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14But they did not take away the high places. Nevertheless Asa’s heart was wholly devoted to Adonai all his days. 15He brought into the House of Adonai the consecrated things of his father as well as his own consecrated things of silver, gold, and utensils. 16Now there was war between Asa and King Baasa of Israel all their days. 17King Baasa of Israel marched against Judah, and he built up Ramah to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to King Asa of Judah. 18Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasuries of Adonai’s House and the treasuries of the royal palace, and delivered them into the hand of his officials. King Asa sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, son of Hezion, king of Aram, who resided in Damascus, saying: 19“Let there be a treaty between me and you, as it was between my father and your father. I have just sent you a present of silver and gold; go, break your treaty with King Baasa of Israel, so that he may withdraw from me.” 20So Ben-Hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, conquering Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah and all Chinneroth, as well as all the land of Naphtali. 21When Baasa heard it, he stopped fortifying Ramah and remained in Tirzah. 22Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah—none was exempted—and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber which Baasa had built. Then King Asa built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah with them. 23Now the rest of all the deeds of Asa, all his might, all he did and the cities that he built—are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? But in his old age he was diseased in his feet. 24And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David, and his son Jehoshaphat became king his place.

End of Jeroboam’s Line

25Nadab son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of King Asa of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26He also did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, walking in the way of his father and in his sins that he caused Israel to commit. 27Then Baasa son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar conspired against him, and Baasa struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging Gibbethon. 28So Baasa slew him, in the third year of King Asa of Judah, and became king in his place. 29As soon as he became king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not spare Jeroboam anything with breath until he had destroyed him, just as was the word of Adonai that He spoke by the hand of His servant Ahijah the Shilonite, 30because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and caused Israel to commit, by which he utterly provoked Adonai, God of Israel. 31Now the rest of the deeds of Nadab and all he did—are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 32So there was war between Asa and King Baasa of Israel all their days. 33In the third year of King Asa of Judah, Baasa son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, reigning 24 years. 34He did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and followed the way of Jeroboam and the sin that he had made Israel commit.

–from 1 Kings 15

Will you start strong? Will continue strong? Will you finish strong? Trust God in and through it all!

Asa’s Reforms Bring Adonai’s Rest

1Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of Adonai his God. 2He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. 3He commanded Judah to seek Adonai, the God of their fathers, and to obey the Torah and the mitzvah. 4He also removed the high places and the incense stands out of all the cities of Judah. So the kingdom remained untroubled under him. 5He built up fortified cities in Judah, for the land was untroubled and he was not engaged in warfare during those years because Adonai had given him rest. 6Then he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars, while the land is still ours because we have sought Adonai Eloheinu. We sought Him and He has given us rest all around.” So they built and were successful.

Appeal to Defeat the Cushites

7Now Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah who bore shields and spears and 280,000 from Benjamin who bore shields and drew bows. All of these were valiant warriors. 8Then Zerah the Cushite marched against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots. When he arrived at Mareshah, 9Asa went out to meet him and they arrayed for battle in the valley of Zephath at Mareshah. 10Then Asa cried to Adonai his God and said, “Adonai, there is no one like You to help in battle between the mighty and the powerless. Help us, Adonai Eloheinu, for we rely on You and in Your Name we have come against this multitude. You are Adonai Eloheinu! Let no man prevail against You.” 11So Adonai struck down the Cushites before Asa and before Judah. The Cushites fled 12and Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So many of the Cushites fell that they could not recover because they were shattered before Adonai and before His army. They carried away very much spoil. 13They destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the terror from Adonai came on them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much spoil in them. 14They also attacked the tents of herdsmen and carried off many sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

–from 2 Chronicles 14

Stick with God! Don’t stray from Him! Build up your relationship and trust in Him! Don’t turn away from Him! Walk through life with Him! Be patient! Be obedient! Be true! Finish strong and receive the reward!

Prophets Encourage Further Reforms

1The Ruach Elohim came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2He went out to meet Asa, and said to him, “Listen to me Asa, all Judah and Benjamin. Adonai is with you as long as you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will spurn you. 3For many days Israel was without the true God, without a teaching kohen and without Torah. 4But in their distress they turned to Adonai, the God of Israel, and sought Him, and He was found by them. 5In those times there was no shalom for anyone coming or going, for there were many conflicts among all the inhabitants of the lands. 6Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. 7But you, chazak! Do not let your hands be slack for there is reward for your labor.” 8When Asa heard these words as well as the prophecy of the prophet Oded, he took courage and removed the abominations from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns that he had seized in the hill country of Ephraim. He also repaired Adonai’s altar that was in front of Adonai’s entryway. 9He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, as well as those dwelling with them from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon—for many had defected to him from Israel when they saw that Adonai his God was with him. 10So they assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11On that day they sacrificed to Adonai 700 bulls and 7,000 sheep from the spoil that they had brought. 12They entered into a covenant to seek Adonai, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul. 13Whoever would not seek Adonai, God of Israel, would be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14They also made an oath to Adonai with a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets and with shofarot. 15All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their will and He was found by them. Then Adonai gave them rest all around. 16He also deposed Maacah, the mother of King Asa, from being queen because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her abominable image, crushed it and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17Though the high places were not removed from Israel, still Asa’s heart was completely committed to Adonai all his days. 18He brought into the House of God his father’s consecrated articles, as well as his consecrated articles of silver and gold, and utensils.

–from 2 Chronicles 15

Keep your eyes on God! Remember His faithfulness! Turn to God first for answers, as you did when you first believed! Don’t allow fear to be the motivation or driver! Fear Not, Just Believe! Don’t be fooled! Don’t be tricked! Don’t allow pride to get in the way of all God had planned! Stand firm! Put on the full armor of God! Finish strong!

Asa Backslides

1In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasa of Israel marched against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from leaving or coming to King Asa of Judah. 2In response, Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the House of Adonai and from the royal palace, and sent them to King Ben-hadad of Aram who lived in Damascus saying, 3“Let there be a covenant between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. Look, I have sent you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with King Baasha of Israel so that he may withdraw from me.” 4So Ben-hadad consented to King Asa’s request and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel. They ravaged Ijon, Dan, Abelmaim and all the storage cities of Naphtali. 5When Baasa heard, he stopped building Ramah and stopped his work. 6Then King Asa took up all of Judah to carry away the stones of Ramah and the timber with which Baasa had been building—with them he fortified Geba and Mizpah. 7At that time the seer Hanani came to King Asa of Judah and said to him: “Because you have depended on the king of Aram, and not depended on Adonai your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. 8Were not the Cushites and the Libyans a mighty army with many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on Adonai, He delivered them into your hand. 9For the eyes of Adonai range throughtout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are wholly His. You have acted foolishly in this matter. Indeed, from now on you will have wars.” 10Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the prison for he was enraged at him for this. Also Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time. 11Behold, the acts of Asa, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12Now in the thirty-nineth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet. His illness was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek Adonai but physicians. 13Finally Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 14He was buried in his own tomb, which he had hewn out for himself in the city of David. They laid him in his resting place, which was filled with sweet spices and various blended perfumes and they made a very large fire for him.

–from 2 Chronicles 16

It’s time to choose before it is too late! It’s time to ask Jesus into your heart and to start that relationship with Him! It’s time to be filled up and encouraged by Him and begin the journey as the new you, as the new creation with the old gone and the new, born again! It’s time to choose to be different! It’s time to choose to make a difference! It’s time to live out a life of faith that will bring God all the praise, the honor, and the glory! It’s time to choose life! It’s time to choose now in order to get to experience the greater things of God!

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

1Then I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2I looked, and behold, there was a white horse. The one riding on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him. He went out as a conqueror so he might conquer. 3When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!” 4Then another horse came out, fiery red. The one riding on it was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. He was given a great sword. 5When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come!” And behold, I saw a black horse. The one riding on it held a balance scale in his hand. 6Then I heard something like a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius—but do no harm to the oil and wine!” 7When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living creature saying, “Come!” 8Behold, I saw a horse, pale greenish gray. The name of the one riding on it was Death, and Sheol was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword and by famine and by plague and by the wild beasts of the earth. 9When the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those slaughtered for the sake of the word of God and for the witness they had. 10And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “O Sovereign Master, holy and true, how long before You judge those who dwell on the earth and avenge our blood?” 11Then a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants was complete—their brothers and sisters who were to be killed as they had been. 12I saw when the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as black as sackcloth made of goat’s hair, and the full moon became like blood. 13The stars of heaven fell to the earth like a fig tree drops unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14The heaven ripped apart like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from their places. 15Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the military commanders and the rich and the mighty and everyone—slave and free—hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16And they tell the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

–from The Revelation 6

How much pain do you want to suffer? How much pain do you want to endure?

It’s time to choose! It’s time to decide!

 

 

 

Do you trust Him? Will you honor Him?


What if someone called on you to do something for them. What if it was a “special mission”? What if it was so important they wanted you to take an oath that you would go and get it done? How would you respond? Would you trust him? Would you honor your word to him?

Today’s reading we see Abraham who doesn’t want his son Isaac to marry a local girl, but one from his own kind. Abraham calls his oldest servant and asks him to go and find such a girl for Isaac. The servant realizes that God blesses his master. The servant also realizes that the person may not want to come back leaving their family behind. Let’s watch this play out and see how the servant honors Abraham and how God honors the servant for his obedience and trust.

Courting of Rebekah

1Now Abraham was old, advanced in years, and Adonai blessed Abraham in everything.
2Then Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household who managed everything that belonged to him, “Now put your hand under my thigh,
3so that I may make you take an oath by Adonai, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I am dwelling.
4On the contrary, to my land and to my relatives you must go and get a wife for my son Isaac.
5But the servant said to him, “Suppose the woman were unwilling to follow after me to this land? Should I then have your son go back to the land you came from?
6Abraham said to him, “See to it that you don’t return my son there.
7Adonai, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from my native land and who spoke to me and made a pledge to me saying, ‘To your seed I will give this land’—He will send His angel before you and you will take a wife for my son from there.
8If the woman is not willing to follow after you, then you will be free from this oath of mine. Nevertheless, you must not return my son there.”
9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and he made a pledge to him concerning this matter.
10Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and left with all the best of his master’s things in his hand. Then he arose and went to Aram-Naharaim, to Nahor’s city.
11Then he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at evening time, the time for the going out to draw water.
12Adonai, the God of Abraham my master,” he said, “please make something happen before me today, and show loyalty to Abraham my master.
13Look, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are going out to draw water.
14Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please tip your jar so that I may drink,’ and she will say, ‘Drink—and I’ll also water your camels’—let her be the one You have appointed for your servant Isaac. So by this I’ll know that You have shown graciousness to my master.”
15Now before he had finished speaking, behold there was Rebekah (who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother) going out with her jar on her shoulder.
16Now the young woman was very good looking, a girl of marriageable age, and she was a virgin. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up.
17Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me sip a little water from your jar.”
18So she said, “Drink, my lord,” and she quickly lowered her jar onto her hand and gave him a drink.
19Now when she finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll also draw water for your camels until they’ve finished drinking.”
20So she quickly poured out her jug into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew water for all his camels,
21while the man continued to pay close attention to her, keeping silent in order to know whether or not Adonai had made his way successful.
22Now after the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a nose ring of gold weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets on her hands weighing ten shekels of gold.
23“Whose daughter are you?” he said. “Please tell me. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24She said to him, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.”
25She also said to him, “There’s both straw and plenty of feed with us, as well as room to spend the night.”
26Then the man bowed down and worshipped Adonai,
27and he said, “Blessed be Adonai, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His loyalty and His truth toward my master. As for me, Adonai has guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.”
28Then the young woman ran and told her mother’s house these things.
29Now Rebekah had a brother and his name was Laban, and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring.
30As soon as he saw the nose ring and the bracelets on his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister saying, “Thus the man said to me,” he went to the man. There he was, standing by the camels at the spring.
31So he said, “Come in, blessed of Adonai. Why are you standing outside when I’ve tidied up the house and there is room for the camels?”
32So the man came to the house and he unloaded the camels. Straw and feed were given to the camels and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.
33Food was placed before him to eat, but he said, “I won’t eat until I’ve stated my business.” So he said, “Speak.”
34“I am Abraham’s servant,” he said.
35Adonai has blessed my master very much so that he has become great, and He has given to him flocks of sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male slaves and female slaves, camels and donkeys.
36Now Sarah, my master’s wife, gave birth to a son for my master after she was old, and He gave him everything he owns.
37Then my master made me take an oath, saying, ‘You must not take a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I’m dwelling.’
38Instead you must go to my father’s house and to my family, and take a wife for my son.’
39But I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman won’t come back with me?’
40So he said to me, ‘Adonai, before whom I’ve walked continually, will send His angel with you, and He will make your way successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s household.
41Then you’ll be free from my oath—if you come to my family and if they don’t give her to you—then you’ll be free from my oath.’
42So I came today to the spring and I said, ‘Adonai, the God of Abraham my master, if You are really going to make my way upon which I am walking successful,
43look, I’m standing by the spring of water. So let it be that the unmarried girl who is going out to draw water, to whom I’ll say, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jug,”
44and she’ll say to me, “You drink, and I’ll also draw water for your camels”—let her be the woman whom Adonai appoints for my master’s son!’
45I had not yet finished speaking to my heart, and behold there was Rebekah going out—her jug was on her shoulder and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’
46And she quickly lowered her jug off of her and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll also water your camels.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels.
47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ Then I placed the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her hands.
48I bowed down and worshipped Adonai and blessed Adonai, the God of my master Abraham, who guided me on the true way to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son.
49So now, if you’re really going to show loyalty and truth to my master, tell me. But if not, tell me and I’ll turn to the right or to the left.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, and they said, “The matter proceeds from Adonai. We cannot speak to you bad or good.
51Rebekah is before you. Take her and go, and let her become a wife for our master’s son, just as Adonai has spoken.”
52Now when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground to Adonai.
53Then the servant brought out articles of silver and gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brothers and to her mother.
54Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and spent the night. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me off to my master.”
55But her brother with her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days—or ten. Afterwards she may go.”
56But he said to them, “Don’t delay me, since Adonai has made my way successful. Send me off so that I can go to my master.”
57So they said, “We’ll call the young woman and let’s ask her opinion.”
58Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.”
59So they sent Rebekah their sister off with her nanny, and Abraham’s servant and his men,
60and they blessed Rebekah and said to her: “Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands, and may your seed possess the gate of those who hate him.”
61Then Rebekah got up, with her maids, and they mounted the camels and followed after the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.
62Now Isaac had come from visiting Beer-lahai-roi and was living in the land of the Negev.
63Isaac went out to meditate strolling in the field at dusk. Then he lifted up his eyes and saw, behold, camels were coming.
64Rebekah also lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac. Then she fell off her camel.
65Then she said to the servant, “Who is that man there who is walking in the field—to meet us?” The servant said, “He is my master.” So she took the veil and covered herself.
66Then the servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done.
67Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother, took Rebekah and she became his wife—and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after the loss of his mother.
–from Genesis 24

God can and will help you if you are willing to invite Him into the situation. He will give you signs to show you the right way, the right path, the right decision, and complete the good work He has planned in advance for you to do. God’s plan is good!

What will it take for you to turn from your old ways? What will it take for you to turn back to Jesus? What will it take to transform you life and become a new creation? Let’s check out Saul and how Jesus got a hold of his heart and transformed the rest of his life… Imagine going from number one enemy to the biggest champion of the cause. Imagine taking all the knowledge you had and being able to turn it from trying to tear something down to building something up! Imagine such a world! Words have power so choose to build up!

Saul Turns from Murder to Messiah

1Now Saul, still breathing out threats and murder against the Lord’s disciples, went to the kohen gadol .
2He requested letters of introduction from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
3As he was traveling, approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
5“Who are You, Lord?” Saul said. “I am Yeshua—whom you are persecuting.
6But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7The men travelling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.
8Saul got up from the ground—but opening his eyes, he could see nothing. They led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.
9For three days he could not see, and he did not eat or drink.
10Now there was a disciple named Ananias in Damascus. The Lord said to him, “Ananias.” He said, “Here I am, Lord.”
11The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street named Straight, and ask in the house of Judah for someone from Tarsus named Saul. For look, he is praying;
12and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and laying his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.”
13But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man—how much harm he has done to your kedoshim in Jerusalem.
14And here he has authority from the ruling kohanim to tie up all who call on Your name.”
15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a choice instrument to carry My name before nations and kings and Bnei-Yisrael.
16For I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
17So Ananias left and entered into the house. Laying hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Yeshua, the One who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming—has sent me, so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh.”
18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was immersed;
19and when he had taken food, he was strengthened. Now for several days, he was with the disciples in Damascus.
20Immediately he began proclaiming Yeshua in the synagogues, saying, “He is Ben-Elohim.”
21All those hearing him were amazed. They were saying, “Isn’t this the one who made havoc in Jerusalem for all those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to bring them as prisoners before the ruling kohanim?”
22But Saul kept growing stronger, and he was confounding the Jewish people living in Damascus by proving that Yeshua is the Messiah.
23When many days had passed, these Jewish people plotted to kill him—
24but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night, to kill him.
25But the disciples took Saul by night and let him down over the wall, lowering him in a basket.
26When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he made attempts to join up with the disciples—but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.
27But Barnabas took him in and brought him to the emissaries. He described to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and the Lord had spoken to him, and how he had spoken boldly in the name of Yeshua.
28So Saul was with them, going in and out in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
29He was speaking and arguing with the Hellenists, but they were trying to kill him.
30When the brothers found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
31So Messiah’s community throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had shalom and was built up. Walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, it kept multiplying.
Signs and Wonders Follow Peter
32Peter went here and there among them all. He came down as well to thekedoshim living in Lydda.
33There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years—he was paralyzed.
34Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Messiah Yeshua heals you. Get up and pack up your bed.” Immediately, he got up!
35All who lived in Lydda and the Plain of Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
36In Joppa, there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translates as Dorcas). She was full of mitzvot and tzadakah, which she continually did.
37In those days, she became ill and died. When they had washed her for burial, they placed her in an upstairs room.
38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples—hearing that Peter was there—sent two men to him, begging him, “Please come to us without delay!”
39So Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. All the widows were crying, showing all the tunics and other clothing Dorcas had made while she was with them.
40But Peter sent them all outside, and he got down on his knees and prayed. Then, turning to the body, he said “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41He gave her his hand and raised her up. Then he called the kedoshim and widows and presented her alive.
42It became known throughout Joppa, and many came to believe in the Lord.
43So it happened that Peter stayed on in Joppa for several days with Simon, a tanner.
–from Acts 9

Imagine running for you life and then God tells you to go and find the guy who has been hunting you down. Imagine how much you would have to allow your faith in God to overrule your fear. Imagine how much you would have to trust God in order to step out and meet the person who has been going all over the place trying to kill you. Imagine the stories if you were the person God used to change their lives and the history of the world!

Fear Not, Just Believe!

We will all be tempted! We will all face trials of many kinds! We will all have troubles! BUT don’t be dismayed! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds! Be an overcomer when you face troubles!

Today’s reading concludes with Jesus being tempted by the devil, using God’s Word and trying to see if he could trip up Jesus…

Overcoming Temptation with God’s Word

1Then Yeshua was led by the Ruach into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2After He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.
3And when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are Ben-Elohim, tell these stones to become bread.”
4But He replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on the highest point of the Temple.
6“If You are Ben-Elohim,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written, ‘He shall command His angels concerning you,’ and ‘upon their hands they shall lift you up, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7Yeshua said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put Adonai your God to the test.’”
8Again, the devil takes Him to a very high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
9And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
10Then Yeshua says to him, “Go away, satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship Adonai your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”
11Then the devil leaves Him. And behold, angels came and began to take care of Him.
–from Matthew 4

Left to our own ways, we would just get ourselves into more trouble. But if we will turn back to God and follow after Him, we will find joy unspeakable that won’t go away, peace that goes beyond all understanding. Not that we won’t have problems, but God will be with us! Not that we won’t face trials of many kind, but God will be with us! Not that we won’t have troubles, but God will be with us! So ask Jesus into your life! Allow Him to heal your heart and protect your mind! Put on the full armor of God!

Yeshua Withdraws to Seek God

12Now when Yeshua heard that John had been handed over, He withdrew to the Galilee.
13Leaving Natzeret, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali.
14This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,
15“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations—
16the people sitting in darkness have seen a great light, and those sitting in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”
17From then on, Yeshua began to proclaim, “Turn away from your sins, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
–from Matthew 4

So will you raise up others? Will you be a leader who raises others up? Will you call them to their full potential? Will you see them where they are at and call them to what you see they could be? Will you be someone who gives them a hand up instead of a hand out? Will you help them to step out and become the person they were created on purpose, with purpose and for a purpose to be?

Jesus did…

Raising Up Fishers of Men

18Now as Yeshua was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter and Andrew his brother. They were casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.
19And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
20Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
21Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother. They were in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them.
22Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.
23Yeshua was going throughout all the Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness among the people.
24News about Him spread throughout all Syria. And they brought to Him all the sick—those tormented by various diseases and afflictions, those plagued by demons, the epileptics, the paralyzed—and He healed them.
25And large crowds followed Him from the Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.
–from Matthew 4

 

Want you work to be of worth?


Want your work to not be in vain? Want your work to be fulfilling? Want your work to have purpose? Then be steadfast, be immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord! When we are working in the Lord, our labor is not in vain!

Yes, there will be struggles! Yes, there will be obstacles! But in them we will see glimpses of success! Yes, there will be brokenness! Yes, there will be pain! But in them there is still hope!

Today’s Reading dives into this subject as follows…

The Resurrection of Christ

 1Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

 12Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. 29Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30Why are we in danger every hour? 31I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

The Resurrection Body

 35But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Mystery and Victory

 50I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

–from 1 Corinthians 15

When we turn our lives over to God, when we turn back to Him as our source, when we ask Jesus into our hearts and start to live in relationship with Him, life changes! We are new creations! The old is gone and the new has come! We bury the dead and are reborn a new! We are redeemed!

Now imagine that power and purpose in your work and efforts! Redeem your work too!

I have had people speak to me about work, about their worries and concerns! I express how for me I do my best and then I let God take care of the rest! When you live and work with the mindset that you are working for God, it transforms it all!

Be it the verse:

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

–from Colossians 3:23

or

rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,

–from Ephesians 6:7

or

Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.

–from Proverbs 16:3

It all points to the same thing! It all points to the truth that if we want our work to be fulfilling, we need to be working as unto God not unto man! And when we put His purpose and plans first, then He will take care of the rest!

Yes, there was the fall in the garden that we have to deal with in this fallen world, but that isn’t where we should stay or end or live! Jesus came that we would have life and life to the full! Jesus came to redeem our lives from where it was to where it should be! We are saved by grace through faith as a gift so that nobody can boast! We didn’t do anything other than receive it! And if you haven’t accepted it or received it and are living in the old life and the old way, maybe today is the day you will take a moment and ask Jesus into your heart and start the journey!

Want to talk about it? Leave me a comment as I am happy to talk with you, pray with you, and share God’s love with you in and through it all.

Today’s devotional (Finding Fulfillment At Work-day 3) is on this subject and here is an excerpt to hear it from another person’s perspective!

Work is Redeemed.

After months of hard work, the deal goes through. Sales skyrocket after a new product launches successfully. A new member to a team adds value and energy. Projects are completed on time.

In the midst of struggle and obstacles, we see glimpses of success. In the brokenness of work, we have hope. Thanks to God’s grace, we aren’t stuck in the Fall forever.

In Genesis and the creation story, we learn the origin of our work. In the Fall, we know the difficult realities of work. Christ lived an earthly life and died a horrific death to pay the wages for our sin. This sacrificial act redeems and frees us from a life enslaved to sin. We can begin to see the untangling of the sinful consequences of the Fall. We get a foretaste of the world to come, of how things could be. However, we still face the obstacles of sin in our daily work. We await the final restoration when Christ returns to make all things new.

A Christ-centered Perspective

A redemptive, Christ-centered perspective helps us see the significance and hope in our mundane jobs.

Jesus’ days on earth ultimately make our most ordinary days significant. He died to redeem our sin and all of creation, including work. Without Christ’s redemption, our work would be plagued by our sin. Now, the work of our hands matters. We can help bring redemption to every facet of work, furthering God’s kingdom.

We are called to serve faithfully in our vocation in light of the gospel. Our vocation may not be to take the gospel to new places and preach it to people who have never heard it, but it is still important to be faithful in the mundane.

As we do our daily work, we should do it with the hope of the resurrection when everything will be set right and sin will be no more. We should strive to bring order to disorder, treat others with love, and demonstrate integrity in all that we do.

Our work, if it is done for God’s glory through his grace, demonstrates the nature of God’s kingdom.

Christ’s sacrifice frees us from the grips of sin today, not just eternally. Because of Christ’s redemption, our work holds significance, and when done to God’s glory, our work is good.

The garbage man works every day to keep God’s creation clean. The accountant brings order to chaotic finances and spreadsheets. The doctor redeems sickness and heals pain. The teacher shares knowledge and skills with children and adults. The artist and musician capture, interpret, and portray truth in many forms. Every good and moral job can bring redemption to God’s creation.

How do you see the effects of redemption in your work?

–from Finding Fulfillment At Work-day 3

So will you put Jesus in the center of your life? Will you allow Him to be the north star for your life? Will you allow Him into your heart and clean out the junk of the past and redeem not only you and your life, but also your work, your relationships, and more? Will you do what is best and what is right and allow God to take care of the rest?

Ask Jesus into your heart! It’s not just about rituals and routines, it is about a true living relationship with Him! He will be with you, never leaving you nor abandoning you! His Spirit will give you wisdom and direction, discernment and correction when you open yourself up to His purpose, His plans, His will!

We may make a plan for today, but it is God that directs our steps.

I look at my calendar and ask God to use it for His will and His purpose!

Throughout the day I will watch some meetings disappear and others stick around! His way is incredible!

So what will you do? Do you want your life to be fulfilling?

What will it take for you to believe?


Some hear it and believe it! Some see it and believe it! (seeing is believing they say) And yet others still do not believe!

What will it take you before you will believe?

To what stage does your life need to get? To what point does it have to reach? Is there anything that would get you to the point of believing?

Today’s reading shows how for some they will believe from hearing and go…

Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

43After spending two days there, Jesus left and went to Galilee. 44For he himself had said, “Prophets are not respected in their own country.” 45When he arrived in Galilee, the people there welcomed him, because they had gone to the Passover Festival in Jerusalem and had seen everything that he had done during the festival.
46Then Jesus went back to Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. A government official was there whose son was sick in Capernaum. 47When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to go to Capernaum and heal his son, who was about to die. 48Jesus said to him, “None of you will ever believe unless you see miracles and wonders.”
49“Sir,” replied the official, “come with me before my child dies.”
50Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live!”
The man believed Jesus’ words and went. 51On his way home his servants met him with the news, “Your boy is going to live!”
52He asked them what time it was when his son got better, and they answered, “It was one o’clock yesterday afternoon when the fever left him.” 53Then the father remembered that it was at that very hour when Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” So he and all his family believed.
54This was the second miracle that Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.

–from John 4

Are you at a point where you believe, but you need help to fully believe? Turn to Jesus and ask for what you have need!

People have been seeking and not finding. People have been looking and not seeing. People have been listening and not hearing. But from long ago, God had a plan for salvation and He took it into His own hands to make it happen. So let’s draw near to Him and live in relationship with Jesus daily! Let’s allow God to work in and through us to make us more like Jesus from the inside out.

10It was concerning this salvation that the prophets made careful search and investigation, and they prophesied about this gift which God would give you. 11They tried to find out when the time would be and how it would come. This was the time to which Christ’s Spirit in them was pointing, in predicting the sufferings that Christ would have to endure and the glory that would follow. 12God revealed to these prophets that their work was not for their own benefit, but for yours, as they spoke about those things which you have now heard from the messengers who announced the Good News by the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. These are things which even the angels would like to understand.

A Call to Holy Living

13So then, have your minds ready for action. Keep alert and set your hope completely on the blessing which will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14Be obedient to God, and do not allow your lives to be shaped by those desires you had when you were still ignorant. 15Instead, be holy in all that you do, just as God who called you is holy. 16The scripture says, “Be holy because I am holy.”

–from 1 Peter 1

When we receive Jesus we are new. We are able to grab a hold of the promises. Let’s remember that and live up to His calling on our lives. Let’s be who He created us to be! Let’s live, set apart, and able to be and do what He desires in and through and from us. Let’s not live like we don’t know, but rather let’s seek wisdom for we know He will provide it generously and without finding fault.

What a Wise Person Does

1Invest your money in foreign trade, and one of these days you will make a profit. 2Put your investments in several places—many places even—because you never know what kind of bad luck you are going to have in this world. 3No matter which direction a tree falls, it will lie where it fell. When the clouds are full, it rains. 4If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything. 5God made everything, and you can no more understand what he does than you understand how new life begins in the womb of a pregnant woman. 6Do your planting in the morning and in the evening, too. You never know whether it will all grow well or whether one planting will do better than the other. 7It is good to be able to enjoy the pleasant light of day. 8Be grateful for every year you live. No matter how long you live, remember that you will be dead much longer. There is nothing at all to look forward to.

Advice to Young People

9Young people, enjoy your youth. Be happy while you are still young. Do what you want to do, and follow your heart’s desire. But remember that God is going to judge you for whatever you do. 10Don’t let anything worry you or cause you pain. You aren’t going to be young very long.