What do you do when you don’t know what to do?


Do what you know how to do!

You are at a crossroads and need to make a decision, what do you do?

You are at a decision point in your life and need to decide, what do you do?

You are hearing about the state of the world and need to decide where you stand, what do you do?

You are hearing about wars and rumors of wars, you are hearing about natural disasters including floods and fires, what do you think it means, what do you do?

You are hearing about the threat of the end of the world, what do you do?

Who do you believe? What do you believe? Where does your hope come from? Where does you help come from? Where will you turn? Where can you turn? How will you decide? How will you know real from fake? How will you know true from false? What do you do? How do you know?

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. What do I do? I turn to God and pray. I trust in Him with all my heart. I lean not on my own understanding but in all my ways acknowledge Him. Worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything. I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. I ask, I seek, and I knock.

How about you? Don’t be deceived! Don’t get mixed up or confused between the world’s way and God’s way!


What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Turn to God’s Words for answers, for me I choose a devotional at the beginning of the year (or whenever I finish the previous reading) which brings me through the Bible and allow God to speak to me throughout the year through His Word because He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, nothing comes as a surprise and so He is able to speak to me right where I am at with and through His Word found in the Bible. My current reading is coming from Read the Bible for Life 4 + 1 Plan. I pray so that the Holy Spirit can point me in the right direction and cover me with a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

(Day 305 of 312)

  • Nehemiah 12
  • Zechariah 3
  • Zechariah 4
  • Acts 26:12-23
  • Revelation 19:11-21
  • Psalms 143

Can you never get too far away to be able to turn back to God. You may have gone on your long journey away or apart from God. Why not turn back to God today?

Will you try to rush things or are you willing to work through it at a normal pace? Are you willing to wait upon the Lord and allow Him to renew your strength? Are you willing to wait upon the Lord and listen to what He has to say?

Will you start with purifying yourself before you start trying to go around and purifying others?

Will you use the tools and instruments God has given you to use to accomplish His will and His purpose?

Will you give thanks? Will you be generous in your life?

Will you choose to listen and trust God’s Word which is true and desires that you have life and life more abundantly rather than the lies and deception of the devil who is trying to rob, kill and destroy you?

We can trust in God because it is not by force nor by strength but by the Spirit of God that all things are possible. In God’s power nothing can stand against it.

Will you speak to what God has done in and through your life when people ask of you?

Will you tell or speak or testify to what God has done in and through you?

We need to turn back to God and ask for forgiveness for the things we have done wrong.

‘I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do. ‘

Acts of the Apostles 26:20

Are you ready for the return of Jesus as He comes from heaven for the final battle? Will do decide before it is too late to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

‘Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: “Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free and slave, small and great.” Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies.’

Revelation 19:11-21

Will you choose to spend eternity with God? Will you choose to spend eternity apart from God with the devil?

Ask God who will hear your prayer and is faithful.

Don’t lose hope or paralyzed by fear because of the darkness around you. Turn to God and don’t be stuck in depression but instead start to do God’s will and for His glory forgive others and pursue God and His righteousness.


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

Let’s pray:

Do you walk around bumping into things in the dark?


In this dark world, how are you making your way? In this dark world, how are you staying on track? In this dark world, how are you seeing where to go? In this dark world, how are you knowing what is ahead of you? In this dark world, how are you knowing what your response will be? In this dark world, how are you preparing yourself for what is ahead of you?

I know when I think about when I am driving my car at night, I tend to turn on the headlights and when necessary even putting on the high beams in order to be able to see a bit further ahead. When it is dark and foggy then I need to use normal lights but also to slow down since visibility isn’t as good. In life we need a light that can be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path! In life we need to be able to let our light shine that others may see it and praise our Father in heaven. In life we need to lift up our light so that it will increase visibility – kind of like the high beams on a car.

Without the light we won’t know how to proceed when something comes across our path. Without the light we won’t know how to respond when something comes across our path. Without the light we won’t see what is coming across our path. Without light we won’t be able to know that we are staying on the path. So we need to make time to spend time with God and in His Word which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path so that we can stay on the path and be prepared for whatever may come across our path. We need to build our lives on the solid foundation of Jesus! We need to follow His example loving God and loving people! We need to be spending time with God so that we know Him and can then make Him known in the world around us!

How will you know what to do on the mountaintop? How will you know what to do when you are leaving the mountaintop for the next which requires first going down? How will you know what to do in the valley? How will you know what to do when you have to start going up from the valley? Be it at the top or at the bottom or somewhere in the middle, we need God’s lamp to help us stay on track and on the path He has for us to follow.

Let’s pour out our freewill offerings to God of praise daily! Let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength!

Today’s reading from Psalm 119 speaks to this very point…

Your Word Is a Lamp to My Feet

Aleph

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!
4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!

Beth

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

Gimel

17 Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!
20 My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments.
22 Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.

Daleth

25 My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord; let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!

He

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared.
39 Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good.
40 Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

Waw

41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually, forever and ever,
45 and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame,
47 for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.

Zayin

49 Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.
51 The insolent utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law.
52 When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O Lord.
53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning.
55 I remember your name in the night, O Lord, and keep your law.
56 This blessing has fallen to me, that I have kept your precepts.

Heth

57 The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words.
58 I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies;
60 I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.
61 Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules.
63 I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts.
64 The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes!

Teth

65 You have dealt well with your servant, O Lord, according to your word.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.
68 You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.
69 The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts;
70 their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law.
71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
72 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Yodh

73 Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
74 Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word.
75 I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76 Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.
78 Let the insolent be put to shame, because they have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
79 Let those who fear you turn to me, that they may know your testimonies.
80 May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame!

Kaph

81 My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.
82 My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?”
83 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
84 How long must your servant endure? When will you judge those who persecute me?
85 The insolent have dug pitfalls for me; they do not live according to your law.
86 All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me!
87 They have almost made an end of me on earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

Lamedh

89 Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
91 By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants.
92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.
94 I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.
95 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies.
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

Mem

97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.
101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.
102 I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

Nun

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules.
107 I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!
108 Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord, and teach me your rules.
109 I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts.
111 Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.
112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

Samekh

113 I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.
114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.
115 Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God.
116 Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
117 Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!
118 You spurn all who go astray from your statutes, for their cunning is in vain.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies.
120 My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.

Ayin

121 I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Give your servant a pledge of good; let not the insolent oppress me.
123 My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes.
125 I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!
126 It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken.
127 Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way.

Pe

129 Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name.
133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts.
135 Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.
136 My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.

Tsadhe

137 Righteous are you, O Lord, and right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.
139 My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.
140 Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it.
141 I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true.
143 Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.

Qoph

145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord! I will keep your statutes.
146 I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.
149 Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life.
150 They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from your law.
151 But you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true.
152 Long have I known from your testimonies that you have founded them forever.

Resh

153 Look on my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law.
154 Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!
155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes.
156 Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules.
157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, but I do not swerve from your testimonies.
158 I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commands.
159 Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love.
160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

Sin and Shin

161 Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words.
162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.
163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.
165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
166 I hope for your salvation, O Lord, and I do your commandments.
167 My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.
168 I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.

Taw

169 Let my cry come before you, O Lord; give me understanding according to your word!
170 Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.
171 My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes.
172 My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

–from Psalm 119

So let’s spend time in God’s Word which is a love letter to us. Let’s make God’s Word a priority so that we will have light in our hearts and it will overflow from our mouths. Let’s make God’s Word our core so that we will be light in this world to point people to Jesus! Let’s make God’s Word our center so that our eyes won’t grow dim and our vision unclear. Let’s put God first and His kingdom purposes and trust in Him! Let’s be the light we are called to be! Let’s be the light on a hilltop that cannot be hidden! Let’s be the light of the room not hidden under a bowl but held high so that the room brightens up! Let’s let our light shine so that others will see it and praise our heavenly Father!

Today’s devotional that is spoken of in the Global Impact Bible in relations to history and philosophy comes in the form of Aquinas emphasis on faith and reason. Let’s allow faith and reason to work in our lives too so that we can use them throughout our days pointing the truth and the reality of how we do or can live out our lives. Thomas Aquinas ranks among history’s most influential thinkers! Faith and reason are compatible even though may have thought the opposite – he spoke to how they were both gifts from God!

(I know my science and math background have helped me feel more clear about the miraculous – ex. miracles – when I consider that God is in a dimension higher than ours [how many TBD] and compare it to us being 3D and how we can perform miracles for a 2D person with a pencil and eraser, it makes sense to me that God and His miracles are real and can happen).

We see from today’s devotional how “Aquinas taught how that revelation could guide reason, while reason could clarify faith. He also argued that faith and reason could prove the existence of God. Aquinas was well versed in the Bible and often used it to support his points.” (The Global Impact Bible – displayed in Psalm 119)

Consider his impact on Walter Freeman and James Joyce


Heavenly Father,
I lift up this day to You and ask Lord that You will lead me and guide me. Help my actions and my responses to be in alignment with Your will and Your purpose so that in all I say and all I do, Your light will shine as a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Help me to have clarity and increase my vision that I may dream bigger dreams and take hold of Your purpose and plans for me and my life and the generations to come. Lord, Your Word speaks to bringing us before kings and I pray God wisdom in those times. Lord, Your Word speaks to granting us favor and I pray that You will grant me wisdom in those times. Help me to make it more about You Lord so that in and through it all I will let my light shine and people will give You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Bible has even impacted the naming of cities… (The Bible’s Impact on History and Philosophy [Feb 3])


Today’s reading came from Joshua 12. Reading in verse 22 we find

the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one;

which our devotional uses to point out how the Bible impacts even geography in how biblical city names inspired people to name their cities after them. Some may come to mind, but consider how Carmel-by-the-Sea in California came from it. Another example comes from Joshua 19:46…

and Me-jarkon and Rakkon with the territory over against Joppa.

which inspired someone to name a city Joppatown in Maryland and another Joppa in Alabama.

Another example comes from Joshua 24:30…

And they buried him in his own inheritance at Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.

which inspired someone to name a city Ephraim in Utah and another Mount Ephraim in New Jersey.

Reading thru the Bible with the pivot on how did the Word impact the world around us is pretty incredible. It’s a true blessing to have received it for Christmas from my wife’s parents. Today is an interesting day to event considered this as we had unfortunately lost her dad just before Christmas and today will be doing a celebration of life memorial service for him. I have been blessed and honored with the opportunity to m.c. the service. God’s Word never returns void. God’s Word is a lamp unto my feet and a lamp unto my path.


Heavenly Father,

I lift up today to You. I pray that all I say and do will be for Your praise, Your Honor, and Your glory. Help me today to shine the light of Jesus and of the hope that is within me to all those who come and are a part of today’s service and who come to spend time with the family. May their be a message of hope and a message of purpose and a message of plan that speak life and hope and comfort and peace over all those present. Lord grant me wisdom and grant me strength to make it through today in Jesus’ name so that in and through it all, You receive the praise, the honor and the glory. Amen.

True justice and mercy…The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 20th)


The Bible has had such an incredible impact on the world. God has provided us with an instruction manual on how to live lives that can be blessed. God has provided us with direction into how we should be treating one another. Take a look around at what is taking place and can you find true justice taking place in all areas of society? Consider when you are walking around and if true kindness and mercy are being poured out on the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the transients. The lady standing on the street looking for help…how did you respond? Do you ignore her? Do you engage her? Do you walk passed her? Do you look for a way to help her? Do you respond with a humbleness that gives her a sense of being cared for by pouring out kindness and mercy? Ever seen those people who say things that hurt or criticize others unfairly? Ever seen those who being helpful and encouraging speak out and discourage people who are already feeling down? Imagine a poor person trying to find a way to make ends meet for their family because they lost their job. Imagine a widow who lost her husband and now doesn’t know how she will be able to continue. Imagine children who have lost their parents by no action of their own and find themselves alone. Don’t judge them because you don’t know how they got their or what has happened in order to get them there. Don’t ignore them them and think they will just go away. Let’s come with hearts of mercy! Let’s come with an attitude of kindness! Let’s step out of our comfort zone in order to help those in need! Let’s be salt and light into this world and allow Jesus to work in and through us in order to make a difference in the world around us. Do you realize that some of these people are in your neighborhood? Do you realize that some of these people are in your school? Do you realize that some of these people are in your workplace? Do you realize that some of these people are in your church? Don’t discourage them! Don’t denigrate them! Don’t hit them while they are down but come alongside them and help them up! Let’s not look down on them and give them a handout but rather let’s love them with kindness and mercy and give them a hand up! Let’s look to find ways that will help them! Let’s be encouragers – being Jesus with skin on to them! Let’s be hope in the midst of their hopelessness! Let’s be love when they are feeling unlovable! Let’s look for ways to ensure true justice and giving kindness and mercy! Will you make time to visit the widows and the orphans? Will you decide to love on the unlovable? Will you help the desperate? Will you make a difference in the world around you?

It’s a matter of the heart! Will you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Will you make God your treasure? Will God be the one you worship? Others will know what is in your heart because from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks! We can only serve one master…so whom shall you serve? As for me and my house we will serve the Lord! So will you fill your heart and mind with the Word of God by spending time daily in the Bible? Will you make it so that what comes out of your mouth is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Soften your heart so that you will walk out this life aligned with God! Ask God to create a new heart in you! Leave the old ways behind and start fresh and new in His ways! Turn back to God and allow Him to make all things new through accepting Jesus into your heart!

Today’s reading from Zechariah 7 speaks on this very topic and continues in our reading from the  Global Impact Bible on the theme of The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts.

A Call for Justice and Mercy

7 In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. 2 Now the people of Bethel hadsent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the LORD,3 saying to the priests of the house of the LORD of hosts and the prophets, “Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

4 Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me: 5 “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? 6 And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? 7 Were not these the words that the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, with her cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?’”

8 And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” 11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. 12 They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. 13 “As I2 called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the LORD of hosts, 14 “and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.”

— Zechariah 7

Have you been able to go and see the Sistine chapel? While you were there did you get to see the fresco of Zechariah painted by Michelangelo?  Did you realize where it came from? Did you consider who he was and his role in the lives of the people of Israel?

Jan 20 - Zechariah 7 - ARTS - fresco painted by Michaelangelo of Zechariah in the Sistine Chapel


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this day and for what You have planned. I thank You Lord for Your Word that never returns void and is able to speak life in love to us, over us, and through us. I thank You Lord that Your Word never returns void and that today You bring to mind the people who are in need. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear, so that I can respond in a way that will glorify You and allow me to be Your hands extended to give a hand up, Your arms extended to embrace and let them know that they are loved, Your presence so that they know that they are not alone! Lord, thank You for camps where Your love can be shared and shown through volunteers who have nothing to gain but to pour out love, hope, and mercy into the lives of campers who by no fault of their own are apart from their parents and living as orphans. Lord, help me I pray to be a servant leader! Help me Lord to be a good steward! Help me Lord to exalt You in all that I do and all that I am so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Help me Lord to make it an everyday thing! Help me Lord to make it an every hour thing where I can speak hope, life, love into the world around me and that people will see You working in and through me for Your glory so that people may turn back to You and be restored and reconciled to You through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I give all this into Your hands so that You will be exalted and lifted up all the days of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

New beginnings…The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 19th)


Today as I start my read into the Bible, I am using a new version that I received as a gift from my in-laws for Christmas. It comes from the recently opened Museum of the Bible in DC and is called the Global Impact Bible as it speaks to the impact the Bible has had on people and the world in the areas of Science and Medicine, Arts & Entertainment, Education & Literacy, Languages, Government & Politics, Life Issues, and Exploration & Commerce.

Last night I had the opportunity to go an event put on by the Museum of the Bible and hear of the incredible things that are taking place both inside the building through artifacts, technology, and design as well as outside where they have worked on curriculum that can be used in schools to teach about the Bible and very exciting new ways using technology to educate with augmented reality and virtual reality. It sounds amazing and look forward to getting an opportunity to travel and see it as it would take approximately 72 hours to see everything. It’s an incredible educational organization that even reaches the college students through a program called Passages which brings groups to Israel.


Starting in January the theme for the readings is The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts.

Today’s reading comes from the English Standard Version out of the Book of Habakkuk chapter 2.

1 I will take my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith

2And the Lord answered me:
“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.
5 “Moreover, wine is a traitor,
an arrogant man who is never at rest.
His greed is as wide as Sheol;
like death he has never enough.
He gathers for himself all nations
and collects as his own all peoples.”

Woe to the Chaldeans

6Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say,
“Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own—
for how long?—
and loads himself with pledges!”
7 Will not your debtors suddenly arise,
and those awake who will make you tremble?
Then you will be spoil for them.
8 Because you have plundered many nations,
all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,
for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them.
9 “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house,
to set his nest on high,
to be safe from the reach of harm!
10 You have devised shame for your house
by cutting off many peoples;
you have forfeited your life.
11 For the stone will cry out from the wall,
and the beam from the woodwork respond.
12 “Woe to him who builds a town with blood
and founds a city on iniquity!
13 Behold, is it not from the Lord of hosts
that peoples labor merely for fire,
and nations weary themselves for nothing?
14 For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
15 “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink—
you pour out your wrath and make them drunk,
in order to gaze at their nakedness!
16 You will have your fill of shame instead of glory.
Drink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision!
The cup in the Lord‘s right hand
will come around to you,
and utter shame will come upon your glory!
17 The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them,
for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them.
18 “What profit is an idol
when its maker has shaped it,
a metal image, a teacher of lies?
For its maker trusts in his own creation
when he makes speechless idols!
19 Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake;
to a silent stone, Arise!
Can this teach?
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
and there is no breath at all in it.
20 But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before him.”
Have you ever seen the statue of Habakkuk made by Donatello? It was the visual for today’s reading and the commentary speaks to the psychological realism, the anguish, the forlornness in capturing or representing the violent and evil times that Habakkuk lived in and through.
Jan 19 - Habakkuk 2 - ARTS - Zuccone_Donatello_OPA_Florence

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new way to walk through Your Word and for the new perspective to capture the impact You Word has on the world. I thank You Lord that the Museum of the Bible has opened in order to educate people on Your Word through education, experience, and so much more. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path! Your Word never returns void and I thank You for the trust You have built in me through spending time in Your Word. I thank You Lord for the opportunity to read through Your Word in a way that reveals the impact You have had on the earth through Your Word. Lord as I take hold of the reading from Habakkuk I take hold of how as much as things changes it feels like somethings remain the same. Even as Solomon had said in Ecclesiastes 1:9

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

As I consider this time and stand by faith in Jesus I look around and pray for revival. I look to You knowing that You know the beginning from the end and that Jesus has already won the victory and that I need to persevere as I walk through this life until I am returned to You either in old age or upon Jesus’ return. I won’t lose hope when things get tough because I know that when trouble comes my way I can take hope because Jesus has overcome the world. I won’t lose hope when I face trials of many kinds, but rather will consider it pure joy because I know that the testing of my faith produces steadfastness. And that when I let steadfastness have its full effect, that I will be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Lord, as I walk through Your Word this January I open up my eyes and my ears to the arts that are all around me and will take hold of what You have done in and through my life and all of time. I will not fear but rather live by faith in You! I will not lean on my own understanding but rather will acknowledge you in all my ways that You will make my path straight! As I look at the world around me and consider their need for You and for Your Word to become real in their lives, I give this up into Your hands in hopes that with the new Museum of the Bible and their course curriculum for schools that people around the world will get to experience the truth of Your Word and be transformed. Help me Lord to be an instrument of Your work. Grant me wisdom and discernment on how best to accomplish Your will in my life. Give me visions and dreams of what could be and how I can be a part by putting my hand to the plow in order that Your Work can be accomplished! Lord, here am I! Lord, as I stand in the gap lifting up those in my life that You have allowed me to bring into my life through so many avenues. Grant me the boldness, the wisdom, the discernment to receive Your direction and begin the new journey You will place before me so that I may give You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you want to know? Do you get it?


So what is the most important reading you do? How important is it that you understand it? How important is it that you believe it? How important is it that you know it? How important is it that you apply it?

For me it is the Bible. It is the way I start my day to hear from God and get filled up for the day. It amazes me how applicable and real it is into my every day, my today. It’s so amazing that I have had others from my workplaces wonder how I pick my reading since it is so applicable to what my life is going through. What’s even more incredible is that I don’t pick my daily readings, I just pick the devotional for the year and it selects which reading will be for each day. God is good and He knows what you will need! God doesn’t get surprised and so He is able to speak into your very situation. His Word never returns void! His Word speaks truth in love! His Word is a love letter to us!

Not sure about trying to make it all the way through the Bible in a year? Why not start in the New Testament? Why not start in one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John)? Why not start small so that you can do more than read and understand and believe? The new year has just begun and I am getting towards the end of my current 365 day reading with today being from day 351 (with 2 days missed that I will do at the end to finish it up completely). So don’t lose hope or stop because you miss a day! You can choose to either continue from where you are or depending on your devotional, you can stick with whatever day you are at and go back later. Every year, I also choose which translation to read through (NIV, NLT, NKJV, KJV, …) and this year I have chosen to use NLT). A great resource for Bible reading plans is bible.com where you can pick from topical studies, versions that will read to you, versions where you can listen and watch, chronological, new to the faith, work related, leadership related, even versions for kids, walk through the Bible, and so many more types. Why not find one that seems interesting to you at https://www.bible.com/reading-plans and get started?

This is the day that the Lord has made, don’t you want to hear about what He has to say?


How to Read and Understand the Bible

Day 351: Bible In One Year 2018

Helpers in reading the Bible:

  • The Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:2–16)
  • The Church (Ephesians 3:18) – the church isn’t the building but a body of believers
  • Reason through your own mind (Romans 14:5) – we need to be more than just convinced, we need to be fully convinced in our own minds.

Guides and questions to interpreting the Bible: (we need to let the Bible interpret the Bible)

  • What does it actually say? [We need to remember that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, whereas, the New Testament was written in Greek.]
  • What does it mean? [We need to understand the type of writing and the author]
    • What sort of literature is it? Is it historical writing? Poetry? Prophecy? Apocalyptic? Law? Wisdom? Gospel?
    • Who wrote it? Who read it or was the recipient of it?
    • Consider the coming of Jesus and how it relates to the Old Testament and how it connected with the people at the time of His life… (John 5:39–40)
  • How does this apply to my life? [Not only how does it but how can I apply it]
    • We need to take it from the intellectual exercise to the practical application

So, how can we read and understand the Bible?

  1. Be real with God … Psalms 144:9-15 (poetry)
  2. Make a difference by your prayers … Revelation 8, Revelation 9:1-12 (apocalyptic)
  3. Fulfill God’s purpose for your lifeEzra 1, Ezra 2:1-67 (history)

Today’s devotional Day 351: Bible In One Year 2018 provides some insight into the reading too while at the same time allowing you to read through God’s Word. Using a devotional can help getting started by having a plan to follow. Using a devotional can help getting into the Word of God by selecting a topic that is very relevant to you today which can be a 3 day, 5 day 7 day, etc. to help you get kicked started without having the pressure of reading all the Bible. So if you haven’t started making reading God’s Word a part of your daily schedule and giving Him priority into your life, why not get started today.  If you are reading this then you know how you found it and so you know how to find me and contact me if you want to chat. Be it social networks or just this blog via comments, you can connect with me. Or if you happen to be someone closer who knows me don’t hesitate to approach me and let’s chat.

How do you interpret things? How do you know what is real?


Do you have a source of truth that you can compare things to? How do you know if the news is real? Do you have a measuring stick that is able to help you interpret? How do you know if the reports are true? Do you have a cornerstone on which to be able to compare it and make sure it is on the level? Do you have a source of truth that doesn’t change that you can use to keep you from over-reacting to the news out there? Ever noticed how most of the news that gets reported is bad news? Who will you trust more? The news reports? God’s promises found in His Word – the Bible?

There is a battle going on for our souls! There is a battle of good vs evil! And depending on your source of truth and reality what you listen, watch, and read can impact how you feel going through life! With everything they report in the news be it on tv, the radio, the few papers that remain, and on the internet it is very possible to think that evil is winning or gaining ground if you don’t have a source of truth like the Bible to speak the truth in love about the realities! I’ve read the end of the book and a lot of what people forecast be it global warming, cooling, climate change, etc. align to the revelation shared in the Bible – so it is part of the plan of the end times but it seems people try to use it to manipulate or create fear in the populate in order to control them or get their own way. Even the fears or battles against terrorism and other such things might make people believe that evil is winning if they aren’t comparing what is being broadcasted against God’s Word as the measuring stick or voice of truth! What voice do you choose to listen to? Will it be the voice of God through the Holy Spirit? Will you listen to that still quiet voice who is comforter and our guide? The ultimate victory goes to Jesus the way, the truth, and the life! The ultimate victory goes to Jesus the name above all names!

8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

–from Philippians 2

So when we put the truth first and measure everything else against it we have something that we can lean on and trust in! In this battle between good and evil we get to choose how we will respond and make a difference! We can choose to help the good and be on the winning site! We can choose to sit back and pretend nothing is going on and allow evil to gain ground! We can choose to help evil take ground! We can make a difference in the here and now but the choice of making a difference in the lives of the people around us is ours to make!

When you walk into a room are you lighting up the place? Are you improving the room? Are you improving the atmosphere? Are you spreading the love and joy of the Lord? If not, why not? Why not fill yourself daily with the Holy Spirit and fill up your heart and mind with the Word of God so that wherever you go you can speak truth in love into the life of the people that come across your path?

This is the day that the Lord has made so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s make a difference! Let’s be world changers! Let’s positive impact on the people around us! Let’s fill our circle of influence with love! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s allow our lights to shine into this dark world! Don’t try to overcome evil with evil but overcome it with love!

TODAY! Happy Today!


You Can Make a Difference

Day 345: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Cry out to God for good to triumph …
    • 6I said to the Lord, “You are my God!”
      Listen, O Lord, to my cries for mercy!
      7O Sovereign Lord, the strong one who rescued me,
      you protected me on the day of battle.
      8Lord, do not let evil people have their way.
      Do not let their evil schemes succeed,
      or they will become proud.

      9Let my enemies be destroyed
      by the very evil they have planned for me.
      10Let burning coals fall down on their heads.
      Let them be thrown into the fire
      or into watery pits from which they can’t escape.
      11Don’t let liars prosper here in our land.
      Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.

      12But I know the Lord will help those they persecute;
      he will give justice to the poor.
      13Surely righteous people are praising your name;
      the godly will live in your presence.

      –from Psalms 140:6-13

  2. Be those who overcome evil with good …
    • 18“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze:
       
      19“I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.
      20“But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. 21I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.
      22“Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.
      24“But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you 25except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. 26To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end,
       
      To them I will give authority over all the nations.
      27They will rule the nations with an iron rod
      and smash them like clay pots.
       
      28They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!
      29“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

      –from Revelation 2:18-29

    • 1“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars:
       
      “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. 3Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.
      4“Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.
      6“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

      –from Revelation 3:1-6

    • –> Live a holy life
      –> Be authentic

      –from Day 345: Bible In One Year 2018

  3. Watch God turn the tables on evil …
    • Joyce Meyer writes, ‘I believe that God has a great call and purpose for your life as he did for Esther’s. Your assignment may not be the deliverance of a nation, but whatever God has called you to is extremely significant. Whatever it is, be diligent to embrace the preparation process it requires so that you will be well-equipped when the time comes for you to act.’

      –from Day 345: Bible In One Year 2018

    • The King’s Banquet
      1These events happened in the days of King Xerxes, who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia. 2At that time Xerxes ruled his empire from his royal throne at the fortress of Susa. 3In the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. He invited all the military officers of Persia and Media as well as the princes and nobles of the provinces. 4The celebration lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp and splendor of his majesty.
      5When it was all over, the king gave a banquet for all the people, from the greatest to the least, who were in the fortress of Susa. It lasted for seven days and was held in the courtyard of the palace garden. 6The courtyard was beautifully decorated with white cotton curtains and blue hangings, which were fastened with white linen cords and purple ribbons to silver rings embedded in marble pillars. Gold and silver couches stood on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other costly stones.
      7Drinks were served in gold goblets of many designs, and there was an abundance of royal wine, reflecting the king’s generosity. 8By edict of the king, no limits were placed on the drinking, for the king had instructed all his palace officials to serve each man as much as he wanted.
      9At the same time, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.
      Queen Vashti Deposed
      10On the seventh day of the feast, when King Xerxes was in high spirits because of the wine, he told the seven eunuchs who attended him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas—11to bring Queen Vashti to him with the royal crown on her head. He wanted the nobles and all the other men to gaze on her beauty, for she was a very beautiful woman. 12But when they conveyed the king’s order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. This made the king furious, and he burned with anger.
      13He immediately consulted with his wise advisers, who knew all the Persian laws and customs, for he always asked their advice. 14The names of these men were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan—seven nobles of Persia and Media. They met with the king regularly and held the highest positions in the empire.
      15“What must be done to Queen Vashti?” the king demanded. “What penalty does the law provide for a queen who refuses to obey the king’s orders, properly sent through his eunuchs?”
      16Memucan answered the king and his nobles, “Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also every noble and citizen throughout your empire. 17Women everywhere will begin to despise their husbands when they learn that Queen Vashti has refused to appear before the king. 18Before this day is out, the wives of all the king’s nobles throughout Persia and Media will hear what the queen did and will start treating their husbands the same way. There will be no end to their contempt and anger.
      19“So if it please the king, we suggest that you issue a written decree, a law of the Persians and Medes that cannot be revoked. It should order that Queen Vashti be forever banished from the presence of King Xerxes, and that the king should choose another queen more worthy than she. 20When this decree is published throughout the king’s vast empire, husbands everywhere, whatever their rank, will receive proper respect from their wives!”
      21The king and his nobles thought this made good sense, so he followed Memucan’s counsel. 22He sent letters to all parts of the empire, to each province in its own script and language, proclaiming that every man should be the ruler of his own home and should say whatever he pleases.

      –from Esther 1

    • 1But after Xerxes’ anger had subsided, he began thinking about Vashti and what she had done and the decree he had made. 2So his personal attendants suggested, “Let us search the empire to find beautiful young virgins for the king. 3Let the king appoint agents in each province to bring these beautiful young women into the royal harem at the fortress of Susa. Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the harem, will see that they are all given beauty treatments. 4After that, the young woman who most pleases the king will be made queen instead of Vashti.” This advice was very appealing to the king, so he put the plan into effect.
      5At that time there was a Jewish man in the fortress of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair. He was from the tribe of Benjamin and was a descendant of Kish and Shimei. 6His family had been among those who, with King Jehoiachin of Judah, had been exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. 7This man had a very beautiful and lovely young cousin, Hadassah, who was also called Esther. When her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her into his family and raised her as his own daughter.
      8As a result of the king’s decree, Esther, along with many other young women, was brought to the king’s harem at the fortress of Susa and placed in Hegai’s care. 9Hegai was very impressed with Esther and treated her kindly. He quickly ordered a special menu for her and provided her with beauty treatments. He also assigned her seven maids specially chosen from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.
      10Esther had not told anyone of her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had directed her not to do so. 11Every day Mordecai would take a walk near the courtyard of the harem to find out about Esther and what was happening to her.
      12Before each young woman was taken to the king’s bed, she was given the prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments—six months with oil of myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments. 13When it was time for her to go to the king’s palace, she was given her choice of whatever clothing or jewelry she wanted to take from the harem. 14That evening she was taken to the king’s private rooms, and the next morning she was brought to the second harem, where the king’s wives lived. There she would be under the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch in charge of the concubines. She would never go to the king again unless he had especially enjoyed her and requested her by name.
      15Esther was the daughter of Abihail, who was Mordecai’s uncle. (Mordecai had adopted his younger cousin Esther.) When it was Esther’s turn to go to the king, she accepted the advice of Hegai, the eunuch in charge of the harem. She asked for nothing except what he suggested, and she was admired by everyone who saw her.
      16Esther was taken to King Xerxes at the royal palace in early winter of the seventh year of his reign. 17And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti. 18To celebrate the occasion, he gave a great banquet in Esther’s honor for all his nobles and officials, declaring a public holiday for the provinces and giving generous gifts to everyone.

      –from Esther 2:1-18

Did you have a great Christmas yesterday?


Did you celebrate the reason for the season? Did you spend time celebrating love with friends and family? Did you do anything to remember how it all began? Thank You Jesus for coming in the form of a child in order to live a sinless life and then taking on all the pain and punishment that we deserve so that we could be reconciled back to God. For God so loves us that He sent Jesus that everyone who would believe in Him would have eternal life! God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but that through Jesus we could all be saved! So I pray that you all had a very Merry Christmas! I also pray that you took time to focus on Jesus who is the reason for this season! I also pray that there were many people who turned back to God and received Jesus into their hearts and now will get to spend eternity with God rather than apart from God thanks to Jesus.

This was an incredible year where the reality of the Bible and how we even have one today is incredible as we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the reformation! This was an incredible year where a new museum opened up in Washington D.C. focused on the history of the Bible! All pieces of a puzzle to help people come to the reality of Jesus and God’s plan and purpose! The Bible is a standard for living life! The Bible is a way to connect with God through His Word! The Bible is the place to turn when seeking Jesus! We need as a society to turn back to God! We need to be putting God back into our lives rather than looking for ways to remove Him! We need to be putting God back into the center of the workplace to help ensure we have a good standard and that people are being treated with love as defined in the Bible! We need to be putting God back into the center of the government which as the Bible says is supposed to be serving God and serving us for good! We need to be putting God back into the center of schools so that the bar is set high for standards and the focus on how to live is taught and trained! We need to be putting God back into the center of the Arts and Culture so that what is produced and presented speak to values and truth!

The key is to bring Jesus back into the center! The key is to allow Jesus to be that central line that all others get tied to for a cord of three strands is not easily broken! And do you know where to turn to find Jesus? It is the Bible!


Today’s devotional speaks to our reading from God’s Word today as follows…

The whole of the Bible is about Jesus. Martin Luther said, ‘Scripture is the manger in which the Christ lies.’ As a mother goes to a cradle to find her baby, so the Christian goes to the Bible to find Jesus. Don’t inspect the cradle and forget to worship the baby.

In today’s passages we see how Jesus Christ is revealed not only in the New Testament, in the book of Revelation, but also in the Old Testament – in Proverbs and Zechariah.

–from Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018

Take a few moments and go check out today’s devotional (Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018) and consider it as we meditate on God’s Word today!

How to Find Jesus

Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. The name of Jesus … Proverbs 30:1-10
    • 1The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message.
      I am weary, O God;
      I am weary and worn out, O God.
      2I am too stupid to be human,
      and I lack common sense.
      3I have not mastered human wisdom,
      nor do I know the Holy One.
      4Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down?
      Who holds the wind in his fists?
      Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak?
      Who has created the whole wide world?
      What is his name—and his son’s name?
      Tell me if you know!
      5Every word of God proves true.
      He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
      6Do not add to his words,
      or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
      7O God, I beg two favors from you;
      let me have them before I die.
      8First, help me never to tell a lie.
      Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!
      Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
      9For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
      And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
      10Never slander a worker to the employer,
      or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.
    • The sceptic goes on to ask five questions (v.4):

        • Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
        • Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
        • Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
        • Who has established all the ends of the earth?
        • What is that person’s name, and what is the name of that person’s son?

      The New Testament reveals that the answer to each of these five questions is Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. It is Jesus who ascended on high (see, for example, Ephesians 4:8–10). It is through Jesus that the whole world came into being (John 1:1–3). He is the name above every name (Philippians 2:9). The evidence for God is found in Jesus.

      The New Testament reveals that the name of God is Jesus. The writer of Proverbs cares deeply about ‘the name of [his] God’ (Proverbs 30:9). He asks for ‘neither poverty nor riches’ (v.8). He fears that riches may make him disown the Lord and poverty might make him steal and thereby ‘dishonour the name of [his] God’ (v.9).

      –from Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018

  2. The words of Jesus … Revelation 2:1-17
    • 1“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:
       
      2“I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.
      4“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. 6But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.
      7“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.

      The Message to the Church in Smyrna

      8“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive:
       
      9“I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan. 10Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.
      11“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.

      The Message to the Church in Pergamum

      12“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:
       
      13“I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.
      14“But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. 15In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. 16Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
      17“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.
    • These words of Jesus (‘The First and the Last, who died and came to life again’, v.8) to the seven churches are hugely challenging. The risen, ascended, glorified Jesus reveals what kind of church he wants:

        • Don’t lose your first love
          Jesus is looking for a church that is famous, above all, for its love.

          Do you remember what you felt when you first encountered Jesus? Perhaps you experienced joy, peace, a new sense of meaning and purpose, and an excitement. Did you ‘fall in love’? Was there a ‘honeymoon period’?

          As life goes on it is easy to lose your ‘first love’ (v.4). Other things creep in. Work, the busyness of life, or even your ministry can lead you away from the passion of your first love.

          Jesus commends their service: ‘I know your deeds, your hard work’ (v.2). But there have been times in my life when I’ve been working so hard for the kingdom that I have neglected the King.

          Jesus commends their patience in suffering and perseverance: ‘you have… endured hardship for my name’ (v.3). But there have been times when I have been so focussed on my own problems and suffering that I have lost my enthusiasm.

          He commends the orthodoxy of their beliefs – they have not tolerated evil (v.2). But there have been times when I have been so concerned about orthodoxy that I have forgotten to love.

          Jesus challenges: ‘You have forsaken your first love’ (v.4). These are haunting words. What are you to do if this has happened?

          First, Jesus urges you to remember your first love – to remember the height from which you have fallen (v.5). Never lose your first love, enthusiasm and excitement about Jesus.

          Second, repent and clean up your act. If you have slipped into complacency or compromise, you may need to get rid of the dross. As we read in Zechariah, ‘I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, “They are my people”, and they will say, “The Lord is our God”’ (Zechariah 13:9).

          If you are in a time of testing and trial in your life, God will use the heat of the fire to refine you.

          Third, return to doing the things you did when you first encountered Jesus. ‘Do the things you did at first’ (Revelation 2:5).

        • Stand firm in the face of persecution
          Pastor Nadarkhani was imprisoned in Iran for no other reason than his faith in Jesus Christ. He was sentenced to death. As a result of international pressure he was released and reunited with his family. I had the privilege of interviewing him at HTB. We were all inspired by his faithfulness and courage.

          Only two of the seven churches are not faulted by Jesus – Smyrna and Philadelphia. Smyrna is spiritually rich in spite of the persecutions and material poverty: ‘I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich!’ (v.9).

          Jesus’ words to the church are not ‘repent’ (as so often was the case with the other churches), but rather, ‘Do not be afraid’ (v.10). Like the persecuted church today, they faced prison, persecution and even death. But God has set a limit (‘for ten days’) and promises, ‘I will give you the crown of life’ (v.10b).

        • Fight for the truth
          The church in Pergamum was living in the most godless place on earth – ‘where Satan has his throne’ (v.13). Yet Jesus says, ‘You remain true to my name’ (v.13). They have not renounced their faith in Jesus in spite of persecution.

          Nevertheless, Jesus challenges them about holding to false teaching and committing sexual immorality (v.14). Truth matters. He calls them to repent (v.16), and promises that if they overcome, he will give them food that feeds the soul (‘the hidden manna’, v.17) and eternal security in Christ.

      –from Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018

  3. The grace of Jesus … Zechariah 12, Zechariah 13, Zechariah 14
    • The Lord Will Rule the Earth

      1Watch, for the day of the Lord is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you! 2I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins of the city.
      3Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. 4On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south. 5You will flee through this valley, for it will reach across to Azal. Yes, you will flee as you did from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones with him.
      6On that day the sources of light will no longer shine, 7yet there will be continuous day! Only the Lord knows how this could happen. There will be no normal day and night, for at evening time it will still be light.
      8On that day life-giving waters will flow out from Jerusalem, half toward the Dead Sea and half toward the Mediterranean, flowing continuously in both summer and winter.
      9And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord—his name alone will be worshiped.
      10All the land from Geba, north of Judah, to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become one vast plain. But Jerusalem will be raised up in its original place and will be inhabited all the way from the Benjamin Gate over to the site of the old gate, then to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. 11And Jerusalem will be filled, safe at last, never again to be cursed and destroyed.
      12And the Lord will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away. Their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13On that day they will be terrified, stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will fight their neighbors hand to hand. 14Judah, too, will be fighting at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the neighboring nations will be captured—great quantities of gold and silver and fine clothing. 15This same plague will strike the horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and all the other animals in the enemy camps.
      16In the end, the enemies of Jerusalem who survive the plague will go up to Jerusalem each year to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. 17Any nation in the world that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will have no rain. 18If the people of Egypt refuse to attend the festival, the Lord will punish them with the same plague that he sends on the other nations who refuse to go. 19Egypt and the other nations will all be punished if they don’t go to celebrate the Festival of Shelters.
      20On that day even the harness bells of the horses will be inscribed with these words: Holy to the Lord. And the cooking pots in the Temple of the Lord will be as sacred as the basins used beside the altar. 21In fact, every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. All who come to worship will be free to use any of these pots to boil their sacrifices. And on that day there will no longer be traders in the Temple of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
    • The words of Zechariah 14 can be seen as looking forward to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and also to his return:

        • Jesus is the one whose feet would stand on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 21:1)
        • Jesus is the one to go out and fight against the nations in the day of battle (Zechariah 14:3; Revelation 20)
        • Jesus is the one out of whom living water would flow (Zechariah 14:8; John 7:37–39)
        • Jesus is the one who will be worshipped as king (Zechariah 14:16; Revelation 5)
        • Jesus is the one who makes it possible for ‘HOLY TO THE LORD’ to be inscribed on everything (Zechariah 14:20)
        • Jesus abolishes the distinction between the secular and the sacred. The cooking pots were the most common household vessels, yet they too had the words ‘HOLY TO THE LORD’ inscribed on them

      –from Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018

Ever heard of the “Five Solas”


Sola = Alone or Only

Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”) Sola Fide (“faith alone”) Sola Gratia (“grace alone”) Solus Christus (“Christ alone”) Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”)

Justification is the doctrine that God pardons, accepts, and declares a sinner to be “just” on the basis of Christ’s righteousness (Rom 3:24-26; 4:25; 5:15-21) which results in God’s peace (Rom 5:1), His Spirit (Rom 8:4), and salvation. Justification is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ apart from all works and merit of the sinner (cf. Rom 1:18-3:28). –from http://www.theopedia.com/Justification

Faith alone (Sola Fide)

Justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. In justification Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God’s perfect justice. Our justification does not rest on any merit to be found in us, nor upon the grounds of an infusion of Christ’s righteousness in us, nor that an institution claiming to be a church that denies or condemns sola fide can be recognized as a legitimate church. — from http://www.theopedia.com/five-solas

Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura)

The inerrant Scripture (the Bible) is the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured. It is denied that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian’s conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation. –from http://www.theopedia.com/five-solas

Christ alone (Solus Christus)

Our salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father. It is denied that the gospel is preached if Christ’s substitutionary work is not declared and faith in Christ and his work is not solicited. –from http://www.theopedia.com/five-solas

Grace alone (Sola Gratia)

In salvation we are rescued from God’s wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life. It is denied that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature. –from http://www.theopedia.com/five-solas

Glory to God alone (Soli Deo Gloria)

It is affirmed that because salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, it is for God’s glory and that we must glorify him always. We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God and for his glory alone. It is denied that we can properly glorify God if our worship is confused with entertainment, if we neglect either Law or Gospel in our preaching, or if self-improvement, self-esteem or self- fulfillment are allowed to become alternatives to the gospel. –from http://www.theopedia.com/five-solas


As we consider and reflect on the things that God’s Word tells us – letting the Bible interpret the Bible…

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. –from Ephesians 2

We see this in both old and new testament readings…

And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. –from Genesis 15

and

4“Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked.
But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God. –from Habakkuk 2
So we see the key is faith in God!
We need to be standing on the Word of God! We need to take a stand for the Word of God!
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. –from 2 Timothy 3
So let’s live out our lives so that we shine these truths so that God will receive all the praise, all the honor, and all the glory in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Whatcha got?


What do you have? What is your most valuable asset? What is your most valuable possession? How do you measure value? Would others consider it valuable?

[ˈvaly(o͞o)əb(ə)l]
ADJECTIVE
  1. worth a great deal of money:
    “a valuable antique”
NOUN
  1. a thing that is of great worth, especially a small item of personal property:
    “put all your valuables in the hotel safe”

Do you know what someone means if they want “the book“? How about if someone said they wanted to read from “the good book“? Do you realize the value of the Bible? Do you realize what you have available to you through the Bible? It’s God’s instruction manual! It’s God’s promises! It’s God’s love letter to us! It’s God’s word speaking over us!

The greatest possession we can have is a relationship with Jesus! The greatest gift we have been given is the gift of Jesus! It’s worth is beyond measure! It’s value is too great to calculate!

So, let’s live out our lives in a way that will glorify God and lift Him up, making Jesus known in and through the way we live our lives! Let’s not allow life to rob us of His truth, His love, His promises, His plans, and His purpose for us! Let’s make Jesus known in the world around us and that it is all about starting and having a relationship with Him for the rest of our lives! Will you speak truth in love?

Let’s finish strong! Let’s not give up or lose hope! Let’s reflect on the words of Paul before we look into today’s Word and devotional!

7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

–from 2 Timothy 4:7

 


Your Most Valuable Possession

Day 298: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Love God’s words … Psalm 119:97-104
  2. Proclaim God’s words … 2 Timothy 4:1-22
    • The apostle Paul urges, ‘proclaim the Message’ (v.2a, MSG). This passage is then full of practical advice on how to go about doing this.

      Get involved

      Paul writes to Timothy, ‘I give you this charge’ (v.1). His charge to Timothy is to be an evangelist and a preacher. According to the New Testament this is also the task of every Christian.

      Speak about Jesus

      Paul says preach ‘the Word’ (v.2a). The Greek word here is ‘logos’, which was used to describe Jesus in John 1:1. The good news is all about Jesus.

      When we hear the word ‘preach’ we often think of a person in robes addressing a group of convinced believers within the precinct of the church. The word Paul uses here means a herald who delivers a message that has been given to them by the king. It is an ‘up to the minute’ relevant message. You may not be a ‘preacher’ but you can be a herald of the good news about Jesus.

      Be prepared

      It is important to be prepared and ready to take advantage of every opportunity God gives you to speak about your faith. Paul writes, ‘be prepared in season and out of season’ (2 Timothy 4:2) – that is, when it is convenient and when it is not. The word he uses for ‘prepared’ has military connotations. He is saying, stay at your post. Be on duty. On guard. Be ready. Be at hand.

      Speak to the whole person

      Paul’s message is holistic. First, it appeals to the mind (v.5). He says ‘correct’ (v.2), which could be translated as ‘prove’. We are to teach the gospel with ‘careful instruction’ (v.2). Our presentation of the gospel should never be devoid of content. Paul’s message is based on evidence and reason. Indeed, Paul says to Timothy, ‘keep your head’ (v.5).

      Second, it is an appeal to the heart and conscience. He says, ‘rebuke’ (v.2). Reason is not enough – a change of heart is required.

      Third, it is an appeal to the will: ‘encourage’. We need to get alongside people and help them with ‘great patience’ (v.2). This is a spirit that never gets irritated, never despairs and never regards a person as beyond salvation.

      Keep speaking the truth

      You may be tempted to change the content to what your hearers want to hear, or to what you think they are more likely to respond to, but keep passing on the same message that has been handed down to you. In spite of the fact that some people may prefer ‘spiritual junk food – catchy opinions that tickle their fancy’ to ‘solid teaching’ (v.3, MSG) – keep proclaiming the truth of the gospel.

      Keep going

      Paul writes to Timothy, ‘do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry’ (v.5c). Telling others is your responsibility before God. Jesus is coming back to judge and reign (v.1). What you do now has eternal consequences. You are going to have to give an account.

      Therefore, be willing to endure hardship (v.5). If you preach this message, you will be misunderstood, misrepresented and misinterpreted. Paul has been deserted by Demas (v.10). He has been strongly opposed by Alexander, the metal worker who did him a great deal of harm (v.14). No one stood up for Paul in his hour of greatest need (v.16).

      Never give up. Listen to Paul’s words to Timothy as if they were addressed to you: ‘make the spreading of the good news your life work’ (v.5, JBP). This is what Paul did. He was willing to be poured out like a drink offering (v.6).

      Now he says to Timothy, ‘You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting – God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming’ (vv.6–8, MSG).

      Know that the Lord is on your side

      In spite of all the opposition and difficulties, one thing makes all the difference: ‘The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength’ (v.17). This is so that ‘the message might be fully proclaimed and all Gentiles might hear it’ (v.17). Paul is confident about his future, even though he is facing the immediate threat of death (v.18). His greatest desire for Timothy and the other believers with him is that they are intimately connected to Jesus. His final words are, ‘The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you’ (v.22).

      –from Day 298: Bible In One Year 2017

  3. Declare God’s words … Jeremiah 51:15-64

Today’s reading from God’s Word…

 

Who do you say He is?


Do you believe in the inerrancy of the Bible? Do you believe that the Bible is God breathed? Do you believe that the Bible is true? Do you believe that the Bible is food for the soul? Do you believe that heaven and earth won’t pass away until everything in the Bible comes true? Do you believe that the Bible helps to set us apart for something special? Do you believe that the all of the Bible is inspired by God? Do you believe that the Bible is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living? Do you believe that the Bible helps people who serve God to be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed? What you believe makes a difference!

Who do you say He is?


Today’s reading starts with the following…

Is He the Messiah?

25Some of the people of Jerusalem said, “Isn’t this the man the authorities are trying to kill? 26Look! He is talking in public, and they say nothing against him! Can it be that they really know that he is the Messiah? 27But when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from. And we all know where this man comes from.” 28As Jesus taught in the Temple, he said in a loud voice, “Do you really know me and know where I am from? I have not come on my own authority. He who sent me, however, is truthful. You do not know him, 29but I know him, because I come from him and he sent me.” 30Then they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31But many in the crowd believed in him and said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more miracles than this man has?”

Guards Are Sent to Arrest Jesus

32The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering these things about Jesus, so they and the chief priests sent some guards to arrest him. 33Jesus said, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I shall go away to him who sent me. 34You will look for me, but you will not find me, because you cannot go where I will be.” 35The Jewish authorities said among themselves, “Where is he about to go so that we shall not find him? Will he go to the Greek cities where our people live, and teach the Greeks? 36He says that we will look for him but will not find him, and that we cannot go where he will be. What does he mean?”

–from John 7

Where do you turn to for help? Where do you find hope, peace, comfort? Do you know where to turn?

8Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that other believers in all the world are going through the same kind of sufferings. 10But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share his eternal glory in union with Christ, will himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation. 11To him be the power forever! Amen.

Final Greetings

12I write you this brief letter with the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful Christian. I want to encourage you and give my testimony that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.
13Your sister church in Babylon, also chosen by God, sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14Greet one another with the kiss of Christian love. May peace be with all of you who belong to Christ.

–from 1 Peter 5

Let’s put our hope and trust in Jesus! Let’s walk in close relationship to Him! Let’s make a difference in the world we live! Let’s be part of the “Acts 2.0” church!

Today’s reading concludes in the Songs of Song…

The Woman’s Brothers

8We have a young sister, and her breasts are still small. What will we do for her when a young man comes courting? 9If she is a wall, we will build her a silver tower. But if she is a gate, we will protect her with panels of cedar.

The Woman

10I am a wall, and my breasts are its towers. My lover knows that with him I find contentment and peace.

The Man

11Solomon has a vineyard in a place called Baal Hamon. There are farmers who rent it from him; each one pays a thousand silver coins. 12Solomon is welcome to his thousand coins, and the farmers to two hundred as their share; I have a vineyard of my own! 13Let me hear your voice from the garden, my love; my companions are waiting to hear you speak.

The Woman

14Come to me, my lover, like a gazelle, like a young stag on the mountains where spices grow.

–from Songs of Song 8