Category Archives: Blessed

Do you realize all the good things in the midst of the trials and troubles? Can you see the light in the darkness? Can you see the sun through the storm?


Ever wonder how big the world is? Ever considered the breadth, the depth, the height? Ever considered the creativity and the curiosity that was required to get flight? Ever considered the creativity and curiosity that was required to discover the parts of the world? Ever considered the creativity and curiosity that was required to leave the earth? Were there troubles? Yes of course there were. Were there trials? Yes of course there were. Were there exciting times because they didn’t give up and persevered? Yes to that one too. Ever talked to someone who has gone to space and heard about their faith in God? Ever consider what it would have taken back in the BC days for people to have traveled around the world compared to the blessings we have? Imagine a world without GPS. Imagine a world without flight to get around. Imagine even a world without the huge ships of today to get around the world. Imagine a world without trains to get across countries or continents. How would things be different now? Do you realize how blessed you are to live at such a time as this? Do you realize that people tended to stray away from God when things got to easy? Do you realize that people tended to stray away from God’s way when they started to get too proud believing that it was their idea alone and that they didn’t or don’t need God anymore? Imagine a flight across the US in under 6 hours. Imagine getting to see NASA through a visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and meeting Tom Jones the astronaut. Imagine getting to watch your child play her sport all the way across the country in person for 2 games but then via technology on a phone or TV for the third game. There is so much to be grateful for. There is so much to be praising God for. Even in the midst of trials and troubles with rooms or hotels, there are still reasons for joy. We can stop and consider how in James we read:

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

— James 1:2-4

So be glad to get to go. Be glad to get to come. Be joyful through it all, giving God the praise, the honor, and the glory, in Jesus’s name. Amen.


Day 12: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge – Day 12 —

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 12 link above or want to join link here to join me and sign up.

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

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


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


My Notes:

  • Have you heard about Jesus? Did He amaze you?
  • Have you had an encounter with Jesus? Did He transform you?
  • Have you encountered the wisdom and strength of Jesus?
  • Do you realize that Jesus is the son of God? The one and only Son who was given for you and for me so that we could believe and be saved.
  • Consider how even as a child Jesus went with His parents to celebrate the Passover.
  • Have you considered the things that have taken place during the time of the Passover? From the time when the Jewish people were in Egypt? From the time when Jesus was to be betrayed and crucified?
  • How often are you willing to celebrate the festivals of God?
  • How often are you willing to turn your heart and your mind back to God?
  • Are you being fair about what has happened? Without partiality in order that justice is given?
  • Are you worshiping the one and true God?
  • What have you seen and heard about God? Do you feel the security from Him?
  • Will you follow God for ever and ever? Will you allow Him to lead you until the very end?
  • Will you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

As day 12 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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


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

The Story of Job. – Day 3


How will you respond to the test? How will you respond to the trials? How will you respond to the suffering? How will you respond to the loss? How will you respond to the uncertainty? How will you respond to the accusations? How will you respond to the attacks? Will you be patient and persevere? Will you consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds? Will you take hold of the hope in Jesus when you face troubles? As we consider this questions, lets see what happens in the story of Job.


Today’s reading will conclude Job 1 with Satan receiving permission to test Job:

‘Now there was a day when Job’s sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, and the Sabeans attacked and swooped down on them and took away the animals. They also killed the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another [messenger] also came and said, “The fire of God (lightning) has fallen from the heavens and has burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another [messenger] also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and have taken them away and have killed the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another [messenger] also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly, a great wind came from across the desert, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” Then Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head [in mourning for the children], and he fell to the ground and worshiped [God]. He said, “Naked (without possessions) I came [into this world] from my mother’s womb, And naked I will return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord .” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.’

JOB 1:13-22

We learn how in this test God gave Satan permission to attack all that Job has. God didn’t order or direct Satan to test Job but rather permits it. Satan can only work within the confines of God’s control. Unlike God who has unlimited power, Satan’s power and authority is limited. We need to take hold of the fact that Satan has no power over Job that God hasn’t allowed him to have. As Christians, we need to remember this and take hold of this truth that we are under the same protection from God. Satan won’t be able to attack us as believers unless God allows it. We know God’s plans are for good and not for evil, to give us a hope and a future, and so we know that what Satan plans for evil, God is able to turn around and use for good. We see how Job’s trial/test was to be able to demonstrate his loyalty to God in contradiction to what Satan was saying. The trials are to make us strong in the Lord as believers! Like we read in James on the subject of considering it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, it is with purpose and for purpose.

We now see the destruction that took place in Job’s life and delivered by many messengers. We see how the trials and attacks came through other people like the Sabeans and the Chaldeans as well as through natural disasters like fire/lightning and wind and Satan’s power was behind it all. Looking into the Sabeans, we can find out that they were a nomadic Bedouin tribe known for treachery and cruelty, plundering others in order to survive. Looking into the Chaldeans, we can find that they too were nomadic marauders who at one time conquered Babylon. We see from the reading that on that one day and through all of the attacks and destruction through human and natural forces, only 4 of the hundreds of Job’s servants survived in order to come and give a report. Could you imagine standing in Job’s position and as each bearer of bad news came to let him know and finished the next person showed up with more bad news? Imagine the tragedy of that day and the impact on Job. Remember all that Job had when the chapter started? We learn thru this first attack how Job lost his livestock, his servants, and his children.

As we consider the first incident we see how the livestock with out in the fields working when the Sabeans showed up taking all the livestock and killing all the servants but the one who escaped to give Job the bad news.

As we consider the second incident we learn about how a severe lightning storm struck and killed the sheep and the servants, except for the one who escaped to report the bad news to Job.

As we consider the third incident we learn about how the Chaldeans took the camels and killed all the servants except for the one who escaped and was able to deliver the bad news to Job.

As we consider the fourth incident at the older son’s home and birthday party based on yesterday’s verses, and so it went from a time of celebration and joy to one of somberness, sadness, and loss. We learn about a wind storm, like a cyclone, that came thru and caused the house to collapse and kill everyone inside except for the one messenger who survived to deliver the message to Job. The loss of all his stuff is one thing but even more traumatic would be the loss of all his children. He lost all seven sons and all three daughters.

Satan wasn’t slow to act or doing it piecemeal, instead he took all the authority he had received and enacted it on the same day. He wanted to make an impact and prove his point that it was only because of God’s hedge of protection and God’s blessings that Job served God. He figured his plan would definitely cause Job to turn on God.

BUT, Satan was wrong as we continue to read the closing verses from Job 1:20-22.

‘Then Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head [in mourning for the children], and he fell to the ground and worshiped [God]. He said, “Naked (without possessions) I came [into this world] from my mother’s womb, And naked I will return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord .” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.’

Job 1:20-22

We see that God doesn’t turn against God but instead turns to God at this time of loss and pain and suffering. We see rather than cursing God and blaming Him, we see Job surrender himself to God as he mourned the loss. We see the reality and the realization of what happened and in and through it all Job blessed God. We learn how Job didn’t blame God and didn’t do anything that would have got him out of line or off track from God’s ways and sinning.

We see how deeply impacted Job was in how he tore his robe and shaved his head. We see where Job finds his strength through it all in how he then starts to worship God. Job proved God right and Satan wrong in that Job worshiped God in the midst of the loss rather than cursing and blaming Him like Satan had accused.

We learn how Job realized how the earth is the Lords and everything in it. We learn how Job realized that every good and perfect gift comes from God.

Tragedy tends to bring out the reality in us. If that had been you would good have come out of you – from the overflow of your heart the mouth speaks. If that had been you how would you have responded to the evil that had occurred to you? Would you allow vengeance to belong to the Lord? Would you repay evil with good and make it like ashes being poured on the other persons head? Death is a very powerful experience and can bring out what the inside is holding onto. I remember when my grandfather past away in my youth/young adult life and how I went out in my suit in a need to get away from the funeral and headed to a bar/club with the idea that if someone said “what’s up with the suit, did someone die?” I was prepared to say “yes, my grandfather” and then deck him. Fortunately for me, God didn’t allow that encounter to happen and He protected me from myself, even though I wasn’t walking with Him at that point in my life.


Bibliography/Footnote/Reference link: Book of JobJob 1


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:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

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


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

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


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


Today’s reading from God’s Word is:

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

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

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

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

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


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

Let’s pray:

Will you allow fear to rob you of the blessing?


What if someone told you to meet them somewhere and then something would happen, would you go and wait? What if they weren’t there according to your timing, could you be patient enough to wait for them? What if they weren’t there and the others around you were starting to worry too, would you try to go it your own way? Will you trust God more than the lies and groaning that may cause fear? How long can you wait? If someone tells you they will meet you in seven days will you be willing to wait the full seven before taking things into your own hands? What if you knew it would risk everything you had to not wait? Would your fear that you won’t make it till then override your obedience to wait for the person to arrive? What will you allow to rob you of the blessing? What will you allow to rob you of your calling? Will you do it God’s way or will you risk losing it all? Will you wait upon the Lord and have your strength renewed? Will you allow your fear and the fear of those around you to compromise your decision? The choice is yours. Will you be a man after God’s heart? Will you try to do it in your own power even after being reprimanded by God? Will you allow fear to rob you of the blessing?

Don’t turn your back on God! Turn back to God and humbly cry out to Him! Invite Jesus into your heart and your life and pursue after Him all the days of your life! Put your life in God’s hand. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength. Lead others by following after God rather than allowing their ways and their words to sway you from God’s will and way.

Worry changes nothing! So do not worry! Do not allow fear to keep you from God’s purpose and plan! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Let’s put God first and allow Him to be our treasure! Trust in God and allow Him to redeem you! Jesus paid it all and all to Him we owe, Jesus took the crimson stain and washed it white as snow.


‘Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty-two years. Saul selected 3,000 special troops from the army of Israel and sent the rest of the men home. He took 2,000 of the chosen men with him to Micmash and the hill country of Bethel. The other 1,000 went with Saul’s son Jonathan to Gibeah in the land of Benjamin. Soon after this, Jonathan attacked and defeated the garrison of Philistines at Geba. The news spread quickly among the Philistines. So Saul blew the ram’s horn throughout the land, saying, “Hebrews, hear this! Rise up in revolt!” All Israel heard the news that Saul had destroyed the Philistine garrison at Geba and that the Philistines now hated the Israelites more than ever. So the entire Israelite army was summoned to join Saul at Gilgal. The Philistines mustered a mighty army of 3,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers, and as many warriors as the grains of sand on the seashore! They camped at Micmash east of Beth-aven. The men of Israel saw what a tight spot they were in; and because they were hard pressed by the enemy, they tried to hide in caves, thickets, rocks, holes, and cisterns. Some of them crossed the Jordan River and escaped into the land of Gad and Gilead. Meanwhile, Saul stayed at Gilgal, and his men were trembling with fear. Saul waited there seven days for Samuel, as Samuel had instructed him earlier, but Samuel still didn’t come. Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away. So he demanded, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself. Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him, but Samuel said, “What is this you have done?” Saul replied, “I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn’t arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle. So I said, ‘The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven’t even asked for the Lord ’s help!’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came.” “How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord ’s command.” Samuel then left Gilgal and went on his way, but the rest of the troops went with Saul to meet the army. They went up from Gilgal to Gibeah in the land of Benjamin. When Saul counted the men who were still with him, he found only 600 were left! Saul and Jonathan and the troops with them were staying at Geba in the land of Benjamin. The Philistines set up their camp at Micmash. Three raiding parties soon left the camp of the Philistines. One went north toward Ophrah in the land of Shual, another went west to Beth-horon, and the third moved toward the border above the valley of Zeboim near the wilderness. There were no blacksmiths in the land of Israel in those days. The Philistines wouldn’t allow them for fear they would make swords and spears for the Hebrews. So whenever the Israelites needed to sharpen their plowshares, picks, axes, or sickles, they had to take them to a Philistine blacksmith. The charges were as follows: a quarter of an ounce of silver for sharpening a plowshare or a pick, and an eighth of an ounce for sharpening an ax or making the point of an ox goad. So on the day of the battle none of the people of Israel had a sword or spear, except for Saul and Jonathan. The pass at Micmash had meanwhile been secured by a contingent of the Philistine army.’

— 1 Samuel 13

‘Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn’t help them. Away with them! Get them out of my sight! And if they say to you, ‘But where can we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: “‘Those who are destined for death, to death; those who are destined for war, to war; those who are destined for famine, to famine; those who are destined for captivity, to captivity.’ “I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” says the Lord . “I will send the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the vultures to devour, and the wild animals to finish up what is left. Because of the wicked things Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem, I will make my people an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. “Who will feel sorry for you, Jerusalem? Who will weep for you? Who will even bother to ask how you are? You have abandoned me and turned your back on me,” says the Lord . “Therefore, I will raise my fist to destroy you. I am tired of always giving you another chance. I will winnow you like grain at the gates of your cities and take away the children you hold dear. I will destroy my own people, because they refuse to change their evil ways. There will be more widows than the grains of sand on the seashore. At noontime I will bring a destroyer against the mothers of young men. I will cause anguish and terror to come upon them suddenly. The mother of seven grows faint and gasps for breath; her sun has gone down while it is still day. She sits childless now, disgraced and humiliated. And I will hand over those who are left to be killed by the enemy. I, the Lord , have spoken!” Then I said, “What sorrow is mine, my mother. Oh, that I had died at birth! I am hated everywhere I go. I am neither a lender who threatens to foreclose nor a borrower who refuses to pay— yet they all curse me.” The Lord replied, “I will take care of you, Jeremiah. Your enemies will ask you to plead on their behalf in times of trouble and distress. Can a man break a bar of iron from the north, or a bar of bronze? At no cost to them, I will hand over your wealth and treasures as plunder to your enemies, for sin runs rampant in your land. I will tell your enemies to take you as captives to a foreign land. For my anger blazes like a fire that will burn forever. ” Then I said, “ Lord , you know what’s happening to me. Please step in and help me. Punish my persecutors! Please give me time; don’t let me die young. It’s for your sake that I am suffering. When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. I never joined the people in their merry feasts. I sat alone because your hand was on me. I was filled with indignation at their sins. Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable? Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook, like a spring that has gone dry.” This is how the Lord responds: “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you! They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze. They will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and rescue you. I, the Lord , have spoken! Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men. I will rescue you from their cruel hands.”’

— Jeremiah 15

‘Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.’

– Luke 12:22-34

‘So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose. And furthermore, it is not angels who will control the future world we are talking about. For in one place the Scriptures say, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, or a son of man that you should care for him? Yet for a little while you made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them authority over all things.” Now when it says “all things,” it means nothing is left out. But we have not yet seen all things put under their authority. What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. ‘

— Hebrews 2:1-9

‘Listen to this, all you people! Pay attention, everyone in the world! High and low, rich and poor—listen! For my words are wise, and my thoughts are filled with insight. I listen carefully to many proverbs and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp. Why should I fear when trouble comes, when enemies surround me? They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave. Those who are wise must finally die, just like the foolish and senseless, leaving all their wealth behind. The grave is their eternal home, where they will stay forever. They may name their estates after themselves, but their fame will not last. They will die, just like animals. This is the fate of fools, though they are remembered as being wise. Interlude Like sheep, they are led to the grave, where death will be their shepherd. In the morning the godly will rule over them. Their bodies will rot in the grave, far from their grand estates. But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave. Interlude So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich and their homes become ever more splendid. For when they die, they take nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave. In this life they consider themselves fortunate and are applauded for their success. But they will die like all before them and never again see the light of day. People who boast of their wealth don’t understand; they will die, just like animals.’

— Psalms 49

Would you do it if you knew it would generate a blessing (carrot)? Or are you more of a stick person and deterred by punishment?


Is reward a motivation for you? Would it matter what type of a blessing? Would it make a difference if it was material vs relational? Would it matter if it was material vs wisdom? Ever considered the blessings of finding a spouse? Ever considered the blessings of having children? Ever considered the blessings of having a family? Ever considered the blessings of knowing they are in God’s hands? Ever considered the blessings of a job? Ever considered the blessings of getting to work? Ever considered the blessings of getting to serve? Ever considered the blessings of getting to lead? Ever considered the blessings that come from obedience to God? Ever considered taking the challenge, the only test God asks you to test Him in? Ever considered what the blessings from that obedience might be?

Consider God’s Word when He challenges you to test Him.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

Malachi 3:10(NIV)

Today’s reading gets us started in Leviticus 26.

‘“Do not make idols or set up carved images, or sacred pillars, or sculptured stones in your land so you may worship them. I am the Lord your God. You must keep my Sabbath days of rest and show reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord . “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit. Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land. “I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land. In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword. “I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you. You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest! I will live among you, and I will not despise you. I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high.

“However, if you do not listen to me or obey all these commands, and if you break my covenant by rejecting my decrees, treating my regulations with contempt, and refusing to obey my commands, I will punish you. I will bring sudden terrors upon you—wasting diseases and burning fevers that will cause your eyes to fail and your life to ebb away. You will plant your crops in vain because your enemies will eat them. I will turn against you, and you will be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will run even when no one is chasing you! “And if, in spite of all this, you still disobey me, I will punish you seven times over for your sins. I will break your proud spirit by making the skies as unyielding as iron and the earth as hard as bronze. All your work will be for nothing, for your land will yield no crops, and your trees will bear no fruit. “If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey me, I will inflict disaster on you seven times over for your sins. I will send wild animals that will rob you of your children and destroy your livestock. Your numbers will dwindle, and your roads will be deserted. “And if you fail to learn the lesson and continue your hostility toward me, then I myself will be hostile toward you. I will personally strike you with calamity seven times over for your sins. I will send armies against you to carry out the curse of the covenant you have broken. When you run to your towns for safety, I will send a plague to destroy you there, and you will be handed over to your enemies. I will destroy your food supply, so that ten women will need only one oven to bake bread for their families. They will ration your food by weight, and though you have food to eat, you will not be satisfied. “If in spite of all this you still refuse to listen and still remain hostile toward me, then I will give full vent to my hostility. I myself will punish you seven times over for your sins. Then you will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters. I will destroy your pagan shrines and knock down your places of worship. I will leave your lifeless corpses piled on top of your lifeless idols, and I will despise you. I will make your cities desolate and destroy your places of pagan worship. I will take no pleasure in your offerings that should be a pleasing aroma to me. Yes, I myself will devastate your land, and your enemies who come to occupy it will be appalled at what they see. I will scatter you among the nations and bring out my sword against you. Your land will become desolate, and your cities will lie in ruins. Then at last the land will enjoy its neglected Sabbath years as it lies desolate while you are in exile in the land of your enemies. Then the land will finally rest and enjoy the Sabbaths it missed. As long as the land lies in ruins, it will enjoy the rest you never allowed it to take every seventh year while you lived in it. “And for those of you who survive, I will demoralize you in the land of your enemies. You will live in such fear that the sound of a leaf driven by the wind will send you fleeing. You will run as though fleeing from a sword, and you will fall even when no one pursues you. Though no one is chasing you, you will stumble over each other as though fleeing from a sword. You will have no power to stand up against your enemies. You will die among the foreign nations and be devoured in the land of your enemies. Those of you who survive will waste away in your enemies’ lands because of their sins and the sins of their ancestors. “But at last my people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors for betraying me and being hostile toward me. When I have turned their hostility back on them and brought them to the land of their enemies, then at last their stubborn hearts will be humbled, and they will pay for their sins. Then I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. For the land must be abandoned to enjoy its years of Sabbath rest as it lies deserted. At last the people will pay for their sins, for they have continually rejected my regulations and despised my decrees. “But despite all this, I will not utterly reject or despise them while they are in exile in the land of their enemies. I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out, for I am the Lord their God. For their sakes I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of all the nations, that I might be their God. I am the Lord .” These are the decrees, regulations, and instructions that the Lord gave through Moses on Mount Sinai as evidence of the relationship between himself and the Israelites.’

Leviticus 26

Today’s reading then brings us into the book of wisdom with Proverbs 24.

‘Don’t envy evil people or desire their company. For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble. A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables. The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger. So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers. Wisdom is too lofty for fools. Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say. A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker. The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker. If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve. My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste. In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short. Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly, and don’t raid the house where the godly live. The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble. For the Lord will be displeased with you and will turn his anger away from them. Don’t fret because of evildoers; don’t envy the wicked. For evil people have no future; the light of the wicked will be snuffed out. My child, fear the Lord and the king. Don’t associate with rebels, for disaster will hit them suddenly. Who knows what punishment will come from the Lord and the king?

Here are some further sayings of the wise: It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment. A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations. But it will go well for those who convict the guilty; rich blessings will be showered on them. An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship. Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause; don’t lie about them. And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me! I’ll get even with them!” I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.’

Proverbs 24

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting in Mark 14.

‘And immediately, even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders. The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss. Then you can take him away under guard.” As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. “Rabbi!” he exclaimed, and gave him the kiss. Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear. Jesus asked them, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there among you teaching every day. But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about me.” Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away. One young man following behind was clothed only in a long linen shirt. When the mob tried to grab him, he slipped out of his shirt and ran away naked.’

Mark 14:43-52

and then moves into 2 Corinthians 7.

‘Please open your hearts to us. We have not done wrong to anyone, nor led anyone astray, nor taken advantage of anyone. I’m not saying this to condemn you. I said before that you are in our hearts, and we live or die together with you. I have the highest confidence in you, and I take great pride in you. You have greatly encouraged me and made me happy despite all our troubles. When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. When he told us how much you long to see me, and how sorry you are for what happened, and how loyal you are to me, I was filled with joy! I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right. My purpose, then, was not to write about who did the wrong or who was wronged. I wrote to you so that in the sight of God you could see for yourselves how loyal you are to us. We have been greatly encouraged by this. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was about the way all of you welcomed him and set his mind at ease. I had told him how proud I was of you—and you didn’t disappoint me. I have always told you the truth, and now my boasting to Titus has also proved true! Now he cares for you more than ever when he remembers the way all of you obeyed him and welcomed him with such fear and deep respect. I am very happy now because I have complete confidence in you.’

2 Corinthians 7:2-16

As we consider and meditate the benefit of obedience and its correlation to blessings, let’s give today into God’s hands and ask Him for wisdom to be able to discern His will and His direction so that we can have the heart to obey in order to walk out our lives under the hand of His blessings all the days of our lives.

Let’s finish strong as we turn to the last part of today’s reading with Psalms 92.

‘It is good to give thanks to the Lord , to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre. You thrill me, Lord , with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord , what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts. Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this: Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. But you, O Lord , will be exalted forever. Your enemies, Lord , will surely perish; all evildoers will be scattered. But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents. But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord ’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”’

Psalms 92

How will you choose to walk out your life?


Are you willing to choose to walk it out within the boundaries that can be blessed? Are you willing to choose to walk it out in order to stay within the presence of God? Are you willing to choose to go beyond knowing what is right and into doing what is right? Are you willing to choose to walk in alignment with God’s will and God’s plan? How will you choose to walk out your life?

Today’s reading begins in Exodus 23.

‘“See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you. Pay close attention to him, and obey his instructions. Do not rebel against him, for he is my representative, and he will not forgive your rebellion. But if you are careful to obey him, following all my instructions, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will oppose those who oppose you. For my angel will go before you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, so you may live there. And I will destroy them completely. You must not worship the gods of these nations or serve them in any way or imitate their evil practices. Instead, you must utterly destroy them and smash their sacred pillars. “You must serve only the Lord your God. If you do, I will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness. There will be no miscarriages or infertility in your land, and I will give you long, full lives. “I will send my terror ahead of you and create panic among all the people whose lands you invade. I will make all your enemies turn and run. I will send terror ahead of you to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply and threaten you. I will drive them out a little at a time until your population has increased enough to take possession of the land. And I will fix your boundaries from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the eastern wilderness to the Euphrates River. I will hand over to you the people now living in the land, and you will drive them out ahead of you. “Make no treaties with them or their gods. They must not live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me. If you serve their gods, you will be caught in the trap of idolatry.”’

Exodus 23:20-33

Today’s reading continues into Exodus 24.

‘Then the Lord instructed Moses: “Come up here to me, and bring along Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders. All of you must worship from a distance. Only Moses is allowed to come near to the Lord . The others must not come near, and none of the other people are allowed to climb up the mountain with him.” Then Moses went down to the people and repeated all the instructions and regulations the Lord had given him. All the people answered with one voice, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.” Then Moses carefully wrote down all the Lord ’s instructions. Early the next morning Moses got up and built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He also set up twelve pillars, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent some of the young Israelite men to present burnt offerings and to sacrifice bulls as peace offerings to the Lord . Moses drained half the blood from these animals into basins. The other half he splattered against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it aloud to the people. Again they all responded, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded. We will obey.” Then Moses took the blood from the basins and splattered it over the people, declaring, “Look, this blood confirms the covenant the Lord has made with you in giving you these instructions.” Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel climbed up the mountain. There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself. And though these nobles of Israel gazed upon God, he did not destroy them. In fact, they ate a covenant meal, eating and drinking in his presence! Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone on which I have inscribed the instructions and commands so you can teach the people.” So Moses and his assistant Joshua set out, and Moses climbed up the mountain of God. Moses told the elders, “Stay here and wait for us until we come back. Aaron and Hur are here with you. If anyone has a dispute while I am gone, consult with them.” Then Moses climbed up the mountain, and the cloud covered it. And the glory of the Lord settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the Lord appeared at the summit like a consuming fire. Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.’

Exodus 24

Today’s reading next takes us into the story of Job with Job 10.

‘“I am disgusted with my life. Let me complain freely. My bitter soul must complain. I will say to God, ‘Don’t simply condemn me— tell me the charge you are bringing against me. What do you gain by oppressing me? Why do you reject me, the work of your own hands, while smiling on the schemes of the wicked? Are your eyes like those of a human? Do you see things only as people see them? Is your lifetime only as long as ours? Is your life so short that you must quickly probe for my guilt and search for my sin? Although you know I am not guilty, no one can rescue me from your hands. “‘You formed me with your hands; you made me, yet now you completely destroy me. Remember that you made me from dust— will you turn me back to dust so soon? You guided my conception and formed me in the womb. You clothed me with skin and flesh, and you knit my bones and sinews together. You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love. My life was preserved by your care. “‘Yet your real motive— your true intent— was to watch me, and if I sinned, you would not forgive my guilt. If I am guilty, too bad for me; and even if I’m innocent, I can’t hold my head high, because I am filled with shame and misery. And if I hold my head high, you hunt me like a lion and display your awesome power against me. Again and again you witness against me. You pour out your growing anger on me and bring fresh armies against me. “‘Why, then, did you deliver me from my mother’s womb? Why didn’t you let me die at birth? It would be as though I had never existed, going directly from the womb to the grave. I have only a few days left, so leave me alone, that I may have a moment of comfort before I leave—never to return— for the land of darkness and utter gloom. It is a land as dark as midnight, a land of gloom and confusion, where even the light is dark as midnight.’”’

Job 10

Today’s reading brings us into the New Testament in Mark 1.

‘This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written: “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord ’s coming! Clear the road for him!’ ” This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him. Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.’

Mark 1:1-20

We continue into 1 Corinthians 7.

‘Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches. For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now. For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments. Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.’

1 Corinthians 7:17-24

As we conclude today’s reading, let us meditate on today’s psalm from Psalms 55.

‘Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats. They bring trouble on me and angrily hunt me down. My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking. Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. Interlude How quickly I would escape— far from this wild storm of hatred. Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans, for I see violence and conflict in the city. Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders, but the real danger is wickedness within the city. Everything is falling apart; threats and cheating are rampant in the streets. It is not an enemy who taunts me— I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me— I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God. Let death stalk my enemies; let the grave swallow them alive, for evil makes its home within them. But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me. God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them. Interlude For my enemies refuse to change their ways; they do not fear God. As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises. His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers! Give your burdens to the Lord , and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. But you, O God, will send the wicked down to the pit of destruction. Murderers and liars will die young, but I am trusting you to save me.’

Psalms 55

How much do you want the blessing?


If you were offered a blessing would you receive it? If you were told you have to come fast or you might miss your opportunity would you go quickly? If you were told time is running out to receive the blessing would it create in you an urgency to change and go accept it and receive it? What if the blessing was coming from your parents? What if the blessing was coming from God? What if the blessing was Jesus’s promises? Will anything make you not go? Will anything keep you from accepting and receiving it? What if the blessing was for someone else? Would you respond with the same urgency? Would you help them get there? What if it requires that you believe? Are you ready to believe? Are you ready to receive? Are you ready to be transformed? Will today be your day?

Today’s reading starts in Genesis 48.

‘One day not long after this, word came to Joseph, “Your father is failing rapidly.” So Joseph went to visit his father, and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. When Joseph arrived, Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” So Jacob gathered his strength and sat up in his bed. Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful, and I will multiply your descendants. I will make you a multitude of nations. And I will give this land of Canaan to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’ “Now I am claiming as my own sons these two boys of yours, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born here in the land of Egypt before I arrived. They will be my sons, just as Reuben and Simeon are. But any children born to you in the future will be your own, and they will inherit land within the territories of their brothers Ephraim and Manasseh. “Long ago, as I was returning from Paddan-aram, Rachel died in the land of Canaan. We were still on the way, some distance from Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). So with great sorrow I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.” Then Jacob looked over at the two boys. “Are these your sons?” he asked. “Yes,” Joseph told him, “these are the sons God has given me here in Egypt.” And Jacob said, “Bring them closer to me, so I can bless them.” Jacob was half blind because of his age and could hardly see. So Joseph brought the boys close to him, and Jacob kissed and embraced them. Then Jacob said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see your face again, but now God has let me see your children, too!” Joseph moved the boys, who were at their grandfather’s knees, and he bowed with his face to the ground. Then he positioned the boys in front of Jacob. With his right hand he directed Ephraim toward Jacob’s left hand, and with his left hand he put Manasseh at Jacob’s right hand. But Jacob crossed his arms as he reached out to lay his hands on the boys’ heads. He put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, though he was the younger boy, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, though he was the firstborn. Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my grandfather Abraham and my father, Isaac, walked— the God who has been my shepherd all my life, to this very day, the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm— may he bless these boys. May they preserve my name and the names of Abraham and Isaac. And may their descendants multiply greatly throughout the earth.” But Joseph was upset when he saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head. So Joseph lifted it to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. “No, my father,” he said. “This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.” But his father refused. “I know, my son; I know,” he replied. “Manasseh will also become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. And his descendants will become a multitude of nations.” So Jacob blessed the boys that day with this blessing: “The people of Israel will use your names when they give a blessing. They will say, ‘May God make you as prosperous as Ephraim and Manasseh.’” In this way, Jacob put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. Then Jacob said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will take you back to Canaan, the land of your ancestors. And beyond what I have given your brothers, I am giving you an extra portion of the land that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”’

Genesis 48

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 23.

‘In the seventh year of Athaliah’s reign, Jehoiada the priest decided to act. He summoned his courage and made a pact with five army commanders: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri. These men traveled secretly throughout Judah and summoned the Levites and clan leaders in all the towns to come to Jerusalem. They all gathered at the Temple of God, where they made a solemn pact with Joash, the young king. Jehoiada said to them, “Here is the king’s son! The time has come for him to reign! The Lord has promised that a descendant of David will be our king. This is what you must do. When you priests and Levites come on duty on the Sabbath, a third of you will serve as gatekeepers. Another third will go over to the royal palace, and the final third will be at the Foundation Gate. Everyone else should stay in the courtyards of the Lord ’s Temple. Remember, only the priests and Levites on duty may enter the Temple of the Lord , for they are set apart as holy. The rest of the people must obey the Lord ’s instructions and stay outside. You Levites, form a bodyguard around the king and keep your weapons in hand. Kill anyone who tries to enter the Temple. Stay with the king wherever he goes.” So the Levites and all the people of Judah did everything as Jehoiada the priest ordered. The commanders took charge of the men reporting for duty that Sabbath, as well as those who were going off duty. Jehoiada the priest did not let anyone go home after their shift ended.

Then Jehoiada supplied the commanders with the spears and the large and small shields that had once belonged to King David and were stored in the Temple of God. He stationed all the people around the king, with their weapons ready. They formed a line from the south side of the Temple around to the north side and all around the altar. Then Jehoiada and his sons brought out Joash, the king’s son, placed the crown on his head, and presented him with a copy of God’s laws. They anointed him and proclaimed him king, and everyone shouted, “Long live the king!”

When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and the shouts of praise to the king, she hurried to the Lord ’s Temple to see what was happening. When she arrived, she saw the newly crowned king standing in his place of authority by the pillar at the Temple entrance. The commanders and trumpeters were surrounding him, and people from all over the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Singers with musical instruments were leading the people in a great celebration. When Athaliah saw all this, she tore her clothes in despair and shouted, “Treason! Treason!” Then Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders who were in charge of the troops, “Take her to the soldiers in front of the Temple, and kill anyone who tries to rescue her.” For the priest had said, “She must not be killed in the Temple of the Lord .” So they seized her and led her out to the entrance of the Horse Gate on the palace grounds, and they killed her there. Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and the king and the people that they would be the Lord ’s people. And all the people went over to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They demolished the altars and smashed the idols, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. Jehoiada now put the priests and Levites in charge of the Temple of the Lord , following all the directions given by David. He also commanded them to present burnt offerings to the Lord , as prescribed by the Law of Moses, and to sing and rejoice as David had instructed. He also stationed gatekeepers at the gates of the Lord ’s Temple to keep out those who for any reason were ceremonially unclean. Then the commanders, nobles, rulers, and all the people of the land escorted the king from the Temple of the Lord . They went through the upper gate and into the palace, and they seated the king on the royal throne. So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was peaceful because Athaliah had been killed.’

2 Chronicles 23

Today’s reading continues into the New Testament in John 13.

‘Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. So Judas left at once, going out into the night.

As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.” “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.” Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.’

John 13:21-38

Will you receive the blessing of LOVE and will you give it away that others may also receive Jesus’s blessing of LOVE too?

Today’s reading continues into 2 Thessalonians 1.

‘And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you. And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him. So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.’

2 Thessalonians 1:5-12

Will you receive the blessings of Jesus? Will you allow the blessings of Jesus to work in and through you? Will you make Him know because of it and will you allow it to complete the good works prepared in advance for you to accomplish through faith?

As today’s reading concludes with a psalm, let’s meditate on Psalms 36.

‘Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all. In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are. Everything they say is crooked and deceitful. They refuse to act wisely or do good. They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil. Your unfailing love, O Lord , is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord . How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see. Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you; give justice to those with honest hearts. Don’t let the proud trample me or the wicked push me around. Look! Those who do evil have fallen! They are thrown down, never to rise again.’

Psalms 36

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND SCIENCE…(The Bible’s Impact on Scientific Discovery [July 4])


As we start this day of celebration we need to remember something about the beginning. We need to realize back even when the 10 commandments were given it wasn’t to keep us from having fun but more to keep us safe and blessed. As I just typed that it made me think of the last piece of the 5 finger contract as the first thing is the pinky which is the most broken bone in the body and represents safety and the fifth thing is the thumbs up which means fun and together represent more than hang loose but safe fun. God set guard rails to keep us safe so we can be having fun and be blessed. When we go outside of them we put ourselves at risk of getting hurt on so many levels. It was founded on the basis of freedom! Real freedom isn’t free and many people fought to make this a reality.  Through this process just as the Israelites received the 10 commandments, we find that the US had the constitution and the bill of rights. I noticed something similar in how the writing of the constitution and the receiving of the 10 commandments have in common. As we read from today’s reading in Exodus 20, we hear the people saying

‘Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. ‘ — Exodus 20:18-21 

and we see that the opening or preamble to the constitution says

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. The Constitution of the United States

The people had to make a decision. The people had to choose to move forward with it. We are all faced with choices on a daily basis and there is no greater choice that we have to make than to choose Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Nobody can force us to receive the protection and the blessing and the power and the promises. We need to receive it by free will and free choice. As I think of this and consider the Declaration of Independence, we see it connected again when we read

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. The Declaration of Independence

So as we consider today and we ponder what it really means both to us individually and to us as a people, let’s remember that it was put together with good intentions, it was put together with purpose and on purpose, directed by God’s plan which is good.

Let’s jump into our reading for today…

The Ten Commandments

1And God spoke all these words, saying,
2″I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3″You shall have no other gods before me.
4″You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7″You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
8″Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12″Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13″You shall not murder.
14″You shall not commit adultery.
15″You shall not steal.
16″You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17″You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
18Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

Laws About Altars

22And the Lord said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven. 23You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. 24An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. 25If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stones, for if you wield your tool on it you profane it. 26And you shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness be not exposed on it.’

Exodus 20

Are you willing to choose to align and allow the commandments to help you live a better life? Are you willing to go one step higher as the 10 commandments give us what should be average, whereas we learn through Jesus that He calls us to an even higher level. As an example, let’s compare Matthew 5 with what we have read in Exodus 20.

21″You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. –from Matthew 5

13″You shall not murder. –from Exodus 20

Another example on the subject of adultery

27″You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. — from Matthew 5

14″You shall not commit adultery. –from Exodus 20

Jesus has a higher calling up on us. Jesus came to break us free by paying the ultimate price. So will you choose to be someone who is trying to raise the average? Will you choose to be someone who rather than lowering things to the lowest common denominator raises the bar in order to prevent the average from slipping away? Will you choose safe fun? Will you choose to commit, to be respectful, and to take responsibility? Will today be the beginning of a new you and a new world around you?

Let’s pray

Prayer of Salvation Example

For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.

Today’s devotional comes to use from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of the Bible’s impact on Scientific Discovery. It is titled The ten commandments and science. We learn today about Wernher von Braun who was a rocket scientist who played a leading role in NASA’s space program. The 10 commandments played an influential role in science as we read in the quote provided…

“While technology controls the forces of nature around us, ethics try to control the forces of nature within us. I think it is a fair assumption that the Ten Commandments are entirely adequate–without amendments–to cope with all the problems the technological revolution not only has brought up, but will bring up in the future. The real problem is not a lack of ethical legislation, but a lack in day-to-day guidance and control. When science freed itself from the bonds of religious dogma, thus opening the way for technological revolution, the Church also lost much of its influence on the ethical conduct of man.”

— from Wernher von Braun: The Christian Rocket Scientist

So will we allow the Holy Spirit to move into our hearts? Will we allow the Holy Spirit to continue to point us to Jesus and to lead us and guide us through life? Will we allow Jesus to be our way to true living? Will we allow that still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit to be the comforter Jesus promised before he rose back into heaven? Will we choose to be different and make a difference? This is your today and you get to choose!


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You Lord that You know me better than myself and that You are able to give me wisdom and discernment for each situation including turning to others as You teach there is wisdom in the council of many. Protect us Lord today as we prepare for this day. Protect us as we go out to celebrate. Keep your hand upon and over my family and friends I pray. Bless each reader and allow Your Word to speak truth and hope and life into their lives so that in and through it all, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Forever Young…(The Bible’s Impact on Music [May 3])


 

How are you blessing others today? What are you saying or doing to be a blessing to others? What could you be doing that others may be blessed? Are you living your life as a living sacrifice to God in order that it will point people to Him and create blessings in the people around you? Will you do it daily? Will your focus be on today?

Today’s reading comes from Numbers 6 with the focus for today’s devotional coming from verses 24-26 which speaks about the blessings. It shares with us the impact of God’s Word on the songs of both Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart by the same name “Forever Young”.

Let’s read through all of Numbers 6 together first…

The Nazirite Vow

1And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord3he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried. 4All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins.
5“All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long.
6“All the days that he separates himself to the Lord he shall not go near a dead body. 7Not even for his father or for his mother, for brother or sister, if they die, shall he make himself unclean, because his separation to God is on his head. 8All the days of his separation he is holy to the Lord.
9“And if any man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it. 10On the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two pigeons to the priest to the entrance of the tent of meeting, 11and the priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him, because he sinned by reason of the dead body. And he shall consecrate his head that same day 12and separate himself to the Lord for the days of his separation and bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering. But the previous period shall be void, because his separation was defiled.
13“And this is the law for the Nazirite, when the time of his separation has been completed: he shall be brought to the entrance of the tent of meeting, 14and he shall bring his gift to the Lord, one male lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb a year old without blemish as a sin offering, and one ram without blemish as a peace offering, 15and a basket of unleavened bread, loaves of fine flour mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and their grain offering and their drink offerings. 16And the priest shall bring them before the Lord and offer his sin offering and his burnt offering, 17and he shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of peace offering to the Lord, with the basket of unleavened bread. The priest shall offer also its grain offering and its drink offering. 18And the Nazirite shall shave his consecrated head at the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire that is under the sacrifice of the peace offering. 19And the priest shall take the shoulder of the ram, when it is boiled, and one unleavened loaf out of the basket and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite, after he has shaved the hair of his consecration, 20and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord. They are a holy portion for the priest, together with the breast that is waved and the thigh that is contributed. And after that the Nazirite may drink wine.
21“This is the law of the Nazirite. But if he vows an offering to the Lord above his Nazirite vow, as he can afford, in exact accordance with the vow that he takes, then he shall do in addition to the law of the Nazirite.”

Aaron’s Blessing

22The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23“Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
27“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

Did you ever realize that the songs “Forever Young” got their words from today’s verses?

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

from Numbers 6:24-26

Let’s take a moment to meditate on these words and what it would mean for us to apply them in our lives to the people around us. Let’s consider how God could work in and through us if we were trying to walk out these verses in the lives of the people around us today. What might we do differently to not only show that we know God but also to make Him known? What about our lives will point people to Jesus? How can we act in a way that speaks louder than words? What might we say to cause a blessing into the lives of those around us?

Let’s take a moment as we meditate on those questions to hear how both Bob Dylan and Rod Steward use Numbers 6:24-26

Bob Dylan uses it this way at the beginning of his version of Forever Young…

Rod Stewart starts his song on the theme too…

So have you ever realized the impact of the Bible on music before? Had you ever realized that these songs linked to priestly blessings? The Global Impact Bible is an incredible resource that points out the impact of the Bible on the world in every areas of life. The devotionals grab real life situations that were impacted by the Bible. So how about you? Will you allow the Bible to have an impact on your life? Will you allow it to overflow into the lives of the people around you? Will you make time and take time to spend it with God? Will you put time aside to hear God speak through His Word? Will you speak to Him and allow Him to speak into Your life today throughout your day? Will you allow His Words to flow through Youand into the lives of the people around you?

Is today your day? Let’s pray together…

Sample Sinners Prayer


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I ask Lord that You will help me to pass along the blessings You have poured out into my life so that from the overflow others will get to experience Your truth, Your love, Your hope through my faith and trust in You. Help me Lord to reflect the light of Your Son Jesus into the world around me. Help me to shine that the darkness will flee and that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Got Purpose

WITH vs. FOR


Are you trying to enough to live with rather than enough to live for? Are you trying to find more to live for rather than trying to increase the amount you live with? Are you more focused on purpose or possessions? What is most important to you? Finding purpose for your life or accruing possessions in your life? One requires that you keep going whereas the other can satisfy you! When you focus on stuff, you will never have enough stuff! When you focus on purpose, you find and and be content in and through it!

When you choose to purpose and to seek and to find God’s purpose for your life things get exponentially greater! When you get into the flow of God’s purpose and plan for your life you discover a joy unspeakable! When you are within God’s purpose and plan for your life you are on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and don’t to be worrying about tomorrow but focusing on God’s plan and purpose for today! Happy Today!

So lets seek purpose and the plan for our lives! Mark Twain put it this way:

Mark Twain - Two Days

God’s plan is good! God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future! God is for us! God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son Jesus that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life!

God has a purpose for each of us! God’s desire is to have a living relationship with each of us! God has a plan for each us! Will you start and live in relationship with God? Will you open the door to an intimate relationship with Jesus where not only do you know about Him but you know Him just like how He knows you? Jesus came not for a temporary event but to open the door of eternity where we can know and experience the love of God! A love that is so much greater than we could ever imagine! A love that is unconditional! A love that matches 1 Corinthians 13 where we know that God is Love and that Love is…

Remember that love never fails

That’s how much God loves you! Will you accept that love? Will you receive that love? Will you share that love? Will you take a hold of it for the rest of your life here on this earth and into eternity spent with God? A love that never ends and never fails!

So let’s take hold of what is going to last…

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. –from 1 Corinthians 13:13

So let’s live out our lives on purpose, for purpose, and with purpose! Let’s not just be wandering but lets be pursuing God’s plan and purpose for our lives! Let’s be blessings! As God blesses us, let’s be blessings to others!


God’s Purpose for You

Day 339: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. To be known and to know him … Psalms 139:1-10
  2. To be loved and to love forever … 1 John 5
  3. To be blessed and to bless … Daniel 11:36-45, Daniel 12

 

Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from…

 

 

 

 

Do you know it takes to have a right relationship?


Does it take trust? Does it take love? Does it take patience? Does it take perseverance? Does it take hope? Does it take truth? Does it take integrity? Does it take boundaries? What about faith?

17For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed-a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

–from Romans 1

What if the relationship is with God? He wants a relationship with you! Will you invite Him into your life? Will you allow Him to be in relationship with you? For us to have right relationship with others it is important for us to have a right relationship with God! His ways are so much better than our ways, they are higher and wider and deeper than anything we could do in our own strength.


How to Live in Right Relationships

Day 193: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalms 84:1-7, Romans 1:1-17, 2 Kings 23, 2 Kings 24:1-7

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/193

  1. Enjoy the blessings … Psalm 84:1-7

    • Longing for God’s presence
    • Blessing of God’s presence
    • Strength from God’s presence
  2. Receive the gift … Romans 1:1-17

  3. Continue to obey … 2 Kings 23:1-24:7


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for Your love for us. I praise You Lord for having sent such a powerful word today. I thank You Lord that You are able to do exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine. I pray Lord that You will give us eyes to see and ears to hear so that we can share the great work You are doing over and through our lives. I give this day into Your hands and ask Lord for wisdom and discernment so that I can do what is good and what is necessary to accomplish Your will today, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Thankful for God and His Word of Truth!


As I awake this Thanksgiving morning and I consider the blessings I have to be so thankful for, I lift up my eyes and thank Jesus who took me from where I was and brought me to where I am. Jesus took me from excuses and brought me to opportunity. Jesus took me from shifting sands to solid ground! Jesus took me from being about me to being about others! Jesus proved to me that I can’t out give Him! It may not come back as money, but it will come back as blessings, more blessings than I can contain or hold onto! Blessed with an incredible wife! Blessed with incredible children! Blessed with an incredible family! Blessed with a beautiful house! Blessed with great leadership at church and at work! Blessed with a great church family! Blessed with a great workplace! Blessed with directions and instructions! More blessed than I can even count! Blessed that He called me into His family back in 2000. Blessed that He called my wife into His family at the same time! Blessed that He filled us up and brought us forward through baptism in water and in the Holy Spirit, Cleansing Stream, membership classes, serving and being part of leadership teams! More blessed than I can even count! Too blessed to be stressed! I am thankful for His calling to start this blog! Thankful for taking the focus off of me which had been my idea for starting to blog and putting the focus on Him and eternity spent with Him! This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

20Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. –Ephesians 3

10″Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. –Malachi 3

 

All things are possible for those who believe! Believe and be saved! Why not today, a day we are to be sharing how thankful we are! Why not today, a day to reflect on all the blessings! Will today be your day to get started?

Ever been in a situation where you could use if or when? We find in the Bible there are times which means we need to make a choice and not everyone will choose to make that choice. Let’s consider the following “If” statements found in the Bible and consider how we responded. Did we respond which makes it a “when” or are we still out there somewhere…

1″Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2″All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God: 3″Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. 4″Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock… –Deuteronomy 28

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. –2 Chronicles 7:14

We each have to make a decision for ourselves! We each have to make a choice about how we will live! We each get to decide how we will live! We don’t have to do anything because of the freewill we have been given, but we get to if we want to!

We each get to choose for ourselves! It’s not that we need to be responsible for our parents nor our parents responsible for us! We each get to choose for ourselves and the way we will live sits on our own shoulders! If a man lives a good life and then his child doesn’t they will each get their respective judgment be it life or death. Or vice versa the parent’s judgment won’t fall on the child and the child’s judgment won’t fall on the parent.

We get to choose and until we die we still have time to make the choice…Today’s reading contains the following nuggets of wisdom…

19“Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. 20The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.
21“But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
24“But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.
25“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die. 27But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life. 28Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die. 29Yet the Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?
30“Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

–from Ezekiel 18

We all will get judged according to our own ways! Will you repent and turn back to God before it is too late? Will you invite Jesus into your heart and allow God to create a new heart in you? Will you invite Jesus in and allow God to transform you from the inside out? Will you invite Jesus in and allow God to adopt you into His family?

Let’s consider the Psalm of David from today’s reading…

1May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
4May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
6Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
7Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
8They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
9 Lord, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!

–Psalm 20

It’s not Jesus plus something, it’s Jesus! Let’s consider Paul’s experience told in Galatians 2…

Paul Accepted by the Apostles

1Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. 3Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
6As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. 7On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised. 8For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.

Paul Opposes Cephas

11When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
15“We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
17“But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesnʼt that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.
19“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

–Galatians 2

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 17, 18, Psalm 20Galatians 2