Category Archives: Celebrate

Are you ready to celebrate?


When was the last time you had a party to celebrate something huge? What were you commemorating? What were you observing? What special thing were you marking? What memory were you keeping?

There are many holidays that get celebrated for religious and national purposes. Some seem to get celebrated in different ways and at different levels than others. Some are joyous and others are solemn. Most get celebrated in groups. What comes out of it? Inspiration? Equipping? Revitalized? Transformed?

Do you know Jesus? Do you realize the heavenly celebration that takes place every time someone turns to Him? We see in the story of the lost or prodigal son how when the son came home it was a time to celebrate! So don’t feel like you have to get everything under control and fixed up before you can turn to God! Jesus paid it all! We just have to choose to receive the incredible gift of God!

Are you getting ready to have the greatest celebration ever? One bigger than has ever occurred before? Do you know what to celebrate? Do you know what you have to celebrate today? Do you know how to celebrate?

Why not celebrate all the people being saved through Jesus Christ? There are so many people who are having their lives intersected with Jesus each day! There is always something to celebrate!

Why not celebrate that you are alive? You have so many opportunities today! So how will you live them out and celebrate these opportunities?

Why not celebrate today? This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Facing troubles and challenges? In this world we will have troubles! Thanks to Jesus we can have hope because He has overcome them all! We can consider it pure joy because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that when we let perseverance finish its work we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Jesus is coming back and for those of us who have chosen to receive Him as our Lord and Savior there will be such an incredible celebration!


How to Celebrate

Day 347: Bible In One Year 2018

  • Celebrate answered prayer … Psalms 142
    • Today’s devotional shares these points and reasons to celebrate and more…
  • Celebrate before the throne in heaven … Revelation 4
    • Today’s devotional shares these points and reasons to celebrate and more…
      • You do not need to wait until heaven to experience ‘heavenly’ worship. This worship is happening now – 24-7 – in heaven. In this passage, we get a glimpse of what it looks like. Every time you worship, you join in with the worship of heaven.

        John’s eyes turn from the church on earth to the church in heaven. John looks through an open door in heaven (v.1). Accompany John as he is invited to ‘Ascend and enter. I’ll show you what happens next’ (v.1, MSG).

        What follows is an extraordinary vision of the greatness and glory of God. God is at the centre of the universe, surrounded here by images of who he is and what he has done. The ‘throne’ suggests the highest authority, the ‘rainbow’ is the rainbow of promise, the ‘lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder’ point to the power of God, and the ‘sea of glass, clear as crystal’ suggests peace and security (vv.2–6).

        ‘Seven fire-blazing torches fronted the throne (these are the Sevenfold Spirit of God)’ (v.5, MSG). There is one Holy Spirit but the fire-blazing torches represent all the different ways in which he expresses himself and in which you experience his fullness in your life.

        Around the throne are twenty-four elders seated on thrones, probably representing the twelve tribes of the Old Testament and the twelve apostles of the New Testament. This is the completed and perfect church of Jesus Christ. You are included.

        As those around the throne contemplate the wonder of God the natural response is to turn to worship – and this is the first thing that John finds going on in heaven. There are five worship songs in the next two chapters.

        ‘Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come”’ (v.8). (Those of us who find repetition hard may have to get used to a lot of it!)

        ‘Whenever the living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and give him all the glory’ (vv.9–11).

        The church, the angels and all created things bow down and worship God. The eternal Father sits on the throne surrounded by the worshiping community.

        As John Stott wrote, one day you will ‘join the church triumphant, the great multitude that no one will be able to count, drawn from every nation, tribe, people and language, and you will stand with them before God’s throne.

        ‘The King of the universe will give you refuge in the shelter of his throne. You will see him and worship him day and night. The Lamb turned Shepherd will lead you with the rest of his sheep to fountains of living water. You will satisfy your thirst forever at his eternal springs.’
        –from Day 347: Bible In One Year 2018

  • Celebrate the great acts of God … Esther 6, Esther 7, Esther 8
    • Today’s devotional shares these points and reasons to celebrate and more…
      • Yes they will. God has come to earth in the person of his Son, Jesus (the incarnation, which we celebrate at Christmas). He has defeated evil through the cross and resurrection (which we celebrate at Easter). The final victory will take place when Jesus comes again. In the meantime, he has given you the Holy Spirit so that you can experience a foretaste of that final victory right now (this we celebrate at Pentecost).
        –from Day 347: Bible In One Year 2018

Don’t be judgmental! Don’t taunt or find joy in the pain of others! Let’s do good to all!


We are to weep with those who are weeping! We are to celebrate with those who celebrate. Not the reverse…Don’t be kicking people when they are down. Don’t be mocking people when they are going thru troubles. Even if they are your enemies, we are not to hate them and only love our neighbors. We are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us! Don’t allow judgment and malice to take root in your heart! Allow your heart to be filled with overflowing of the love of God! Just because someone else is being corrected or given discipline doesn’t mean you should celebrate in it! Seek God in all your way! Acknowledge God in all your ways! Lean not on your own understanding of what is going on because you don’t know it all … the why. Don’t be acting in a way that makes you the next target! Do you really want that attention? God cannot be mocked!

Put your trust in God who is love! His love endures forever! Give thanks to God! Do not fear for the Lord is with you! Do not be afraid for God is your helper! Take refuge in God rather than putting your hope and trust in people. He is trustworthy and His love endures forever! Need help? Call out to God who is your help and your salvation! Ask Jesus into your heart and choose life! Yes, Jesus did get rejected even though He is the foundation and the cornerstone. So align to the cornerstone and stand on the rock of Jesus! Cry out to God and ask for His salvation and help you find success! Let’s praise God! Let’s exalt God! He is good and His love endures forever!

So let’s reflect on the words from Galatians from today’s reading…Let’s start with the plan that we are to do good to all…

Doing Good to All

1Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each otherʼs burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5for each one should carry their own load. 6Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Not Circumcision but the New Creation

11See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
17From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

–Galatians 6

It’s a matter of the heart! We need to make the choice and choose to follow after Jesus! We need to ask Him for forgiveness and into our hearts so that we can be new creations with the old being gone and the new having come!

Let’s celebrate with others who have come into the faith! Let’s turn to God with thanksgiving and praise because of the grace and mercy He has brought into their lives! Let’s celebrate how God has allowed love to motivate the works! Let’s celebrate how God has allowed hope to produce endurance! Let’s allow the power of the Holy Spirit to break thru the lies and open up the truth even greater into the lives of the people around us!

Today’s reading concludes with 1 Thessalonians…

1Paul, Silas and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.

Thanksgiving for the Thessaloniansʼ Faith

2We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8The Lordʼs message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

–1 Thessalonians 1

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 25, 26, Psalms 118, Galatians 6, 1 Thessalonians 1

It’s sad when we lose people…


Have you lost anyone? Do you remember the pain? Do you remember the sadness? Do you remember the emotional rollercoaster? Do you remember the anger? Do you remember the joy? Do you remember the love? Do you remember someone who wasn’t treating you well who passed? Do you remember someone who was like a brother or sister who passed? How did you respond? How did you manage to be able to let them go?

Today’s reading opens up with David facing the news of the death of Saul and Jonathan…

David Mourns Saul and Jonathan

1Now it came to pass after the death of Saul—when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites—that David stayed two days in Ziklag. 2On the third day, behold, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dust on his head. Now when he approached David, he fell to the ground and prostrated himself. 3Then David asked him, “Where are you coming from?” “I’ve escaped from the camp of Israel,” he answered. 4“How did things go?” David asked him. “Please, tell me.” He answered, “The troops fled the battlefield—also many of the troops fell and died. And even Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.” 5David asked the young man informing him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6The young man informing him answered, “I happened by chance to be on Mount Gilboa, and look, Saul was leaning on his spear, while the chariots and the horsemen were closing in on him. 7When he turned around and saw me, he called me. So I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 8Then he asked me, ‘Who are you?’ “So I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9So he said to me, ‘Stand now over me and kill me! For I’m in agony, yet I’m still alive.’ 10So I stood over him and killed him, because I knew he couldn’t survive after he had fallen. Then I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and brought them here—to my lord.” 11Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men that were with him, 12and they mourned, wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, for the troops of Adonai and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13Then David said to the young man who informed him, “Where are you from?” “I am a son of an Amalekite outsider,” he replied. 14Then David said to him, “How is it that you were not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy Adonai’s anointed one?” 15Then David called one of the young men and said, “Come and strike him down.” And he struck him down and he died. 16David said to him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your mouth testified against you saying, ‘I killed Adonai’s anointed.’” 17Then David chanted this lament over Saul and his son Jonathan, 18and ordered that the sons of Judah be taught the “Song of the Bow.” (Behold, it is written in the Book of Jashar): 19“Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen! 20Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in Ashkelon’s streets, lest Philistine daughters rejoice, lest daughters of the uncircumcised gloat! 21Hills of Gilboa, let no dew or rain be on you, nor on bountiful fields, for there the shield of the mighty ones lay defiled—Saul’s shield will no longer be anointed with oil. 22From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, Jonathan’s bow never turned back, Saul’s sword never returned empty. 23Saul and Jonathan, loved and delightful, parted neither in life nor death. They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. 24Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who put ornaments of gold on your clothes. 25How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan on your heights is slain! 26I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan! Very pleasing were you to me. Wonderful was your love to me more than the love of women. 27How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war destroyed!

–from 2 Samuel 1

Do you remember celebrating their lives? Do you remember mourning their loss?

Let’s be reminders to the world around us the importance of turning back to God! Let’s be testimonies of God’s great love and how His ask is that we love Him and love one another! Be it in the old testament where the prophets were speaking out to people on behalf of God to tell them to turn back to God and love Him and obey Him or be it that they were treating one another bad and needed to be treating one another with love, dignity, and respect. Be it in the new testament where Jesus summarized the 10 commandments into 2 – Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength and second to love your neighbor as you love yourself. It goes beyond ourselves! It goes beyond trying to make us the center! So let’s live out today so that we make a difference and glorify God!

Restore Your People from Captivity

1For the music director, a psalm of the sons of Korah. 2Adonai, will you favor Your land? Will You restore Jacob from captivity? 3Will You bear away Your people’s iniquity, Will You pardon all their sin? Selah 4Will You withdraw all Your wrath? Will You turn from Your burning anger? 5Restore us, O God of our salvation, and renounce Your indignation with us. 6Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger from generation to generation? 7Will You not revive us again, so Your people may rejoice in You? 8Show us Your mercy, Adonai, and grant us Your salvation. 9Let me hear what God Adonai will say. For He will speak shalom to His people, and to His kedoshim— but let them not turn back to folly. 10Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, so that glory may dwell in our land. 11Lovingkindness and truth meet together. Righteousness and shalom kiss each other. 12Truth will spring up from the earth, and justice will look down from heaven. 13Yes, Adonai will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce. 14Righteousness is going before Him and prepares a way for His feet.

–from Psalms 85

And let’s do it before it is too late! Let’s make a difference  today! Let’s be light! Let’s be salt! Let’s be love! Don’t be lead astray! Don’t be deceived! Put your hope and trust in God! Allow Jesus to be the center of your life! Follow after Him! Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you all the days of your life! Be prepared! Notice the signs of the times! Don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Your time to make a difference is now! Don’t miss out! Don’t be left out! Let’s be bold and courageous! Let’s be living the right way and be prepared for the trumpet sound and to be restored and lifted up to meet with and be with Jesus! Let’s be aware of the times we are living in today! God’s Word will last forever! Love the greatest thing will last forever! So grab a hold of the truth and stand firm! Put on the full armor of God and be prepared to make and take a stand today! Let’s live that we may hear “well done my good and faithful servant” from Jesus!

1Now when Yeshua went out and was going away from the Temple, His disciples came up to point out to Him the Temple buildings. 2“Don’t you see all these?” He responded to them. “Amen, I tell you, not one stone will be left here on top of another—every one will be torn down!”

Signs of the End of Time

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” 4Yeshua answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray! 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will lead many astray. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 7For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8But all these things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Then they will hand you over to persecution and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name. 10And then many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one other. 11Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14This Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. 15“So when you see ‘the abomination of desolation,’ which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), 16then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17The one on the roof must not go down to take what is in his house, 18and the one in the field must not turn back to get his coat. 19Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20Pray that your escape will not happen in winter, or on Shabbat. 21For then there will be great trouble, such as has not happened since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22And unless those days were cut short, no one would be delivered. But for the sake of the chosen, those days will be cut short. 23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26“So if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. Or, ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For just as lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28For wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather. 29“But immediately after the trouble of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ 30Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. 31He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Watching for Messiah’s Return

32“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33So also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the door. 34Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 36But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, except the Father alone. 37“For just as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 39And they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two men will be in the field, one taken and one left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill, one taken and one left. 42Therefore stay alert; for you do not know what day your Lord is coming. 43But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

The Faithful Servant

45“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master put in charge of his household to give them food at the proper time? 46Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes. 47Amen, I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But if that wicked servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time,’ 49and he begins to beat his fellow servants, and he eats and drinks with drunkards, 50the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. 51And he will cut him in two and assign his place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

–from Matthew 24

 

 

 

Will you remember? How will you remember?


Do you leave a marker? Do you write something down? How will you remember and remind those that come after you? Is there anything that you can do so it won’t be forgotten? Is there anything you can do to ensure that others will see it and remember what happened? How can you tell people of how good God has been to you? How can you remind people of good God is? How can you show people how good God is?

Today’s reading starts with such a topic as the people of Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground as they entered the promised land…

Twelve Memorial Stones

1Now when all the nation had finished crossing over the Jordan, Adonai spoke to Joshua saying: 2“Take for yourself twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, 3and command them saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the feet of the kohanim are standing firm, and carry them over with you, and deposit them at the place where you will lodge tonight.” 4Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from Bnei-Yisrael, one man from each tribe.
5Joshua said to them, “Cross over before the ark of Adonai your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you, lift up a stone on his shoulder, for the number of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael. 6Let this be a sign among you. When your children ask later saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7then you will say to them: ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of Adonai—when it crossed the Jordan—the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones will be a reminder to Bnei-Yisrael forever.” 8So Bnei-Yisrael did so, as Joshua commanded. They lifted twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, just as Adonai had said to Joshua, for the number of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael. Then they carried them over with them to the lodging place and put them down there. 9Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the spot where the feet of the kohanim carrying the ark of the covenant were standing—they are there to this day. 10The kohanim who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything that Adonai had commanded Joshua to speak to the people was completed, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people hurried across, 11and when all the people had finished crossing over, the ark of Adonai and the kohanim crossed over in the presence of the people. 12Also the children of Reuben, the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed ahead of Bnei-Yisrael, just as Moses had said to them— 13about 40,000 equipped for war crossed over before Adonai for battle to the plains of Jericho. 14On that day Adonai exalted Joshua in the eyes of all Israel. So they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life.
15Then Adonai spoke to Joshua saying: 16“Command the kohanim who are carrying the ark of the testimony to come up from the Jordan.” 17Joshua therefore commanded the kohanim saying, “Come up from the Jordan!” 18As soon as the kohanim who were carrying the ark of the covenant of Adonai came up from the middle of the Jordan and the soles of the feet of the kohanim were drawn up to the dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before. 19Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20Those twelve stones, which they had taken out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. 21Then he said to Bnei-Yisrael saying, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come saying: ‘What are these stones?’ 22then you will inform your children saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23For Adonai your God dried up the waters of Jordan before you until you crossed—just as Adonai your God did to the Sea of Reeds, which He dried up before us until we crossed over— 24so that all the peoples of the earth may know Adonai’s hand is mighty, and so that you may fear Adonai your God forever.”

–from Joshua 4

Will you setup a memorial to help everyone’s memory? Will you help the people be prepared for what is to come? Will you share God’s wisdom and God’s grace with them?

When names and places are remembered, sentences in the old testament end up reminding you of what and where things happened in the new testament. Consider the words “rolled away” or “Gilgal” or “Passover” and what they mean and signify to you.

Circumcision at Gilgal

1Now it came about when all the Amorite kings beyond the Jordan westward and all the Canaanite kings by the sea heard how Adonai had dried up the waters of the Jordan before Bnei-Yisrael until they had crossed, their heart melted, nor was there any spirit in them anymore, because of Bnei-Yisrael. 2At that time Adonai said to Joshua, “Make yourself flint knives and circumcise again Bnei-Yisrael a second time.” 3So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised Bnei-Yisrael at Gibeath-ha-araloth. 4Now this is the reason why Joshua circumcised: all the people that came out of Egypt who were males—all the men of war—had died in the wilderness along the way after they came out of Egypt. 5Though all the people that came out were circumcised, none of the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had been circumcised. 6For Bnei-Yisrael walked 40 years in the wilderness, until all the nation’s men of war who came out of Egypt died out, because they had not listened to the voice of Adonai. To them Adonai had sworn that He would never let them see the land which Adonai had sworn to their fathers that He would give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 7But He raised up their children in their place. Joshua circumcised them, for they were uncircumcised, since they had not been circumcised along the way. 8Now it came to pass after they had finished circumcising the entire nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they recovered. 9Then Adonai said to Joshua, “This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” Therefore the name of that place has been called Gilgal to this day. 10While Bnei-Yisrael camped at Gilgal, they observed Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. 11On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, matzot and roasted grain. 12Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten of the produce of the land. Bnei-Yisrael had manna no longer, but ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan that year.

Commander of Adonai’s Army

13Now it came to pass when Joshua was near Jericho that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there was a man standing in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua approached him and said to him: “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” 14“Neither,” he said. “Rather, I have now come as commander of Adonai’s army.” Then Joshua fell on his face to the ground and worshipped. Then he asked him, “What is my lord saying to his servant?” 15Then the commander of Adonai’s army replied to Joshua, “Take your sandal off of your foot, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

–from Joshua 5

God is so good! Let’s pray that He will prepare in advance the good work He has for us to do and that He will give us obedient spirits to get it done! Without doubt and without fear, but with complete hope and trust in Him being obedient to the call!

Let’s put all our hope and trust in Him! Let’s spend time with Him throughout the day! Let’s stay under the protection of His wing! Let’s praise Him for what He has done! Let’s praise Him for what He is doing! Let’s praise Him for what He is preparing and working out for our future!

My Hope When I Am Gray

1In You, Adonai, have I taken refuge. Let me never be ashamed. 2Deliver me and rescue me in Your justice. Turn Your ear to me and save me. 3Be to me a sheltering rock where I may always go. Give the command to save me— for You are my rock and my fortress. 4My God, rescue me out of the hand of the wicked, out of the grasp of an evil, ruthless man. 5For You are my hope, Adonai my Lord— my trust from my youth. 6From my birth I have leaned on You. You took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise is always about You. 7I am like an ominous sign to many, but You are my strong refuge. 8My mouth is filled with Your praise and with Your glory all day. 9Do not cast me away in the time of old age. When my strength fails, do not forsake me. 10For my enemies speak against me. Those who watch for my soul conspire together, 11saying: “God has forsaken him— Pursue and take him, for no one will deliver.” 12O God, be not far from me! My God, come quickly to help me. 13Let the accusers of my soul be disgraced and destroyed. Let those who seek to harm me be covered with scorn and confusion. 14But I—I will hope continually and will praise You more and more. 15My mouth will recount Your justice and Your salvation all day, though I do not know the sum of them. 16I come because of the mighty deeds of Adonai my Lord. I will remember Your righteousness —Yours alone. 17God, You taught me from my youth, and I still keep declaring Your wonders. 18So even until I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, till I tell of Your strong arm to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come. 19For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to high heaven. You have done great things— O God, who is like You? 20You made me see many troubles and evils —You will revive me again— from the depths of the earth You will bring me up again. 21You will increase my greatness, and comfort me once again. 22So I will praise You with the harp for your truth, O my God. I will sing praises to You with the lyre O Holy One of Israel. 23My lips will shout for joy —when I sing praises to You— and my soul, which You have redeemed. 24Also my tongue will tell of Your righteousness all day. For those who seek my hurt have been put to shame and confusion.

–from Psalms 71

Do you realize the road you are on without Jesus? Do you realize the gift that is offered up through Jesus? Do you realize you have a choice of wrath vs grace? Do you realize it’s up to you? Do you realize we all have the choice of obedience vs disobedience? It’s part of having freewill – so choose wisely! There is nothing we can do to be saved, it’s a gift from God by choosing Jesus! When we ask Jesus into our hearts, we become new creations! When we ask Jesus into our hearts, we are saved by grace through faith! Not by works so that we can’t boast about how good we are and that is why we are saved! We are His creation to be doing good deeds! It’s a matter of the heart! It’s an inside thing that puts us in the right or wrong spot! Have you asked Jesus into your heart? If not, what is holding you back from asking Him in today?

Destined for Wrath, Saved by Grace

1You were dead in your trespasses and sins. 2At that time, you walked in the way of this world, in conformity to the ruler of the domain of the air—the ruler of the spirit who is now operating in the sons of disobedience. 3We too all lived among them in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind. By nature we were children of wrath, just like the others. 4But God was rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us. 5Even when we were dead in our trespasses, He made us alive together with Messiah. (By grace you have been saved!) 6And He raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua— 7to show in the olam ha-ba the measureless richness of His grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yeshua. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from yourselves—it is the gift of God. 9It is not based on deeds, so that no one may boast. 10For we are His workmanship—created in Messiah Yeshua for good deeds, which God prepared beforehand so we might walk in them.

Jew and Gentile, One in Messiah

11Therefore, keep in mind that once you—Gentiles in the flesh—were called “uncircumcision” by those called “circumcision” (which is performed on flesh by hand). 12At that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Messiah Yeshua, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. 14For He is our shalom, the One who made the two into one and broke down the middle wall of separation. Within His flesh He made powerless the hostility— 15the law code of mitzvot contained in regulations. He did this in order to create within Himself one new man from the two groups, making shalom, 16and to reconcile both to God in one body through the cross—by which He put the hostility to death. 17And He came and proclaimed shalom to you who were far away and shalom to those who were near— 18for through Him we both have access to the Father by the same Ruach. 19So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. 20You have been built on the foundation made up of the emissaries and prophets, with Messiah Yeshua Himself being the cornerstone. 21In Him the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple for the Lord. 22In Him, you also are being built together into God’s dwelling place in the Ruach.

–from Ephesians 2

Remember those words from the start of my blog? Gilgal – where Jesus was crucified. Rolled away – from the entrance of the tomb which was empty because Jesus was risen. Passover – which was the timing of when they took Jesus. So let’s tell the world around us of Jesus’ great love and sacrifice and victory so that they can celebrate, remember, and receive the gift by grace from God too!

Our New Testament reading from today’s reading concludes as follows from Mark 16…

The Empty Tomb

1When Shabbat was over, Miriam of Magdala, Miriam the mother of Jacob, and Salome bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Yeshua’s body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they come to the tomb. 3They were saying to each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4Looking up, they see that the stone (it was really huge) had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were startled. 6But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Yeshua of Natzeret, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here! See the place where they put Him. 7But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to the Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.’” 8And going outside, they fled from the tomb, gripped by trembling and amazement. They didn’t say anything to anybody, for they were afraid.

He Is Risen

9After He had risen early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Miriam of Magdala, from whom He had driven out seven demons. 10She went and brought word to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. 11When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe. 12After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them as they were walking on their way to the country. 13They went and reported it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. 14Later He appeared to them, the eleven, as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardheartedness, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had been raised.

Tell the World!

15He told them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every creature. 16He who believes and is immersed shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned. 17These signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak new languages; 18they will handle snakes; and if they drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.” 19Then the Lord Yeshua, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20And they went out and proclaimed everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that follow.

–from Mark 16

 

Do you take time to celebrate the good?


Ever finished a big project and then people setup meetings to have a retrospective or post mortem? Ever found people tend to focus on what went bad more than what went well? What we need to fix or stop vs what went well and should continue? It seems to be human nature to do that, but what we really need to do is to make an effort to celebrate the good! Have meetings to lift up the good news! Have conversations about all the things that have gone well! Be able to help those around you to see there is good taking place! Otherwise, we end up with a team, a group, a society where everyone is feeling doom and gloom.

Consider the news! How much good news do you find on TV or the Radio or the Web?

So how will you make a difference? How will you motivate? How will you encourage? How will you respond? How will you build up? How will you lift up? How will you be a transforming power?

Celebrate the little wins

Today’s reading starts with a celebration…blowing the shofar…

Yom Teruah: Day of Shofar Shouts

1“On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a sacred assembly. You are to do no laborious work. It is for you a day for sounding the shofar. 2You are to prepare a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma to Adonai: one young bull from the herd, one ram, and seven male lambs a year old, without flaw, 3with their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah with the bull, two tenths with the ram, 4and one tenth with each of the seven lambs, 5as well as one male goat as a sin offering to make atonement for yourselves. 6Also offer the burnt offering for the month with its grain offering, the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their appropriate drink offerings as a pleasing aroma to Adonai, as an offering by fire.

Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement

7“On the tenth day of this seventh month, you are to have a sacred assembly. You are to deny yourselves and do no work. 8You are to present to Adonai a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma, one young bull from the herd, one ram, and seven year-old male lambs without defect, 9along with their grain offerings of fine flour mixed with oil: three tenths of an ephah with the bull, two tenths with the ram, 10and one tenth with each of the seven lambs. 11Also offer one male goat for a sin offering, in addition to the sin offering for atonement, as well as the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and their drink offerings.

Sukkot: Feast of Tabernacles

12“On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you are to have a sacred assembly. You are not to do any of your work, and you are to celebrate the Feast to Adonai for seven days.
13You are to offer a burnt offering by fire to Adonai as a pleasing aroma: thirteen young bulls from the herd, two rams, and fourteen year-old male lambs without defect,
14their grain offerings of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah with each of the thirteen bulls, two tenths with each of the two rams,
15and one tenth with each of the fourteen lambs,
16plus one male goat as a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offering.
17“On the second day, you are to offer twelve young bulls from the herd, two rams, and fourteen year-old male lambs without flaw,
18with their grain and drink offerings, with the bulls, rams, and lambs as appropriate by their number according to the regulations,
19plus one male goat as a sin offering, as well as the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
20“On the third day, offer eleven bulls, two rams, and fourteen year-old male lambs without defect,
21with their grain and drink offerings, with the bulls, rams, and lambs the number specified,
22and a male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
23“On the fourth day, ten bulls, two rams, and fourteen year-old male lambs without flaw,
24their grain offerings and drink offerings with the bulls, rams, and lambs by their number according to the regulations,
25and one male goat as a sin offering and the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
26“On the fifth day, nine bulls, two rams, and fourteen male one year old lambs without defect,
27with their grain and drink offerings by their number as specified,
28and one goat for a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
29“On the sixth day, eight bulls, two rams, and fourteen male lambs a year old without defect,
30with the bulls, rams, and lambs, their grain and drink offerings according to those numbers specified,
31and one goat for a sin offering with the regular burnt offering and its grain and drink offerings.
32“On the seventh day, seven bulls, two rams, and fourteen male lambs without defect a year old,
33plus their grain and drink offerings, for the bulls, rams, and lambs according to the numbers specified,
34in addition to one male goat for a sin offering and the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
35“On the eighth day there shall be for you an assembly. You are to do no regular work.
36You are to offer to Adonai a burnt offering, a fire offering, a pleasing aroma, one bull, one ram, and seven male lambs a year old without defect,
37and their grain and drink offerings, with the bull, ram, and lamb corresponding to their number according to the regulations,
38and a goat for a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
39“You are to prepare these for Adonai at your moadim in addition to your vow and freewill offerings, along with your burnt offerings, grain offerings, drink offering, and fellowship offerings.”
40So Moses told Bnei-Yisrael all that Adonai commanded Moses.

–from Numbers 29

We need to remember the truth! We need to remember that Jesus has already won the victory! We need to remember that in the end – even in the final battle – God wins! We need to remember how much Jesus did for us! We need to remember His love! His sacrifice! His example! so that we can live our lives with the joy and peace of God in order that others may come to know Him! We may be the only experience of Jesus anyone ever gets as they may never go to a church, but they will spend time with us!

So let’s rejoice in the Lord! Let’s celebrate all the good things that are taking place in and around us!

The Victory of the Resurrection

1Now I make known to you, brothers and sisters, the Good News which I proclaimed to you. You also received it, and you took your stand on it,
2and by it you are being saved if you hold firm to the word I proclaimed to you—unless you believed without proper consideration.
3For I also passed on to you first of all what I also received— that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5and that He appeared to Kefa, then to the Twelve.
6Then He appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time— most of them are still alive, though some have died.
7Then He appeared to Jacob, then to all the emissaries,
8and last of all, as to one untimely born, He also appeared to me.
9For I am the least of the emissaries, unworthy to be called an emissary because I persecuted God’s community.
10But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace toward me was not in vain. No, I worked harder than them all—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
11Whether then it is I or they, so we proclaim, and so you believed.
12Now if Messiah is proclaimed—that He has been raised from the dead—how can some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Messiah has been raised!
14And if Messiah has not been raised, then our proclaiming is meaningless and your faith also is meaningless.
15Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that He raised up Messiah—whom He did not raise up, if in fact the dead are not raised.
16For if the dead are not raised, not even Messiah has been raised.
17And if Messiah has not been raised, your faith is futile—you are still in your sins.
18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Messiah have perished.
19If we have hoped in Messiah in this life alone, we are to be pitied more than all people.
20But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also has come through a Man.
22For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah will all be made alive.
23But each in its own order: Messiah the firstfruits; then, at His coming, those who belong to Messiah;
24then the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all rule and all authority and power.
25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
27For God has “put all things in subjection underneath His feet.” But when the psalmist says that “all” has been put in subjection, it is clear that this does not include God Himself, who put all things under Messiah.
28Now when all things become subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also become subject to the One who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all.
29Otherwise, what will they do who are immersed for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, then why are they immersed for them?
30And why are we in danger every hour?
31I die every day—yes, as surely as the boast in you, brothers and sisters, which I have in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.
32If, for human reasons, I fought with “wild animals” at Ephesus, what good is that to me? If the dead are not raised, “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
33Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
34Come to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning! For some have no knowledge of God—I say this to your shame.
35But someone will say, “How are the dead raised?” and, “With what kind of body do they come?”
36Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
37As for what you sow—you are not sowing the body that will be, but a bare seed, maybe of wheat or something else.
38But God gives it a body just as He planned, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.
39All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of humans, another flesh of animals, another of birds, and another of fish.
40There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing while the earthly is another.
41There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
42So also is the resurrection of the dead: Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption!
43Sown in dishonor, raised in glory! Sown in weakness, raised in power!
44Sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body! If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
45So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.
47The first man is of the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven.
48Like the one made of dust, so also are those made of dust; and like the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
49And just as we have borne the image of the one made from dust, so also shall we bear the image of the One from heaven.
50Now I say this, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and what decays cannot inherit what does not decay.
51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility , and this mortal must put on immortality.
54But when this corruptible will have put on incorruptibility and this mortal will have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55“Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?”
56Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Torah.
57But thanks be to God, who keeps giving us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah!
58Therefore, my dearly loved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord—because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

–from 1 Corinthians 15