Category Archives: Choose

ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON, “ENOCH ARDEN”…(The Bible’s Impact on Literature [August 31])


Ever been told to be anxious for nothing? Ever been told not to worry? Ever been told what to do or what you should do or what you could do instead? Ever been told why? Ever heard the saying the following saying?

‘Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. ‘

–from 1 Peter 5:6-11

 

Where are you at today? What are you facing? What is your giant? What is your struggle? What is your challenge? Will you trust God enough to give it up to Him because He cares for you? Worry changes nothing!

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

–from Matthew 6:25-34

Today’s reading comes to us from 1 Peter 5 and says…

Shepherd the Flock of God

1So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
6Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

12By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14Greet one another with the kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

–from 1 Peter 5

Have you been put into a position of leadership? Do you realize that is because of God? Do you realize you have been put there for a reason? Is it a reason to be a good example for others? Is it a reason to be a tyrant so people turn back to God? How would you like to be used by God? How would you like to be remembered? How would you like your legacy to be remembered as? The people around you, what do they say about you when you aren’t in the room? Are you aligning to what God’s Word says? Are you being a humble, servant leader? Are you being some other kind of person who has been put into a position of authority? Is God’s purpose in and through you and for you being accomplished in you?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on literature brings us the topic of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the impact of the Bible on “Enoch Arden”. We learn how the Bible often inspires Alfred, Lord Tennyson‘s writing in today’s devotional. Today’s example is “Enoch Arden”. We learn how Tennyson writing about how people should trust in God during times of hardship and anxiety when he alludes to a verse from today’s reading in 1 Peter 5:7 which says:

‘casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. ‘ — from 1 Peter 5:7

when he writes

Aug 31 - Alfred Lord Tennyson - Enoch Arden - quote alludes to 1 Peter 5_7

So will you cast all your cares on God? Will you pray or talk with Him when stressful times come up rather than becoming worried or anxious? Will you live out your life in relationship with Him? Will you make the choice to not go through life alone and without Him?

Let’s pray…

the-lords-prayer

Let’s pray…

Sample Sinners Prayer

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.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. Will you please help me to feel healthier and rested today? Will you allow me to be salt and light into the world around me? Will you help me Lord to be the person You created me to be granting me the eyes to see and the ears to hear how I am to accomplish that? Can You help me Lord to take hold of the visions and the dreams so that in and through all that I think, say, and do You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

VLADIMIR ADOPTS CHRISTIANITY…(The Bible’s Impact on Trade and Taxes [June 22])


Do you realize that what you do today can make a difference in the future? Do you realize that what you do today can impact more than a life but a generation? Do you realize that what you do today can impact more than a life but a legacy? Do you realize that what you do today can impact more than a life but a family? Do you realize that what you do today can impact more than you could ever think or imagine?

With this knowledge, how will you choose to live out today? What will you say that will produce truth, hope, joy, life? What can you do today that will turn a situation around? What can you do today that will impact a generation? Will you scatter the seed everywhere without concern or limiting it to specific types of soil? Will you pursue something that is greater than yourself? Will you step up and step out to make a difference in the lives of others without concerns for what you will get back in return? Will you volunteer? Will you give? Will you share?

Will you live your life in a way that will unify? Will you live your life in a way that will bring unity to the situation? Will you disagree and then commit on the final decision or outcome? Will you be part of the discussion so that all the voices and concerns are heard, considered, and applied to the situation? Will you be transformed from the inside out? Will you be part of the process of helping others draw near to God? What will you do with your purpose and how God has purposed and planned to use you in this world?

Will you allow the Bible to interpret the Bible? Will you turn to the Bible for wisdom and discernment, instruction and direction? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide, comfort and instruct you in all the ways you should go?

There is a need that only you can fill. Will you fill it today?

Today’s reading comes to us from Haggai 2

The Coming Glory of the Temple

1In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet: 2″Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, 3’Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? 4Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, 5according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. 6For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. 7And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. 8The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. 9The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.'”

Blessings for a Defiled People

10On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, 11″Thus says the Lord of hosts: Ask the priests about the law: 12’If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?'” The priests answered and said, “No.” 13Then Haggai said, “If someone who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?” The priests answered and said, “It does become unclean.” 14Then Haggai answered and said, “So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, declares the Lord, and so with every work of their hands. And what they offer there is unclean. 15Now then, consider from this day onward. Before stone was placed upon stone in the temple of the Lord, 16how did you fare? When one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty. 17I struck you and all the products of your toil with blight and with mildew and with hail, yet you did not turn to me, declares the Lord. 18Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid, consider: 19Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on I will bless you.”

Zerubbabel Chosen as a Signet

20The word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, 21″Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, 22and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother. 23On that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the Lord, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts.”

–from Haggai 2

It is never too late to do what is right, what is good, and what is just. It is never too late to turn back to God! It is never too late until it is too late for you to choose to receive the gift of grace and love by receiving Jesus into your hearts as Lord and Savior. If you don’t choose till you can’t choose, do you want to live with those consequences? What will it take for you to turn back to God? What will it take for you to answer the call of God on your life?


Let’s pray…

Sample Sinners Prayer

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 from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of the Bible’s impact on Trade and Taxes. We learn about Vladimir I who reigned as prince of Kiev. We learned about the arrival of Christianity into Russia in the 900s through immigration from Scandinavia as well as through missionaries from Greece. We come to learn in today’s devotional how Christianity had an impact on Vladimir I by his Christian grandmother. We learn how Vladimir was looking for a unifying force for his people and was searching to learn more. In 988, Vladimir selected Orthodox Christianity for his country and invited priests, architects, and icon painters to help with the conversion process. He even gave the church judicial powers in family law and moral matters. We see how far he would be willing to go by his willingness to build churches, distribute food and clothes to the needy, and even invited the poor to share banquet tables with him. He even designated 10% of the state income for the church.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything in it. I ask Lord for Your help in leading and guiding me to help me to be a unifying force for the glory of Your kingdom. Help me Lord to live a life that will give You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in the words I use, the things I do, and the way I live. Lord, grant me good rest so that I will be healthy and strong in order to complete the work You have called me to do. Lord, I give this day into Your hands giving You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

SOUTH AFRICANS IN THE ISRAELI ARMY…(The Bible’s Impact on Trade and Taxes [June 18])


What do you have to do? It goes beyond a physical action or activity. What you need to do is to choose because every good and perfect gift comes from our Father in heaven. What you need to do is make room in your heart for God to be able to give good a good soil to plant His seed. What you need to do is to allow your heart to soften so that your heart isn’t hard like a pathway. What you need to do is allow God into every part of your life rather than living compartmentalized so that your heart isn’t like shallow soil on rocky ground. What you need to do is go beyond saying yes to God and stop saying yes to the bad things you are allowing into your life which are trying to strangle God out of your life like the soil with weeds and thorns. You need to continue to till the soil of your heart, pull up rocks, pull out the thorns and weeds so that the soil is ready and fertile all the days of your life. You need to then take the harvest that is produced by God through the Holy Spirit and scatter those seeds from the fruit of the Spirit without being selective – we need to be like God who scattered everywhere and generously. Let’s live lives that will be faithful to God as He is and has been faithful to us. Even when we weren’t close or allowing Him in, He continued to scatter the seeds with His plan that everyone would turn back to Him and be saved! It’s all about choices and we need to make the choice to receive His incredible gift of love, grace, and salvation through Jesus Christ.

Today’s reading comes to us from Ezekiel 16

The Lord’s Faithless Bride

1Again the word of the Lord came to me: 2″Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, 3and say, Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. 5No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.
6″And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ 7I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.
8″When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine. 9Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. 10I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. 11And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. 12And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. 14And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God.
15″But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his. 16You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be. 17You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and with them played the whore. 18And you took your embroidered garments to cover them, and set my oil and my incense before them. 19Also my bread that I gave you—I fed you with fine flour and oil and honey—you set before them for a pleasing aroma; and so it was, declares the Lord God. 20And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter 21that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them? 22And in all your abominations and your whorings you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, wallowing in your blood.
23″And after all your wickedness (woe, woe to you! declares the Lord God), 24you built yourself a vaulted chamber and made yourself a lofty place in every square. 25At the head of every street you built your lofty place and made your beauty an abomination, offering yourself to any passerby and multiplying your whoring. 26You also played the whore with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, multiplying your whoring, to provoke me to anger. 27Behold, therefore, I stretched out my hand against you and diminished your allotted portion and delivered you to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed of your lewd behavior. 28You played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied; yes, you played the whore with them, and still you were not satisfied. 29You multiplied your whoring also with the trading land of Chaldea, and even with this you were not satisfied.
30″How sick is your heart, declares the Lord God, because you did all these things, the deeds of a brazen prostitute, 31building your vaulted chamber at the head of every street, and making your lofty place in every square. Yet you were not like a prostitute, because you scorned payment. 32Adulterous wife, who receives strangers instead of her husband! 33Men give gifts to all prostitutes, but you gave your gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from every side with your whorings. 34So you were different from other women in your whorings. No one solicited you to play the whore, and you gave payment, while no payment was given to you; therefore you were different.
35″Therefore, O prostitute, hear the word of the Lord: 36Thus says the Lord God, Because your lust was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your whorings with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children that you gave to them, 37therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from every side and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness. 38And I will judge you as women who commit adultery and shed blood are judged, and bring upon you the blood of wrath and jealousy. 39And I will give you into their hands, and they shall throw down your vaulted chamber and break down your lofty places. They shall strip you of your clothes and take your beautiful jewels and leave you naked and bare. 40They shall bring up a crowd against you, and they shall stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. 41And they shall burn your houses and execute judgments upon you in the sight of many women. I will make you stop playing the whore, and you shall also give payment no more. 42So will I satisfy my wrath on you, and my jealousy shall depart from you. I will be calm and will no more be angry. 43Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have enraged me with all these things, therefore, behold, I have returned your deeds upon your head, declares the Lord God. Have you not committed lewdness in addition to all your abominations?
44″Behold, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ 45You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46And your elder sister is Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters. 47Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways. 48As I live, declares the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. 51Samaria has not committed half your sins. You have committed more abominations than they, and have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed. 52Bear your disgrace, you also, for you have intervened on behalf of your sisters. Because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. So be ashamed, you also, and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.
53″I will restore their fortunes, both the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters, and I will restore your own fortunes in their midst, 54that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all that you have done, becoming a consolation to them. 55As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former state, and you and your daughters shall return to your former state. 56Was not your sister Sodom a byword in your mouth in the day of your pride, 57before your wickedness was uncovered? Now you have become an object of reproach for the daughters of Syria and all those around her, and for the daughters of the Philistines, those all around who despise you. 58You bear the penalty of your lewdness and your abominations, declares the Lord.

The Lord’s Everlasting Covenant

59″For thus says the Lord God: I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant, 60yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant. 61Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you take your sisters, both your elder and your younger, and I give them to you as daughters, but not on account of the covenant with you. 62I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, 63that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God.”

from Ezekiel 16

So will you turn back to God? Will you be like the prodigal son who returned home to find his loving father waiting for him and blessing him generously and lavishly with sandals, close, right, and a celebration?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the subject of the impact of the Bible on Trade and Taxes speaks to us about how people from South Africa joined the Israeli army. It points to Ezekiel 16:6 which says…

‘”And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ ‘

–from Ezekiel 16:6

We learn through today’s devotional how there is a memorial to South African volunteers who joined the Israeli army and were killed in action. We learn how in commemoration of them for serving in the Israeli War of Independence there is a memorial on a hill in the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael tree plantation near Tiberias, Israel. We find that above the names of all those who sacrificed and died are the words from Ezekiel 16:6. We read how there were more than 800 volunteers that come from South Africa to serve in the army. The devotional closes telling us how “Tiberias was the first mixed city (jewish-Arab) the Israeli defence forces took during the war” and how “it’s one of Judaism’s 4 holy cities, along with Hebron, Jerusalem, Zefat, becoming a key destination for the emigrants after the war”. [see p. 1110 – Global Impact Bible]

So where are you at today? What kind of fruit is being produced from your life? Will you let it be the fruit of the Spirit or the fruit of the flesh? What type of an impact do you want to make? The produced fruit will tell you – you will know them by their fruit.

Where are you at in the process of life? What type of soil is your heart in right now? How is it responding to the seed being scattered by God?


Heavenly Father,
Thank You Lord for allowing me to hear this message of truth and of hope. Thank You Lord for allowing me to consider and contemplate where I am at and where I want to be. Thank You Lord for the truth that it isn’t a destination but it is a continual process to get to and then stay where our hearts are fertile and producing fruit because the world will try to harden our hearts, the things of the flesh my try to get us to compartmentalize, the things of the world may try to strangle the production, so we need to be diligent in our lives to ensure we keep the soil of our hearts fertile and ready to receive the seeds of God so that the Spirit can make it grow. Lord give me eyes to see and ears to hear so that I can scatter the seeds without prejudice into the world around me.I ask and give You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

FOR LO, I RAISE UP…(The Bible’s Impact on Music [May 17])


In this world we will have troubles! In this world we will face trials! Through all of this God is in charge! He has given us free will and so everyone has a choice of how they will act and how they will respond! When we face troubles, we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! When we face trials, we can consider them pure joy 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. So don’t lose hope, find hope in the midst of where you are at. Don’t give up, put your hope and trust in God! Don’t try to go it alone, God gave us one another for a reason! We aren’t alone, God is with us, He will never leave us and He will never abandon us! So no matter what happens – put your trust in God! So as long as you are alive – receive the gift and blessings of God! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Today’s reading brings us to Habakkuk 1 so let’s take some time to read it together…

1The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

2 O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?
3 Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
4 So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted.

The Lord‘s Answer

5 “Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.
6 For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter and hasty nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth,
to seize dwellings not their own.
7 They are dreaded and fearsome;
their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
8 Their horses are swifter than leopards,
more fierce than the evening wolves;
their horsemen press proudly on.
Their horsemen come from afar;
they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
9 They all come for violence,
all their faces forward.
They gather captives like sand.
10 At kings they scoff,
and at rulers they laugh.
They laugh at every fortress,
for they pile up earth and take it.
11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on,
guilty men, whose own might is their god!”

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12 Are you not from everlasting,
Lord my God, my Holy One?
We shall not die.
Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment,
and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.
13 You who are of purer eyes than to see evil
and cannot look at wrong,
why do you idly look at traitors
and remain silent when the wicked swallows up
the man more righteous than he?
14 You make mankind like the fish of the sea,
like crawling things that have no ruler.
15 He brings all of them up with a hook;
he drags them out with his net;
he gathers them in his dragnet;
so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and makes offerings to his dragnet;
for by them he lives in luxury,
and his food is rich.
17 Is he then to keep on emptying his net
and mercilessly killing nations forever?

As much as people things change when we read from God’s Word that doesn’t change, we find that there are few things that happen to seem to be new. We read in God’s Word from Ecclesiastes how there is nothing that is new. God knows the beginning and the end and so nothing is new, nothing will surprise Him, nothing will catch Him off guard. So why not put your trust in God? Why not give up your burdens and your anxieties to Him? Why not allow the one who knows all things, is all places, and has all power to help you? to give you answers that are great and that you do not know?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible speaking to its impact on music comes from today’s reading. We learn about Charles Stanford‘s “FOR LO, I RAISE UP” and how it was inspired and based upon Habakkuk. We learn how numerous verses including verses 6-12 from today’s reading are captured in the song. We also learn about how He composed the anthem during World War I in order to inspire hope in the midst of the slaughter. It speaks to God’s sovereignty and how God ultimately blessed Israel through its enemies. The song starts off with a sense of uneasiness, of anxiety, of apprehension, of worry, of fear, some may even say butterflies in their stomach. (side note: I have been working to train my brain to take that feeling in my stomach which is pretty much the same for both anxiety and excitement to take the signal as exciting times instead of getting all anxious and worried) The song ends with a more hopeful feeling while quoting Habakkuk 2:20 which says:

‘ But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.”‘

from Habakkuk 2:20

So where are you at today? Where in life are you living? Are you towards the beginning or the end of the song? Are you taking hold of God’s hand, inviting Jesus into your heart, and walking out each day in the presence and direction and wisdom of the Holy Spirit? Be anxious for nothing but through prayer and petition bring your needs, your cares, your worries, and your fears to God! Why not invite Jesus into your life today? Let’s take a moment to stop and pray before we step into our today and allow Jesus into this very moment and walk with us throughout the rest of our day and our lives.

Sample Sinners Prayer

Is this the first time you prayed this prayer or a recommitment to Jesus? Feel free to leave me a comment so that I can join in the celebration with you. Leave me a comment, questions, let’s start a conversation. Let’s connect and allow God through His Word, His Son, and His Spirit to transform the rest of our lives together. Why not start in God’s Word? Why not look for a Bible believing, Bible preaching Christian church? Let’s celebrate and make today the start of a new beginning that will be blessed by God so that you will never have to go through anything alone again!


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for Your Word that never returns void. I thank You Lord for divine appointment and schedules that allow You and Your Spirit to intersect our lives and allow us to be there and for you to be in there in and through the troubles and the trials. Help me Lord to be salt and light today! Help me Lord to minister through the ministry of presence so that in and through it all You will be with me and You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Can you be trusted with a little? Will you be a good steward? Where will you end up? …(The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 22])


Are you convinced? Is there anything that would convince you? Are you unable to be convinced? If you can’t be convinced then are you willing to deal with the outcome or consequences? If you are so hard-hearted that you can’t be transformed then are you also prepared for what the end will look like? Is there anything that can change your mind? Is there any evidence that could touch your heart? Is there something that would make a difference?

Why consider the story of Lazarus from this morning’s reading from Luke 16 (see v19-31)…

The Parable of the Dishonest Manager

He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

The Law and the Kingdom of God

The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

Divorce and Remarriage

“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’

from Luke 16

Are you a person like the rich man who is missing out on all the opportunities given to bless others? Are you a person like the rich man who will be regretting their decisions and actions or lack of actions? Are you a person like the rich man who will need to deal with being tormented and apart from God for the entire afterlife? Are you a person like the rich man who was too hard-hearted to be able to do something in his life? Are you a person like the rich man who was so blinded by his health that he missed out the opportunity to be a blessing? Are you a person like the rich man more focused on wealth than life and missing out on the opportunities available to be God’s hands extended?

Will you live your life faithful to God? Were you faithful when you only had a little? Or were you living the same way then and now that you have? We see from God’s Word how unless we have an encounter with Jesus, we continue in our behavior. We read in today’s reading how

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

from Luke 16:10-13

So whom shall you serve? Who or what will be your master? How will you decide on what to do and how to serve? Will you live your life to the full so that in the end when you come face to face with God you will hear the famous words “well done my good and faithful servant“? Or will you choose to live your life for some other master and end up like the rich man playing the what if, the could have and should have game while spending eternity in torment?

God’s plan isn’t that anyone would have to spend eternity that way. He gives us freewill to choose. God’s plan is that we would have life and life more abundantly. God’s plan was to send Jesus so that through Him we could be saved! God’s story was to provide the route to salvation! Now it is our job to choose how we will live and whom we shall serve in determining where we will end up!

Have you decided yet? Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Are you living your life with God and allowing the Holy Spirit to be your comforter and your guide through this life? If you haven’t but want to, why not pray this prayer with me and then drop me a comment so that we can connect and pray together and encourage one another?

Sample Sinners Prayer

Did you pray this? Are you ready to start following after Jesus’ way? Are you ready to allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you? Are you ready to begin the journey of being a new creation? If you prayed this prayer and received Jesus into your heart not only am I celebrating for and with you but so are the angels in heaven.


Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the subject of Acts of Mercy speaks to the Order of Saint Lazarus that is based on Luke 16:19-31. We learn about how it was a military order established in a leper hospital where they both cared for the sick and were a military order of chivalry that last till the French Revolution.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I lift it all up into Your hands as I trust and believe that Your plans are better than my plans and Your ways are better than my ways. Grant me wisdom I pray as I consider what is yet to come. Grant me discernment about what next step I should make. I don’t want to walk out in fear or doubt but rather in faith and courage, being bold in my trust and faith in You. I give this day into Your hands and ask Lord for words of wisdom that will lead me and guide me forward for the glory of Your kingdom. Help me Lord to be Your hands extended and to be everything You desire for me to be Not my will but Your will. Let Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth and in my life as it is in heaven. I ask all this Lord so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.