THRIVE: With limited time left how will you use the time you have left?


Be it a child visiting for the weekend. Be it a child graduating from high school. Be it a child heading off to college in a couple months. Be it your parents leaving in a couple days. Whatever the case, we need to be good stewards of our time and make the most out of it.

Ever heard from people with terminal illnesses and how they start to live each day like it could be their last? Ever considered living every day like it will be your last in order to make the most of it? Do you think it would change your priorities? your schedule? your focus? your life? Realistically we all have a limited time left here on this planet, no matter if we are a baby or a senior, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, and are called to make the most of our today!

So here we go, it’s Saturday morning! How will you choose to live out your today? What is a priority to you that you want and need to accomplish? What things are within your control and what things aren’t? What things would make it the best today ever? What would it take to make it a reality? What if you could do that every day?

Let’s make good choices today, being a good steward of the time we have, and choosing to thrive for the glory of God in and through it all!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. ‘

Isaiah 43:2

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 10


Where are you at today? How will you use the time you have left today? How will you choose to use the time you have? Are you ready to ask God for wisdom and direction? Are you ready to ask God for discernment and instruction? Invite Jesus into your heart! Invite Jesus into your life! Pursue Him and His will and His purpose for your life and decide to live life to the full!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

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

THRIVE: Making the most of the time we have.


Today I woke up with an interesting perspective on how important it is to make the most of the time we have if we want to thrive for the glory of God! Be it sending my wife with my daughter on a trip so that neither of them will need to go it alone and so that they both know how much they are loved. Be it spending my day with my son and helping him to realize the connection between building a computer and its components and how it is similar to the human body being put together. Getting to spend time with the girls last night watching some baseball. Getting to spend time with my son and pour love and wisdom into his life. The key for me this weekend is to make the most of the time I have with my family. Be it facetime with my parents and my daughter or in person with the rest of my family, the key is perspective and purpose behind making the most of the time we have! We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow and so let’s make the most of today!

Ever heard how you don’t know what you have till it’s gone? That’s not really true. You know what you have and get to choose what you will do with it! So today, let’s make the most out of what we have! Let’s make the most of every moment we have with our loved ones! Let’s make the most of every conversation we have with our loved ones! Let’s make the most out of everything we do with and for our loved ones!

Let’s make today count for the glory of God so that we can thrive in and through it!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” ‘

Ephesians 6:2-3

Today’s post from Be The Dads is
Survival Gear for Dads – Day 5


So how will you make the most of your today? Will you consider it a gift from God and be able to rejoice in it? Will you consider it a gift from God and use it to serve those around you? Will you consider it a gift from God and ask Him how you can use it to its full potential? Not sure where to start? Invite Jesus into your heart and your life! Ask Him to give you wisdom and discernment to know what you should do! Allow Him to transform you from the inside out!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

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

THRIVE: Workweek is over and still decisions to be made…


Let us take hold of the reality of what we have learned through the book of Exodus when it comes to THRIVING and allow God’s Word to help us as we look ahead and into the future of this life. We learned about risk-taking, getting out of the boat, and allowing God to do new things in our lives, God answers prayer, and God is near to His people. We learned that God’s deepest work can come out through our trials, troubles, and pain. We learned how we are closer to a breakthrough than we think even during what we are going through. Just like the turbulence right before breaking through the sound barrier, life can get bumpy right before the breakthrough. During the struggle, we need to trust God and His choice of us for this calling and purpose rather than thinking we are the wrong choice. We need to trust God even when we do not understand. We need to keep turning to God when we do not know what to do or where to go. We need to fight our way through the pain, fear, and unbelief. God is in control! Do not give up! Lean in, kneel, and call out to God. We have learned the importance of picking our battles. We need to choose to fight the fight of trust – that God is good even when our circumstances are not. We need to choose to fight the fight of perseverance – to keep going and not quit (do not give in to the doubts and fears the devil is trying to use to get you to quit). We need to choose to fight the fight for unity – to move forward at the speed of health. We learned the why! It is important to know why! Why did God put Egypt through the plagues? Because He wanted to answer Pharoah’s question “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.” Egypt had a god for everything, and the plagues demonstrated that God was over and of them because they were not real gods. We need to understand WHY. Could simplification be the answer? What does that say and what does that mean for and to you? We learned the importance of leaving the things behind us to move forward to the things God has for us. We learned the importance of leaving the mistakes and trials of the past behind us. We learned the need to let go of the struggles and pains of the past. We learned the importance to instruct our kids. We learned God is so for you – taking you right where you are and leading you into a new beginning. We cannot get stuck in the past and not step up and step out into what God has planned for us. We need to do what we have to do to get where God needs us to be. We learned that we need to wake up to the reality of what is taking place instead of getting stuck we need to act. We need to pray and call on God rather than absorbing or accepting failure around us. We need to be able to accept success and breakthroughs when it is right in front of us. We cannot allow the fear of the unknown or the future to become our master again. We learned how we must let God make the change and take hold of the reality that God is able to exceedingly, abundantly more than you can ask or imagine. We learned how God wants to forgive you so much He came after you. He did all the work himself. Just needed to accept the gift. Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. We learned how God gave the cloud and the fire to comfort them. Do not let your heart be troubled. God has a change and a new way for you. God will stand between you and the enemy. We learned how today by faith in Christ you can be forgiven and start the journey with Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will lead you and guide you. He will come behind you to watch your back. We learned that we need to do what God is telling us to do. We need to stop going backward. We need to stop surrendering when we are on the verge of a breakthrough. Start moving towards what God is calling you to. Dare to sow, to pray, to give your best. The things you can do so do it. We learned how God had the wind stack up the water into walls and dried the ground. Let us keep our eyes on the Lord and keep moving towards what He is showing us and telling us. Pharaoh woke up to a supply chain issue – he questioned why he let them go and just because one day their eyes may be opened to the reality of the situation, it does not mean that we should not be moving forward into the promised land and glory had prepared in advance for us to step into. God does not send you to hell, He opened the door to forgiveness and heaven, and we need to choose the final destination. You are the only one who can keep you from eternal life with God and forgiveness. 

So, what is next for you? What will you decide? Are you ready to accept the change and move from surviving into thriving? Are you ready to receive what God has prepared in advance for you to do. Are you ready to accomplish the good works God has prepared in advance for you to do. Will you accept the calling? Will you step up and step out for the glory of God? The choice is yours! We have freewill and we can choose to be used by God or to abdicate our responsibility and calling. Remember the story of Esther and how she was called to save her people? Remember the story of when the people were praising Jesus and when told to tell them to stop, He answered that if they stopped the rocks would cry out


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. ‘

Proverbs 29:25

Today’s post from Be The Dads is 10 Challenges Every Dad Must Conquer – Day 3


Where are you today? What decisions are you facing? What challenges are you facing? What struggles are you facing? What opportunities are you facing? What will you do about it? Where will you turn for wisdom and advice? What will you do about the answer you receive? Will you go? Will you do it? Will you trust Him? Let’s give it up to God! Let’s go to Him for wisdom and advice! Let’s be obedient to His instruction and go do it!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

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

Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)


News… what’s in it for you?


What comes to mind when you think of the NEWS? Is it timing? The morning NEWS, the mid-day NEWS, the end of day NEWS, or the late night NEWS? Is it categorized? Top NEWS, Political NEWS, Business NEWS, Money NEWS, Medical NEWS, Local NEWS, Regional NEWS, National NEWS, Global NEWS, Sports NEWS, Scientific NEWS, Technological NEWS, Entertainment NEWS, Business NEWS, or do you have specific topics you want or like to follow? Is it the media format? Newspaper? Internet? Broadcast? Local? Regional? Cable? What draws you to it? What keeps you coming back for more? What types of reports get your attention more than others? Is it a good use of your time? What’s in it for you?

How much of your time gets used up on NEWS? Is it really NEWS or is it gossip? Is it really NEWS or it is media trying to get eyeballs? Is it really NEWS or is it a way to make money? Do you check the NEWS on your computer? Do you listen to the NEWS on your commute? Do you watch the NEWS on TV? Do you get the NEWS through the Newspaper? Is it worth the time and energy? What’s in it for you?

When you consider the NEWS you consume, when it is done, do you feel better or worse? Do you feel more at peace or more stressed? Do you feel happier or sadder? Do you want more or do you want to turn it off and walk away? What do you do though? What’s in it for you?

I was talking with someone recently about my limited consumption of NEWS and the way(s) I consume it and how I don’t consume many of the distribution methods because they seem to be too negative or bad NEWS. I have a focused set of things I am interested in and so I have a single source to get a wide variety of content in order to hear what is taking place in the world and then I let it go and give my day up to God! It was interesting how in the conversation I shared how I don’t bother watching or listening to too much NEWS because most of it is bad NEWS and how I had heard it is part of the media companies plans because bad NEWS keeps people glued to the station. They shared a few apps that I was able to check out on my phone that only report good NEWS. Imagine a world focused on doing good, reporting on good, and reinforcing good NEWS. Imagine if people thought they would get more visibility and attention for doing good things. Remember how kids want attention and if the only time they get attention is when they do something bad, guess what they are going to do? Imagine a world that reinforced that doing good is how people could get more attention, imagine if it was that way in our families and homes too. What do you want more of? Do you want real NEWS or fake NEWS? Do you want GOOD NEWS or bad NEWS? What’s in it for you?

How do you source your information? Do you use search engines? Do you use social media? Do you use subscription services? Do you use local TV? Do you use cable or satellite TV? Do you use local or national radio programs? How do you choose? How do you trust? How do you discern? How do you believe? What’s in it for you?

Aren’t you ready for more GOOD NEWS? Aren’t you wanting to understand the truth? Don’t you want to the world to be a better place? Don’t you want a world that is united versus divided? What do you think it would take? What do you think your part in it is? What’s in it for you?


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 30th


Sharing the Good News


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”’

Romans 10:15

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you communicate/connect with others?
  • Does it matter their proximity or do you use the same method no matter how close or how far they are from you?
  • Do you use email, texting, messengers, and other such tech to communicate and connect with people in the next room and around the world?
  • What would it take for you to go old school and hand deliver the message?
  • I know with COVID that makes things a bit more challenging but it shouldn’t be about social distancing but rather physical distancing which means you can still deliver the message in person.
  • In the old days people may have had to brave the elements to deliver a message and yet today with all the comforts and technology messages either get sent or missed, delivered or deleted because they all end up in that thing called an inbox.
  • In the old days they needed to make the effort through the weather and the threats to be able to deliver the good and the bad news to the intended recipient.
  • In the old days people had to deliver their messages with sandals and feet compared to today’s world of computers and cell phones.
  • Ever use quotes to communicate your message?
  • Paul in his letter to the Romans quotes from Isaiah 52:7
    • ‘How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”’ — Isaiah 52:7
  • Do you realize that you can receive the same type of freedom today as the Jewish exiles did when they received the message from Isaiah in Babylon that they were now freed from captivity, after 70 years of captivity, torture, and humiliation, they were free?
  • We can be like Isaiah bringing the Good News to the people of the world around us by sharing the truth that by accepting and receiving Jesus Christ’s forgiveness they can be set free too!
  • Would you accept the calling to bring the Good News to others that they too may be set free?
  • Would you accept the calling to bring the Good News to others that they can be set free from the powers of sin and death?
  • Are you ready to deliver the best news they will ever hear?
  • Do you remember the best news you ever heard and how you responded?
  • Do you remember the excitement and the feelings that came with it?
  • Will you accept the role of becoming a messenger for Jesus to deliver the Good News to the world around you?
  • If you didn’t know about this Good News, will today be your day to accept and receive it? (I have a prayer we can pray together below)
  • Will you accept the role of delivering the Good News of Jesus to people who desperately need to hear it?
  • Do you realize that by you making the effort, taking the effort to go and deliver the message that your steps point to the old saying people used to say when they heard good news, “Your feet are beautiful!”
  • There is a world filled with guilt and condemnation out there that is in need of hearing the truth that will set them free, the Good News!
  • When we will go and deliver the Good News, our feet are beautiful too!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What’s the best news you’ve ever received?
    • That it isn’t about rituals and routines but rather it is about having a relationship with Jesus!
    • That my wife would marry me
    • That my wife was pregnant
  • What are some things you need to do to make your feet beautiful to lost and oppressed people?
    • Be willing to make time to speak truth and life in love to the people God brings to mind and into my life.
    • Be willing to go and share the reality of Jesus with the world around me
    • Be willing to share beyond my comfort zone the reality and love of Jesus with all those God brings into my network and into my mind.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on earth.”

― Keith Green

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Isaiah 58(sefaria.org)
    1. Cry with full throat, without restraint; Raise your voice like a ram’s horn! Declare to My people their transgression, To the House of Jacob their sin.
    2. To be sure, they seek Me daily, Eager to learn My ways. Like a nation that does what is right, That has not abandoned the laws of its God, They ask Me for the right way, They are eager for the nearness of God:
    3. “Why, when we fasted, did You not see? When we starved our bodies, did You pay no heed?” Because on your fast day You see to your business And oppress all your laborers!
    4. Because you fast in strife and contention, And you strike with a wicked fist! Your fasting today is not such As to make your voice heard on high.
    5. Is such the fast I desire, A day for men to starve their bodies? Is it bowing the head like a bulrush And lying in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast, A day when the LORD is favorable?
    6. No, this is the fast I desire: To unlock fetters of wickedness, And untie the cords of the yoke To let the oppressed go free; To break off every yoke.
    7. It is to share your bread with the hungry, And to take the wretched poor into your home; When you see the naked, to clothe him, And not to ignore your own kin.
    8. Then shall your light burst through like the dawn And your healing spring up quickly; Your Vindicator shall march before you, The Presence of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
    9. Then, when you call, the LORD will answer; When you cry, He will say: Here I am. If you banish the yoke from your midst, The menacing hand, and evil speech,
    10. And you offer your compassion to the hungry And satisfy the famished creature— Then shall your light shine in darkness, And your gloom shall be like noonday.
    11. The LORD will guide you always; He will slake your thirst in parched places And give strength to your bones. You shall be like a watered garden, Like a spring whose waters do not fail.
    12. Men from your midst shall rebuild ancient ruins, You shall restore foundations laid long ago. And you shall be called “Repairer of fallen walls, Restorer of lanes for habitation.”
    13. If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, From pursuing your affairs on My holy day; If you call the sabbath “delight,” The LORD’s holy day “honored”; And if you honor it and go not your ways Nor look to your affairs, nor strike bargains—
    14. Then you can seek the favor of the LORD. I will set you astride the heights of the earth, And let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob— For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
  • Isaiah 59 (sefaria.org)
  • Isaiah 60 (sefaria.org)

So do you want the NEWS? Do you want the GOOD NEWS? Do you want the truth rather than gossip and innuendos? Are you ready to be set free? Are you ready to allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength? Is today the first day of the rest of your life? Are you ready to accept and receive eternal life? Could today be your day?

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

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

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

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

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


Do you see the signs of the times? Don’t miss your opportunity!


As I start this day and consider what day it is as well as some of the messages that I have heard through the books I have been reading today’s topic came to mind. Be it Death Row Chaplain by Rev. Earl Smith and the people on death row and knowing their end was near and getting the opportunity to decide where they will spend eternity set before them. The interesting thing in that book was the people who were the family of the victims of the crimes who similarly knowing the end was near and getting the opportunity to find closure through forgiveness since watching the death doesn’t bring closure and definitely doesn’t bring healing to the person or the family. So seeing the signs of the times how would you respond? Would you miss your opportunity?

As I was reading today and started to consider how I can use my time better, Tommy Barnett’s book The Power of a Half Hour: Take Back Your Life Thirty Minutes At A Time, I started considering the signs of the times and the things I need to change to be a better steward of my time. I started considering my calling and special talent(s) and vision and purpose from God and how if I don’t do that special thing then it won’t get done God’s way – as He had intended. So I need to take hold of the signs of the times! I need to take this opportunity to complete the good works God prepared in advance for me to accomplish!

And with yesterday having been Good Friday, the idea of Jesus on the cross between two criminals and similar to the people on death row, they both knew it was their end, they could see the signs of the times, and yet they had different responses towards Jesus. Let’s grab a snapshot of what took place:

‘Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’

Luke 23:39-43

‘With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.’

Mark 15:27-32

‘Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.’

Matthew 27:38-44

We see in Luke how the two criminals, robbers, thieves responded to Jesus. One joined in with the people in the crowd but the other realized the signs of the time and humbled himself to Jesus. Like the people on death row, these men had to make a decision of where they were going to end up when their execution was done.

We may not be sentenced to the death penalty but the reality is that we will all die one day. And on that day when our physical body dies, where will our spiritual being end up? We need to realize the signs of the times! We need to take the opportunity set before us to accept the grace of God through Jesus so that we can be forgiven and get to spend eternity with God rather than the alternative of spending eternity in Hell, apart from God! We each have to make that decision for ourselves, nobody else can make it for us! Being Easter weekend, can you think of a better time if you haven’t already made the decision to make the decision? Will you make your decision before it is too late and you find yourself at the Judgement Seat of God and get sent to spend eternity apart from Him?

Don’t miss your opportunity!


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


Today in Paradise


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Luke 23:43

‘And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Three people put on crosses – 2 thieves and Jesus
  • One joined in with all the screaming at Jesus and said ‘Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”’ — Luke 23:39
  • One must have heard and knew about Jesus because he gave a different response: ‘But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” ‘ — Luke 23:40-41
  • The second one must have known about and believed in Jesus because he added to his comment to his partner in crime when he turned to Jesus: ‘Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”’ — Luke 23:42
  • Remember how Jesus was abandoned when things were going down?
  • Remember how people denied knowing Jesus when things were going down?
  • Remember how Jesus was betrayed when things were going down?
  • Now imagine a criminal sentenced to crucifixion turning to Jesus and how that made Jesus feel.
  • Now consider how Jesus responded to him: ‘And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’ — Luke 23:43
  • Imagine the peace, the joy, the hope that would have come over that criminal from hearing Jesus’ promise.
  • Imagine the transformation of heart and mind between before meeting Jesus and after meeting Jesus. Imagine the testimony this man would give to people about how his life was transformed by Jesus.
  • Don’t let your past define you, what matters is your identity in Christ and your eternal destination in heaven with God.
  • Are you ready for such a change today?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How does the promise of paradise affect your perspective about death?
  • It is not only a sign of what is to come for those who believe and receive Jesus but a promise of how eternity with God will be.
  • Paradise, looking up the definition and synonyms brings up some very interesting things – all positive and most pointing to God.
  • Will you accept the gift of grace from God that is Jesus?
  • Will you share how God transformed your life through Jesus by telling people your testimony of life before and after your encounter with Jesus?
How does it shape your view of life today?
  • It is important to make the right decision here today rather than run the risk of missing out on paradise when it is time for us to die in our physical bodies and move into our spiritual bodies for eternity.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The ultimate victory is eternity with Jesus Christ.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

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

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

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

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


Motives and responses…


How are you going to choose to live your life? Will you choose to live it with honesty and integrity? Will you choose to live it with anxiety and anger? Do you realize the impact it will have on your motives when it comes to making a decision or taking action? Will you live your life in a way that is honorable? Will you live your life in a way that is reputable? Will you live your life in a way that is law abiding? Will you live your life in a way that is worthy of a higher calling? Will you live your life in a way that is moral and ethical? Will you live your life in a way that is virtuous and high principled? Will you live your life in a way that is noble? Will you live your life in a way that is incorruptible and conscientious? Will you live in a way that will cause you to be an honest and integral person?

Do you realize that allowing your life to driven or lived with anxiety and anger will tear you up from the inside out? Do you realize the impact it will have on your motives and decisions? Do you really want to live your life in a way that anxious? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is disturbed or perturbed? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is troubled or bothered? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is upset or uneasy? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is agitated or on edge? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is tense and jumpy? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is stressed and distracted? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is nervous or stressed? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is spooked or unsettled?

We all have a choice to make. We all have a decision to make. And it will impact our motives and responses for the rest of our lives. As I think and reflect on this the words that came to mind were be quick to listen, slow to speak… and so I went and grabbed the verse it came from and the message that follows it. I also decided to use the AMP translation as it brings in additional context and flavor to the message being communicated.

‘Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us]. So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like. But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience]. If anyone thinks himself to be religious [scrupulously observant of the rituals of his faith], and does not control his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless (futile, barren). Pure and unblemished religion [as it is expressed in outward acts] in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit and look after the fatherless and the widows in their distress, and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the [secular] world.’

James 1:19-27

So today as we are about to jump into today’s devotional we face a decision about what we will believe and how it will impact our motives and responses. Choose wisely! Are you ready to serve the orphans, the fatherless, and the widows? Are you ready to live your life unpolluted by the ways of the world and pursue God’s will through a relationship with Jesus?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 27th


Upright or Uptight?


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 32:10-11

‘Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord , mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Decisions
  • Do you make bad decisions based on selfishness?
  • Do you make selfish decisions that cause other’s pain?
  • Do you make selfish decisions that cause tremendous stress?
  • Do you realize that you are doing it?
  • When you realize that you are doing it, how do you respond?
  • Do you turn to God?
  • Do you wait too long and multiply the pain and the stress?
  • Do you wait too long and allow it to build up and cause sorrow and outbursts of anger?
  • The statement “Methinks thou dost protest too much” comes to mind as I consider when people point out the faults.
  • Are you too busy trying to cover things up that you don’t have time to make things right?
  • Are you too busy trying to cover things up that you are ruining relationships by breaking trust rather than living with integrity and honesty in order to rebuild relationship?
  • You don’t need to be perfect! Are you willing to be honest though?
  • Will you be willing to confess like David did in Psalms 32?
  • Will you allow honesty to be the best policy?
  • Will you confess in order to stop having to carry around the pain and aguish of hiding or masking the sins of your life?
  • Are you ready to find true freedom by confessing to God your mistakes and allow His forgiveness to cleanse you and refill your heart with hope?
  • Will you allow God to intersect and intervene in your life so that you can receive His mercy and grace?
  • Will you invite Jesus into your heart so that you can find forgiveness and eternity with God?
  • Will you make the decision to walk out your life with God in order to live a life filled with thanksgiving and praise?
  • Will you make the decision to receive Jesus in order to be able to be thankful in all situations?
  • Will you make the decision so as to be able to consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds?
  • Will you make the decision so that you can take heart when you face troubles of this world?
  • Don’t you want to have thankfulness at home? at work? in our health? with our families? with our friends? with our country? with every good and perfect gift that comes from God?
  • Are you ready to spend eternity with God?
  • Are you ready to receive God’s infinite mercies?
  • Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and allow Him to clean up your heart health?
  • Are you ready to allow the Holy Spirit to help purify your thoughts and direct your actions?
  • It’s not possible to do enough in our own power to make it right. It just takes accepting the gift of grace through Jesus Christ into our lives!
  • God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life with God.
  • For us to have the clean and pure heart that God desires requires that we receive it from God!
  • It comes from God’s kindness to see the worst in us and love us and forgive us!
  • So let’s choose to invite Jesus into our hearts and then shout for joy and celebrate our forgiveness and freedom that we have received through our decision to follow Jesus!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some selfish choices in your life that have made you uptight?
Take those to God and thank Him for His wonderful mercy and forgiveness.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The Christian church is a society of sinners. It is the only society in the world membership in which is based upon the single qualification that the candidate shall be unworthy of membership. 

Charles Clayton Morrison

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So how will you choose to live the rest of your life? As I was writing today the aha that this weekend is Palm Sunday came to mind and that the week ahead is the Passion Week leading up to Good Friday and Easter. What an incredible time to reflect and consider how we want our destiny to be.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Will you honor your leaders by giving them control? Letting them choose?


As these questions come to mind it is very interesting to me to reflect on God’s working in and through my life and the leaders He has installed above me. Will you first give God control? Will you honor Him by giving Him control and the choice of how things will move forward? Will you trust God enough to do what He is calling you to do? Will you obey His calling even if it seems so much bigger than you? I remember learning that lesson many years back how nothing is bigger than God and how if He calls you to it, He will get you through it! In my case I resisted to the point of being given an ultimatum of stepping up into the position of president of the HOA or being nothing and so I went with God’s direction and accepted to step into the position of president of the HOA. I have learned through this that God is able to work through those He puts in authority over me too.

In my work I can remember the times when I was given options by my manager between two roles and asked which I would want. I shared my view of the two roles and that I wanted him to put me where it will help him the most. I remember a more recent experience where I thought I had arrived in the role that was for me when a new one came up and so I went to the head of our division and asked his opinion as I wanted to make sure I was in the role that would be most beneficial to him and the organization. To see the level to which he went to help me decide and how God opened the door so wide that I knew exactly which role to take helps me to this day to keep trusting God and those He puts in authority over me. There is always a reason and a purpose. We may not see it in the moment or understand it in the experience but there is always a reason and a purpose. God’s plan is good! God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future!

So be it at work, in volunteering, or at church, will you honor your leaders and give them control? Will you give them the power to choose for you?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 19th


One more night with the frogs


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Exodus 8:9-10

‘And Moses said to Pharaoh, “Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only.” So he said, “Tomorrow.” And he said, “ Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you stuck finding excuses for why you can’t or won’t or shouldn’t?
  • What would it take to go from can’t to can?
  • What would it take to go from won’t to will?
  • What would it take to go from shouldn’t to should?
  • What’s keeping you from deciding now?
  • Is it the fear that the situation may change?
  • Is it the worry that the problem might completely go away?
  • Is it the fear that someone else might come up with a better idea?
  • Is it the worry that something out of our control may happen and so any decision isn’t required?
  • Don’t allow fear to keep you from trying to clean up a mess!
  • Don’t allow worry to keep you from getting involved and making a difference!
  • Don’t just put up with the situation because you are afraid of making a mistake!
  • Are you stuck in a “why do today what we can put off till tomorrow” type of person?
  • You do realize that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed right?
  • So let’s think through decisions and start working on the problems today!
  • Sooner or later we are going to need to act!
  • Don’t be paralyzed by fear and find yourself procrastinating!
  • We can plan but don’t fall into analysis paralysis!
  • Having problems making decisions? What is the fear below the surface that is causing it?
  • How can you address those fears in order to be able to live out the bold and courage life that God has desired for you to live?
  • Let’s address the fears and replace them with faith so that we don’t need to be like pharaoh and have another night with frogs!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some fears that can lead to procrastination?
  • failure
  • mistakes
  • accidents
  • judgment
  • mocking
  • getting laughed at
How can someone address those fears so that they no longer interfere with life?
  • make it ok to fail as long as you learn from it and don’t make the same mistakes over and over
  • attack the problems rather than the people
  • build a healthy and supportive culture to work within

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

Abraham Lincoln

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So will you do today what God is calling you to accomplish? Will you do today what is in front of you since you know you aren’t guaranteed tomorrow? Will you trust God enough that you will allow your faith to rule over your fears in order to get done what God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish?

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

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

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

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

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

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


Advent


What is advent you might ask.

As I start today and consider the synonyms for advent, I consider arrival. Could it be a coincidence that today is the day chosen to reflect on the word advent? As I start today and consider the synonyms for advent, I consider appearance. Could it be a coincidence what arrived and appeared yesterday for my consideration? With other synonyms like development and approach or nearing and advance, what does it say about where I find myself today? When I consider the antonyms of departure or disappearance, and the implication this would have based on the decision it makes me wonder God’s plan and purpose during this time as 2020 is coming to a close.

As I consider and reflect on Jesus and how the word advent applies to Him, it causes me to consider the advent which brought Him into the world as a baby. As my devotional to read the bible in a year was closing it brought me into the book of Revelation where it speaks of the second advent when Jesus is coming back as the victor to wrap things up. Jesus came the first time that I could be saved. Jesus is coming the second time to draw those who have decided to receive Him as their Lord and Savior into the presence of God for the rest of eternity and to take care of the evil once and for all by casting it into the lake of fire. The peace that comes from knowing my name is in the lambs book of life helps me know that this life here is temporary but eternity will be spend with God.

So as I hear someone knocking on the door with a new opportunity, where this time it is being presented to me as a development opportunity, an advancement, a rise, and an emergence from what has taken place over this past year. When the conversation started it reminded me of a previous time when a new opportunity came up and great new and exciting experiences were had. It reminded me of conversations over 20 years ago, conversations 16 years ago, and unlike some of the things that happened more recently these thoughts felt very positive and like a good opportunity.

So is it a time for an advent in my life? Let’s consider words that include advent:

  • adventurousness – which is an adjective meaning Inclined to undertake new and daring enterprises or Requiring or characterized by boldness or daring; hazardous; risky
  • adventitiously – which is an adjective meaning Arising from an external cause or factor; not inherent
  • adventuresome – which is an adjective meaning Inclined to engage in risky activities or enterprises

and there are many more like:

Interestingly what comes to my mind is faith over fear, trust over worry, truth over lies, love over hate, and light over darkness.

Today’s Verse of the Day comes from the book of John:

‘ Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.’

— John 8:12

So let’s not walk in darkness but walk in the light! Let’s not hold back out of worry or fear but rather let’s step up and step out in faith believing and trusting God!

As I consider this and consider Jesus in the garden right before He was going to be crucified and considering the alternatives available to Him, He spoke the words to the Father:

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Luke 22:42

And so the key is to ask God, seek God, and knock. Make the plan and allow God to direct your steps. If it is right then God open the door so wide that I can’t miss it. If it isn’t then God please keep it closed so nobody can open it. My prayer is to accomplish Your will. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Help me Lord with provision of wisdom and discernment on how to proceed. Lord, forgive me for dragging myself through this year as Lord, I forgive all those who have shaken up my world this year to the point of feeling like I was walking on eggshells for a large portion of it. Forgiveness is such an important key as without it the bitter root can take hold and impact every other part of your life. Forgiveness opens up the door to be able to live a James 1:2-4 and John 16:33 type of days filled with joy and hope. Help me to not be tempted or deceived by the lies of the devil and his plans for evil. I ask all this Lord so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.


Where are you at today? Have you received Jesus into your heart and life? Are you prepared for the celebration of the first advent of Jesus this Christmas season? Are you prepared for the return of Jesus as part of the second advent? Do you want to be sure of your final destination? Why not receive the gift of grace through love and pray with me today?

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

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

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

Did you pray this with me? Would you like to connect and discuss it with me? Would you like to make time to start your walk with Jesus? Do you have questions? Please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


How will you treat the owner?


You realize your role is care taker right? You realize your role is to be a good steward right?

So when the owner comes to check in on how things are going, how will you treat them? What if they send a delegate instead of showing up personally, how will you treat them? What if the delegate is a relative of theirs, how will you treat them?

We need to take hold of the truth for the truth will set us free! The truth of the matter is that the earth is the God’s and everything in it! That means the world and all the people in it! Double clicking on this a bit more to learn more, checking out what John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible has to say, we learn:

The whole universe, all the terraqueous globe, both land and water, and the circumambient air, and all that is therein; the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, the beasts of the field, all plants and vegetables that spring out of the earth, and metals and minerals in the bowels of it; all which are the riches of the Lord the earth is full of, ( Psalms 104:24 ) ; see ( Psalms 50:10-12 ) ;

the habitable world, and the dwellers on it, rational and irrational. These words may be interpreted of Christ, who is Lord of all; he made the world, and has a right and claim to all things in it; for the same person is here spoken of as in the preceding psalm, under the character of a shepherd; and this shows him to be very fit and proper for such an office, seeing he cannot fail of feeding and protecting his sheep; nor can they want any good thing, since the fulness both of nature and of grace is with him; and hence it is that all things are theirs, whether the world, or things present, or things to come; and though they seem to have nothing, yet possess all things, they possessing him whose all things are. The apostle makes use of this passage of Scripture, to prove, explain, and direct in the use of Christian liberty, with respect to the free use of creatures, they all being the Lord’s; and therefore good, and to be received with thanksgiving: and yet, inasmuch as there is a variety of them, such should be abstained from, when to use them serves to embolden evil men in their wicked ways, or offend and grieve weak Christians, ( 1 Corinthians 10:25 1 Corinthians 10:26 1 Corinthians 10:28 ) .

John Gill’s Exposition of the BiblePsalms 24:1

So knowing all of that, would that change how you would respond when the owner comes a knocking to check in?

Imagine the case where the owner planted a vineyard and set it all up for success and then gave it to you to manage for him. Imagine when harvest time came to collect some of the fruit, how would you treat one of his employees who shows up? how would you treat one of his kids? how would you treat him? Would you treat them any differently even though you know they are all coming with the same authority and the same purpose?

Will you accept the incredible gift of God? Will you accept the incredible sacrifice of Jesus? Will you accept the promises of eternity with God? Will you receive the grace of God without fear?

Don’t be fooled! Don’t be tricked! Don’t be mislead! Don’t be robbed! Don’t be trapped!

You have a choice to make and only you can make it! Will you choose to receive Jesus or will you reject Him? Will you take hold of the 2 commands that by following them you will do them all?

‘ “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” ‘

Mark 12:29-31

So if you haven’t invited Jesus in, would you consider it now, even before we jump into God’s Word from today’s reading? If so, let’s jump down to the prayer at the end of this post and then you can come back up here to continue if you feel so lead.


DAY 90: 2020 HINDSIGHT
— The 49-Week Challenge  Day 90 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 90 link to join me and sign up.

February is in the rear-view mirror

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

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


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

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


My Notes:

  • Don’t be one who rejects the stone that has become the cornerstone … don’t reject Jesus who is the foundation and the cornerstone for the faith
  • Remember how the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord! Remember how God has put people in their respective points of authority! So give to God what is God’s and give to those in authority what is theirs!
  • Don’t be tricked or fooled by flawed logic! Don’t be tripped up trying to answer a riddle that isn’t based on reality! We have the example of Jesus’s response when people tried to trick him with a scenario of multiple people marrying the same woman after she widowed and then questioning whose wife she will be during the resurrection.
  • Do you remember the lessons of the past? Do you remember the lessons of history?
  • Do you realize that generosity is a matter of the heart more than the size or quantity of what is given? Are you generous? Are you giving out of your abundance or out of your lack? Are you giving out of your excess or out of your scarcity? Are you giving out of your wealth or our of your poverty? Do you even feel it when you give? Do you make it a matter of the heart?
  • Will you live to honor God or will you risk the wrath of being removed from the presence of God?
  • Do you realize that partial obedience is disobedience?
  • Do you realize that God prefers obedience over offerings?
  • Will you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and be welcomed into heaven or will you reject Jesus and find yourself tossed into the pit, apart from God for all of eternity and being stuck in the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth?
  • Will you receive and proclaim Jesus or will you reject Him? What if you realized that if you reject Jesus before man that He will reject you before the Father?
  • Will you take careful attention to what God is calling you to do?
  • Will you take careful attention to what God is asking you to do?
  • Don’t reject God and then come to find yourself rejected!
  • Don’t do things that will grieve the heart of the Lord!
  • Do what is right in the eyes of the Lord!

As day 90 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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


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

What is holding you back from making the biggest decision of your life?


Is it that you are dwelling on regret? Is it that you are too focused on other people? Is it that you are hanging with the wrong crowd? Is it that you are stuck in the the loop of re-evaluating, re-examining, reconsidering, rethinking, reanalyzing,, rechecking? Is it that you are becoming smug, self-satisfied, pleased with oneself,proud of oneself, self-approving, self-congratulatory, self-admiring, self-regarding, gloating, triumphant, proud, pleased, gratified, satisfied, content, contented, careless, slack, lax, lazy, like the cat that got the cream, I’m-all-right-Jack, or wisenheimer? Is it that you are talking the talk rather than walking the walk? Is it that you are too focused on money = success? Is it that you are waiting for the right moment? Is it that you are needing approval from others? Is it that you are waiting for perfection? the perfect situation? Is it that you are being stubborn? Is it that you aren’t willing or ready to admit mistakes? Is it that you aren’t willing to learn from or receive from those you consider less than yourself? Is it that you are spending too much time worrying about the outcome? Is it that you are spending too much time comparing yourself to others?

What if today is the day? What if today the opportunity to make the decision is at hand? Are you willing to receive it? Are you willing to accept it? Are you willing to pursue it? Are you willing to arrive there today? Are you ready to make the biggest decision of your life?

Have you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Are you ready to ask Him into your heart now?


So if you haven’t invited Jesus in, would you consider it now, even before we jump into God’s Word from today’s reading? If so, let’s jump down to the prayer at the end of this post and then you can come back up here to continue if you feel so lead.


DAY 89: 2020 HINDSIGHT
— The 49-Week Challenge  Day 89 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 89 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

February is in the rear-view mirror

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

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


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

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


My Notes:

  • You have been invited! Will you attend?
  • You have been invited! Will you reject?
  • You have been invited! Will you come up with an excuse why not now?
  • You have been invited! Will you come up with an excuse why not you?
  • You have been invited! Will you choose to come?
  • You have been invited! Will you attack those who are have invited you?
  • Will you be left behind as others will get invited?
  • Will you come prepared for the event?
  • Will you be invited and chosen?
  • Will you be left outside where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth?
  • What will you give? Will you be generous and give to God was is God’s and to the government what is the government’s?
  • Will you do what is required?
  • Will you understand God’s Word? Will you take hold of the truth that God is the god of the living? Yes our body may fail but where our spirit will end up is based on if we will choose Jesus as our Lord and Savior and spend eternity with God.
  • Will you choose to love the Lord with all your heart, your mind, your strength, and your soul? Will you choose to love your neighbor as yourself?
  • What if you were called through a burning bush? Would that be enough to get your attention?
  • What will it take for you to choose to return to God? Would it take a dream of heaven or a dream of hell?
  • What will it take for you to choose to call on God and receive His gift of Jesus? Is there anything or are you too hard hearted to be able to humble yourself and turn back to God?
  • What if God was asking you to call others back unto God? Will you go? Will you do it?
  • What if God is asking you to call others back to Himself? Will you do it? Will you come up with excuses why you can’t?
  • Don’t you want that everything get to spend eternity in heaven with God?
  • Don’t you want to do your part to allow others hear and know the truth of God and be set free?
  • Let’s be prepared for the good works God has prepared for us!
  • Give your life into the hands of God! Put your hope and trust into Him!
  • Will you accept what God has given you?
  • Will you accept what God has called you to do?
  • Will you accept what God has calling you to do?
  • Will you live today as a living sacrifice in order that in all you think, say, and do that God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name?

As day 89 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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


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

Are you ready for a change? Are you ready to see a change? Are you ready to be the change?


Ever heard that the only constant is change? Ever heard that there is nothing new under the sun? And yet we go through change constantly. Some is self directed like when people move or go off to school or get married or have kids or change jobs. Others are via external sources like reorgs, elections, government bills and laws. How about you? Are you ready to be a catalyst for change? Are you reach to be a catalyst for transformation? What is or will be your motivation? What is or will be your decision points? What is or will be your measures for or of success? Where will you go for instruction and direction? How will you know if it is good or bad? How will you know if it is a success or failure? How will you know it has happened? Change it is everywhere! We have all been created and we all continue to grow and develop till we die on this earth and are transformed into a spirit form and based on our decision to either follow Jesus or not, we will spend eternity in that new body or form with God or apart from God!


Day 60: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge 
 Day 60 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 60 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

January is in the rear view mirror

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

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


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

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


My Notes:

  • Would you want to be present for the change?
  • Would you want to know about the change?
  • Would you want to be a part of the change?
  • Would you like to change?
  • Would you like to change others?
  • Who is with you? Who is against you?
  • How far would you go to see the change?
  • How long would you wait to see change?
  • How prepared are you for change?
  • Do you believe enough to see or receive a change?
  • Are you willing to accomplish God’s will and purpose even if the change requires change?
  • Are you willing to do what is needed in order to keep you on track towards the change?
  • Keep your focus on God and live to spend eternity with Him in heaven!
  • Choose God’s ways over your own ways!
  • Choose God’s plan that is to give you a hope and a future!
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength!
  • God will complete and accomplish all that He has plan and promised to do!
  • Will you receive God’s peace that surpasses all understanding?
  • Are you willing to do God’s will in order to flourish for His glory?
  • Will you consecrate and purify yourself to be able to enter into the presence of God?
  • Will you accept and receive Jesus to be your Lord and Savior?
  • Do you hear what people are seeing and saying? How do you respond to crying and complaining?
  • How would you respond to food / bread from heaven?
  • How would you provide for the people?
  • Do you have faith?
  • How will you respond to the burden that has been put upon you?
  • What burden will you choose to accept and receive? Will it be the one Jesus offers?
  • Will you receive and walk in the Spirit?
  • How will you respond to the actions of the people around you?

As day 60 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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


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

How will you choose to live in the midst of the unknown? Will you find rest in the Lord and renew your strength?


The book of Job. – Day 42

T’was the morning of Christmas Eve and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care. The new tree is up and decorated for the celebration of Jesus’s birth with the tradition of the wise men, giving gifts. The workdays are done till the new year and now is the time to reflect, refresh, and renew for what is yet to come. Change had begun but just over a month back with some structural changes but mostly operating models being defined at very high levels which leaves ambiguity and lots of questions on what it all means to me. In the midst of all of that I an leaning on and trusting God who isn’t only all knowing but is in control. I am trusting that just as He used the census to move Joseph and Mary to the place they needed to be in order for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem, that God has set these changes in motion in order to move me to where I need to be to accomplish His greater purpose for me. I am trusting in God that just as back in 2013 when I got to one of my favorite verses from Job in chapter 42 in verse 12 that was the day I started my new journey working with GoDaddy after 19 years and 1 day at Microsoft and have gotten to see incredible things. As God moved me out of the comfort zone of where I had been and known for so long into a new industry and new company in order to bring His joy and His presence to a new set of people in order that His light would be shone to the people around me in order that they would get to see and feel how the joy of the Lord is my strength, how His mercies are new every day, and how we can always choose to make today which is the present can be a Happy Today! Yesterday is gone! Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed! So let’s allow the gift, the present of today be a great one and have a Happy Today, wish people a Merry Christmas, and let your life shine for the glory of God! Let’s be the salt and light God created us to be so that we can make a difference for the glory of His Kingdom! Let’s do it all in the name of Jesus!

Let’s take hold of the truth of today! Every morning I have a reminder on my calendar that appears and reminds me “Be Encouraged! God knows what you are going through!” If I open up the meeting invite (which I have shared with others over the years by inviting them to “meeting”) we can all read the following: (if you would like to be on the invite, leave me a comment)

Be encouraged! God knows what you’re going through.
Here are some good daily reminders:

  1. Wake Up! Decide to have a good day. “Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24
  2. Dress Up! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
  3. Shut Up! Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking. “He who guards his lips guards his soul.” Proverbs
    13:3
  4. Stand Up!… For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything.. “Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…” Galatians 6:9-10
  5. Look Up!… To the Lord. “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
  6. Reach Up!… For something higher. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
  7. Lift Up!… Your Prayers. “Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.” Philippians 4:6

Today’s reading from God’s Word: Job 37

‘“Indeed, at His thundering my heart trembles And leaps out of its place. Listen carefully to the thunder of His voice, And the rumbling that goes out of His mouth! He lets it loose under the whole heaven, And His lightning to the ends of the earth. After it, His voice roars; He thunders with the voice of His majesty, And He does not restrain His lightning [against His adversaries] when His voice is heard. God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; And [He speaks] to the showers and to the downpour [of His mighty rains], ‘Be strong.’ God seals (brings to a standstill, stops) [by severe weather] the hand of every man, That all men [whom He has made] may know His work [that is, His sovereign power and their subjection to it]. Then the beast goes into its lair And remains in its hiding place. Out of its chamber comes the storm, And cold from the north wind. Ice is made by the breath of God, And the expanse of the waters is frozen. He loads the thick cloud with moisture; He disperses the cloud of His lightning. Its direction is turned around by His guidance, That it may do whatever He commands it On the face of the inhabited earth. Whether [it be] for correction, or for His earth [generally] Or for [His] mercy and lovingkindness, He causes it to happen. “Listen to this, Job; Stand still and consider the wonders of God. Do you know how God establishes and commands them, And makes the lightning of His [storm] cloud shine? Do you know about the layers of thick clouds [and how they are balanced and poised in the heavens], The wonderful works of Him who is perfect in knowledge, You whose garments are hot, When He quiets the earth [in sultry summer] with the [oppressive] south wind? Can you, with Him, spread out the sky, Strong as a molten mirror? Tell us [Job] what words [of man] shall we say to such a Being; We cannot state our case because of darkness [that is, our ignorance in the presence of the unsearchable God]. So shall it be told Him that I wish to speak? Or should a man say that he would be swallowed up [and destroyed by God]? “Now people cannot look at the light when it is bright in the skies [without being blinded], When the wind has passed and cleared them. Out of the north comes golden splendor [and people can hardly look on it]; Around God is awesome splendor and majesty [far too glorious for man’s eyes]. The Almighty—we cannot find Him; He is exalted in power And He will not do violence to [nor disregard] justice and abundant righteousness. Men therefore fear Him; He does not regard nor respect any who are wise in heart [in their own understanding and conceit].”’

Job 37:1-24

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

Today’s summary from the study notes: Job Chapter 37 Explained (visit the links above to dig in deeper verse by verse):

Verses 2-13: Elihu reemphasized his main point: God uses the storms to show favor or wrath.

Verses 5-13: He described God’s power expressed in the cold winter. The storms and the hard winters remind us of the world in which harsh things occur, but for God’s good purposes of either “correction” or “lovingkindness” (37:13).

Verses 14-18: These words picture the scene in the sky when the storms and winters have passed, the sunlight breaks through, the warm wind blows and the sky clears.

Verses 19-20: What would Job do if he got his wish for an audience with God? Elihu had little expectation that this would ever happen.

In this passage Elihu reminded Job that since man can’t explain the wonders of God’s power and purpose, he ought to be silent and not contend with God. What a man has to say against God’s plans is not worthy to utter and could bring judgment.

Verses 21-23; Elihu illustrated the folly of telling God what to do by describing staring into the golden sun on a brilliant day (verses 21-22). We can’t confront God in His great glory; we are not even able to look at the sun He created (verse 21).

Job Chapter 37 Explained

So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? 

My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you.  Are you ready for forgiveness and peace?

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

Reply with a comment to let me know of your decision so that I can pray with you. Respond to God’s prompting on your heart.

Take time to hear from God today. Take time to be with God today. Take time to respond to God today!

Let’s pray:

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

Will you stick with God through it all?


The Story of Job. – Day 32

We all have a choice of whether we will receive the gift of grace or not. We all have a choice of whether we will spend out lives with God or apart from God. We all have a choice of whether we will believe or not. We all have a choice of where we will spend eternity with God or apart from God. Put another way, we all have a choice of where we will spend eternity in heaven or in hell. We all have a choice of receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior or rejecting Him and trying to go it alone. We get to choose if we will be on the side of good or evil, there is no neutral ground. We get to choose if we will be on the side of hope and love or despair and hate. We get to choose if we will have faith or not. We get to choose if we will be faithful or not. We get to choose if we will be good stewards or not. Choices, choices, we will face them everyday. Choices, choices, we will need to make them every day. Choices, choices, they will impact not just your today but also your forever.

What is the value of gaining everything in this world and then losing your soul? What good is it to gain the world and lose your soul? What is there worth giving up your soul? If you want to be greatest then you need to become less, we need to become servants. If we want to be trusted with more then we need to show that we are faithful with little. How will you choose to live out your life?


Today’s reading from God’s Word: Job 27

‘Job continued his discourse and said, “As God lives, who has taken away my right and denied me justice, And the Almighty, who has caused bitterness and grief for my soul, As long as my life is within me, And the breath of God is [still] in my nostrils, My lips will not speak unjustly, Nor will my tongue utter deceit. Far be it from me that I should admit you are right [in your accusations against me]; Until I die, I will not remove my integrity from me. I hold fast my uprightness and my right standing with God and I will not let them go; My heart does not reproach me for any of my days. “May my enemy be as the wicked, And he who rises up against me be as the unrighteous (unjust). For what is the hope of the godless, even though he has gained [in this world], When God takes his life? Will God hear his cry When trouble and distress come upon him? Will he take delight in the Almighty? Will he call on God at all times? I will teach you regarding the hand (power) of God; I will not conceal what is with the Almighty [God’s actual treatment of the wicked]. Behold, all of you have seen it; Why then do you act vainly and foolishly [cherishing worthless concepts]? “This [which I am about to explain] is the portion of a wicked man from God, And the inheritance which tyrants and oppressors receive from the Almighty: Though his children are many, they are destined for the sword; And his descendants will not have sufficient bread. Those who survive him will be buried because of the plague, And [their] widows will not be able to weep. Though he heaps up silver like dust And piles up clothing like clay, He may prepare it, but the just will wear it And the innocent will divide the silver. He builds his house like a spider’s web, Like a (temporary) hut which a watchman makes. He lies down rich, but never will again; He opens his eyes, and it is gone. Terrors overtake him like a [suddenly rising] flood; A windstorm steals him away in the night. The east wind lifts him up, and he is gone; It sweeps him out of his place. For it will hurl [thunderbolts of God’s wrath] at him unsparingly and without compassion; He flees in haste from its power. People will clap their hands at him [to mock and ridicule him] And hiss him out of his place.’

— Job 27:1-23 (AMP)

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

Will you stick with God through the good and the tough times? Will you stick with God through the good and the bad times? Will you stick with God through the trials and the troubles? Will you resist the temptations of the devil to walk away or turn your back on God? Will you trust God in and through it all?

Today’s summary from the study notes:(visit Job Chapter 27 Explained to dig in deeper verse by verse)

Verses 1-23: In Job’s summary response to his three friends, he still clings to his claim of “righteousness”, although now placed in the context of divine judgment. The wicked are those who separate themselves from faith in the Lord and a fear of the Lord; Job does not qualify.

(In verses 1-12), Job turned from speaking about God (26:5-14), to defending his righteousness.

Verses 2-6: Job took the most solemn oath possible (“As God liveth”), delivering an ultimatum to his friends as he proceeded to express his lifelong commitment to God (Psalm 37:4).

Verses 3-6: Job affirmed his true and steadfast devotion to righteous living, no matter what happened. He refused to live with a guilty conscience (verse 6b). This was no brash claim, because God had recognized Job’s virtue (1:8; 2:3).

Verses 7-23: There is a severe interpretive problem in the chapter: Job seems to agree now with his friends that the wicked are punished and that they are not permitted to prosper as he had earlier alleged. The answer to this seeming contradiction lies in the fact that much of what the friends have said is true and Job is agreeing with them; however, he does not contradict his earlier statements that they have been arbitrary and unjust in their application of their tenets.

(In 7-13), Job characterized his friends as enemies. These three hypocrites would be judged by God and perhaps then they would realize the cruelty with which they had been treating Job.

Verses 8-10: Job reminded the friends that he would never be hypocritical because he understood the consequences.

Verses 13-23: Such harsh language is similarly found in Psalms (e.g., Psalm 69:22-28). Almost exclusively, Job quotes back to his “friends” what they had earlier spoken to him, using their own words against them.

Job wanted it made clear he was not denying that the wicked are punished with severe distress, so he agreed that they suffer greatly and affirmed so in this section.

Job Chapter 27 Explained

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

Let’s pray:

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

Do you realize the responsibility that comes with leadership?


Consider the impact of leading people to the top and the responsibility you have and had to get them there, the skills, the trials, the perseverance to get there. Consider the impact of leading people off track and leading to their demise and the responsibility you have and had in getting them there, the lies, the guilt, the threats, the deception to get them there. Consider the consequences of such a leadership decision for you and for them. Are you leading by good example? Are you being a servant leader? Are you pointing people in the right direction? Are you being salt and light as a leader? Are you leading people closer and closer to God? Are you leading people away from behaviors and attitudes that are detrimental to their health? physically and spiritually? Are you providing them with opportunities and avenues to grow and develop into more blessed and accomplished people? Are you listening in order to understand and know what they want or need from you? Are you taking time to discuss where they are at and where they want to go? Will you let your light shine and point them towards God in order that they may see the truth and reject the lies?

Imagine being a leader who leads people into a bottomless pit. Imagine being a leader who leads people to a destination they can never return from with weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Imagine being a leader responsible for leading people to the pinnacle of success. Imagine being a leader responsible for leading people through the gates of heaven into the presence of God to spend eternity. Imagine what it will mean and it will take for you to be the type of leader who will make a positive impact on those around you. Are you willing and ready to do it?

Do you realize the responsibility you have as the one who lead them? Do you realize the consequences you have as the one who lead them? So choose wisely the type of leader you will be and the direction you will give people.


Today’s reading gets us started with leaders who led people away from God in 2 Kings 16:

‘Ahaz son of Jotham began to rule over Judah in the seventeenth year of King Pekah’s reign in Israel. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had done. Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel, even sacrificing his own son in the fire. In this way, he followed the detestable practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the pagan shrines and on the hills and under every green tree. Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah of Israel came up to attack Jerusalem. They besieged Ahaz but could not conquer him. At that time the king of Edom recovered the town of Elath for Edom. He drove out the people of Judah and sent Edomites to live there, as they do to this day. King Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria with this message: “I am your servant and your vassal. Come up and rescue me from the attacking armies of Aram and Israel.” Then Ahaz took the silver and gold from the Temple of the Lord and the palace treasury and sent it as a payment to the Assyrian king. So the king of Assyria attacked the Aramean capital of Damascus and led its population away as captives, resettling them in Kir. He also killed King Rezin. King Ahaz then went to Damascus to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria. While he was there, he took special note of the altar. Then he sent a model of the altar to Uriah the priest, along with its design in full detail. Uriah followed the king’s instructions and built an altar just like it, and it was ready before the king returned from Damascus. When the king returned, he inspected the altar and made offerings on it. He presented a burnt offering and a grain offering, he poured out a liquid offering, and he sprinkled the blood of peace offerings on the altar. Then King Ahaz removed the old bronze altar from its place in front of the Lord ’s Temple, between the entrance and the new altar, and placed it on the north side of the new altar. He told Uriah the priest, “Use the new altar for the morning sacrifices of burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and grain offering, and the burnt offerings of all the people, as well as their grain offerings and liquid offerings. Sprinkle the blood from all the burnt offerings and sacrifices on the new altar. The bronze altar will be for my personal use only.” Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz commanded him. Then the king removed the side panels and basins from the portable water carts. He also removed the great bronze basin called the Sea from the backs of the bronze oxen and placed it on the stone pavement. In deference to the king of Assyria, he also removed the canopy that had been constructed inside the palace for use on the Sabbath day, as well as the king’s outer entrance to the Temple of the Lord . The rest of the events in Ahaz’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. When Ahaz died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Hezekiah became the next king.’

2 Kings 16:1-20

Today’s reading then continues into Ezekiel 22:

‘Now this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, are you ready to judge Jerusalem? Are you ready to judge this city of murderers? Publicly denounce her detestable sins, and give her this message from the Sovereign Lord : O city of murderers, doomed and damned—city of idols, filthy and foul— you are guilty because of the blood you have shed. You are defiled because of the idols you have made. Your day of destruction has come! You have reached the end of your years. I will make you an object of mockery throughout the world. O infamous city, filled with confusion, you will be mocked by people far and near. “Every leader in Israel who lives within your walls is bent on murder. Fathers and mothers are treated with contempt. Foreigners are forced to pay for protection. Orphans and widows are wronged and oppressed among you. You despise my holy things and violate my Sabbath days of rest. People accuse others falsely and send them to their death. You are filled with idol worshipers and people who do obscene things. Men sleep with their fathers’ wives and force themselves on women who are menstruating. Within your walls live men who commit adultery with their neighbors’ wives, who defile their daughters-in-law, or who rape their own sisters. There are hired murderers, loan racketeers, and extortioners everywhere. They never even think of me and my commands, says the Sovereign Lord . “But now I clap my hands in indignation over your dishonest gain and bloodshed. How strong and courageous will you be in my day of reckoning? I, the Lord , have spoken, and I will do what I said. I will scatter you among the nations and purge you of your wickedness. And when I have been dishonored among the nations because of you, you will know that I am the Lord .” Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, the people of Israel are the worthless slag that remains after silver is smelted. They are the dross that is left over—a useless mixture of copper, tin, iron, and lead. So tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you are all worthless slag, I will bring you to my crucible in Jerusalem. Just as silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin are melted down in a furnace, I will melt you down in the heat of my fury. I will gather you together and blow the fire of my anger upon you, and you will melt like silver in fierce heat. Then you will know that I, the Lord , have poured out my fury on you.’” Again a message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: In the day of my indignation, you will be like a polluted land, a land without rain. Your princes plot conspiracies just as lions stalk their prey. They devour innocent people, seizing treasures and extorting wealth. They make many widows in the land. Your priests have violated my instructions and defiled my holy things. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. And they do not teach my people the difference between what is ceremonially clean and unclean. They disregard my Sabbath days so that I am dishonored among them. Your leaders are like wolves who tear apart their victims. They actually destroy people’s lives for money! And your prophets cover up for them by announcing false visions and making lying predictions. They say, ‘My message is from the Sovereign Lord ,’ when the Lord hasn’t spoken a single word to them. Even common people oppress the poor, rob the needy, and deprive foreigners of justice. “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord , have spoken!”’

Ezekiel 22:1-31

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting with Acts 16:

‘Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas. That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there. We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis. From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days. On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed. One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her. Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.” A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.’

Acts of the Apostles 16:6-24

Today’s reading continues into Revelation 6:

‘When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters —their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them. I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places. Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”’

Revelation 6:9-17

Today’s reading then closes with Psalms 119:

‘Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide. Yes, I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of your laws. I am even wiser than my elders, for I have kept your commandments. I have refused to walk on any evil path, so that I may remain obedient to your word. I haven’t turned away from your regulations, for you have taught me well. How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again: I will obey your righteous regulations. I have suffered much, O Lord ; restore my life again as you promised. Lord , accept my offering of praise, and teach me your regulations. My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions. The wicked have set their traps for me, but I will not turn from your commandments. Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight. I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end. I hate those with divided loyalties, but I love your instructions. You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. Get out of my life, you evil-minded people, for I intend to obey the commands of my God. Lord , sustain me as you promised, that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed. Sustain me, and I will be rescued; then I will meditate continually on your decrees. But you have rejected all who stray from your decrees. They are only fooling themselves. You skim off the wicked of the earth like scum; no wonder I love to obey your laws! I tremble in fear of you; I stand in awe of your regulations.’

Psalms 119:97-120

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

Let’s pray:

Have you been chosen?


Do you realize that you haven’t accidentally found yourself in this position? Do you realize that it wasn’t a coincidences that you were raised to this position? Do you realize God’s got a purpose and a plan for having you in such a position? Do you realize you have been called? Do you realized you have been chosen?


Today’s reading gets started with Numbers 17

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to bring you twelve wooden staffs, one from each leader of Israel’s ancestral tribes, and inscribe each leader’s name on his staff. Inscribe Aaron’s name on the staff of the tribe of Levi, for there must be one staff for the leader of each ancestral tribe. Place these staffs in the Tabernacle in front of the Ark containing the tablets of the Covenant, where I meet with you. Buds will sprout on the staff belonging to the man I choose. Then I will finally put an end to the people’s murmuring and complaining against you.” So Moses gave the instructions to the people of Israel, and each of the twelve tribal leaders, including Aaron, brought Moses a staff. Moses placed the staffs in the Lord ’s presence in the Tabernacle of the Covenant. When he went into the Tabernacle of the Covenant the next day, he found that Aaron’s staff, representing the tribe of Levi, had sprouted, budded, blossomed, and produced ripe almonds! When Moses brought all the staffs out from the Lord ’s presence, he showed them to the people. Each man claimed his own staff. And the Lord said to Moses: “Place Aaron’s staff permanently before the Ark of the Covenant to serve as a warning to rebels. This should put an end to their complaints against me and prevent any further deaths.” So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. Then the people of Israel said to Moses, “Look, we are doomed! We are dead! We are ruined! Everyone who even comes close to the Tabernacle of the Lord dies. Are we all doomed to die?”’

Numbers 17

and continues into Numbers 18.

‘Then the Lord said to Aaron: “You, your sons, and your relatives from the tribe of Levi will be held responsible for any offenses related to the sanctuary. But you and your sons alone will be held responsible for violations connected with the priesthood. “Bring your relatives of the tribe of Levi—your ancestral tribe—to assist you and your sons as you perform the sacred duties in front of the Tabernacle of the Covenant. But as the Levites go about all their assigned duties at the Tabernacle, they must be careful not to go near any of the sacred objects or the altar. If they do, both you and they will die. The Levites must join you in fulfilling their responsibilities for the care and maintenance of the Tabernacle, but no unauthorized person may assist you. “You yourselves must perform the sacred duties inside the sanctuary and at the altar. If you follow these instructions, the Lord ’s anger will never again blaze against the people of Israel. I myself have chosen your fellow Levites from among the Israelites to be your special assistants. They are a gift to you, dedicated to the Lord for service in the Tabernacle. But you and your sons, the priests, must personally handle all the priestly rituals associated with the altar and with everything behind the inner curtain. I am giving you the priesthood as your special privilege of service. Any unauthorized person who comes too near the sanctuary will be put to death.”

The Lord gave these further instructions to Aaron: “I myself have put you in charge of all the holy offerings that are brought to me by the people of Israel. I have given all these consecrated offerings to you and your sons as your permanent share. You are allotted the portion of the most holy offerings that is not burned on the fire. This portion of all the most holy offerings—including the grain offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings—will be most holy, and it belongs to you and your sons. You must eat it as a most holy offering. All the males may eat of it, and you must treat it as most holy. “All the sacred offerings and special offerings presented to me when the Israelites lift them up before the altar also belong to you. I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters as your permanent share. Any member of your family who is ceremonially clean may eat of these offerings. “I also give you the harvest gifts brought by the people as offerings to the Lord —the best of the olive oil, new wine, and grain. All the first crops of their land that the people present to the Lord belong to you. Any member of your family who is ceremonially clean may eat this food. “Everything in Israel that is specially set apart for the Lord also belongs to you. “The firstborn of every mother, whether human or animal, that is offered to the Lord will be yours. But you must always redeem your firstborn sons and the firstborn of ceremonially unclean animals. Redeem them when they are one month old. The redemption price is five pieces of silver (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs). “However, you may not redeem the firstborn of cattle, sheep, or goats. They are holy and have been set apart for the Lord . Sprinkle their blood on the altar, and burn their fat as a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord . The meat of these animals will be yours, just like the breast and right thigh that are presented by lifting them up as a special offering before the altar. Yes, I am giving you all these holy offerings that the people of Israel bring to the Lord . They are for you and your sons and daughters, to be eaten as your permanent share. This is an eternal and unbreakable covenant between the Lord and you, and it also applies to your descendants.” And the Lord said to Aaron, “You priests will receive no allotment of land or share of property among the people of Israel. I am your share and your allotment. As for the tribe of Levi, your relatives, I will compensate them for their service in the Tabernacle. Instead of an allotment of land, I will give them the tithes from the entire land of Israel. “From now on, no Israelites except priests or Levites may approach the Tabernacle. If they come too near, they will be judged guilty and will die. Only the Levites may serve at the Tabernacle, and they will be held responsible for any offenses against it. This is a permanent law for you, to be observed from generation to generation. The Levites will receive no allotment of land among the Israelites, because I have given them the Israelites’ tithes, which have been presented as sacred offerings to the Lord . This will be the Levites’ share. That is why I said they would receive no allotment of land among the Israelites.” The Lord also told Moses, “Give these instructions to the Levites: When you receive from the people of Israel the tithes I have assigned as your allotment, give a tenth of the tithes you receive—a tithe of the tithe—to the Lord as a sacred offering. The Lord will consider this offering to be your harvest offering, as though it were the first grain from your own threshing floor or wine from your own winepress. You must present one-tenth of the tithe received from the Israelites as a sacred offering to the Lord . This is the Lord ’s sacred portion, and you must present it to Aaron the priest. Be sure to give to the Lord the best portions of the gifts given to you. “Also, give these instructions to the Levites: When you present the best part as your offering, it will be considered as though it came from your own threshing floor or winepress. You Levites and your families may eat this food anywhere you wish, for it is your compensation for serving in the Tabernacle. You will not be considered guilty for accepting the Lord ’s tithes if you give the best portion to the priests. But be careful not to treat the holy gifts of the people of Israel as though they were common. If you do, you will die.”’

Numbers 18

Today’s reading then brings us into Solomon’s Song of Songs 7

‘Come, my love, let us go out to the fields and spend the night among the wildflowers. Let us get up early and go to the vineyards to see if the grapevines have budded, if the blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love. There the mandrakes give off their fragrance, and the finest fruits are at our door, new delights as well as old, which I have saved for you, my lover.’

Song of Songs 7:11-13

and continues into Song of Songs 8.

‘Oh, I wish you were my brother, who nursed at my mother’s breasts. Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching, and no one would criticize me. I would bring you to my childhood home, and there you would teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine. Your left arm would be under my head, and your right arm would embrace me. Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.

Who is this sweeping in from the desert, leaning on her lover?

I aroused you under the apple tree, where your mother gave you birth, where in great pain she delivered you. Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.

We have a little sister too young to have breasts. What will we do for our sister if someone asks to marry her? If she is a virgin, like a wall, we will protect her with a silver tower. But if she is promiscuous, like a swinging door, we will block her door with a cedar bar.

I was a virgin, like a wall; now my breasts are like towers. When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees. Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon, which he leases out to tenant farmers. Each of them pays a thousand pieces of silver for harvesting its fruit. But my vineyard is mine to give, and Solomon need not pay a thousand pieces of silver. But I will give two hundred pieces to those who care for its vines.

O my darling, lingering in the gardens, your companions are fortunate to hear your voice. Let me hear it, too!

Come away, my love! Be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.’

Song of Songs 8

Today’s reading next brings us into the New Testament starting in Matthew 5

‘“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny

“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’ But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.’

Matthew 5:17-32

and continuing into Romans 3.

‘Then what’s the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision? Yes, there are great benefits! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God. True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful? Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him, “You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court.” “But,” some might say, “our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is. Isn’t it unfair, then, for him to punish us?” (This is merely a human point of view.) Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world? “But,” someone might still argue, “how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?” And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned.’

Romans 3:1-8

As we consider our role. As we consider our position. As we consider our plan. As we consider our purpose. As we consider our calling. As we consider our selection, let us turn to God in aw and wonder, let’s celebrate His authority and His wisdom and put all of our hope and all of our trust in Him to get us through it as we lean on Him rather than our own understanding.


Today’s reading closes in Psalms 108.

‘My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart! Wake up, lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord , among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth. Now rescue your beloved people. Answer and save us by your power. God has promised this by his holiness : “I will divide up Shechem with joy. I will measure out the valley of Succoth. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh, too. Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors, and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings. But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant, and I will wipe my feet on Edom and shout in triumph over Philistia.” Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will bring me victory over Edom? Have you rejected us, O God? Will you no longer march with our armies? Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.’

Psalms 108

Are you ready for a second chance? Are you ready for another change?


What if you got the message that you can get a do over rather than what happened? What if you got the message that you are worth a second chance? What if you got the message that your past doesn’t define you and so you will be getting a second chance to make a first impression? Did you know that God is the god of the second chances? Did you know that God is the god of the third, forth, … chances? Now the key is how will you respond when you need another chance? Will you be too proud to apologize? Will you be too proud to admin you made a mistake? Will you be too proud to accept responsibility? Will you be too proud to turn back to God and admin you made a mistake? Don’t be robbed by the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life which are of this world, instead receive what is from God! Will you be humble and admit your mistake? Will you be humble and ask for forgiveness? Will you be humble and turn back to God and ask for another chance? Ever read the words that “if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” Do you want to carry that guilt or shame around with you forever? Why not give it up to God so that you can be forgiven and made clean to live the rest of your life? Not sure what to do? Ask God for wisdom for He will give it to you without finding fault. So are you ready for your second chance? What will you do with it? Let’s consider this as we read from today’s reading for the day.


Today’s reading starts out in Exodus 34.

‘Then the Lord told Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed. Be ready in the morning to climb up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me on the top of the mountain. No one else may come with you. In fact, no one is to appear anywhere on the mountain. Do not even let the flocks or herds graze near the mountain.” So Moses chiseled out two tablets of stone like the first ones. Early in the morning he climbed Mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him, and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord ! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected— even children in the third and fourth generations.” Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshiped. And he said, “O Lord, if it is true that I have found favor with you, then please travel with us. Yes, this is a stubborn and rebellious people, but please forgive our iniquity and our sins. Claim us as your own special possession.” The Lord replied, “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord —the awesome power I will display for you. But listen carefully to everything I command you today. Then I will go ahead of you and drive out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. “Be very careful never to make a treaty with the people who live in the land where you are going. If you do, you will follow their evil ways and be trapped. Instead, you must break down their pagan altars, smash their sacred pillars, and cut down their Asherah poles. You must worship no other gods, for the Lord , whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. “You must not make a treaty of any kind with the people living in the land. They lust after their gods, offering sacrifices to them. They will invite you to join them in their sacrificial meals, and you will go with them. Then you will accept their daughters, who sacrifice to other gods, as wives for your sons. And they will seduce your sons to commit adultery against me by worshiping other gods. You must not make any gods of molten metal for yourselves. “You must celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast, just as I commanded you. Celebrate this festival annually at the appointed time in early spring, in the month of Abib, for that is the anniversary of your departure from Egypt. “The firstborn of every animal belongs to me, including the firstborn males from your herds of cattle and your flocks of sheep and goats. A firstborn donkey may be bought back from the Lord by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son. “No one may appear before me without an offering. “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest. “You must celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first crop of the wheat harvest, and celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the harvest season. Three times each year every man in Israel must appear before the Sovereign, the Lord , the God of Israel. I will drive out the other nations ahead of you and expand your territory, so no one will covet and conquer your land while you appear before the Lord your God three times each year. “You must not offer the blood of my sacrificial offerings together with any baked goods containing yeast. And none of the meat of the Passover sacrifice may be kept over until the next morning. “As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God. “You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down all these instructions, for they represent the terms of the covenant I am making with you and with Israel.” Moses remained there on the mountain with the Lord forty days and forty nights. In all that time he ate no bread and drank no water. And the Lord wrote the terms of the covenant—the Ten Commandments —on the stone tablets. When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord . So when Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses’ face, they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called out to them and asked Aaron and all the leaders of the community to come over, and he talked with them. Then all the people of Israel approached him, and Moses gave them all the instructions the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai. When Moses finished speaking with them, he covered his face with a veil. But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the Lord , he would remove the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the Lord had given him, and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the Lord .’

Exodus 34

Let’s be prepared to receive God! Let’s spend time with God today so that when people see us they can tell that we have met with God! Let’s walk in the grace and mercy of God! Let’s live out today overflowing the love of God!

Today’s reading then brings us to Job 28.

‘“People know where to mine silver and how to refine gold. They know where to dig iron from the earth and how to smelt copper from rock. They know how to shine light in the darkness and explore the farthest regions of the earth as they search in the dark for ore. They sink a mine shaft into the earth far from where anyone lives. They descend on ropes, swinging back and forth. Food is grown on the earth above, but down below, the earth is melted as by fire. Here the rocks contain precious lapis lazuli, and the dust contains gold. These are treasures no bird of prey can see, no falcon’s eye observe. No wild animal has walked upon these treasures; no lion has ever set his paw there. People know how to tear apart flinty rocks and overturn the roots of mountains. They cut tunnels in the rocks and uncover precious stones. They dam up the trickling streams and bring to light the hidden treasures. “But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? No one knows where to find it, for it is not found among the living. ‘It is not here,’ says the ocean. ‘Nor is it here,’ says the sea. It cannot be bought with gold. It cannot be purchased with silver. It’s worth more than all the gold of Ophir, greater than precious onyx or lapis lazuli. Wisdom is more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold. Coral and jasper are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above rubies. Precious peridot from Ethiopia cannot be exchanged for it. It’s worth more than the purest gold. “But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all humanity. Even the sharp-eyed birds in the sky cannot discover it. Destruction and Death say, ‘We’ve heard only rumors of where wisdom can be found.’ “God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens. He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”’

Job 28

Let’s not try to figure it all out on our own but instead let’s receive understanding from God!

Today’s reading then takes us into the New Testament with Mark 5.

‘So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones. When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.” Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?” And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.” Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place. There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby. “Send us into those pigs,” the spirits begged. “Let us enter them.” So Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of about 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.’

Mark 5:1-20

Today’s reading then brings us to 1 Corinthians 11.

‘I am so glad that you always keep me in your thoughts, and that you are following the teachings I passed on to you. But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. A man dishonors his head if he covers his head while praying or prophesying. But a woman dishonors her head if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head, for this is the same as shaving her head. Yes, if she refuses to wear a head covering, she should cut off all her hair! But since it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut or her head shaved, she should wear a covering. A man should not wear anything on his head when worshiping, for man is made in God’s image and reflects God’s glory. And woman reflects man’s glory. For the first man didn’t come from woman, but the first woman came from man. And man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man. For this reason, and because the angels are watching, a woman should wear a covering on her head to show she is under authority. But among the Lord’s people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women. For although the first woman came from man, every other man was born from a woman, and everything comes from God. Judge for yourselves. Is it right for a woman to pray to God in public without covering her head? Isn’t it obvious that it’s disgraceful for a man to have long hair? And isn’t long hair a woman’s pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering. But if anyone wants to argue about this, I simply say that we have no other custom than this, and neither do God’s other churches.’

1 Corinthians 11:2-16

As today’s reading closes in the book of Psalms, let’s take a moment to meditate on God’s Word and receive the words from Psalms 64.

‘O God, listen to my complaint. Protect my life from my enemies’ threats. Hide me from the plots of this evil mob, from this gang of wrongdoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their bitter words like arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent, attacking suddenly and fearlessly. They encourage each other to do evil and plan how to set their traps in secret. “Who will ever notice?” they ask. As they plot their crimes, they say, “We have devised the perfect plan!” Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning. But God himself will shoot them with his arrows, suddenly striking them down. Their own tongues will ruin them, and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. Then everyone will be afraid; they will proclaim the mighty acts of God and realize all the amazing things he does. The godly will rejoice in the Lord and find shelter in him. And those who do what is right will praise him.’

Psalms 64

How will you respond to your new found freedom?


So it happened. So you decided. So now you have broken free. So now what will you do? Will you do something to help you remember? Will you do something that will help you grow? Will you do something that will help it spread? Will you do something that will be greater than yourself? Who will you ask? Who will you tell? Who will you listen to? When does the reality set in? When does it build? How will you build upon it? How will you keep it going? How will you keep yourself from forgetting? How will you keep yourself from backsliding? What can you do to pass it on? What can you say that will make a difference?

Imagine if you were set free from 430 years of slavery. Imagine if you were set free from the power of darkness holding you back from all that was planned for you. Imagine the incredible emotions and experience. But would it or will it wear off? How can you sustain it? How can you make sure that you don’t go back to those days and slip back into the old ways?

Today’s reading starts us out in Exodus and brings us through chapters 13 and 14.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Dedicate to me every firstborn among the Israelites. The first offspring to be born, of both humans and animals, belongs to me.” So Moses said to the people, “This is a day to remember forever—the day you left Egypt, the place of your slavery. Today the Lord has brought you out by the power of his mighty hand. (Remember, eat no food containing yeast.) On this day in early spring, in the month of Abib, you have been set free. You must celebrate this event in this month each year after the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites. (He swore to your ancestors that he would give you this land—a land flowing with milk and honey.) For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. Then on the seventh day, celebrate a feast to the Lord . Eat bread without yeast during those seven days. In fact, there must be no yeast bread or any yeast at all found within the borders of your land during this time. “On the seventh day you must explain to your children, ‘I am celebrating what the Lord did for me when I left Egypt.’ This annual festival will be a visible sign to you, like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. Let it remind you always to recite this teaching of the Lord : ‘With a strong hand, the Lord rescued you from Egypt.’ So observe the decree of this festival at the appointed time each year. “This is what you must do when the Lord fulfills the promise he swore to you and to your ancestors. When he gives you the land where the Canaanites now live, you must present all firstborn sons and firstborn male animals to the Lord , for they belong to him. A firstborn donkey may be bought back from the Lord by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son. “And in the future, your children will ask you, ‘What does all this mean?’ Then you will tell them, ‘With the power of his mighty hand, the Lord brought us out of Egypt, the place of our slavery. Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, so the Lord killed all the firstborn males throughout the land of Egypt, both people and animals. That is why I now sacrifice all the firstborn males to the Lord —except that the firstborn sons are always bought back.’ This ceremony will be like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. It is a reminder that the power of the Lord ’s mighty hand brought us out of Egypt.”

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear to do this. He said, “God will certainly come to help you. When he does, you must take my bones with you from this place.” The Israelites left Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.’

Exodus 13

and

‘Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses: “Order the Israelites to turn back and camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon. Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’ And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord !” So the Israelites camped there as they were told.

When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. “What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?” they asked. So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops. He took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance. The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon. As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord , and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’” But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the Lord !” Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night. Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side! Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—chased them into the middle of the sea. But just before dawn the Lord looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion. He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. “Let’s get out of here—away from these Israelites!” the Egyptians shouted. “The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!” When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.” So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the Lord swept them into the sea. Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived. But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. That is how the Lord rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore. When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the Lord had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the Lord and in his servant Moses.’

Exodus 14

What will it take for you to believe? What will it take for you to remember? Fear Not, Just Believe! Don’t lose hope but rather put your hope and trust in God! Lean not on your own understanding but put your trust in God! God will make a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way! Are you ready to walk thru on dry ground? Are you ready to stay calm and let God fight the battle for you? Will you remember? Will you document it some how some place in order to make it a memory that can be shared for generations to come so that nobody will fear man but rather trust God! The battle belongs to the Lord! Will you remember the miracles? Will you choose to live out your life in a way that is pleasing to God? Will you keep the memory of all God has done so that you don’t forget, you don’t become prideful and instead remember and live your life in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory? If you happen to have slipped away when you get notified will you turn back to Him and pursue His will and plans? Will you choose to do what is pleasing to God? Will you choose to pursue God’s purpose and plans and go back into the boundaries God has given so that you can live out your life with blessings?

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 34.

‘Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was pleasing in the Lord ’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right. During the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David. Then in the twelfth year he began to purify Judah and Jerusalem, destroying all the pagan shrines, the Asherah poles, and the carved idols and cast images. He ordered that the altars of Baal be demolished and that the incense altars which stood above them be broken down. He also made sure that the Asherah poles, the carved idols, and the cast images were smashed and scattered over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. He burned the bones of the pagan priests on their own altars, and so he purified Judah and Jerusalem. He did the same thing in the towns of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, even as far as Naphtali, and in the regions all around them. He destroyed the pagan altars and the Asherah poles, and he crushed the idols into dust. He cut down all the incense altars throughout the land of Israel. Finally, he returned to Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of his reign, after he had purified the land and the Temple, Josiah appointed Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of Jerusalem, and Joah son of Joahaz, the royal historian, to repair the Temple of the Lord his God. They gave Hilkiah the high priest the money that had been collected by the Levites who served as gatekeepers at the Temple of God. The gifts were brought by people from Manasseh, Ephraim, and from all the remnant of Israel, as well as from all Judah, Benjamin, and the people of Jerusalem. He entrusted the money to the men assigned to supervise the restoration of the Lord ’s Temple. Then they paid the workers who did the repairs and renovation of the Temple. They hired carpenters and builders, who purchased finished stone for the walls and timber for the rafters and beams. They restored what earlier kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin. The workers served faithfully under the leadership of Jahath and Obadiah, Levites of the Merarite clan, and Zechariah and Meshullam, Levites of the Kohathite clan. Other Levites, all of whom were skilled musicians, were put in charge of the laborers of the various trades. Still others assisted as secretaries, officials, and gatekeepers.

While they were bringing out the money collected at the Lord ’s Temple, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord that was written by Moses. Hilkiah said to Shaphan the court secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord ’s Temple!” Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan. Shaphan took the scroll to the king and reported, “Your officials are doing everything they were assigned to do. The money that was collected at the Temple of the Lord has been turned over to the supervisors and workmen.” Shaphan also told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” So Shaphan read it to the king. When the king heard what was written in the Law, he tore his clothes in despair. Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: “Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for all the remnant of Israel and Judah. Inquire about the words written in the scroll that has been found. For the Lord ’s great anger has been poured out on us because our ancestors have not obeyed the word of the Lord . We have not been doing everything this scroll says we must do.” So Hilkiah and the other men went to the New Quarter of Jerusalem to consult with the prophet Huldah. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, the keeper of the Temple wardrobe. She said to them, “The Lord , the God of Israel, has spoken! Go back and tell the man who sent you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people. All the curses written in the scroll that was read to the king of Judah will come true. For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done. My anger will be poured out on this place, and it will not be quenched.’ “But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: You were sorry and humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this city and its people. You humbled yourself and tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord . So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace. You yourself will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city and its people.’” So they took her message back to the king.

Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. And the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, along with the priests and the Levites—all the people from the greatest to the least. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the Lord ’s Temple. The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord ’s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. He promised to obey all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll. And he required everyone in Jerusalem and the people of Benjamin to make a similar pledge. The people of Jerusalem did so, renewing their covenant with God, the God of their ancestors. So Josiah removed all detestable idols from the entire land of Israel and required everyone to worship the Lord their God. And throughout the rest of his lifetime, they did not turn away from the Lord , the God of their ancestors.’

2 Chronicles 34

Will you humble yourself? Will you pray? Will you seek God’s face? Will you turn from your wicked ways and turn back to God?

Today’s reading brings us into the New Testament in John 18.

‘Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about his followers and what he had been teaching them. Jesus replied, “Everyone knows what I teach. I have preached regularly in the synagogues and the Temple, where the people gather. I have not spoken in secret. Why are you asking me this question? Ask those who heard me. They know what I said.” Then one of the Temple guards standing nearby slapped Jesus across the face. “Is that the way to answer the high priest?” he demanded. Jesus replied, “If I said anything wrong, you must prove it. But if I’m speaking the truth, why are you beating me?” Then Annas bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas, the high priest.

Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself, they asked him again, “You’re not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it, saying, “No, I am not.” But one of the household slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Didn’t I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus?” Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.

Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover. So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, “What is your charge against this man?” “We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!” they retorted. “Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them. “Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied. (This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction about the way he would die. ) Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him. Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime. But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’?” But they shouted back, “No! Not this man. We want Barabbas!” (Barabbas was a revolutionary.)’

John 18:19-40

Will you pursue truth? Will you choose truth? Will you speak truth? Will you live truth? Will you allow the tests and the trials to be pure joy so that they work in you and help you grow so that in the end you will be complete and lacking nothing? Take hold of the truth for the truth will set you free!

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 3.

‘Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.’

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

As today’s reading comes to a close, let’s take a moment and meditate on today’s psalm from Psalms 46.

‘God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude Come, see the glorious works of the Lord : See how he brings destruction upon the world. He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude’

Psalms 46

Will you choose willingly or will you choose bitterly or will you choose angrily or will you choose fearfully?


What will be your motivation for the choice you will make? Will you make your choice based on the prompting of the Holy Spirit willingly? Will you make your choice based on the circumstance you find yourself in by delaying bitterly? Will you make your choice based on how things happened to you angrily? Will you make your choice hastily out of fear? All we can do is respond. What happens to us or is said to us we can’t control. We can control how we respond. When we get to the decision point, we get to choose how we will respond. What choice will you make today?

Today’s reading starts in Exodus 12.

‘While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, the Lord gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron: “From now on, this month will be the first month of the year for you. Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household. If a family is too small to eat a whole animal, let them share with another family in the neighborhood. Divide the animal according to the size of each family and how much they can eat. The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no defects. “Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight. They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal. That same night they must roast the meat over a fire and eat it along with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast. Do not eat any of the meat raw or boiled in water. The whole animal—including the head, legs, and internal organs—must be roasted over a fire. Do not leave any of it until the next morning. Burn whatever is not eaten before morning. “These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the Lord ’s Passover. On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the Lord ! But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt. “This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord . This is a law for all time. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel. On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food. “Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation. The bread you eat must be made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of that month. During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites. During those days you must not eat anything made with yeast. Wherever you live, eat only bread made without yeast.” Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them, “Go, pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. Drain the blood into a basin. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. And no one may go out through the door until morning. For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down. “Remember, these instructions are a permanent law that you and your descendants must observe forever. When you enter the land the Lord has promised to give you, you will continue to observe this ceremony. Then your children will ask, ‘What does this ceremony mean?’ And you will reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord , for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. And though he struck the Egyptians, he spared our families.’” When Moses had finished speaking, all the people bowed down to the ground and worshiped. So the people of Israel did just as the Lord had commanded through Moses and Aaron. And that night at midnight, the Lord struck down all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn son of the prisoner in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.

Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron during the night. “Get out!” he ordered. “Leave my people—and take the rest of the Israelites with you! Go and worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you said, and be gone. Go, but bless me as you leave.” All the Egyptians urged the people of Israel to get out of the land as quickly as possible, for they thought, “We will all die!” The Israelites took their bread dough before yeast was added. They wrapped their kneading boards in their cloaks and carried them on their shoulders. And the people of Israel did as Moses had instructed; they asked the Egyptians for clothing and articles of silver and gold. The Lord caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So they stripped the Egyptians of their wealth! That night the people of Israel left Rameses and started for Succoth. There were about 600,000 men, plus all the women and children. A rabble of non-Israelites went with them, along with great flocks and herds of livestock. For bread they baked flat cakes from the dough without yeast they had brought from Egypt. It was made without yeast because the people were driven out of Egypt in such a hurry that they had no time to prepare the bread or other food. The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years. In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the Lord ’s forces left the land. On this night the Lord kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation.

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the instructions for the festival of Passover. No outsiders are allowed to eat the Passover meal. But any slave who has been purchased may eat it if he has been circumcised. Temporary residents and hired servants may not eat it. Each Passover lamb must be eaten in one house. Do not carry any of its meat outside, and do not break any of its bones. The whole community of Israel must celebrate this Passover festival. “If there are foreigners living among you who want to celebrate the Lord ’s Passover, let all their males be circumcised. Only then may they celebrate the Passover with you like any native-born Israelite. But no uncircumcised male may ever eat the Passover meal. This instruction applies to everyone, whether a native-born Israelite or a foreigner living among you.” So all the people of Israel followed all the Lord ’s commands to Moses and Aaron. On that very day the Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt like an army.’

Exodus 12

Will you respond like Moses and Aaron and the Israelites out of obedience to honor God? Will you respond like pharaoh out of anger and fear?

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 33.

‘Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. He did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had broken down. He constructed altars for the images of Baal and set up Asherah poles. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them. He built pagan altars in the Temple of the Lord , the place where the Lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the Lord ’s Temple. Manasseh also sacrificed his own sons in the fire in the valley of Ben-Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the Lord ’s sight, arousing his anger. Manasseh even took a carved idol he had made and set it up in God’s Temple, the very place where God had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws, decrees, and regulations given through Moses—I will not send them into exile from this land that I set aside for your ancestors.” But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the Lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land. The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. So the Lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God! After this Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, from west of the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley to the Fish Gate, and continuing around the hill of Ophel. He built the wall very high. And he stationed his military officers in all of the fortified towns of Judah. Manasseh also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the Lord ’s Temple. He tore down all the altars he had built on the hill where the Temple stood and all the altars that were in Jerusalem, and he dumped them outside the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the Lord , the God of Israel. However, the people still sacrificed at the pagan shrines, though only to the Lord their God. The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, his prayer to God, and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the Lord , the God of Israel, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel. Manasseh’s prayer, the account of the way God answered him, and an account of all his sins and unfaithfulness are recorded in The Record of the Seers. It includes a list of the locations where he built pagan shrines and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself and repented. When Manasseh died, he was buried in his palace. Then his son Amon became the next king.

Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. He did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. He worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols his father had made. But unlike his father, he did not humble himself before the Lord . Instead, Amon sinned even more. Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.’

2 Chronicles 33

Do you remember? Don’t allow peace or calm to allow you to forget!

Today’s reading continues into the New Testament in John 18.

‘After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove. Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked. “Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied. “ I Am he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) As Jesus said “ I Am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! Once more he asked them, “Who are you looking for?” And again they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.” “I told you that I Am he,” Jesus said. “And since I am the one you want, let these others go.” He did this to fulfill his own statement: “I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.” Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?”

So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. First they took him to Annas, since he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time. Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “It’s better that one man should die for the people.”

Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus. Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in. The woman asked Peter, “You’re not one of that man’s disciples, are you?” “No,” he said, “I am not.” Because it was cold, the household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves, and Peter stood with them, warming himself.’

John 18:1-18

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 2.

‘Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God —his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, “Who can know the Lord ’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.’

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Today’s reading concludes in the book of Psalms. Let’s meditate on today’s psalm from Psalms 45.

‘Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet. You are the most handsome of all. Gracious words stream from your lips. God himself has blessed you forever. Put on your sword, O mighty warrior! You are so glorious, so majestic! In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds! Your arrows are sharp, piercing your enemies’ hearts. The nations fall beneath your feet. Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. You love justice and hate evil. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else. Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume your robes. In ivory palaces the music of strings entertains you. Kings’ daughters are among your noble women. At your right side stands the queen, wearing jewelry of finest gold from Ophir! Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say. Forget your people and your family far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. The princess of Tyre will shower you with gifts. The wealthy will beg your favor. The bride, a princess, looks glorious in her golden gown. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. What a joyful and enthusiastic procession as they enter the king’s palace! Your sons will become kings like their father. You will make them rulers over many lands. I will bring honor to your name in every generation. Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.’

Psalms 45

Could today be the day you decide?


What will you do about the choice you have to make? How will you respond the decision that is required of you? Do you know the plan for what you are to do? Are you ready to do it? Don’t allow a hard heart to keep you from doing what is right! Don’t allow pride to keep you from humbling yourself and doing what is right! When you receive the ask, the call, the purpose, the plan, allow the Holy Spirit rather than your own self to direct your steps, allow God to make your path straight, and avoid the troubles that could or would have come from making decisions based on hardheartedness or stubbornness or pride. Make your decision count for the glory of God! Be the good shepherd that God is calling you to be so that you can lead the flock you have been given from where you are at today into the promises of tomorrow.

Today’s reading begins in the book of Exodus and will bring us through chapters 10 and 11.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the Lord .” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord , the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you refuse, watch out! For tomorrow I will bring a swarm of locusts on your country. They will cover the land so that you won’t be able to see the ground. They will devour what little is left of your crops after the hailstorm, including all the trees growing in the fields. They will overrun your palaces and the homes of your officials and all the houses in Egypt. Never in the history of Egypt have your ancestors seen a plague like this one!” And with that, Moses turned and left Pharaoh. Pharaoh’s officials now came to Pharaoh and appealed to him. “How long will you let this man hold us hostage? Let the men go to worship the Lord their God! Don’t you realize that Egypt lies in ruins?” So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “All right,” he told them, “go and worship the Lord your God. But who exactly will be going with you?” Moses replied, “We will all go—young and old, our sons and daughters, and our flocks and herds. We must all join together in celebrating a festival to the Lord .” Pharaoh retorted, “The Lord will certainly need to be with you if I let you take your little ones! I can see through your evil plan. Never! Only the men may go and worship the Lord , since that is what you requested.” And Pharaoh threw them out of the palace. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring on the locusts. Let them cover the land and devour every plant that survived the hailstorm.” So Moses raised his staff over Egypt, and the Lord caused an east wind to blow over the land all that day and through the night. When morning arrived, the east wind had brought the locusts. And the locusts swarmed over the whole land of Egypt, settling in dense swarms from one end of the country to the other. It was the worst locust plague in Egyptian history, and there has never been another one like it. For the locusts covered the whole country and darkened the land. They devoured every plant in the fields and all the fruit on the trees that had survived the hailstorm. Not a single leaf was left on the trees and plants throughout the land of Egypt. Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you,” he confessed. “Forgive my sin, just this once, and plead with the Lord your God to take away this death from me.” So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and pleaded with the Lord . The Lord responded by shifting the wind, and the strong west wind blew the locusts into the Red Sea. Not a single locust remained in all the land of Egypt. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart again, so he refused to let the people go.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward heaven, and the land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it.” So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days. During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived. Finally, Pharaoh called for Moses. “Go and worship the Lord ,” he said. “But leave your flocks and herds here. You may even take your little ones with you.” “No,” Moses said, “you must provide us with animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings to the Lord our God. All our livestock must go with us, too; not a hoof can be left behind. We must choose our sacrifices for the Lord our God from among these animals. And we won’t know how we are to worship the Lord until we get there.” But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart once more, and he would not let them go. “Get out of here!” Pharaoh shouted at Moses. “I’m warning you. Never come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you will die!” “Very well,” Moses replied. “I will never see your face again.”’

Exodus 10

Hardheartedness let the plagues continue. Stubbornness let the plagues continue. Pride let the plagues continue.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave. Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” (Now the Lord had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike.) Moses had announced to Pharaoh, “This is what the Lord says: At midnight tonight I will pass through the heart of Egypt. All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die. Then a loud wail will rise throughout the land of Egypt, a wail like no one has heard before or will ever hear again. But among the Israelites it will be so peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites. All the officials of Egypt will run to me and fall to the ground before me. ‘Please leave!’ they will beg. ‘Hurry! And take all your followers with you.’ Only then will I go!” Then, burning with anger, Moses left Pharaoh. Now the Lord had told Moses earlier, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, but then I will do even more mighty miracles in the land of Egypt.” Moses and Aaron performed these miracles in Pharaoh’s presence, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the country.’

Exodus 11

Look around. What is required for God’s plan and purpose to be accomplished? What is required for God’s will to be accomplished? What is required for such incredible honor and glory to be given to God? Will it take miracles? Will it take signs? Will it take trust? Will it take obedience? Do you know what God desires of you? Do you know what God wants you to do? Lean not on your own understanding! Put your hope and trust in God! Ask God for wisdom for He will give it generously and without finding fault. Submit to God in all your ways so that He will make your path straight!

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 32.

‘After Hezekiah had faithfully carried out this work, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified towns, giving orders for his army to break through their walls. When Hezekiah realized that Sennacherib also intended to attack Jerusalem, he consulted with his officials and military advisers, and they decided to stop the flow of the springs outside the city. They organized a huge work crew to stop the flow of the springs, cutting off the brook that ran through the fields. For they said, “Why should the kings of Assyria come here and find plenty of water?” Then Hezekiah worked hard at repairing all the broken sections of the wall, erecting towers, and constructing a second wall outside the first. He also reinforced the supporting terraces in the City of David and manufactured large numbers of weapons and shields. He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate. Then Hezekiah encouraged them by saying: “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” Hezekiah’s words greatly encouraged the people.

While King Sennacherib of Assyria was still besieging the town of Lachish, he sent his officers to Jerusalem with this message for Hezekiah and all the people in the city: “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you think you can survive my siege of Jerusalem? Hezekiah has said, ‘The Lord our God will rescue us from the king of Assyria.’ Surely Hezekiah is misleading you, sentencing you to death by famine and thirst! Don’t you realize that Hezekiah is the very person who destroyed all the Lord ’s shrines and altars? He commanded Judah and Jerusalem to worship only at the altar at the Temple and to offer sacrifices on it alone. “Surely you must realize what I and the other kings of Assyria before me have done to all the people of the earth! Were any of the gods of those nations able to rescue their people from my power? Which of their gods was able to rescue its people from the destructive power of my predecessors? What makes you think your God can rescue you from me? Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you! Don’t let him fool you like this! I say it again—no god of any nation or kingdom has ever yet been able to rescue his people from me or my ancestors. How much less will your God rescue you from my power!” And Sennacherib’s officers further mocked the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah, heaping insult upon insult. The king also sent letters scorning the Lord , the God of Israel. He wrote, “Just as the gods of all the other nations failed to rescue their people from my power, so the God of Hezekiah will also fail.” The Assyrian officials who brought the letters shouted this in Hebrew to the people gathered on the walls of the city, trying to terrify them so it would be easier to capture the city. These officers talked about the God of Jerusalem as though he were one of the pagan gods, made by human hands. Then King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to God in heaven. And the Lord sent an angel who destroyed the Assyrian army with all its commanders and officers. So Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace to his own land. And when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him there with a sword. That is how the Lord rescued Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the others who threatened them. So there was peace throughout the land. From then on King Hezekiah became highly respected among all the surrounding nations, and many gifts for the Lord arrived at Jerusalem, with valuable presents for King Hezekiah, too.

About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill. He prayed to the Lord , who healed him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah did not respond appropriately to the kindness shown him, and he became proud. So the Lord ’s anger came against him and against Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself and repented of his pride, as did the people of Jerusalem. So the Lord ’s anger did not fall on them during Hezekiah’s lifetime. Hezekiah was very wealthy and highly honored. He built special treasury buildings for his silver, gold, precious stones, and spices, and for his shields and other valuable items. He also constructed many storehouses for his grain, new wine, and olive oil; and he made many stalls for his cattle and pens for his flocks of sheep and goats. He built many towns and acquired vast flocks and herds, for God had given him great wealth. He blocked up the upper spring of Gihon and brought the water down through a tunnel to the west side of the City of David. And so he succeeded in everything he did. However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.

The rest of the events in Hezekiah’s reign and his acts of devotion are recorded in The Vision of the Prophet Isaiah Son of Amoz, which is included in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. When Hezekiah died, he was buried in the upper area of the royal cemetery, and all Judah and Jerusalem honored him at his death. And his son Manasseh became the next king.’

2 Chronicles 32

We must not allow the fear of man to keep us from all God has for us. Let’s put our hope and trust in God! Let’s do what God says is right and just! Let’s not allow the threats of man cause any fear! Fear Not just believe what God has planned and purposed for you! Trust Him and don’t allow mocking of your God or your faith because God will not be mocked. The battle belongs to the Lord!

Today’s reading takes us into the New Testament into John 17.

‘“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”’

John 17:20-26

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 2.

‘When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.’

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

So as we close and consider what is to be, let’s close and meditate on today’s psalm from Psalms 44.

‘O God, we have heard it with our own ears— our ancestors have told us of all you did in their day, in days long ago: You drove out the pagan nations by your power and gave all the land to our ancestors. You crushed their enemies and set our ancestors free. They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them. You are my King and my God. You command victories for Israel. Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes. I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us. O God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name. Interlude But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor. You no longer lead our armies to battle. You make us retreat from our enemies and allow those who hate us to plunder our land. You have butchered us like sheep and scattered us among the nations. You sold your precious people for a pittance, making nothing on the sale. You let our neighbors mock us. We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us. You have made us the butt of their jokes; they shake their heads at us in scorn. We can’t escape the constant humiliation; shame is written across our faces. All we hear are the taunts of our mockers. All we see are our vengeful enemies. All this has happened though we have not forgotten you. We have not violated your covenant. Our hearts have not deserted you. We have not strayed from your path. Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home. You have covered us with darkness and death. If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods, God would surely have known it, for he knows the secrets of every heart. But for your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep. Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Get up! Do not reject us forever. Why do you look the other way? Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression? We collapse in the dust, lying face down in the dirt. Rise up! Help us! Ransom us because of your unfailing love.’

Psalms 44

How much do you trust Him?


What would it take for you to wait upon Him? Could you wait and trust Him before trying to take things into your own hands? Could you trust that His plans are good? Could you trust that His timing is perfect? Could you believe that His Words are true? Will you allow it to happen in His timing and His ways which are so much greater, better, and higher that your own ways?

As I pose these questions I flash back on how for almost 9 months people were telling me something. I could have tried to do it in my own strength or try to go my own way but I waited on the Lord, asking and praying to Him. Should I stay or should I go? Receive message through a sermon – “stay in the boat” by the same person who happened to have tweeted when I last was faced with a crossroads which said to “get out of the boat”. Thinking it meant that I was to stay at the same place but maybe a different role or group, I felt a prompting of exciting for a new role but again gave it up to God for wisdom. Again He clarified that I was to be a good shepherd and not abandon the flock He had given me, so I knew I was to stay not only to stay but to continue in the same role. As the year began, our church had a week of prayer and fasting. As we go to the end of the week, I had my last meeting of the day and to my surprise, God pulled His plan all together two fold first with finding me help and second in opening the opportunity to bring in a new entry level position. Instead of trying to just go it my own way, I trusted God and kept asking, kept seeking, and kept knocking and just as His Word promises when we ask He will answer, when we seek we will find, and when we knock He will open. When we try to go it our own way, we don’t have the oversight and perspective like Him. He knows better than we do. He knows what we have need of even before we ask. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

Today’s reading starts us in Genesis 29.

‘When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.” She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.” Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!” Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord !” And then she stopped having children.’

Genesis 29:31-35

We continue into Genesis 30.

‘When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am I God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!” Then Rachel told him, “Take my maid, Bilhah, and sleep with her. She will bear children for me, and through her I can have a family, too.” So Rachel gave her servant, Bilhah, to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her. Bilhah became pregnant and presented him with a son. Rachel named him Dan, for she said, “God has vindicated me! He has heard my request and given me a son.” Then Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, “I have struggled hard with my sister, and I’m winning!” Meanwhile, Leah realized that she wasn’t getting pregnant anymore, so she took her servant, Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Soon Zilpah presented him with a son. Leah named him Gad, for she said, “How fortunate I am!” Then Zilpah gave Jacob a second son. And Leah named him Asher, for she said, “What joy is mine! Now the other women will celebrate with me.” One day during the wheat harvest, Reuben found some mandrakes growing in a field and brought them to his mother, Leah. Rachel begged Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” But Leah angrily replied, “Wasn’t it enough that you stole my husband? Now will you steal my son’s mandrakes, too?” Rachel answered, “I will let Jacob sleep with you tonight if you give me some of the mandrakes.” So that evening, as Jacob was coming home from the fields, Leah went out to meet him. “You must come and sleep with me tonight!” she said. “I have paid for you with some mandrakes that my son found.” So that night he slept with Leah. And God answered Leah’s prayers. She became pregnant again and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. She named him Issachar, for she said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband as a wife.” Then Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob. She named him Zebulun, for she said, “God has given me a good reward. Now my husband will treat me with respect, for I have given him six sons.” Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah. Then God remembered Rachel’s plight and answered her prayers by enabling her to have children. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. “God has removed my disgrace,” she said. And she named him Joseph, for she said, “May the Lord add yet another son to my family.”

Soon after Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Please release me so I can go home to my own country. Let me take my wives and children, for I have earned them by serving you, and let me be on my way. You certainly know how hard I have worked for you.” “Please listen to me,” Laban replied. “I have become wealthy, for the Lord has blessed me because of you. Tell me how much I owe you. Whatever it is, I’ll pay it.” Jacob replied, “You know how hard I’ve worked for you, and how your flocks and herds have grown under my care. You had little indeed before I came, but your wealth has increased enormously. The Lord has blessed you through everything I’ve done. But now, what about me? When can I start providing for my own family?” “What wages do you want?” Laban asked again. Jacob replied, “Don’t give me anything. Just do this one thing, and I’ll continue to tend and watch over your flocks. Let me inspect your flocks today and remove all the sheep and goats that are speckled or spotted, along with all the black sheep. Give these to me as my wages. In the future, when you check on the animals you have given me as my wages, you’ll see that I have been honest. If you find in my flock any goats without speckles or spots, or any sheep that are not black, you will know that I have stolen them from you.” “All right,” Laban replied. “It will be as you say.” But that very day Laban went out and removed the male goats that were streaked and spotted, all the female goats that were speckled and spotted or had white patches, and all the black sheep. He placed them in the care of his own sons, who took them a three-days’ journey from where Jacob was. Meanwhile, Jacob stayed and cared for the rest of Laban’s flock. Then Jacob took some fresh branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees and peeled off strips of bark, making white streaks on them. Then he placed these peeled branches in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink, for that was where they mated. And when they mated in front of the white-streaked branches, they gave birth to young that were streaked, speckled, and spotted. Jacob separated those lambs from Laban’s flock. And at mating time he turned the flock to face Laban’s animals that were streaked or black. This is how he built his own flock instead of increasing Laban’s. Whenever the stronger females were ready to mate, Jacob would place the peeled branches in the watering troughs in front of them. Then they would mate in front of the branches. But he didn’t do this with the weaker ones, so the weaker lambs belonged to Laban, and the stronger ones were Jacob’s. As a result, Jacob became very wealthy, with large flocks of sheep and goats, female and male servants, and many camels and donkeys.’

Genesis 30

Will you try to do it your way or will you trust God’s way? How much will you choose to trust God? Will you ask Him for wisdom? Will you ask Him for discernment? How will you respond to the way you are being treated?

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Today’s reading continues into 1 Chronicles 27.

‘This is the list of Israelite generals and captains, and their officers, who served the king by supervising the army divisions that were on duty each month of the year. Each division served for one month and had 24,000 troops. Jashobeam son of Zabdiel was commander of the first division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the first month. He was a descendant of Perez and was in charge of all the army officers for the first month. Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah, was commander of the second division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the second month. Mikloth was his chief officer. Benaiah son of Jehoiada the priest was commander of the third division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the third month. This was the Benaiah who commanded David’s elite military group known as the Thirty. His son Ammizabad was his chief officer. Asahel, the brother of Joab, was commander of the fourth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the fourth month. Asahel was succeeded by his son Zebadiah. Shammah the Izrahite was commander of the fifth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the fifth month. Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa was commander of the sixth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the sixth month. Helez, a descendant of Ephraim from Pelon, was commander of the seventh division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the seventh month. Sibbecai, a descendant of Zerah from Hushah, was commander of the eighth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the eighth month. Abiezer from Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin was commander of the ninth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the ninth month. Maharai, a descendant of Zerah from Netophah, was commander of the tenth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the tenth month. Benaiah from Pirathon in Ephraim was commander of the eleventh division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the eleventh month. Heled, a descendant of Othniel from Netophah, was commander of the twelfth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the twelfth month.

The following were the tribes of Israel and their leaders:

–1 Chronicles 27

These were the leaders of the tribes of Israel.
When David took his census, he did not count those who were younger than twenty years of age, because the Lord had promised to make the Israelites as numerous as the stars in heaven. Joab son of Zeruiah began the census but never finished it because the anger of God fell on Israel. The total number was never recorded in King David’s official records. Azmaveth son of Adiel was in charge of the palace treasuries. Jonathan son of Uzziah was in charge of the regional treasuries throughout the towns, villages, and fortresses of Israel. Ezri son of Kelub was in charge of the field workers who farmed the king’s lands. Shimei from Ramah was in charge of the king’s vineyards. Zabdi from Shepham was responsible for the grapes and the supplies of wine. Baal-hanan from Geder was in charge of the king’s olive groves and sycamore-fig trees in the foothills of Judah. Joash was responsible for the supplies of olive oil. Shitrai from Sharon was in charge of the cattle on the Sharon Plain. Shaphat son of Adlai was responsible for the cattle in the valleys. Obil the Ishmaelite was in charge of the camels. Jehdeiah from Meronoth was in charge of the donkeys. Jaziz the Hagrite was in charge of the king’s flocks of sheep and goats. All these officials were overseers of King David’s property. Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a wise counselor to the king, a man of great insight, and a scribe. Jehiel the Hacmonite was responsible for teaching the king’s sons. Ahithophel was the royal adviser. Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend. Ahithophel was succeeded by Jehoiada son of Benaiah and by Abiathar. Joab was commander of the king’s army.’

1 Chronicles 27 (cont’d)

We have all been given a purpose. We have all been created on purpose. We have all been created with purpose. We have all be created for a purpose. Will you accept it? Will you seek it? Will you pursue it?

Today’s reading continues into John 7:53 which says

‘Then the meeting broke up, and everybody went home.’

John 7:53

and then we continue to John 8:1-11. Will you turn to God in order to not be trapped or tricked?

‘Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”’

Imagine what Jesus was writing that made the other disappear? Imagine what that women felt with Jesus’s response and commandment? We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We have all been saved by grace through faith in Jesus. If we will choose to receive it that is. Have you accepted this grace from God? Have you chosen to be the recipient?

John 8:1-11

Today’s reading next brings us into Galatians 4:21-31.

‘Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says? The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife. The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise. These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law that enslaved them. And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia, because she and her children live in slavery to the law. But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother. As Isaiah said, “Rejoice, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into a joyful shout, you who have never been in labor! For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband!” And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac. But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit. But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.’

Galatians 4:21-31

So will you try to do it through human strength? Will you choose to do it God’s way and in His power? Won’t you receive the promise? Won’t you trust and believe God’s Word?

Let’s close and meditate on today’s psalm together from Psalm 21.

‘How the king rejoices in your strength, O Lord ! He shouts with joy because you give him victory. For you have given him his heart’s desire; you have withheld nothing he requested. Interlude You welcomed him back with success and prosperity. You placed a crown of finest gold on his head. He asked you to preserve his life, and you granted his request. The days of his life stretch on forever. Your victory brings him great honor, and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty. You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence. For the king trusts in the Lord . The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling. You will capture all your enemies. Your strong right hand will seize all who hate you. You will throw them in a flaming furnace when you appear. The Lord will consume them in his anger; fire will devour them. You will wipe their children from the face of the earth; they will never have descendants. Although they plot against you, their evil schemes will never succeed. For they will turn and run when they see your arrows aimed at them. Rise up, O Lord , in all your power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.’

Psalm 21