Let’s do it! Not a better us but a Spirit filled Spirit empowered us!


So we took care of what was holding us back. So now let’s do it. Let’s not allow the lies or the fears of the world keep us from accomplishing what God has prepared in advance for us to do. Do not be afraid or discouraged! Walk it out trusting in what God has called for you to accomplish! If it is in the Bible we want it. If it isn’t then don’t waste your time or energy on it. Put your hope and trust in God and walk out what it is He is calling you to do. Is it to lead people? Then do it. Is it to serve people? Then do it. Is it to be generous? Then do it. Whatever it is that God has called you to go or to do, go or do it! Let’s do it! Not in our own strength but instead filled and empowered and inspired by the Holy Spirit!


Today’s reading gets us started in Joshua:

‘Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Take all your fighting men and attack Ai, for I have given you the king of Ai, his people, his town, and his land. You will destroy them as you destroyed Jericho and its king. But this time you may keep the plunder and the livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the town.” So Joshua and all the fighting men set out to attack Ai. Joshua chose 30,000 of his best warriors and sent them out at night with these orders: “Hide in ambush close behind the town and be ready for action. When our main army attacks, the men of Ai will come out to fight as they did before, and we will run away from them. We will let them chase us until we have drawn them away from the town. For they will say, ‘The Israelites are running away from us as they did before.’ Then, while we are running from them, you will jump up from your ambush and take possession of the town, for the Lord your God will give it to you. Set the town on fire, as the Lord has commanded. You have your orders.” So they left and went to the place of ambush between Bethel and the west side of Ai. But Joshua remained among the people in the camp that night. Early the next morning Joshua roused his men and started toward Ai, accompanied by the elders of Israel. All the fighting men who were with Joshua marched in front of the town and camped on the north side of Ai, with a valley between them and the town. That night Joshua sent about 5,000 men to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the town. So they stationed the main army north of the town and the ambush west of the town. Joshua himself spent that night in the valley. When the king of Ai saw the Israelites across the valley, he and all his army hurried out early in the morning and attacked the Israelites at a place overlooking the Jordan Valley. But he didn’t realize there was an ambush behind the town. Joshua and the Israelite army fled toward the wilderness as though they were badly beaten. Then all the men in the town were called out to chase after them. In this way, they were lured away from the town. There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel who did not chase after the Israelites, and the town was left wide open. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Point the spear in your hand toward Ai, for I will hand the town over to you.” Joshua did as he was commanded. As soon as Joshua gave this signal, all the men in ambush jumped up from their position and poured into the town. They quickly captured it and set it on fire. When the men of Ai looked behind them, smoke from the town was filling the sky, and they had nowhere to go. For the Israelites who had fled in the direction of the wilderness now turned on their pursuers. When Joshua and all the other Israelites saw that the ambush had succeeded and that smoke was rising from the town, they turned and attacked the men of Ai. Meanwhile, the Israelites who were inside the town came out and attacked the enemy from the rear. So the men of Ai were caught in the middle, with Israelite fighters on both sides. Israel attacked them, and not a single person survived or escaped. Only the king of Ai was taken alive and brought to Joshua. When the Israelite army finished chasing and killing all the men of Ai in the open fields, they went back and finished off everyone inside. So the entire population of Ai, including men and women, was wiped out that day—12,000 in all. For Joshua kept holding out his spear until everyone who had lived in Ai was completely destroyed. Only the livestock and the treasures of the town were not destroyed, for the Israelites kept these as plunder for themselves, as the Lord had commanded Joshua. So Joshua burned the town of Ai, and it became a permanent mound of ruins, desolate to this very day. Joshua impaled the king of Ai on a sharpened pole and left him there until evening. At sunset the Israelites took down the body, as Joshua commanded, and threw it in front of the town gate. They piled a great heap of stones over him that can still be seen today.

Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord , the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal. He followed the commands that Moses the Lord ’s servant had written in the Book of Instruction: “Make me an altar from stones that are uncut and have not been shaped with iron tools.” Then on the altar they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord . And as the Israelites watched, Joshua copied onto the stones of the altar the instructions Moses had given them. Then all the Israelites—foreigners and native-born alike—along with the elders, officers, and judges, were divided into two groups. One group stood in front of Mount Gerizim, the other in front of Mount Ebal. Each group faced the other, and between them stood the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant. This was all done according to the commands that Moses, the servant of the Lord , had previously given for blessing the people of Israel. Joshua then read to them all the blessings and curses Moses had written in the Book of Instruction. Every word of every command that Moses had ever given was read to the entire assembly of Israel, including the women and children and the foreigners who lived among them.’

Joshua 8

Today’s reading then brings us into Isaiah:

‘But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord , your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west. I will say to the north and south, ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.’” Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf. Gather the nations together! Assemble the peoples of the world! Which of their idols has ever foretold such things? Which can predict what will happen tomorrow? Where are the witnesses of such predictions? Who can verify that they spoke the truth? “But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the Lord . “You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God— there never has been, and there never will be. I, yes I, am the Lord , and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the Lord . “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”

This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sakes I will send an army against Babylon, forcing the Babylonians to flee in those ships they are so proud of. I am the Lord , your Holy One, Israel’s Creator and King. I am the Lord , who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses. I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned, their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick. “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed. I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world. “But, dear family of Jacob, you refuse to ask for my help. You have grown tired of me, O Israel! You have not brought me sheep or goats for burnt offerings. You have not honored me with sacrifices, though I have not burdened and wearied you with requests for grain offerings and frankincense. You have not brought me fragrant calamus or pleased me with the fat from sacrifices. Instead, you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your faults. “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. Let us review the situation together, and you can present your case to prove your innocence. From the very beginning, your first ancestor sinned against me; all your leaders broke my laws. That is why I have disgraced your priests; I have decreed complete destruction for Jacob and shame for Israel.’

Isaiah 43

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament, first in Matthew:

‘On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there. When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve. While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?” He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!” Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?” And Jesus told him, “You have said it.” As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

On the way, Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.’

Matthew 26:17-35

and then into Philippians:

‘If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News. I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here. And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon. Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need. I am sending him because he has been longing to see you, and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill. And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him—and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. So I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him, and then I will not be so worried about you. Welcome him in the Lord’s love and with great joy, and give him the honor that people like him deserve. For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.’

Philippians 2:19-30

Today’s reading closes with a Psalm:

‘Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer. How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies? Interlude You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him. Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Interlude Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord . Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, Lord . You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord , will keep me safe.’

Psalms 4

Will you do what God tells you rather than what men order you to do?


Will you be obedient to God’s Spirit and do what He tells you to do even at the risk of orders? Will you be obedient to God’s Spirit and do what He tells you to do even at the threats of punishment? Will you be obedient to God’s Spirit and do what He tells you to do even the authorities are telling you to do something else?


Today’s reading shows us in Numbers 23 how Balaam responds to having been called by King Balak.

‘Then Balaam said to King Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven young bulls and seven rams for me to sacrifice.” Balak followed his instructions, and the two of them sacrificed a young bull and a ram on each altar. Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offerings, and I will go to see if the Lord will respond to me. Then I will tell you whatever he reveals to me.” So Balaam went alone to the top of a bare hill, and God met him there. Balaam said to him, “I have prepared seven altars and have sacrificed a young bull and a ram on each altar.” The Lord gave Balaam a message for King Balak. Then he said, “Go back to Balak and give him my message.” So Balaam returned and found the king standing beside his burnt offerings with all the officials of Moab. This was the message Balaam delivered: “Balak summoned me to come from Aram; the king of Moab brought me from the eastern hills. ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me! Come and announce Israel’s doom.’ But how can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I condemn those whom the Lord has not condemned? I see them from the cliff tops; I watch them from the hills. I see a people who live by themselves, set apart from other nations. Who can count Jacob’s descendants, as numerous as dust? Who can count even a fourth of Israel’s people? Let me die like the righteous; let my life end like theirs.” Then King Balak demanded of Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies. Instead, you have blessed them!” But Balaam replied, “I will speak only the message that the Lord puts in my mouth.”

Then King Balak told him, “Come with me to another place. There you will see another part of the nation of Israel, but not all of them. Curse at least that many!” So Balak took Balaam to the plateau of Zophim on Pisgah Peak. He built seven altars there and offered a young bull and a ram on each altar. Then Balaam said to the king, “Stand here by your burnt offerings while I go over there to meet the Lord .” And the Lord met Balaam and gave him a message. Then he said, “Go back to Balak and give him my message.” So Balaam returned and found the king standing beside his burnt offerings with all the officials of Moab. “What did the Lord say?” Balak asked eagerly. This was the message Balaam delivered: “Rise up, Balak, and listen! Hear me, son of Zippor. God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Listen, I received a command to bless; God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it! No misfortune is in his plan for Jacob; no trouble is in store for Israel. For the Lord their God is with them; he has been proclaimed their king. God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a wild ox. No curse can touch Jacob; no magic has any power against Israel. For now it will be said of Jacob, ‘What wonders God has done for Israel!’ These people rise up like a lioness, like a majestic lion rousing itself. They refuse to rest until they have feasted on prey, drinking the blood of the slaughtered!”

Then Balak said to Balaam, “Fine, but if you won’t curse them, at least don’t bless them!” But Balaam replied to Balak, “Didn’t I tell you that I can do only what the Lord tells me?” Then King Balak said to Balaam, “Come, I will take you to one more place. Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them from there.” So Balak took Balaam to the top of Mount Peor, overlooking the wasteland. Balaam again told Balak, “Build me seven altars, and prepare seven young bulls and seven rams for me to sacrifice.” ‘

Numbers 23

Today’s reading then brings us into Amos 5

‘What sorrow awaits you who say, “If only the day of the Lord were here!” You have no idea what you are wishing for. That day will bring darkness, not light. In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion— only to meet a bear. Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house— and he’s bitten by a snake. Yes, the day of the Lord will be dark and hopeless, without a ray of joy or hope. “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. “Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, Israel? No, you served your pagan gods—Sakkuth your king god and Kaiwan your star god—the images you made for yourselves. So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus, ” says the Lord , whose name is the God of Heaven’s Armies.’

Amos 5:18-27

and continues into Amos 6.

‘What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury in Jerusalem, and you who feel secure in Samaria! You are famous and popular in Israel, and people go to you for help. But go over to Calneh and see what happened there. Then go to the great city of Hamath and down to the Philistine city of Gath. You are no better than they were, and look at how they were destroyed. You push away every thought of coming disaster, but your actions only bring the day of judgment closer. How terrible for you who sprawl on ivory beds and lounge on your couches, eating the meat of tender lambs from the flock and of choice calves fattened in the stall. You sing trivial songs to the sound of the harp and fancy yourselves to be great musicians like David. You drink wine by the bowlful and perfume yourselves with fragrant lotions. You care nothing about the ruin of your nation. Therefore, you will be the first to be led away as captives. Suddenly, all your parties will end. The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his own name, and this is what he, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, says: “I despise the arrogance of Israel, and I hate their fortresses. I will give this city and everything in it to their enemies.” (If there are ten men left in one house, they will all die. And when a relative who is responsible to dispose of the dead goes into the house to carry out the bodies, he will ask the last survivor, “Is anyone else with you?” When the person begins to swear, “No, by . . . ,” he will interrupt and say, “Stop! Don’t even mention the name of the Lord .”) When the Lord gives the command, homes both great and small will be smashed to pieces. Can horses gallop over boulders? Can oxen be used to plow them? But that’s how foolish you are when you turn justice into poison and the sweet fruit of righteousness into bitterness. And you brag about your conquest of Lo-debar. You boast, “Didn’t we take Karnaim by our own strength?” “O people of Israel, I am about to bring an enemy nation against you,” says the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. “They will oppress you throughout your land— from Lebo-hamath in the north to the Arabah Valley in the south.”’

Amos 6

Today’s reading then takes us into the New Testament and starts us with Matthew 7

‘“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.’

Matthew 7:15-29

and continues into Romans 5.

‘Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.’

Romans 5:1-11

Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 113.

‘Praise the Lord ! Yes, give praise, O servants of the Lord . Praise the name of the Lord ! Blessed be the name of the Lord now and forever. Everywhere—from east to west— praise the name of the Lord . For the Lord is high above the nations; his glory is higher than the heavens. Who can be compared with the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high? He stoops to look down on heaven and on earth. He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, even the princes of his own people! He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the Lord !’

Psalms 113

So how will you respond when you are being called to go against the commandments of God? So how will you respond when you are being called to go against the Holy Spirit’s instruction? So how will you respond when you are being told to do something contrary to God’s direction? What is most important to you? What will direct your steps and actions and words? Who will you obey?

Appeal vs Command…


Do you ask or do you tell? Do you ask or command to? Do you urgently ask rather than commanding others?

I’ve found people tend to like to be asked if they can do things over being told what to do. I have found most of the time they will make the right choice and get to do it rather than it turning into a have to do it type of conversation.

Today’s reading comes from Philemon and we see how Paul uses the tact of appealing rather than commanding in regards to Onesimus.

Greeting

‘Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘

Philemon’s Love and Faith

‘I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. ‘

Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

‘Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you. ‘

Final Greetings

‘Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. ‘

— Philemon 1

Today’s devotional from the Global Impact Bible on human rights speaks to Philemon verse 16 which says: “no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord”.

It speaks to an influential anti-slavery symbol that was created back in the 18th century and created by Josiah Wedgwood.

Mar 28 - Philemon 16 - Am I not a man and a brother - symbol of the abolitionist cause to end slavery

It went beyond its origin in England as it was shipped to Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia in 1788 and became a powerful symbol of the abolitionist cause.


Heavenly Father,
I need Your wisdom today. I need Your view, Your plan, Your direction to help me through this day. I grab hold of the fact that when I don’t know what to do that I do what I know how to do. I turn to You. I worship You. I praise You. I live my life as a gift of today for today is the day that You have made and so I will rejoice and be glad in it. I live my life with the strength that comes from knowing the joy of the Lord is my strength. Help me today Lord with wisdom and vision. Help me Lord with boldness and courage. Help me Lord to speak out of love and compassion. Help me Lord to point people to You by the way I live my life. Help me I pray to keep putting my hope and my trust in You for I know that by doing this You will renew my strength! Help me Lord to not grow weary in doing  Help me Lord to take hold of your promise that “those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint“. Lord, grant me peace. Lord, grant me focus. Lord, grant me wisdom I pray. I ask all of this in Jesus’ name so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Amen.

Be courageous!


Facing something big? Facing something tough? Facing something challenging? Facing the unknown? Facing something new? Don’t lose hope! Don’t fear! Turn to God to whom there are no surprises, and be courageous!

Turn that feeling in your stomach from worry and fear to excitement! They all create the same feeling, so wire it in your brain to be excited! Let God go before and prepare in advance the good work He has for you to do! Put all your hope and trust in Him! Do what He asks of you and allow Him to take care of the rest! He will make a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way! He will complete the work He has started! Fear Not, Just Believe! Don’t worry! God will never leave you nor abandon you! Don’t fear nor be discouraged! Let’s remember what God has done! Let’s remember what God has commanded! Let’s put all of our hope and trust in Him! Without Him, it’s not worth going!

Don’t allow yourself to become so comfortable that you won’t do what God asks of you! Don’t allow yourself to be so comfortable that you start to disobey and walk away from God! Don’t allow yourself to become so self-confident that you start to go it alone!

Today’s reading starts with Moses telling the people as they are preparing to enter int the promised land…

Chazak! Be Courageous!

1Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2He said to them, “I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in. Adonai has said to me, ‘You are not to cross over this Jordan.’ 3Adonai your God—He will cross over before you. He will destroy these nations from before you, and you will dispossess them. Joshua will cross over before you, just as Adonai has promised. 4“Adonai will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. 5Adonai will give them over to you, and you are to do to them according to all the mitzvot that I commanded you. 6Chazak! Be courageous! Do not be afraid or tremble before them. For Adonai your God—He is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.” 7Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong! Be courageous! For you are to go with this people into the land Adonai has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you are to enable them to inherit it. 8Adonai—He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be discouraged.”

Public Torah Readings

9Moses wrote down this Torah and gave it to the kohanim, the sons of Levi who carry the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai, and to all the elders of Israel. 10Then Moses commanded them saying, “At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of cancelling debts, during the feast of Sukkot, 11when all Israel comes to appear before Adonai your God in the place He chooses, you are to read this Torah before them in their hearing. 12Gather the people—the men and women and little ones, and the outsider within your town gates—so they may hear and so they may learn, and they will fear Adonai your God and take care to do all the words of this Torah. 13So their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear Adonai your God—all the days you live on the land you are about to cross over the Jordan to possess.” 14Then Adonai said to Moses, “Behold, your time to die is near. Call Joshua, and present yourselves at the Tent of Meeting, and I will commission him.” Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the Tent of Meeting. 15Adonai appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood over the opening of the Tent. 16Adonai said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise up and prostitute themselves with the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will abandon Me and break My covenant that I cut with them. 17Then My anger will flare against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them. So they will be devoured, and many evils and troubles will come on them. They will say on that day, ‘Isn’t it because our God is not among us that these evils have come on us?’ 18I will surely hide My face on that day because of all the evil they have done, for they have turned to other gods.

Moses Introduces His Song

19“Now, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to Bnei-Yisrael—put it in their mouth, so that this song may be a witness for Me against Bnei-Yisrael. 20“For when I bring them to the land flowing with milk and honey that I swore to their fathers, and they eat and are satisfied and grow fat—then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and they will spurn Me and break My covenant. 21Now when many evils and troubles have come on them, this song will confront them as a witness; for it will not be forgotten from the mouth of their descendants. For I know the intention they are devising this day, even before I bring them into the land that I swore.” 22That day Moses wrote this song and taught it to Bnei-Yisrael. 23Then he commissioned Joshua son of Nun and said, “Chazak! Be courageous! For you will bring Bnei-Yisrael into the land I swore to them—and I will be with you.” 24Now when Moses had finished writing the words of this Torah on a scroll, right to the end … 25Moses commanded the Levites, carriers of the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai saying, 26“Take this scroll of the Torah, and place it beside the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai your God. It will remain there as a witness against you, 27for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. Indeed, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against Adonai—how much more then after my death? 28Gather to me all the elders of your tribes and your officials, so that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29For I know that after my death you will certainly act corruptly and turn aside from the way I have commanded you. So evil will fall upon you in the latter days, because you will do what is evil in the sight of Adonai, provoking Him to anger by the work of your hands.” 30Moses spoke in the hearing of the whole community of Israel the words of this song, right to the end:

–from Deuteronomy 31

When we have God, then we can see how 1 can put 1,000 to flight and when we partner with another put 10,000 to flight. So work together to finish the work God has planned! Don’t try to go it along! Find a way to delegate the effort to the team. It’s not about fair, for the battle belongs to the Lord! Don’t worry about payback for vengeance and payback are God’s.What will you do? Will you go it God’s way or deal with the consequences of your disobedience?

The Song of Moses

1“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak! Let the earth hear the words of my mouth. 2May my teaching trickle like rain, my speech distill like dew— like gentle rain on new grass, like showers on tender plants. 3For I will proclaim Adonai’s Name, ascribe greatness to our God! 4The Rock—blameless is His work. Indeed, all His ways are just. God of faithfulness without iniquity, righteous and upright is He. 5Did it corrupt Him? No! The blemish is His children’s— a generation crooked and twisted. 6Is this how you pay back Adonai, O foolish, unwise people? Isn’t He your Father who ransomed you? He made you and established you. 7“Remember the days of antiquity, understand the years across generations. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders and they will say to you. 8When Elyon gave nations their heritage, when He separated the sons of man, He set boundaries for the people by the number of Bnei-Yisrael. 9But Adonai’s portion is His people— Jacob is the share of His inheritance. 10He found him in the wilderness land, in the void of a howling waste. He surrounded him, cared for him, guarded him as the pupil of His eye. 11As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, He spreads His wings, catches him, lifts him up on His pinions. 12Adonai alone guided him— there was no foreign god with him. 13He made him mount the heights of the land. so he ate the produce of the field. He suckled him with honey from a rock, with oil from a flinty boulder. 14Butter of cattle and milk of a flock, with fat of lambs, rams of the Bashan and he-goats, with fat of the kidneys of wheat, and blood of grapes you drank. 15But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked— you got fat, you grew thick, you gorged! He forsook God who made him. He mocked the Rock of his salvation. 16They made him jealous with strangers, with abominations they angered Him. 17They sacrificed to demons, a non-god, gods they had not known— to new ones who came in lately, ones your fathers had not dreaded. 18The Rock who birthed you, you ignored. You forgot God who brought you forth. 19“Adonai saw, and He spurned His sons and His daughters out of vexation. 20He said, “I will hide My face from them, I want to see their hereafter. For they are an upside down generation, children with no faithfulness in them. 21They made Me jealous with a non-god. They vexed Me with airy idols. So I will make them jealous with a non-people. With a foolish nation I will vex them. 22For fire has ignited in My nostrils— it will burn to Sheol beneath, devour the earth and her produce, and scorch the foundations of mountains. 23I will heap calamities upon them. With My arrows I will finish them. 24Wasted by famine, ravaged by plague and pestilence so bitter, fangs of beasts I’ll let loose on them, with venom of creepers in the dust. 25Outside the sword deals death, and inside terror— to both young men and young women, infants, with men of gray hair. 26I would have said, ‘I will hack them to pieces, make the memory of them cease from mankind,’ 27except I dread the taunt of the enemy, lest their foes might misconstrue— lest they say, ‘Our hand is held high, and Adonai has not done all this.’ 28For they are a nation lacking counsel, among them there is no understanding. 29“If they were wise, they would discern this, they would understand their hereafter. 30How can one chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them and Adonai had handed them over? 31Surely their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies judge. 32For their vine is from the vine of Sodom and from the terraces of Gomorrah. Its grapes are grapes of poison— bitter clusters on it. 33Venom of serpents is their wine— poison of vipers so cruel. 34Is it not stored up with Me, sealed up in My treasuries? 35Vengeance is Mine, and payback, for the time when their foot staggers. Surely their day of disaster is near— what is prepared rushes on them. 36For Adonai will judge His people— for His servants, He will relent when He sees that strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. 37He will say, ‘Where are their gods, the “rock” they took refuge in? 38Who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their libation? Let them rise up and help you and be a shelter over you! 39See now that I, I am He! There are no other gods beside Me. I bring death and give life, I have wounded but I will heal, and none can rescue from My hand.’ 40“Yes, I lift My hand up to heaven and say, ‘As I Myself live forever, 41when I sharpen My lightning sword and My hand seizes it in judgment, I will return vengeance on My foes, and those who hate Me I will pay back. 42I will make My arrows drunk from blood, and My sword will devour flesh— the blood of the slain and the captive, the head of the leaders of the enemy.’ 43Make His people rejoice, O nations, for He will avenge the blood of His servants. He will return vengeance on His foes, and atone for the land of His people.” 44Then Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people—he and Joshua son of Nun.

45When Moses finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46he said to them, “Put in your hearts all the words that I call as witness against you today—that you may command your children to keep and do all the words of this Torah. 47For it is not an empty thing for you, because it is your life! By this word you will prolong your days on the land, which you are crossing over the Jordan to possess.” 48On that very day, Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 49“Go up this mountain of the Avarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab facing Jericho, and see the land of Canaan, which I am giving to Bnei-Yisrael as a possession. 50On the mountain that you are ascending, there be gathered to your people—as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people— 51because you both broke faith with Me among Bnei-Yisrael at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of Bnei-Yisrael. 52For you will see the land from afar, but you will not enter there, into the land that I am giving to Bnei-Yisrael.”

–from Deuteronomy 32

What a great message yesterday to speak of the truth of the spiritual battle taking place and the importance of a godly mother. Since the battle isn’t against flesh and blood, we need to put on the right equipment for the situation. The belt of truth so that there is integrity, The breastplate of righteousness protecting all the vital parts, The shoes of the gospel to allow us to stand firm, The shield of faith to defend against the fiery darts of the enemy, The helmet of peace to protect our minds and The sword of the spirit which is God’s Word. Some may see them as defensive weapons, but they will allow you to stand firm and move forward for the glory of God. So press on and don’t give up! Don’t lose hope or faith! Stand firm!

So as we have found favor with God through Jesus Christ our Lord, let’s not be burdened by the yoke of slavery! Let’s stand firm! Let’s be lead by the Spirit! Let’s live out the fullness of God’s calling by loving others as ourselves! Let’s not be selfish! Let’s not be self-centered! Let’s step up to God’s higher calling! Let’s not be trying to instigate provoke others into envy.

Freedom Based on Favor

1For freedom, Messiah set us free—so stand firm, and do not be burdened by a yoke of slavery again. 2Listen—I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Messiah will be of no benefit to you. 3Again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised, that he is obligated to keep the whole Torah. 4You who are trying to be justified by Torah have been cut off from Messiah; you have fallen away from grace. 5For through the Ruach, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6For in Messiah Yeshua, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any meaning—but only trust and faithfulness expressing itself through love. 7You were running a great race! Who blocked you from following the truth? 8This detour doesn’t come from the One who calls you. 9A little hametz works its way through the whole batch of dough! 10I am confident in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But the one who is confusing you will pay the penalty, whoever he is. 11As for me, brothers and sisters, if I still proclaim circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case, the stumbling block of the cross has been eliminated. 12I only wish those who are agitating you would castrate themselves!

Walking by the Ruach

13Brothers and sisters, you were called to freedom—only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For the whole Torah can be summed up in a single saying: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not destroyed by one another. 16But I say, walk by the Ruach, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Ruach, but the Ruach sets its desire against the flesh—for these are in opposition to one another, so that you cannot do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Ruach, you are not under law. 19Now the deeds of the flesh are clear: sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, 20idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, 21envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, just as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit God’s kingdom. 22But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control—against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Messiah have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Ruach, let us also walk by the Ruach. 26Let us not become conceited—provoking one another, envying one another.

–from Galatians 5

Let’s be producing good fruit from the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—against such things there is no law) rather than allowing the desires of the flesh to have their way (sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these) and lose out on everything God has for us!

 

 

 

There is importance to order


When I say order what comes to mind for you? Does it make you thing of having things in the right place – sequence, arrangement? (room in order? thing in place?) Does it make you think of a command, direction, or instruction? (being ordered to do something? ordering food?) Does it make you think of class, level, rank, grade, or position? (upper, middle, lower?) Does it make you think of a request? Does it make you think of purpose?

Order is important in math (order of operations) and it is also important in life!

Order is important in language (Imagine if someone asked you to put the word “only” in the right place in the sentence, consider the different meanings) or else we wouldn’t be able to understand one another!

God’s got a plan and a purpose and when we walk in alignment to His order we can keep our hope and trust in Him! He can see the bigger picture so that all the pieces can come together!

Today’s reading starts in Numbers 2 where God speaks to positioning of the tribes. It helps with setting up and tearing down. It helps with protecting the center. It helps ensure everyone understands their position and their place of role and responsibility. It provides protection on all sides.

Order of Ancestral Households

1Adonai said to Moses and Aaron saying, “2Let each man encamp under his own standard among the banners of their ancestral house at an appropriate distance around the Tent of Meeting. 3Those camping on the east—toward the sunrise—will be of the standard of Judah, according to their divisions. Nachshon son of Amminadab, is the prince of the sons of Judah. 4His division, by their number, is 74,600. 5Camping next to him shall be the tribe of Issachar. The prince of the sons of Issachar is Nethanel son of Zuar. 6Their division, by their number, is 54,400. 7Next, the tribe of Zebulun. The prince of the sons of Zebulun is Eliab son of Helon. 8His division, by count, is 57,400. 9All those numbered to Judah’s camp, by their divisions, are 186,400. They are to advance first. 10The standard of the camp of Reuben shall be on the south side, by their divisions. The prince of the sons of Reuben is Elizur son of Shedeur. 11His division, by their number, is 46,500. 12Those camping next to them are the tribe of Simeon. The prince of the sons of Simeon is Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai. 13His division, by their number, is 59,300. 14Next, the tribe of Gad. The prince of the tribe of Gad is Eliasaph son of Reuel. 15His division, by their numbers, is 45,650. 16All those numbered to the camp of Reuben are 151,450. They are to set out second. 17Then the Tent of Meeting will move out with the camp of the Levites, which is in the middle of the camps—just as they were in camp, each person in his own place under his own appropriate standard. 18On the west will be the standard of the camp of Ephraim, by their divisions. The prince of the sons of Ephraim is Elishama son of Ammihud. 19His division, by their numbers, is 40,500. 20Next to him is the tribe of Manasseh. The prince of the sons of Manasseh is Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur. 21His division, by their numbers, is 32,200. 22Next, the tribe of Benjamin. The prince of the sons of Benjamin is Abidan son of Gideoni. 23His division, by their numbers, is 35,400. 24All those numbered to the camp of Ephraim are 108,100, by their divisions. They are to advance third. 25The standard of the camp of Dan shall be on the north, according to their divisions. The prince of the sons of Dan is Ahiezer, son of Ammishaddai. 26His division, by their numbers, is 62,700. 27Next to him will encamp the tribe of Asher. The prince of the sons of Asher is Pagiel, son of Ochran. 28His division, by their numbers, is 41,500. 29Next, tribe of Naphtali. The prince of the sons of Naphtali is Ahira son of Enan. 30His division, by their numbers, is 53,400. 31All those numbered to the camp of Dan are 157,600. They are to advance last by their standards. 32These are the numbers of Bnei-Yisrael, in accordance with their ancestral households. All those counted according to their divisions are 603,550. 33However, the Levites were not counted among Bnei-Yisrael, just as Adonai commanded Moses. 34So Bnei-Yisrael acted in accordance with all that Adonai had commanded Moses. Thus they camped by their standards and set out, each man according to their families and their ancestral houses.
–from Numbers 2

It ensures every angle, every direction would be protected! It ensures that when they were settling in or setting out there would be order and direction and purpose!

God is our protector! God is our strength! God is our help!

He Makes Wars Cease

1For the music director, of the sons of Korah, according to Alamoth, a song.
2God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 3Therefore we will not fear, though the earth change, though the mountains topple into the heart of the seas, 4though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at their swelling. Selah
5There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God— the holy dwelling place of Elyon. 6God is in the midst of her, she will not be shaken. God will help her when morning dawns. 7Nations are in uproar, kingdoms totter, He utters His voice, the earth melts! 8Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us. The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah
9Come, see the works of Adonai, who brings devastations on the earth. 10He makes wars cease to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear. He burns chariots with fire. 11“Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations. I am exalted in the earth.” 12Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us. The God of Jacob is our strong tower. Selah
–from Psalms 46

It’s more than just positioning. It’s more than just arranging. It’s purposeful! It’s out of obedience! It’s on purpose for a purpose! Order is important! Be it at home, at work, in the community, order has purpose! So how does that impact you? How will it play out in your life? What will you do? How will you act? What will be the impact of your obedience on those around you? Will you show them grace? Will you show them forgiveness? Will your life be the gospel on display for others to learn about God? How will you being in alignment and in order make a difference?

Today’s reading closes showing Jesus’ obedience, alignment, and order. He was willing to go through it to the end in order that the new order would be accomplish. He was willing to give Himself completely as the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to be able to be reconciled to God! It would and could only have been accomplished by God Himself so He took things into His own hands!

Bound and Sentenced

1Then Pilate took Yeshua and had Him scourged. 2The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and dressed Him in a purple robe. 3They kept coming up to Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and slapping Him over and over. 4Pilate came out again. He said to them, “Look, I’m bringing Him out to you, to let you know that I find no case against Him.” 5So Yeshua came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. “Behold, the Man!” Pilate said to them. 6When the ruling kohanim and officers saw Him, they yelled out, “Execute Him! Execute Him!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and execute Him! For I don’t find a case against Him.” 7The Judean leaders answered him, “We have a law, and according to the Torah He must die, because He claimed to be Ben-Elohim!” 8When Pilate heard this word, he became even more fearful. 9He went into the Praetorium again and said to Yeshua, “Where are You from?” But Yeshua gave him no answer. 10So Pilate said to Him, “You aren’t speaking to me? Don’t You know that I have the authority to release You, and I have the authority to crucify You?” 11Yeshua answered, “You would have no authority over Me if it hadn’t been given to you from above. For this reason, the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.” 12Pilate tried to let Him go after this; but the Judean leaders cried out, saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar!” 13So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Yeshua out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Aramaic, Gabbatha). 14It was the Day of Preparation for Passover, about the sixth hour. And Pilate said to the Judean leaders, “Behold, your king!” 15They shouted back, “Take Him away! Take Him away! Execute Him!” Pilate said to them, “Should I execute your king?” The ruling kohanim answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16Finally, Pilate handed Yeshua over to be crucified.

A Sacrificial Death

17Then they took Yeshua. He went out, carrying His own crossbar, to the Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side and Yeshua in between. 19Pilate also wrote a sign and put it on the execution stake. It was written, “YESHUA HA-NATZRATI, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 20Many Judeans read this sign, because the place where Yeshua was executed was near the city; it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. 21The ruling kohanim of the Judeans were saying to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” 22“What I have written, I have written,” Pilate answered. 23So the soldiers, when they executed Yeshua, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part for each soldier. They took His tunic also, but it was seamless, woven top to bottom in one piece. 24So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be.” This was so the Scripture would be fulfilled, “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things. 25Standing near the execution stake of Yeshua were His mother, His mother’s sister, Miriam the wife of Clopas, and Miriam from Magdala. 26Yeshua saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby. He tells His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27Then He tells the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that very hour, the disciple took her into his own home. 28After this, when Yeshua knew that all things were now completed, to fulfill the Scripture He said, “I am thirsty.” 29A jar full of sour wine was sitting there, so they put a sponge soaked with the sour wine on a hyssop branch and brought it to His mouth. 30When Yeshua tasted the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. 31It was the Day of Preparation, and the next day was a festival Shabbat. So that the bodies should not remain on the execution stake during Shabbat, the Judean leaders asked Pilate to have the legs broken and to have the bodies taken away. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then the other who had been executed with Yeshua. 33Now when they came to Yeshua and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35He who has seen it has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36These things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, “Not a bone of His shall be broken.” 37And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.”

Buried in a Rich Man’s Tomb

38After these things, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate if he could take Yeshua’s body away. Joseph was a disciple of Yeshua, but secretly for fear of the Judean leaders. Pilate gave permission, so Joseph came and took the body away. 39Nicodemus, who had first visited Yeshua at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40Then they took the body of Yeshua and wrapped it in linen with the spices, as is the Jewish burial custom. 41Now in the place where He was executed, there was a garden. In the garden was a new tomb where no one had yet been buried. 42Because it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was nearby, they laid Yeshua there.
–from John 19
True Love

Fear will paralyze, excitement will energize! Will you be paralyzed and do nothing? Will you be energized and be excited and be looking for what God is going to do next?


Do you remember a few days back when lack of belief cause Zechariah to lose his ability to speak? It’s time! The son that was impossible to have was about to be born! Nothing is impossible with God! He keeps His Word! His promises are true! His timing is perfect! Check this out…

57The time came for Elizabeth to have her baby, and she gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard how wonderfully good the Lord had been to her, and they all rejoiced with her. 59When the baby was a week old, they came to circumcise him, and they were going to name him Zechariah, after his father. 60But his mother said, “No! His name is to be John.” 61They said to her, “But you don’t have any relative with that name!” 62Then they made signs to his father, asking him what name he would like the boy to have. 63Zechariah asked for a writing pad and wrote, “His name is John.” How surprised they all were! 64At that moment Zechariah was able to speak again, and he started praising God. 65The neighbors were all filled with fear, and the news about these things spread through all the hill country of Judea. 66Everyone who heard of it thought about it and asked, “What is this child going to be?” For it was plain that the Lord’s power was upon him.

–Luke 1:57-66

When God’s hand is in it, people notice! When God’s hands are leading it, people notice! When God’s plans are revealed, people will celebrate and praise Him! To some the amazement will trigger fear! But I like to tell people that they need to control what is taking place between their gut and their mind, in their gut excitement and fear feel the same, it’s what we decide in our minds it is that will impact how we act/react or remain inactive. Fear will paralyze, excitement will energize! Will you be paralyzed and do nothing? Will you be energized and be excited and be looking for what God is going to do next?


Some people try to be part of the in crowd by how they dress, how they talk, what they do. Jesus did it all so that we can be part of the best crowd, the one that will get to live in heaven for eternity! So let’s grab onto that and let the rest take care of itself!

11You Gentiles by birth—called “the uncircumcised” by the Jews, who call themselves the circumcised (which refers to what men do to their bodies)—remember what you were in the past. 12At that time you were apart from Christ. You were foreigners and did not belong to God’s chosen people. You had no part in the covenants, which were based on God’s promises to his people, and you lived in this world without hope and without God. 13But now, in union with Christ Jesus you, who used to be far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For Christ himself has brought us peace by making Jews and Gentiles one people. With his own body he broke down the wall that separated them and kept them enemies. 15He abolished the Jewish Law with its commandments and rules, in order to create out of the two races one new people in union with himself, in this way making peace. 16By his death on the cross Christ destroyed their enmity; by means of the cross he united both races into one body and brought them back to God. 17So Christ came and preached the Good News of peace to all—to you Gentiles, who were far away from God, and to the Jews, who were near to him. 18It is through Christ that all of us, Jews and Gentiles, are able to come in the one Spirit into the presence of the Father. 19So then, you Gentiles are not foreigners or strangers any longer; you are now citizens together with God’s people and members of the family of God. 20You, too, are built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, the cornerstone being Christ Jesus himself. 21He is the one who holds the whole building together and makes it grow into a sacred temple dedicated to the Lord. 22In union with him you too are being built together with all the others into a place where God lives through his Spirit.

–Ephesians 2:11-22

Let’s come together under the covering of Jesus! Let’s come together as one body ! Let’s build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ! Let’s be living sacrifices fully dedicated to God! Set apart for His plans, His purposes! Let’s grab onto His ways! Let’s allow God’s ways to be our ways and His will be to be our will! Let’s come into agreement and alignment with the will of God!

25I lie defeated in the dust; revive me, as you have promised.
26I confessed all I have done, and you answered me; teach me your ways.
27Help me to understand your laws, and I will meditate on your wonderful teachings.
28I am overcome by sorrow; strengthen me, as you have promised.
29Keep me from going the wrong way, and in your goodness teach me your law.
30I have chosen to be obedient; I have paid attention to your judgments.
31I have followed your instructions, Lord; don’t let me be put to shame.
32I will eagerly obey your commands, because you will give me more understanding.

–Psalm 119:25-32