Even when you come with the best of intentions, people may still reject you.


Ever had compassion on someone and in your heart you wanted to do something for them? Ever had a situation where you wanted to find a way to help someone else? Ever had a heart filled desire to help others? Ever had them reject your offer? Ever had them reject you? Ever had them accuse you of trying to hurt or manipulate or deceive them? Ever had to put yourself out there in love in order to try and help someone who is in a bad situation? Is it ever wrong to try to do a good thing? Is it ever wrong to try and serve others? Is it ever wrong to offer help to others? Even when you come with the best of intentions, people may reject you or your offer.

We need to remember that we are to never grow weary in doing good! We need to consider who our advisors are and ensure we get the right interpretation.


Today’s reading gets us started with 2 Samuel 10…

‘Some time after this, King Nahash of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun became king. David said, “I am going to show loyalty to Hanun just as his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me.” So David sent ambassadors to express sympathy to Hanun about his father’s death. But when David’s ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon, the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!” So Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame. When David heard what had happened, he sent messengers to tell the men, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out, and then come back.” For they felt deep shame because of their appearance. When the people of Ammon realized how seriously they had angered David, they sent and hired 20,000 Aramean foot soldiers from the lands of Beth-rehob and Zobah, 1,000 from the king of Maacah, and 12,000 from the land of Tob. When David heard about this, he sent Joab and all his warriors to fight them. The Ammonite troops came out and drew up their battle lines at the entrance of the city gate, while the Arameans from Zobah and Rehob and the men from Tob and Maacah positioned themselves to fight in the open fields. When Joab saw that he would have to fight on both the front and the rear, he chose some of Israel’s elite troops and placed them under his personal command to fight the Arameans in the fields. He left the rest of the army under the command of his brother Abishai, who was to attack the Ammonites. “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then come over and help me,” Joab told his brother. “And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come and help you. Be courageous! Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord ’s will be done.” When Joab and his troops attacked, the Arameans began to run away. And when the Ammonites saw the Arameans running, they ran from Abishai and retreated into the city. After the battle was over, Joab returned to Jerusalem. The Arameans now realized that they were no match for Israel. So when they regrouped, they were joined by additional Aramean troops summoned by Hadadezer from the other side of the Euphrates River. These troops arrived at Helam under the command of Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer’s forces. When David heard what was happening, he mobilized all Israel, crossed the Jordan River, and led the army to Helam. The Arameans positioned themselves in battle formation and fought against David. But again the Arameans fled from the Israelites. This time David’s forces killed 700 charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers, including Shobach, the commander of their army. When all the kings allied with Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they surrendered to Israel and became their subjects. After that, the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites.’

2 Samuel 10

‘Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah had been telling the people. He had been saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Everyone who stays in Jerusalem will die from war, famine, or disease, but those who surrender to the Babylonians will live. Their reward will be life. They will live!’ The Lord also says: ‘The city of Jerusalem will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it.’” So these officials went to the king and said, “Sir, this man must die! That kind of talk will undermine the morale of the few fighting men we have left, as well as that of all the people. This man is a traitor!” King Zedekiah agreed. “All right,” he said. “Do as you like. I can’t stop you.” So the officials took Jeremiah from his cell and lowered him by ropes into an empty cistern in the prison yard. It belonged to Malkijah, a member of the royal family. There was no water in the cistern, but there was a thick layer of mud at the bottom, and Jeremiah sank down into it. But Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, an important court official, heard that Jeremiah was in the cistern. At that time the king was holding court at the Benjamin Gate, so Ebed-melech rushed from the palace to speak with him. “My lord the king,” he said, “these men have done a very evil thing in putting Jeremiah the prophet into the cistern. He will soon die of hunger, for almost all the bread in the city is gone.” So the king told Ebed-melech, “Take thirty of my men with you, and pull Jeremiah out of the cistern before he dies.” So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went to a room in the palace beneath the treasury, where he found some old rags and discarded clothing. He carried these to the cistern and lowered them to Jeremiah on a rope. Ebed-melech called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags under your armpits to protect you from the ropes.” Then when Jeremiah was ready, they pulled him out. So Jeremiah was returned to the courtyard of the guard—the palace prison—where he remained. One day King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah and had him brought to the third entrance of the Lord ’s Temple. “I want to ask you something,” the king said. “And don’t try to hide the truth.” Jeremiah said, “If I tell you the truth, you will kill me. And if I give you advice, you won’t listen to me anyway.” So King Zedekiah secretly promised him, “As surely as the Lord our Creator lives, I will not kill you or hand you over to the men who want you dead.” Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you surrender to the Babylonian officers, you and your family will live, and the city will not be burned down. But if you refuse to surrender, you will not escape! This city will be handed over to the Babylonians, and they will burn it to the ground.’” “But I am afraid to surrender,” the king said, “for the Babylonians may hand me over to the Judeans who have defected to them. And who knows what they will do to me!” Jeremiah replied, “You won’t be handed over to them if you choose to obey the Lord . Your life will be spared, and all will go well for you. But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: All the women left in your palace will be brought out and given to the officers of the Babylonian army. Then the women will taunt you, saying, ‘What fine friends you have! They have betrayed and misled you. When your feet sank in the mud, they left you to your fate!’ All your wives and children will be led out to the Babylonians, and you will not escape. You will be seized by the king of Babylon, and this city will be burned down.” Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Don’t tell anyone you told me this, or you will die! My officials may hear that I spoke to you, and they may say, ‘Tell us what you and the king were talking about. If you don’t tell us, we will kill you.’ If this happens, just tell them you begged me not to send you back to Jonathan’s dungeon, for fear you would die there.” Sure enough, it wasn’t long before the king’s officials came to Jeremiah and asked him why the king had called for him. But Jeremiah followed the king’s instructions, and they left without finding out the truth. No one had overheard the conversation between Jeremiah and the king. And Jeremiah remained a prisoner in the courtyard of the guard until the day Jerusalem was captured.’

Jeremiah 38

‘Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. So the second brother married the widow, but he also died. Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, who died without children. Finally, the woman also died. So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her!” Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth. But in the age to come, those worthy of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection. “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to the Lord as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.” “Well said, Teacher!” remarked some of the teachers of religious law who were standing there. ‘And then no one dared to ask him any more questions.’

Luke 20:27-40

‘It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead. It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau. It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff. It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left. It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command. It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons. It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned. It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down. It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.’

Hebrews 11:17-31

‘O Lord , I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me and rescue me, for you do what is right. Turn your ear to listen to me, and set me free. Be my rock of safety where I can always hide. Give the order to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked, from the clutches of cruel oppressors. O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord , from childhood. Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you! My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long. And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside. Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing. For my enemies are whispering against me. They are plotting together to kill me. They say, “God has abandoned him. Let’s go and get him, for no one will help him now.” O God, don’t stay away. My God, please hurry to help me. Bring disgrace and destruction on my accusers. Humiliate and shame those who want to harm me. But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more. I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words. I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord . I will tell everyone that you alone are just. O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me. Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God? You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again. Then I will praise you with music on the harp, because you are faithful to your promises, O my God. I will sing praises to you with a lyre, O Holy One of Israel. I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me. I will tell about your righteous deeds all day long, for everyone who tried to hurt me has been shamed and humiliated.’

Psalms 71

Do you have enough compassion to make it right?


Do you realize it will cost you something? Do you realize that you have already been given what is required? Do you realize it means you have to be willing to do something? We need to go beyond being hearers of the Word to becoming doers of the Word. Will you pick up the call on your life and take hold of what James is speaking to us in James 1 about compassion and about suffering in order to share the love of God with the world around you? Will you have faith and endure? Will you listen and do? How will you serve the poor, the widows, and the orphans?


‘This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad. Greetings!

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.’

James 1

Today’s reading gets us started in Ruth 4 showing Boaz’s example with Ruth.

‘Boaz went to the town gate and took a seat there. Just then the family redeemer he had mentioned came by, so Boaz called out to him, “Come over here and sit down, friend. I want to talk to you.” So they sat down together. Then Boaz called ten leaders from the town and asked them to sit as witnesses. And Boaz said to the family redeemer, “You know Naomi, who came back from Moab. She is selling the land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. I thought I should speak to you about it so that you can redeem it if you wish. If you want the land, then buy it here in the presence of these witnesses. But if you don’t want it, let me know right away, because I am next in line to redeem it after you.” The man replied, “All right, I’ll redeem it.” Then Boaz told him, “Of course, your purchase of the land from Naomi also requires that you marry Ruth, the Moabite widow. That way she can have children who will carry on her husband’s name and keep the land in the family.” “Then I can’t redeem it,” the family redeemer replied, “because this might endanger my own estate. You redeem the land; I cannot do it.” Now in those days it was the custom in Israel for anyone transferring a right of purchase to remove his sandal and hand it to the other party. This publicly validated the transaction. So the other family redeemer drew off his sandal as he said to Boaz, “You buy the land.” Then Boaz said to the elders and to the crowd standing around, “You are witnesses that today I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion, and Mahlon. And with the land I have acquired Ruth, the Moabite widow of Mahlon, to be my wife. This way she can have a son to carry on the family name of her dead husband and to inherit the family property here in his hometown. You are all witnesses today.” Then the elders and all the people standing in the gate replied, “We are witnesses! May the Lord make this woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, from whom all the nation of Israel descended! May you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. And may the Lord give you descendants by this young woman who will be like those of our ancestor Perez, the son of Tamar and Judah.”

So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife. When he slept with her, the Lord enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son. Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord , who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel. May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!” Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own. The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David. This is the genealogical record of their ancestor Perez: Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz. Boaz was the father of Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David.’

— Ruth 4

‘“Run up and down every street in Jerusalem,” says the Lord . “Look high and low; search throughout the city! If you can find even one just and honest person, I will not destroy the city. But even when they are under oath, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ they are still telling lies!” Lord , you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to be corrected. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent. Then I said, “But what can we expect from the poor? They are ignorant. They don’t know the ways of the Lord . They don’t understand God’s laws. So I will go and speak to their leaders. Surely they know the ways of the Lord and understand God’s laws.” But the leaders, too, as one man, had thrown off God’s yoke and broken his chains. So now a lion from the forest will attack them; a wolf from the desert will pounce on them. A leopard will lurk near their towns, tearing apart any who dare to venture out. For their rebellion is great, and their sins are many. “How can I pardon you? For even your children have turned from me. They have sworn by gods that are not gods at all! I fed my people until they were full. But they thanked me by committing adultery and lining up at the brothels. They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife. Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord . “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation? “Go down the rows of the vineyards and destroy the grapevines, leaving a scattered few alive. Strip the branches from the vines, for these people do not belong to the Lord . The people of Israel and Judah are full of treachery against me,” says the Lord . “They have lied about the Lord and said, ‘He won’t bother us! No disasters will come upon us. There will be no war or famine. God’s prophets are all windbags who don’t really speak for him. Let their predictions of disaster fall on themselves!’” Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies says: “Because the people are talking like this, my messages will flame out of your mouth and burn the people like kindling wood. O Israel, I will bring a distant nation against you,” says the Lord . “It is a mighty nation, an ancient nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you cannot understand. Their weapons are deadly; their warriors are mighty. They will devour the food of your harvest; they will devour your sons and daughters. They will devour your flocks and herds; they will devour your grapes and figs. And they will destroy your fortified towns, which you think are so safe. “Yet even in those days I will not blot you out completely,” says the Lord . “And when your people ask, ‘Why did the Lord our God do all this to us?’ you must reply, ‘You rejected him and gave yourselves to foreign gods in your own land. Now you will serve foreigners in a land that is not your own.’

“Make this announcement to Israel, and say this to Judah: Listen, you foolish and senseless people, with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear. Have you no respect for me? Why don’t you tremble in my presence? I, the Lord , define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set. But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned away and abandoned me. They do not say from the heart, ‘Let us live in awe of the Lord our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.’ Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings. Your sin has robbed you of all these good things. “Among my people are wicked men who lie in wait for victims like a hunter hiding in a blind. They continually set traps to catch people. Like a cage filled with birds, their homes are filled with evil plots. And now they are great and rich. They are fat and sleek, and there is no limit to their wicked deeds. They refuse to provide justice to orphans and deny the rights of the poor. Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord . “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation? A horrible and shocking thing has happened in this land— the prophets give false prophecies, and the priests rule with an iron hand. Worse yet, my people like it that way! But what will you do when the end comes?’

— Jeremiah 5

‘One day Jesus left the crowds to pray alone. Only his disciples were with him, and he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other ancient prophets risen from the dead.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah sent from God!”

Jesus warned his disciples not to tell anyone who he was. “The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,” he said. “He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Kingdom of God.”

About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem. Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him. As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials —one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But even as he was saying this, a cloud overshadowed them, and terror gripped them as the cloud covered them. Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.” When the voice finished, Jesus was there alone. They didn’t tell anyone at that time what they had seen.’

— Luke 9:18-36

‘So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. As the Scriptures say, “I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.’

— 1 Peter 2:1-12

‘I said to myself, “I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.” But as I stood there in silence— not even speaking of good things— the turmoil within me grew worse. The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words: “ Lord , remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Rescue me from my rebellion. Do not let fools mock me. I am silent before you; I won’t say a word, for my punishment is from you. But please stop striking me! I am exhausted by the blows from your hand. When you discipline us for our sins, you consume like a moth what is precious to us. Each of us is but a breath. Interlude Hear my prayer, O Lord ! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears. For I am your guest— a traveler passing through, as my ancestors were before me. Leave me alone so I can smile again before I am gone and exist no more.’

–Psalms 39

How will you demonstrate compassion today?


Will you look up at people, engage, encounter people right where they are at? Will you look in and ask God to show you what you need to do? Will you look out and consider what has God put in my hands to do today?

Do you see people who need a cup of cold water to meet their physical and practical needs? Do you see people struggling because they need the cup of living water for their spiritual needs?

We need to remember that Jesus didn’t meet everyone but He was willing to meet everyone without prejudice. Are you available? Are you willing to be compassionate to everyone? Are you willing to live out your life without prejudice in order to see the suffering and rather than walk away or look away look them in the eye, walk into the situation, and walk it out with them?

Are you ready and willing to make a difference? Will you be a Ruth to Naomi? Will you be a Boaz to Naomi and Ruth?

Today’s reading from God’s Word starts in Ruth:

‘Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.” Naomi replied, “All right, my daughter, go ahead.” So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech. While she was there, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters. “The Lord be with you!” he said. “The Lord bless you!” the harvesters replied. Then Boaz asked his foreman, “Who is that young woman over there? Who does she belong to?” And the foreman replied, “She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes’ rest in the shelter.” Boaz went over and said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field. See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them. I have warned the young men not to treat you roughly. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well.” Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” she asked. “I am only a foreigner.” “Yes, I know,” Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the Lord , the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” “I hope I continue to please you, sir,” she replied. “You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.” At mealtime Boaz called to her, “Come over here, and help yourself to some food. You can dip your bread in the sour wine.” So she sat with his harvesters, and Boaz gave her some roasted grain to eat. She ate all she wanted and still had some left over. When Ruth went back to work again, Boaz ordered his young men, “Let her gather grain right among the sheaves without stopping her. And pull out some heads of barley from the bundles and drop them on purpose for her. Let her pick them up, and don’t give her a hard time!” So Ruth gathered barley there all day, and when she beat out the grain that evening, it filled an entire basket. She carried it back into town and showed it to her mother-in-law. Ruth also gave her the roasted grain that was left over from her meal. “Where did you gather all this grain today?” Naomi asked. “Where did you work? May the Lord bless the one who helped you!” So Ruth told her mother-in-law about the man in whose field she had worked. She said, “The man I worked with today is named Boaz.” “May the Lord bless him!” Naomi told her daughter-in-law. “He is showing his kindness to us as well as to your dead husband. That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers.” Then Ruth said, “What’s more, Boaz even told me to come back and stay with his harvesters until the entire harvest is completed.” “Good!” Naomi exclaimed. “Do as he said, my daughter. Stay with his young women right through the whole harvest. You might be harassed in other fields, but you’ll be safe with him.” So Ruth worked alongside the women in Boaz’s fields and gathered grain with them until the end of the barley harvest. Then she continued working with them through the wheat harvest in early summer. And all the while she lived with her mother-in-law.’

–Ruth 2

‘One day Naomi said to Ruth, “My daughter, it’s time that I found a permanent home for you, so that you will be provided for. Boaz is a close relative of ours, and he’s been very kind by letting you gather grain with his young women. Tonight he will be winnowing barley at the threshing floor. Now do as I tell you—take a bath and put on perfume and dress in your nicest clothes. Then go to the threshing floor, but don’t let Boaz see you until he has finished eating and drinking. Be sure to notice where he lies down; then go and uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do.” “I will do everything you say,” Ruth replied. So she went down to the threshing floor that night and followed the instructions of her mother-in-law. After Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he lay down at the far end of the pile of grain and went to sleep. Then Ruth came quietly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. Around midnight Boaz suddenly woke up and turned over. He was surprised to find a woman lying at his feet! “Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she replied. “Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.” “The Lord bless you, my daughter!” Boaz exclaimed. “You are showing even more family loyalty now than you did before, for you have not gone after a younger man, whether rich or poor. Now don’t worry about a thing, my daughter. I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are a virtuous woman. But while it’s true that I am one of your family redeemers, there is another man who is more closely related to you than I am. Stay here tonight, and in the morning I will talk to him. If he is willing to redeem you, very well. Let him marry you. But if he is not willing, then as surely as the Lord lives, I will redeem you myself! Now lie down here until morning.” So Ruth lay at Boaz’s feet until the morning, but she got up before it was light enough for people to recognize each other. For Boaz had said, “No one must know that a woman was here at the threshing floor.” Then Boaz said to her, “Bring your cloak and spread it out.” He measured six scoops of barley into the cloak and placed it on her back. Then he returned to the town. When Ruth went back to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “What happened, my daughter?” Ruth told Naomi everything Boaz had done for her, and she added, “He gave me these six scoops of barley and said, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” Then Naomi said to her, “Just be patient, my daughter, until we hear what happens. The man won’t rest until he has settled things today.”’

— Ruth 3

‘“Shout to Judah, and broadcast to Jerusalem! Tell them to sound the alarm throughout the land: ‘Run for your lives! Flee to the fortified cities!’ Raise a signal flag as a warning for Jerusalem : ‘Flee now! Do not delay!’ For I am bringing terrible destruction upon you from the north.” A lion stalks from its den, a destroyer of nations. It has left its lair and is headed your way. It’s going to devastate your land! Your towns will lie in ruins, with no one living in them anymore. So put on clothes of mourning and weep with broken hearts, for the fierce anger of the Lord is still upon us. “In that day,” says the Lord , “the king and the officials will tremble in fear. The priests will be struck with horror, and the prophets will be appalled.” Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord , the people have been deceived by what you said, for you promised peace for Jerusalem. But the sword is held at their throats!” The time is coming when the Lord will say to the people of Jerusalem, “My dear people, a burning wind is blowing in from the desert, and it’s not a gentle breeze useful for winnowing grain. It is a roaring blast sent by me! Now I will pronounce your destruction!” Our enemy rushes down on us like storm clouds! His chariots are like whirlwinds. His horses are swifter than eagles. How terrible it will be, for we are doomed! O Jerusalem, cleanse your heart that you may be saved. How long will you harbor your evil thoughts? Your destruction has been announced from Dan and the hill country of Ephraim. “Warn the surrounding nations and announce this to Jerusalem: The enemy is coming from a distant land, raising a battle cry against the towns of Judah. They surround Jerusalem like watchmen around a field, for my people have rebelled against me,” says the Lord . “Your own actions have brought this upon you. This punishment is bitter, piercing you to the heart!” My heart, my heart—I writhe in pain! My heart pounds within me! I cannot be still. For I have heard the blast of enemy trumpets and the roar of their battle cries. Waves of destruction roll over the land, until it lies in complete desolation. Suddenly my tents are destroyed; in a moment my shelters are crushed. How long must I see the battle flags and hear the trumpets of war? “My people are foolish and do not know me,” says the Lord . “They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!” I looked at the earth, and it was empty and formless. I looked at the heavens, and there was no light. I looked at the mountains and hills, and they trembled and shook. I looked, and all the people were gone. All the birds of the sky had flown away. I looked, and the fertile fields had become a wilderness. The towns lay in ruins, crushed by the Lord ’s fierce anger. This is what the Lord says: “The whole land will be ruined, but I will not destroy it completely. The earth will mourn and the heavens will be draped in black because of my decree against my people. I have made up my mind and will not change it.” At the noise of charioteers and archers, the people flee in terror. They hide in the bushes and run for the mountains. All the towns have been abandoned— not a person remains! What are you doing, you who have been plundered? Why do you dress up in beautiful clothing and put on gold jewelry? Why do you brighten your eyes with mascara? Your primping will do you no good! The allies who were your lovers despise you and seek to kill you. I hear a cry, like that of a woman in labor, the groans of a woman giving birth to her first child. It is beautiful Jerusalem gasping for breath and crying out, “Help! I’m being murdered!”’

— Jeremiah 4:5-31

‘One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick. When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about everything Jesus was doing, he was puzzled. Some were saying that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead. Others thought Jesus was Elijah or one of the other prophets risen from the dead. “I beheaded John,” Herod said, “so who is this man about whom I hear such stories?” And he kept trying to see him. When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he slipped quietly away with them toward the town of Bethsaida. But the crowds found out where he was going, and they followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick. Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said, “Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place.” But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” For there were about 5,000 men there. Jesus replied, “Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each.” So the people all sat down. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!’

— Luke 9:1-17

‘So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory. You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.’

— 1 Peter 1:13-25

‘O Lord , don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage! Your arrows have struck deep, and your blows are crushing me. Because of your anger, my whole body is sick; my health is broken because of my sins. My guilt overwhelms me— it is a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and stink because of my foolish sins. I am bent over and racked with pain. All day long I walk around filled with grief. A raging fever burns within me, and my health is broken. I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart. You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh. My heart beats wildly, my strength fails, and I am going blind. My loved ones and friends stay away, fearing my disease. Even my own family stands at a distance. Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me. Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me. All day long they plan their treachery. But I am deaf to all their threats. I am silent before them as one who cannot speak. I choose to hear nothing, and I make no reply. For I am waiting for you, O Lord . You must answer for me, O Lord my God. I prayed, “Don’t let my enemies gloat over me or rejoice at my downfall.” I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain. But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done. I have many aggressive enemies; they hate me without reason. They repay me evil for good and oppose me for pursuing good. Do not abandon me, O Lord . Do not stand at a distance, my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my savior.’

–Psalms 38

Compassion…what does it mean to you?


Ever heard of any compassion ministries? Ever heard of Convoy of Hope? Ever heard of Compassion International? Ever heard of World Vision? Ever heard of Child Hope? Ever heard the story of why they do what they do?

Ever looked up what compassion’s definition is?

Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others

Definition of Compassion

Now that you know what it is, do you know how to? Sometimes we need to grow in compassion.


This weekend there is an incredible message being shared by Cheryl Jamison on the them of In This House we walk with compassion.(Catch live streaming or streaming of it via Facebook on the Eastridge Church page.)


As we become compassionate for others we also become more compatible with them. Ever noticed that we have a low tolerance for suffering and tend to close our eyes or walk away? Consider where people focus on Easter weekend and how people try to get by Good Friday’s suffering in order to get to Sunday’s victory and celebration.

Let’s consider some Bible verses that teach and show us how…

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.

Hebrews 12:1-3

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. 9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.

Psalms 82:3

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

Isaiah 1:17

16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

1 John 3:16-18

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

James 1:19-27

There are a lot of people with a lot of ideas and we find no action is being taken because they aren’t willing to compromise and look at the needs of those in need. We need people to come together on a personal level in order to meet people’s needs where they are at. We need to bring both the “cup of cold water” to meet the physical needs as well as the “living water” to meet their spiritual needs. We need to look them in the eyes so they know that we see them and that they matter to us. We need to give them our hearts so that they realize they matter to us. We need to look at meeting both the practical and spiritual needs. We need to remember it isn’t about us, it is all about them. Put another way “it’s not about you”. It’s not about putting on a show, it is about meeting the needs of others and being Jesus with skin on into their lives. By making it about them and giving the outcome to God even when it doesn’t play out as we had hoped, we can hope that it is part of God’s plan to move them forward. Sometimes we may get credit or a thank you for something others have done before us or we may not get a thank you for what we have done. Remember it isn’t about us, it is about doing our part in their lives. Let’s check our hearts and make sure that we aren’t doing it for show and our own egos. Let’s remember we are to be salt and light as well who we are representing by what we do. We need to realize what God has put into our hands to be able to be compassionate. We need to ask God to help us see it and use it for His glory in serving those in need. Some may need for you to be present (like when they have to go to the doctors). Some may need you to share practical life skills (like setting up a budget). Some may need you to be that safe person where they can find peace and relaxation. Some may need you to be a point person (like a mailing address so they can have something to put on application forms).

We need to make sure we don’t count ourselves out of the equation!

  1. Look up -look at people and show them they matter
  2. Look in -ask God what He wants, don’t lose hope, serve others
  3. Look out -what have you put in my hands that I can do

Today’s reading comes to us from God’s Word:

‘In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there. Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband. Then Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah. But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back to your mothers’ homes. And may the Lord reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me. May the Lord bless you with the security of another marriage.” Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept. “No,” they said. “We want to go with you to your people.” But Naomi replied, “Why should you go on with me? Can I still give birth to other sons who could grow up to be your husbands? No, my daughters, return to your parents’ homes, for I am too old to marry again. And even if it were possible, and I were to get married tonight and bear sons, then what? Would you wait for them to grow up and refuse to marry someone else? No, of course not, my daughters! Things are far more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord himself has raised his fist against me.” And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi. “Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more. So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked. “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?” So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.’

— Ruth 1

‘During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what fickle Israel has done? Like a wife who commits adultery, Israel has worshiped other gods on every hill and under every green tree. I thought, ‘After she has done all this, she will return to me.’ But she did not return, and her faithless sister Judah saw this. She saw that I divorced faithless Israel because of her adultery. But that treacherous sister Judah had no fear, and now she, too, has left me and given herself to prostitution. Israel treated it all so lightly—she thought nothing of committing adultery by worshiping idols made of wood and stone. So now the land has been polluted. But despite all this, her faithless sister Judah has never sincerely returned to me. She has only pretended to be sorry. I, the Lord , have spoken!” Then the Lord said to me, “Even faithless Israel is less guilty than treacherous Judah! Therefore, go and give this message to Israel. This is what the Lord says: “O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I, the Lord , have spoken! “Return home, you wayward children,” says the Lord , “for I am your master. I will bring you back to the land of Israel — one from this town and two from that family— from wherever you are scattered. And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding. “And when your land is once more filled with people,” says the Lord , “you will no longer wish for ‘the good old days’ when you possessed the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant. You will not miss those days or even remember them, and there will be no need to rebuild the Ark. In that day Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Throne of the Lord .’ All nations will come there to honor the Lord . They will no longer stubbornly follow their own evil desires. In those days the people of Judah and Israel will return together from exile in the north. They will return to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance forever. “I thought to myself, ‘I would love to treat you as my own children!’ I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land— the finest possession in the world. I looked forward to your calling me ‘Father,’ and I wanted you never to turn from me. But you have been unfaithful to me, you people of Israel! You have been like a faithless wife who leaves her husband. I, the Lord , have spoken.” Voices are heard high on the windswept mountains, the weeping and pleading of Israel’s people. For they have chosen crooked paths and have forgotten the Lord their God. “My wayward children,” says the Lord , “come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.” “Yes, we’re coming,” the people reply, “for you are the Lord our God. Our worship of idols on the hills and our religious orgies on the mountains are a delusion. Only in the Lord our God will Israel ever find salvation. From childhood we have watched as everything our ancestors worked for— their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters— was squandered on a delusion. Let us now lie down in shame and cover ourselves with dishonor, for we and our ancestors have sinned against the Lord our God. From our childhood to this day we have never obeyed him.”’

— Jeremiah 3:6-25

‘“O Israel,” says the Lord , “if you wanted to return to me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more. Then when you swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ you could do so with truth, justice, and righteousness. Then you would be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people would come and praise my name.” This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns. O people of Judah and Jerusalem, surrender your pride and power. Change your hearts before the Lord , or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins.’

–Jeremiah 4:1-4

‘On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him. Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come home with him. His only daughter, who was about twelve years old, was dying. As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” ‘

-Luke 8:40-46

‘This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.’

— 1 Peter 1:1-12

‘Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord . Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord , and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone. The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity. The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming. The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right. But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken. It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich. For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the Lord takes care of the godly. Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough. But the wicked will die. The Lord ’s enemies are like flowers in a field— they will disappear like smoke. The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers. Those the Lord blesses will possess the land, but those he curses will die. The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing. Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. For the Lord loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die. The godly will possess the land and will live there forever. The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong. They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from his path. The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them. But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial. Put your hope in the Lord . Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil. But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them! Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future. The Lord rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him.’

— Psalms 37

Compassion…what does it mean to you

What is your passion? What is your motive? What is your compass?


Are you able to live passionately? Are you able to live out your passions? What is motivating you? What are your motives?

How do you know which way to go? How do you know where to turn? Do you have an internal compass that leads and directs you? How do you know if it is right or wrong? How do you know if you should or you shouldn’t? What is it that helps you make decisions? What will be you mission? What will be your profession/ What will be your vocation?


Today’s reading gets us started in Deuteronomy:

‘“Suppose there are prophets among you or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles occur. If they then say, ‘Come, let us worship other gods’—gods you have not known before— do not listen to them. The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. The false prophets or visionaries who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the Lord your God, who redeemed you from slavery and brought you out of the land of Egypt. Since they try to lead you astray from the way the Lord your God commanded you to live, you must put them to death. In this way you will purge the evil from among you. “Suppose someone secretly entices you—even your brother, your son or daughter, your beloved wife, or your closest friend—and says, ‘Let us go worship other gods’—gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known. They might suggest that you worship the gods of peoples who live nearby or who come from the ends of the earth. But do not give in or listen. Have no pity, and do not spare or protect them. You must put them to death! Strike the first blow yourself, and then all the people must join in. Stone the guilty ones to death because they have tried to draw you away from the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of slavery. Then all Israel will hear about it and be afraid, and no one will act so wickedly again. “When you begin living in the towns the Lord your God is giving you, you may hear that scoundrels among you are leading their fellow citizens astray by saying, ‘Let us go worship other gods’—gods you have not known before. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find that the report is true and such a detestable act has been committed among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the open square and burn it. Burn the entire town as a burnt offering to the Lord your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a large nation, just as he swore to your ancestors. “The Lord your God will be merciful only if you listen to his voice and keep all his commands that I am giving you today, doing what pleases him.’

Deuteronomy 13

and then

‘“Since you are the people of the Lord your God, never cut yourselves or shave the hair above your foreheads in mourning for the dead. You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure. “You must not eat any detestable animals that are ceremonially unclean. These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the addax, the antelope, and the mountain sheep. “You may eat any animal that has completely split hooves and chews the cud, but if the animal doesn’t have both, it may not be eaten. So you may not eat the camel, the hare, or the hyrax. They chew the cud but do not have split hooves, so they are ceremonially unclean for you. And you may not eat the pig. It has split hooves but does not chew the cud, so it is ceremonially unclean for you. You may not eat the meat of these animals or even touch their carcasses. “Of all the marine animals, you may eat whatever has both fins and scales. You may not, however, eat marine animals that do not have both fins and scales. They are ceremonially unclean for you. “You may eat any bird that is ceremonially clean. These are the birds you may not eat: the griffon vulture, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the falcon, buzzards of all kinds, ravens of all kinds, the eagle owl, the short-eared owl, the seagull, hawks of all kinds, the little owl, the great owl, the barn owl, the desert owl, the Egyptian vulture, the cormorant, the stork, herons of all kinds, the hoopoe, and the bat. “All winged insects that walk along the ground are ceremonially unclean for you and may not be eaten. But you may eat any winged bird or insect that is ceremonially clean. “You must not eat anything that has died a natural death. You may give it to a foreigner living in your town, or you may sell it to a stranger. But do not eat it yourselves, for you are set apart as holy to the Lord your God. “You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.

“You must set aside a tithe of your crops—one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God. “Now when the Lord your God blesses you with a good harvest, the place of worship he chooses for his name to be honored might be too far for you to bring the tithe. If so, you may sell the tithe portion of your crops and herds, put the money in a pouch, and go to the place the Lord your God has chosen. When you arrive, you may use the money to buy any kind of food you want—cattle, sheep, goats, wine, or other alcoholic drink. Then feast there in the presence of the Lord your God and celebrate with your household. And do not neglect the Levites in your town, for they will receive no allotment of land among you. “At the end of every third year, bring the entire tithe of that year’s harvest and store it in the nearest town. Give it to the Levites, who will receive no allotment of land among you, as well as to the foreigners living among you, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, so they can eat and be satisfied. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all your work.’

Deuteronomy 14

Today’s reading then continues into Isaiah:

‘Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot— yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord . He will delight in obeying the Lord . He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord . In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to bring back the remnant of his people— those who remain in Assyria and northern Egypt; in southern Egypt, Ethiopia, and Elam; in Babylonia, Hamath, and all the distant coastlands. He will raise a flag among the nations and assemble the exiles of Israel. He will gather the scattered people of Judah from the ends of the earth. Then at last the jealousy between Israel and Judah will end. They will not be rivals anymore. They will join forces to swoop down on Philistia to the west. Together they will attack and plunder the nations to the east. They will occupy the lands of Edom and Moab, and Ammon will obey them. The Lord will make a dry path through the gulf of the Red Sea. He will wave his hand over the Euphrates River, sending a mighty wind to divide it into seven streams so it can easily be crossed on foot. He will make a highway for the remnant of his people, the remnant coming from Assyria, just as he did for Israel long ago when they returned from Egypt.’

Isaiah 11

and then

‘In that day you will sing: “I will praise you, O Lord ! You were angry with me, but not any more. Now you comfort me. See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation! In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the Lord ! Praise his name! Tell the nations what he has done. Let them know how mighty he is! Sing to the Lord , for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world. Let all the people of Jerusalem shout his praise with joy! For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.”’

Isaiah 12

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament with Matthew:

‘On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?” “Yes, he does,” Peter replied. Then he went into the house. But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?” “They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free! However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”’

Matthew 17:24-27

and then

‘About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf#18:5 Greek in my name. is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. “What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.’

Matthew 18:1-10

Today’s reading then brings us into Romans:

‘I am fully convinced, my dear brothers and sisters, that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well you can teach each other all about them. Even so, I have been bold enough to write about some of these points, knowing that all you need is this reminder. For by God’s grace, I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit. So I have reason to be enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus has done through me in my service to God. Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me, bringing the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I worked among them. They were convinced by the power of miraculous signs and wonders and by the power of God’s Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum. My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says, “Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand.” In fact, my visit to you has been delayed so long because I have been preaching in these places.’

Romans 15:14-22

As we reflect on our passions, our purposes, our plans, let’s reflect on God’s plan which created us on purpose, with purpose and for a purpose. Let’s reflect on God’s purpose for our lives which has given us passion for the lost, the lonely, and the unloved. Let’s reflect on God’s passion that has given us a plan to seek and save the lost by pointing them through the way we live our lives and the sharing of our testimonies back to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. In Jeremiah 29:11 we read: “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. So let’s allow the love God poured out on us to overflow into the lives of all the people God has surrounded us with each and every day. In John 3:16-17, we read: “16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”.


Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 132:

‘Lord , remember David and all that he suffered. He made a solemn promise to the Lord . He vowed to the Mighty One of Israel, “I will not go home; I will not let myself rest. I will not let my eyes sleep nor close my eyelids in slumber until I find a place to build a house for the Lord , a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel.” We heard that the Ark was in Ephrathah; then we found it in the distant countryside of Jaar. Let us go to the sanctuary of the Lord ; let us worship at the footstool of his throne. Arise, O Lord , and enter your resting place, along with the Ark, the symbol of your power. May your priests be clothed in godliness; may your loyal servants sing for joy. For the sake of your servant David, do not reject the king you have anointed. The Lord swore an oath to David with a promise he will never take back: “I will place one of your descendants on your throne. If your descendants obey the terms of my covenant and the laws that I teach them, then your royal line will continue forever and ever.” For the Lord has chosen Jerusalem ; he has desired it for his home. “This is my resting place forever,” he said. “I will live here, for this is the home I desired. I will bless this city and make it prosperous; I will satisfy its poor with food. I will clothe its priests with godliness; its faithful servants will sing for joy. Here I will increase the power of David; my anointed one will be a light for my people. I will clothe his enemies with shame, but he will be a glorious king.”’

Psalms 132

Have mercy on me O God! (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 9])


Do you realize that God is a merciful God? Do you realize because God is love that He is longsuffering? Do you realize that according to God being compassionate that He can blot out our transgressions? Because of God’s love, grace, and mercy, He sent Jesus so that our iniquities could be washed away and we could be cleansed from our sins. So today will you take your eyes of your sin and start putting God as your focus? Will you choose Jesus to be the center of your life? Not sure what to do? Why not turn back to God? Why not invite Jesus into your heart? Why not take your freewill and choose to receive the gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord? Allow the sacrifice of Jesus to be over you so that you can be washed whiter than snow by His blood! Invite Jesus into your heart that He may cleanse you from the inside out! Invite Jesus into your heart that it may become pure! Invite Jesus into your life so that your spirit will be renewed and become steadfast in the Lord! Receive Jesus into your heart and be transformed, be born again, become a new creation where the old is gone and the new has come, being steadfast in the Lord! Invite Jesus in or return to Jesus as your first love, that the joy of the Lord will be our strength, that the joy of our salvation will energize for each new moment of each new day! Let’s go beyond trying to pay our way to heaven and let’s turn our lives to God through Jesus who already paid the price so that we can live our lives as living sacrifices fully to God in a way that is out of love and obedience to His commands.

Help me Lord to take Your wisdom and Your teaching and pass it on! Help me Lord to share it with the world around me! Help me Lord to go beyond just knowing You but to making You known! Help me Lord to walk in Your love! Help me Lord to overflow with Your hope!  Help me Lord to put my trust and share my trust in You to the world around me that they would see that it isn’t me but You living in and through me that makes all things possible! I believe in You Lord! I trust in You Lord! Help me Lord to glorify and exalt You today! Help my agenda be based on Your plans and purposes!

Today’s reading comes from Psalm 51 which says…

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

— from Psalm 51

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of Acts of Mercy is based on Miserere Mei Deus based on Psalm 51. It shares the story of Gregorio Allegri and composer of one of the versions of Miserere mei, Deus. We learn how it was a prayer of repentance from the Middle Ages and the Reformation. It was frequently said by or in the presence of people on their deathbeds. It has been put to music and when you look it up you can find it and watch it performed or listen to it online.

So where are you at today? Are you going to wait to the last moment? Are you going to risk waiting too long and missing out? Are you going to choose to receive Jesus today so that You can have a life to the full even before that last day? God’s plan and purpose is for you to have a life you can live and live to the full! So will you choose to make today the first day of the rest of your life? Will you choose to spend eternity with God rather than risk having to spend it apart from God?

Let’s pray…

Sample Sinners Prayer


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I praise You Lord that You are the beginning and the end and that You have made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way. Help me today to live my life in a way that will glorify You! Help me today to live a life that will bring You praise! Help me today to live a life that will honor You! I lift up my wife and ask Lord that You will bless her and You as the ultimate physician will lead and guide the doctor and that we will get a good report for it is in You that I put all my hope and all my trust so that my life can overflow this hope into the lives of the people around me for the glory of Your kingdom. I give this all into Your hands so that You may receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thankful? For? About? Because?


Don’t be useless! Appreciate what you have! Be thankful! What are you thankful for today? What are you thankful about today? What is the reason for your thankfulness?

Will you share it? Will you tell others about it? Will you speak of it?

You don’t want to be cut off from the vine! You want to allow the provision that flows from it to flow into and thru your life! You want to allow the purpose and the plans that flows from it to flow into and thru your life! You want to allow the promises that flows from it to flow into and thru your life! So don’t close up and hold onto it for yourself, but rather pass it along so that you can be used as a conduit to others!

You were created on purpose with a purpose for a purpose! So take that purpose and be useful! Don’t waste what you have been given, but rather take it and be a good steward of it so that you can multiply it and grow it and share it with those around you to the glory of God!

Let’s be faithful with the gifts we have been given! Let’s use them for unselfish purposes! Let’s focus on how we can use it to expand God’s kingdom! Let’s focus on how we can share God’s love with the world around us! Let’s take our thankfulness and share it so that other can also be thankful! Let’s take our joy and pass it on so that others can have joy! Let’s be ambassadors of peace so that others can find peace in the midst of everything going on in their lives! Let’s be faithful so that others can receive the good news and share in the blessings of God in and thru our lives and the life of the church!

Will you have compassion for those around you? Do you see a need? What will you do about it? Are you so focused on yourself that you are missing out on what God has enabled and empowered you to do for others? Will you put your trust in God rather than yourself? Don’t miss out on the truth and the hope so that you also miss out on why you can be thankful! God so loves the world that He sent His one and only Son, so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life! Will you receive the gift of Jesus into your life? Will you accept it with thanksgiving and praise? Will you lift Him up in a way that will give God all the praise, the honor, and the glory?

Don’t waste the gift you have been given! Don’t sell yourself and lose out on the most incredible gift of God! Don’t sell yourself and miss out the reality that you have already been bought for a price when Jesus went to the cross for you. Don’t waste or mutilate the incredible gifts of God and then miss out on the truth, the hope, and the love He has for you. Turn from your wicked ways and turn back to God! Humble yourself and pray! Seek God with all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your soul, and all of your strength! He will then hear from heaven, forgive your sins, and heal your land!

Do you really want to risk the anger of God against you? Do you really want to walk out from underneath His covering? Do you really want to go and try to do it all on your own?

Do you think it would be worth selling your soul and losing out on real life?

Do you think allowing lust and exposure to rob you of God’s real plan and purpose for your life?

Do you think you can trust them more than you could trust God? Do you realize what they are and will do to you?

Don’t be arrogant! Don’t be unconcerned! Instead, help the needy and the poor!

Consider your behavior and your acts for you don’t want to be humiliated!

Let’s conclude and consider how our reading ends today with Galatians 1…

1Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2and all the brothers and sisters with me,

To the churches in Galatia:

3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
No Other Gospel
6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under Godʼs curse! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under Godʼs curse!
10Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul Called by God

11I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15But when God, who set me apart from my motherʼs womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
18Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lordʼs brother. 20I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
21Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24And they praised God because of me.

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 15, 16, Galatians 1

What’s present? What’s missing?


What’s going on in government? What’s going on at the top? What’s going on in the courts? What’s going on in the corporations? What’s working? What’s not?

What’s present?

What’s missing?


Is there an ethic? Is there a standard? Is there truth? Is there loyalty? Is there integrity? Is there hope? Is there love? Is there knowledge? Is there wisdom? Is there violence? Is there crime? Is there focus? Is there discernment?

Destroyed For Lack of Knowledge

1Hear the word of Adonai, Bnei-Yisrael! For Adonai has a dispute with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, no covenant loyalty, and no knowledge of God in the land. 2Curse, deceive, murder, steal, commit adultery! They practice violence, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3Therefore the land will mourn, and everyone dwelling in it will languish along with the beasts of the field and the flying creatures of the sky— even the fish of the sea will be removed. 4Yet let no one dispute and let no one argue. Your people are like a kohen who makes quarrels. 5So you will stumble by day. Also a prophet will stumble with you by night, when I destroy your mother. 6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Since you rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being My kohen. Since you forgot the Torah of your God, just so I will forget your children. 7The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me. I will change their glory into disgrace. 8They feed on the sin of My people and relish their iniquity. 9But it will be like people, like kohen. So I will punish them for their ways, and repay them for their deeds. 10They have eaten but will not be satisfied. They have fornicated but will not increase. For they stopped giving heed to Adonai. 11Prostitution and wine—even new wine— it takes away understanding. 12My people consult their wooden idol and their divining rod informs them. For a spirit of prostitution leads them astray and they have been a prostitute— out from under their God. 13They sacrifice on the mountaintops and on the high places they burn incense under oak poplar, and terebinth— for its shade is good. Therefore your daughters are prostitutes and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. 14Will I not punish your daughters for prostitution or your daughters-in-law for adultery? For they consort with prostitutes, and they sacrifice with cult prostitutes. A people without understanding will be thrust down. 15Though you, Israel, are a prostitute, let Judah not become guilty. But do not come to Gilgal or go up to Beth-aven, and do not swear: ‘As Adonai lives!’ 16For Israel is stubborn like a stubborn cow. Now Adonai will pasture them like a lamb in the open field. 17Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone! 18Their liquor has come to an end. They surely have practiced prostitution. Her rulers have deeply loved disgrace. 19A wind will wrap her up in its wings. They will be ashamed of their sacrifices.

–from Hosea 4

Are people accountable? Are people just? Are people truthful? Are people upright? Are people honest? Are people acting with integrity? Are people building up standards? Are people tearing them down? Are people trying to keep high standards or move to the lowest common denominator?

Judgment for Betrayal

1Hear this, O priests! Pay attention, O house of Israel! Give ear, O house of the king! For the judgment applies to you: For you were a snare at Mizpah and a net spread on Tabor. 2Rebels were deep in slaughter, so I am a chastisement for them all. 3I myself have known Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from Me. For now, Ephraim, you are a prostitute— Israel is defiled! 4They will not give up their evil deeds to return to their God. For a spirit of prostitution is in them, and Adonai they have not known. 5The Pride of Israel will answer to his face: Israel and Ephraim will stagger in their iniquity, Judah also will stumble with them. 6With their flocks and with their herds they will go to seek Adonai, but they will not find Him— He has withdrawn from them. 7They have betrayed Adonai, for they have begotten foreign children. Now the New Moon will devour them, with their portions. 8Blow a shofar in Gibeah, a trumpet in Ramah! Sound an alarm at Beth-aven: “Behind you, Benjamin!” 9Ephraim will become desolate in the day of rebuke. Among the tribes of Israel I made known what is certain. 10The princes of Judah were like those who move a boundary mark. I pour out My fury on them like water. 11Oppressed is Ephraim, crushed by judgment, for he willingly followed a worthless thing. 12So, I will be like a moth to Ephraim and like decay to the house of Judah. 13When Ephraim saw his sickness and Judah his wound, Ephraim went to Assyria and sent envoys to a warring king. But he cannot heal you nor will he cure your wound. 14For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear and go away. I will carry off, and nobody will rescue. 15I will go and return to My place until they admit their guilt. Then they will seek My face. In their distress they will seek Me earnestly:

–from Hosea 5

Do people live in humility? Do people treat others right? Do people love? Will they love God and love people? Will they treat people wirh respect? Will they be servant leaders?

How about you? Where are you at? Will you lead by example? Will you lead with a servant’s heart? Will you humble yourself for yourself and the sake of others? Will you reach out to make a difference? Will you be Jesus with skin on to the world around you?

We need to be loyal to God! Loyalty is more important than sacrifice? Put another way, obedience to God is more important than sacrifice! Will we align to God and go it His ways rather than going through the motions of being holier than thou but missing the big picture? Follow the rules to a t but then miss out on the compassion and service God also wants from us? We need to do both! We need to do more than just going through the motions so that people around us think it’s all taken care of.

Prayer of Teshuvah

1Come, let us return to Adonai. For He has torn, but He will heal us. He has smitten, but He will bind us up. 2After two days He will revive us. On the third day He will raise us up, and we will live in His presence. 3So let us know, let us strive to know Adonai. Like dawn His going forth is certain. He will come to us like the rain, like the latter rain watering the earth.

Covenant Loyalty More Than Sacrifice

4“O Ephraim, what shall I do for you? O Judah, what will I do for you? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud or like dew rising early, vanishing. 5Therefore I cut them down by the prophets. I slew them by the words of My mouth. Now the judgments pronounced against you: light will go forth. 6For I delight in loyalty and not sacrifice, knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 7But like Adam, they transgressed a covenant. There they dealt treacherously with Me. 8Gilead is a city of evildoers, tracked with bloody footprints. 9Like marauding bands waiting for a man, so a company of priests murders on the way toward Shechem. For they have committed crime. 10In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing: Ephraim’s prostitution is there, Israel has become unclean. 11Also, Judah, there is a harvest for you, when I return My people from captivity.”

–from Hosea 6

Do you realize what is going on? What’s going on in your heart? What are you hiding in your mind? There is nothing hidden from God! He knows it all! So will you humble yourself and pray? Will you humble yourself and turn from your wicked or evil ways and turn back to God? Will you turn back to God and ask Him for forgiveness? If you will then He will forgive your sin and heal your land!

Don’t be so proud that you keep walking away from God! Don’t be so proud that you think you can keep living outside of His protection and covering! If you don’t turn back before it is too late, you run the risk of being cut off and left apart forever! That’s not what God wants! His plan was that everyone would turnback  and be saved! God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life! Don’t believe me? Check out His own Word in the Bible!

Not everyone will, but what would it take for you to?

Iniquity of Senseless Ephraim

1“When I would have healed Israel, the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered, even the wickedness of Samaria, for they practice fraud. So a thief breaks in; a marauding band will raid outside. 2But they never admit in their heart that I remember all their evil. Now their deeds are all around them. They are right before My face. 3They gladden the king with their evil and the princes with their lies. 4All of them are practicing adultery, as an oven heated by a baker who stops stirring or kneading dough when it is leavened. 5On the day of our king, princes become sick from wine. His hand drags scorners along. 6For their hearts are like an oven, as they wait in ambush. All night their anger smolders. In the morning it burns like a blazing fire. 7All of them are hot like an oven, and they devour their rulers. All of their kings have fallen. None among them calls on Me. 8Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples. Ephraim has become a pancake that never gets turned over. 9Strangers devoured his strength— yet he does not know it. Gray hairs have spread on him— and he does not know it. 10Though the Pride of Israel has answered him to his face, yet they did not return to Adonai their God, nor seek Him about all this. 11Ephraim is like a senseless silly dove, they call to Egypt; they go to Assyria. 12As they are going, I will spread out My net over them, I will bring them down like a bird from the sky. I will chasten them as in the report that comes to their assembly. 13Oy to them! For they strayed from Me. Devastation to them! For they rebelled against Me. Should I redeem them after they spoke lies about Me? 14Nor did they not cry to Me in their heart when they were wailing on their beds. For the sake of grain and new wine they slash themselves— they keep turning away from Me. 15I trained and strengthened their arms, yet they kept planning evil against Me. 16They will turn back—only not upwards. They are like a treacherous bow. Their princes will fall by the sword because of the insolence with their tongues. This will be for their ridicule in the land of Egypt.

–from Hosea 7

So…how will it go in your life? What role will you play? How will you choose to go? How will you choose to live? What character will you play in this thing called life? Do you realize that Jesus has already paid it all? He paid the fine for your behavior! Will you choose to accept it? Will you choose to receive it? Or will you be too proud and so proud that you will try to get through life on your on, on your own terms, in your own way?

Will you live with integrity? Will you live with loyalty? Will you live with truth? Will you live with love? Will you live with hope? Will you share the Good News that you received?

Know how to win? LOVE! Know how to succeed? LOVE! Know how to be victorious? LOVE!

LOVE ends the argument!

Taking the Kingdom by Force

1Yeshua began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a tower. He leased it to some tenant farmers and went on a journey. 2And at the season, he sent a servant to collect from the tenants part of the vineyard’s fruit. 3But grabbing him, they beat him up and sent him away empty-handed. 4And again the man sent another servant to them, and they wounded his head and treated him shamefully. 5He sent another, and that one they killed; and so on with many others, beating some and killing some. 6He had yet one, a well-loved son. He sent him to them last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son. 7“But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir! Come on, let’s kill him and the inheritance will be ours!’ 8So grabbing the son, they killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9“What then will the master of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10Haven’t you read this Scripture? ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone. 11This came from Adonai, and it is marvelous in our eyes.’” 12They were trying to seize Yeshua, because they realized that He spoke the parable against them. But they feared the crowd, so they left Him and went away.

A Test of Loyalty

13Then they send some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Yeshua in order to trap Him with a word. 14They come and say to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are honest, and what others think doesn’t concern You. You don’t look at men’s appearance, but teach the way of God according to the truth. Is it permitted to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15Should we pay, or shouldn’t we?” But Yeshua saw through their hypocrisy and said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius so I may see it.” 16They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they said to Him. 17Then Yeshua said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were completely amazed at Him.

The Challenge of the Sadducees

18Then Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came and began questioning Yeshua, saying, 19“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that ‘if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, then his brother should take the widow and father children for his brother.’ 20There were seven brothers; and the first took a wife and, when he died, left no offspring. 21And the second took her and died, leaving no offspring, and the third likewise. 22Now the seven left no offspring. Last of all, the woman died, too. 23In the resurrection, when they rise up, whose wife will she be? For all seven had married her.” 24Yeshua said to them, “Isn’t this the reason you’ve gone astray, because you don’t understand the Scriptures or the power of God? 25For when they rise up from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26But concerning the dead being raised, haven’t you read in the book of Moses about the burning bush? How God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27He’s not the God of the dead, but of the living. You have gone far astray!”

Love Ends the Argument

28One of the Torah scholars came and heard them debating. Seeing that Yeshua had answered them well, he asked Him, “Which commandment is first of all?” 29Yeshua answered, “The first is, ‘Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. 30And you shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32“Well said, Teacher,” the Torah scholar said to Him. “You have spoken the truth, that He is echad, and besides Him there is no other! 33And ‘to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love the neighbor as oneself,’ is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34When Yeshua saw that he had answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared any longer to question Him.

Who Is King David’s Lord?

35While Yeshua was teaching in the Temple, He said, “How is it that the Torah scholars say that the Messiah is Ben-David? 36David himself, through the Ruach ha-Kodesh, said, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’ 37If David himself calls Him ‘Lord,’ in what way is He his son?” And the large crowd was listening to Him with delight. 38In His teaching He said, “Watch out for the Torah scholars, who like to walk around in long robes. They like greetings in the marketplaces, 39the best seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at feasts. 40They devour widows’ houses and make long prayers as a show. These men will receive greater condemnation!” 41He sat down opposite the treasury and began watching how the people were putting money into the offering box. Many rich people were putting in a lot. 42Then a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. 43Calling His disciples over, He said to them, “Amen, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those contributing to the box! 44For they all put in from their surplus; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had, her whole living.”

–from Mark 12

 

Do you realize how you are treating God?


Are you being faithful as He is faithful to you? Are you sticking with Him as He sticks near to you? Are you loving as He is love? Are you being truthful as He is truth?

Are you walking away from Him? Are you turning your back on Him? Are you worshipping someone or something else? Are you going the wrong way? What about at a higher level? What about your family? What about your community? What about your corporation? What about your country?

It’s great if you are. How can we help the others to come along on the journey?


Today’s reading gets us started into Hosea…

The Unfaithful Wife

1The word of Adonai that came to Hosea son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel. 2When Adonai first spoke with Hosea, Adonai said to Hosea: “Go, get yourself a prostitute as a wife and children with a prostitute! For the land is an unfaithful prostitute, far from following after Adonai.” 3So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4Then Adonai said to him: “Name him Jezreel for in yet a little while I will visit the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and I will destroy the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5In that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.” 6Then she conceived again, and bore a daughter. And He said to him: “Name her Lo-ruhamah— for no longer will I have compassion on the house of Israel that I should ever pardon them. 7But on the house of Judah I will have compassion and deliver them by Adonai, their God, yet not by bow, sword or battle, nor by horses and horsemen.” 8After she weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. 9Then He said: “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not yours.”

–from Hosea 1

Do you realize how much God loves you? Do you realize how much He has done to provide a way for you to be reconciles to Him? Do you realize that God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to bring hope, love, forgiveness, and reconciliation? He created you on purpose for a purpose! He has good and great plans for you! Will you choose to be a part of them?

Restoring the Covenant Promises

1“Yet the number of Bnei-Yisrael will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted. Instead of ‘You are not My people’ being said to them, they will be called ‘Children of the living God.’ 2Then the descendants of Judah and descendants of Israel will be gathered together. They will appoint themselves one head And they will go up from the land. For the day of Jezreel will be great. 3Say you to your brothers, ‘Ammi’ and to your sisters, ‘Ruhamah’. 4Contend with your mother, contend! For she is not My wife nor I her husband. Let her put away her fornications from her face and her adulteries from between her breasts. 5Or else I will strip her naked and expose her as on the day she was born. Then I will make her like a wilderness. Yes, I will make her like desert land, and I will let her die of thirst. 6I will have no compassion for her children, for they are children of prostitution. 7For their mother has practiced prostitution. She who conceived them has been shameful. For she said, ‘Let me go after my lovers, who are giving me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’ 8Therefore see, I will hedge her in with thorns, and I will build a wall around her so she cannot find her paths. 9Then she will chase after her lovers, but she will not overtake them. She will seek them, but not find. Then she will say: ‘Let me go and return to my first husband, for was it better for me then, than now.’ 10But she did not realize that I Myself gave her the grain, the wine and the fresh oil. I lavished on her silver, also gold— which they made into Baal. 11Therefore I will return and take back My grain in its season, and My new wine at its appointed time, and I will snatch away My wool and My linen for covering her nakedness. 12So now I will uncover her lewdness to the eyes of her lovers, and no one will rescue her from My hand. 13I will also put an end to all her rejoicing— her feasts, her New Moon, her Shabbat, and all her moadim. 14I will also devastate her vines and her fig trees, of which she said: ‘These are my payment that my lovers have given to me.’ But I will turn them into a thicket and beasts of the field will devour them. 15Then I will punish her for the days of the Baalim to whom she would burn incense— adorning herself with her rings and jewelry, going after her lovers— but Me she forgot.” It is a declaration of Adonai.

Compassion and Covenant Love

16“So then, I Myself will entice her, I will bring her into the wilderness and speak to her heart. 17I will give her back her vineyards from there and make the valley of Achor a door of hope. She will respond there— as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of the land of Egypt. 18In that day—it is a declaration of Adonai— you will proclaim, ‘My husband,’ and never again call Me, ‘My Baal.’ 19Then I will remove the names of the Baalim out of her mouth, no longer to be mentioned by their name. 20In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the flying creatures in the sky, and the creeping things on the ground. I will break into pieces the bow and sword and warfare from the land, and I will cause them to lie down securely. 21Then I will betroth you to Me forever—yes, I will betroth you to Me with righteousness, justice, covenant loyalty and compassion. 22I will betroth you to Me with faithfulness, and you will know Adonai. 23So it will be in that day, I will respond —it is a declaration of adonai— I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth, 24and the earth will respond with grain, new wine, and fresh oil— and they will respond with ‘Jezreel!’ 25I will sow her in the land for Myself. I will have compassion on Lo-ruhamah. I will say to Lo-ammi, ‘You are My people!’ and they will say, ‘My God!’”

–from Hosea 2

What will it take for the world to come to see and know and believe and realize how much God desires a relationship with them?

Buying Back His Wife

1Then Adonai said to me: “Go again! Love a woman who is loved by a companion and committing adultery—just as Adonai has loved the Bnei-Yisrael, while they were turning to other gods and loving raisin cakes.” 2So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and an omer and a half of barley. 3Then I said to her: “For many days you must stay with me. You must not practice prostitution. You must not have a man, and I will be the same toward you.” 4For Bnei-Yisrael will remain for many days without king, without prince, without sacrifice, without sacred pillar, and without ephod or teraphim. 5Afterwards, Bnei-Yisrael will return, and they will seek Adonai their God and David their king. Then they will turn in awe to Adonai and to His goodness in the last days.

–from Hosea 3

So will you praise Him? Will you worship Him? Will you ask Jesus into your heart? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you, instruct you and correct you?

It Is Good to Praise

1A psalm, a song for the Shabbat. 2It is good to praise Adonai and to make music to Your Name, Elyon, 3to declare Your love in the morning and Your faithfulness at night, 4with a ten-string harp, with resounding music on the lyre. 5For You made me glad, Adonai, by Your deeds. I sing for joy at the works of Your hands. 6How great are Your works, Adonai! How profound are Your thoughts! 7A brutish man does not know, nor does a fool understand. 8Though the wicked spring up like grass, and all evildoers flourish, it is only to be ruined forever. 9But You, Adonai, are exalted forever. 10For behold, Your enemies, Adonai —behold Your enemies perish— all evildoers are scattered. 11But You exalted my horn like that of a wild ox. I am anointed with fresh oil. 12My eye can gaze on those lying in wait for me. My ears hear about evildoers rising up against me. 13The righteous will flourish like a palm tree. He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 14Planted in the House of Adonai, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 15They will still yield fruit in old age. They will be full of sap and freshness. 16They declare, “Adonai is upright, my Rock —there is no injustice in Him.”

–from Pslams 92

How obedient will you be to God’s will and God’s plan? What if He asks you to do something? What if He asks you to say something? What if He asks you to stop doing something? What if He asks you not to speak? What if…

Will you be faithful to Him? Will you trust Him? Will you be obedient to Him?

If someone asked you why do you do what you do? Why do you act like you do? Why do you talk like you do? Will you point to the author and perfector of your faith? Will you tell them about Jesus?

Ben-David Enters Jerusalem

1Now as they draw near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, to the Mount of Olives, Yeshua sends two of His disciples 2and says to them, “Go into the village ahead of you. Right away as you enter it, you will find a colt tied up that no one has ever sat upon. Untie it and bring it. 3If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Master needs it.’ And right away he will send it back here.” 4They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a door. And they untied it. 5Some people standing there began saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6They answered just as Yeshua had told them, and the people let them go. 7And they brought the colt to Yeshua and laid their cloaks on it, and He sat on it. 8Many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread branches cut from the fields. 9Those going before and those following kept shouting, “Hoshia-na! Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! 10Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hoshia-na in the highest!” 11And He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around at everything, He went out to Bethany with the Twelve, since it was already late.

The Fruit of the Faithful

12The next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. 13Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if He would find any fruit on it. When He came up to it, He found nothing except leaves, because it wasn’t the season for figs. 14And He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening. 15Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the Temple and started to drive out those selling and buying in the Temple. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those selling doves, 16and He wouldn’t let anyone carry goods through the Temple. 17And He began to teach them, saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” 18The ruling kohanim and Torah scholars heard this and began looking for a way to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, because the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. 19Whenever evening came, Yeshua and His disciples would leave the city. 20As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree shriveled from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Yeshua, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree You cursed has shriveled up!” 22And Yeshua answered, saying to them, “Have faith in God! 23Amen, I tell you, if someone says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but trusts that what he says is happening, so shall it be for him. 24For this reason I say to you, whatever you pray and ask, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your transgressions.” 26[footnote: Some mss. add: But if you don’t forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.]

A Question for a Question

27Again they come to Jerusalem. While Yeshua was walking in the Temple, the ruling kohanim, Torah scholars, and elders come up to Him. 28And they start saying to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority to do these things?” 29Yeshua said to them, “I will put one question to you. Answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30The immersion of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me!” 31They began to dialogue among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32But if we say, ‘From men’…?” They were afraid of the crowd, for all held that John really was a prophet. 33So answering Yeshua, they say, “We don’t know.” And Yeshua tells them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

–from Mark 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you realize He paid it all? Will you receive the gift of grace?


Ever done something you regretted? Ever done something bad? Ever been confronted with a situation that seemed to be more than you can handle?

Turn to God! Ask Jesus into your situation! Give it all up to Him!

Do you realize all He has already done for you? Do you realize that He has paid it all so that we can be forgiven? Do you realize that He has paid it all so that we can be reconciled? Do you realize He has paid it all when He gave up His innocent life for us?

So don’t lose hope today! Don’t despair! Put all your hope and trust in Jesus!


Today’s reading …

Purging Innocent Blood

1“Suppose a slain person is found fallen in a field, on the land Adonai your God is giving you to possess—who struck him is unknown. 2Then your elders and judges must come out and measure the distance to the towns that are around the slain one. 3Now the town nearest to the slain one—the elders of that city are to take from the herd a heifer that has not been used for work or pulled a yoke. 4Then the elders of that city are to bring the heifer down to a flowing wadi that has not been plowed or sown, and break the heifer’s neck there in the wadi. 5The kohanim, the sons of Levi, will come forward—for Adonai your God has chosen them to serve Him and pronounce blessings in His Name, and by their mouth every dispute and assault is to be settled. 6All the elders of that city nearest to the slain one will wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the wadi. 7Then they will answer and say, ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see. 8Grant atonement for Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, Adonai, and do not put innocent blood on Your people Israel.’ Then atonement will be granted to them for the blood. 9So you will purge the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in Adonai’s sight.

When You Go Out

10“When you go out to war against your enemies, and Adonai your God hands them over to you and you take them captive, 11suppose you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire her and would take her as a wife for yourself. 12Then you are to bring her into your house, and she must shave her head, trim her nails, 13and remove her captive’s clothing, then sit in your house and weep for her father and mother a full month. After that, you may go to her and become her husband and she will be your wife. 14Now if you are not pleased with her, then you may send her off wherever she wishes. But you must certainly not sell her for silver—you may not treat her as merchandise, since you have humiliated her. 15“Suppose a man has two wives—the one loved and the other unloved—and both the loved and the unloved bear him sons. But it happens that the firstborn son belongs to the unloved wife. 16Now on the day he lets his sons inherit what he has, he must not treat the loved one’s son as firstborn, in place of the unloved one’s son, who is the firstborn. 17Rather, he must acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the hated one, by giving him a double portion of all that he has. For he is the first of his vigor—the right of the firstborn is his. 18“Suppose a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not listen to the voice of his father or mother. They discipline him, but he does not listen to them. 19Then his father and mother are to grab hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city—to the gate of his place. 20They will say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious—he does not listen to our voice. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21Then all the men of his city are to stone him with stones to death. So you will purge the evil from your midst—and all Israel will hear and be afraid.

Hung on a Tree

22“Suppose a man is guilty of a sin with a death sentence and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree. 23His body is not to remain all night on the tree—instead you must certainly bury him the same day, for anyone hanged is a curse of God. You must not defile your land that Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance.

–from Deuteronomy 21

Jesus was innocent, but was hung on a tree to pay the penalty of our sins! He willingly gave up His life that we could be reconciled and forgiven! So let’s give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory! Let’s live today in a way that will point people to Him and lift Him up for all that He has already done once for all! God loves us so much that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life!

Love in Practice

1“You are not to watch your brother’s ox or sheep going astray and ignore them —you must certainly bring them back to your brother. 2If your brother is not near you or if you do not know him, then you should bring it into your house and it will remain with you until your brother comes searching for it and you return it to him. 3You are to do the same with his donkey or his coat or anything lost by your brother, that may be lost by him and you find—you may not ignore them. 4You must not watch your brother’s donkey or ox fall down on the road and ignore it—you must certainly help him lift it up again. 5“A man’s apparel is not to be on a woman, nor is a man to wear woman’s clothing—for whoever does these things is detestable to Adonai your God. 6“If there happens to be a bird’s nest in front of you along the road, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the hen sitting on the young or on the eggs, you are not to take the hen with the young. 7You must certainly let the hen go, but the young you may take for yourself so that it may go well with you and you may prolong your days. 8“When you build a new house, you are to make a guardrail for your roof, so that you do not bring the guilt of blood on your house if anyone falls from it. 9“You are not to plant your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or else the whole harvest will be forfeited —both the seed you plant and the produce of the vineyard. 10You are not to plow with an ox and a donkey together. 11You are not to wear a woven mixture , wool and linen together. 12You are to make for yourself twisted threads on the four corners of your garment in which you cover yourself. 13“Suppose a man takes a wife and goes t0 her and then dislikes her, 14accuses her of shameful things and gives her a bad reputation by saying, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I didn’t find her virginity.’ 15Then the father of the young woman is to take her and her mother is to bring out the signs of the young woman’s virginity to the city elders at the gate. 16The young lady’s father is to tell the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man as a wife, but he hates her. 17Indeed, he has accused her of shameful things, saying, “I didn’t find your daughter’s virginity.” Yet these are the signs of my daughter’s virginity.’ They are to spread the wedding cloth before the elders of the city. 18The elders of that city are to take the man and punish him. 19Then they are to fine him 100 pieces of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought an evil name on a virgin of Israel. Then she is to be his wife—he may not send her away all his days. 20“But if this thing is true—that the signs of virginity were not found in the young lady— 21then they are to bring the young woman out to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city are to stone her with stones to death, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to behave like a prostitute in her father’s house. So you are to purge the evil from your midst. 22“Suppose a man is found lying with a married woman. Then both of them are to die—the man who lay with the woman and the woman. So you are to purge the evil from Israel. 23“Suppose there is a young woman who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her. 24Then you are to bring them both out to the gate of that city and stone them with stones to death—the young woman because she did not cry out in the town, and the man because he humiliated his neighbor’s wife. So you are to purge the evil from your midst. 25“But if the man finds the engaged woman in the field, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her is to die. 26But to the young woman you are to do nothing—there is no sin in the young woman deserving of death. For this matter is the same as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him— 27for he found her in the field, the engaged woman cried out, and there was no one to save her. 28“Suppose a man finds a young virgin who is not engaged, grabs her and lies with her, and they are discovered. 29Then the man who lay with her is to give to the young woman’s father 50 pieces of silver, and she is to be his wife, since he has humiliated her—he may not send her away all his days.

–from Deuteronomy 22

Let’s live out today in love! Let’s give love! Let’s share love! Let’s declare love! Let’s show what true love really means! Let’s bring God the glory, the honor, and the praise!

Glory of the Kingdom

1A psalm of praise. Of David. I will exalt You, my God, the King, and I will bless Your Name forever and ever. 2Every day I will bless You, and praise Your Name forever and ever! 3Great is Adonai, and greatly to be praised —His greatness is unsearchable. 4One generation will praise Your works to another and declare Your mighty acts. 5I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty and Your wonders. 6They will speak of the might of Your awesome deeds, and I will proclaim Your greatness. 7They will pour out the renown of Your great goodness, and sing joyfully of Your righteousness. 8Adonai is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. 9Adonai is good to all. He has compassion on all His creatures. 10All Your works praise You, Adonai, and Your kedoshim bless You. 11They declare the glory of Your kingdom and speak of Your might, 12to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts and the glory of the majesty of His kingdom. 13Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages, and Your dominion endures from generation to generation. 14Adonai upholds all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down. 15The eyes of all look to You and You give them their food on time. 16You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing with favor. 17Adonai is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds. 18Adonai is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. 19He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him. He will hear their cry and save them. 20Adonai watches over all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. 21My mouth declares the praise of Adonai. Let all flesh bless His holy Name forever and ever!

–from Psalms 145

Let’s give God all the praise! Let’s lift up His name! Let’s share the testimonies of His greatness with those around us! Let’s share His love with them that they may turn back to Him! Let’s live in unity so that we can show His love and His power to the world around us!

Final Warnings

1This is the third time I am coming to you. “By the testimony of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” 2I spoke a warning, when I was with you the second time. Though now I am away, I am again speaking a warning to those who have sinned before, as well as to all the rest, that if I come again, I will not spare anyone— 3since you are demanding proof that Messiah is speaking through me. He is not weak toward you, but powerful among you. 4For He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives through the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we shall live with Him by God’s power toward you. 5Test yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Examine yourselves! Or don’t you know yourselves—that Messiah Yeshua is in you? Unless of course you failed the test. 6But I hope that you will realize that we haven’t failed the test. 7Now we pray to God that you do no wrong—not so that we may appear to have passed the test, but in order that you may do what is right even if we may seem to have failed. 8For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. 9For we rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. We also pray for this—your perfecting. 10For this reason I write these things while I am absent, so that when I am present I need not proceed harshly, according to the authority which the Lord gave me—for building up and not for tearing down.

Final Greetings

11Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Aim for restoration, encourage one another, be of the same mind, live in shalom—and the God of love and shalom will be with you. 12Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the kedoshim greet you. 13The grace of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah and the love of God and the fellowship of the Ruach ha-Kodesh be with you all. Amen.

–from 2 Corinthians 13

 

 

Ever heard of the right place at the right time?


Do you believe there is purpose? Do you believe there is a calendar and a schedule? Do you believe that it’s not random? Do you believe it’s not a coincidence? Do you believe that you were put in such a place on a such a day for such a thing as that?

I have had many instances where God has put me places for special purposes. I have been reading my morning readings and then go on with my day to realize it is speaking right into my very situation. I have seen FB updates and started conversations and next thing I know instead of it being about me saying “Hi”, “Congratulations” the other person turns it around to be asking me questions and it leads to new opportunities. I have seen where my blog triggered something in a reader which created a conversation between our blogs which allowed me to speak hope and life into his life.

God’s timing is perfect! He is never late, rarely early, He is just on time! So be patient! Be obedient to His prompting! Allow the process to have its work in you! Is it tough? Yes, but we can take hope for God’s Word tells us “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Will we face trial, challenges, troubles? Yes, but we can take hope for God’s Word tells us to “consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

So don’t worry! Worry changes nothing! Turn to God in prayer and stick with Him through it all! Or as God’s Word puts it “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Worry won’t help! Or as God’s Word puts it:

25“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 28“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. –from Matthew 6 (NLT)

So let’s take a hold of the truth! There is a right place to be! There is a right time! There is also a right way to go about it! And until the time is right we will just walk out life, the highs and the lows, with God the right way!


Today’s reading starts with speaking about timing…

1Then Adonai spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they approached the presence of Adonai and died. 2Adonai said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holiest Place behind the curtain —before the atonement cover which is on the Ark—so that he would not die. For I will be appearing in the cloud over the atonement cover.

Yom Kippur Service

3“In this way shall Aaron come into the Sanctuary: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. 4He is to put on the holy linen garment, have the linen undergarments on his body, put on the linen sash, and wear the linen turban—they are the holy garments. He shall bathe his body in water, and put them on. 5“Then he is to take from the congregation of Bnei-Yisrael two he-goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. 6Then Aaron is to offer the bull for the sin offering which is for himself and make atonement for himself and his house. 7Then he is take the two goats and present them before Adonai at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. 8Aaron will then cast lots for the two goats—one lot for Adonai, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9Aaron is to present the goat on which the lot for Adonai fell and make it a sin offering. 10But the goat upon which the lot for the scapegoat fell is to be presented alive before Adonai, to make atonement upon it, by sending it away as the scapegoat into the wilderness. 11“Also Aaron is to present the bull of the sin offering which is for himself and so make atonement for himself and his house. He is to slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is for himself. 12He is to take a firepan full of coals of fire from off the altar before Adonai plus two handfuls of sweet powdered incense and bring it within the curtain. 13Then he is to put the incense on the fire before Adonai, so that the cloud of the incense may cover the atonement cover that is on the Ark, so that he would not die. 14He is then to take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the atonement cover, on the east side. Before the atonement cover he is to sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. 15“Then he is to slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, bring its blood behind the curtain, and do with it as he did with the blood of the bull—sprinkle it upon the atonement cover, and before the atonement cover. 16So he is to make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the ­uncleanness of Bnei-Yisrael and because of their transgressions, all their sins. He is to do the same for the Tent of Meeting, which dwells with them in the midst of their impurities. 17No one is to be in the Tent of Meeting when he enters to make atonement in the Holy Place until he comes out, and has made atonement for himself and for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel. 18“Then he is to go out to the altar that is before Adonai and make atonement for it. He is to take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and dab it around on the horns of the altar. 19He is to sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of Bnei-Yisrael. 20“When he has finished atoning for the Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, then he is to present the live goat. 21Aaron should lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities of Bnei-Yisrael and all their transgressions, all their sins. He should place them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. 22The goat will carry all their iniquities by itself into a solitary land and he is to leave the goat in the wilderness. 23“Then Aaron is to come into the Tent of Meeting, take off the linen garments that he put on when he went into the Holy Place, and leave them there. 24He is to bathe himself with water in a holy place, put on his garments, and come out to offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, to make atonement for himself and for the people. 25“Then he is to burn up fat of the sin offering in smoke on the altar. 26The man who leaves the goat as a scapegoat is to wash his clothes and bathe his body in water. Afterward he may come into the camp. 27“The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, shall be carried outside the camp, and their hides, their flesh, and their dung burned with fire. 28The one who burns them is to wash his clothes and bathe his body in water. Then afterward he may come into the camp. 29“It is to be a statute to you forever, that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you are to afflict your souls, and do no kind of work—both the native-born and the outsider dwelling among you. 30For on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. From all your sins you will be clean before Adonai. 31It is a Shabbat of solemn rest to you, and you are to afflict your souls. It is a statute forever. 32The kohen who is anointed and who is consecrated to be kohen in his father’s place will make the atonement, and put on the linen garments, the holy garments. 33He is to make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, for the Tent of Meeting, for the altar, for the kohanim, and for all the people of the assembly. 34“This will be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for Bnei-Yisrael once in the year because of all their sins.” It was done as Adonai commanded Moses.
–from Leviticus 16

We need to consider our choices and our actions for their are consequences or responses or reactions.

Sacrifice of Life in Blood

1Then Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: 2“Speak to Aaron, to his sons, and to all Bnei-Yisrael, and say to them: This is the word which Adonai has commanded. 3Anyone from the house of Israel who slaughters a bull, a lamb or a goat in the camp or outside the camp, 4but has not brought it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting to offer it as a sacrifice to Adonai before the Tabernacle—let bloodguilt be charged to that man. He has shed blood—that man is to be cut off from among his people. 5Thus Bnei-Yisrael may bring their sacrifices that they were making in the open field to Adonai, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting to the kohen, and offer them as sacrifices of fellowship offerings to Adonai. 6The kohen is to sprinkle the blood on the altar of Adonai at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and burn up the fat as smoke for a soothing aroma to Adonai. 7They are no longer to offer their sacrifices to the goat-demons after which they play the prostitute. This will be a statute forever to them throughout their generations. 8“Then you are to say to them: Anyone from the house of Israel, or from the outsiders dwelling among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, 9but does not bring it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting to sacrifice it to Adonai, is to be cut off from his people. 10“Anyone from the house of Israel, or from the outsiders dwelling among them, who eats any kind of blood, I will set my face against that soul—the one who eats blood—and will cut him off from among his people. 11For the life of the creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your lives—for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life. 12Therefore I have said to Bnei-Yisrael: No person among you may eat blood, nor may any outsider dwelling among you eat blood. 13“Any person from Bnei-Yisrael, or from the outsiders dwelling among them, who hunts as game any animal or bird that may be eaten, must drain its blood and cover it with dust. 14For the life of every creature, its blood is in its life. Therefore I said to Bnei-Yisrael: You are not to eat the blood of any kind of creature, for the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it is to be cut off. 15“Everyone who eats what dies naturally or is torn by animals—whether he is native-born or a foreigner—is to wash his clothes and bathe himself in water. He will be unclean until the evening, then he will be clean. 16But if he does not wash them or bathe his body, then he will bear his iniquity.”
–from Leviticus 17

We need to stick with Jesus! He is not only a good example, but a great advocate for us! Let’s not grow weary in doing what is good and what is right! God’s timing is perfect! We may think He is late, but watch what He will do in that very situation! Consider the extra glory to God because of His timing! God cares for us! God’s got compassion for us! His plan is that nobody would perish but that all would turn back to Him and be saved! He sent Jesus to save! Jesus didn’t come to condemn but to seek and save the lost! So we can trust Him! We can live for Him! And we can see how He will touch our lives and transform us from the inside out!

Lazarus Is Dead

1Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Miriam and her sister Martha. 2This was the same Miriam who anointed the Master with perfume and wiped His feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. 3So the sisters sent a word to Yeshua, saying, “Master, the one you love is sick!” 4When Yeshua heard this, He said, “This sickness will not end in death. It is for God’s glory, so that Ben-Elohim may be glorified through it.” 5Now Yeshua loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6However, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for two more days. 7Then after this, He said to His disciples, “Let’s go up to Judea again.” 8“Rabbi,” the disciples say to Him, “just now the Judean leaders were trying to stone You! And You’re going back there again?” 9Yeshua answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours in the day? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of the world. 10But if a man should walk around at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11After He said this, He tells them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I’m going there to wake him up.” 12So the disciples said to Him, “Master, if he has fallen asleep, he will get better.” 13Now Yeshua had spoken about his death, but they thought He was talking about ordinary sleep. 14Then Yeshua told them clearly, “Lazarus is dead! 15I’m glad for your sake I wasn’t there, so that you may believe. Anyway, let’s go to him!” 16Then Thomas called the Twin said to the other disciples, “Let’s go too, so that we may die with Him!”

Comforting the Mourners

17So when Yeshua arrived, He discovered that Lazarus had been in the tomb already for four days. 18Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19and many of the Judeans had come to Martha and Miriam to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Yeshua was coming, she went out to meet Him; but Miriam sat in the house. 21Martha said to Yeshua, “Master, if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died! 22But I know, even now, that whatever You may ask of God, He will give You.” 23Yeshua said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to Him, “I know, he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Yeshua said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life! Whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, shall live. 26And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27She says to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, Ben-Elohim who has come into the world.” 28After she said this, she left and secretly told her sister Miriam, “The Teacher is here, and He’s calling for you.” 29As soon as Miriam heard, she quickly got up and was coming to Him. 30Now Yeshua had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met Him. 31The Judeans, who were with Miriam in the house and comforting her, seeing how quickly she got up and went out, followed her. They thought she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32So when Miriam came to where Yeshua was, she saw Him and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died!” 33When Yeshua saw her weeping, and the Judeans who came with her weeping, He was deeply troubled in spirit and Himself agitated. 34“Where have you laid him?” He asked. “Come and see, Master,” they tell Him. 35Yeshua wept. 36So the Judeans said, “See how He loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Couldn’t this One, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have also kept this man from dying?”

Yeshua’s Word Raises the Dead

38So Yeshua, again deeply troubled within Himself, comes to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Yeshua says, “Roll away the stone!” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to Him, “Master, by this time he stinks! He’s been dead for four days!” 40Yeshua says to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they rolled away the stone. Yeshua lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard Me. 42I knew that You always hear Me; but because of this crowd standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43And when He had said this, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44He who had been dead came out, wrapped in burial clothes binding his hands and feet, with a cloth over his face. And Yeshua tells them, “Cut him loose, and let him go!”

Better that One Man Die

45Therefore many of the Judeans, who had come to Miriam and had seen what Yeshua had done, put their trust in Him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Yeshua had done. 47So the ruling kohanim and Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we doing?” they asked. “This Man is performing many signs! 48If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our holy place and our nation.” 49But one of them, Caiaphas, who was kohen gadol that year, said to them, “You know nothing! 50You don’t take into account that it is better for you that one man die for the people rather than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” 51Now he did not say this by himself; but as the kohen gadol that year, he prophesied that Yeshua would die for the nation. 52And not for the nation only, but also so that He might gather together into one the scattered children of God. 53So from that day on, they plotted to kill Him. 54Therefore Yeshua no longer walked openly among the Judeans, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with His disciples. 55Now the Jewish Passover was near; and many people went up out of the regions to Jerusalem before Passover, to purify themselves. 56So they were searching for Yeshua, saying to one another as they stood in the Temple, “What do you think? Won’t He come to the feast at all?” 57Now the ruling kohanim and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it so that they might arrest Him.
–from John 11

 

 

Do you realize how much God loves you?


He loves us so much that even though He loves us as we are, He loves us too much to leave us there. That is why He provided instructions through the law of Leviticus for the Jesus (today’s reading was from Leviticus 15). He loves us so much that God provided us the Bible to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path! Another part of today’s reading speaks to His compassion through Psalms…

As a Father Has Compassion

1Of David. Bless Adonai, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy Name. 2Bless Adonai, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3He forgives all your iniquity. He heals all your diseases. 4He redeems your life from the Pit. He crowns you with loving kindness and compassions. 5He satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like an eagle. 6Adonai executes justice— judgments for all who are oppressed. 7He made His ways known to Moses, His deeds to the children of Israel. 8Adonai is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and plentiful in mercy. 9He will not always accuse, nor will He keep His anger forever. 10He has not treated us according to our sins, or repaid us according to our iniquities. 11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His mercy for those who fear Him. 12As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13As a father has compassion on his children, so Adonai has compassion on those who fear Him. 14For He knows our frame. He remembers that we are but dust. 15As for man, his days are like grass— he flourishes like a flower of the field, 16but when the wind blows over it, it is gone, and its place is no longer known. 17But the mercy of Adonai is from everlasting to everlasting on those who revere Him, His righteousness to children’s children, 18to those who keep His covenant, who remember to observe His instructions. 19Adonai has set up His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all. 20Bless Adonai, you angels of His: mighty in strength, performing His word, upon hearing the utterance of His word. 21Bless Adonai, all you His armies, His servants who do His will. 22Bless Adonai, all His works everywhere in His dominion. Bless Adonai, O my soul!
–from Psalms 103

Jesus came to clean the slate. He came to make things right. He came to give His all that we could be reconciled back to God, not because of how great we are, but because of how great He is and for all that He has done for us. As today begins I am reminded of the next couple of weeks and their significance and importance. Psalm Sunday this weekend. Good Friday a week from now. Easter/Resurrection Sunday next weekend. He came to save the lost! He came to heal the sick! He came to free the slaves! He overcame the world and now we can be more than overcomers by His grace and power. God is so good! God’s love is so great! We need to walk in alignment and relationship with Him! We need to make time with Him so that when time comes for us to act, speak, listen, we are prepared and filled up.  Bless the Lord o my soul and all that is within me! Let’s be sensitive to the Holy Spirit that we may hear His voice and respond. God sees beyond the surface and speak right into the life and heart of others! Let’s be prepared! Let’s not allow the thief to come and try to rob all that God has done and prepared for us! Let’s allow the light of God to be in us and to shine it into the world around us!

Today’s reading concludes in John…

The Faithful Hear the Shepherd’s Voice

1“Amen, amen I tell you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice. The shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4“When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them; and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Yeshua told them this parable, but they did not understand what He was telling them. 7So Yeshua said again, “Amen, amen I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All those who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate! If anyone comes in through Me, he will be saved. He will come and go and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly! 11“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12The hired worker is not the shepherd, and the sheep are not his own. He sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees. Then the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep. 13The man is only a hired hand and does not care about the sheep. 14“I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, 15just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not from this fold; those also I must lead, and they will listen to My voice. So there shall be one flock, one Shepherd. 17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, so that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.” 19Again a division arose among the Judeans because of these words. 20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon. He’s insane! Why listen to Him?” 21Others said, “These are not the sayings of someone who is plagued by a demon. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can it?”

Some Despise the Light and Harden

22Then came Hanukkah; it was winter in Jerusalem. 23Yeshua was walking in the Temple around Solomon’s Colonnade. 24Then the Judean leaders surrounded Him, saying, “How long will You hold us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us outright!” 25Yeshua answered them, “I told you, but you don’t believe! The works I do in My Father’s name testify concerning Me. 26But you don’t believe, because you are not My sheep. 27My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. 28I give them eternal life! They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. And no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” 31Again the Judean leaders picked up stones to stone Him. 32Yeshua answered them, “I’ve shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone Me?” 33The Judean leaders answered, “We aren’t stoning you for a good work, but for blasphemy. Though You are a man, You make Yourself God!” 34Yeshua answered them, “Isn’t it written in your Writings, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36do you say of Him, the One the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You speak blasphemy,’ because I said, ‘I am Ben-Elohim’? 37“If I don’t do the works of My Father, don’t believe Me! 38But if I do, even if you don’t trust Me, trust the deeds. Then you may come to know and continue to understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.” 39Therefore they tried to capture Him again, but He escaped from their hand. 40Again He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first started immersing, and He stayed there. 41Many people came to Him and were saying, “John performed no sign, but all John said about this man was true.” 42And many trusted in Him there.
–from John 10

This is the day that the Lord has made, so lets rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not allow the world to overwhelm or rob us! Let’s consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, for when it completes its work, we will complete and lacking nothing! Let’s not fear or doubt because we are having troubles in this world, for Jesus warned us that it would happen (not might, would) but to take heart for He has overcome the world! So let’s be overcomers! Let’s be more than overcomers through the power of the cross!